When Jokes Became ‘Rude’ (or Disingenuously Misinterpreted by the ‘Cancel Mob’)

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, FSF, GNU/Linux at 12:57 am by Guest Editorial Team

2 days ago (earlier this month an RSS feed was added for the updates page):

Someone suggested we should improve the debunking about the pleasure card, so we did.

Summary: A new and more detailed explanation of what the wordplay around “pleasure card” actually meant

A picture of Richard Stallman's old'pleasure card'The dichotomy of “business vs. pleasure” is well known. Given Stallman’s inclination to play with words and even change the name of things to either oppose or mock established concepts, we believe that’s one reason why he chose to call it a “pleasure card” instead of the conventional “business card.” And if we look at his lifelong activism for software freedom and other human rights, a second obvious reason is that he has never thought of making money as a main purpose of his life.

Handing out cards to those we wish to keep in contact with is normal and a better practice than asking for people’s phone number or email address. It’s better because it avoids pressuring the receiver. Traditionally, a man asked a woman how to contact her, which could make her feel pressured. Stallman avoids that. In case a woman is not interested in further conversations, she can reject the card, take it and throw it away, or chose to never phone or email him.

However, what some people complain about is not that Stallman hands out this card or how he calls it, it’s the wording in it. That wording is the result of Stallman’s inclination to playfulness. It’s recursive humor, something that hackers like. It’s recursive in that it is an example of what the card itself says: “unusual sense of humour.”

Even though Stallman hands out these cards to men and women alike, some women take it as highly offensive, to the point of describing it as “sexual harassment.” For the sake of advancing sensible thinking, intellectual honesty, and fairness towards victims of real sexual harassment, let’s stop hyperbolizing and recognize that it’s not anything near “sexual harassment.”

We don’t know which precise words some women find offensive. We suspect it could be the expression “tender embraces” and/or the word “exotic.” There is a wave a new puritans who seem to think that it is disgusting for people to admit they wish to find a romantic relationship, except perhaps when hidden in some dating website or app.

A “tender embrace” is a hug which expresses a feeling of warmth and caring, it does not normally refer to sex. With the level of exaggeration fueled by the new puritans we are witnessing these days, one cannot avoid wondering: if Stallman had started the Free Hugs Campaign, would he be accused of “sexual harassment” for that as well?

As for “exotic,” Stallman uses the word as a qualifier for music and dance. If we look at Stallman’s preferences in these two fields, we can see that most—if not all—of the music and dance he likes is foreign and mostly unknown in the U.S., which fits the dictionary definition: “From another part of the world.”

Margarita Lacabe, a not sexual girlfriend of Stallman’s from the 80s, gives testimony of how he would share his music with her and dance: “He had me over to his place to listen to Indonesian music (or something of the sort), while he danced…”

Fortunately though, not all women feel that Stallman’s cards are “meant to be sexual come ons.” Some even appreciate the sense of humor in them.

Here’s an ironic meme depicting the dangers of the card, and Richard Stallman dancing with a robot in his Bulgarian custom at MIT in the 70s. (Source)

And here is Stallman again performing a traditional dance with a member of the Yale Political Union who doesn’t look to have taken offense. (Source).


FFII: German President of the Unified Patent Court Rewrites the Treaty Like a Dictator

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 6:27 am by Guest Editorial Team

By Benjamin HENRION


Brussels, 22 May 2023 — The German President of the Unified Patent Court (UPC), Klaus Grabinski, has decided alone to rewrite the Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA) at this own will, and move London to Paris and Munich due to Brexit. FFII condemn this abuse of power and violation of the Rule of Law. This a decision typical of a dictatorship, not of an institution governed by the separation of powers. Judge Grabinski will also have the last word over software patents in Europe, without any possible appeal to the European Court of Justice (CJEU).

The President of the UPC decided the following:

In its meeting of 8 May 2023, the Presidium of the Unified Patent Court decided that, as from 1 June 2023, actions pending before the central division related to patents in IPC section (A) shall be assigned to the seat in Paris while actions related to patents in IPC section (C) shall be assigned to the section in Munich. […] the Presidium has exercised its managerial power under Article 15(3) of the Statute of the Unified Patent Court in the aforementioned sense.

