10.27.20

Taking Our Efforts to the Next Level in an Increasingly Proprietary and Hostile Web

Posted in Deception, Microsoft, Red Hat, Security, Servers, Standard at 10:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Google, Microsoft, and Web users

Summary: Web users are being repressed by mechanisms of mass manipulation, control and restrictions; the Web may not be going away any time soon, but architectural and topological issues need to be overcome (the sooner, the better)

ASIDE from the new (winter) banner, a new footer, and a new multi-level menu at the top, there’s also growing emphasis on IRC for communication and coordination (we’ve changed some things accordingly). The site is now accessible using a text editor alone (albeit some editors depend on a standalone fetcher such as wget or curl) and HTTPS via reverse proxy may be coming soon (this would likely require setting up a new and totally separate container). Focus on infrastructure is very important to us, seeing how prevalent back doors became (governments shamelessly demand these even out in public), how much public support there is for Web censorship (of all the “bad” stuff of course, “go Google, go silence all those people we don’t like! Make them go away!”) and even software censorship (youtube-dl should never ever consider Microsoft as a reliable code host, nor should Fedora, whose decision-making (cat-herding in his own words) leader said some hours ago: “full disclosure: I own a small number of shares of Microsoft”).

“The way things are going, the Web is swiftly moving into a dark era of weaponised social control media, mass surveillance (for manipulation), mass censorship (at all levels) and DRM (whose circumvention is treated as a crime).”Fedora has a new release (33), but it's still overwhelmingly Microsoft-hosted and that's a problem. The managers also seem to have outsourced a lot of Fedora to Amazon. Considering some of the biggest IBM and Red Hat contracts, it’s getting hard to trust CentOS/Fedora/RHEL with real security (including privacy from the US government, i.e. Donald Trump and his ilk). More of our operations have been switched over to Alpine and (quite likely) will be moved to the Netherlands some time soon. A lot of people probably considered this “paranoid” a decade ago. But ‘mission creep’ should never be underestimated. The way things are going, the Web is swiftly moving into a dark era of weaponised social control media, mass surveillance (for manipulation), mass censorship (at all levels) and DRM (whose circumvention is treated as a crime). Don’t worry, GitHub will look after software freedom… or not.

“DRM is the future.”

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO

10.19.20

Standards and Choices

Posted in Antitrust, FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Standard at 11:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Letters and numbers

Summary: GNU/Linux is a very standards-based platform; having lots of choices (e.g. distros to choose from) isn’t the principal problem — or nowhere near the extent sabotage and illegal tactics by Microsoft have been

Choice versus standards. False dichotomy? Many choices can be implemented to comply with a given standard, preventing monoculture while maintaining cooperation at some level. Having multiple measures and units (e.g. decimal/metric versus Imperial) means conversion becomes necessary. Yet the world keeps revolving and we keep trading, even with anomalies in the way we measure things.

“It’s not “hatred” to assert that secret deals (typically composed by Microsoft lawyers, often in violation of competition laws) are the primary obstacle. The antitrust case revealed the gory nature of some of these secret deals.”Proponents of a so-called ‘UNIVERSAL LINUX’ (we made a satirical post about it earlier today, using a good ol' car analogy) want us to think that having both GNOME and KDE, or Wayland and X, or many other such things (not the ‘same’ but one being profoundly outdated and broken, e.g. LibreOffice vs. OpenOffice) is a suicidal path. They blame the wrong thing for limited adoption of GNU/Linux in laptops/desktops. As if the channel ‘prefers’ Windows because GNU/Linux has inherent problems and not because of Microsoft crimes, including bribery. People who (mis)place the blame on themselves instead of those working to undermine/sabotage their efforts may be suffering a ‘self-loathing’ complex. They then reinforce the very same FUD patterns originally conceived and disseminated by their adversaries.

In the coming weeks we intend to dig deeper into the Bill Gates deposition transcripts, which include passages about “Jihad” and deliberately breaking standards (to make things like Java work only in Windows). To quote some things that Ryan said in IRC yesterday:

I’d like to see more laptops coming with a KDE distribution. It’s a shame KDE doesn’t get more attention these days. Means I’m still going to have to do something with it after I buy it. But the defaults never work out for everyone I guess. It could be worse. All kinds of shitty firmware and bugs and an OEM going “Well, we sold it with Windows 10, so….”.

The ‘problem’ with GNU/Linux isn’t that it’s doing ‘too much’ for ‘too many’ people (or only for geeks). There are desktop environments for beginners, not just for advanced (or ‘power’) users. The open standards are generally there (that’s why GTK-based applications are easy to run in KDE and GNOME-based distros deal just fine with Qt) and focus must be placed on the real barriers to widespread adoption. It’s not “hatred” to assert that secret deals (typically composed by Microsoft lawyers, often in violation of competition laws) are the primary obstacle. The antitrust case revealed the gory nature of some of these secret deals. Go tell Jim Zemlin from the Linux Foundation that the US government wasn’t "kicking a puppy" when it took on Microsoft.

10.18.20

History’s Lesson: Microsoft Now Does to GNU/Linux What It Did to Java (Creating ‘Schism’ to ‘Wrest Control’)

Posted in Antitrust, Bill Gates, Deception, GNU/Linux, Java, Microsoft, Standard, SUN at 11:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Earlier on today: Bill Gates Refers to His Business as “Jihad” and Accuses Java of Being a “Religion” With “Rabid” Supporters

Summary: We take a closer look at what Bill Gates admitted (under pressure, with ‘smoking guns’ to compel him into admission) regarding his rogue tactics

THE Bill Gates deposition is not “old news” per se; many of the things discussed in it prevail to this day as serious issues, including the cult-like mentality. This sort of cult (with terms like “Jihad” used abundantly) is why we end up with something called Linux Foundation whilst actually undermining Linux in a number of ways. Or OSI helping GitHub’s (Microsoft’s) attack on Open Source. The cult generally infiltrates and poisons its opposition.

“This sort of cult (with terms like “Jihad” used abundantly) is why we end up with something called Linux Foundation whilst actually undermining Linux in a number of ways. Or OSI helping GitHub’s (Microsoft’s) attack on Open Source. The cult generally infiltrates and poisons its opposition.”The bits below are a subset of the full text in which the interrogators discuss Microsoft’s attempt at “wrest[ing] control of Java” using “proprietary APIs” (think DirectX in WSL or Microsoft’s bastardisation of GNU/Linux) and deliberate fragmentation (in effect, technical sabotage). See our Java section in the old wiki; it’s still a go-to section for more examples like that. To make things easy for readers to digest we’ve highlighted in yellow some of the relevant bits:


	9				This is an e-mail to you from Ben
10 Slivka dated April 14, 1997. And the subject is,
11 quote, "Java review with you," close quote.
12 (The document referred to was marked as
13 Government Exhibit 372 for identification and is
14 attached hereto.)
15 Q BY MR. BOIES: Did you receive this
16 e-mail in or about April of 1997, Mr. Gates?
17 A I don't remember.
18 Q The e-mail begins that the author is
19 working with Paul Maritz to set up a two -- to
20 three-hour review for you on your Java efforts.
21 Do you see that?
22 A On our Java efforts.
23 Q On Microsoft's Java efforts?
24 A No. I think it's Ben Slivka's group.
25 Q And he is a Microsoft group; right?
399




1 A Yes. He's part of Microsoft but not
2 all of Microsoft.
3 Q So you would interpret this that he is
4 working with Paul Maritz to set up a two- to
5 three-hour review for you of part of Microsoft's Java
6 efforts but not all of Microsoft's Java efforts; is
7 that what you're saying?
8 A Yeah. The work his group is doing.
9 Q The work his group is doing on Java;
10 right?
11 A Right.
12 Q Okay.
13 And he lists what he describes as some
14 pretty pointed questions that you, Mr. Gates, had
15 about Java.
16 Do you see that?
17 A Well, I'm not sure those are the
18 pointed questions. It says, "I want to make sure I
19 understand your issues/concerns."
20 Q Well, that's actually the last part of
21 a sentence that begins, quote:
22 "When I met with you last,
23 you had a lot of pretty pointed
24 questions about Java, so I want to
25 make sure I understand your
400




1 issues/concerns."
2 That's what the sentence says; correct,
3 sir?
4 A Right.
5 Q And when Mr. Slivka says "I met with
6 you last," he's talking about you, Mr. Gates; correct
7 sir?
8 A Yes.
9 Q And when he says, "You had a lot of
10 pretty pointed questions about Java," he's again
11 talking about you, Mr. Gates; correct?
12 A Right.
13 Q And then he lists what he refers to as
14 a start:
15 "1. What is our business
16 model for Java?
17 "2. How do we wrest control
18 of Java away from Sun?"

19 Do you see that?
20 A Uh-huh.
21 Q Sometime prior to April 14, 1997, had
22 you conveyed to Mr. Slivka that one of your pointed
23 questions about Java was, quote, "How do we wrest
24 control of Java away from Sun?"

25 A I don't think I would have put it that
401




1 way. Certainly was an issue about the popularity of
2 Sun's runtime APIs versus our runtime APIs.
3 Q Is it your testimony that you didn't
4 raise the question of "How do we wrest control of
5 Java away from Sun?"
with Mr. Slivka?
6 A I'll say again, I doubt I used words
7 like that. But there certainly was an issue of the
8 popularity of our runtime APIs versus runtime APIs.
9 Q Just so that the record's clear. I'm
10 not asking you about whether there was a question
11 about the popularity of your runtime APIs or their
12 runtime APIs. What I'm asking is whether you told
13 him in words or in substance that you wanted to know
14 how Microsoft could wrest control or get control of
15 Java away from Sun
.
16 MR. HEINER: Objection. Asked and
17 answered twice.
18 MR. BOIES: I think he said he didn't
19 remember using those words. What I now want to try
20 to find out is whether he used those words or
21 conveyed that substance.
22 MR. HEINER: And he doesn't remember
23 using those words.
24 MR. BOIES: And I'm asking him whether
25 he conveyed that in words or in substance.
402




1 MR. HEINER: He testified as to
2 substance.
3 MR. BOIES: I don't believe he did.
4 But I'm in any event putting the question to the
5 witness.
6 THE WITNESS: I don't remember anything
7 about "control" as a word or in substance. But there
8 was an issue about the popularity of our runtime APIs
9 versus Sun's runtime APIs.
10 Q BY MR. BOIES: I take it you know
11 Mr. Slivka?
12 A Uh-huh.
13 Q You've got to answer "yes" or "no"
14 audibly so the reporter can take it down.
15 A Yes.
16 Q And you believe him to be a person of
17 competence and integrity?
18 A Yes.
19 Q Do you have any reason to believe that
20 he would have misstated what you told him when you
21 met with him last before April 14, 1997?
22 MR. HEINER: Objection.
23 THE WITNESS: In no way does this
24 purport to be a restatement of things I said to Ben
25 Slivka.
403




1 Q BY MR. BOIES: Well, Mr. Gates, what
2 this memorandum says is, quote,
3 "When I met with you last,
4 you had a lot of pretty pointed
5 questions about Java, so I want to
6 make sure I understand your issues
7 and concerns."
8 "Here's a start, can you
9 please add any that I'm missing?"
10 And then he lists six, the second of
11 which is, "How do we wrest control of Java away from
12 Sun?"

