10.07.13

How Windows Limitations Actively Cripple GNU/Linux, Hindering Its Superior Features Set

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Windows at 12:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Like putting a racing car in some lane with a 30-mile speed limit

Speed trap

Summary: Nvidia shows how technical superiority of GNU/Linux is being impeded by an artificial need for downward ‘parity’ with Windows

ABOUT a year ago, Finnish comedian Linus Torvalds (strange sense of humour) received some desired (or conversely, unwanted) publicity after he had used his carte blanche for cursing — the thing which people like Richard Stallman don’t have. He gave Nvidia the finger. Maybe this was fruitful, but the point of the matter is, it helped show that Nvidia was behaving badly towards Linux, despite trying to sell many Tegra boards (to be sold with Android/Linux on board). “Nvidia cripples Linux drivers because of Windows,” claims a new article [1], requiring no benchmarks such as [2] but only an understanding of how Nvidia makes its drivers. This was known in prior years (they try to match the sides even to the detriment of Linux), but the example cited is new. Nvidia basically neglects Linux or treats it like a second-class citizen at best, even when it’s technically better. Nvidia would like to change these perceptions, so it is liaising with Red Hat [3] and competing with Nouveau [4] on decent drivers which can be confirmed not to have NSA back doors (X.Org Server is free software [5], the driver from Nvidia is not). Nvidia must be feeling the pressure from Radeon [6], which is moving forward. Frankly, the right thing to do right now is boycott NVidia and buy from its competition, notably AMD.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Nvidia cripples Linux drivers because of Windows

    The company have reportedly crippled their Linux drivers to ensure parity with Windows. An Ubuntu user discovered that after an update to Nvidia’s non-free drivers his system was restricted to support only three monitors. The user wanted to connect 4th monitor using two GTX 560Ti graphics cards with a SLI connector.

  2. Linux OpenGL: Ubuntu 13.04/13.10 vs. Fedora 19/20

    In several articles now there’s been a performance regression found in GpuTest’s Plot3D with the older Mesa 9.1 release doing better than Mesa 9.2.

  3. NVIDIA, Red Hat Partner Up For New Graphics Project

    Jerome Glisse has long been involved with open-source Linux graphics drivers, but in recent months he hasn’t announced any major breakthroughs like in past years. However, at Red Hat they have struck up a partnership with NVIDIA to work on a new device-agnostic API for the Linux kernel that can benefit the graphics drivers.

  4. Nouveau Keeps Pushing Forward With Improvements

    While the Nouveau driver has been developed entirely through reverse-engineering the NVIDIA binary blob and is largely developed by community-based developers (many of whom are students), they have made a lot of progress in recent months in pushing forward with new features and functionality for this open-source NVIDIA Linux graphics driver.

  5. The X.Org Server’s GLX Is Being Rewritten

    While most developers are focused around new innovations for Wayland (or Mir), there’s still life ahead for the X.Org Server in maintaining legacy support and other cases where the xorg-server will not die for years to come. In improving the X.Org Server, Adam Jackson at Red Hat has been working on rewriting the GLX portion of the X.Org Server.

  6. Radeon Driver Now Enables GLAMOR By Default

    AMD developers working on the Radeon X.Org driver (xf86-video-ati) have enabled GLAMOR acceleration support by default at build time.

    GLAMOR provides 2D acceleration on the Radeon HD 7000 “Southern Islands” GPUs and newer Radeon GPUs via OpenGL rather than implementing the 2D hardware acceleration by hand with EXA in the DDX driver. While HD 7000 series hardware is now common place and the RadeonSI driver maturing well in recent months, GLAMOR is now being enabled by default at build time for the xf86-video-ati driver.

British Healthcare and Life in General Being Ruined by Microsoft ‘Standards’

Posted in Europe, Microsoft at 11:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

NHS

Summary: Quality of life for ordinary people is reduced by the spreading of Microsoft lock-in, especially in the public sector

THE NHS is a wonderful thing. Here in the UK few people will die simply because they’re poor. But one common criticism of the NHS is inefficiency. Everything seems to exceed the preallocated budgets and companies like Microsoft get handed on a plate millions if not billions (pounds) of taxpayers money to contribute to defunct systems. The NHS, quite infamously, is dependent on Microsoft and it shows.

