02.22.08

Quote of the Day: Microsoft is Open! (To More Racketeering)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Patents, Xandros at 3:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

BRAD SMITH: “[...] Novell already has an agreement with us that covers all of these patent rights. Some other companies, such as Xandros and others, also have a patent license. So they’ve already addressed all of that, and their users are already addressed. With respect to other distributors, and users, the clear message is that patent licenses will be freely available.”

STEVE BALLMER: “Patents will be, not freely, will be available.”

BRAD SMITH: “Readily available.”

I'm Linux

More on ‘Microsoft Agents’ Pushing for OOXML (and What Digg.com Teaches Us About Them)

Posted in FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument at 2:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“MSFTers dust of the same FUD year in and year out. Each time it’s trotted out, it’s taken as the gospel truth by the media which appears to some how equate repetition with validity. That’s the same crowd that can’t assign appropriate weights to statements from broad industry consortium and a say-for-pay consulting firm.”

ItsSnakeOil, Digg user, 2 days ago

After posting about 14,000 comments in Digg.com I no longer take that Web site seriously. The site has changed a lot over the course of the past year. I may be the most prolific commenter there (among approximately 2 million registered users), but various abusive stalkers turned the site into a sordid chaos.

“They occupy a variety of popular sites covering technology.”It is very clear that those very same abusive characters have been doing the same thing for one decade or more, even before Digg was born and even back in the OS/2 days. Their names and monikers have remained identical and a bit of studying nets lots more evidence. They occupy a variety of popular sites covering technology. Particularly, they occupy Linux forums, which makes it a case of intrusion (also trolling). It’s all simultaneous. They want influence and they systematically spread myths.

The names of the poster make it a fact, not a suspicion. They even admit this when questioned. Whether Microsoft pays these people and whether they work for Microsoft business partners is a totally separate question, so before the “paranoid” word comes up, it is worth clarifying this (more on a related subject is to come soon, but as a separate post).

The other day we mentioned a couple of Web sites, a slanderous blog and a family of recurring usernames that are used to assault ODF and praise OOXML. We may now have an update. One of these users, who for a fact runs the “ooxmlhoaxes” Web site, has posted the following link the other day.

The house inspector

robweird.wordpress.com — An amusing satirical story comparing the inspection of a house to the standardization process of OpenDocument

Submitted:
1 day 21 hr ago

Submitter:
Multivac1

As you can see, this link is to a blog dedicated to personal attacks on Rob Weir, an IBM employee. It was posted by the user who runs “ooxmlhoaxes”, which suggests that there is a connection, unless it is the same person.

After some bit of investigation, it turned out that hAl might not, after all, be the same person as Multivac1 or the person — whoever it may be — that runs the slanderous blog. They might be coordinating some things as a group, but there are separate individuals involved.

“A little quick experiment seemed to reveal that the slanderous blog might be managed by a person who works via zombies PCs or a proxy, indicating need for anonymity and obfuscation of digital traces. ”A little quick experiment seemed to reveal that the slanderous blog might be managed by a person who works via zombies PCs or a proxy, indicating need for anonymity and obfuscation of digital traces. Why be so afraid of promoting Microsoft’s agenda? This sounded familiar, even without quick tests.

Attacks on ODF (or a case of defending OOXML) seem common in Slashdot, USENET and other such places especially when the poster is either anonymous and/or uses a known honeypot (as documented in sites whose purpose is to track of such IP addresses).

There are those who go by full names (pseudo-nyms are a possibility though). Examples include a person who goes by the name “Tim Smith” (or username harlowmonkeys, sometimes harlow-monkeys), seemingly a Microsoft partner in business. Included in the messages are endless personal attacks against myself, not just ODF. Seemingly from the UK (he denies this after obsessive stalking by him, which went on for months before polite warnings were sent), he keeps very active in anti-ODF and pro-OOXML in USENET and in Digg. Example from days ago:

There are some more details about personal attacks at Digg specifically in my personal blog if you are curious, as well as in some updates here, but again, BoycottNovell is not a personal site, so let’s not make it so.

To Microsoft, the week of the BRM has billions of dollars in stake and — rather questionably without a doubt — Microsoft’s survival as well, based on what some analysts seem to suggest. As the following article explains very clearly, Microsoft could lose entire nations without an ISO.

If the ISO does not approve the OOXML format, Microsoft might be forced to rethink its strategy around document formats if it wants government IT contracts

To repeat a recently-cited comment from Slashdot:

How ‘Firm’ Would You Stand For 20 Billion A Year?

