07.19.21

Monopolies Cannot ‘Decapitate’ a Movement

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell at 5:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Monopolies will run out of money trying to kill off (or privatise) the movement

Novell, Microsoft, Red Hat

Red Hat, IBM, Debian / Ubuntu

Canonical, Microsoft, Arch / Valve

Summary: Despite the ‘theft’ or the mass plunder of projects (e.g. GitHub takeover), even at the expense of billions of dollars (with ongoing losses, both financial and logistical), we keep coming back again and again like a hydra

“Microsoft is not a question of technology, since it is a cult backed by politics,” an associate of ours asserted this morning. “Decisions to deploy Microsoft are not technological decisions. See Munich as one of many large examples, but the same thing happens on a smaller scale, too. In Munich, Microsoft was able to override technological factors with politics and cult loyalty.”

“15 years ago we wrote a lot about how Microsoft was infiltrating everything, including Novell/SUSE.”Alas, and in spite of all these setbacks, we’ve been making a lot of measurable progress over the years.

15 years ago we wrote a lot about how Microsoft was infiltrating everything, including Novell/SUSE. Microsoft had been doing this for about 20 years, so it’s nothing new! Half a decade ago it planted a flag inside the Linux Foundation.

Over 10 years ago Apple joined the litigation club, in effect resorting to many lawsuits on several fronts. Oracle did the same.

In 2014 we began focusing on the EPO (up until that time we mostly focused on the US) and a few years ago we explored the state of Free software amid corporate coups, including the 2018 announcement from IBM (taking over the largest GNU/Linux company).

“Over 10 years ago Apple joined the litigation club, in effect resorting to many lawsuits on several fronts.”Last week Valve shook things up a bit and we’re cautiously optimistic about the future, seeing that some steps are made towards sharing, whereas reactionary steps are taken by dying companies that defraud their shareholders, violate the GPL, and try to own everything by unbridled aggression. It is a losing strategy. The community is a lot more agile and can endure these attacks, just like it endured SCO.

There are some exciting projects and initiatives in the making. Some of them we’ve partly or fully embraced. Some we advocate regularly, Gemini for instance…

The best weapon we have is patience and perseverance. We don’t have misled shareholders to appease every quarter; we don’t need to beg for government subsidies/bailouts, either. Keep morale high and keep coding. But still… know the enemy to understand the attacks.

“Mind Control: To control mental output you have to control mental input. Take control of the channels by which developers receive information, then they can only think about the things you tell them. Thus, you control mindshare!”

Microsoft, internal document [PDF]

07.13.21

The Largest Distros of GNU/Linux Fight for Microsoft Hegemony (Instead of Freedom)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Red Hat, Ubuntu at 11:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 691de53cdee744adb0447b3d0f8f83bc

Summary: GNU/Linux ought not be reduced to merely another brand; if the goal is software freedom, then we won’t get there by relying on bigger corporations that make alliances with Microsoft and strive to ‘monetise’ everything

The Free software community is in a tough spot at the moment. Even though GNU/Linux is used more than ever before, rarely does freedom follow this trend. There’s actually entrenchment of ‘Linux-powered’ (e.g. Android) surveillance and GNU/Linux-based (e.g. Facebook, Google disservices) espionage.

The video deals with this new (this morning’s) example of Red Hat pushing (promoting but with drug-dealing slant) Microsoft’s proprietary software (check the licence, as it’s legally and technically proprietary software). It’s malicious software, a potential keylogger, which is also monopolistic and a piece of spyware in the “telemetry” sense. The sad thing is, Red Hat under IBM’s leadership is becoming barely better than SUSE. Meanwhile, Canonical too bends and jumps all over itself to appease Microsoft.

We need to change the flag bearer of GNU/Linux to something else if we want to promote (or preserve) software freedom.