— Unified-Patent-Court.org: Decision on the provisional distribution of actions related to patents in IPC sections (A) and (C) pending before the central division | Unified Patent Court (unified-patent-court.org) https://www.unified-patent-court.org/en/news/decision-provisional-distribution-actions-related-patents-ipc-sections-and-c-pending-central

Article 15(3) of the Statutes of the Unified Patent Court does not mention any power to decide on such a political topic to relocate the Court from one place to another, except a broad “management” responsibility:

  1. The Presidium shall be responsible for the management of the Court and shall in particular:
    (a) draw up proposals for the amendment of the Rules of Procedure in accordance with Article 41 of the
    Agreement and proposals regarding the Financial Regulations of the Court;
    (b) prepare the annual budget, the annual accounts and the annual report of the Court and submit them to
    the Budget Committee;
    (c) establish the guidelines for the training programme for judges and supervise the implementation thereof;
    (d) take decisions on the appointment and removal of the Registrar and the Deputy-Registrar;
    (e) lay down the rules governing the Registry including the sub-registries;
    (f) give an opinion in accordance with Article 83(5) of the Agreement.

Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (2013/C 175/01) https://www.unified-patent-court.org/sites/default/files/upc_documents/agreement-on-a-unified-patent-court.pdf

The decision of the UPC’s President is not an item in the list between points (a)-(f), but under the broad “management of the Court” broad spectrum. This is an abuse of the Rule of Law, as judges are not supposed to rewrite the Content of Treaties. This power is the one reserved to law makers, not to judges.

The whole game is to change the Treaty without having to call for a diplomatic conference. People in Germany have invented this idea that the UPCA can be changed without a diplomatic conference, using the art87(2) UPCA, which will be active on the 1st of June 2023 at 00h01. The Administrative Committee will then rubberstamp the relocation of London competencies to Paris and Munich without having to pass by National Parliaments. Countries are playing with fire as tribunals (here the appeal court) need to be established by LAW according to the ECHR art6.1.

The Rule of Law is dead (art2TFEU), but that we know it since the legal service of the Council decided to declare the UPCA into force despite the signature of the UK being still missing.

This decision of the President is also not challengeable in front of another tribunal, as international organizations are shielded from challenges, enjoy immunity and impunity. This is what had been created: an EPO-like monster, a new country where all abuses are now possible, including recruiting judges from Nokia or Airbus, which are like Judge Grabinski ardent supporters of software patents.



Suitable Online Bank(rupt)ing

Posted in America, Finance, Free/Libre Software, Law at 1:32 am by Guest Editorial Team

Reprinted with permission from Alexandre Oliva (FSFLA and FSF)

For the past couple of decades, I've entered various fights with Brazilian banks over their threats to my software freedom in their Internet banking services. Back in 2002, the main threats were websites that required Internet Explorer, or the then-still-proprietary Java plugin, and there were plenty of alternatives without such abusive requirements. Nowadays, in the early 2020's, most banks require users to install security-theater malware and to use tracking devices, and those that make exceptions to the malware upon request are becoming very hard to find. Before running out of alternatives to these morally bankrupt practices, I've started legal action to defend my freedom using my consumer rights.

Java Trap

I was a happy customer of Banco do Brasil until around 2001, when it rolled out a Java applet for authentication. The Java VM only became free software years later, but even if the Java Trap had already been disarmed, the applet itself was a nonfree program I'd be required to run on my own computer, analogous to the JavaScript Trap that became a grave problem later on.

Both of these requirements were unacceptable to me, and I let the bank know in no uncertain terms. For some time, changing the browser-presented User-Agent identifier to pretend to be running some Java-incompatible system served as a workaround. When that was cut off and it became clear that there weren't going to be workarounds any more, I took my business to banks that did not impose such abusive requirements.

JavaScript virtual keyboards

Banespa and Real, both now part of Santander, at some point also started demanding a so-called "security" program on the customer's end, but both of them made exceptions upon request, so I didn't have to move on from them. Eventually, they also rolled out virtual keyboards for authentication in security theater, and at that, I blinked: without GNU LibreJS to warn me, I did not realize those were also nonfree programs running on my computer after being automatically installed by the browser. When I learned that this was the case, I had already accepted these features for too long, and I rationalized them as layout silliness that was borderline acceptable, and so I kept on using them. I'm embarrassed and sorry that I did; resisting back then might have made things easier for everyone else later on.

