05.18.22

Phoronix: Microsoft and Phoronix Sponsor (and Close Microsoft Partner) AMD All Over the Place

Posted in Hardware, Marketing, Microsoft at 1:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Yesterday in Phoronix (as noted throughout the day in IRC):

Microsoft and Phoronix
So eager to alienate its own core audience? The comments on Microsoft (30% of yesterday’s articles) are largely negative and AMD is dominant (40% of yesterday’s articles despite the relatively small size of the company; headcount is 3 times smaller than Qualcomm’s and about 8 times smaller than Intel’s)

Summary: When you’re taking massive 'gifts' from AMD (and also some from Microsoft) maybe it’s not surprising that editorial decisions change somewhat

05.10.22

The Web and Social Control Media (Including YouTube and Blogs Like Phoronix) Increasingly Bought and Paid for

Posted in Deception, Hardware, Microsoft, Review at 2:38 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum bec8f63739da90c5eb3b497317ae4c6b
Bought and Paid-For Influence
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: AstroTurfers or “shills” on the Web are a mostly unspoken-about pandemic of growing proportions; we use Phoronix as an example of influenced (as in “influencer”) coverage

THE last post was mostly a chart, a simple chart showing the effect of corporate money. Gifting, money, whatever…

The post was about AMD and Phoronix even though other companies seem to have similar arrangements with so-called “influencers”; the phenomenon in general is not new, only the label is relatively new (it’s a euphemism embraced by the “influencers”, who don’t fancy words like “shills”). We want to encourage people to become more suspicious/sceptical of what they see on the Web, including social control media and GulagTube. If one searches for reviews on the Web, one is likely to find a lot of paid-for junk; moreover, there’s a great deal of censorship of negative reviews going on (some firms market this kind of censorship as a “service”).

“If one searches for reviews on the Web, one is likely to find a lot of paid-for junk…”The bottom line is, the culprits are rarely honest and upfront about sponsorship, conflict of interest, and so on. Disclosures are often absent or partly hidden (tacit at best). The issue is of utmost importance “especially now with so many “influencers”,” an associate noted, “but those are especially a danger to social control media useds” [sic] including those controlled by Zuck and Musk (or MusKSA; we now know a lot of the Twitter purchase is in fact funded by Saudi “royals”, more recently renowned for chopping and cooking journalists they don’t agree with; so much for a “free speech” Twitter).

The above video focuses on Phoronix but goes beyond that, including the way Microsoft has been bribing bloggers for “reviews” of products, including Windows. Some of the incentives and gifts exceed in value one month’s salary.

04.18.22

IBM and the War (on General-Purpose Computing)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Hardware, IBM, Red Hat at 7:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum b02c1ae0c220f3f9ac2c852f65e11846
IBM Learns That Some People Do Use Older PCs
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: IBM keeps engineering its own blunders (own goals); in the latest example of it, which is rather revealing, IBM considers suspending the misguided plan to abolish BIOS support or assigning the task to a new special interest group (SIG)

IBM’s Fedora ‘project’ (formerly known as community, back when Red Hat was more tactfully running it) is going to learn the hard way that working against the community leads to backlash. Each such backlash erodes the project’s brand/image and therefore puts off existing users or potential (future, prospective) adopters. Why does IBM fail to understand these very basic things? Can it not grasp what it bought?

Judging by weekly numbers that are shared in official Fedora sites, the project already struggles. Not much is left except IBM staff. And many are leaving (the company, not just the project). IBM’s takeover has already done a lot of damage; does IBM’s leadership even care? How many IBM managers even use the platform? It’s hard to ‘monetise’ some platform if you constantly piss off not only its users but also its developers.

“Let’s hope that strong pressure from users of GNU/Linux will compel IBM to move away from its planned obsolescence agenda.”The latest backlash, which we too participated in, has led to this face-saving action. It’s a “we need to talk” moment. IBM’s Matthew Miller says: “It’ll obviously be difficult to find a time where _everyone_ can participate, so this wouldn’t be a deciding-things meeting, rather a “talking about possibilities and hopefully coming to more mutual understanding” meeting. And I would make sure there are good notes.” Many of the replies there are from other IBM employees. IBM’s Ben Cotton wrote about it in his blog some days ago.

