12.19.15

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Microsoft is Entrapping Android With Infamous (ex)FAT Patents and Turning Android Phones Into Microsoft Listening Devices (Bugs)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 5:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Android and Microsoft

Image from Android Beat

Summary: Concerns expressed about adoption of Microsoft’s patented file systems and a preinstalled ‘app’ from Microsoft which turns phones into always-on listening devices

THE Microsoft-TomTom dispute showed us, as much as nearly 7 years ago, that Microsoft is firmly and openly engaged in a patent war against Linux. Microsoft would even take companies to court over it. Microsoft is still attacking Linux (mostly Android) companies using patents (5 such attacks were covered here earlier this year) and we therefore worry a great deal about whatever Microsoft is doing to make the ground more fertile for lawsuits, in the same way that Monsanto (less figuratively) plants the seeds for lawsuits against farmers whose fields have ‘patented’ seeds (this relates to Benoît Battistelli's EPO these days).

“File system patents, like those which Microsoft used against TomTom, are being imposed on Android.”The NSA’s PRISM pioneer and audio-visual informant (that’s Microsoft) has built a bug, with audio recording always on, into Android, using its Trojan horse, Cyanogen. We saw it coming and now we see it materialising. To quote this new article: “At the official announcement post for Cortana’s availability on iOS and Android, Microsoft also announced that future versions of Cyanogen OS will feature deep integration of Cortana. Along with this, it is now announced that Cortana will come along as part of the Cyanogen OS 12.1.1 OTA update for users of the OnePlus One in the USA, in December.”

This, however, does not worry us as much as the patents. Several hours were spent today in our IRC channels discussing these matters. File system patents, like those which Microsoft used against TomTom, are being imposed on Android. It’s an alternative ‘cash cow’ plot. Here are the relevant parts from IRC:

XFaCE schestowitz: also, (haven’t looked at TR in awhile) did you cover CyanogenOS’s inclusion of Cortana Dec 19 14:47
XFaCE schestowitz: also, CM13 nightly recently added an NTFS driver Dec 19 14:47
XFaCE http://review.cyanogenmod.org/#/c/123061/ Dec 19 14:49
-TechrightsBot-tr/#techrights-review.cyanogenmod.org | Gerrit Code Review [ http://ur1.ca/ocp4n ] Dec 19 14:49
XFaCE “sepolicy: Set the context for fsck.exfat/ntfs to fsck_exec” Dec 19 14:49
schestowitz didn’t see it Dec 19 14:50
schestowitz is it in C-Mode? Dec 19 14:50
XFaCE http://review.cyanogenmod.org/#/c/122995/ Dec 19 14:50
-TechrightsBot-tr/#techrights-review.cyanogenmod.org | Gerrit Code Review [ http://ur1.ca/ocp4p ] Dec 19 14:50
schestowitz Or just Cyanogen Inc? Dec 19 14:50
XFaCE “Native NTFS kernel driver support” Dec 19 14:50
XFaCE this is CM13 Dec 19 14:50
schestowitz I mean, upstream Dec 19 14:50
schestowitz is it included in the core of CM? Dec 19 14:50
XFaCE yes Dec 19 14:50
schestowitz wow Dec 19 14:50
cubexyz schestowitz, I’m asking for permission to use it as it’s a private email Dec 19 14:50
schestowitz You said CyanogenOS Dec 19 14:50
XFaCE schestowitz: yeah, in realtion to cortana Dec 19 14:50
XFaCE *relation Dec 19 14:51
schestowitz what’s the link? Dec 19 14:51
schestowitz Because they claims CM is barebones and then vendors can do to it a bundle Dec 19 14:51
XFaCE http://www.xda-developers.com/xda-external-link/cortana-now-available-where-and-when-you-need-her-no-matter-what-smartphone-you-choose/ Dec 19 14:51
-TechrightsBot-tr/#techrights-www.xda-developers.com | Cortana to Come Preloaded On Cyanogen OS 12.1.1 on OnePlus One [ http://ur1.ca/ocp4r ] Dec 19 14:51
schestowitz also, are there articles about it? Dec 19 14:51
XFaCE so to summarize Dec 19 14:51
schestowitz one PlusOne Dec 19 14:51
schestowitz but is it also upstream? Dec 19 14:51
XFaCE NTFS/exFat is added to CyanogenMod Dec 19 14:51
XFaCE Cortana on CyanogenOS Dec 19 14:51
XFaCE so CyanogenOS has become a transparent Microsoft marketing bed Dec 19 14:52
XFaCE and CM13 is slowly becoming one :P Dec 19 14:52
oiaohm XFaCE: sorry you don’t understand the problem. Dec 19 14:53
XFaCE “At the official announcement post for Cortana’s availability on iOS and Android, Microsoft also announced that future versions of Cyanogen OS will feature deep integration of Cortana. “ Dec 19 14:53
oiaohm NTFS and exFat in fact becomes stupidly forced by storage device makers. Dec 19 14:53
XFaCE I don’t even run either on my sdcard Dec 19 14:53
XFaCE I just use JFFS Dec 19 14:53
oiaohm You still don’t understand the problem. Dec 19 14:53
XFaCE that was an aside comment Dec 19 14:54
oiaohm Some sdcards if you put anything other than exfat or ntfs on them they will destory you data. Dec 19 14:54
oiaohm and I am not kidding. Dec 19 14:54
XFaCE well that’s fucked up Dec 19 14:54
XFaCE link? Dec 19 14:54
oiaohm Why they storage card system for working out what sectors it can recycle for wear leveling is working from the information it extracting from the file system. Dec 19 14:55
oiaohm It was covered in a 2010 australian Linux conference video. Dec 19 14:55
XFaCE “Nevertheless, in order to be fully compliant with the SDXC card specification, many SDXC-capable host devices are firmware-programmed to expect exFAT on cards larger than 32 GB. Consequently, they may not accept SDXC cards reformatted as FAT32, even if the device supports FAT32 on smaller cards (for SDHC compatibility). Therefore, even if a file system is supported in general, it is not always possible to use alternative file systems on SDXC cards a Dec 19 14:56
XFaCE t all depending on how strictly the SDXC card specification has been implemented in the device. This bears a risk of accidental loss of data, as a host device may treat a card with an unrecognized file system as blank or damaged and reformat the card.” Dec 19 14:56
XFaCE wow Dec 19 14:56
oiaohm XFaCE: Please note SDXC contains exfat as part of the standard. Dec 19 14:56
XFaCE after how much $$$ from MS? Dec 19 14:57
oiaohm So format SDXC with NTFS and its exfat only you data is screwed. Dec 19 14:57
oiaohm XFaCE: when you understand the problem what choice do OS vendors have when Hardware makers lock in the format. Dec 19 14:58
XFaCE thanks for this info, I didn’t know that Dec 19 14:58
schestowitz thanks Dec 19 14:58
schestowitz will do an article about i Dec 19 14:59
schestowitz it Dec 19 14:59
XFaCE two separate ones? Dec 19 14:59
oiaohm Please note when buying ssd harddrives this problem can apply as well. Dec 19 14:59
oiaohm Yes always look for Linux support on a ssd harddrive because that means generic file system support. Dec 19 14:59
oiaohm Windows or OS X only ssds could be nasty. Dec 19 14:59
