09.24.20

The Second Wave (of Free/Libre Software)

Posted in Bill Gates, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux at 1:41 am by Guest Editorial Team

Looking from afar at the more distant future, we need to recognise newer perils (not fully foreseen when GNU’s manifesto was published 3.5 decades ago)

Wave and kids

Summary: Despite some major setbacks and new threats to digital freedom (autonomy is perhaps a more suitable term), progress is being made and activism must adapt to tackle newer trends

THE somewhat belated ascent of Free/Libre/Livre software is real. Many would say “we” have “won” the battle. Who is “we”? What does “winning” mean? Leave that aside; it’s all in the details. It’s both a technical and a philosophical inquiry…

“We ought not ask Microsoft for ‘permission’ and be spied on by Microsoft while developing and retrieving software.”GNU is everywhere, yet freedom is almost nowhere to be found ‘out there’ (clown computing means surveillance and oppression). Linux is by far the most widely used and deployed operating system kernel — so ubiquitous in small devices that there may already be tens of billions of “Linux computers” out there (about 10 times as much/many as Windows instances). Mission accomplished? Maybe. Depends whose…

The fight for software freedom will likely never end (and no, don’t think that a Microsoft bankruptcy or something similar means “the end”). No “fin” just because some certain Finn put his kernel in almost every computer, from large (HPC) to small/tiny (“edge” computing, increasingly a surveillance beacon of some sort).

Techrights is about software freedom, sure, but it’s also about human rights (e.g. privacy) and programmers’ rights, which means no software patents (these patents harm proprietary software development as much as Free software craftsmanship and distribution).

Wave at seaThe “Second Wave” nowadays commonly alludes to the return of a certain problem many have naively (ignorantly too strong a term?) chosen to dismiss as “revolved” or a “thing of the past”; it won’t be resolved until COVID-19 is eradicated, likely by mass vaccination. Vaccines can take 5-15 years to develop, test and make then make prevalent. If it’s fast-tracked, maybe 5 years. Maybe. Don’t fall for promises and hype from pharmaceutical giants and vaccine profiteers including but not limited to Bill Gates. It’s revealing when the corporate media treats this college drop-out like a vaccine expert; he’s meanwhile pushing his "war on cash" (India is his fertile ground for such experimentation, as he did with GMO and other vaccines — to the point where people died in his 'clinical/criminal trials'). At the moment we’re put on the highway towards something very grim; oligarchs have fast-tracked their “war on cash” (associating physical currency with “dirty” people and criminals*) and mass surveillance (as if people who don’t carry around with them a so-called ‘phone’ are a public health hazard).

This whole “Second Wave” thing — namely the implication for personal freedoms (not only software) — is a subject we hope to discuss with Richard Stallman some time soon. We also have some Microsoft leaks on the way.

Free software may have “won” (already) in some sense, but activism must carry on. Having lots of projects in proprietary Microsoft GitHub isn’t freedom but the opposite of that. We ought not ask Microsoft for ‘permission’ and be spied on by Microsoft while developing and retrieving software.

“Copying all or parts of a program is as natural to a programmer as breathing, and as productive. It ought to be as free.”

Richard Stallman

_____
* Lately there has been a British media-led smear campaign against people who insist on paying with cash, associating them with theft, COVID denial, and various conspiracy theories. It has gotten rather bad during summer. The stigma is a growing problem.

Exploring the Relationship Between Red Hat and Microsoft: They’re Barely Even Rivals Anymore

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Red Hat at 12:13 am by Guest Editorial Team

We need to slaughter Novell before they get stronger….If you’re going to kill someone, there isn’t much reason to get all worked up about it and angry. You just pull the trigger. Any discussions beforehand are a waste of time. We need to smile at Novell while we pull the trigger. ~Jim Allchin, Microsoft's Platform Group Vice President

Summary: The ‘older Microsoft’ (serial monopolist IBM) bought Red Hat, but evidence shows that one would be wrong to assume Red Hat really competes against Microsoft (any more than Novell did; there’s a strong relationship)

IT may seem painful to say this, but Red Hat does not quite act as a flag bearer to many GNU/Linux users these days. To many of us, with few exceptions, replacing Windows is the goal. Red Hat seems to be more interested in some kind of hegemony. It boils down to money, not principles.

“It boils down to money, not principles.”IBM never truly cared about replacing Windows since the OS/2 days; it’s just not in the market anymore. And for those who believe that Red Hat can be seen as a case apart, bear in mind they’re becoming inseparable quite rapidly. The most recent insider comment from TheLayoff Web site (spotted yesterday):

Screenshot: Red Hat theLayoff

One need not even look far back to see the strength of the relationship, which probably strengthened even further under IBM.

Nadella and Red Hat
Microsoft withdrew due to antitrust fears

In the clip below (2019), notice the gestures upon the entrance of Nadella (body language).

Red Hat Microsoft handshake

Shades of Novell and Hovsepian/Ballmer, right?

Red Hat Microsoft handshake closer

Then the handshakes and the sit-down with “Microsoft” on top of Jim’s head. Did they get the labels the wrong way around?

Red Hat Microsoft labels

Stay classy, Jim from Microsoft.

Here’s the full clip (locally stored):

We’ve been there before, sort of…

It’s about proprietary software. Where does Red Hat go?

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