13 You see that in the exhibit, do you
14 not, sir?
15 A Uh-huh, yes.
16 Q Let me ask you to look at a document
17 that has been previously marked as Government Exhibit
18 373. It's a one-page exhibit and the second item on
19 the page is a message from you to Paul Maritz dated
20 June 16, 1997, on the subject of, quote, "Java
21 schism
," close quote.
22 (The document referred to was marked as
23 Government Exhibit 373 for identification and is
24 attached hereto.)
25 Q BY MR. BOIES: Did you send this
404




1 message, Mr. Gates?
2 A I don't remember it. But I don't have
3 any reason to doubt that I did.
4 Q What did you mean by, quote, "Java
5 schism
," close quote?
6 A I think the e-mail speaks for itself.
7 Q The e-mail may very well speak for
8 itself. But what I want to know is --
9 A I could have written a mail that says,
10 "A point that is important
11 to me is to have PURE JAVA
12 applications that do a lot HAVE to
13 ship a full runtime instead of being
14 able to count on the runtime being
15 shipped with the operating system,"
16 and so on.
17 Q Maybe my question wasn't clear. What
18 I'm trying to get you to do is to tell me what you
19 meant by the term "Java schism."
20 A It's a heading for this piece of
21 e-mail. The e-mail is the communication, not the
22 heading.
23 Q I understand that, sir. But what I'm
24 asking is: You chose the heading, did you not, sir?
25 A It appears I typed that.
405




1 Q Right. And why did you choose this
2 heading for this memo? What were you meaning to
3 convey by the term "Java schism"?
4 A Exactly what I put into the message.
5 Q Well, sir, what did you mean by
6 "schism"?
7 A It explains that in the message.
8 Q I'm asking you to explain it in your
9 words what you mean by the word "schism."
10 A I'm drawing a distinction between pure
11 Java apps and where they get their runtime bits.
12 Q And is that the schism that you're
13 referring to?
14 A That's what this e-mail is about, and
15 that's -- and I titled it "Java schism" when I wrote
16 that e-mail. And the question is: "How do pure Java
17 applications get their runtime bits?"
18 Q Could you read that answer back,
19 please?
20 (Answer read.)
21 Q BY MR. BOIES: What is on the two sides
22 of the schism, Mr. --
23 A The bits you get from the browser, the
24 bits you get elsewhere. And the mail couldn't be
25 clearer. It's asking about two sources of the bits.
406




1 You can get bits from the browser, you can get bits
2 somewhere else.
3 Q Okay.
4 Now, where else can you get the bits?
5 A They can ship with the application.
6 Q And why was it important to you to have
7 pure Java applications that have the characteristics
8 that you described in here?
9 A I didn't want to have to have the
10 browser get so large that it would have all the
11 runtime bits for all the applications.
12 Q And so where would the bits be?
13 A With the application.
14 Q And what you're saying is that it's
15 important to you that Microsoft develop pure Java
16 applications that have a lot of bits in them so that
17 those bits don't have to be in the browser. Is that
18 the case?
19 A No. It doesn't say anything about
20 Microsoft developing pure Java applications.
21 Q You're right, it doesn't.
22 A And it's clearly not about that.
23 Q What is it about then, sir?
24 A It's about pure Java applications in
25 general.
407




1 Q Did you believe that it was desirable
2 to have as many pure Java applications as possible?
3 A It has nothing to do with this e-mail.
4 The answer is no. But if you think it has something
5 to do with this e-mail, you're -- that's incorrect.
6 Q Okay. I think that it may or may not
7 be productive for you to speculate as to what I
8 think. What I am trying to do is I'm trying to get
9 your testimony about this e-mail and about your views
10 of Java more generally.
11 A I thought so.
12 Q And first let me ask a general
13 question, and that is: Did you believe that from
14 Microsoft's standpoint it was desirable to have as
15 many pure Java applications as possible?
16 A We weren't focused on that as a goal,
17 no.
18 Q In fact, is it fair to say that you
19 preferred fewer pure Java applications to more pure
20 Java applications?
21 A We preferred more applications that
22 took advantage of our APIs, and so we worked with
23 ISVs to maximize the number that took advantage of
24 our APIs.
25 Q And your APIs were not pure Java APIs;
408




1 correct?
2 A No. Some were, and some weren't.
3 Q Yes, sir, some were, and some weren't.
4 But the APIs that you wanted people to
5 use were APIs that were not pure Java APIs; correct,
6 sir?
7 A No. We were glad to have people use
8 both.
9 Q Were you indifferent as to whether they
10 used your pure Java APIs or your proprietary APIs?
11 MR. HEINER: Objection.
12 THE WITNESS: You've introduced the
13 word proprietary, and that completely changes the
14 question. So help me out, what do you want to know?
15 Q BY MR. BOIES: Is the term "proprietary
16 API"
a term that you're familiar with, sir?
17 A I don't know what you mean by it.
18 Q Is it a term you're familiar with in
19 your business?
20 A I really don't know what you mean. You
21 mean an API that you have a patent on?
22 Q Mr. Gates, is the term "proprietary
23 API"
a term that is commonly used in your business?
24 A Let me give you --
25 Q All I'm trying to do --
409




1 A -- the common meanings that those words
2 could have. And then you can pick one of them, and
3 ask me a question about it.
4 Q No. All I need --
5 A Just -- you want me to define
6 "proprietary API" or not?
7 Q No, I don't want you to define
8 "proprietary API." I didn't ask you to define
9 proprietary API. I asked you a simple question
10 whether the term "proprietary API" was commonly used
11 in your business.
12 Now, I'm prepared to sit here as long
13 as you want to to answer questions that I haven't
14 asked. But I have a certain number of questions that
15 I'm going to ask at the end of these other answers.
16 Now, this is a simple question. You can say "yes,"
17 "no," or "It is used in lots of different ways." But
18 then I can choose what to follow up on. Or you can
19 simply make whatever statements you want, and I'll go
20 back to my question afterwards.
21 MR. HEINER: The witness is simply
22 trying to help you through a difficult subject
23 matter. That's all that's happening. It's not
24 offensive.
25 MR. BOIES: It is not offensive. But
410




1 all I am saying is with due respect, this witness's
2 efforts do not help me clarify difficult subjects.
3 MR. HEINER: They could help. But go
4 ahead and read the question one more time, or state
5 it again and he can answer it.
6 MR. BOIES: Okay.
7 Q Is the term "proprietary API" a term
8 that is commonly used in your business?
9 A I don't know how common it is. It has
10 many different meanings.
11 Q Is it a term that you have used in your
12 business?
13 A Sometimes.
14 Q Okay. Now, is it fair to say that when
15 you use the term "proprietary APIs" sometimes you
16 mean one thing and sometimes you mean something else?
17 A That's right.
18 Q Would you give me the different
19 meanings that you sometimes ascribe to the term
20 "proprietary APIs" when you use that term?
21 A It can mean an API that only happens to
22 be available from one company. It can mean an API
23 that for some reason related to intellectual property
24 can only be available from one company, and, of
25 course, that's never a black and white thing. It can
411




1 mean an API that somebody's chosen not to take to a
2 standards body. Those are three different things you
3 might mean by it.
4 Q I just want to be sure that the answer
5 is clear.
6 I'm not asking what I might mean by it
7 or what a person might mean by it. What I'm trying
8 to do is get you to tell me meanings that you ascribe
9 to that term when you use it.
10 A I've used all three of those.
11 Q Okay.
12 Are there other meanings that you have
13 ascribed to the term "proprietary API" in your use of
14 that term?
15 A Not that I can think of right now.
16 Q Okay.
17 Now, with respect to the API in
18 Windows, there are both Java APIs and non-Java APIs;
19 is that fair?
20 A I hate to tell you this, but what you
21 mean by "Java" there is subject to massive ambiguity.
22 Q Let me try to put the question this
23 way: In Windows there are pure Java APIs, there are
24 impure Java APIs, and there are APIs that have
25 nothing to do with Java; is that fair?
412




1 MR. HEINER: Objection. I guess at
2 this point I'll have to say that if we're going to
3 talk about pure Java APIs, you'll have to take the
4 time to go down that path as well, which I know
5 you're happy to do of defining what that term means.
6 MR. BOIES: I mean what the witness
7 meant when he wrote this e-mail on June 16, 1997.
8 MR. HEINER: Fine.
9 THE WITNESS: I don't see anything
10 about APIs.
11 Q BY MR. BOIES: Do you see "PURE
12 JAVA" --
13 A Yeah. But I don't see APIs.
14 Q -- in capital letters?
15 And I can spend as much time as we have
16 to on this. I think it shouldn't be necessary, but
17 if we have to, we will.
18 MR. HEINER: Mr. Boies, the difficulty
19 is -- I don't mean to be at all rude, but it's
20 partly -- you know, it's partly the complexity of the
21 subject matter and the difficulty you're having in
22 posing these questions. Java is a complex subject.
23 MR. BOIES: Java is a complex subject.
24 But when somebody talks about pure Java APIs, I don't
25 think that that is something that the witness can't
413




1 answer.
2 THE WITNESS: But you said that the
3 e-mail talks about pure Java API. And it doesn't.
4 MR. BOIES: No. I said pure Java.
5 THE WITNESS: No. You said APIs.
6 Q BY MR. BOIES: Mr. Gates, let me ask a
7 question. If you can't answer the question, you
8 can't answer the question.
9 Does Windows include pure Java APIs?
10 A There's a -- in some versions of
11 Windows there are some Java runtime APIs which at one
12 time Sun labeled as pure Java APIs.
13 Subsequently they changed in a way that
14 was not upwards compatible, so it's actually kind of
15 confusing.
16 Q Does Windows have any APIs that you
17 would consider to be pure Java APIs?
18 A Today?
19 Q Yes.
20 A Yeah. I guess the AWT 1.1 stuff you
21 might think of that way.
22 Q Anything else?
23 A I don't know what you mean "anything
24 else." Are we enumerating?
25 Q Any other API in Windows that you would
414