XFaCE god damn Dec 19 14:59
XFaCE oiaohm: do you have an example of a Linux-ready SSD? Dec 19 15:03
XFaCE for future reference Dec 19 15:03
XFaCE schestowitz: looks like what oiaohm has said – the cm13 ntfs thing is an android-wide developement Dec 19 15:04
XFaCE cyanogenos however IS going microsoft Dec 19 15:04
oiaohm https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/legal/intellectualproperty/mtl/technologylicensing.aspx?f0ebc726-7ebd-4545-a353-de9b1edbdbee=True   Yes Microsoft does demard patents over exfat. Dec 19 15:05
-TechrightsBot-tr/#techrights-www.microsoft.com | Intellectual Property Technology Licensing Programs [ http://ur1.ca/ocp5c ] Dec 19 15:05
XFaCE oiaohm: this is the kind of shit that anti-trust agencies should be raving on Dec 19 15:06
XFaCE this is clear monopolistic bullshit Dec 19 15:07
cubexyz schestowitz, briefly it’s like this… customer says win10 KOed his computer to the point he can’t even install a new OS Dec 19 15:07
oiaohm XFaCE: ssd even Linux ready ones have major teeth at times.   https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/18363/Intel-Solid-State-Drive-Firmware-Update-Tool Dec 19 15:07
-TechrightsBot-tr/#techrights-downloadcenter.intel.com | Download Intel® Solid-State Drive Firmware Update Tool [ http://ur1.ca/ocp5f ] Dec 19 15:07
cubexyz I’ve asked him for permision to quote him, as soon as he gives that I’ll post the text online Dec 19 15:08
XFaCE major teeth? Dec 19 15:08
oiaohm XFaCE: ssd drives have firmware updates read the notes about it. Dec 19 15:08
XFaCE yikes Dec 19 15:09
oiaohm XFaCE:  —If the Intel SSD firmware update process is interrupted, your Intel SSD may not function properly.—  found this bit. Dec 19 15:09
oiaohm In otherwords I can eat your data. Dec 19 15:09
oiaohm Now Microsoft is wanting to make firmware updating on stuff automatic. Dec 19 15:09
cubexyz the upside, if there is one… is the customer will be more receptive to non-microsoft operating systems Dec 19 15:10
oiaohm My main usage of ssd harddrives is as bcache where the majority of the data is kept on old school spinning media. Dec 19 15:11
XFaCE oiaohm: how are kingston ssds for linux compatibility? Dec 19 15:11
oiaohm XFaCE: From what I have seen of kingston ssds they all had Linux firmware update tools.    Now a problem you can run into with a kingston ssd they don’t have os x tools and older drives don’t have current version of Windows tools. Dec 19 15:14
oiaohm XFaCE: so kingston ssd is more Linux compadible than anything else. Dec 19 15:14
oiaohm Ie not compadible with mostly everything else. Dec 19 15:14
XFaCE lol Dec 19 15:15
XFaCE well that’s good to know Dec 19 15:15
XFaCE Kingston SSDs it is Dec 19 15:15
oiaohm XFaCE: I guess you starting to see this SSD stuff has major holes. Dec 19 15:15
XFaCE well I never even thought of it Dec 19 15:15
oiaohm So a SSD good for Linux can be horible for Windows and OS X. Dec 19 15:15
XFaCE thanks very much for bringing it to our attention Dec 19 15:15
XFaCE the sdxc thing is just… wow Dec 19 15:16
oiaohm And you can swap that around. Dec 19 15:16
oiaohm So when you buy a SSD it better match the OS’s you are wishing to use in spec. Dec 19 15:16
XFaCE oiaohm: in an ideal world SDXD would require JFFS or something open Dec 19 15:16
XFaCE or YAFFS Dec 19 15:17
oiaohm XFaCE: F2FS is from samsung. Dec 19 15:18
XFaCE ah right Dec 19 15:18
schestowitz https://www.gnu.org/fun/jokes/helloworld.html Dec 19 15:22
-TechrightsBot-tr/#techrights-www.gnu.org | Hello World! – GNU Project – Free Software Foundation (FSF) [ http://ur1.ca/ocp69 ] Dec 19 15:22
oiaohm XFaCE:  JFFS and YAFFS don’t have the required size to meet SDXC spec sizes let alown what a new spec could put up.   But F2FS does. Dec 19 15:22
XFaCE yeah I think I was thinking of F2FS oiaohm Dec 19 15:23
XFaCE oiaohm: yep, my bad Dec 19 15:26
XFaCE the names can get confusing Dec 19 15:26
XFaCE but yeah I’m using F2FS on my phone Dec 19 15:26
oiaohm I know.   Its only that I watch the australian Linux conference videos that I got it right. Dec 19 15:26
oiaohm cubexyz: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-au/windows/lifecycle   Read down notice Oct 2016 preinstallation of Windows 7 and windows 8.1 is no longer meant to be performed by Microsoft Profesionals. Dec 19 15:28
-TechrightsBot-tr/#techrights-windows.microsoft.com | Windows lifecycle fact sheet – Windows Help [ http://ur1.ca/ocp6l ] Dec 19 15:28
oiaohm cubexyz: and “Retail software end of sales ” is the full boxed set editions. Dec 19 15:29
oiaohm cubexyz:  mostly the old OS stuff you find in stores is old stock. Dec 19 15:30
XFaCE oiaohm: writing on the wall Dec 19 15:30
XFaCE gentoo for me Dec 19 15:30
oiaohm Debian for me. Dec 19 15:30
XFaCE all the time Dec 19 15:30
