05.07.21

The Audacity Takeover by Muse Group is No Cause for Celebration

Posted in Free/Libre Software at 6:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: Audacity is now part of an entity called Muse Group and if it doesn’t take or suck freedom out of Audacity, it will certainly deny users rather basic concepts (or anticipation) of privacy

A WEEK ago I installed Audacity for the first time in ages (I had installed it several times before). I was so pleased by its progress and the stability (it was always rock-solid and it still is), so I decided to recommend it the same day we recorded a show — first episode in six years.

“It certainly seems like the new buyer is in a hurry to ‘monetise’ the Free software, even at the expense of users’ privacy/freedom.”The following day I was disappointed to learn about the unfortunately-timed sale of the project, as covered by the media since Monday [1, 2, 3, 4] (in chronological order of publication and also order of appearance in this video).

I didn’t think it was a big deal until earlier today. As Alex put it (at the #techrights IRC channel): “less than a week since muse acquisition, audacity adds telemetry (universal google analytics), disguised as “anonymous analytics and crash reports” (as if data passage is their new business model or something). Is this another Mozilla? The company that collects a lot of data from Firefox users and sends such data to Google (for the most part)?

To show what’s posted in a Microsoft site (screenshot below to reduce traffic to it), notice how many votes point downwards:

Audacity Yandex
Audacity development already spied on by Microsoft and NSA (PRISM), so why not add Google/Yandex to the software itself?

Alex has found a meme about it (shared in IRC a a few hours ago):

Audacity and Google

Yes, that sums it up perfectly. Anyway, in the video above I go through some recent events, my personal views/perspective, and reports of the sale. It certainly seems like the new buyer is in a hurry to ‘monetise’ the Free software, even at the expense of users’ privacy/freedom. It seems like a data ‘monetisation’ firm [1, 2] paid for the users (to be data-mined).

Wikipedia says “Muse Group is a parent company, formed in April 2021, that owns a number of websites and programs including Ultimate Guitar, MuseScore, and Audacity.” So it’s only a month old and thus very little is known about its intentions/motivations. As Psydroid put it in IRC a few moments ago, “what we are witnessing is that major free software projects other than GNU, the Linux kernel and GNOME are getting the EEE treatment; well done, guys and girls…”

This is not good software design:

4162be324051d56ac334b588931c50b019844da59e56a2fc4318e355bf36e91e

Is there a fork in the making? Seems possible. Below we have a joke about how such telemetry may be misused. Not just in theory but in practice…

Google spying

Google already knows who you are and where you are:

Google harvesting

The Biggest Troll is the Linux Foundation, Still Looking to Provoke and Defame Free Software Communities in Order to Help a Monopolistic Takeover and to Shoehorn Tyrants Into Leadership Positions

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, IBM, Kernel, Microsoft at 4:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: Contrary to what the so-called ‘Linux’ Foundation is trying to say, the most toxic element is itself; it’s maligning the real community while protecting abusive and racist corporations that profit from war and tribalism-motivated hatred

THE above video is the latest of many on this topic (many of these links can be found in the IBM wiki). It’s a very important topic many are simply reluctant to even touch, perhaps for fear of being called all sorts of unflattering things. Many people lost sight of the fact that there was a hidden hand called ‘Linux’ Foundation in last month’s (and end of March) botched attacks on the founder/father of the GNU/Linux operating system, which turns 38 later this year. Foundation staff, both past and present, pulled strings behind the scenes. We took note of that. It’s obvious why they really dislike him. The sponsors can't stand him and are increasingly unwilling to coexist with him because it’s a war of ideas, not a cult of personalities. It’s no mistake or coincidence that IBM is happy to outsource its code to Microsoft, a de facto attack on sharing. To IBM, it's about overlapping interests and they want a monopoly back.

“Merely stating some inconvenient facts can get one ostracised.”A long time ago we came to the conclusion that, based on some recent hires, the so-called ‘Linux’ Foundation became a bunch of corporate trolls, some of whom came from Microsoft. Those people and the corporations they front for use the word “master” a lot (the video shows some recent examples), but they have the audacity to tell real communities that it’s “racist” and bigoted (and that lack of diversity in Computer Science/STEM is the fault of such communities). Upon closer inspection of course it’s just a lie. In fact, many of these communities are a lot more diverse than the corporations which have long made such accusations.