1 consider to be pure Java APIs, Mr. Gates?
2 A I know there's more. I don't know the
3 technical names for them.
4 Q And does Microsoft have a version of
5 Java that is not what you refer to in your memo as
6 pure Java?
7 A I have no idea what you mean by that
8 question.
9 Q Okay.
10 Does Windows include APIs that are
11 written in what is described as a form or version of
12 Java but not pure Java?
13 A Are you talking about the language?
14 Q If you don't understand the question,
15 Mr. Gates, you can simply say you don't understand
16 the question.
17 A Okay. I'm sorry. I don't understand
18 the question.
19 Q Good. Okay. That's what I'm trying to
20 do. What I'm trying to do is get on the record what
21 you say you understand and what you say you don't
22 understand.
23 MR. HEINER: Any time that the witness
24 clearly indicates he doesn't understand the question
25 but doesn't preface it with the words "I don't
415




1 understand the question." If you want that
2 convention --
3 MR. BOIES: I do, because I don't want
4 speeches as to what the witness does think if he
5 simply doesn't understand the question.
6 THE WITNESS: No. But I was pointing
7 out to you the part of the question that I didn't
8 understand because it was ambiguous.
9 MR. BOIES: Would you read the answer
10 back, please, or the statement.
11 (The following answer was read:
12 "A Are you talking about the language?")
13 MR. BOIES: No. I'm not talking about
14 the language if by "the language," you mean all the
15 things that you said about the Java language when we
16 were talking about Java yesterday. Now, let me go
17 back to me asking the questions, if I can.
18 Q As part of an effort to take control of
19 Java away from Sun in the terms used by Mr. Slivka in
20 his memo with Mr. Gates -- to you dated April 14,
21 1997, did Microsoft make an effort to get people to
22 use a version of Java APIs that was not pure Java
23 APIs?
24 MR. HEINER: Objection.
25 THE WITNESS: That's a very compound --
416




1 I don't understand the question.
2 Q BY MR. BOIES: Okay.
3 In an attempt to, in Mr. Slivka's
4 words, wrest control of Java away from Sun, did
5 Microsoft make an effort to get programmers to write
6 to APIs that could be used to run applications on
7 Windows but not on all other operating systems to
8 which a pure Java written program could be run?
9 A I wouldn't say that was part of
10 anything to do with controlling Java. But we do
11 promote the use of the unique Windows APIs.
12 Q And with respect to the unique Windows
13 APIs, are some of those APIs APIs that Microsoft
14 describes as Java APIs or has in the past?
15 A All of our APIs can be called from
16 Java. So now I don't know what you mean by a Java
17 API. Usually somebody would mean something that you
18 can only call from Java or something you can call
19 from Java whether you can call it from other
20 languages or not.
21 Our APIs we make available to a broad
22 set of languages including Java but others as well.
23 Q Mr. Gates, you've been sued by Sun
24 Microsystems over Java, have you not?
25 A There's a lawsuit with Sun.
417




1 Q Well, there's a lawsuit with Sun, and
2 it's a lawsuit with Sun relating to the use of Java;
3 right?
4 A It relates to a very specific contract
5 that we have with Sun.
6 Q And does that very specific contract
7 with Sun relate to Java?
8 A It's a license to various Sun
9 technologies related to Java.
10 Q Now, you're familiar with that lawsuit,
11 are you not, sir?
12 A Not very.
13 Q Not very?
14 Do you know what the contentions in
15 that lawsuit are?
16 A No.
17 Q Never tried to find out? Is that your
18 testimony?
19 A I haven't read the complaint, if that's
20 your question.
21 Q That's not my question.
22 My question is whether you've ever
23 tried to find out the substance of the allegations
24 about Java that Sun is making in its lawsuit against
25 Microsoft.
418




1 A My understanding of their allegations
2 is very limited.
3 Q What is your understanding of their
4 allegations?
5 A I haven't read the contract between
6 Microsoft and Sun.
7 Q I'm asking you about the allegations in
8 the complaint, not whether you've read the contract.
9 I'm asking you for your understanding, which I know
10 you've already said is very limited. But I'm asking
11 for your understanding of what allegations Sun makes
12 in its claim against Microsoft.
13 A I think there's some dispute about they
14 were supposed to make the test cases public and
15 upwards compatible, and they didn't make them public,
16 and they weren't upwards compatible. And that
17 relates to the contract that I haven't read.
18 Q And that's what you think they allege
19 in the complaint?
20 A Well, that -- those are certain things
21 that they were required to do, I believe.
22 Q My question is not about what you
23 believe they were required to do, Mr. Gates. My
24 question is: What is your understanding about the
25 complaint that they make about what you did, about
419




1 what Microsoft did?
2 Do you understand the question?
3 A You're asking me to summarize their
4 lawsuit?
5 Q I'm asking you to tell me what you know
6 about the claims they make in that lawsuit. You said
7 you know something about it, but it's very limited.
8 All I'm trying to do is get you to tell me what it is
9 you know about the claims they make in their lawsuit.
10 A I think they want us to ship JNI.
11 Q Is that all you know about their
12 claims?
13 A I think there was something about a
14 trademark.
15 Q What about the trademark?
16 A Whether we could use the trademark.
17 I'm not sure.
18 Q Don't you know, Mr. Gates, one of the
19 allegations that they make is that you're taking
20 their trademark and applying it to things that it
21 shouldn't be applied to?
22 A Yeah. I think there's a trademark
23 issue. I'm not sure what they're saying about the
24 trademark.
25 Q Do you know anything that they're
420




1 saying about the trademark according to your present
2 testimony?
3 A I know there's a dispute about the
4 trademark.
5 Q Well, don't you know that one of the
6 things they're alleging is that Microsoft is taking
7 their trademark and applying it to things that
8 shouldn't be applied to according to them?
9 A I'm not sure that's right.
10 Q You're not sure?
11 A Because I don't think we used their
12 trademark, I'm not sure. I'm kind of confused about
13 that. I've never seen us using their trademark, so
14 I'm a little confused about how that relates to any
15 dispute with Sun.
16 Q Did you ever try to find that out?
17 A What?
18 Q What the claims were more than your
19 present knowledge.
20 A I read something that was on our web
21 site about four days ago.
22 Q About the Sun lawsuit?
23 A Yeah. Bob Muglia had some statements.
24 Q Other than that, did you ever try to
25 find out what Microsoft is being charged with, what
421




1 they're alleged to have done wrong?
2 A I've had discussions with Maritz
3 saying: Do I need to learn about this lawsuit? Do I
4 need to spend a lot of time on it?
5 Q What did he say?
6 A He said, no, he's focused on that and I
7 can focus on other things.
8 Q Is one of the things that you're
9 focused on trying, in Mr. Slivka's words, to wrest
10 control or get control, if wrest is a word that you
11 don't like, of Java away from Sun?

12 A No.
13 Q How did you think Microsoft could get
14 control of Java away from Sun?
15 MR. HEINER: Objection.
16 THE WITNESS: I honestly don't know
17 what you mean by "control of Java." I know those
18 words are in that e-mail from Mr. Slivka. But when
19 you're asking me the question, I don't know what you
20 mean "control of Java."
21 Q BY MR. BOIES: Is it your testimony,
22 Mr. Gates, that as you sit here today under oath you
23 have no idea what Mr. Slivka meant when he said that
24 one of the pointed questions that you had raised with
25 him was how to get control of Java away from Sun?
422




1 A I told you, I think it related to our
2 attempt to make our runtime APIs the most popular
3 runtime APIs.
4 Q And not the Java APIs from Sun; is that
5 what you're saying?
6 A Well, let's not label the APIs, not the
7 unique ones that Sun was promoting.
8 Q When you say the unique ones that Sun
9 was promoting, what were the unique ones that Sun was
10 promoting called?
11 A I'm not sure what they're called. I
12 think AWT 1.2 maybe or JDK 1.2.
13 Q And is it your best testimony that
14 that's what you think this would have meant back in
15 April of 1997, sir?
16 A That what meant?
17 Q Getting control of Java away from Sun.
18 The thing we've been talking about here.
19 A Is that the same as "wrest control"?
20 You keep reading me these words from the e-mail.
21 Q Well, I'm trying to get away from the
22 word "rest" because you say you don't remember that
23 exact word. So I'm trying to use a word that's more
24 neutral like get or obtain control.
25 A And I've told you, I can't understand
423




1 what's meant by "control" there. I know that we're
2 trying to make our APIs popular with developers.
3 Q How does making your APIs popular with
4 developers relate to obtaining control of Java, if at
5 all?
6 A I don't know what it means to control
7 Java. How can somebody control Java? What does that
8 mean?
9 Q Is it your testimony that you have no
10 idea what that means?
11 A To control Java? I don't think anyone
12 can control Java. It's like saying controlling Basic
13 or COBOL.
14 Q Do you really mean that, sir?
15 A Yes.
16 Q And I'm going to press this just
17 another 30 seconds and then I will stop. But I
18 really do want to be sure that I have given you a
19 full and fair opportunity.
20 Is it your testimony that as you sit
21 here today under oath that you have no idea what is
22 meant by control of Java as used in this e-mail to
23 you by Mr. Slivka?
24 A I've said several times I think he must
25 be referring to our effort to make our APIs the most
424




1 popular APIs. But that wouldn't give us control of
2 Java. So I'm having a hard time relating it to these
3 specific words.
4 Q Well, without relating it to the
5 specific words, how would getting people to use your
6 APIs get control of Java? Why do you relate those
7 two in your mind?
8 A Because he probably means the Java
9 runtime, not Java.
10 Q Let's say he means the Java runtime.
11 A Then he's talking about the competition
12 of APIs.
13 Q Is it fair to say, Mr. Gates, that you
14 interpret this as how does Microsoft get, obtain,
15 control of Java runtime? Is that what you're saying?
16 A I think that's the most likely
17 explanation of what he meant. I still don't
18 understand the word "control" there because it's not
19 the word I'd use.
20 Q Well, according to Mr. Slivka it is the
21 word you used, is it not, sir?
22 MR. HEINER: Objection.
23 THE WITNESS: We've already been
24 through that.
25 Q BY MR. BOIES: But looking at this
425




1 doesn't refresh your recollection about having used
2 that word?
3 A It does not.
4 Q Have you ever said in words or in
5 substance to anyone that you wanted to obtain control
6 over Java or under -- over Java runtimes?
7 A I don't remember using those words.
8 Q Do you remember conveying that concept
9 or conveying that substance?
10 A If by "that concept" you mean conveying
11 the idea that we wanted our runtime APIs to be the
12 most popular, then the answer is yes.
13 Q Why did you want your runtime APIs to
14 be the most popular?
15 A By having our runtime APIs be the most
16 popular it means that people are more likely to
17 license Windows because there's applications that
18 take advantage of the unique innovations that are in
19 the Windows product.
20 Q Why does the fact that their
21 applications that take advantage of the unique APIs
22 that are in the Windows product make people more
23 likely to license Windows?
24 A Because it shows off the unique
25 innovations of Windows.
426




