06.01.21

The Libel Initiative: OSI President Falsely Insinuates OSI Critics Are Homophobic and Requests Censorship of Wikipedia (for OSI)

Posted in Deception, OSI, Wikipedia at 4:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

OSI censorship

Summary: Name-calling and insults (where none are needed) are used to compensate for unfavourable coverage about the OSI; typical corporatism in Wikipedia

To be clear, I don’t know what was changed in Wikipedia, I can only guess based on the context, and I didn’t even know he was gay. This is truly ridiculous.

02.25.21

If Wikipedia is Controlled by Corporations and Mobs, It Needs to Be ‘Cancelled’

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Wikipedia at 7:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: Facts have never truly mattered in social control media sites; it certainly seems as though Wikipedia now suffers the very same issue/deficit, allowing oligarchs and their companies to define what goes on in the world and which people Wikipedia should regard as persona non grata

The concept of “cancel culture” or “call-out culture” is the reason I 'left' Twitter about a year ago (well before they decided to suspend me for totally unspecified reasons). The mass-suspension culture of today’s Twitter (I'm in good company) is itself a sort of “cancel culture”. They basically remove voices that they find inconvenient; instead of confronting the arguments they just eliminate the voice or mute the microphone, even permanently. The underlying psyche of “cancel culture” predates the term; in the case of show business, it’s ‘cancel your programme’; in academia, it’s ending tenures or demoting people for their standpoints (even where dissenting views are otherwise encouraged); in workplaces like corporations, it is getting people fired (sometimes doxing to demonise them or blackmail the employer).

“My general perception/view regarding Wikipedia is getting more negative over time (seeing the degree to which it’s manipulated by the rich and powerful, not domain experts or a real community which values facts), so maybe Wikipedia too needs to be “canceled” at one point. Some people have long worked to make substitutes for it.”Criticism of ‘cancel culture’ can be found in Wikipedia, a platform which itself facilitates ‘cancel culture’. It’s closely related to a culture of mass censorship, wherein people aren’t permitted to deviate from some orthodoxy, which itself changes over time and asserts itself by mass intimidation, begetting self-censorship at scale. Social control media is ideal for this or one might say that it is fertile ground for such campaigns. Self-hosting is one option for mitigating if not eliminating this “no debate allowed” attitude.

Techrights is turning 15 later this year. Within just a few years of the site’s existence several large-scale efforts/campaigns were created and then coordinated to “Cancel” the site (before the word “Cancel” was used; back then they used words like “Watch” or “Boycott”). I mention some of these in the video above. Those efforts/campaigns are now defunct (not even online anymore).

A longtime reader and supporter of Techrights, a lovely person who has contributed to GNU/Linux and Free software for about 3 decades, recently contacted us. The allegation was extraordinary, unless one is already familiar with the antics of Wikipedia mobs and PR occupiers. Apparently someone (person or firm) “initiated a fairly extensive campaign to delete my wikipedia page,” the person told us. The page had been there for many, many years. Why now? Why the attempt to “cancel” this person? That person claims that it’s an act of retribution for speaking out on matters of software freedom (given the timing).

“Wikipedia doesn’t define me,” said this person. “I found it a bit amusing because I was the one who RMS tasked to promote GFDL, so I was a “pusher” of contributing to wikipedia and nupedia… and I was eventually deleted,” said the person.

So being “canceled” by (or in) the very platform one contributed a lot to.

“I can’t recall specific examples,” I responded, “but I do recall many other pages like that which have been deleted or under orchestrated calls for deletion.”

It seems like a common act of censorship or retribution — wherein someone wishes to damage the reputation of an individual or an institution. Wikipedia presence is basically meaningless (can be ‘bought’ or paid-for), so I’m glad I’m not in that site, except as an author named in some citations. It’s no secret that articles there can be paid for, manipulated for a fee, and PR-edited (Microsoft does this a lot and it got caught).

I wouldn’t lose sleep over being “deleted” or “canceled” from Wikipedia. It’s like worrying about how many social control media site “followers” one has… for it’s superficial nonsense.