oiaohm systemd does not bother me enough to move away from it. Dec 19 15:30
XFaCE the only windows installation will be in an internet-free KVM Dec 19 15:30
XFaCE like studying a virus or bacteria :) Dec 19 15:31
oiaohm From what I am hearing is the windows 10 upgrade is being deployed by the Windows 7 and 8.1 update system. Dec 19 15:32
oiaohm If that is the case Microsoft can declare it a critical update for Windows 7 and 8.1 so kill support to anything that is not 10. Dec 19 15:32
XFaCE yeah Dec 19 15:32
XFaCE I feel sorry for the Windows 7 users now – every windows update has to be examined Dec 19 15:33
XFaCE I have an ignore list for what it’s worth Dec 19 15:33
oiaohm Windows 10 no ignore list Dec 19 15:33
oiaohm For gernal users. Dec 19 15:33
XFaCE yeah Dec 19 15:33
XFaCE oiaohm: Windows 10 is not for general users :) Dec 19 15:34
XFaCE or any users Dec 19 15:34
XFaCE as schestowitz would say, it’s for the useds(sic) Dec 19 15:34
oiaohm Only way I can see that I can run Windows 10 is run it inside virtual machine some how. Dec 19 15:34
XFaCE KVM yeah Dec 19 15:34
XFaCE isolated from the rest of the system Dec 19 15:34
oiaohm So I can control its internet access so control its update system Dec 19 15:34
XFaCE oiaohm: there is WSUS Dec 19 15:34
oiaohm WSUS is only for enterprise editions. Dec 19 15:35
XFaCE that program enterprises use to control windows updates to machines Dec 19 15:35
oiaohm That is another change with Windows 10. Dec 19 15:35
oiaohm Windows 7 and 8.1 as long as it was pro you could connect it to WSUS. Dec 19 15:35
*schestowitz takes notes for later Dec 19 15:35
XFaCE oiaohm: well, there’s always just downloading updates and installing them via cmd script Dec 19 15:35
XFaCE aka the Windows 95 and below way :P Dec 19 15:36
oiaohm XFaCE: remember Windows 10 auto updates. Dec 19 15:36
oiaohm So internet connection it getting it themselves. Dec 19 15:36
XFaCE hence why the KVM (or equivalent) should have no or tightly regulated internet access Dec 19 15:36
cubexyz it sounds like utter crap Dec 19 15:37
XFaCE pretty much Dec 19 15:37
XFaCE at this point running MS-DOS 10 sounds preferable Dec 19 15:37
oiaohm http://www.wsusoffline.net/docs/  At least wsusoffline supports Windows 10 Dec 19 15:38
-TechrightsBot-tr/#techrights-www.wsusoffline.net | WSUS Offline Update – Update Microsoft Windows and Office without an Internet connection Dec 19 15:38
oiaohm So you don’t need to give windows 10 internet access to get updates for it. Dec 19 15:38
XFaCE good thought Dec 19 15:38
XFaCE I forgot about WSUSoffline Dec 19 15:38
oiaohm I have worked out that I can perfectly contain Windows 10. Dec 19 15:39
oiaohm Problem is virtualisation stuff like sharing a video card between 2 OS’s is still crap. Dec 19 15:39
XFaCE true Dec 19 15:39
XFaCE I guess Wine would be needed to run those applications Dec 19 15:39
XFaCE graphics-intensive ones Dec 19 15:40
oiaohm Businesses use a lot of applications that don’t run in Wine. Dec 19 15:40
MinceR businesses can afford to have those applications rewritten by people who have a clue Dec 19 15:40
oiaohm MinceR: not exactly so.   I wish it could say that. Dec 19 15:40
cubexyz surely is this the total end of microsoft’s dominance though Dec 19 15:41
cubexyz it’s so bad… Dec 19 15:41
MinceR not unless uefi dies Dec 19 15:41
oiaohm MinceR: some applications are forced on companies by stupid governement departments. Dec 19 15:41
XFaCE cubexyz: end of *total* dominance perhaps Dec 19 15:41
XFaCE but not the total end of dominance Dec 19 15:41
MinceR oiaohm: governments can especially afford to have those applications rewritten by people who have a clue Dec 19 15:41
MinceR skip buying hypePads for every MP for one year and it’s funded Dec 19 15:41

As can be seen above, the discussion went on to a different topic, which is Vista 10. We have been sent the following message from someone who claims that an ‘update’ happened without even consent. To quote: “I am replying on an ASUS laptop computer using Windows 10. At one time it was a backup to my desktop until Windows 10 destroyed itself on my CyberpowerPC. Windows 10 does updates without asking. Having shut down to do a restart, after one update, it could not find itself. That section isthe part that tells Windows what the layout of the machine is. When this happens windows tries again. It is a never-ending loop. Booting to the BIOS and using backup on memory stick, the same error occurs. This turned this powerful gaming machine into a boat anchor.”

Welcome to the world of Microsoft — a world which Microsoft is trying to impose on everybody. And those who reject Windows get sued for patent infringement.

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