1 Q How does it show off the unique
2 innovations of Windows?
3 A Well, let's say, for example, they call
4 our tasking APIs, then it shows off the unique way
5 that we've done tasking. Let's say they call our
6 clipboard APIs, then it shows off the advances we've
7 made in data exchange which are very advanced.
8 Q Is it your testimony that trying to get
9 applications writers to write to Windows' own APIs
10 was something that you were trying to do only for the
11 reason that you've identified?
12 MR. HEINER: May I have that read back,
13 please?
14 (Question read.)
15 THE WITNESS: I think there's
16 additional reasons as well.
17 Q BY MR. BOIES: Isn't it a fact,
18 Mr. Gates, that one of the reasons that you were
19 trying -- that Microsoft was trying to get control
20 over the Java runtimes or Java, as it's described in
21 Mr. Slivka's memorandum, was to prevent Java or Java
22 runtimes from supporting competition with Windows?
23 MR. HEINER: Objection.
24 THE WITNESS: I don't know what you
25 mean by "control." That means I don't understand the
427




1 question.
2 Q BY MR. BOIES: Okay.
3 Did you ever participate in any
4 discussions within Microsoft as to the extent of
5 which Java or Java runtimes posed a threat to
6 Microsoft's position with respect to the Windows
7 platform?
8 A Yeah. I've already told you that there
9 came a point where we viewed Sun's unique Java
10 runtime APIs as a -- as a part of the competitive
11 environment, a competitor.
12 Q Okay.
13 Now, why were the Java APIs from Sun a
14 competitor?
15 A Well, if people just used the least
16 common denominator APIs, then they don't show off the
17 innovations that we're doing in Windows, and it makes
18 it less attractive to people to license Windows or
19 update Windows.
20 Q Now, what I'm trying to do -- and you
21 may think you've answered this question, but I don't
22 think the record makes it clear in any event.
23 What I'm trying to do is distinguish
24 between that reason which you've given me a couple
25 times and any other reason that may exist.
428




1 Do you understand what I'm asking?
2 A No.
3 Q Okay. Let me try it again.
4 Isn't it true, Mr. Gates, that in
5 addition to whatever desire you may have had to show
6 off your Windows capabilities that you say you had,
7 that one of the things that was going on here was
8 your trying, Microsoft's trying, to prevent Java from
9 getting wide enough distribution so that it could
10 support applications programming for platforms other
11 than Windows?
12 A No.
13 Q Not at all, sir?
14 A There's no limitation of distribution.
15 Q Didn't ask whether there was any
16 limitation of distribution. I asked you whether in
17 any way the desire to prevent Java from developing
18 applications that could be used on platforms other
19 than Windows motivated what Microsoft was doing in
20 connection with Java.
21 MR. HEINER: Objection. That's a
22 distinctly different question.
23 THE WITNESS: What does it mean Java
24 developing applications?
25 Q BY MR. BOIES: I actually didn't recall
429




1 that I used that phrase.
2 THE WITNESS: Can you read me the
3 question?
4 (The following question was read:
5 "Q I asked you whether in
6 any way the desire to prevent Java
7 from developing applications that
8 could be used on platforms other than
9 Windows motivated what Microsoft was
10 doing in connection with Java.")
11 MR. BOIES: Can you answer that
12 question, Mr. Gates. If you can't, I'll rephrase it.
13 But if you can answer, I'd like an answer.
14 THE WITNESS: I don't know what you
15 mean "Java developing applications."
16 Q BY MR. BOIES: Isn't it a fact,
17 Mr. Gates, that in addition to whatever other reasons
18 you say you had for what you did with Java and
19 Windows APIs, part of what you were trying to do was
20 to prevent Java from having a wide enough
21 distribution so that it could support programs that
22 could be used on platforms other than Windows?
23 A We had no way of preventing Java from
24 being used on other platforms. It is used on other
25 platforms.
430




1 Q That wasn't my question, sir. My
2 question is whether or not part of what you and
3 Microsoft was trying to do was to limit the
4 distribution of Java sufficiently so that you could
5 thereby limit or reduce the extent to which
6 applications were written that could be used on
7 platforms other than Windows.
8 A No. In fact, we sell the most popular
9 Java tools in the market.
10 Q It is your testimony, then, sitting
11 here, that Microsoft was not at all motivated by a
12 desire to limit the extent to which Java could be
13 used to develop applications programming that could
14 be used on platforms other than Microsoft's Windows?
15 Is that your testimony?
16 A Yes.
17 Q All right, sir.
18 Was your concern over Netscape's
19 browser at all related to the fact that Netscape's
20 browser was viewed within Microsoft as a method of
21 distributing Java?
22 MR. HEINER: Objection. At the risk of
23 belaboring the record.
24 Would you care to state the question
25 more precisely and perhaps develop a better record?
431




1 Or do you want to stick with the question you have?
2 MR. BOIES: If the witness tells me he
3 can't understand that question, that's an answer. If
4 he can understand the question, I'd like to have an
5 answer.
6 MR. HEINER: In addition to that
7 there's an objection based on that, so that's a
8 second consideration.
9 THE WITNESS: Well, you have to read
10 the question again. Sorry.
11 (The following question was read:
12 "Q Was your concern over
13 Netscape's browser at all related to
14 the fact that Netscape's browser was
15 viewed within Microsoft as a method
16 of distributing Java?")
17 MR. HEINER: Another objection.
18 Foundation.
19 MR. BOIES: Okay. I think the
20 foundation objection may be well-taken. Let me ask
21 the foundation question.
22 Q Did Microsoft believe that Netscape's
23 browser was a means of distributing Java APIs?
24 A Well, Netscape had some APIs in its
25 browser. I'm not sure if you would refer to them as
432




1 Java APIs or not.
2 Q It's not a question whether I would
3 refer to them that way or not, Mr. Gates. What I'm
4 asking you is what you and Microsoft believe.
5 And my question is: Did you and others
6 at Microsoft believe that Netscape's browser was a
7 method for distributing Java APIs?
8 A There were APIs in the Netscape
9 browser. I don't think they were strictly Java APIs
10 or even in a direct sense specifically.
11 Q Have you completed your answer, sir?
12 A Uh-huh.
13 MR. BOIES: Can I have the question
14 read back again?
15 (The following question was read:
16 "Q It's not a question
17 whether I would refer to them that
18 way or not, Mr. Gates. What I'm
19 asking you is what you and Microsoft
20 believe.
21 "And my question is: Did
22 you and others at Microsoft believe
23 that Netscape's browser was a method
24 for distributing Java APIs?")
25 Q BY MR. BOIES: Can you tell me that,
433




1 sir?
2 A There were APIs in Netscape browser
3 some of which under some definition of Java APIs
4 you'd call Java APIs.
5 Q And was there concern within Microsoft
6 that the distribution of these things that you say
7 could be called Java APIs would adversely affect
8 Microsoft?
9 A Our concern is always to get people to
10 develop Windows applications. And to the degree that
11 there's other APIs people to develop to, there's some
12 competition for the attention of developers and
13 focusing on those APIs. But that doesn't relate to
14 distribution.
15 MR. BOIES: Can I have my question read
16 back again, please?
17 (The following question was read:
18 "Q And was there concern
19 within Microsoft that the
20 distribution of these things that you
21 say could be called Java APIs would
22 adversely affect Microsoft?")
23 Q BY MR. BOIES: Could I have an answer
24 to that question, please, sir?
25 A No, not the distribution.
434




1 Q Let me ask you to look at a document
2 that has been previously marked as Government Exhibit
3 349. The first message in this exhibit is an e-mail
4 from Paul Maritz to you and a number of other people
5 dated July 14, 1997; correct, sir?
6 A That's what it appears to be, yes.
7 Q Did you receive this e-mail, sir?
8 A I don't remember it. But I don't have
9 any reason to doubt that I did.
10 Q Mr. Maritz writes to you in the third
11 sentence, quote,
12 "If we look further at
13 Java/JFC being our major threat, then
14 Netscape is the major distribution
15 vehicle."
16 Do you see that, sir?
17 A Uh-huh.
18 Q Do you recall Mr. Maritz telling you in
19 words or in substance that Netscape was the major
20 distribution vehicle for the Java/JFC threat to
21 Microsoft?
22 A No.
23 Q Did you believe in July of 1997 that
24 Java/JFC was a major threat to Microsoft as
25 Mr. Maritz writes here?
435




1 A It was a significant issue for his
2 group in terms of how ISVs would choose to focus
3 their development in the future.
4 Q Did you believe in July of 1997 that
5 Java/JFC was a major threat to Microsoft?
6 A In the form that it existed as of that
7 day, maybe not. But if we looked at how it might be
8 evolved in the future, we did think of it as
9 something that competed with us for the attention of
10 ISVs in terms of whether or not they would take
11 advantage of the advanced features of Windows.
12 Q Do you have any understanding as to
13 what Mr. Maritz meant when he wrote to you about
14 Java/JFC being a major threat to Microsoft?
15 A Yeah. I just answered that.
16 Q What did you understand Mr. Maritz to
17 mean when he says Java/JFC was Microsoft's major
18 threat?
19 A I just answered that.
20 Q You'll have to give me an answer,
21 Mr. Gates, because if you did answer it, it's not an
22 answer that I can understand how it applies to the
23 particular question I'm asking.
24 A I said we looked at how the various
25 runtime APIs which was always confusing, you know,
436




1 where they were going or what they were doing. And
2 "JFC" is just a term for some of those, how they
3 might evolve in a way that would take away the focus
4 of developers in terms of writing applications that
5 would take unique advantage of Windows features.
6 Q I understand that you say that that was
7 an issue for you. Why was that a major threat to
8 Microsoft, if you have any understanding?
9 A Well, if people stopped writing
10 applications that took advantage of Windows runtime
11 APIs, that would mean that users wouldn't have access
12 to the innovative features that we were putting into
13 Windows.
14 Q Why was that a major threat to
15 Microsoft?
16 A If ISVs weren't writing applications to
17 take unique advantage of Windows, then it wouldn't
18 show off the Windows innovation and so users wouldn't
19 have much reason to update Windows or to license any
20 new versions of Windows.
21 Q You referred to JFC in a couple answers
22 ago and, of course, that's here in the memo. What
23 does "JFC" stand for as you understand it?
24 A I was always a little confused about
25 that, and it changed over time. It stands for Java
437