But what’s noteworthy about the whole thing is that people who speak about the concept of Free software or fight back against adversaries of software freedom (by merely speaking about them) can suffer severe consequences to their reputation and morale. This is exactly the sort of thing I experienced in Twitter last year and the reason that became a "write-only" account.

The video goes through Wikipedia’s definition of the concept of getting “canceled”, why it’s done, why it’s potentially bad and so on. My general perception/view regarding Wikipedia is getting more negative over time (seeing the degree to which it’s manipulated by the rich and powerful, not domain experts or a real community which values facts), so maybe Wikipedia too needs to be “canceled” at one point. Some people have long worked to make substitutes for it.

03.17.14

Wikipedia Got Ruined by the Likes of Microsoft Who Pay People to Edit Articles About Microsoft

Posted in Microsoft, Wikipedia at 3:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Microsoft’s manipulation of Wikipedia, where articles about Microsoft products look more like advertisements, reminds us of the need for critical thinking in today’s Wikipedia

MICROSOFT is going down. It is no longer controversial or laughable a claim. It is supported by evidence. The company to gain from it is not Apple (not anymore anyway [1]), it is a variety of companies that build products on top of GNU/Linux and Free software — companies such as Google, Red Hat, and Jolla.

The market share FUD against GNU/Linux has not stopped, not even with Android being so dominant. As Pogson points out, the FUD can even be seen in Wikipedia, where there were OOXML advertisements (disguised as articles) after Microosft had been paying people to distort Wikipedia. Microsoft has entirelt unaccountable large PR agencies editing Wikipedia. That’s how bad it is. They’ll get paid to vandalise pages (as in, add promotional spin), whereas volunteers who fix/add balance to pages will get nothing but a headache (the former group, the shills, has patience and persistence).

Regarding GNU/Linux adoption rates, which based on our sites are very positive (Tux Machines traffic almost doubles in two months), Wikipedia still cites Microsoft-connected entities like the now-disgraced
Net Applications (the Net Applications article in Wikipedia links to Techrights‘ criticisms though). This ought to say how reliable Wikipedia has really become on matters such as GNU/Linux. Several years ago the articles about GNU/Linux cited articles of mine (I had not edited such pages), but over time these citations were removed. Pogson says “Wikipedia seems more a campground for paid shills and such. No interest without enough finances to hired dedicated campers to squat on pages are going to get past those that have. Some areas are without corporate interest or political controversy but on the pages that are, OCD wins. And M$ can make any technology or related technology issue into a political fight. I usually shoot down Wikipedia’s credibility by refering individuals to specific pages where they themselves have domain expertise. Then I ask them to extrapolate to the pages where they know little.”

Not many people can defend against claims that Wikipedia is being distorted by PR agencies and out-of-control employees who won’t disclose conflicts of interest. I myself had found and reported many incidents as such, but I just can’t be bothered anymore. Be cautious of Wikipedia. I only fix the occasional typos I come across; for divisive issues or products (monetary interests) I don’t even visit Wikipedia.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. ‘Haunted Empire’ Profiles Apple After Steve Jobs as a Company on the Decline

12.31.13

Belluzzo and Elop Became Synonymous With Microsoft Moles That Destroy

Posted in Microsoft, Wikipedia at 5:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Rick Bellouszo

Summary: Nokia the latest casualty of Microsoft entryism and the “Elop effect” makes it into Wikipedia

BACK in October there was an article titled “How Stephen Elop Destroyed Nokia” and Wikipedia now has an article about the “Elop effect”, which is another term coined after a Microsoft mole destroyed a company (as Belluzzo did about a decade ago).

There seems to be no turning back for the Microsoft-occupied Nokia, which became somewhat of a patent troll. As for Nokia’s products, they’re a joke. As one new review put it, “Nokia’s new 2520 tablet is one to avoid” and “After testing the device, I wonder why Nokia bothered.”

Making products enables Nokia (Microsoft) to look less like a troll and a bit like a real company. Either way, Elop killed this company and he became somewhat of a meme.

