12.16.08

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Gentle Warning About OSBC 2009 and OSCON 2009

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Novell, SUN at 9:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“May contain Microsoft agenda”

IN my correspondence with Richard Stallman, it came up that if Microsoft steals the show at Free/open source events, as it did in OSBC 2008 for example [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], then we must respond.

It is therefore important to point out that OSBC 2009 has just been formally announced and Microsoft will be there. Actually, it’s more than just Microsoft because IDG, which has relationships with Microsoft, is organising this event.

“…IDG, which has relationships with Microsoft, is organising this event.”Another potential issue is OSCON 2009, which was announced earlier today in the form of a call for contributions/participation. OSCON’s long-maintained ties with Microsoft were noted here before, using lots and lots of evidence [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]. Another O’Reilly-Microsoft connection (not just the funding) actually shows up in this very new blog post from Brady Forrest, who says that he used to work for Microsoft.

Last but not least, FOSDEM has got among its “Cornerstone Sponsors” Sun, Novell, and O’Reilly. We wrote about FOSDEM earlier this month. Voice-jacking can be very dangerous and we saw Novell doing this very recently in India [1, 2].

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24 Comments

  1. Matt Asay said,

    December 17, 2008 at 9:25 am

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    Microsoft has apparently been hugely unsuccessful in buying out the minds and hearts of open source, given that it started sponsoring open-source events in 2001 and…most have gone out of business. Perhaps it needs to up its investment in “bribery”? :-)

    Point well taken, Roy, but I think you’re a bit off-base on this one. Microsoft has the right to participate in these events, same as Red Hat, Novell, etc. If you look at where OSBC’s sponsorship money comes from, Microsoft is a small drop in a big bucket.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 17, 2008 at 9:40 am

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    Microsoft has apparently been hugely unsuccessful in buying out the minds and hearts of open source, given that it started sponsoring open-source events in 2001 and…most have gone out of business. Perhaps it needs to up its investment in “bribery”? :-)

    It’s not about the events. It’s about generated coverage that leads to deception.

    Microsoft has the right to participate in these events, same as Red Hat, Novell, etc.

    See the links above (about OSBC). I was not the only one who saw what was happening in OSBC 2008, where Microsoft’s presence was counter-productive (it was all just patent this and license that whilst Red Hat’s fantastic results got ignored).

    So Matt… when will Microsoft stop attacking GNU/Linux? Should we also invite Osama to Obama’s inauguration?

  3. Tim O'Reilly said,

    December 17, 2008 at 4:13 pm

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    Talk about fighting the last war! Microsoft is no longer the big kahuna. Do you also object to the participation of companies like IBM, Sun, HP, etc? How about Google, Yahoo! or Amazon? All of these companies are a mix of proprietary and open source. (Even Red Hat is a mixture.)

    The world has moved on. You obviously have not.

    The kinds of issues that matter to open source today are no longer defined by the Linux-Windows axis. (In fact, they have never mattered all that much to OSCON, which has always been much more about the intersection of open source and the internet, and the way that open source was enabling the next generation of applications.)

    We continue to pursue that vision of open source at OSCON, as it remains clear to us that it’s the one that matters. Back when we started OSCON, it might not have been clear to you that the future of open source was on the internet, but it was clear to us.

    Ask yourself: who matters more to the future of open source today? Google, or Microsoft? If you answer Microsoft, you’re out of touch. If you answer Google, and think hard about it, you must realize just how much of an irrelevance your backward-facing alarmism represents.

    Microsoft needs open source. I confidently predict that as the years go by, it will become clearer and clearer that there is little or no advantage in proprietary software as Microsoft used to practice it. The frontier of proprietary advantage has moved on to proprietary algorithms running against proprietary databases.

  4. jo Shields said,

    December 17, 2008 at 4:19 pm

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    It’s a Tim!

    I wouldn’t waste too much of your time. For your critical post,
    you’ve probably been pre-branded as a “shill” or someone with “vested interests” already, who fits into the big conspiracy somwehere. If you’re lucky, you’ll see links to the old Halloween documents and frerences to the infamous “slog”. At best you can be a “heckler”, and expect demands of why you’re here if you don’t love the site long time.

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 17, 2008 at 4:49 pm

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    @Tim:

    Talk about fighting the last war! Microsoft is no longer the big kahuna. Do you also object to the participation of companies like IBM, Sun, HP, etc? How about Google, Yahoo! or Amazon? All of these companies are a mix of proprietary and open source. (Even Red Hat is a mixture.)

    They hardly attack GNU/Linux and Free software.

    The world has moved on. You obviously have not.

    Microsoft attacks GNU/Linux and Free software every other week. Can you not see it? What sources do you follow?

  6. Tim O'Reilly said,

    December 17, 2008 at 4:51 pm

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    The point is: does it matter?

    Microsoft will eventually be your ally. History tells us that those losing in the technology wars embrace open source to undermine their opponent. I’d expect, for example, numerous Microsoft open source announcements in the area of search and other web 2.0 cash cows to be a big part of the future.