1 Foundation Classes.
2 Q Mr. Maritz writes here that Netscape is
3 the major distribution vehicle for Java and Java
4 Foundation Classes.
5 Do you see that?
6 A That's at the end of that sentence?
7 Q Yes.
8 A Uh-huh.
9 Q Do you see that?
10 A Yes.
11 Q Now, in a prior answer you said you
12 didn't understand how the browser was a distribution
13 vehicle. Does this refresh your recollection that at
14 least within Microsoft in July of 1997 Netscape was
15 viewed as the major distribution vehicle for Java?
16 A Not for Java. And in my view, the
17 browser wasn't a key distribution channel. Maritz
18 may or may not have agreed with that. But you can
19 always ship the runtime with the applications.
20 Q Mr. Maritz here says, "Netscape is the
21 major distribution vehicle."
22 Now, it's clear to you, is it not, sir,
23 that he means the major distribution vehicle for Java
24 and Java Foundation Classes?
25 A He doesn't mean for Java.
438




1 Q Well, sir, he says --
2 A I told you many times about the use of
3 the word "Java." And I'm not sure you heard me.
4 When people use the word "Java," they don't mean just
5 Java.
6 Q So when Mr. Maritz here used the word
7 "Java," in this e-mail that you say you don't recall
8 receiving, you're telling me that he meant something
9 other than just Java?
10 A He -- I bet he meant some runtime APIs,
11 not Java.
12 Q Okay.
13 Let's assume that you're right, let's
14 assume that when he talks about Java he means Java
15 runtime APIs. Would you then agree that what he is
16 saying here is that Netscape is the major
17 distribution vehicle for Java runtime APIs and Java
18 Foundation Classes?
19 A That appears to be what he's saying in
20 this e-mail.
21 Q And what was Mr. Maritz's position in
22 July of 1997?
23 MR. HEINER: Asked and answered too
24 many times.
25 THE WITNESS: Yeah. I've answered this
439




1 three times.
2 MR. BOIES: I'm not sure you did as to
3 this particular point in time. And one of the things
4 that you have told me is that the titles changed.
5 And so one of the things I want to be sure the record
6 is clear on is what Mr. Maritz's position was as of
7 the time of this key document.
8 MR. HEINER: You can cut and paste the
9 transcript any way you want in your briefs and in
10 your opening and closing argument. The witness has
11 testified as to his title many times.
12 Q BY MR. BOIES: Mr. Gates, what was
13 Mr. Maritz's title on July 14, 1997?
14 A I think group vice president.
15 Q What was he group vice president of?
16 A I don't know what the title would have
17 said after that. But he managed the group that
18 contained all of our Windows activities.
19 Q Was he group vice president for
20 Platforms?
21 A I'm not sure. I'm sure if it contained
22 the word "Platforms," it didn't just say Platforms,
23 because he's got Office and some other things also.
24 Q But within his responsibilities would
25 have been Windows?
440




1 A That's right.
2 Q Let me ask you to look at a document
3 that has been marked as Government Exhibit 374. This
4 is an e-mail to you from Tod Nielsen dated August 25,
5 1997, with copies to Brad Chase.
6 (The document referred to was marked as
7 Government Exhibit 374 for identification and is
8 attached hereto.)
9 Q BY MR. BOIES: Did you receive this
10 e-mail, sir?
11 A I don't remember receiving it. But I
12 don't have any reason to doubt that I did.
13 Q Let me ask you to look at the seventh
14 paragraph down. That's the third paragraph from the
15 bottom, the last sentence. That says, quote,
16 "So, we are just proactively
17 trying to put obstacles in Sun's path
18 and get anyone that wants to write in
19 Java to use J/Direct and target
20 Windows directly," close quote.
21 Do you see that, sir?
22 A Uh-huh.
23 Q Do you recall being told in or about
24 August of 1997 that Microsoft was trying to put
25 obstacles in Sun's path and get anyone that wants to
441




1 write in Java to use J/Direct and target Windows
2 directly?
3 A No.
4 Q Do you know why Microsoft was trying to
5 put, quote, "obstacles in Sun's path," close quote?
6 A I don't know what that means.
7 Q Do you know why Microsoft was trying to
8 get anyone that wants to write in Java to use
9 J/Direct?
10 A Yes.
11 Q Why was that?
12 A Because J/Direct allows you to make
13 calls that show off unique innovations in Windows and
14 make -- therefore, make Windows more attractive.
15 Q Was there any reason other than that
16 that Microsoft wanted to get anyone that wants to
17 write in Java to use J/Direct?
18 A Yes.
19 Q What?
20 A Well, there's a benefit to us if people
21 are showing off Windows, and it increases Windows
22 popularity. That helps us with the other
23 applications we write for Windows as well including
24 Microsoft Office.
25 Q How is that so?
442




1 A Because Microsoft Office is targeted to
2 Windows, we get a benefit that goes even beyond
3 increased sales of Windows if we manage to popularize
4 Windows.
5 Q Why is that?
6 A Because they can buy Office.
7 Q They can buy Office and use it on the
8 Mac, too, can't they, since you didn't cancel Mac
9 Office?
10 A We have a much wider set of
11 applications available for the Windows platform than
12 any other platform. And we have more frequent
13 updates of products like Office on the Windows
14 platform. It's a more powerful version, the Windows
15 version, and it -- therefore, our revenue per unit is
16 somewhat higher.
17 Q You mean the version of Office for
18 Windows is more powerful than the version of Office
19 for Mac? Is that what you're saying?
20 A Yes. We have Office Pro.
21 Q What is J/Direct?
22 A J/Direct is a way of allowing Java
23 language code to call native OS functionality. It's
24 a fairly clever thing that we have done. And others
25 now use that term to refer to it when they let their
443




1 OS functionality show through as well.
2 Q You have referred to Java runtimes.
3 Are there J/Direct runtimes?
4 A There's a thunk, but it's -- I don't
5 know if you would call it a runtime or not. It's a
6 thunk.
7 Q Would you define for me what the
8 difference is, in your mind, between a thunk and a
9 runtime?
10 A A thunk is a small piece of runtime
11 that remaps parameters and calling conventions in
12 such a way to be able to pass along an API call to
13 another piece of runtime.
14 Q Does -- or I should say, when was
15 J/Direct developed by Microsoft?
16 A I'm not sure.
17 Q Approximately?
18 A I don't -- I don't know. I mean --
19 Q Why was J/Direct developed by
20 Microsoft?
21 A To make is easy for people who choose
22 the Java language to call the unique runtime features
23 in various operating systems including Windows.
24 Q Why do you want people to write in
25 J/Direct as opposed to Java?
444




1 A They are writing in Java. You only use
2 J/Direct if you write in Java.
3 Q Well, what Mr. Nielsen says is that
4 Microsoft is trying to get anyone that wants to write
5 in Java to use J/Direct.
6 Do you see that?
7 A That's right. And that means writing
8 in Java.
9 Q And why do you want to get anyone who
10 wants to write in Java to use J/Direct?
11 A Because that gives them a way of
12 calling unique Windows APIs that allow us to show off
13 the innovative features in Windows.
14 Q Couldn't you do that by having them
15 simply write in Java and you providing the thunk
16 separately?
17 A The name of the thunk is J/Direct. I
18 guess we could have another thunk and call it
19 something other than J/Direct, and that would be
20 another way that they could do it. But we didn't
21 choose to do it twice.
22 Q No, you didn't choose to do it twice.
23 That's not my question, Mr. Gates.
24 My question is why you were trying to
25 get program developers, independent programming
445




1 people, to use J/Direct. Why were you trying to get
2 them to do that?
3 MR. HEINER: Certainly asked and
4 answered.
5 THE WITNESS: Because it allows them to
6 get at the unique API functionality that's in the
7 Windows product and show off the innovations that we
8 do there.
9 Q BY MR. BOIES: But you didn't have to?
10 A Tell me some other way.
11 Q Well, I'm asking you. If you tell me
12 that that's what you say is the only way that you
13 could think of for them to do it, that's your
14 testimony. I don't get to testify here. If I did,
15 there would have been a lot of things I would have
16 said along the way. But since I don't get to
17 testify, all I get to do is ask you questions.
18 And my question to you is whether there
19 was a way, that you were aware of at the time, to let
20 people see all of what you refer to as the
21 functionality of Windows without getting people to
22 write to what you refer to here to use J/Direct if
23 they wanted to write in Java.
24 A J/Direct is exactly the work we did to
25 make it possible and reasonable for people writing in
446




1 Java to call the unique Windows APIs.
2 Q Have you finished your answer?
3 A Yes.
4 Q Okay.
5 Now, were you aware of other ways of
6 accomplishing the same result that you considered and
7 rejected at the time?
8 A What time is that?
9 Q The time that you developed J/Direct.
10 A We don't know what that time is.
11 Q Well, you may not know the exact year.
12 But do you know that when -- were you aware when
13 J/Direct was being developed within Microsoft? Were
14 you aware of it at the time?
15 A I'm not sure.
16 Q Did you know it was being developed?
17 A I'm not sure.
18 Q Did you have any discussions about the
19 development of J/Direct?
20 A I was not involved in the design of
21 J/Direct.
22 Q I'm not asking you whether you were
23 involved in the design of J/Direct. I'm asking you
24 whether you were aware at the time that J/Direct was
25 being developed that it was being developed?
447




1 A I'm not sure.
2 Q Did you ever have any discussions with
3 anyone about the development of J/Direct at or about
4 the time it was being developed?
5 A I don't think so.
6 Q At the time that J/Direct was being
7 developed, did you know that people were trying to
8 develop J/Direct?
9 A It's just a thunk.
10 Q My question is: Did you know that they
11 were trying to develop this thunk?
12 A I doubt it.
13 Q Did you participate at all in any
14 discussions as to what alternatives there were to the
15 development of J/Direct?
16 A Before it was developed?
17 Q Let's start with before it was
18 developed.
19 A No, I don't think so.
20 Q What about during the time it was being
21 developed?
22 A I don't think so.
23 Q How about after it was developed?
24 A I don't think so.
25 MR. HEINER: We should take a break
448




1 soon.
2 MR. BOIES: Okay.
3 MR. HEINER: Okay.
4 THE VIDEOGRAPHER: The time is
5 2:02 P.M. We're going off the record. This is the
6 end of Tape 3 of the videotaped deposition of Bill
7 Gates.
8 (Recess.)
9 THE VIDEOGRAPHER: The time is 2:16.
10 We're going back on the record. This is Tape 4 of
11 the videotaped deposition of Bill Gates on August 28.
12 Q BY MR. BOIES: Let me show you a
13 document that has been previously marked as
14 Government Exhibit 378.
15 (The document referred to was marked as
16 Government Exhibit 378 for identification and is
17 attached hereto.)
18 Q BY MR. BOIES: In the middle of the
19 first page there is a message dated May 14, 1997,
20 from Ben Slivka to you and others.
21 Did you receive this e-mail on or about
22 May 14, 1997?
23 A I'm not sure. But I have no reason to
24 doubt that I did.
25 Q When Mr. Slivka writes as he does in
449