07.12.21

If Capitalism Stands for Free Market Competition, Then Proprietary Software is Like Communism

Posted in Microsoft, Novell, Ubuntu at 2:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The ‘Microsoft bloc’

Gate on Capital Hill (Budapest, Hungary)
Budapest, Hungary

Summary: Canonical stopped competing with Microsoft; in fact, today’s Canonical actively helps Microsoft, in effect breaking its promise to the Ubuntu community

THE company known as Canonical works for Microsoft; a direct contradiction when one considers the #1 bug in Ubuntu (replacing Windows and Microsoft). How did this happen? How was Microsoft allowed (from the perspective of competition authorities) or ever permitted to take over a competitor? Days ago we published a couple of things about the latest disgusting gesture [1, 2], earlier today we saw more of the same (Canonical pushing WSL, i.e. Windows, at the expense of GNU/Linux), and this certainly won’t be the last of that.

We’re meant to believe that this whole ‘free market’ thing works (or will work out at the end), but since the Novell-Microsoft deal (2006) we’ve been seeing a systematic abduction of Microsoft’s rivals, ranging from Yahoo! (Web) to Nokia (mobile) and even Canonical. Red Hat/IBM is a separate case. Another article…

I don’t want to get into all those labels and political smears/analogies, but to me it seems like Microsoft doesn’t accept the basic concept of competition. It is just trying to take over the competition, in effect cheating in an effort to ‘win’ a match. After bribing the Linux Foundation Microsoft managed to put its staff in charge of Linux (Microsoft’s Levin announced all the stable releases a couple of weeks ago) and it took over millions of Free software projects by just buying their platform. Why wasn’t this prevented by authorities?

“Canonical has become supine and useless. Ubuntu’s days may be numbered, but at least we have projects like Gentoo, Arch, Devuan and so on as ‘lifeboats’ of sorts.”This is not competition; it reminds me of what the Soviet Union did in eastern Europe and we could come up with all sorts of vivid memes, even tough memes like the one below. Nobody ever survives a partnership with Microsoft in the long run. And Microsoft laughs at its very own ‘partners’, show internal documents.

Canonical has become supine and useless. Ubuntu’s days may be numbered, but at least we have projects like Gentoo, Arch, Devuan and so on as ‘lifeboats’ of sorts.

Nicolae Ceaușescu: Microsoft is a great partner
Nicolae Ceaușescu nearly outlived his usefulness to the Soviets

06.06.21

Beware the Spin and False Pretenses as IBM and Google Are Dangerous to Software Freedom as Well

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Google, IBM, Novell at 2:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“An analogy [of Microsoft] would be the owner of a toll bridge, which is the only bridge across a river, paying the owner of land to deny access to a site where a competitive bridge is partly built.”

Judge Robert Bork, former US Supreme Court nominee

Summary: There’s a tendency to focus on just one “Evil Empire” (a reductionist over-simplification), but at the moment software freedom faces threats from GIAFAM and more; even Intel (the “other I”) is problematic

THE threat posed by Apple (to software freedom) is real and has long been recognised, even if Apple is posing as “UNIX” something. But a lot of people wrongly assume that Google is our friend because of programs such as Summer of Code (never mind abuses of privacy and ‘GPL condoms’ like Google’s attempt to replace Linux in Android) and that IBM, being the owner of Red Hat, is mostly benign if not beneficial. We increasingly find that IBM is the new Novell, not just because many people from IBM ran Novell and both companies fought in court against SCO but because both bought GNU/Linux vendors and then (still) leveraged software patents, liaised with Microsoft, and attacked the Free software community in a number of ways.

“And IBM would do just about anything — even desperate measures like killing CentOS — in pursuit of money, just to meet quarterly targets.”Microsoft is still very dangerous (for many different reasons), but let’s not lose sight of the potent threat posed by what figosdev called “GIAGAM” (I for IBM). IBM is dying but not dead yet. And IBM would do just about anything — even desperate measures like killing CentOS — in pursuit of money, just to meet quarterly targets. To better understand what goes on inside IBM watch these threads any day (I watch these about 10 times a day) as many are from insiders and former insiders. They think IBM is going down the bin, just like Novell did. They live on borrowed time, profiting from legacy products/profits/clients while they still last (and while they experience brain drain, a staff exodus, never mind layoffs).