  7. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 17, 2008 at 4:58 pm

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    Microsoft licences are not Free software. They want to modify the meaning of F/OSS. Then, and only then, will they be willing to ‘embrace’ it.

    To use an analogy, I can take my dog out on a leash, but the dog wants to be off the leash. What Microsoft proposes is the equivalent of cutting off the dog’s feet before letting the leash be loose. The dog is not free. It suffers from new disabilities… like software patents.

  8. jo Shields said,

    December 17, 2008 at 5:31 pm

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    Microsoft licences are not Free software.

    Roy Schestowitz. Because the FSF are all shills with vested interests.(tm)

  9. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 17, 2008 at 5:36 pm

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    Microsoft steers developers the way it wants (and needs) them to go.

  10. jo Shields said,

    December 17, 2008 at 5:47 pm

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    Cute. Slanted & wrong, but certainly cute.

    Why not just say, in clear terms, that you think the FSF are shilling in their listing of two Microsoft Shared Source licenses as Free, rather than simultaneously pretending both that those licenses don’t exist and that you can “never be sure” (your words) whether a product is under a Free license.

    You know, because obviously nobody is capable of looking at the license and saying “oh fiddlesticks, this is non-free rubbish” or “hey, this is GPLv3 compatible, great”

  11. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 17, 2008 at 5:53 pm

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    The FSF does not recommend Microsoft licences, so you can stop using the FSF to make up endorsements for the company whose technology you love so much.

  12. jo Shields said,

    December 17, 2008 at 5:59 pm

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    The FSF does not recommend Microsoft licences, so you can stop using the FSF to make up endorsements for the company whose technology you love so much.

    WHOOP WHOOP, DISTORTION ALARM

    I never said they “recommend” them, I said they were listed as Free licenses. Here’s the reality, for anyone who wants to verify:
    http://www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/#ms-pl – “This is a free software license, compatible with version 3 of the GNU GPL”
    http://www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/#ms-rl – “This is a free software license; it has a copyleft that is not strong, but incompatible with the GNU GPL.”

    They disrecommend use of Ms-RL not because of Freedom issues, but because it is not GPL-compatible. The same applies for widely used Free licenses like CDDL or MPL.

    They disrecommend use of Ms-PL not because of Freedom issues, but because it duplicates the functionality of the more widely used Apache License 2.0

    Painting either license as non-free IS FLAT-OUT LYING, AND YOU KNOW IT

  13. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 17, 2008 at 6:03 pm

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    Microsoft hasn’t just two licences.

    You can stop SHOUTING. It’s bad enough that you heckle this Web site 24/7 and spout out vulgar words.

  14. jo Shields said,

    December 17, 2008 at 6:12 pm

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    Microsoft hasn’t just two licences.

    WHOOP WHOOP, DISTORTION ALARM

    At which point did I say they only had two licenses? I said two of them were FSF-approved as Free, counter to your “all MS software is non-free” lie. Even the FSF have a nice non-free license on the books, does that mean all their licenses are non-free?

    You can stop SHOUTING. It’s bad enough that you heckle this Web site 24/7 and spout out vulgar words.

    I didn’t realise someone with such truth issues could also be such a sensitive flower. However, vulgarity is in the eye of the beholder. I find lies much more vulgar than Norse.

    I’m employing bold to help casual readers spot your distortions, since you have never taken an interest in correcting yourself when engaged in self-referential lying.

  15. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 17, 2008 at 6:23 pm

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    No, you’re disagreeing with perspective, so you start tossing feces all over the place and hope that others will walk out.

  16. jo Shields said,

    December 17, 2008 at 6:32 pm

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    Perspective on what?

    Hm, I’d be wasting my time asking you not to change the subject, wouldn’t I?

    As for tossing faeces, Google shows five instances of me using a terribly mean and horrible word meaning poopie on your site. The same Google shows 120 total instances, including a number from you. But we wouldn’t want evidence to get in the way of a good martyrdom complex would we?

  17. G. Michaels said,

    December 17, 2008 at 6:38 pm

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    Maybe people need some context here. The issue at hand is that Roy Schestowitz (and his friends are essentially an anachronism, the bottom of the barrel as far as FOSS advocacy is concerned.

    They are, for lack of a better word, extremists. This is a loaded term, obviously, but I think it fits the shoe quite well. All one has to do is read his IRC logs to get the “feeling” for the mindset that eventually filters up to make up the content of this blog.

    Did you defend Microsoft? Or even just challenged some outrageous, misleading claim he made? Well then, you’re obviously on their payroll. Did you not say the correct things about FOSS? Well then, you’re an idiot. Do you or have you ever lived within 10,000 nautical miles of Redmond, WA? Hah! Surely you are Bill Gates’ minion. Did you accuse him of something? You’re guilty of shooting the messenger. But don’t complain when he does it and calls you a “heckler” or a “shill”, or worse. Look in awe as he points to opinion on the internet that seems to click with his (never mind his nymshifter collaborators from Slashdot who probably post all of that), and cower in fear as he dismisses any you bring forth as propaganda. Pity him as he claims he’s being “stalked” and then sends out his friends to do the same to you (Bruce Byfield anyone?).