The British press often neglect to mention Microsoft’s role in NHS computer failures. This is utterly sloppy journalism and we should demand that journalists call out Windows for fingers to be pointed at the right direction. Here is a new example where “Active Directory glitch blamed for IT failure at Scottish hospitals”. Active Directory is Microsoft and it’s mysterious stuff if not vandalism to put such a thing in a hospital. What are they trying to bring into the hospitals? Viruses?

iophk, who highlighted the above, also sent this new one from the British press, noting: “Windows? It does mention a reboot” (not Microsoft’s trademark yet).

Windows? Well, yes, because it’s almost definitely Windows and just like Active Directory, which would usually require Windows, failure is only to be expected. Currently in my daytime job we are urged to embrace Active Directory in a particular environment and that is the only part which necessitates Windows, interfering with GNU/Linux harmony. Wherever there is Windows there tend to be errors and no simple remedies.

Having just reported BT connection issues (these issues have gone on for days), I found myself spending no less than 5 minutes just explaining to the “technical support” staff that there is something in this world other than Windows. She wasted a long time going nowhere as she repeatedly asked me to run winver after I had said I use GNU/Linux. Then I demanded to speak to the boss, who was a lot more helpful (there is a physical fault with my line — not my operating systems — which he could confirm).

Anyway, the point is the matter is, the British government and companies it helps run (or vice versa) are suffering from some kind of Windows addiction syndrome and it’s all of us ill (or disconnected) people who pay the price for it. The British police and the British army are also using Windows (very dangerous to national sovereignty), quite famously, unlike the French [1]. This country’s love for Microsoft in the public sector is like nowhere else in the world and it really ought to change.

The bottom line is, expect nothing that Microsoft spreads to be reliable because reliability is just not the goal. It’s a business decision driven by the need for lock-in, control over the user, and all sorts of conglomerates like the copyright cartel. Consider for a moment DRM or even UEFI ‘secure’ boot, which pretends to be about security but in reality does everything to jeopardise national security. It is sad to learn that Parted Magic, a tool often used to dodge Microsoft Windows, is now reluctantly embracing UEFI just so that people can boot into it at all and then remove/relocate Windows (I very recently had to do this). “According to the developers,” says SoftPedia, “a few issues with the new Secure Erase GUI have been corrected and Parted Magic now boots normally when Secure Boot is enabled in uEFI.”

UEFI ‘secure’ boot is just another classic example of technology being introduced not for the benefit of users but for business interests of a cartel of companies (the UEFI Forum in this case). As is the case with many other governments, the British government is strongly influenced by corporations through their lobbyists and the consequences are laid bare for us to see.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. French National Police Switch 37,000 Desktop PCs to Linux

    France’s National Gendarmerie — a national law enforcement agency — is now running 37,000 desktop PCs with a custom version of the Linux operating system, and by summer of next year, the agency plans to move all 72,000 of its desktop machines to the open source OS.

Catching Up Mode

Posted in Site News at 11:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Clock

Summary: Plans for site operation and publication from present until Christmas

LAST year in September — and for part of August too — this site was mostly inactive. The sole reason was absence from my computer (away on vacation). For the early part of September and also part of August this year the same was true. Yes, this year is similar to last year because of my personal life. But accompanied with hardware issues that forced migrating to a laptop (with associated expenses being time and money) September turned out to be a slow month for Techrights. I did not even spend so much time online. There was physical work to be done on the house. This will hopefully change, but right now we’re left with many thousands of news stories that have not yet been mentioned or covered. The reasonable way to proceed from here is to first deal with present news and when time permits go backwards in time and catch up with important news that was inevitably missed (mostly in September). Daily links would not be actual if we gathered news that is weeks old, so temporarily we shall deal with news per topic, bringing together about a month or two of news. When all that is done — some time before Christmas hopefully — regular site operation will resume (daily links included) and several more interviews with Richard Stallman will be published.

Next month this site turns 7 and the recent inactivity oughtn’t be interpreted as lack of interest, just a misfortune coincidence of many bad (also also good) things.