06.03.21

Red Hat is Becoming Somewhat Like SUSE, Stranded Inside a Company That Doesn’t Get Free Software (Pushing Proprietary Software for Money)

Posted in GNU/Linux, IBM, Microsoft, Novell at 4:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

They just don’t understand our culture and they don’t want to, either

Jeff Jaffe's blog
SUSE and Red Hat employees inside GCC are bossed by people who dislike the FSF and don't understand Free software communities; instead they harvest and look to 'monetise' software patents

Summary: With IBM officials calling all the shots at Red Hat (like Novell’s CEO did, after his long IBM career, inside SUSE) we need to think carefully of the full ramifications of old proprietary software giants taking over GNU/Linux distributors

Yesterday Red Hat published this blog post about Microsoft SQL Server. It’s far from the only such post and we’ve become accustomed to Red Hat’s promotion of proprietary software. As recently as today, for example, Red Hat was promoting SAP Store… same thing SUSE does… and it’s all becoming reminiscent of what Novell did to SUSE!

“Generally speaking, Red Hat is leaning on proprietary software companies nowadays, promoting their stuff instead of competing with them, hoping that this will bring income to IBM.”But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here; the analogy isn’t great because in Novell’s case there was a patent collusion with Microsoft, whereas with IBM and Microsoft there’s a longstanding cross-licensing affair. And saying “boycott Novell” is like saying “boycott IBM” (unlike boycotting SUSE, which would be like calling for a Red Hat boycott quite needlessly, knowing that many parts of the company actually do some useful things, still).

Generally speaking, Red Hat is leaning on proprietary software companies nowadays, promoting their stuff instead of competing with them, hoping that this will bring income to IBM. In the process, to use examples from earlier today [1, 2], Red Hat is rebranding servers as “clown” and paying fake ‘experts’ to produce propaganda in “study” clothing. “A new IDC white paper sponsored by Red Hat…”

I really don’t want to bash Red Hat. I never really did, but I’m growingly concerned that some of the strategic moves at Red Hat “came from above” and they harm the community as a whole, not just Red Hat. As somebody put it 3 hours ago: “What does IBM have? Z, DB2, cloud paks??? They are also screwing Redhat dude. IBM is finished 10 years back. Nothing can change it. If you are at IBM, it means you are low skilled and can’t find any jobs elsewhere.”

Novell had the same issue when it signed the deal with Microsoft.

06.02.21

It Remains Largely Unclear Whose Idea It Was to Change GCC Copyright Assignment Practices (or How/Why It Started)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF, GNU/Linux, IBM, Law, Novell, Red Hat, SLES/SLED at 6:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: Coders who merge their work into the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) will no longer assign or surrender copyrights to the Free Software Foundation; it would be worth finding out how this outcome was reached and why as there’s lack of clarity on this

YESTERDAY there was a new release of GCC. Shortly after the release was announced we saw reports about the FSF loosening the Copyright Assignment (CA) requirements long imposed — to use a relatively harsh term — on GCC contributors. Why did this happen? Whose idea was it? We doubt the FSF just did this on its own volition. Was there pressure from the anti-RMS petitioners? Notice how many of them are from IBM and how many in that petition work on GCC. The corporate affiliation (employer) isn’t mentioned, but about a third of them were — and still are — IBM employees. IBM’s motivations and covert objectives are suspicious for a number of reasons (as mentioned in the video above).

Copyright symbolThe video above discusses what this situation means, but it remains uncertain how that came about. We’re not being told anything about the behind-the-scenes story. It’s not even clear whose decision it was (there are mutually-contradicting framings; some say the FSF did it, whereas some/most claim GCC did it). Maybe some meeting minutes can elucidate this whole thing. Maybe there’s already sufficient transparency to explain this, but currently the articles on this matter don’t go that deep.