    You see, Roy is fighting for “good”. His concept of it, which a great deal many people find objectionable at best. But because of that, he considers himself to be above any criticism whatsoever. To question what he says – no matter how wrong or insulting it is – is to side with evil. To dare utter something along the lines of dude, that’s ridiculous about his constant harping on about the Novell stock price, three edits made four years ago to the MSN article on Wikipedia by some PR firm or the journalists who were “bribed” with laptops or any other of his pet topics is to invite instant attack by him and his cadre of fearless advocates.

    If no one disputes something he said, then he must be right. If someone does, then they’re doing it because he’s right. That’s how he thinks. That’s how they think. Blame everything on vague conspiracies, bring up decades-old quotes and move on. Their job is complete as far as they’re concerned. Every time I see him defending the indefensible I’m reminded of the typical fanboy (pick your technology here) claiming the abuse they get for being so narrow-minded and insulting is just proof that he’s right. And of course, all the incorrect, misleading and plain out false claims and fabrications eventually make it into tomorrow’s posts as “proof”. He’s caught in a vicious circle of self-delusion and he can’t even see it. Or maybe he does, but he just doesn’t care.

    Roy’s ultimate problem is that he doesn’t understand his flawed and abrasive approach to ‘evangelism’ gets him nothing more than the undying adoration of a few and the disdain of the many. As a self-professed representative of the FOSS community, he does more harm than good. But he doesn’t see this. Maybe he just can’t.

    I’m glad that respected figures like Tim O’Reilly, Matt Asay and Bruce Byfield are pushing back on all this. Eventually people will come to understand that caricatures like Roy Schestowitz with an axe to grind and an article quota to fill are not worth listening to. I hope so. Microsoft needs real competition and oversight, not little nuisances yapping at its feet with cute GIMP’ed images and fabrications that are transparent to most honest FOSS advocates. All the silly red text in the world appended to comments he finds discomforting is not going to prevent that.

    Note: writer of this comment adds absolutely nothing but stalking and personal attacks against readers, as documented here.

  18. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 17, 2008 at 6:39 pm

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    “Martyrdom”?

    You sure have a way of putting a twist of people’s rights and freedom.

  19. jo Shields said,

    December 17, 2008 at 6:42 pm

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    That was pretty insightful, with a bare minimum of twitter-related rambling. G. Michaels, you do us proud

  20. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 17, 2008 at 6:44 pm

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    I’m sure you loud hecklers are very proud of each other.

  21. jo Shields said,

    December 17, 2008 at 6:53 pm

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    Oh, absolutely. We giggle about it in the lunch room in the secret Slog lair underneath Redmond. :rolleyes:

    I’m getting an early night. Now’s the time to post any baby-eating stories you don’t want dissected for a few hours.

  22. G. Michaels said,

    December 17, 2008 at 6:58 pm

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    @jo: Thanks :) Actually Roy thinks I’m some sort of inanimate puppet sent from the depths of Hades to make him exercise his mastery of WordPress, but aside from enjoying giving his nymshifter friend some well-deserved payback for the crapstorm he subjected all of us on Slashdot the past few years, I am honestly interested in how advocacy works, and I find myself fascinated by the extremes I see. On both sides of the fence.

    @Roy:

    You sure have a way of putting a twist of people’s rights and freedom.

    I don’t claim to speak for jo, and I’m sure your friend ‘twitter’ can come down here and accuse me of being him (or me being everyone else, etc) and you can correct him as usual, but I believe that jo is referring to the way you claim you are “taking one for the team” when people who are obviously tired of you (and posses lots of free time it would seem) post childish and crude things about you on the internet, when, again, the reason you attract so much antagonism is simply because of your approach to advocacy. I’ve seen you claim time after time after time that Microsoft is somehow responsible for all the abuse you see yourself subjected to, but to date I’ve yet to lay my eyes on a single piece of evidence that supports that claim. Ditto for most of your collaborators who claim they are “watched” and “targeted”. Perhaps I haven’t been paying enough attention? I’d love to see that properly documented (and I mean properly, not just with rambling prose and vague accusations). That would certainly change my perception of your activities.

    Note: writer of this comment adds absolutely nothing but stalking and personal attacks against readers, as documented here.

  23. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 17, 2008 at 7:02 pm

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    @jo Shields:

    Trying to exaggerate things wildly achieves nothing but showing your contempt.

    Why do you leave hundreds of comments in this Web site? Just to protest?

  24. Jo Shields said,

    December 18, 2008 at 5:15 am

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    Why do you leave hundreds of comments in this Web site? Just to protest?

    Partly for my own amusement. Partly for the amusement of my peers. Partly in an effort to educate people who might be fooled by your special brand of lies.

    Certainly not for YOUR benefit. There’s no point. I don’t think you could tell the truth on some topics anymore even if you wanted to.

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