04.30.21

Microsoft ‘Delisted’ by Netcraft, Now Unlisted Among Many Categories

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Servers at 3:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: Microsoft’s collapse carries on; the video above is my first read through the latest report, which I decided to read out loud (with commentary/analysis/assessment) minutes after I had seen it published

THE latest Netcraft report has just come out (about an hour before I recorded this video) and it confirms a strong trend that we mentioned almost exactly a month ago. Microsoft is dying in Web servers and GNU/Linux has long been the victor. GNU/Linux is also growing on desktops/laptops (more so during lock-downs when people work from home). It’s worth noting that Microsoft’s collapse clearly accelerated during the pandemic, for reasons we’ve covered repeatedly since last year (including major incidents).

Trump MicrosoftThe bottom line is, expect Microsoft to continue its rapid collapse in the Web servers space. We very much doubt it’s still profitable in that area, having reportedly paid some hosts to game the numbers until such payments were no longer sustainable.

GNU/Linux is used more than ever before. It’s an unstoppable force. In terms like Free software, the dominant Web server software is Free (as in freedom) and it’s becoming the norm.

All Microsoft can do now is resort to assimilation tactics and try to hijack the competition — i.e. abduct the winner! As I point out in this video, 6 years down the line the whole “Microsoft loves Linux” campaign (a lie) has not worked. Microsoft and “Linux” are pretty much opposites because Microsoft loathes the licence of GNU and Linux. The next video, recorded while this current one was being uploaded, will look into the Linux Foundation, which isn’t the same as Linux. It’s an infiltration vector and it’s corrosive to Linux.

03.29.21

Microsoft’s Death in Web Servers Accelerates Further (10% of Sites Lost in Just One Month!)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Security, Servers at 12:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It’s a bloodbath!

Free software RMS server

Video download link

Summary: The corporate ‘tech’ media never mentions it, but Microsoft is becoming a dying breed in Web servers (watch the video above) and it will have to quit that sector altogether some time soon

OVER the past few months we’ve closely observed the collapse of IIS and Windows in Web servers [1, 2, 3]. Today, or just over an hour ago, this latest report was published and said “Microsoft lost 9.6% (-7.5M) of its sites this month and ceded third place to OpenResty which in turn gained 1.2 million (+1.6%).”

“Shouldn’t that be all over the corporate ‘tech’ media?”Losing 10% in just one month is huge. Maybe people need to focus on that instead of some phony scandal over an E-mail sent 2 years ago (not the E-mails that really matter). IIS might be a dead product in 1-2 years from now, leaving Microsoft in the (Web) server space no better than it is in HPC/supercomputers. Shouldn’t that be all over the corporate ‘tech’ media? Well, when Microsoft pays the sites which claim to cover “tech” they’d rather defame RMS on political (non-tech) matters than cover actual tech news.

03.13.21

The Real Blunder is Up-to-date Exchange Systems Being or Getting Compromised for Two Months (While Microsoft Knew About That), Not Anything ‘Linux’

Posted in Deception, FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Servers, Windows at 6:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: There seems to be a deliberately misleading campaign seeking to associate “Linux” with something about “malware” in “China”; the real “malware” or “China” (not really) news is actually about Microsoft and Windows

THREE days ago I began to notice distraction tactics or Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt (FUD) tactics, seemingly aimed at distracting the public from the real news and set focus on some phony non-news, namely that old and unmaintained servers are a security risk. They just are. If you’re using something that has been out of support for years, that’s just bound to happen, no matter what operating system is used…

“Is this an ongoing ‘googlebombing’ campaign?”At the moment Microsoft risks losing perhaps hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars in contracts. IT departments put forth proposals to dump Microsoft, not just for Web servers (IIS is dying) but also for E-mail servers, maybe a lot more! Corporate media shoots its own foot in a major way by helping liars from Microsoft blame everyone but themselves for what’s happening right now to Exchange “Servers” [sic] and more shameless is the media campaign, led partly by Microsoft-connected sites, to associate “Linux” with something about “malware” in “China”. Is this an ongoing ‘googlebombing’ campaign? Or just a timely coincidence? We’ll leave it for readers to decide, but watchers of the video can see my findings, which I’ve accumulated and shared for 3 days now.