“Clarity on this issue isn’t ‘small potatoes’ because it may represent a ‘soft coup’ or constitute another (new) wave of attempts to dethrone/weaken the FSF and take power (software freedom) away from Free software users/developers.”For completeness, all the links from the video are listed here — a page that will expand over time as new information arrives (we expect more material and investigations/follow-ups to come). Clarity on this issue isn’t ‘small potatoes’ because it may represent a ‘soft coup’ or constitute another (new) wave of attempts to dethrone/weaken the FSF and take power (software freedom) away from Free software users/developers.

05.11.21

You Look for Linux News and Instead It’s Microsoft Noise and Openwashing

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Kernel, Microsoft, Novell, Windows at 4:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: Imagine trying to go about doing your own ‘business’, only to be confronted by paid-for plugs (sponsored) by the people trying to undercut/undermine your business; welcome to “Linux” in 2021

THANKS to the flailing Linux Foundation and sellouts such as SUSE, one cannot really avoid the thing that GNU/Linux seeks to replace. Microsoft tries hard to interject itself into just about everything, even Linux.

“Microsoft tries hard to interject itself into just about everything, even Linux.”This isn’t a novel Microsoft tactic. See the quote at the bottom to better understand the pattern we’re dealing with.

All the links from this video (in order) can be found here, but we’re omitting some of the worst ones, such as SUSE having the audacity to celebrate/champion Microsoft while shunning the FSF and RMS — the very origin of the operating system SUSE sells.

Related posts: [Humour] SUSE is Becoming Novell Again | SUSE is Still Pushing Microsoft Proprietary Software and Bragging About the Novell Patent Collusion With Microsoft

“I’ve killed at least two Mac conferences. [...] by injecting Microsoft content into the conference, the conference got shut down. The guy who ran it said, why am I doing this?”

Microsoft's chief evangelist

01.25.21

Important Issues Not Entertained in the Community, Especially Critics of the Status Quo

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Google, Novell at 12:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Can we discuss rejecting monopolists’ money?

Biden-Trump call: Don't worry, I won't reintroduce tax for rich people; Very well then; I will also carry on bombing lots of nations

Summary: There’s corporate infiltration inside communities (for oligarchy hunts volunteer, unpaid labour) and those who speak about that as a threat to our cause and objectives are painted as misguided outcasts who must be ignored

THE political analogies we’ve recently used or borrowed aren’t “off-topic” because they can certainly help demonstrate inherent similarities. The way to tackle such issues may also be similar. For instance, in American politics the concept of ending the corporate empire (imperialism for profit, at taxpayers’ expense) is almost never entertained by corporate media, owned by those standing to gain from passage of wealth from the general public (growing national debt) into the offshore bank accounts of oligarchs. Wall Street regulation is also restricted — the permissible “spectrum of debate” sense at least — to something rather petty.

“Military-grade corporate propaganda (from companies that literally serve the military in exchange for billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money) is something to keep abreast of and always bear in mind.”Departing from politics, let’s examine what we have in the Free software community. Some people are berated or painted as “Extremists”, “Zealots”, and “Radicals” (even capitalised) for insisting we ought not embrace any proprietary software. Someone tried this on me a couple of days ago after I had responded to Fedora's use of Adobe stuff (proprietary, obviously). This agenda is often shoehorned using the “moderate” and “sensible” and “reasonable” and “in the real world” Open Source pseudo ‘community’ (corporations disguised as a grassroots effort). Think of Microsoft, Google, IBM…

What exactly are the taboo subjects or impermissible positions in the Free software world (under siege from “Open Source”)? Well, an obvious one is rejection of payments (bribes, so-called ‘patronships’, usually “sponsorships”) from proprietary software companies. Mr. Pocock has just mentioned something to that effect (in relation to Google and Debian, FSFE etc.) and we can think of many other examples, including FOSDEM (coming soon). That money always comes with strings attached to it, whether those strings are visible or not (they can lead to subconscious self-censorship for instance).

