Elop Kills Another Linux-based Platform While Using Patents Against a Third One (Android)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents at 6:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Warfare of entryism devised by the convicted monopolist and its agents in other companies

MANY mobile platforms use Linux as their kernel. The leading platform, Android, uses Linux too. Like many others, it is open source (HP recently joined this club to remain competitive).

Nokia is now occupied by Microsoft, so reports about the death of Meltemi are not so shocking. To quote a Linux site: “Meltemi, a Linux-based platform for feature phones, was planned to replace Series 40, the platform that has been around since 1999. Series 40, which runs on some of the top feature phones in the world, has brought a lot of success to Nokia. However, the software was getting old, and Nokia reportedly felt that Series 40 needs to be replaced by something new and Meltemi was that something new.”

“This helps challenge Android, which has already filed a formal complaint (to the governments) about Nokia’s behaviour under Elop’s leadership, specifically the MOSAID move.”Here are some more articles that rely on information Reuters received (it gets a lot of intelligence in Helsinki). To quote: “Finnish cellphone maker Nokia has ditched the software it was developing to compete with Google’s mass-market Android phones, three sources with direct knowledge of the company’s plans said, in its latest move to slash costs.”

So what are they betting on? The burning platform which is Windows? This is the metaphoric signing of the death certificate of Nokia. Thank you, Mr. Elop. It’s actually worse than than just death because Nokia under Elop is passing its patents to Linux-hostile patent trolls including MOSAID. This helps challenge Android, which has already filed a formal complaint (to the governments) about Nokia’s behaviour under Elop’s leadership, specifically the MOSAID move. The passage of those patents clearly had Microsoft involvement too, as confessed by Microsoft itself. This is criminal stuff, but nobody is going to be put being bars. Jail is not for people in suits.

New Reports Confirm That Microsoft Skype is Spying on Users, Sharing Personal Data

Posted in Microsoft at 6:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A magnifying glass

Summary: Further investigation reveals that, following a takeover by Microsoft, Skype adopts US-inspired policies that are hostile to human rights

REPORTS about Skype help spread the word about its attack on private communication. As one site put it, ‘Slate did a little digging and found some rather strange coincidences. Only a month after Microsoft bought Skype, the company was granted a patent for “legal intercept” technology that would allow them to capture and record conversations made over Skype’s VOIP technology. Skype also changed its privacy policy allowing them to hand over “personal data, communications content and/or traffic data to an appropriate judicial, law enforcement or government authority.”’

“Using monopoly power Microsoft is trying to enforce and impose this spying on almost everyone.”We have a new page about Skype — a page in which we accumulate information. Here is another report which boasts more certainty on this subject. It’s from the trend-setting media, unlike other sources (citing the original) which concur: “Skype has expanded its cooperation with law enforcement in the United States, making text chats and user information more available to police, according to a new report in the Washington Post.

“Real-time audio and video surveillance remains “impractical,” the paper concluded, “but that barrier could eventually vanish as Skype becomes one of the world’s most popular forms of telecommunication.”

So that settles it. Skype is not just proprietary; it is also a spy, and not just in China (where it implemented the above for compliance). Using monopoly power Microsoft is trying to enforce and impose this spying on almost everyone. Richard Stallman was correct in assuming that antifeatures or malicious features would become more widespread as technology strides forward. Now more than even we need freedom-respecting alternatives.

“Microsoft does not hesitate to use its operating system monopoly power and application program dominance to try to eliminate competition.”

Apple Computer Senior VP Avadis Tevanian Jr.

Apple is Already Beaten by Android, Resorting to Litigation and Disinformation

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Google, Patents at 6:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Apple under fire


Summary: Criticism of Apple’s case against Samsung amid reports that Samsung is winning the mobile race

THE hostility from pseudo-underdog Apple has ranged from deception to litigation. As Apple drops down the ranks while Android moves up (in tablets, not just phones) we clearly see the cult getting ever more miserable and aggressive. As another new article puts it:

In the second quarter of 2012, Samsung shipped 52.1 million smartphones, just over double the number shipped by Apple — that is, 26 million, Juniper estimated.

Samsung has also doubled its lead over Apple quarter-on-quarter, the firm said, thanks to its flagship Galaxy S3. That device alone posted sales of 10 million in June.

Apple has a lot to fear and Apple fans bolster Apple’s line [1, 2] by posting one-sided reports, neglecting to account for Apple’s fake evidence for example. Here is one pro-Apple talking point:

A Californian federal judge has sanctioned Samsung for destroying evidence which makes up part of a case it’s fighting against Apple over patent infringement. Naughty, Samsung.