They’ve still not apologised for (mis)using lawyers to silence a Fedora volunteer, who earned many badges from Fedora before getting treated like trash. Over the past few years IBM banished quite a few longtime volunteers. Some of them used to speak out against companies like NVIDIA (how "unprofessional"), but apparently only IBM staff is authorised to criticise companies. Miller et al enjoy selective enforcement. This sort of Hubris will, in due course, alienate contributors.

So anyway, IBM may be backtracking on its attack on BIOS. As our associate put it, “the attacks on the BIOS, Restricted Boot, TPM, and Pluton are all hammering the nails in the coffin of general-purpose computing. In Apple there are the M1 and M2 chips doing the same.”

“If IBM is trying to piss off both corporations (many used and invested in CentOS) and people, then it’s doing a spectacular job.”Let’s hope that strong pressure from users of GNU/Linux will compel IBM to move away from its planned obsolescence agenda. IBM pays the Linux Foundation for greenwashing campaigns, which are inherently incompatible with planned obsolescence. As someone in LXer put it 11 days ago: “We dropped Fedora because it’s not as good as Tumbleweed. Anyway, do the work. Many of the advantages are grossly overstated btw (if not just plain misleading). Just stop it. You know? Fedora, creating landfill… for the good of the planet.”

“This is a kid’s joke after CentOS 8.x support ( new face of RH ) was aborted,” said the following comment.

If IBM is trying to piss off both corporations (many used and invested in CentOS) and people, then it’s doing a spectacular job.

IBM ought to hire someone (or someones) that can understand the Free software community and advise the managers accordingly. All these blunders contribute to bad karma.

04.08.22

IBM and Fedora: Stop Being Poor! Buy a New PC!

Posted in GNU/Linux, Hardware, IBM, Red Hat at 7:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 25f3b4c70c42c5e203128cf3d4337f39
IBM Against Diversity
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: The planned obsolescence complex of IBM is showing; things that are widely supported and also very much needed are now candidates for abandonment

THE news, or rather this Wiki proposal attracting some attention, is spreading fast today. Hours ago Slashdot cited a recent post (from yesterday’s Daily Links) and during the above video I found some more coverage. Despite its support for BIOS (not difficult to maintain, but it’s about money to them!), IBM seems eager to force everyone to move away from it. Some people may think it only affects Fedora users, but I explain why that’s clearly not the case and IBM basically commits crimes against the environment (while the Linux Foundation is greenwashing IBM). Some people have already justly complained about that, e.g. in blog comments. They live in poor countries and use ‘old’ computers.

“Some people have already justly complained about that, e.g. in blog comments. They live in poor countries and use ‘old’ computers.”“About foisting new purchase onto end users,” an associate of ours put it moments ago, “Microsoft had a strategy with Intel to force new purchases every other year or so.”

There’s no compelling reason to adopt UEFI. There are many reasons to reject it, keeping things only as simple or complex as they need to be.

Don’t think it’s the end of it. Only two hours ago Phoronix published “Fedora 37 Considering Removal Of Legacy X.Org Drivers,” citing Ben Cotton in the mailing list and this wiki page.

04.02.22

Roberto Innocenti on Open Hardware PowerPC Notebook

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Hardware, IBM at 10:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: Software Freedom is not enough when hardware becomes increasingly restrictive and opaque. This is where people like Roberto Innocenti step in. As this new talk puts it, they are “designing a PowerPC based notebook from scratch — one that is fully compliant with the Open Hardware principles and based on GNU/Linux…”

Licence: CC BY 4.0

Kyle Wiens on Right to Repair or Fight to Repair

Posted in DRM, Hardware at 4:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: This Kyle Wiens talk, “repair is not a crime”, is an excellent talk about how warranty-voiding stickers are basically illegal and it “is about Right to Repair, which now has support from the Biden administration and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and progress is being made in Europe, Australia, and Canada.”

Licence: CC BY SA 4.0

03.28.22

LibrePlanet 2022 Talk on Sxmo: Freedom on Mobile Devices Through Simplicity and Hackability

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF, Hardware at 2:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: Anjandev Momi’s talk was uploaded 50 minutes ago

Licence: CC BY SA 4.0

03.02.22

[Meme] The King of CPUs

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Hardware at 9:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Michael Inside

Summary: Phoronix is cheapening itself and selling out; people are noticing

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