Google, for example, paid a lot of money to the FSF and the FSFE. Not because Google supports Freedom Software and not because its agenda is to liberate users; its principal agenda is to spy and then oppress users. For evidence of this look no further than what Google will do to Chromium this coming March. Don’t let some “Summer of Code” or "Outreachy" PR stunt blind the community (it’s leverage for censorship of Google’s critics). “Regarding Google and the FSF,” Ryan told us moments ago, “Google buys your credit card purchase data from Visa, Mastercard, and Discover, and uses it to figure out how to target ads to you. To say nothing about their cooperation with the NSA…”

Ryan asked: “Is this the sort of company that the FSF should want to associate with?”

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris: Two genders mean we represent everyone, especially the rich peopleRemember that in the early days of this site, way back in 2006, in an act of self-defence we called for a complete boycott of Novell, a proprietary software company that sought software patents (eventually handed over to a Microsoft consortium). Of course we received some scorn for it, mostly from SUSE and Novell insiders, who sought to persuade people outside the company itself that I was some horrible person who must be ignored and shunned. Several people even set up entire sites just to mock us and call for a boycott of our site. What was that all for? Well, we sought to tackle the risk of the Novell/Microsoft patent collusion, designed unequivocally to facilitate a patent war on GNU/Linux at large. Ryan reminds us that “around 2006, Microsoft was openly seeding patents to troll firms and tried to put OpenGL under attack. That was thwarted by someone buying them at auction and giving them to OIN.”

“It’s impossible to build a general-purpose OS that doesn’t contain some sort of advanced graphics API like OpenGL (or the newer Vulkan), and that was the point. Every “Linux” company needed to ship OpenGL or they would lose compatibility with everything from CAD and advanced graphics rendering software to video games, and even hardware-accelerated compositing window managers. The entire OS would effectively be ruined.”

That’s Microsoft. Not too long ago. It is still doing this (2019 example).

This ludicrous notion that when one speaks out against a large corporation he or she is “toxic” is obviously entertained by the “Open Source” camp, itself besieged if not directly managed by those corporations. Novell, by the way, ‘only’ had about 10,000 employees at the time. Some of them ‘camped’ in sites such as Reddit trying to bury links to my articles, in effect starving the work of any traffic/visibility.

Way, way back… or long before we even had this concept of “Cancel Culture” and before “social control media” was even a thing (“social media” and “social networks” were coined and popularised later) people tried hard to malign and slur me, making false claims about me cutting off my genitals, being beaten up by police, and all sorts of other baseless nonsense. There was a large and coordinated attempt to induce shame, guilt, and drive us all off the Web. I’ve lost track of the number of attacks and methods used. Recently we learned that people responsible for the coup inside the FSF (and GNU, where many IBM employees still do this) falsely claimed that we spread “conspiracy theories” and other junk. They told this to Richard Stallman himself in an effort to incite him against us and prevent him from speaking to me. Ever so classy, right?

This post wasn’t supposed to be so personal, but it ended up shedding light on 15 years of a “Cancel Culture”; whether we’re aware of it or not, it is a real problem. Since well before “Cancel Culture” was a ‘thing’ (as a concept and term) the “Open Source” people did exactly what corporations paid (or “sponsored”) them to do. As Stallman put it 20 years ago, those people “treated [him] like shit” and they still do. “Stallman mentioned that it’s dangerous to depend on things that you can’t design around (in a post about MP3 20 years ago),” Ryan recalls, “but often by the time you need support for those things, they’re already widely adopted, and it becomes a catch-22. I used to be terribly aggravated by PDFs because, before open source form-filling became possible, I’d have to treat them as static documents, print them out, and then fill out everything by hand. My handwriting is slow, awful, and frequently I would screw something up and have to print it out and start over.”

Biden-Trump Town Halls: Corporate left; Corporate rightMilitary-grade corporate propaganda (from companies that literally serve the military in exchange for billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money) is something to keep abreast of and always bear in mind. People who support software freedom, just like pro-equality (in the financial sense, not gender or ethnic identity politics) and antiwar politicians, will perpetually be painted as “anti-corporate” “Communists” (or even worse labels, such as “terror sympathisers” or “traitors”). If we’re prepared for such propaganda, we’ll be more resistant to deception and incitation efforts.

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