Hostile take-over

In 2008, my then-employer started paying salaries at Citibank. I gave it a try and was happy with how little JavaScript it used, so it became my favorite banking platform, and it served me well for some 10 years, until Itaú-Unibanco (henceforth just Itaú) bought its retail operations in Brazil and switched all customers to its own Internet banking service. That brought me two major problems: in order to perform banking transactions, they demanded a piece of malware they deemed "Guardian" (Diebold's Warsaw, really) to be installed on the desktop or laptop computer, and the bank's own One-Time Password (OTP) TRApp had to be installed on a portable tracking device (of the kind that usually can also make phone calls) for authentication purposes.


Some colleagues mentioned that changing to FreeBSD the operating system name sent by the browser in the User-Agent identifier would disable the malware requirement, but authentication remained a challenge. It was no use to argue that my phone ran GNU/Linux (my smartphone has been a Neo Freerunner for way over a decade) and they only had nonfree apps, for other also-nonfree mobile operating systems; or that there were other OTP apps I could run, on it or elsewhere, that would serve the same purpose.

Backup plan

Santander still worked for me, but it's very uncomfortable to be tied to a single option, so I contacted a banking cooperative/credit union, Sicredi, explained that I was looking for a bank that would offer me Internet banking services without requiring me to install anything but a standards-compliant browser on any operating system of my choice, that this was the reason I had left Banco do Brasil before, and was leaving Itaú now, that I was very serious about not running nonfree software, to the point of maintaining my own Free version of Brazilian income tax software to avoid the government-provided nonfree version. They told me that they could indeed meet my requirements, and they'd be happy to take my business.

Plot twist

So I signed up with Sicredi, went to a branch of Itaú to transfer the balance, and then, only then, did Itaú think of offering me a hardware OTP token for authentication, just like the one Sicredi had offered me. I figured I could give Itaú a try, so I didn't trasfer the whole balance. I'm glad I didn't! I went back to the Sicredi branch, confirmed the transfer that activated the account, got the hardware token, moved a significant chunk of the balance to a long-term investment fund, and went home.

When I got there, I tried to access the Internet banking service and check everything out, just to find out that it demanded the installation of the same piece of "security" malware as Itaú. Unlike Itaú, I couldn't even see my balance without it, whereas Itaú worked beautifully once I had its hardware token and the User-Agent workaround.

For some time, I had FreeBSD as the operating system name in User-Agent to authenticate with Itaú, but eventually I tried GNU instead of the misnomer Linux, and that worked too.

Once again, GNU helped me keep my freedom!

Seeking consumer protection

Still, I felt unsafe, because the User-Agent workaround was not documented nor recommended. The bank even denied its existence. It also unilaterally decided to stop sending me monthly statements by mail, which was part of the service I'd hired and was quite important to me, since the viable alternative, namely getting the file with the Internet banking service, could be cut off at any time. So I filed complaints about both Itaú and Sicredi with the local consumer protection agency, Procon.

Not that I expected much to come out of it: in my experience, Procon could only fine violators, that would be taken as cost of business, and even protect the violators from any further complaints from me over the same issue.

In this case, I wasn't even sure Procon would recognize my rights; its agents were not familiar with the notion of software freedom, but once I explained that in terms that made sense to consumer protection agents, they seemed quite excited about it. Procon eventually found in my favor in both cases, fined both banks, and confirmed the fines on appeal.


I expected the banks wouldn't change their behavior over it, though. It turned out I was surprisigly wrong. Not long after the initial Procon decision, Itaú started changing its Internet banking service. It wasn't for the better, though.

Progressively, over several years, some kinds of transactions would no longer accept authentication with the secure and entirely offline hardware token, and instead insisted on a tracking device-based OTP instead. After some time, they'd start demanding the Guardian malware, or their own brand new app, now available for a small selection of operating systems, including GNU/Linux/x86_64, but nonfree software nevertheless.

As I write this, relevant features I've noticed as blocked are payments of bills that aren't scheduled automatically, payments of some taxes, outgoing wire transfers, international wire transfers, credit card statements, activating new cards, and even updating contact and investor information and obtaining the consolidated information needed to fill in income tax returns, all in name of "security". At least the tax information is made available on another website maintained by the bank, that clearly doesn't care so much about "security".

That wasn't all at once. One day a feature worked, next day it didn't any more. Then another. And another… For some time, even redeeming from investment funds (to avoid a negative balance over automatically scheduled payments) stopped accepting confirmation with the hardware token, but at least on this one they seem to have retreated. Not on the others.