The video above takes stock of recent articles (e.g. “IBM Founder (Watson) Gave a Nazi Salute, Admired Hitler, Said Hitler Was Doing the Right Thing” and “New Interview With Edwin Black: IBM Has Never Apologised, Instead It Hid Its Role in Nazi Germany”), it shows that rather than promoting Free software or even “Open Source” — a term they prefer for openwashing their corporate masters — they’re training for outsourcing to proprietary traps (clown computing with mass surveillance).

IBM and Ivanka TrumpAs pointed out along the lines, imagine Greg K-H responding to Microsoft’s attacks on Linux the same way he responds to UMN’s rogue patches. Novell paid him his salary for a long time and some of that money came from Microsoft, so don’t expect staff of the ‘Linux’ Foundation to bite the palm which feeds. Those people are trolling the community, the real community, which they hope to weaken if not completely destroy. The front page of Linux.com currently shows 3 times the same headline (“‘Master,’ ‘Slave’ and the Fight Over Offensive Terms in Computing”), linking to the Web site of the Linux Foundation. “Watson®” is a lot more offensive than “Whitelist” and “Master”, as we said last year, but somehow we’re supposed to focus on communities as the real problem. A year ago we published “Let’s Ban Bombings, Not Words (Corporations Taking Away People’s Freedom of Speech So They Can Bomb ’in Peace’)”, earlier this year we published “Microsoft: Nationalism As A Service (NaaS)”, “The Linux Foundation is Trying to Obscure Racism Using Microsoft-Inspired Tactics (Vouchers Disguised as Actual Money)”, and there’s also “Linux Foundation, With Zero African-American Employees (in a Country Where 13.4% Identify as African-American), Boasts About Its “Support for the Black Community”…”

It’s a recurring theme, isn’t it? Very racist corporations, or corporate bullies that bomb people, are saying to the actual, real community (people who write code) that it is bigoted and intolerant, not inclusive etc. Classic corporate trolling. They’re hijacking civil rights causes to troll the very people who cherish and protect those. They even troll the IRC channels while sabotaging GNU/Linux. It’s not limited to race either; they leverage the gender card (e.g. “Linux Foundation (Men for Monopolies) Once Again Hijacking Women’s (and Minorities’) Voices for Public Relations” as cited in the video, just before “Removing Our Leaders Because of Diversity is Disingenuous and Hypocritical”).

IBM is not BLMAs we put it a few months ago: “The problem is, as we’ve noted before, this is a distraction from racists and bigots who profit from war. They don’t get a job at the Foundation by participating in protests but by cheering for billionaires.”

If we’re not citing a broad range of different sites, it’s mostly because there’s reluctance to touch the topic. Many who know this to be true don’t want to say it out in public. With concepts like “safe space” and “code of conduct” the ramifications might simply be too great. Merely stating some inconvenient facts can get one ostracised.

05.06.21

Free Software Proponents Don’t Fall for Bullshit (Same is True for EPO Examiners)

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, Patents at 3:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

People are generally better rewarded when they work for the powerful interests and lie for the powerful interests; but they get discarded quickly (because they lose all legitimacy)

The Bull Wins
The Bull Wins?

Summary: There are parallels between what happens in the Free Software Movement and the EPO, where well-meaning people — and usually hard-working scientists — are besieged by people who never really contributed anything to society

THE past 1.5 months have been rather hectic for many. I know at least two people who had found the heat overwhelming and decided to take a break. Cancel mobs can induce fatigue and stress; it is their modus operandi; EPO President Benoît Battistelli did this to the union (SUEPO) and António Campinos is doing that to every staff representative, including the union. It is a strategy.

“My personal opinion is, the union and the staff representatives must carry on fighting for the staff.”I would like to interject with some personal experiences (which I seldom do). I started activism before I even knew it was (or considered it to be) activism. The term “activism” is rather vague and the same is true/applicable to the term “journalism” (many people whom we’re told are “journalists” are just hired guns of rich media owners, salaried to perpetuate an unjust status quo or rewrite texts for large corporations — a practice sometimes known as “Public Relations”). Over the years I’ve learned some valuable lessons, usually the hard (and painful) way. The first thing is, when you engage in a battle against something and someone in a position of power/privilege they will always try to give you the impression you embarked on some insurmountable challenge you can never win. Because they want you to give up. They use defeatism as a tactic. Don’t fall for it. Don’t walk away. Keep on fighting. Every now and then clues will appear that they’re losing and are retreating. In the case of Novell and the EPO, certain wordings in press releases give away their face-saving or damage-limiting agenda; they’re hurting. They hurt badly! A decade later, in Novell’s case, Novell’s last CEO gave away his agony and pain — a form of admission/confession of utter defeat. The second thing is, if you’re right on something (truth and justice are on your side), then carry on, repeat, expound, as facts generally have a ‘secret’ power; it’s a force that cannot perpetually be defeated by a barrage of lies. Those lies are very expensive to produce and disseminate, especially when the general public becomes sceptical of the lies and risk of blowback grows (the lies have a negative effect on the lie teller; FUD is self-harming).