08.26.10

OOXML Revisionism (Updated)

Posted in Deception, Europe, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument, Wikipedia at 7:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Official portrait of President Reagan, 1981

Summary: Controversies around OOXML gradually vanish, at least in Wikipedia; the UK is encouraged to embrace ODF for savings

Ronald Raegan’s page in Wikipedia (and other reference readings) is a good example of gradual whitewash of one’s career. See the “history” and “discussion” pages. One by one, many scandals disappear from the face of historical record and thus from public awareness. What does that have to do with OOXML?

In the years 2007-2009 we wrote almost a thousand posts about document formats, particularly about Microsoft’s crimes (bribes, extortion, etc.) in this area.

“…even Microsoft tries to distance themselves from OOXML these day.”
      –Rob Weir
The FFII has just warned that, based on Wikipedia changes, Microsoft is managing “to get rid of controversy” (we are not suggesting that Microsoft paid for these edits like it did before).

Alex Brown too played a role in such games and IBM’s Rob Weir told me today that “even Microsoft tries to distance themselves from OOXML these day. [...] Thinking of the recent OData/OOXML article”

Separately, Weir pointed to this new article about benefits ODF would bring to the UK. The figure of £51,000,000 gets mentioned.

Do you really have to standardise on ODF, I asked? Won’t the existing Microsoft formats do the job just as well?

Now Maxwell has got in touch. He’s got an interesting story to tell – and his council is one which is thinking very seriously about how to get the cost of IT in local government pushed down. The logic: reduce those costs, and you don’t have to cut other services when you’re faced with an across-the-board reduction in your grant from a central government bringing in austerity measures.

I spoke to him earlier today and asked if he was serious about the necessity of ODF being mandated before real change could happen – and how much the savings could be, and what’s happening with local government. Here’s how he explained it – and these thoughts are going to be expanded in a paper that he is preparing to release next week with much more detail.

The British police ought to seriously consider ODF now that it cuts expenses. This would also improve security.

Update: here is more coverage on the topic (“Money makes the Wikipedia go round”).

The Open XML process is a great case study why Wikipedia is not always reliable, when money comes into play. Even before the heated phases of the Open XML discussions at ISO a scandal rocked the Wikipedia scene. Rick Jelliffe disclosed in his blog that he was offered money by a company to edit the Open XML article. At that is exactly how this article looks until this very day, a honeypot for young wikipedians who want to watch the dirty tricks.

Throughout the controversial phases the editing process demonstrated a clear bias of professional editors towards a certain corporate agenda and pushed the Open XML article towards a “shadow article” as a target, close to advertisement. So regardless what was changed by the ‘ordinary guys’ would be reversed, step by step.

07.20.10

Richard Stallman Reiterates Threat of Mono, Wikipedia Censored by Mono Boosters

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Wikipedia at 6:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Richard Stallman
Richard Stallman at the launch of GPLv3

Summary: The belittling of Richard Stallman follows his reminder of the Mono problem and Microsoft apologists play a part in it

IT IS NOT news that the FSF formally discourages use of Mono (and Moonlight which depends on it). Microsoft MVP Miguel de Icaza carries on bragging about new features in Mono 2.8, which is essentially co-developed with Microsoft now.

Freedom champion Glyn Moody spoke to Richard Stallman earlier this month and revealed that Stallman had not changed his mind about Mono. To quote the relevant bits:

GM: Could you please explain the problems with Microsoft’s .NET? Is all of it equally problematic, or just some, given that Microsoft has made its Open Specification Promise for parts?

RMS: Eben Moglen told me that “open specification promise” is not something we can rely on.

For the C# language that was standardized by a standards committee, Microsoft was required to make a stronger commitment. But that does not apply to the rest of .NET.

GM: Against that background, what is your current advice to people in terms of using .NET technologies, and why?

RMS: You shouldn’t write software to use .NET. No exceptions.

The basic point is that Microsoft has patents over features in .NET, and its patent promise regarding free software implementations of those is inadequate. It may someday attack the free implementations of these features.

The Source has responded to this by writing:

Team Apologista refuses to honestly acknowledge that the patent promise covering .NET is insufficient. In fact, a favorite tactic of Mono Apologists is to mention some other technology (usually AJAX or FTP) and then pretend the Mono situation is similar to AJAX, and so if one is opposed to the former, they must also oppose the latter, or are ignorant/hypocritical/whatever.