I believe Microsoft made 5 billion in revenue from having customers worldwide locked into their proprietary office document format.

The vendor lockin from Office makes up almost half the company’s yearly revenue.

Microsoft would cease to exist as we know it if the office document lockin revenue went away to an open format.

Fight? LOL! This is the type of sh*t Microsoft execs live for.

Fake grassroots efforts.
Standards body subversion.
Paid for media shills.
Shame studies.
Mysterious compatibility problems with the competition.

All in a days work.

Judge for yourself and decide how far Microsoft has been willing to go. Presented here were mainly facts.

Windows Vista Shoots More Torpedoes at ‘Third-Party’ Software, Including Novell’s

Posted in Microsoft, Novell, Vista, Windows at 1:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The term “third-party” is quite insulting and derogatory because it makes all vendors other than Microsoft seem like uninvited second-class guests which only complement something greater and better.

In many ways, Microsoft actually views it that way (watch quotes from the Netscape-era Microsoft). And as a matter of fact, with the arrival of Vista (RTM), a lot of software from Microsoft’s rivals ceased to function. To make matters worse, days ago it emerged that an anticipated Service Pack actually harms compatibility further rather than mitigate the severity of the problem.

In fact, the Service Pack did nothing to security (Microsoft says this to APC Magazine about 4 months ago) and arguably nothing for performance (call this promises "vapourware"). Many Vista PCs were rendered unbootable as a result of bad patches. It may seem like a case of unnecessary Microsoft bashing, which we will leave to links digests. We wish not to be perceived as ones who take cheap shots at others’ misery, so we rarely elaborate on such cases, unless Free software is affected directly.

Earlier this week we added links to our digest about the compatibility of applications in Service Pack 1 of Windows Vista. Novell turns out to be affected as well. That and only that ought to be the focus of this post. Have a look:

Microsoft Says Vista SP1 Blocks Third Party Apps

Microsoft has confirmed that some third party applications are either blocked or lose functionality on machines that have Vista service pack 1 installed, including products from Trend Micro, Zonelabs, BitDefender, and Novell.

[...]

Microsoft directed users to a page on the Novell support website, but the page doesn’t contain any information on what specific functionality is affected. Novell couldn’t be reached for comment.

“’Third-party’ Novell software yet again fails and therefore falls behind.”Why was Novell not warned in advance? What happened to coordination? Microsoft’s case of “undocumentation” (that’s what Microsoft called it) comes back from the grave of Comes vs Microsoft court exhibits. ‘Third-party’ Novell software yet again fails and therefore falls behind. How convenient (to Microsoft).

[Going into sarcasm mode] Not to worry. There are always Microsoft applications to replace some of those ‘nasty’ ones from Novell. They are likely to work better and function more properly, even seamlessly with vertical integration and all. It’s deja vu all over again, just as we’ve already seen in ODF plugins when they fell victim to DR-DOS-esque tactics .

See our previous and fairly recent post about Microsoft as the software police, the BSA aside. With partners like these, it’s clear that Novell is sleeping with an enemy. And it keeps insisting that it absolutely loves the abusive relationship (it wants to sell this message to us, along with few of its prominent yet notorious developers).

Jim Allchin on Novell

What if Microsoft Owned Yahoo (and the US Government Establishments’ IT)?

Posted in Bill Gates, Corel, Microsoft, Novell, Open XML at 1:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“The Internet has evolved from open standards, having a diversity of companies. [...] And when you start to have companies that control the operating system, control the browsers, they really tie up the top Web sites, and can be used to manipulate stuff in various ways. I think that’s unnerving.”

Google’s Brin (Google), yesterday

Months ago (or some time back in January) I became aware of the US Library of Congress embracing Microsoft technologies that essentially lock out some people from access to public material (historical literature). The same goes for the British Library, which has, for quite some time in fact, been uncomfortable close to Microsoft. We covered this before on numerous occasions, e.g. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].

More recently there was also the outrage at Boston’s public library, which chose Microsoft DRM for delivery of public information. Once again, many citizens were denied access to public-owned material (taxpayers’ asset) in the ugliest of ways (DRM).

The FSF was all over this one. The library administrator who was responsible for this mess joined a discussion I had started about this in USENET, seemingly trying to protect his job. He was assulted by quite a lot of angry people for becoming an agent of monopolisation.

“…all these separate Microsoft frameworks may be assembled around .NET, preparing to jointly ‘punish’ rival platforms.”Several months ago in this Web site we argued against Mono and Moonlight (Silverlight) apologists, saying quite explicitly that Silverlight has some sort of special advantage in Vista, or at least in the existing versions of Windows. This was read somewhere that cannot be found or recalled and it begins to seem like the acceleration discussed at a time may or may not involve DirectX. If so, all these separate Microsoft frameworks may be assembled around .NET, preparing to jointly ‘punish’ rival platforms.