03.12.21

Why the Latest EPO Series is Very Important and Also Difficult to Publish

Posted in Deception, Europe, Free/Libre Software, Law, Mail, Microsoft, Patents, Servers at 8:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: The video talks about some of the background surrounding our latest series and efforts to undermine, silence and demonise Techrights (deliberate distortion of our stance); it proceeds to discussing the first part, one of almost 20 in total

PUBLISHING articles about EPO corruption has never been easy because this institution, Europe’s second-largest, is run by Mafia-like entities (e.g. Serco [1, 2]) and their facilitators. Corrupt officials like Benoît Battistelli and their appointees, including António Campinos, would usher in and profit from such corruption. Never mind their attack on the actual law, e.g. lobbying for European software patents while bullying and defaming judges.

The video above is about Part I, which was split into two. Yesterday’s IRC logs reveal some of the difficulties going ahead with this series. Much disruption is caused by outside forces known for their track record of trolling. They exploit the fact that we don’t censor and ban anyone in IRC (free speech is important to us, as freedom of expression is needed for true journalism).

Later today we’ll publish Part II, which concerns Microsoft and a big scandal at the EPO (connected to Microsoft leveraging racism at a time of soaring violence against Asian-Americans). Copies of key documents have meanwhile been disseminated through IPFS. Spreading wide makes us more robust/resistant to censorship attempts.

02.26.21

Microsoft’s Status in Web Servers is So Bad That It Has Fallen Off Charts, is Now Partly Delisted

Posted in Microsoft, Servers at 1:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: In several categories or criteria Microsoft is no longer even listed by Netcraft; the share has become rather minuscule during the pandemic, which convinced more companies to explore expense-cutting moves

THE (almost) one-hour video above discusses the latest Web server report, which was released some hours ago. “Microsoft’s server software market share remains in decline,” it says, “Microsoft’s figures took a significant drop in 2020 in favour of OpenResty, and Microsoft now only has 6.5% (-1.0pp) of the site market and 6.0% (-0.3pp) of domains as of February 2021. OpenResty also looks set to overtake Microsoft as the third largest vendor in terms of sites and active sites.”

“Microsoft can see the writings on the wall, so it’s misreporting numbers and laying off Azure staff (quietly).”When looking at the measures that truly matter and are difficult to game (e.g. top one million sites) Microsoft is somewhere near 5% if not less. It’s a huge decline compared to one decade ago. As we keep arguing each time we bring this up, it’s only a matter of time before Microsoft abandons IIS for purely financial reasons. Then, migrations away from Microsoft will follow. Microsoft can see the writings on the wall, so it’s misreporting numbers and laying off Azure staff (quietly). After more than half a decade with billions spent on advertising it’s going almost nowhere, regardless of the number of acquisitions, incentives, and takeovers of institution (such as the Linux Foundation).

02.25.21

IBM and Qt Don’t Understand Free Software and They Now Impose Terms and Conditions on Who Qualifies for Use of Free Software Free of Charge

Posted in GNU/Linux, IBM, Red Hat, Servers at 1:21 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: Red Hat is becoming as ‘free’ as shareware or freeware in some regard; one might say that they even mimic the immorality of the 'ethical' licences while working for companies that bomb people

RED HAT (or IBM) has just announced this ‘free’ (with conditions) offer that’s already coming under severe criticism. Basically, after IBM took away CentOS from users (years after Red Hat had bought CentOS) it offers something similar, but this time with conditions, first a limit on the number of instances (up to 16) and now limitless albeit only for ‘Open-Source Infrastructure’, whatever that even means. They clearly feel the pinch, seeing that people might move away to Oracle or ‘Alma’ or ‘Rocky’ (and who knows what else is still in the pipeline, set aside non-RHEL-like distros).

