01.10.10

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Ford and Microsoft Distort “Open Source”

Posted in Audio/Video, Deception, Free/Libre Software, Marketing, Microsoft at 8:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The product known as “SYNC” is fraudulently described as “open source” in some more gullible circles

THIS is an unimportant subject that was mentioned a couple of years ago. Basically, Ford and Microsoft have this project called “SYNC”, which they wrongly describe as “open source” or “open-source” even though it’s proprietary and it comes from companies with a vicious, predatory history. They are faking and thus cheapening the term “open source”, which harms Open Source as a whole (Novell is doing that too).

Let is be stated that “SYNC” — like Zune — is Microsoft project for DRM-laden PMPs. There is no reason, for example, why Dana Blankenhorn (last mentioned a couple of days ago) should write about it under the headline “Open source in your car or an open source car”

Is the following the sole characteristic of “open source”?

The folks at Ford, which alone among America’s automakers avoided the hand of government during the Great Recession, are out with a release describing what has happened since they began the process of opening the Application Program Interface (API) of their SYNC program to outside developers last year.

Back in 2008 we published the post titled: “Microsoft Tries Casting “Open Source” as “Open APIs”

We addressed this subject again 2 months ago, under: “O’Reilly Does Not Know What Open Means (Let Alone Free)

We realise that “SYNC” sponsors FLOSS Weekly at the moment* — it’s a product which the host promotes to keep the show going, always without saying the “M” word (Microsoft). To his credit, he never really describes the thing as “open source” (because it’s not).
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* Yes, it’s rather ironic that a show on FLOSS accepts sponsorship from proprietary software vendors that vilify FLOSS and promotes those proprietary software products. But still, it’s a good show.

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2 Comments

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    January 10, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    Gravatar

    It’s a good show, but they spend so much time congratulating themselves on repeatedly making compromises that the fact that the goal posts move each time is lost. It’s almost like these guys forgot the entire 1990′s and everything that happened since.

    One point in the show was spot on, Ford could gain a lot by publishing the sync platform open source.

    I hope they can keep their feet on the ground. It’s been a good show in the past.

  2. your_friend said,

    January 11, 2010 at 12:37 am

    Gravatar

    If SYNC is a Microsoft thing, the people on FLOSS Weekly do their listeners a disservice by hiding the fact. Microsoft is forced to inject their poison into the “open source” and free software world because that is where people want to go. Microsoft knows that they have lost the ideological war and must pretend to be what they are not to slow the defection of customers, especially young ones. FLOSS people should not cooperate in this deception. This especially sinister considering the automobile industry is fighting a ground swell of angry mechanics who are sick of non free software – it keeps them from doing their job outside of a dealership and has lead to legislation that may force open automobile standards and software. Thanks, Roy, for pointing out the origins and nature of SYNC.

    Dana should be particularly ashamed of his promotion of this nonsense. GPS and navigation apps are very old hat and most systems use free software. Free software is also used extensively in the aerospace industry, which is a tad bit more expensive and less tolerant of error than Dana’s terrifying 80 MPH ride in a Microsoft station wagon. More interestingly, there is a thriving cottage industry of people modding their automobiles with …. free software. People who use Windows as a primary OS may indeed shake their heads in awe at the prospect of a computerized car or a car that actually uses modern networking for work and play. In fact, there have been reports of Windows powered BMWs malfunctioning badly, so such people are right to fear. Mostly their fear shows that they know little about either cars or software. It is not often you run into market fluff as sad as this.

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