Not fine

Meanwhile, Sicredi accused me of dishonesty: they wouldn't believe I hadn't come across the very clear information about their software requirements, shown on a web page that's not even reachable without JavaScript, reason why I ended up contacting the branch to explain my requirements. That absurd accusation earned them a reprimand in the appeal decision, but not a higher fine.


As Itaú tightened the knot, I talked to my lawyer about defending my rights with a lawsuit. He wasn't enthusiastic about it at first, apparently expecting the bank to take back on the impositions, not realizing back then how they were show-stoppers for me, while most people wouldn't even notice or realize that there was an injustice there. We couldn't count on a public uproar for the bank to retreat.

We had to demand the bank to live up to the obligations it acquired along with the Citibank retail business: it couldn't unilaterally change the terms, quality and requirements of the service I had so carefully selected because I wouldn't use a service that demanded nonfree software. So, in the middle of 2022, he filed a lawsuit against Itaú on my behalf, grounded mainly on consumer rights, asking the court to order the bank to offer the services I had hired, under the conditions I had hired them, restoring the services that it was progressively discontinuing.

Picking battles

Ironically, because of COVID-19, I had to attend a conciliation session held through nonfree software. My lawyer was surprised that even that sort of online program would be objectionable for me, and invited me to attend along with him at his office. That's no way to get full justice, but… that's another fight, that we're going to have to have at a higher court. He's optimistic about the legal arguments in the ongoing lawsuit, and though they're not quite founded on software freedom, we do mention freedom and dignity as constitutional rights that the bank's imposition violates.

2023-02 update

In February 2023, a sentence landed ordering Itaú to abide by our request, restoring services without demanding the installation of additional programs, with a small daily fine in case of noncompliance. It's a full victory in the first round, but my lawyer tells me theirs are likely to file an appeal, so we can celebrate some, but this is not over yet.

In other news, the month before Itaú emailed me about its renewed plans to phase out the hardware token: no new ones would be issued, though the ones in use would be usable as long as their batteries lasted. The lawsuit will hopefully enable us to come to an agreement so that I can start using oathtool or FreeOTP+.

2023-04 update

Surprisingly, there was no appeal. The sentence is final. It remains to be determined whether it will be obeyed.

Procon fines Sicredi

Back on the week the lawsuit had been filed, coincidentally, Procon published the appeal decision in the case against Sicredi, and I was contacted by its lawyers trying to find some way to reach an agreement and avoid the fine. I wrote and published a long open letter (in Portuguese) explaining why I rejected that and any other piece of nonfree software over philosophical (defending my software freedom on principle), practical (defending my freedom to choose what computer and operating system to use) and security (the alleged need for obscurity suggests insecurity) concerns.

I restated my wish for service delivered through a standards-compliant browser on any operating system, noting the possibility of removing the requirement for specific users, before or after authentication, and offering an alternative: getting documentation on the networked programming interfaces that their own apps rely on, for me to implement relevant features on Gnucash.


A few days later, I was supposed to make a payment to my lawyer for his service in preparing the initial filing against Itaú. I went on to Santander's Internet banking website, that had served me well while Itaú and Sicredi let me down, and I couldn't get in: it was demanding me to agree to a so-called "privacy policy" (in Portuguese) that, besides requiring JavaScript to be viewed and not allowing printing or saving as a whole, contains abusive terms unrelated to the notion of privacy policy, or even to the terms of use bundled with it.

That policy had allegedly been in effect for nearly a whole year, so it seemed an unbelievable coincidence that they'd start demanding agreement to it right then. The next day, the requirement was gone, only to return a couple of weeks later. Meanwhile, I could make the payment, but my lawyer joked he could already tell the next bank we were going to sue.

Some of the abusive terms were the power to choose computers and operating systems the customer would have to use to get service, and the power to discontinue the service unilaterally for any reason, including changes to the technological platform. My lawyer's guess is probably right, but I've started by filing a complaint with the consumer protection agency and agreeing only to the terms identifiable as privacy policy. The bank did not dispute my understanding in its response, so the case got closed with the understanding that they agreed, but the fight goes on.

Copyright 2022-2023 Alexandre Oliva

Copyright 2023 FSFLA

Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of this entire document worldwide without royalty, provided the copyright notice, the document's official URL, and this permission notice are preserved.