1 the second paragraph, "This summer we're going to
2 totally divorce Sun," do you know what he's referring
3 to?
4 A I'm not sure.
5 Q Did you ever ask him what he was
6 referring to?
7 A No.
8 Q In the next to last -- or in the last
9 sentence, actually, in the last sentence of the
10 second paragraph, Mr. Slivka writes that "JDK 1.2 has
11 JFC." And is the JFC there the Java Foundation
12 Classes that you referred to earlier?
13 A It's one of the many JFCs.
14 Q What is one of the many JFCs?
15 A The one in JDK 1.2.
16 Q Is the JFC in JDK 1.2 part of what was
17 described as a major threat to Microsoft?
18 A I have no idea which JFC that sentence
19 written by somebody other than me referred to.
20 Q Well, the sentence written by somebody
21 other than you was written to you; right, sir?
22 A It was sent to me.
23 Q Yes. And it was sent to you by one of
24 your chief -- one of your top executives; correct,
25 sir?
450




1 A In an e-mail.
2 Q Yes.
3 And that's a frequent way that your top
4 executives communicate with you; correct, sir?
5 A Yes.
6 Q Now, Mr. Slivka here says that
7 Microsoft is going to be saying uncomplimentary
8 things about JDK 1.2 at every opportunity.
9 Do you see that?
10 A Where's that?
11 Q That is, "JDK 1.2 has JFC, which we're
12 going to be pissing on at every opportunity."
13 A I don't know if he's referring to
14 pissing on JFC or pissing on JDK 1.2 nor do I know
15 what he specifically means by "pissing on."
16 Q Well, do you know that generally he
17 means by pissing on he's going to be saying and
18 Microsoft is going to be saying uncomplimentary
19 things.
20 A He might mean that we're going to be
21 clear that we're not involved with it, that we think
22 there's a better approach.
23 Q Well, as you understand it, when
24 Mr. Slivka says he's going to be pissing on JDK 1.2,
25 as you seem to interpret it, at every opportunity, do
451




1 you interpret that as meaning that Microsoft is going
2 to be saying uncomplimentary things about JDK 1.2?
3 A I told you I don't know whether pissing
4 applies to JFC or JDK.
5 Q Well, he's going to be pissing on or
6 Microsoft is going to be pissing on either JDK 1.2 or
7 JFC or both according to Mr. Slivka.
8 Is that at least fair?
9 A That's appears to be what the sentence
10 says.
11 Q Yeah. And as the chief executive
12 officer of Microsoft, when you get these kind of
13 e-mails, would it be fair for me to assume that
14 "pissing on" is not some code word that means saying
15 nice things about you, that has the usual meaning
16 that it would in the vernacular?
17 A I don't know what you mean in this kind
18 of e-mail.
19 Q The kind of e-mail that is sent to you
20 by executives in the course of your business,
21 Mr. Gates.
22 A So all e-mails I get? Ben Slivka's not
23 an executive.
24 Q All the e-mails you get from people
25 telling you that they're going to piss on competitive
452




1 products, that's what I'm talking about.
2 A I don't remember mail like that. It
3 looks like I got one. But believe me, it's not a
4 term that's commonly used.
5 Q But you have no reason to think that he
6 means it in any way other than the normal meaning of
7 that term, do you, sir?
8 A I think it's a term of multiple
9 meanings. In this case I think it means what you've
10 suggested it means.
11 Q I thought it did too, and I hope to
12 avoid asking you going through the actual language.
13 And, Mr. Gates, let me show you a
14 document that has been previously marked as
15 Government Exhibit 377.
16 The second e-mail here refers to what
17 is attached as a final copy of the memo that was sent
18 to you for Think Week in November 1995.
19 (The document referred to was marked as
20 Government Exhibit 377 for identification and is
21 attached hereto.)
22 Q BY MR. BOIES: Do you recall receiving
23 this document, sir?
24 A No. What I recall about this document
25 is that it's already been marked as an exhibit and
453




1 that I spoke with Mr. Houck about it yesterday.
2 Q That may be so. My question to you is:
3 Do you recall receiving this -- let me make it
4 simple.
5 Did you receive this memo in or about
6 November of 1995?
7 A As I said before, for my Think Weeks I
8 get about three cardboard boxes of materials that
9 people put together for me. And in looking at this
10 memo, it's not a memo that I had seen before
11 Mr. Houck's deposition questions put to me yesterday.
12 Q So it's your testimony the first time
13 you saw this document was when Mr. Houck showed it to
14 you yesterday?
15 A That's right. It had a different
16 exhibit number then.
17 Q Let me ask you to go to page 5 of the
18 document which bears in the bottom right-hand corner
19 the Microsoft document production number ending 4683.
20 A Okay.
21 Q Do you see the heading "Shell
22 Integration"?
23 A Yes.
24 Q Do you see the second sentence where it
25 says, "We will bind the shell to the Internet
454




1 Explorer, so that running any other browser is a
2 jolting experience"?
3 A I see that.
4 Q Do you have any understanding as to
5 what was meant by that?
6 A I can guess.
7 Q Well, first, this is in a memo that is
8 entitled "How to Get 30 percent share in 12 Months";
9 correct?
10 A Let's take a look. Yeah, that's on the
11 first page.
12 Q And is it clear to you that that is
13 referring to getting a 30 percent share of the
14 browser market?
15 A I haven't read the document, but it
16 seems likely that's what it is.
17 Q Okay.
18 Now, do you have an understanding --
19 I'm not asking you to guess. But do you have an
20 understanding as to what is meant by the statement,
21 "We will bind the shell to the Internet Explorer, so
22 that running any other browser is a jolting
23 experience"?
24 A I don't know what he meant by it, but I
25 can tell you what it likely means.
455




1 Q Okay. I take it this is really how you
2 would have interpreted this when you received it; is
3 that fair?
4 A I didn't read it, so --
5 Q I said if you had received it, this is
6 how you would interpret it?
7 A I said I didn't read it. I actually --
8 I would have read the whole memo if I had received
9 it. I wouldn't have turned to that one page and just
10 looked at that one sentence. I would have read the
11 memo from the beginning page by page, and then I
12 probably would have understood it better than I do at
13 this moment.
14 Q If you do not have an understanding of
15 what is meant by it, you can tell me. If you do have
16 an understanding of what is meant by it, I would like
17 to have it.
18 A I don't know what he meant by it, but
19 I'd be glad to guess as to what it might mean.
20 Q I don't want you to guess. But if you
21 as the chief executive officer of Microsoft can tell
22 me how you would, in the ordinary course of your
23 business, interpret this statement, I would like to
24 have you do so.
25 MR. HEINER: Mr. Gates was prepared to
456




1 do that quite a while ago. That was an unnecessary
2 exchange.
3 Go ahead. You may answer.
4 THE WITNESS: He may be referring to
5 the fact that when you get a separate frame coming up
6 on the win -- on the screen, it's different than
7 having something take place in frame. And part of
8 our shell integration strategy going back all the way
9 to 1990 included the idea that as you navigated or
10 browsed through different media types, you didn't
11 have to have another frame come up because that --
12 that's sort of an artifact of having to think about
13 applications instead of objects.
14 And so as he looked at integrating the
15 browser and the shell together, we were going to
16 create a form of navigation optionally but as the
17 default where you don't switch frames as you navigate
18 the links from the shell to what's out on the
19 Internet back to what's in the local store.
20 Q BY MR. BOIES: Did anyone ever tell you
21 independent of this document in words or in substance
22 that Microsoft intended to bind the shell to the
23 Internet Explorer so that running any other browser
24 is a jolting experience?
25 A Well, certainly the idea of integrating
457




1 in a way that made a better browsing experience was
2 something we were talking about quite a bit. Those
3 words, no, I never heard anything along the lines of
4 those words.
5 Q The words that are in this document; is
6 what you're saying?
7 A That's right.
8 Q Okay.
9 Did Microsoft make any effort to
10 discourage Apple from writing in a JDK 1.2?
11 A That never would have come up. Apple
12 is not an application developer.
13 Q Let me -- let me back up.
14 Did Microsoft ever make an effort to
15 get Apple to discourage applications writers for
16 Apple's machines from writing in what you have
17 referred to as Sun's Java or using the Sun Java
18 runtimes?
19 A I'm sure there was discussion with
20 Apple about the fact that their unique operating
21 system capabilities wouldn't show through with the
22 least common denominator pure approach. Whether that
23 related specifically to JDK 1.2 or not, I can't say.
24 Q When you say you're sure there were
25 discussions, are you talking about discussions
458




1 between Microsoft representatives and Apple
2 representatives?
3 A Yes.
4 Q What was Microsoft's interest in having
5 Apple discourage applications writers for Apple's
6 operating system from using Java runtimes or JDK 1.2?

Here’s more:

17			Q	Let me ask you to look at the last
18 paragraph under the heading "Sun byte codes are bad
19 for them." And you say, quote,
20 "I want them to understand
21 that helping NCs and JAVA will push
22 us to do Windows and other software
23 in SUN byte codes even if we don't
24 rewrite them in JAVA," close quote.
25 Do you see that?





1 A Uh-huh.
2 Q When you say "I want them to
3 understand," are you referring to Intel?
4 A I think so.
5 Q Did Microsoft make any effort to
6 convince Intel not to help Sun and Java?
7 A Not that I know of.
8 Q Did you or anyone at Microsoft attempt
9 to convince Intel not to engage in any software
10 activity?
11 MR. HEINER: Objection.

