Storm Brewing Over the Future and Nature of the Internet

Posted in America, Asia, Google, Microsoft at 4:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

TikTok Surpasses Google, Facebook As World’s Most Popular Web Domain

Summary: Subsidies for Web giants (and shareholders of such giants) will run out; what will happen to the Internet when this inevitably happens?

If one goes by (relies on) reports and accounts of corporate media, “cryptocoins” (a misnomer) are doomed and therefore anything blockchain-related is doomed too. Never mind if one is merely a subset of the other. If one goes by reports and accounts of corporate media, it also seems increasingly likely that Twitter (as a business) will collapse completely and Facebook won’t manage to ‘evolve’, even if it rebrands as “Meta” and pushes VR under a new buzzword. About a year ago it became apparent that toxic TikTok had exceeded (in terms of the number of requests) Web giant Google. TikTok is accessed from a lot of countries, including places where Facebook is banned. It seems unlikely that TikTok is the future; it’s more of a passing fad. Some American politicians already promote bills to block TikTok entirely.

Nat Friedman Advisor to FTXTo a lot of people, the above things (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google, TikTok) aren’t Web sites but “apps”. It is noteworthy that mobile devices with “apps” have long outnumbered desktops and laptops, which means that Microsoft fell behind not only on the Web but also in the “installed base” sense.

The recent collapse of FTX had a ‘ripple effect’. Various other companies that sold so-called “cryptocoins” perish and fold. Along with them: NFTs, “web3″ (whatever that actually is!), and various other cargo cults hugged and shilled by charlatans and one-time frauds [1, 2, 3].

At the moment we fully utilise IPFS, Gemini, IRC, and the Web. We explore some other protocols too, maybe Tor will be next (Onion address).

United States Government Debt - November 2022 Data - 1942-2021 HistoricalFor a number of years — if not well more than a decade already — a lot of companies operated in a bubble, backed mostly by debt. We were meant to assume some companies were worth trillions of dollars even though they were occasionally operating at a loss. Twitter almost always operated at a loss and the same is true for ClownFlare. The state of the Internet and the Web is not sustainable because the companies that currently dominate it don’t necessarily profit from it; some rely on US government subsidies/bailouts, fattening shareholders of failing companies like “Meta” at the expense of taxpayers (not something that will last forever; in the latest month on record, US national debt grew by over $300,000,000,000; yes, in just this one month, causing inflation to spiral out of control). With plausible rumours of impending "big" layoffs at Microsoft (not to mention Amazon, HP, Intel, Facebook and so on) we’re probably at the cusp of major shake-ups. What comes next? Too hard to tell, almost impossible to guess, but as newsrooms report many more layoffs (many included in Daily Links yesterday, including CNN and Gannett) it’s essential to stay vigilant. Things are going to change.

“Microsoft, the world’s most valuable company, declared a profit of $4.5 billion in 1998; when the cost of options awarded that year, plus the change in the value of outstanding options, is deducted, the firm made a loss of $18 billion, according to Smithers.”

The Economist, 1999

IRC Proceedings: Friday, December 02, 2022

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:48 am by Needs Sunlight

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10 Good Things That Happened in 2022

Posted in Free/Libre Software at 2:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: In the technical domain, 2022 saw some positive developments, especially from the perspective of Freedom-centric and environmentalist folks

WITH war in Ukraine and many other things happening at the same time (ongoing pandemic that many choose to falsely believe has been eradicated), 2022 has not been an easy year. And yet, here we are in December and the world still turns.

Here are some of the good news so far this year:

  1. Microsoft announced several waves of layoffs
  2. Social control media collapsed (e.g. Twitter’s ongoing demise and Facebook losing like two-thirds of its “market” “value”)
  3. The UPC did not materialise (they keep on saying “next year” like they’ve been saying since 2015) as the fight over patent courts’ integrity continues in the EU
  4. EPO workers initiated a successful industrial action, resulting in massive decreases in the number of European Patents getting granted
  5. Techrights started its migration to Alpine Linux
  6. Britain had 3 Prime Ministers, as revolt from the general public resulted in actual turmoil
  7. Excessive production of electronic goods almost came to a halt; people recycle and upcycle where possible
  8. The long-in-the-making “crypto” bubble imploded, which will mean decreased waste/pollution
  9. France and Germany took steps towards banning Microsoft, at least in schools
  10. Geminispace expanded by about 50%, according to Lupa (number of capsules grew about 50% in just 12 months; see chart below)

Anything else?

Geminispace capsules end of 2022

Rumour: More Microsoft Layoffs (Big Layoffs) Next Month

Posted in Microsoft, Rumour at 1:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

How likely is that there will be Microsoft layoffs? Any chatter, news or rumors? This next one is going to be big. List already prepared for January, start of FY Q3.