What about all the nasty moves of Apple in the courtroom, e.g. manipulation of photos of Samsung devices? And in any event, Samsung thinks it’s irrelevant on if they copied Apple because Apple copied Sony. Apple also copied LG.

One other report speaks of Qualcomm’s relevance to this case:

Samsung signed an agreement with Qualcomm not to sue the chip maker or its customers for using Samsung’s 3G patents, but this agreement was called off when Apple took Samsung to court over the Galaxy Tab, Samsung admitted in the Australian Federal Court this morning.

The Federal Court today commenced the long-awaited case between Apple and Samsung over alleged patent infringements by the two companies. The court began hearing Samsung’s counter-claim against Apple — that the company infringed on three standards-essential 3G patents held by Samsung in the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S and iPad 2.

Pamela Jones elaborates and clarifies: “As Samsung and Apple have been fighting over patents from one end of the earth to the other, most of the coverage, with few exceptions, seems to present Apple’s point of view. [Example A, Example B, Example 3, Example 4, and Example 5.] We know how much money Apple is asking for, we know it’s claiming treble damages for willfulness, we know it thinks FRAND patents are not deserving of injunction enforcement, and that Samsung is asking too much money for them.

“But now that we have the redacted trial briefs from the parties, I thought you’d like to see Samsung’s side. Litigation has two sides, two stories, not just one.”

Watch the anti-Android FUD from Microsoft booster Lance Whitney. He quotes Microsoft Florian, who is paid by Microsoft, to harm Samsung’s position in this case, using the "billions" FUD that Jones debunked the other day (it was about another case).

Stephen Shankland spoke to Jonathan Schwartz, the last CEO of Sun, about Android. This interview was not conducted for yet more anti-Android FUD but rather the very opposite. To quote the summary: “Oracle could have innovated with Java instead of litigated, says CareZone co-founder and Sun’s former CEO.” Handy report.

NVIDIA, one of the companies looking to make a fortune from Android (with Tegra), is meanwhile letting a patent go mad:

An ex-NVIDIA engineer that had a patent concerning high compression rate texture mapping attempted to attack an open-source project for supposedly violating this patent related to software graphics texture compression. The open-source software in question is Crunch and it’s written by a Valve Software developer.

Leading up to learning about the Valve Linux SIGGRAPH presentation, a Phoronix reader tipped me off that the presenter, Rich Geldreich of Valve, faced a recent patent battle with a former NVIDIA developer.

Notice how much harm software patents in general are causing Linux. We must fight them ferociously. This is the main factor which will determine whether Free software triumphs. In an imminent interview with Stallman we shall discuss the subject.

“The European Patent Office is an executive organisation, it deals especially with patent applicants, as such, its view of the world may be biased. As an executive organisation, its interpretative powers are very limited. The European Patent Convention excludes computer programs, it is outside the EPO’s power to change this.”

Ante Wessels

The BSD World Antagonises UEFI While Red Hat Aids It, OpenBSD Leader Criticises Red Hat

Posted in BSD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Red Hat at 6:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Little devil

Summary: Distributions of BSD and GNU/Linux suffer from Microsoft’s closing of computer chips, but Red Hat decides to take Microsoft’s side

USING some nefarious means such as UEFI, Microsoft has been trying to rescue the Windows franchise, especially now that ISVs are fed up.

Chris Hall, a friend of our site, explains why locking down computers won’t work for Microsoft: [via]

This doesn’t bode well for Nokia, which has gambled it’s future on Windows, or Microsoft. Both companies would like us to believe the move was brought about by Redmond’s recent announcement there will be no upgrade path from Windows Phone 7 to Windows Phone 8 when it’s released in a few months time. The truth seems to be that consumers simply aren’t interested in portable Windows devices, despite the gee-whiz advertising that’s been showing up on network TV recently.

With the exception of the Xbox, the luster seems to have worn off all Microsoft’s consumer products, including its flagship operating system. Here at FOSS Force, only 35% of our visitors are running Windows, which isn’t necessarily surprising as we’re an open source site. However, on another site we publish that doesn’t attract tech savvy visitors, Windows only accounts for 62% of our visitors, down from 91% only three years ago.