How does this relate to the EPO? My personal opinion is, the union and the staff representatives must carry on fighting for the staff. Seeing the past week’s puff pieces (we’ll do another video about these shortly), the Office management is burning literally millions of euros just trying to control the narrative, what’s sometimes known as “perception management”. But worry not, they’re not fooling their staff. Almost not a single member of staff believes those liars. They’ve lost control over the minds of examiners. Nobody trusts Campinos either (not anymore; presumption of innocence is long expired).

EPO brokenIn the case of Software Freedom (yes, capitalised), carry on fighting for what’s just. Don’t let corporate shills who barely even conceal their funding sources tell you that you’re somehow defending “pedophilia” by standing up for the FSF. Don’t let them tell you that a “masters” degree is somehow a “racist” thing; they’re corporate concern trolls and yesterday alone we captured two more examples of those companies using the term “master” in a technical context; they don’t even follow their own advice.

Last but not least, don’t let them manipulate you into fighting peers; “divide and rule” tactics are thousands of years old. Know the real enemy, try to educate those who were misled/manipulated. In the case of the EPO, the management tried using a yellow union to incite the staff. Where is that yellow union now? Nowhere. We have not heard of it for ages… the same is true for some ‘Open Source’ groups. OSI is defunct, the so-called ‘Linux’ Foundation is literally selling seats to corporations (for openwashing purposes, nothing else), the Gates Foundation is collapsing (the management there realises that Bill is a sociopath and one who might face future charges, not for the first time either), and patents on COVID-19 vaccination are soon to be subjected to waivers, removing one of the main critiques of vaccines (the monopolies and profiteering, motivated by unbridled greed).

The other day we caught glimpse/sight of some reports about more European software patents perishing in courts and over in the US the litigation beehive is still trying hard to undermine Alice/35 U.S.C. § 101 (bringing that question back to SCOTUS) because American courts, unlike the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), almost always reject such patents. We put examples of that at least once a day in Daily Links without further commentary because that’s just the “New Normal”…

Alice (or similar) won’t be ‘overturned’; they’ve been telling us it would… for over 7 years. Oh, speaking of which… where the UPC today?

“Idiots can be defeated but they never admit it.”

Richard Stallman

“People said I should accept the world. Bullshit! I don’t accept the world.”

Richard Stallman

05.05.21

Lessons From Another Failed Coup Against the Free Software Movement

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, FSF, GNU/Linux at 7:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

An uptick this past day or two, with the hate letter only going downwards this past month (this is barely visible in the graph due to the scale of the support letter, soon to exceed 6,700 signatures)

RMS letters
The curve at the bottom is actually moving down

Summary: The coup has very clearly failed and we should prepare for future attempts (they go in cycles); the monopolies really dislike software they cannot control fully (e.g. copyleft/GPL-licensed software)

THE LESSON of the notorious letter, as we noted on Wednesday morning, is that when you base a petition on a lie people will sooner or later wake up and walk away.

“The Free Software Movement will survive this. We have a much more powerful message than the lies of corporate operatives.”The news has been admittedly slow, so Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols decided to use ZDNet to suddenly resurrect ‘news’ (not really) from last month and earlier today, perhaps due to ZDNet, It’s FOSS did the same.

Win 98 CDWe’ve decided to replot the graph (shown above), based on the latest figures. We’ve meanwhile set up a Wiki page about the GNOME Foundation, which has long been plotting a coup against the FSF (the announcement from Stallman was merely used as an excuse or a ‘trigger’; they personify things to go ad hominem), looking to also distort the meaning of Free software.

The Free Software Movement will survive this. We have a much more powerful message than the lies of corporate operatives.