Posted in America, Free/Libre Software, FSF at 1:14 am by Guest Editorial Team

Reprinted with permission from Alexandre Oliva (FSFLA and FSF)

Banking institutions have sought to automate customer service through websites and, more recently, through TRApps.


What these banks are saving in offices and staff, we customers are paying for with security and freedom. They are morally bankrupt.

Genuine security never depends on secret software. On the contrary, transparency strengthens security.

Nevertheless, these banks impose on us, in the name of security (their own, not ours), various harmful behaviors:

  • the use of software that we cannot control and whose actions on our computers are hidden from us;

  • the use of too-short passwords; and

  • the use of devices and operating systems designed to run under someone else's control, and to collect and exfiltrate our data.

Running software controlled by others always implies a loss of freedom, and a threat to security and privacy.

The requirement to use these programs has become so common and persistent that it seems unavoidable. Thus, we have decided to expand our campaign against imposed taxing software beyond state-controlled institutions to also include private services and goods whose providers converge on such impositions.


We share our board member Alexandre Oliva's recent account of his over 20 years of struggle against technological abuse by banks in his country. We highlight his recent legal victory: online banking services must be restored without requiring the installation of programs other than a standard browser. Read more:


About Imposed Taxing Software

Since 2006, we have been running a campaign against imposed taxing software: programs that are imposed in the sense that you cannot avoid them, and taxing in the sense that they burden you in a way that resembles a tax, but is exempt from social benefits and paid for with your freedom.

Nonfree programs are unjust and too onerous (even when they are nominally gratis), because they imply a loss of freedom, that is, of control over your digital life. When this burden (of suppressed freedom) is compounded with the imposition of use of such programs, they become profoundly oppressive: imposed taxing software.

Our initial focus was on oppressive software imposed by governments, such as mandatory tax-related programs and software required to interact with public banks.


While pressuring the government to liberate income tax software in Brazil, we have been updating and publishing a compatible and freedom-respecting version every year since 2007.



In 2023, we extended the campaign to taxing software imposed by private providers: when freedom-depriving software is required to obtain or enjoy products or services.

To be clear, this campaign is not (solely) about software for taxation, but rather about software that is taxing (an unjust burden, because it taxes your freedom; the software is itself like a tax), and that, on top of that, is imposed, thus profoundly oppressive.


Free Software Foundation Latin America joined in 2005 the international FSF network, previously formed by Free Software Foundations in the United States, in Europe and in India. These sister organizations work in their corresponding geographies towards promoting the same Free Software ideals and defending the same freedoms for software users and developers, working locally but cooperating globally.


Copyright 2023 FSFLA

Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of this entire document without royalty, provided the copyright notice, the document's official URL, and this permission notice are preserved.

Permission is also granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of individual sections of this document worldwide without royalty provided the copyright notice and the permission notice above are preserved, and the document's official URL is preserved or replaced by the individual section's official URL.



The ‘Clown Computing’ and ‘AI’ Bubble

Posted in Deception, Finance, Microsoft at 10:35 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Reprinted with permission from Ryan

“AI” frightens me.

No, not the thought of living in the Future War of The Terminator. Skynet said that it “evolves in seconds”. ChatGPT, Dall-E, and Bard still get simple interest wrong and can’t tell me what things will cost when I ask them to factor in coupons or rebates.

NPR’s article about “AI” building rockets that would explode if anyone tried building them was just amusing. We’re a long way off from rockets when GPT and Bard can’t tell me how much interest $1,000 will make in 5 years if I put it in a CD that compounds daily at a given APY.

The entire point of “generative AI” is to create a seductive mirage for stock investors.

Google and Microsoft are examples of giant tech companies whose established products are still fairly widely used despite having degenerated quite a bit.

Google and Microsoft Bing search are an arm of the state propaganda mills, and Windows 11 is noticeably slower than Windows 10 even on faster hardware, carrying on Microsoft’s usual tradition there, and even Windows XP was more reliable in terms of uptime and hotfixes and service packs installing and rebooting successfully.

According to Gartner (which itself is Microsoft-affiliated), PC shipments have fallen more than 30% in the first quarter of 2023 vs. the comparable period last year, and so new PCs sales are not happening. Are people switching to Macs? Apple had the worst decline of a single OEM. Even worst than Lenovo.

Microsoft has basically given up on demanding “TPM 2.0” or new PCs, and has unofficially started trying to cannibalize all the Windows 10 systems it can by waving them through. Figuring that they’ll at least make some extra money with all of the additional adware and spyware if they can’t sell you on a new PC?