Until recently, OEMs pretty much refused to get serious about introducing computers running anything other than Windows, and for good reason. On computers, consumers use what they know, and they knew Windows. That’s all changed. Not only have consumers come to like their experiences with Android on handsets, they’re coming to have the same affection for Android on tablets as well. Just weeks after release, Google has already sold out of the 16GB version of the Nexus 7.

It might be time for Google to release a version of Android optimized for desktops and laptops. If it did, that might reduce Windows to being just another option, even on the desktop. The walled garden approach isn’t going to work for Redmond like it does for Cupertino. That approach requires a superior product and neither Windows nor Office falls into that category.

Now comes the new bit of information and it arrives from none other than de Raadt, who slams Red Hat for what it is doing about UEFI (see [1, 2] for context). To quote: “OpenBSD founder Theo de Raadt has slammed Red Hat and Canonical for the way they have reacted to Microsoft’s introduction of “secure” boot along with Windows 8, describing both companies as wanting to be the new Microsoft.”

“The UEFI SecureBoot work is finally officially approved for going into Fedora 18,” writes Michael Larabel. See this message and this article from our friends at Muktware:

In a FESCo meeting held on 23rd July, Fedora’s Engineering And Steering Committee members have decided to include UEFI Secure Boot in Fedora 18. Codenamed Spherical Cow, this release is scheduled to be out this November. Only two votes out of nine were against inclusion of secure boot.

IDG says that “Fedora Linux Moves Forward with UEFI Secure Boot Plans”. We would rather say “moves backwards”. To quote: “The latest news? The Fedora project on Monday voted to move forward with its plan, meaning that its upcoming Fedora 18 will support the Secure Boot technology enabled in the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) in Microsoft’s forthcoming Windows 8.”

Fedora did not even wait for Linux developers to possibly come up with a better workaround:

According to Linux Foundation Technical Advisory Board member James Bottomley, it may be that distros have had problems formulating a plan to deal with UEFI because they don’t have access to UEFI machines.

Red Hat can be vilified, rightly, for doing something that helps divide and harm non-Red Hat distro .

GNU/Linux Can Beat Windows in the Gaming Front

Posted in GNU/Linux, Vista 8, Windows at 5:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Game show

Summary: Despite the attempted spin from Microsoft sympathisers, the words of Valve’s leadership put to shame Vista 8 and give a boost to desktop GNU/Linux

LINUX (but with omission of GNU) has been receiving a great deal of positive coverage over the past week. One reason is, major games are coming to GNU/Linux, eliminating one of the greatest adoption barriers on the desktop side.

“…major games are coming to GNU/Linux, eliminating one of the greatest adoption barriers on the desktop side.”Based on many reports even in mainstream sites, the predicted failure of Vista 8 leads Valve to GNU/Linux. Valve calls Vista 8 a “catastrophe” and support for GNU/Linux is mostly motivated by this failure of Microsoft. Here is the main source that quotes: “We want to make it as easy as possible for the 2,500 games on Steam to run on Linux as well. It’s a hedging strategy. I think Windows 8 is a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space. I think we’ll lose some of the top-tier PC/OEMs, who will exit the market. I think margins will be destroyed for a bunch of people. If that’s true, then it will be good to have alternatives to hedge against that eventuality.”

Linux sites covered this great bit of news and a Microsoft booster hardly found a way to spin it. It is said to help “mainstream [GNU/]Linux” and another Microsoft booster found himself unable to do anything but quote the original (it is hard to spin it). Microsoft critics said:

Windows 8 Catastrophe Pushed Valve To Linux

I am not the only one who thinks Windows 8 is the next Vista. Gabe Newell, Valve co-founder and Managing Director, doesn’t hold very high opinion of Microsoft’s Windows 8. He calls it “a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space” during a videogame conference Casual Connect in Seattle.

Newell expressed concerns about Microsoft’s immitation of Apple and introducing their own built-in Windows Store. One of the reasons behind the popularity of Windows was it was an ‘open’ platform and any developer can write application for it and sell it from different venues. With built-in store Microsoft will not only exert extreme control (it’s already blocking out competitors like Firefox and banned GPLed apps) but also reduce the margin for developers.

At the same time Microsoft has its own vested interest in its own gaming platform Xbox and the tight integration of Xbox Live with Windows 8 and it’s Store will make it “a more appealing platform for gamers and developers alike than Steam,” writes Peter Bright at arstechnica.

Peter Bright is a Microsoft booster and a regular in our IRC channels (for whatever reason). The slight spin is evident. This is not about Xbox, which itself is a losing failure. This is an excuse and distraction for escaping the real news.