The truth of the matter is that .NET is NOT under the same “promise” that these other technologies are, so this ruse is inaccurate. Shockingly, Mono apologists continue to use this faulty “defense”.

Additionally, much of .NET (and corresponding portions of Mono) are NOT covered by any promise whatsoever – and despite Team Apologista’s occasional concession on this point (often with vague promises to “split” Mono into “covered”/non-”covered” portions), I feel it is not unfair to say Team Apologista downplays this distinction.

At a later point The Source showed that Mono boosters are censoring in Wikipedia, suppressing criticism as others did before them.

Today I was looking through the logs and it struck me I haven’t seen any Wikipedia traffic of late, so on a lark I went to the site and saw someone had (anonymously of course), removed the link to my site, with the following “explanation”:

The Source and BoycottNovell are not trustworthy “news” sites and are known to be anti-Mono/anti-Novell propagandists.)

Note that same users edit history; every edit (excluding a handful back in 2008) is a .NET/Mono-related topic and in every case that I bothered to look at are all non-factual and (in wiki-speak) non-NPOV edits.

Especially devious is how this individual edits articles to downplay patent concerns for Mono, while emphasizing the issue of patents for Portable.NET.

Gotta let people know where they can get that “IP peace of mind” I guess.

umad?

This is just more of the same from Team Apologista. Today I was looking through the logs and it struck me I haven’t seen any Wikipedia traffic of late, so on a lark I went to the site and saw someone had (anonymously of course), removed the link to my site, with the following “explanation”:

The Source and BoycottNovell are not trustworthy “news” sites and are known to be anti-Mono/anti-Novell propagandists.)

Note that same users edit history; every edit (excluding a handful back in 2008) is a .NET/Mono-related topic and in every case that I bothered to look at are all non-factual and (in wiki-speak) non-NPOV edits.

Especially devious is how this individual edits articles to downplay patent concerns for Mono, while emphasizing the issue of patents for Portable.NET.

Gotta let people know where they can get that “IP peace of mind” I guess.

umad?

This is just more of the same from Team Apologista.

Watch the comment which says:

There is no excuse for removing criticism from Wikipedia, no matter how controversial the subject is.
Heck there is even this on Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Wikipedia
So whoever made the change you describe should instead have created a new section on the Moonlight page, called “Criticism”, and moved the content there.
Or created a new page called:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Moonlight
and moved the content there, and linked to it from the main Moonlight page.

Needless to say, I am disgusted by this form of perception management, it has a stench of Microsoft.

But let’s go back to Stallman’s criticism. It appears as though Florian Müller — as misguided as he is when it comes to the subject of Microsoft — has decided to personalise and mass-mail journalists (as usual) with his thoughts on “RMS’s call to boycott .NET, C#, Mono, DotGNU” (notice the strength of the words).

“Avoid .NET and C# at all costs.”
      –FFII President
“It’s kind of predictable that you and some others will interpret my latest blog posting (on Richard Stallman’s call to boycott .NET and its free implementations) in a certain way but that consideration can’t limit me in my expression of opinions,” Müller explained. “I doubt that RMS’s advice to developers hurts Microsoft but the people who do DotGNU, Mono or software running on top of those platforms may be hurt by it, at least emotionally. And for no good reason because .NET isn’t less free than Java or PHP, as I explain on my blog.”

Müller misses the point entirely for reasons we explained before. Maybe he is trying to miss the point, but deliberate misinformation is too hard to prove. Müller is conveniently ignoring Microsoft’s past and he is whitewashing instead, due to an irrational fixation. This latest post of his makes his irrational defence of Microsoft even more apparent and one of our readers broke Godwin’s law when he described what he saw here. There is more of that in the IRC logs.

“Avoid .NET and C# at all costs. Platform dependencies all the way,” told the president of the FFII to Müller, who replied with: “Platform dependencies are a different topic, I just said #swpat aren’t a particular problem of .NET, C#, Mono, DotGNU.”