Phony ‘Scandals’ From Phony ‘News’ Site ZDNet

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, FSF, GNU/Linux at 7:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols continues the coup against the FSF (trying to separate it from its founder, Richard Stallman), funded by IBM and Microsoft to engage in libel at a marketing company-owned ‘news’ site called ZDNet

THE latest nonsense from the so-called ‘cancel mob’ has landed in LXer (second from the top of the front page at the time of writing), so a rebuttal is probably worthwhile, even if it’s almost an hour long. As we said a few days ago, “The Coup Against Free Software is Not Over” because the coup plotters try to pick up the pieces and resume the slanderous attacks. They try to divide people by misleading to them, outright lying to them (read "The Practice of Ritual Defamation"). Then they wonder why their employers are increasingly distrusted if not loathed.

“The way things stand, we can expect the likes of Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols and Bully de Blanc to keep on throwing punches…”Geoffrey Knauth, the FSF’s president, is in good terms with Dr. Stallman and the GNU Project has just shown signs of health. The FSF’s Board is bigger than (or as big as) it has been in years (since 2019) with Ian Kelling added and it must be very frustrating to the coup plotters, funded by the likes of Microsoft and IBM, that the FSF is even more pro-Stallman than it was before the attacks. Oh, how badly this whole thing backfired!

The way things stand, we can expect the likes of Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols and Bully de Blanc to keep on throwing punches (well, Bully has said nothing in about a month, except once; it’s like she vanished in the defunct GNOME Foundation). The tantrums and hissy fits of monopolists with bipolar disorder.

05.02.21

It’s Not About Richard Stallman

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF at 6:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

No GPL

First they came for the Founder

And I did not speak out
Because I was not an FSF employee

Then they came for the GPL
And I did not speak out
Because I was not into copyleft, let alone a coder

Let's wrestle with the community. Take them down to our level...Then they came for the activists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not among their targets

Then they came for the community
And I did not speak out
Because I was salaried by IBM

Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me

Audacity for Audio Editing With Free Software Only (GPL)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Review at 11:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: Audacity is still our software of choice for audio editing; it had a new stable release just 10 days ago (GPL-licensed)

THE TechBytes audiocast uses Mumble (instance we self-host with Murmur at the back end) for recording and Audacity for editing. A decade or more ago we had used all sorts of applications, including several SIP-based ones, but for multi-user chats Mumble is fantastic and we warmly recommend it. It doesn’t do video, but it copes with audio very well and it’s very easy to use. Some time in the future we’ll try to introduce more people to it.

“The licence is GPLv2 and the project will turn 21 later this month.”The above video focuses on Audacity and how it can generally be used (by virtually anybody). It’s Free/libre software with many developers involved (they welcome more), it still has new releases (very active project; last release 10 days ago, according to Wikipedia), and it runs across platforms with standardised formats. There’s no vendor lock-in and anyone can use it. The learning curve is not steep (especially for people who edited sounds before) and it’s not as monstrous as proprietary counterparts, weighing at 65.6 MB for Windows, 86.0 MB for macOS, and for GNU/Linux it varies depending on the distribution. The licence is GPLv2 and the project will turn 21 later this month.

Audacity logoI’m not new to audio editing, so Audacity was very easy for me to learn. It’s the only application I’ve ever used to edit TechBytes and it keeps getting better all the time. It’s also very stable in my experience. It case of crashes it can (and does) recover data.

Here’s where to download the software.

The Coup Against Free Software is Not Over

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software at 2:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: The people who work hard (on monopoly salaries) to overthrow Free software luminaries and undermine the Free software movement aren’t done yet; they’re still out there, plotting and scheming at the behest of their sponsors

As we noted last night, 6,600 people had signed a petition in support of the FSF (that number has increased since then, as the video points out and shows). This is very important because, to quote this page: “In the wake of the events of September 2019 that led to the resignation of Richard Stallman from MIT and the FSF, a large part of the community felt hurt by what they saw as an injustice to Stallman that caused damage not only to him, but to the entire free software movement as well. After Stallman announced his return to the FSF Board of Directors on March 21, 2021, a tsunami of virulent attacks to him and the FSF reached unprecedented proportions risking to destroy the very roots of the free software movement.”

Anon conflictThe slanderous accusations (and gross mischaracterisations) have since then been weaponised to silence more people, whose public recognition is far from Stallman’s, which means they’re more vulnerable targets (we know the endgame). We’re being warned that more “cancel mob”-type attacks are looming and in fact the attacks on Stallman were largely foreseen. We need to prepare for the next wave of monopolistic trolling, sponsored by monopolies (e.g. OSI) and media that they sponsor (to control). The video above sheds some light on our ongoing investigations, which will certainly yield some reports in the coming days or weeks.

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