Microsoft AstroTurfing Against Android as Well as Lobbying for Patent Tax on Android Still On

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 10:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft tries hard to pocket the money people pay for Android devices

Coins

Summary: Judging by the latest evidence such as activity on the Web, Microsoft lobbyists are still busy trying to deceive the public, incite companies, and trap executives into paying Microsoft for what’s not Microsoft’s

Apple sued HTC in a desperate attempt to stop Android momentum and Samsung later attempted to find out what the settlement involved while anti-Android AstroTurfing from Florian Müller tried to perturb the facts. Having been paid to lobby for Android foes, Müller is now being sent material to publish in order to discredit Android. it’s AstroTurfing. “More shilling from Microsoft Florian in Slashdot” was noted by iophk the other say. “Second time in as many weeks.”

He added: “The only interesting thing is that they try to follow Microsoft in keeping the licensing terms secret. I wish PJ were still around to help hammer on Microsoft Florian.” Watch this early comment which says:

Why does this read like a PR document written by Apple to sway public opinion? Both parties have come close or outright crossed the ethical lines in their various legal battles. Finger waving or sanctioning a lawyer here or there does not change the core issues. Rather is distracts from the core issues and gains sentiment (or attempts to).

It is worth noting that, having managed to pressure HTC quite a lot (Microsoft/Apple collusion from both the Apple and Microsoft angle), there is right now yet more pressure from Microsoft, urging HTC to preinstall Windows [1, 2, 3, 4]. Will extortion by Microsoft pay off? It is regretful to find that the upcoming Nexus 5 [1] may in fact be Ballnux (LG pays Microsoft) and it’s a very important device [2] with cutting-edge software. Getting rid of the software, e.g. with Cyanogen Mod [3], won’t help remove the patent tax, which is tied to the sale of hardware. This is truly infuriating stuff; people are silently being robbed.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Nexus 5 is probably LG’s G2
  2. Nexus 5 along with Android 4.4 Kitkat to be revealed on October 14

    A recent leaked screenshot of a log file, believed to be from a Nexus 5 device has also surfaced. Along with the screenshot, another screenshot of the error event has also been found. The two screenshots reveal a lot of information, which seems to tally with the above rumour. Most of the speculations have been confirmed by the 10 MB log file which had quite a bit of hardware information on it. So it is only a matter of time before Google steps up on the stage.

  3. CM Installer now available for beta testers

    The team behind Cyanogen Mod had expressed their desire to build an app that would streamline the ROM flashing process. Well, ever since shuffling of the team resulting in their venture into the corporate world as Cyanogen Inc., they have been working on just that sort of thing: an app that will reduce the entire ROM flashing process to a few clicks and thus free the user from the “hideous” ordeal that they have to go through normally.

With Intellectual Ventures, the USPTO Becomes Basis for Pyramid Scheme, FTC Investigates

Posted in Bill Gates, Patents at 9:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The extortion operation and pyramid scheme known as “Intellectual Ventures” (originally formed by Bill Gates and his close friend) is rapidly growing and the FTC grows increasingly concerned

Bill Gates’ pet extortion operation (Intellectual Ventures) — the entity which likes to shake down Microsoft rivals while pretending to save the worldis looking for more money to buy more patents. A patent trolls expert writes:

IV touts good returns, but one public source reports returns as poor as -70 percent.

That’s not the point though. Intellectual Ventures is a competition-manipulating entity. Even if it makes no direct income (or let elone profit) from patents, it sure helps its financiers, including Bill Gates for example, to make billions of dollars at the expense of competition crushed by patent litigation (filed through proxies). Andy Updegrove says that the FTC is trying to improve its comprehension of patent trolls’ business models, but will it investigate Intellectual Ventures? A lot of lobbying from Bill Gates and Intellectual Ventures (for years now) has been used to keep regulators away and there are reports which suggest Intellectual Ventures will keep hiding behind its proxies, publicly pretending not to be a patent troll. It’s a massive PR campaign. Anyway, as Updegrove put it:

It’s hardly news that the Obama Administration is no friend of so-called “Patent Assertion Entities,” or PAEs. Not only members of the administration, but the big man himself have spoken publicly against those companies that make a business model out of buying and asserting patents, as compared to those that actually develop new technology, such as universities, which then then seek to license (sometimes referred to as “Non-Practicing Entities,” or NPEs).

Most of what little we know about the business strategies, licensing practices and economics of PAEs has been gleaned from disclosures made in the course of litigation. Now the Federal Trade Commission has decided to gather some first-hand information on exactly how PAEs operate. And, because it is a regulatory agency, it can do so by asking the PAEs themselves to respond, and under oath, to boot.