Michael Widenius, the founder of MySQL who had Müller as a sidekick while serving a Microsoft board, is currently debating the whole “open core” mess and he says:

To me it’s clear that just because some of your product(s) is available under an open source license, you can’t claim to be an open source company, as that would make the term meaningless. Under such a definition even Microsoft would be an open source company, as some of their products are now available as open source.

On what platform/s? Under what conditions? What about software patents? What about Microsoft’s history of criminal abuse? Does that not count?

01.21.10

ODF Roundup: Norway, Germany Migration, ODF 1.2 Support, and ODF 1.1 Interop Profile

Posted in America, Apple, Europe, Google, Microsoft, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice, Standard, Wikipedia at 6:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Overview encompassing 3 weeks of ODF progress and victories

IT has been a long time since our last ODF update, so here is a long post catching up with key events and developments.

According to Peter Krantz, a seminar on ODF took place at Copenhagen Business School one week ago. Bart Hanssens and others noticed it and Hanssens has added this event to the ODF Web site at XML.org.

Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Date: 12 Jan 2010 – 09:30 – 15:00
Event Type: Conference

According to published reports in Norwegian and in English, Norwegian Broadcasting moves to OpenOffice.org and ODF. This is great news, but it’s nowhere as big as the news from Munich, which was mostly covered in German (rarely in English). Coverage includes:

There is a lot more about this coming from individual people, with one person saying: “congrats to the #limux team for the complete switch to #odf #linux”

Wikipedia has been updated to reflect on this and the debate carries on. Over in Denmark, a decision on open standards was said to be on the eve of a final decision after the scandals. According to a rough translation from Denmark, Midtjylland is turning to ODF and possibly leaving Microsoft Office. They cite problems with interoperability between Microsoft’s versions of Office. So typical.

Some people still wonder what software is good for ODF support and Sun releases ODF Plugin 3.1 for Microsoft Office, which includes support for ODF 1.2. Microsoft itself supports MSODF, which is not ODF [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7].

There is also freeware and GPL-licensed software that adds ODF support to Microsoft Office.

Drupal’s support of ODF was mentioned here before, but here it is again in some blog posts and in the ODF Web site, sitting there alongside another new page about OfficeReader (also see OffiViewer).

“Jesper Lund Stocholm and his friends from Microsoft are generally still trolling ODF, as usual.”Sander Marechal adds an anonymiser to Officeshots and the Microsoft provocateur Jesper Lund Stocholm trolls such a feature nonetheless.

Jesper Lund Stocholm and his friends from Microsoft are generally still trolling ODF, as usual. It seems as though Alex Brown and his buddies from Microsoft are bound to make another BSI fiasco. The Internet never forgets.

A Microsoft-sponsored ODF seminar (yes, from the company that attacks ODF) is to take place, according to Microsoft’s ODF-hostile trolls. Unlike IBM for example, Microsoft still wishes to eliminate ODF. That’s just its business objective.

Over in Brazil, there is a debate about ODF [OGG]. A rough translation of some coverage says that the “The director of the ODF Alliance Jomar Silva, @Homembit, was a guest at the table discussion on memory International Seminar of the Forum of Brazilian Digital Culture.”


Direct link

Over in the UK, the OSA’s Mark Antony is told that politicians can be believed “they’re sincere when Whitehall is running on Ubuntu & documents on govt. websites are available in ODF…”

“Currently, Microsoft does not properly support ODF and it still treats it like a second-class citizen.”SJVN has his personal interpretation of the impact of the i4i decision [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12]. “Maybe in the aftermath of the i4i decision,” he argues, everyone will “just have to bite the bullet & support ODF.” Currently, Microsoft does not properly support ODF and it still treats it like a second-class citizen. Google too has some catching up to do, based on D. R. Evans, not to mention Apple, which has been helping Microsoft against ODF. As one person put it earlier this month, “ISO’s current defect report for ISO 29500 (OOXML) has 809 pages. That are 71 pages more than the full specification of ODF 1.1! !” Miguel de Icaza helped Microsoft address some of these errors, but since then he has been crowned and named Microsoft MVP [1, 2]. He’s like part of that company.