Without the entire framework (i.e. the whole Microsoft stack), there is little hope for interoperability. Ever. We saw that in the Windows-dependent OOXML (document exchange), we see this in Exchange/SharePoint (mind Zimbra and the hostile Yahoo takeover) and even in Silverlight, whose vector of intrusion is the Web, implying that even a Linux-only and ODF-only enterprise is not protected from an ‘alien technology’, whose hostile element is inherent incompatibility. The Web must be based on standards (mind Google’s new statement at the top), which enable indexing of content, portability, and many other things.

A concerned reader of the site has asked to share and to publish an article about the Corel mystery (see [1, 2, 3]) and its relevance to a serious issue that mysteriously escapes our attention amid the fight for “Microsoft Office+Windows as an ISO standard” (aka OOXML) and Microsoft’s fight for the virtual ownership of GNU/Linux through software patent deals.

To summarise the reader’s findings and insights (slightly edited to tidy things up):


What happened to Microsoft working on interoperability?

Where has Microsoft improved Linux & Windows working together since their actions with Corel many years ago when Corel still worked on WINE, the dumping of Corel Linux only to become Xandros and the patent agreement signed with Microsoft and the EEE PC (extend, embrace, extinguish?) with Xandros?

In the year 2000:

Interview: Corel’s Linux VP on the Microsoft deal

LinuxWorld: Will you continue to work with and support the Wine project, and will you continue to use Wine to bring your traditionally Windows applications to Linux?

Rene Schmidt: Yeah, currently we have WordPerfect and CorelDraw, we’ve done those two main suites. Where we are right now is that those are two main investments at this point, and what we are doing is we are looking at the desktop market on Linux and trying to expand it as well.

It will be based really on customer demand; that is what is going to drive us in terms of what we do next on applications for Linux. In terms of Wine itself, we still support it; we have been working with the community to come up with a 1.0 version of Wine and we are hoping that that is going to allow a lot of other ISVs to move their applications more rapidly over to Linux.

Rene Schmidt: Essentially, with Linux, we are very committed to it. And the agreement, or partnership, or alliance, whatever you want to call it, with Microsoft is not anti-Linux or anything. It is really about .Net.”

Very committed you say? Microsoft not anti-Linux? What happened to all the work on Wine and 1.0? All those Corel apps on Linux? Visit Corel’s site now and you see nothing of the sort, but you do see Microsoft related content, banners, and stuff about Vista. Alliance, indeed.

[Ed: It’s the same with Novell, which became Vista prey.]

Why can’t we use DirectX from Microsoft on Linux completely without problems and without using WINE, Cedega or some other alternative?

Google: “They said it couldn’t be done” regarding Novell and Microsoft.

It can be done, Microsoft, but apparently not by you. Thank you to the wine developers and companies like Google who are doing something positive for interoperability.

Off-topic but on the subject of Microsoft’s continued monopoly and power connections:

Library of Congress sells itself out to Microsoft for a mere $3 mil

“This deal involves the donation of “technology, services and funding” (e.g., mostly not money) with a purported value of $3m from Microsoft to the Library of Congress. The Library, in turn, agrees to put kiosks running Vista in the library and to use Microsoft Silverlight to “help power the library’s new Web site, www.myloc.gov.”
The official blogger of the library, Matt Raymond, says “this is really a quantum leap for the library.” Perhaps it is, but it sure smells like a whole lot of proprietary.”

Silverlight and DirectX in a tree, k i s s i n g.

some things never change, why isn’t the US gov keeping Microsoft away, why these agreements? How deep does their power go? How can Microsoft ever be stopped? how long until Microsoft owns America and Gates is in Government? This is scary and people are mostly too asleep to care, cuddling their XBox and unconcerned, unaware.


The text of the above (enclosed by horizontal bars), just as a reminder, comes from a reader. He or she closes by adding: “Roy, please do a story focusing on Microsoft’s failure to deliver interoperability, esp. regarding Wine and DirectX.” Assuming there is interest, there are plenty of references from the past year that can be turned into a comprehensive post (with emphasis on patent deals on Wine and Microsoft’s DirectX 10 hoaxes). It isn’t entirely clear, however, if this would lead to loss of focus. If someone is interested in this, please post a comment.

Bad Silverlight

Do not allow US Government to exclude
people with Microsoft Silverlight and/or DRM

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