Then again with Java:

	5			Q	And if they did, I take it it's your
6 testimony no one ever told you about it?
7 A That's right.
8 Q Did you or, to your knowledge, anyone
9 at Microsoft express concern to Intel about the
10 success of Java or what you have referred to in this
11 deposition as Java runtimes?
12 A From time to time we'd have general
13 discussions with Intel about things going on in the
14 industry. And I'm sure our views of the Java runtime
15 competition may have come up in some of those
16 discussions.
17 MR. BOIES: Could I have the question
18 and answer read back please?
19 (The following record was read:
20 "Q Did you or, to your
21 knowledge, anyone at Microsoft
22 express concern to Intel about the
23 success of Java or what you have
24 referred to in this deposition as
25 Java runtimes?
481




1 "A From time to time we'd
2 have general discussions with Intel
3 about things going on in the
4 industry. And I'm sure our views of
5 the Java runtime competition may have
6 come up in some of those
7 discussions.")
8 Q BY MR. BOIES: In those discussions,
9 did you or others from Microsoft express concern
10 about Java and Java runtime's popularity to Intel
11 representatives?
12 A I think it's likely in those general
13 discussions. We talked about some of the
14 opportunities and competitive things going on
15 including our view of what was going on in Java
16 runtime.
17 Q Did you tell representatives of Intel
18 or, to your knowledge, anyone from Microsoft tell
19 representatives of Intel that in Microsoft's opinion
20 the wide distribution of Java and Java runtimes were
21 incompatible with interests of both Intel and
22 Microsoft?
23 A Actually, there -- there's one aspect
24 of Java that could have an effect on Intel and would
25 have no effect on Microsoft. So it's completely
482




1 orthogonal. And I pointed out to them what that was.
2 And so I did think there was one thing they ought to
3 think about in terms of where the world of software
4 development was going. But it wasn't an issue that
5 related to Microsoft.
6 Q Irrespective of what you said about
7 that particular issue, did you or others from
8 Microsoft tell Intel in words or in substance that is
9 as a general matter, a general conclusion, the
10 popularity of Java and Java runtimes was not in your
11 joint interest? And joint interest, I mean Microsoft
12 and Intel.
13 A No. There was nothing about it that
14 related to any joint interest. There was one thing
15 about it that related to some of Intel's interests
16 and there were other things about it that related to
17 some of Microsoft's interests. But there's no
18 overlap between those two.
19 Q Let me put the question this way: Did
20 you or, to your knowledge, others from Microsoft tell
21 Intel that for whatever reasons you believed that the
22 widespread distribution of Java and Java runtimes was
23 inconsistent with both interests of Intel and
24 interests of Microsoft?
25 A Well, it's like you're trying to
483




1 rephrase what I said in a more inaccurate way. I
2 told you there's an aspect of it that I thought they
3 should think about that related to them only, that's
4 the byte code piece. And then there's an aspect of
5 it that relates to us only. So there's no end there,
6 there's just a piece that might have been of interest
7 to them that I articulated, and then there's the part
8 that relates strictly to us.
9 Q Let me take it in two pieces. Did you
10 tell Intel representatives that you believed that
11 there were reasons why the widespread distribution of
12 Java and Java runtimes were not in Intel's interests?
13 A Not in that general sense. I pointed
14 out the very specific aspect of it, the byte code
15 aspect, that I thought they ought to think about that
16 had no effect on us.
17 Q Did you tell Intel representatives that
18 there were things about the wide distribution of Java
19 and Java runtimes that Microsoft believed was not in
20 Microsoft's interest?
21 A It's likely that in the general
22 discussion the notion of some of the new competitive
23 activities including the Java runtime issues would
24 have come up in some discussions with Intel but
25 not -- not related to anything they were doing.
484

Right now, in 2020, Microsoft is trying to “wrest control” of Linux and “proprietary APIs” (or file systems, formats etc.) help this agenda.

“This anti-trust thing will blow over. We haven’t changed our business practices at all.”

Bill Gates

10.17.20

The Sad Story of Mozilla Keeps Getting Sadder Because Mozilla’s Managers Abandoned Users and Chose Companies as Their Clients

Posted in DRM, Free/Libre Software, Standard at 5:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The most powerful and versatile Web browser ever to exist is becoming just an “app” with fewer compelling reasons to adopt it because today’s Firefox is less user-centric and more Mozilla-centric (with buzzwords, political pandering and marketing rather than technical substance)

Firefox: At the beginning...

Summary: Mozilla’s business model keeps changing for the worse, as the “app” mentality and/or the “social control media” mindset are chosen over the needs of actual (longtime) users, limiting the extensibility of the Firefox browser in the name of “performance” or “simplicity” (as if all that users need is “dark mode” and a choice of search engines)

OVER the years we wrote dozens of articles about Mozilla and Firefox, mostly congratulatory at the beginning (when releases were stable and infrequent), but in recent times we became more critical because Mozilla is no longer the same company. It’s vastly better than Microsoft, sure, but it’s getting worse — not better — over time. Long before the layoffs we already warned that the direction that had been taken was wrong. It served to alienate both developers and users — the very thing Mozilla relied on for over a decade. Even before DRM and ‘Eich-gate’ amongst other debacles there were issues associated with privacy, which is nowadays just empty rhetoric at Mozilla [1, 2] (or a form of marketing).

“Without momentum from outside the company Mozilla might not be financially viable; it has long relied on an army of volunteers, both developers and ‘marketers’ (or advocates).”Mozilla isn’t a GNU project; in fact, there are Firefox forks that are. We don’t suppose Mozilla will champion freedom to the extent GNU does, but that’s just not the point. Mozilla seems to have abandoned not only freedom but also developers and users. This is a suicidal path. Without momentum from outside the company Mozilla might not be financially viable; it has long relied on an army of volunteers, both developers and ‘marketers’ (or advocates). Losing them isn’t an option, but Mozilla seems to have overlooked what actually made Firefox so popular in the first place.

Firefox: I don't need third-party devs anyway

Daniel (‘Canta’) recently wrote a decent article on this subject, translated/curated from Spanish by both myself and him.

“Some things can be ‘fixed’ by altering the settings, but some are not fixable.”Earlier today I updated Mozilla Firefox, which I barely use anymore (I use a mix of Konqueror, Falkon and QupZilla on older machines). I am actually a bit horrified to find that this update or ‘upgrade’ (much newer version) made things worse in several ways.

Some things can be ‘fixed’ by altering the settings, but some are not fixable. “While some DRM-controlled content can be viewed using the Adobe Flash plugin, many services are moving towards HTML5 video that requires a different DRM mechanism called a Content Decryption Module (CDM),” says the page Firefox directs me to. Embracing DRM did not help or save Mozilla, did it? It likely just alienated many people like myself, who used to advocate and recommend Firefox to people.

Firefox: People are losing passion for Firefox and rapid version inflation doesn't inspire excitement

Several usability problems became apparent when the ‘upgrade’ was done this morning. But there’s even worse stuff. When it was ‘upgraded’ to the latest ESR, Mozilla (likely not the Debian packagers) had “Recommended by Pocket” toggled (on) by default, in effect spewing crap (mental noise/clutter) at me any time I opened a tab…

“Firefox had more useful extensions in 2005 than it has in 2020 (I should know having embraced Firefox in 2004; I had used Netscape and Mozilla before that).”It certainly feels like nowadays Mozilla treats Firefox like an extension of the social control media mindset. It should instead combat/fight back against it. But look who runs Mozilla now… Microsoft and Facebook executives.

Once upon a time Mozilla appealed to geeks, who then recommended Firefox to friends, colleagues, and especially family (like kids and parents who were not necessarily passionate about computers and just clicked “the Internet”, which is what they called a blue “E”). Nowadays Mozilla fosters planned obsolescence for developers (I’ve made some contributions to Firefox in the extensions/themes sense), or ‘digital rot’ for plug-ins/extensions that worked just fine at one point (or for over a decade!). Firefox had more useful extensions in 2005 than it has in 2020 (I should know having embraced Firefox in 2004; I had used Netscape and Mozilla before that). XUL, for example, should not have been abandoned, but then again they care about money (paying their CEO over $2,000,000 per year, plus bonuses) than users and volunteer developers.

“Monoculture that revolves around GAFAM would make the Web proprietary with DRM, necessitating a move to alternatives (to the Web itself, not just to Web browsers, as DRM is now incorporated into Web standards).”Mozilla may have worked fine for the bottom line of the current management team (millionaires), but it’s not working for many of us who need a “big browser” to challenge an increasingly proprietary monopoly/oligopoly in Web browsing. Other than Firefox, all the “big browsers” (that are widely supported and considered to be “must support”) are proprietary, usually with some openwashing slant.

If Mozilla can no longer champion a free and open Web, and if Waterfox became an extension of the surveillance industry (same owners as Startpage’s), then the whole Gecko family is becoming a lost cause or a losing strategy. Monoculture that revolves around GAFAM would make the Web proprietary with DRM, necessitating a move to alternatives (to the Web itself, not just to Web browsers, as DRM is now incorporated into Web standards).

Final note: while I agree with Mozilla’s political orientation on most issues, I’d appreciate not having Mozilla’s words shoved down my throat (or up my head) every time I open a new tab. This kind of “UX” (User eXperience) is a hallmark of non-free software and it’s a symptom of what Mozilla is fast becoming. The user of the Web browser should be in full control of the browser, not having to rely on any third party to assess or rank or censor pages while pushing somebody’s editorialised messages. The browser should render pages, not be somebody’s billboard. Respect people’s judgment, resist the temptation to become a ‘net nanny’ (even at the application level/layer).

10.04.20

The World Wide Web Has Become a Pile of Crap (Even Worse Than What Microsoft Turned It Into)

Posted in Standard at 7:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Letters of Web and laptop

Summary: The World Wide Web (or WWW, or Web) is becoming more and more user-hostile over time; it has gotten so bad that people are pushed to use proprietary browsers (mostly Chromium-derived binary blobs) and are being spied on down to the level of mouse motion

THE DAYS of ActiveX may be behind us (more on that when we revisit deposition tapes, then scrutinise the contents).

Java? Mostly gone, but not JavaScript (it’s everywhere and it actively obstructs access to many sites).

“We’ve long explored alternatives to the World Wide Web…”Flash? Well, it’s gone like Adobe Shockwave, but in its place we now have DRM/EME and YouTube is practically inaccessible without a big pile of JavaScript. Most Web browsers I use in 2020 are no longer allowed anywhere near YouTube (it worked fine last year, but of course Google had to break it). Konqueror and QupZilla receive no love from YouTube any longer, but then again, remember that a couple of decades ago video on the Web typically meant downloading a bunch of Windows Media Player files, which would barely be playable on GNU/Linux (RealPlayer was hardly better). Days ago youtube-dl became broken again (Google’s fault, API changes apparently), which means that Techrights is waiting for a fix and isn’t publishing a bunch of planned videos (except Bill Gates deposition tapes, converted to Ogg format over a decade back).