The UX OpenOffice.org blog marks the beginning of the new year and reports from the UX meeting in Hamburg [1, 2] while ZDNet Germany writes about KOffice 2.1.1 (there’s more about Lotus Symphony). Bart Hanssens writes about ODF content at FOSDEM. He is preparing a talk and he has also uploaded a new draft of ODF 1.1 Interop Profile. His colleague Dennis Hamilton is happy about it.

Our reader The Mad Hatter is making valuable information future-proof right about now:

Open Formats – I’m Moving all Mom’s Poetry to Open Document Format

[...]

Of course if you do want access to Mom’s poetry, you can just go to OpenOffice.Org, and download Open Office at no cost. There’s no reason you can’t have both Microsoft Office and Open Office installed on the same computer.

In summary, even though there are no major ODF events, this international standard continues to develop and be adopted all around the world.

01.03.10

Convicted Monopoly Abuser Sends Partners to Prison

Posted in Asia, Deception, DRM, FSF, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Wikipedia, Windows at 5:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Guard tower

Summary: Microsoft is sending partners from India to jail and also hiring from the East in order to lower expenses that are wages

THERE is nothing more absurd than a criminal company sending others to prison while managing to stay out of jail or decommissioning. Almost exactly one year ago we wrote about Microsoft sending Chinese businessmen to prison and now this is happening in India:

i. Software company MD arrested for piracy

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested two persons on Friday, including the managing director of a Delhi-based software company, allegedly for carrying out piracy of Microsoft products.

ii. Partner Cheats on Microsoft

We have been covering Microsoft a lot lately. But for all the wrong reasons these days. First it was the unrest amongst channel partners in the East and North East regarding the arm twisting technique to increase sales. Now it is about the Microsoft Gold Certified partner KK Solutions in Delhi, which the brand caught recently counterfeiting not just the software but also all the certifications.

This is a sure way to drive sellers to GNU/Linux, as Microsoft recently found out in China. In India too, as Microsoft is finding out, this war on so-called ‘piracy’ (it is not piracy*) is having a negative effect.

Related to the above we also have this news:

H1-B Enrollment Up At State Colleges

[..]

As the state lawmakers head back to Olympia this month, we take a look at how one bill passed last year is playing out. The bill granted in–state tuition to foreign professionals and their families. Many of these are H1–B visa holders who work at places like Microsoft and Amazon. Since the law passed, new enrollments among this group have shot up at the UW and at community colleges around the region.

We last mentioned this here or here.
_____
* When people do not like something, then they tend to assign to that something a bunch of words with very negative connotation. In the case of “piracy”, murder and rape are implied. Even the word “terrorism” is said to have been cheapened by overly extensive and broad use. Today in Slashdot we found: “Novelist Blames Piracy On Open Source Culture”

The direct link says, ‘”With the open-source culture on the Internet, the idea of ownership — of artistic ownership — goes away,” Alexie added. “It terrifies me.”‘ What does that have to do with “open-source”? Nothing. The headline says that “Digital piracy hits the e-book industry.” Open source is wrongly being associated with copyright infringement. Our reader Oiaohm says: “They are looking for someone to blame. [...] Problem is projects like wikibooks is cutting in on there normally easy payday jobs [...] Then projects creating open source text books. So writers of conflicting items with open source find no one prepared to pay for what they have made.” Goblin says: “I don’t think they are trying to blame, I think its merely ignorance and lack of understanding on their part.” Oiaohm says “it’s a mixture” of those two factors. “I.e. open source project cutting into the markets, then normal people who don’t give a rats about copyright doing there normal thing. Copy protection in media has been a losing battle. Expect authors of books to get more hostile to the open source world. Think how may books the Wikipedia has undone. I cannot say fear [of] open source based documentation is groundless.”

As newspapers are already hostile towards Wikipedia and FOSS-like economics, this explanation makes sense. These sources devalue the older ones. A lot of resistance to DRM comes from FSF and the same goes for defense of P2P (where Free software is often obtained, especially GNU/Linux distribution torrents). The RIAA/MPAA (MAFIAA for short) openly complained about the FSF more than once for no justified reason.

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