Summary: TheLayoff.com, a moderated forum for anonymous voices, has a new comment (less than a day old) about more Microsoft layoffs

Microsoft: Cloud-first company

Engineers Are Too Expensive for Sirius ‘Open Source’

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux at 12:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Engineers that aren’t being paid just 21k per annum

Sirius Open Source: We can't hire engineers

Summary: Sirius Open Source has become almost like a one-man operation, occasionally assisted by associates (external to the company, paid as contractors by the hour), and management that neglects basic duties while it lies to the staff in an effort to ‘pacify’ it

A December Series About the Demise of Sirius ‘Open Source’

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Site News at 12:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 5fc22241d0ba2771d8eb8d960d4e13de
Start of Sirius Series
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: Sirius has not been functioning properly for years, but this year it got a lot worse and the story ought to be told; there are many aspects in it that may be applicable to other companies, including those that engage in openwashing for marketing purposes (opportunism)

THIS is the second video regarding the company I left yesterday. It was not a pleasant departure; it was the result of a weeks-long conflict. It started a month ago after I had done just one single (yes, just one!) shift in November.

Someone’s feelings were hurt, so a vendetta began, never mind why those feelings were hurt in the first place (context matters). More details will be supplied later, but today we start the release of a detailed report.

“…nobody took the bait, so a campaign of witch-hunts (vendetta) began.”For a number of months already the managers were looking to downsize (disguised euphemistically as reorganisation) with an external HR firm advising them against staff’s interests, as one might expect. There were attempts to deny severance/compensation and these attempts were rather obvious right from the start. But nobody took the bait, so a campaign of witch-hunts (vendetta) began.

The vendetta cannot be understated. This wasn’t done to some opportunists or some “tourists” in the company but to devoted, long-serving staff. To put it in context, in almost 12 years never — not even once — did I take sick leave (not ever!), but that does not seem to matter. These was a bogus “scoring” exercise and a divide-and-conquer effort, orchestrated by a company that became incompetent and unethical because it was running out of money (or losing the ability to borrow more money). All those things are of course connected; they’re connected by institutional demise.

“These was a bogus “scoring” exercise and a divide-and-conquer effort, orchestrated by a company that became incompetent and unethical because it was running out of money (or losing the ability to borrow more money).”So this month I get to tell my story, starting in early 2011 when I joined. As a long-term worker, I would be entitled to compensation, but abusive management is using fake nonsense to avoid paying severance, knowing that if it gets sued the company is already registered (partly) in another country and is too broke to even fight in court. The managers know this, but they’re fakers and posers at this point. They’ve evaded liabilities in other areas too. Clients are being misled about it. Clients deserve to know.

The Fall of Sirius Open Source: How a Leader and FSF Sponsor (for Multiple Years) Became an Abject Failure

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software at 12:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Sirius Open Source xmas tree

Summary: Statement on SIRIUS OPEN SOURCE LTD Compiled for Roy and Rianne Schestowitz, Sirius Staff since 2011 and 2013, respectively

TODAY we begin to share a document circulated internally regarding the company where I worked for nearly 12 years. The document can help highlight phenomena found across companies, not limited to this one. The subject will be covered on a daily basis throughout December.


Roy is a computer scientist based in Manchester, UK. He has been advocating digital security, autonomy and freedom in computing for over 20 years. He has given lectures on a number of topics including computer security since his early 20s and his experience writing about labour and legal rights spans well over 15 years (Roy’s only uncle — and he has no more uncles — is a court judge). Roy is passionate about the Rule of Law and morality.

“All statements herein are backed by verifiable material and all evidence is readily available upon demand.”Rianne is a computer scientist and the wife of Roy, her loving husband who had joined Sirius 2 years prior to her joining the company as well. The role of Roy and Rianne inside the company is similar if not identical (only the time slots are different), so their grievances are inherently similar. The bosses and colleagues are the same. Hence, this document shares many overlapping observations. They will be presented in tandem.

Privacy Notice

Sirius Open Source watersideThe document does not infringe privacy. Roy has extensive experience writing about privacy-sensitive issues, including whistle-blowers, so names of clients and colleagues will not be mentioned (even excessively redacted in some cases). Evidence, where ample paper space is needed, won’t be shared unless demanded. All statements herein are backed by verifiable material and all evidence is readily available upon demand. Do not assume anything here constitutes mere gossip (we reject weak levels of evidence like hearsay) and provided that all statements are true and any inaccuracies may be unintentional, nothing provided in this text could be defamatory.

Company Overview (Quick Facts)

Sirius Open Source wineThe main subject of this document is Sirius, a company registered under several different IDs in the Companies House (depending on the range of years of operation). Currently it is not registered under the same name as it had been registered when Roy and Rianne joined the company. Directors also changed a bit (this typically happens when this company rolls on from one ID to the next). It’s possible to also learn a chain of cliques and friends (possible cases of nepotism and favouritism) by studying connections between and across organisations, e.g. Open Source Consortium. The reasons for the change are not known, leaving us speculating at best. When asked about that in person, the company declined to provide an explanation. Another ‘branch’ of the company is based in the US, i.e. outside the UK and largely unknown to us (e.g. its financial state). This document won’t speculate on these issues and confidential material circulated within the company earlier this year will not be cited (in the interest of confidentiality). Careful attention was paid to confidentiality laws.

Structure of This Document

The main sections of this document deal with 1) the company when Roy joined it. 2) the company when managerial bullying turned more institutionalised. 3) the company in what seems like its last gasp (heavy debt that grows rapidly).

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