No, Microsoft said that they would make money with “Cloud”, but even Yahoo Finance articles admit that “Cloud” revenue growth is slowing and will be a disappointing miss.

There’s simply nothing here to justify MSFT stock nearly doubling in the last few years and it’s time to dump it if you have it.

Every major company, even Coca-Cola (we don’t want your White money), has “plans” to “Chaff Bot” now. This has jumped the shark already and they’ve been at it for less than 60 days. Amazing!

Consider the amount of money and potential being wasted to juice the stocks while the important people dump shares and, hey it’s not insider trading if it’s scheduled, right? 😉

Bill Gates himself has to know full well that GPT is a great big fat nothingburger, but the speculation makes him other people’s money, so he’s buying columns talking it up about how it will teach your kids to read. (Don’t teachers already do this?)

The “AI” bullshit was a major factor in my decision to exit stocks in the retirement portfolio recently. I expect the bond fund to right-size because those are binding obligations to pay and with a very low default rate, and prioritized during bankruptcy proceedings.

(Like Bed, Bath, and Beyond…. Now if only they had put out a press release about using AI to sell people coffee makers and pillows, and sold shares are horrifically inflated costs with no promise to pay anyone back.)

Walmart recently fired their global chief of marketing. This is the guy that said they were going to start selling NFTs and taking Cryptocurrency.

I read a news article today about the US Government’s war on crypto. At first it was just the IRS, then it was the New York “Department of Financial Services”, and now it’s the SEC.

The SEC just issued a notice to Coinbase that is the final step, usually, before criminal charges. Coinbase is threatening to exit the United States.

There are no Crypto exchanges you can trust. Ask FTX and Celsius customers.

Ask people who used Uphold and have Uphold freezing their account or money disappearing, and nobody from Uphold will talk to them.

Crypto had its day. Now these companies are saying there’s “AI”.

The reason why Microsoft can burn so much time in Azure to run GPT is because they weren’t doing anything with it. It was sitting there as dead, unsold, capacity.

They’ve cooked up this thing, and it’s an utter scam, and people will lose their life savings if they don’t get out quickly.

Investors should take serious note of the fact that while Microsoft is trumpeting an AI that returns false information, and can’t be fixed, they fire thousands of people in Bing, Edge, and other divisions that are responsible, theoretically, for fixing it.

It shows that their plans are, in fact, to deceive investors about what the potential future applications for generative AI really are, and not to fix it, and to dump inflated shares before the little people using Robinhood and their 401(k) to invest in Microsoft lose their asses on it.

MSFT stock

This is a picture of the history of Microsoft stock.

When a stock moves like this, tread very lightly.

You see that little bump way back between 1986 and 2004?

That was around 1998-2001. The DotCom Bubble.

Hardly a blip compared to what’s been building up recently.

Microsoft isn’t alone at severely overvalued “tech” companies.

There is a wipeout coming.

And it’s not only fraudulent accounting, “AI” hype, and such. It’s not just “irrational exuberance” as Alan Greenspan might say.

A lot of it is also legal embezzlement, known as “share buybacks”, which are done to increase executive pay. Share buybacks should be illegal. They don’t add value. They destroy value.

Democrats in Congress put a 1% tax on share buybacks into law.

That’s better than nothing (which is what the Republicans want), but it doesn’t do very much to discourage them.

It’s saying “We’re going to let you do something incredibly wrong and fraudulent, but we want some money first.”

Captured government.

Don’t look for the government to help you. They’re figuring out how to shut down your retirement money and take it all back so they can bail banks out again; so they can run Super-TARPs.

As an investor in a retirement plan, there’s just not many safe options, but given that last year was already the worst year in 250 years for Bonds, I think that other people have taken the hit and fixed income will be the name of the game for a while.

I think that Gold and Silver could do well too. At some point, the large market caps are going to have to be companies that really make things and mine things and build things again. This tech surge is a seductive mirage.

“Intellectual Property” is just a fancy way of saying “slavery with extra steps”. It’s a way to extract rents from the productive sectors using nothing but the threat of law.

That being said, while some companies do make money like this, it’s normally a form of economic parasitism. “Non-Practicing Entities” and “Patent Trolls” come to mind, but Microsoft operates like this too, and it ruins companies that made stuff.