Microsoft’s Bad Mouth Causes Linux Havoc

Posted in Australia, GNU/Linux, Kernel, Microsoft, Virtualisation at 5:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A mouth

Summary: Removing Microsoft’s “boobs” from Linux would lead to technical complications

Microsoft’s decision to put “boobs” [1, 2, 3] in the Linux kernel (in the code, not the comments) is not so easy to fix by mere revision because some older builds now technically rely on the “boobs” being inside the code:

Microsoft Azure users may have their service disrupted as the software giant tries to rectify an embarrassing line of code, which roughly translates as “Big Boobs.”

The 0x0B16B00B5 string of code has been causing blushes for Microsoft since its presence was highlighted by coder Paolo Bonzini. B16B00B5 is leet speak for ‘Big Boobs’.

However, it was Matthew Garrett, who works for open source provider Red Hat, who claimed the code could cause problems for Microsoft’s public cloud platform.

Great. So Microsoft made Linux sexism-reliant. Thanks, chauvinist Microsoft [1, 2, 3, 4], and thank you, Novell, for letting Microsoft do this. What a disgrace.

Speaking of virtualisation, notice how the Australian government helps subsidise Microsoft. As Pogson puts it:

ATO has tax-filing software that only runs on that other OS. MacOS and GNU/Linux users are out of luck but the ATO will allow them to deduct from taxes the cost of running that other OS just to run the software, a pure subsidy of M$.

STUPID! STUPID! STUPID! Australians and their government do not owe M$ a living. M$ should work for a living and Australian taxes should not go directly into M$’s coffers. Make your software a web-application that any browser on any OS can access. Get your act together, ATO.

He is right, the “$” aside. This just helps show how out of touch the world has become; it aids criminals rather than their victims, taking up public money to make up for Microsoft’s loss [1, 2, 3]. Bailout? Too big to fail? Sociopaths get all the entitlements?

Microsoft- and Bill Gates-funded Gartner Quickly Deletes Evidence of Vista 8 Disdain

Posted in Microsoft, Vista 8, Windows at 5:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Deletionism and self-censorship at Gartner serves the sponsor

LAST week/earlier in the week we published two posts that point out Vista 8 disdain we found in Gartner blogs. Well, guess what? Based on a reader of ours from Germany, there is a Gartner story on Heise Germany which implies deletionism without a doubt. “I found these two articles on Heise Germany,” notes the reader, “and thought they might be of interest to Techrights.

“A Gartner analyst has written a negative review on vista 8 and within two days the negative views are deleted from the article.

“A Gartner analyst has written a negative review on vista 8 and within two days the negative views are deleted from the article.”
“Heise.de covered the negative review here: http://www.heise.de…

“And here is Heise covering the “correction”: http://www.heise.de…

“I wonder whether these articles also get coverage on Heise UK.

“You’ll probably get the gist of these articles either directly or through some translator.”

So basically, what we learn from this is that censorship in Gartner is more widespread than we knew; analysts are not allowed their freedom of speech, perhaps because Microsoft is a large client of Gartner. Gartner’s job is to promote Vista 8, not to tell the truth.

“Analysts sell out – that’s their business model… But they are very concerned that they never look like they are selling out, so that makes them very prickly to work with.”

Microsoft, internal document [PDF]

Amdocs Helps Microsoft Attack Linux Freedom and Engage in Racketeering

Posted in GNU/Linux, Kernel, Microsoft, Patents at 5:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Racket seen as benign

Tennis balls

Summary: Microsoft celebrates another milestone in its protection racket against FOSS while using PR tactics to normalise the crime and keep regulators at bay

THE ripples of Microsoft corruption and extortion reach further and further because Microsoft bribes those who stand up against it.

Amid losses [1 2, 3] Microsoft is trying to make others’ business its own. As Microsoft’s latest SEC filing helps prove, the game is nearly over and Microsoft must find alternative sources of income. One such source of income relies upon extorting Linux and not ever going to court, using legal means like NDAs. When companies do take it to court, as in the case of B&N, they can be bribed such that the case/challenge gets dropped. People behind these Rockefeller-like tactics are not punished so far; executives would and should be sent to jail for racketeering if the law had been enforced. Harcio, Steve, Bill, and others are running a racket, but they laugh all the way to the bank as they cash in for other companies’ hard work. It is no exaggeration to suggest a jail sentence; this is not much different from schemes such as Ponzi schemes in Wall Street. Microsoft worked hard on the PR front to normalise this criminal behaviour, making the population more complacent as these practices continue.