Trolls are a very major problem, but some are summoned by entities like Intellectual Ventures. This one is said to have literally thousands of proxies. Those proxies are destroying everything that the “mother ship” (Intellectual Ventures, i.e. Bill Gates et al.) wish to destroy, including the Web, which is now transforming into another vehicle of the copyright cartel. The W3C may claim to be against trolls, yet at the same time it harbours some of the proponents and feeders of patent trolls. Its founder claims to be against software patents, yet in his working group he has strong advocates of software patents, as we pointed our on numerous occasions several years ago. There’s a total lack of credibility right now.

See articles like “Web Daddy Berners-Lee DRMs HTML5 into 2016″ and
“Web’s gatekeepers embrace DRM for next HTML5 standard”. To quote

Digital Rights Management isn’t just coming to HTML5 but also HTML 5.1 in 2016 – despite objections from critics.

And also:

The Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C) formally accepted a big change recently that could affect future Web standards—a decision that will either change nothing or destroy the Web forever.

This really is just an example aside, since the subject has become mainstream in recently days. Bill Gates despised the Internet since its early days. Perhaps now that it’s turning into a channel that Microsoft and its buddy Netflix can control, things are going to gradually change. Similarly, Windows is no longer the most sold operating system; Android is. That’s where trolls come into play and the stories we find are self-explanatory/evident. In order to stop disruption of the free market (free as in freedom) we need to identify and crush the schemes perpetrated against it.

Convicted Monopolists Call Software You Develop and Give for Free ‘Anti-competitive’

Posted in Antitrust, Bill Gates, Microsoft at 9:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Freely sharing is evil, apparently

Bill and Nathan

“[T]here is this thing called the GPL, which we disagree with.”

Bill Gates, April 2008

Summary: Bill Gates risks ejection from Microsoft, but the lobbying against sharing what’s freedom-respecting carries on

THE company of bribes, technical sabotage, extortion, etc. (with immunity to jail terms) is in the headlines again (celebrity criminal) because there is apparently an initiative to remove the most criminal elements, especially now that there are probes over alleged bribes all around the world (some high-level Microsoft executives risk going to prison). Some pundits think that Microsoft’s #1 criminal, Bill Gates, should be fired to be left working on his fake ‘charity. As IDG put it:

Steve Ballmer has been booted as CEO at Microsoft. Now should Bill Gates be removed from Microsoft’s board of directors? Datamation thinks he should be given his walking papers and sent on his way.

Many people prefer to forget Gates’ role in Microsoft’s competition crimes — crimes that he mostly dodged without a jail sentence, just as he escaped a jail term several decades earlier because his parents were very wealthy. But here is what’s most disgusting about it all; Using a lobbying front, Microsoft is now trying to call Linux/Android anti-competitive — a bogus allegation which KDE is the latest party to respond to. To quote the KDE Web site:

Open Letter to the European Commission: Free Software is competitive

The KDE community is deeply concerned by the wrong notion contained in a recent complaint to the European Commission. The Fairsearch initiative claims that “distribution of Android at below-cost” could constitute anti-competitive behaviour or predatory pricing. Mirko Böhm produced a response (PDF) for the KDE Community.

In part, the Fairsearch complaint is an attempt to reduce the strong competition of Free Software platforms with proprietary offerings. KDE and other free software projects would be adversely affected by a misinformed decision about Android. The Internet itself (a basis for the Fairsearch complaint) is largely a product of Free Software. The KDE Community in one of the largest Free Software communities in the world, a global collaboration of companies and individuals building a free platform and creating programs in an openly governed development process.

In a world where crime is “business” or “success”, it is not too shocking to see sharing and freedom characterised as some kind of a crime. Coming from the fiend who daemonised respecting one’s neighbour (see Letter to Hobbyists), it is not shocking to see those lobbyists. Whether Gates stays in Microsoft or not, he will continue to promote selfishness while pretending to do the very opposite. That’s how effective his PR campaign — just like the above “Fairsearch” (it’s the very opposite of fair) — has been.