I was reading my email today, and Samsung emailed me about having until July to remove everything from “Samsung Cloud” before it got deleted.

I don’t even have a Samsung phone anymore. They turned a loyal customer into “Eww, Samsung.” with the increasingly buggy firmwares, and shoveling Microsoft crap into the phone and making it impossible to remove fully.

Then when I found secret Facebook spyware running in the background by default (“facebook service” or something), it was the last straw. I wiped the phone (which was malfunctioning anyway thanks to T-Mobile making my Sprint phone, which they sold me, incompatible with their network), and used T-Mobile’s buyback to switch to a Pixel.

Microsoft doesn’t add value, they ruin it. I can’t imagine that I was the only Samsung phone user who saw Microsoft Microsoft Microsoft popping up everywhere and went “LOL, no!”.

Bill Gates said in one of his “Creepy Uncle Says” articles the other day, that his “biggest mistake” was not “making Windows Phone what Android is today”, when “that was a natural place for Microsoft to be”.

Microsoft had Windows Phones, and they were cheap. Nobody wanted them. The only way they could dispose of them was selling them at a loss to Cricket Wireless customers with bad FICO scores and writing them off their taxes.

But they came back and forced themselves, as in rape, on people who used something else. That’s what they do. They corrupt and corrode. Samsung is finished.

The Galaxy S20 was the worst tech thing I ever bought, and I’m just glad I didn’t end up selling it to Amazon for a bag of cat food because T-Mobile offered me a 100% credit for giving it back.

It was such a bad phone (mostly because of the Microsoft deal) that I went in and said “Show me the iPhones and the Google phones.”

And almost like some sort of horrible comedy, the guy says “We’ll give you a Galaxy S22 if you want one.” I was like, “No.” He says, “Well it is a more expensive phone.” and I replied, “Well then anyone who pays that and gets another Samsung has my sympathy.”

Microsoft can’t seem to really enter into new markets, but it can do an enormous amount of damage on the way down. It’s basically turning Samsung into the sequel of what happened to Nokia.

There’s no telling exactly when this stock market is coming down, but it is probably “soon” and when it does, it will come down hard, and they’re not going to tell you when they plan to do it to you.

The people gravitating towards Microsoft and its ilk will get burned worse than others.

In the meantime, we can all enjoy the comedy. CNBC calls the Business Software Alliance (a legal trolling outfit operated by Microsoft, Adobe, and a few others, best known for running ads encouraging people to rat their employers out for “unlicensed software”) a “tech advocacy group” calling for “AI regulations”.



A Bunch of Mastodon Posts (from mstdn.social) Were Deleted for “Fake News” and “Violent and Harassing”, and I Was Finally Banned. Here’s a Few.

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software at 8:34 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Reprinted with permission from Ryan

Mastodon posts removed

Mastodon China posts

Mastodon and Utah law

Mastodon and Chicago

These are actual examples of what I was shown as the reason behind the bans.

Making fun of CNN and TikTok, criticizing the law in Illinois, discussing that Facebook and Reddit are nasty and spy on people.

And insulting the King of Mstdn.social.

Mastodon suspended

Disrespecting the moderator was a mild taunt regarding them being too dumb to figure out what fake news is despite me always citing “the news” from a place like NPR or CNN or something that I was referring to.

Don’t use Mastodon. It’s a waste of your time.

The servers are banning each other and it’s turned into a bunch of nasty SJWs on one side and their counterparts, the Nazis and Child Pornographers on the other.

There’s nowhere for an anti-dogmatic Atheist Left-Libertarian with a sense of humor.

Dogma traps people into beliefs that are absolutely insane. And they never justify those beliefs with any evidence. No, things have to be this way “because they’ve always been that way”.

Some people got together a long time ago, thousands of years before people understood anything, and when living to 30 made you a village elder, and decided it was so.

“There’s nowhere for an anti-dogmatic Atheist Left-Libertarian with a sense of humor.”Or in politics, instead of religion. When a political theory fails to produce the desired result, you just double down on the theory. If your criminal justice reforms are followed by a 40% spike in violent crime in Chicago, yet you continue on as if they were helping.

When people complain about the crime, you say “You have to go along with this or else you’re racist!”. Okay, nobody said anything about that. We look at what you did, and what happened and go “Wait. This isn’t working. Why don’t you go and enforce the laws you have before you come back and tell me you want more?”

Or finance and tax policy. “What did you do with the money I already gave you?”