“Microsoft worked hard on the PR front to normalise this criminal behaviour, making the population more complacent as these practices continue.”A few days ago, an Israeli company that uses Windows on desktops and Linux on servers (with Java) decided to play along with Microsoft. Amdocs, which is notorious for its abuse of employees, ended up paying Microsoft, thus legitimising the “Linux tax” Microsoft so badly craves. The Microsoft boosters (the same old gang that promotes the Microsoft agenda under the guise of “journalism”) wrote about it gleefully [1, 2, 3], leaving only a minority to write critical pieces that involve research and courage. The Microsoft booster from ZDNet called it a “patent deal” rather than something like extortion, as this is part of the process of normaliing the unthinkable an manufacturing consent. To quote the spin:

For the past couple of years, Microsoft has been on a tear of signing up Android and Chome OS device makers to license publicly unspecified Microsoft patents that Microsoft claims are infringed upon by Google’s operating systems.

No criticism, just reiteration of toned-down claims. We maintain a list of companies to avoid for their participation in this scheme and over at Twitter we find expressions of anger, such as this:

Extortion at its finest » #Microsoft licenses patents for #Linux server data centers

The H went too soft on Microsoft, stating that “[t]he release from Microsoft gives no details on the licensing deal itself, except that it includes “a license under Microsoft’s patent portfolio covering Amdocs’ use of Linux-based servers in its data centers”. The only other information given is that Amdocs will pay Microsoft an undisclosed amount of money under the terms of the agreement.”

How can this be legal? This is how protection rackets work. Where is the federal investigation?

Microsoft is meanwhile relying on PR offences, pretending to be “open” (but on proprietary stack only [1, 2, 3, 4]), which further helps at keeping the regulators at bay. Microsoft is extorting Free/open source software while at the same time advertising the lie that it is on the side of the victim.

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols has written the best article on this case of racketeering, calling it quite politely “FUD” and not “extortion” (he has editors and Microsoft-funded publishers moderating his work). To quote:

Microsoft has long made some nice cash from convincing Android vendors that they should pay them for Linux-related patents. Now, for the first time, a company that uses Linux on its servers. Amdocs has publicly paid off Microsoft for patents covering Linux. Mind you, there’s never been any proof that Linux violates any of Microsoft’s patents. Despite that, several C level executives have made similar contracts and tell me that Microsoft has been shaking them down for Linux patent licensing agreements for years.

One involved attorney explained, “Microsoft has been doing this for years, although I don’t know whether a patent cross license, as compared to a monetary payment, has usually been part of the deal.” An executive added, “ In our case we had no patents of our own. We had to sign an NDA [non-disclosure agreement] barring us from revealing any of the Microsoft’s Linux infringement claims.”

Why would a company do this? A C level executive told me, “We use a lot of Microsoft software as well, and it was cheaper than fighting with them over our contracts. We want to do business, not fight over legal claims that have nothing to do with us.”

Previously, Microsoft added Amazon to its Linux servers extortion. As another article puts it, “Microsoft gets Amdocs to sign licence agreement to use Linux on servers” and the body of the article is strongly-worded: “SOFTWARE LICENSING OUTFIT Microsoft has managed to get Amdocs to sign a patent licence agreement for using Linux servers.
“Microsoft’s recent flirtation with Linux suggested the firm had finally started to warm up to the kernel that is used by operating systems such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Canonical’s Ubuntu, however it seems that the reason for its interest in Linux is due to the licensing opportunities it presents. The firm announced it managed to get Amdocs to pay up simply for using servers that run Linux-based operating systems, which should worry just about every company with a server.

“If we want GNU/Linux to stay free, then we must stand up and fight against these injustices and criminalities.”“Microsoft didn’t provide many details relating to the licensing agreement signed with Amdocs, however it did say that cash will change hands in the direction of Microsoft.”

We are also being reminded that a Microsoft proxy for taxing Linux is stepping further. We are talking about Tuxera.

If we want GNU/Linux to stay free, then we must stand up and fight against these injustices and criminalities. The US government is literally funded by Microsoft like it is funded by big banks, so it is unlikely to invoke retaliatory investigation on behalf of the nation’s people — those who are under constant attack. Deals such as the above are intended to generate FUD and act as a deterrent, a perceived reason to avoid GNU/Linux.

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