The Web is not improving. Each time we think there’s a “win” for the so-called “Open Web” (like Adobe burying Flash officially this year, being the Trash Player that it is) there are actually new setbacks, including IRC being replaced with JavaScript-intensive tools of corporate espionage. A lot of today’s World Wide Web — like the Internet at large — is a massive surveillance machine. We’ve long explored alternatives to the World Wide Web (we’re still constantly looking and assessing substitutes), as HTTPS alone hardly tackles the big issues and many use certificates of questionable legitimacy “because it’s free!” (No, it’s not; nothing is really free when there are operational costs and considering the Linux Foundation‘s biggest sponsors we know it’s all about ‘surveillance capitalism’ or companies with spying interests)

Radar

It may take another decade or two for the “Web” (WWW) as we know it to be phased out, probably for something better (or more malicious, depending on our action/inaction) to gradually replace it. We cannot predict the nature of this thing, but it won’t be Gopher and we rarely move in the direction of growing simplicity, only growing complexity and obfuscations. To a lot of people around the world the “Web” is synonymous with “Facebook” and Facebook went out of its way to ensure people never navigative out of Facebook (or that moreover they use Facebook as their ISP/VPN).

There’s a lot of sinister stuff going on behind the scenes, putting aside the fact that Facebook wheels its data to Microsoft by the truckload. The Linux Foundation further encourages such “data sharing” (mass surveillance euphemised), as we noted last year.

Very few geeks will challenge the allegation that the “Web” (HTTP/2 or later) went the wrong way; what’s sorely needed is a good alternative that can gain inertia/momentum. The creator of the Web (Tim Berners-Lee) foolishly enough put his own alternative in Microsoft’s proprietary trap (GitHub). Can he not remember what Microsoft did to his ‘baby’? Pure sabotage.

Microsoft broke my Web. So I will use Microsoft's Proprietary monopoly to fix it?!

Keep an eye on GNUnet, which Wikipedia describes as follows: “GNUnet is a software framework for decentralized, peer-to-peer networking and an official GNU package. The framework offers link encryption, peer discovery, resource allocation, communication over many transports (such as TCP, UDP, HTTP, HTTPS, WLAN and Bluetooth) and various basic peer-to-peer algorithms for routing, multicast and network size estimation.

GNUnet's logoGNUnet’s basic network topology is that of a mesh network. GNUnet includes a distributed hash table (DHT) which is a randomized variant of Kademlia that can still efficiently route in small-world networks. GNUnet offers a “F2F topology” option for restricting connections to only the users’ trusted friends. The users’ friends’ own friends (and so on) can then indirectly exchange files with the users’ computer, never using its IP address directly.

GNUnet uses Uniform resource identifiers (not approved by IANA, although an application has been made). GNUnet URIs consist of two major parts: the module and the module specific identifier. A GNUnet URI is of form
gnunet://module/identifier where module is the module name and identifier is a module specific string.”

Keep a close eye on GNUnet; we’re always eager to defect away from the broken “Web” and hop onto something else, whatever it may be.

09.10.20

The Web is Becoming More Proprietary and Means for Accessing the Web Likewise (Now With DRM and With Limited — by Design — Compatibility)

Posted in DRM, Google, Microsoft, Standard at 3:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It’ll get harder to stay a “Gnu”

Wildebeest and Zebras in the Maasai Mara
The first time I installed IceCat was about 15 years ago (it was still difficult to install); Mozilla has changed its spots since, so more Firefox alternatives may be needed

Summary: The Web is becoming a sordid jungle of Google-oriented proprietary browsers with DRM built in; this is a very sad situation and various people are increasingly sounding the alarm about it

THE LATE 90s were terrible for the World Wide Web. All the major Web browsers were proprietary (I used Netscape when it was still primitive, but I cannot recall the exact version number; prior to that I used pre-Netscape browsers, which were light and surprisingly simple although good enough to enter every Web site). Years later I used Konqueror, which I still use today, along with Falkon/QupZilla (the latter on older machines). Sometimes, especially when it comes to WordPress, I use Firefox too (I was a very early adopter of it, some time around spring of 2004 when the name “Firefox” was set in stone; I used “Mozilla” prior to that, along with Konqueror in S.u.S.E. 8.3). I’ve tried almost every browser over the years (as part of my job I had to test compatibility). Chromium is of no interest to me and the monoculture that develops around it reminds me of the MSIE monopoly days. Sure, it’s Google as opposed to Microsoft, but the threat is still real and oughtn’t be underestimated. Google plays a big role in insertion of DRM into Linux (yes, the kernel itself). Thanks for nothing, Google! You’re part of the problem and your bribes don’t sufficiently disguise that.

“Chromium is of no interest to me and the monoculture that develops around it reminds me of the MSIE monopoly days.”Mozilla Firefox is not inherently bad, but when shipped by Mozilla (not via Debian, which I use, as an ESR) it contains some bad things. Thankfully there are forks and branches of Firefox, including some that are (or were) associated with the GNU Project. I’ve used a few over the years. Some projects like WaterFox are in fact connected to surveillance giants and should thus be shunned (same surveillance company that covertly runs Startpage), so not everything Gecko-based is harmless. Mozilla really blew it with XUL because it betrayed a lot of developers and yesterday it revealed plans to charge extension developers (basically volunteers) to become visible.

Not a good direction. Is that like some new effort at finding a business model? Charging developers to participate or get more hits/users?

A lot of people don’t seem to understand that Chromium-derived browsers are “proprietary garbage”, as Derek explains in this new video. That’s true for Opera, Vivaldi, Edge, Chrome and many more.

“Mozilla helped save the (digital) world from MSIE monopoly, which deliberately held back development/advancement of the Web (Microsoft didn’t even bother with newer versions for many years). For that alone we should eternally be grateful to Mozilla.”However, there are pitfalls and gotchas. For instance, Firefox comes with what it calls “telemetry” (basically surveillance) and Google is the default search engine (because Google, a surveillance company, pays for it). Then there’s DRM which is right there ready to be enabled (EME) and there are some side issues such as Firefox hosting sub-projects or components under Microsoft (developed on Microsoft servers, using GitHub). There’s also that concern that Microsoft veterans are now in the board of Mozilla and Facebook veterans are in top management positions. Those are people who came from the surveillance industry, nothing less!

In our Daily Links we include as many links as possible about Mozilla because it’s still important to support this company (it also makes Thunderbird with PGP support after all) and right now all the major alternatives are proprietary and Google-centric.

Mozilla helped save the (digital) world from MSIE monopoly, which deliberately held back development/advancement of the Web (Microsoft didn’t even bother with newer versions for many years). For that alone we should eternally be grateful to Mozilla.

I will, for the time being, keep Firefox installed and use it to compose/publish posts (for 4 years prior to today I used QupZilla to do this). Mozilla relies on the goodwill of geeks and their eagerness to promote it to friends/family. My wife only uses Firefox because I advised her to avoid Google. If Mozilla messes up and throws away all this goodwill (to appease the wrong groups/interests), its market share will continue to erode. Putting Microsofters inside your board is a breach of trust, as was this move. Who are you trying to impress these days?

08.28.20

Linus Torvalds Explains Git (Not GitHub, the E.E.E. Against Git, Now Controlled 100% by Microsoft)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Kernel, Microsoft, Standard, Videos at 12:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Distributed nature, not centralisation, repeatedly emphasised during this talk

Summary: Now that Microsoft is pushing against E-mail (decentralised and standards-based) workflows in Linux it’s time to understand why Linus Torvalds made Git in the first place (meanwhile they tell us that the real issue is branches being named “master”)

The master tempo

08.14.20

It Was Mozilla — Not Google (or Chrome) — That Liberated the World Wide Web From MSIE Monoculture and O/S Vendor Lock-in, But Firefox is Likely Dying

Posted in DRM, Standard at 7:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A lot of people could not and would not leave Windows behind if it weren’t for Firefox

Panda/Firefox
It became fat like a Panda, not light like a Fox, as F for Freedom no longer matters

Summary: Mozilla’s attitude towards software freedom, privacy, and the most widely used free/libre operating system (O/S) isn’t helping the “protected media” (DRM) Fox because its biggest selling point is becoming outdated/irrelevant/neglected

THE FIREFOX Web browser is a very important piece of software. I first used it in 2004, after a colleague had recommended it to me. I installed it in S.u.S.E. and over time let it replace Konqueror and even more ancient browsers. Back then a lot of sites were inaccessible or barely accessible to me; multimedia features barely worked (think ancient MPlayer and no sites such as YouTube).

This morning someone sent me Mozilla is dead and Web browsers need to stop. I agree with the latter, not the former. Mozilla can still rescue/salvage itself.

“…we regret to see how Mozilla left out GNU/Linux on occasions (no cross-platform support, just Apple and Microsoft malware) despite the fact that GNU/Linux is the only mainstream operating system that typically preloads (bundles) Mozilla Firefox without asking for anything in return (like financial incentive).”I am very thankful for what Mozilla did to the World Wide Web. It really opened it up and in the early days it was open to many third-party developers, who contributed extensions (I even made a couple of themes for it myself). But that Mozilla is gone. Nowadays it’s spying while calling it “telemetry”, talking about justice while talking people down, outsourcing to Microsoft (GitHub) while bemoaning the closed Web, and hiring executives from Microsoft while talking to us about the harms of monopolies. Mozilla just isn’t consistent and sometimes it feels like it lacks a direction and inspiring message.

For a number of years we’ve followed Mozilla blogs very closely and promoted their messages; we regret to see how Mozilla left out GNU/Linux on occasions (no cross-platform support, just Apple and Microsoft malware) despite the fact that GNU/Linux is the only mainstream operating system that typically preloads (bundles) Mozilla Firefox without asking for anything in return (like financial incentive).

“This, we believe, is to do with a project’s leadership as in Mozilla they have more activists than engineers.”Learning about the Mozilla layoffs is painful, albeit somewhat predictable. It’s the second time in less than a year. Mozilla already divided its userbase (developers pool alike) by entering politics where there was no justifiable reason to. Canning XUL also alienated their most important fans: developers, not users. Maybe it thought that the most compelling reason for people to still choose Firefox was some shallow messaging, even in one’s newly-opened tabs. Free software is inherently political, but rarely does it shove politics right into people’s faces. This, we believe, is to do with a project’s leadership as in Mozilla they have more activists than engineers.

I wish Mozilla well, I hope Firefox will survive another decade (Gecko keeps us from complete monoculture) and I hope that Mozilla’s strategic mistakes will serve as a cautionary tale to Free software projects everywhere. See the following old posts of ours from 2014 as well as this one from February:

Keep safe, Mozilla, and keep wise. Charging people to use Firefox is a misguided strategy, as LibreOffice/TDF recently found out (and withdrew from). Making money isn’t unethical; you received billions from Google and paid millions to 'fat cat' executives. Don’t be the Linux Foundation.

« Previous Page« Previous entries « Previous Page · Next Page » Next entries »Next Page »

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources

No

Mono

ODF

Samba logo






We support

End software patents

GPLv3

GNU project

BLAG

EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com



Recent Posts