ClockQt did something similar about a year ago, in effect taking away what was largely or widely regarded as Free software. They used a “bait/switch” kind of approach, in effect getting people ‘hooked’ on the free product (with high and increasing exit barriers) and now they want money. The code of many projects now depends on a proprietary stack again. Freedom isn’t an option and one needs to pay, regardless. They try to make it inconvenient to not pay, never mind if the timing is ever more sensitive due to a pandemic.

The video above contains my thoughts on this latest move and a little bit of background information.

02.23.21

How to Set Up a Gemini Server of Your Own, Even on a Simple Single-Board Computer

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Servers at 8:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Gemini Turntable

Summary: Using Agate to start one’s own Gemini capsule (self-hosted) is a lot simpler than one might be inclined to believe; this is a detailed HOWTO, hoping to encourage more people to join Gemini space, which is fast-growing and free of garbage

THE one thing that stunned me was how easy it was to set up a Gemini server. A lot simpler than setting up a Web server. The harder part is certificates, but that too is trivial once it’s done a couple of times, potentially with errors at first.

Here’s a quick recipe for setting up one’s own instance and Gemini capsule.

First, create a new user’s account. Gemini ought to have its own account, as it’ll make things a lot simpler (backup, permissions etc.) and for the sake of this example we’ll assume the user account is “gemini” (with home directory /home/gemini)

Then, in the user’s top-level (home) directory:

mkdir gemini bin certs

This will set up directories for the capsule, the programs, and the certificates, respectively.

There’s not so much left to do now.

Go to the directory gemini (e.g. cd ~/gemini/ or equivalent using a graphical file browser)

In that directory, create or place a file called index.gmi

It can be empty or contain something simple like Hello world! (just to make sure that the server is set up and works)

Now let’s get the server software. Go to the bin directory (e.g. cd ~/bin/). For most practical purposes agate (Apache Licence) seems to be OK and it supports quite a few architectures. Unfortunately it’s hosted on GitHub (Microsoft), with latest versions shown at the top of this page. If you are not sure what architecture to choose, run uname -a

The correct binary can be downloaded using a Web browser or a tool like wget/curl. That program is quite small and needs to be placed in bin in order to stay consistent with this manual.

Unpack and set ‘executable’ (x) permission for the file, e.g. using

gunzip [binary_file]
chmod +x [binary_file]

Depending on the name of the binary file in question.

For my ARM SBC it is gunzip agate.armv7-unknown-linux-gnueabihf.gz and chmod +x agate.armv7-unknown-linux-gnueabihf

All the pieces are now in place except the certificate and the service setup.

On a systemd-based operating system create a new file at /etc/systemd/system/agate.service

It should look something like this:

[Unit]
Description=agate
After=network.target

[Service]
User=gemini
Type=simple
ExecStart=[your settings]

[Install]
WantedBy=default.target

Wherein [your settings] ties together the program, the root directory for hosting (capsule), and the certificate.

In the case of Techrights on ARM, it’s something as follows:

/home/gemini/bin/agate.armv7-unknown-linux-gnueabihf -s --content /home/gemini/gemini/ --key /home/gemini/certs/key.pem --cert /home/gemini/certs/cert.pem --hostname your hostname --lang en-GB

In our case, your hostname is gemini.techrights.org (how you set up your hostname may depend on how you manage domains and where). That hostname needs to point to your device’s IP address.

All that’s left now is certificate setup and service initiation.

Go to the certificates directory (e.g. cd ~/certs/) as this will likely involve the command line (unless you have some graphical tools that do the same).

A simple self-signed certificate ought to be sufficient:

openssl req -new -subj "/CN=your hostname" -x509 -newkey ec -pkeyopt ec_paramgen_curve:prime256v1 -days 365 -nodes -out cert.pem -keyout key.pem

That’s for 1 year. It can be set to anything.