Tim Berners-Lee Loses a Lot of Credibility Around the Web

Posted in DRM at 8:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Tim Berners-Lee, the founder of the World Wide Web, is widely criticised on the World Wide Web

Tim Berners-Lee by John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Source: Original from John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, modified by Techrights

Summary: Tim Berners-Lee and the W3C are quickly destroying their reputation by showing that they work for Hollywood

DECADES ago Tim Berners-Lee created what we now know as the “World Wide Web”. Unlike the Internet, this was not a military project. It was harboured by CERN (science) at the time. Unlike the Internet, the World Wide Web was not a tool of power over people. It was created to help Tim Berners-Lee share his physics paper with other people, collaborating and pushing towards scientific improvement.

I have enormous respect for Tim Berners-Lee and I also exchanged some words with him online (regarding patents in the W3C) after I had pointed out in a conflict or contradiction regarding the stance on software patents. It sure seems like Apple, Microsoft, etc. are hijacking the W3C and Tim Berners-Lee just walks along with them. He can’t be foolish enough to genuinely believe that DRM is a good idea, but he sure goes ahead with it now. At Mozilla, there is now a “pledge never to implement HTML5 DRM” and Slashdot chastises Tim Berners-Lee and the W3C for approving work on DRM for HTML 5.1. Most notably, however, the DRM stance gets criticised by the EFF, which unlike the FSF is not expected to feel quite so strongly on this matter. A prominent EFF figure accuses the W3C of lowering its standards and says:

On Monday, the W3C announced that its Director, Tim Berners-Lee, had determined that the “playback of protected content” was in scope for the W3C HTML Working Group’s new charter, overriding EFF’s formal objection against its inclusion. This means the controversial Encrypted Media Extension (EME) proposal will continue to be part of that group’s work product, and may be included in the W3C’s HTML5.1 standard. If EME goes through to become part of a W3C recommendation, you can expect to hear DRM vendors, DRM-locked content providers like Netflix, and browser makers like Microsoft, Opera, and Google stating that they can now offer W3C standards compliant “content protection” for Web video.

Cory Doctorow, another influential person, is rightly upset and the word is getting out there:

We got news on Wednesday from Boing Boing that the World Wide Web Consortium is going to add DRM to HTML 5. There’s not much information available right now on how this will work or how many browser developers will go along with the program and allow their product to become enforcers for Hollywood and the recording industry.

If Tim Berners-Lee is trying to destroy his reputation right now, then he sure does a fantastic job.

The problem is not the medium, the problem is the way information is encoded. If the W3C actively facilitates DRM, then it turns the Web into just a vehicle for encryption that is used against people (Blu-Ray in itself is fine [1], but it’s DRM that spoils it). The copyright cartel does not need DRM to do business, shows a new study [2]. The so-called war on piracy is a form of muddying the well [3] for censorship, control, and artificial inflation of sales that relies on making work digitally expire, rot, erode. That’s not what the World Web Wide was created for. That’s not what motivated Tim Berners-Lee to set up a site/Web pages.

More people and even nations begin to entertain the possibility of a ‘new’ Internet or ‘new’ Web — one that’s not riddled with spying (mostly US-centric surveillance as the US controls the Internet) and with DRM (mostly serving Hollywood). Tim Berners-Lee is British, so given the GCHQ’s special relationship with the NSA he remains to show what side he will be on. There are parallels to be drawn between the surveillance crisis and the menace of DRM. It’s all about controlling one’s packets.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Open-Source Blu-Ray Library Advances (libbluray)

    The latest release of libbluray, the open-source Blu-ray library used by VLC, MPlayer, and XBMC among other multimedia projects, has better support for Blu-ray Disc Java and Blu-ray menus.

  2. Piracy Isn’t Killing The Entertainment Industry, Scholars Show

    The London School of Economics and Political Science has released a new policy brief urging the UK Government to look beyond the lobbying efforts of the entertainment industry when it comes to future copyright policy. According to the report there is ample evidence that file-sharing is helping, rather than hurting the creative industries. The scholars call on the Government to look at more objective data when deciding on future copyright enforcement policies.

  3. Scammers Flood The Internet Archive With Pirated Movies

    The Internet Archive is being plagued by scammers who upload thousands of links to pirated movies in the hope of luring visitors into downloading malware or signing up with pay sites. The uploads seemingly point to popular movie titles such as World War Z, Epic and The Hangover Part III, but unsuspecting users who try to watch or download a copy are in for a heap of trouble.

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