The government, “Oh, we have 75,000 rotting empty buildings and we’re testing cocaine on beagle puppies!”

When you’re skeptical of church, the government, and “accepted” economic theories, all of which have ruined the world by any and all objective reasoning, you are “evil”.

“You’re the one with the problem. If a lot of people are wrong, you must be wrong, because there are more of them than you.”You’re the one with the problem. If a lot of people are wrong, you must be wrong, because there are more of them than you.

At the heart of the matter, this is why Social Networking, even if it’s not some multi-billion company that runs ads everywhere and gives the FBI backdoors, possibly can’t actually work.

What’s going on in Mastodon, the “banned server list” is public, and that’s a “feature” of the software, they decide what you get to see _for you_, is that they’re building a Tower of Babel where it may be open source, but it’s an echo chamber of fools and idiots.

Like “stux”.

I think I’ve decided that I refuse to be muzzled by the Speech Nazis just so I can have an account somewhere, which may well get trashed anyway because the moderator disagrees with something I said, which wasn’t even offensive.


Illinois State Government Targets Children With iPhone and Android Malware to “Report” on Friends, Family, and Neighbors

Posted in America, Apple, Google at 7:46 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Reprinted with permission from Ryan

Phone spyware

Phone spyware

The State government of Illinois has recently launched State-sanctioned malware, available in the Google Play and Apple App Store called “Safe2Help Illinois”.

I first noticed the malware when ads started appearing on the radio and TV for it.

The app encourages children to download it to their phones without telling their parents and use it to “report” people to the State government, including the Department of “Human Services”, which administers the State mental hygiene laws, and of course, the police.

The app conveniently provides children with the ability to send pictures and video files with their report, but the Google Play description says the app can also just scan the phone and see who your contacts are, read your text messages, and upload the files on your phone all by itself without telling you.

According to Google Play (Apple doesn’t give statistics), the app has only been downloaded 100 times in the entire State.

Unfortunately, there’s no way to tell how many children are using this app to inform on each other and the family and neighbors (like something out of the East German Stasi), but in addition to the malware, the state allows reports over their Web site and through text messaging.

The State agency maintaining the malware is the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, which is basically the State version of FEMA, and they probably use federal grant money.

Last year, the Biden Regime’s “Disinformation Board” got “paused” due to public and Congressional backlash, but planned to lean on Big Tech to silence people at the government’s request, otherwise there would be consequences of course.

But this is another way the government can keep eyes on people.

It has “deputized” brainwashed children and turned them into informants (on themselves even, due to the wide-ranging permissions the app has when it runs on the phone).

There’s obviously nothing benign about this app, but the fact that there’s only 100 people in the state with Android phones dumb enough to install it going into its third year, despite what I’m sure is millions of my tax dollars at work “marketing” it, is a good sign that even children usually aren’t stupid enough to believe the government.

Phone spyware


Microsoft Bing Hides News Regarding Microsoft Stabber Joseph Cantrell

Posted in Deception, Microsoft at 7:14 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Reprinted with permission from Ryan

Microsoft has removed all references to Joseph Cantrell from Bing News, which has made its way into DuckDuckGo as well.

Google News still returns results for the drug addled Nazi that Microsoft hired and now tries to hide. No doubt, having him stab another employee was very embarrassing.

This is just one example of how Microsoft can run damage control. As his case winds its way through the court system, people will increasingly wonder what kind of company hires people who self-admit to extensive drug usage and Nazi ideology, and then further admit that nobody on their team of 4, which costs the company over a million bucks, can figure out bugs in Azure, and have to resort to posting questions on Stack Exchange.

The drug diary, which I also previously reported on, also shows that Cantrell’s behavior created an extremely toxic and harassing workplace. On numerous occasions, Cantrell says that in company meetings, he said Indians shouldn’t be allowed to work at Microsoft and that one person in particular “should have her green card revoked” for being Indian, admitted to soliciting prostitutes and getting STDs from them, and blogged extensively that tech companies who have Indian CEOs don’t have good products anymore. “I wonder if Bill Gates even uses Windows or if that Indian guy at Google even uses Google.”

Almost all of the worst of his admissions in the diary were on his public Web site before the hiring.

But if Microsoft sets up a simple key word ban, nobody following Bing or DuckDuckGo News will read about its dirty laundry.

Joseph Cantrell results from Bing News

Joseph Cantrell results from Google News

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