The command then leaves the two files required by the service/server, namely cert.pem and key.pem. These can be modified and regenerated at any time, so there’s no need to worry if at any point they’re wrongly generated or made for the ‘wrong’ domain.

To get it all started, assuming systemd:

sudo systemctl restart agate
sudo systemctl enable agate

Use a Gemini browser (or Web proxy) to then test access to the hostname over gemini:// (it will attempt to connect over port 1965, so make sure there’s no firewall standing in the way at the level of the device or the network it is in). This is pretty much it, with the exception of variation for non-systemd systems. All that systemd does is, it starts the server using the suitable command and arguments, even after restarts. That command can instead be run manually, or set up for any init system of choice. The hardest part is setting up the domain, generating the key/certificate correctly, and then lowering the filters (if any) to allow access over port 1965.

We don’t typically do HOWTO-type articles, but for this one we make an exception. If you get stuck, ask us in IRC for help. Gemini needs to grow and for faster growth we need to help one another.

Agate is quite small and simple. As of the time of writing, it does not support server-side CGI scripts (for something like in-capsule search), but Gemini ought to be kept light and simple anyway; we’re not trying to just replicate the bloated Web.

Credit: Chris Were, for some initial notes and suggestions. gemini://chriswere.uk/

02.19.21

Introduction to Web Proxies or Gateways Into Gemini Space and Gemini Search (Gemini Protocol Over HTTP/HTML)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Search, Servers, Standard at 7:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: Today we explore how to surf Gemini space, how to search Gemini space, and basically do everything through any Web browser, albeit indirectly; we demonstrate this using the Falkon Web browser

THE GEMINI space (or capsules accessible over Gemini, the protocol) is expanding fast. Over the past 6 months it saw astronomical growth and there are good reasons for it. Many sites do not require advanced features such as login, JavaScript, and multimedia. Those can be supported indirectly, even in Gemini, albeit they’re rarely needed. Where they become necessary, however, it’s possible to have canonical URLs for WWW/HTML/HTTP, wherein those more advanced uses can be facilitated.

“One can maintain both a Web site and Gemini presence, wherein one is accessible through the other (but not necessarily so).”Gemini isn’t “small Web” or “dark Web”. It’s not even the Web. It’s separate from it. But it’s possible to access everything in Gemini right from the Web browser, no matter where you are or what browser you use (even an old and primitive one would do). At the moment there are 3 prominent Web proxies [1, 2, 3], as demonstrated above, and there’s also Free software one can install on one’s own Web site/server to facilitate access to one’s Gemini capsule, as demonstrated here. So in a sense, the duality between the Web and Gemini is another selling point. One can maintain both a Web site and Gemini presence, wherein one is accessible through the other (but not necessarily so).

A sceptic might ask, why have both then? Why not just a Web site?

“Those aren’t just proxies or technically gateways but also a ‘gateway drug’ towards Gemini itself (the real thing, direct access over the Gemini protocol).”For those who are complacent and perfectly happy with what Web browsers have become (extending Web standards to include DRM and lots of bloat) it would be harder to make the case for Gemini compelling enough. However, some of the more technical people know enough about the Web (and about Web browsers; some even developed their own) to realise the threat they pose, either through disinformation, privacy violations (not just for marketing), and planned obsolescence. Technical people aren’t Luddites; they’re just harder for marketing people to fool and they’re always the one who warn most loudly about “voting machines” or electronic votes. In the case of the Web (and Web browsers’ oligopolies that dictate the ‘standard’ and its devolution), geeks can see where we’re going and they resist oppressive software/networks. Gemini is a response — perhaps one among several — that’s potent and enjoys big momentum. IPFS tackles another kind of issue, notably scale and free speech. It makes it possible to store large files or large numbers of files in a distributed fashion. In the process, owing to redundancy, it also enhances free speech and stifles censorship.

The video above shows how to try out Gemini without SSH (as shown yesterday) and only with any Web browser. Those aren’t just proxies or technically gateways but also a ‘gateway drug’ towards Gemini itself (the real thing, direct access over the Gemini protocol).

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