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Ubuntu MATE Projects Donates Money to Debian, MATE, and Syncthing Developers

LXer - 3 hours 27 min ago
The Ubuntu MATE project does something very admirable each month. Its makers contribute financially to other open source projects that are being used in the operating system, and that is something that doesn't happen all the often in the FOSS universe.

Microsoft Lies, Propaganda, Embedded ‘Journalism’ and Other Dirty Tricks to Promote Vista 10

Techrights - 4 hours 23 min ago

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

Microsoft, internal document [PDF]

Summary: The Vista 10 entrapment is being sold to the public using bogus/unverified figures, Microsoft propagandists pretending to be journalists, and some gullible people who actually believe them

VISTA 10 has only been officially out for a number of days and already we are seeing the old propaganda about number of buyers/users. We expected this propaganda to come. Microsoft propagandists (for a living) like Matt Rosoff even prepared people to actively absorb this propaganda, days before Vista 10 and the propaganda were released.

Bogus Numbers

Phoronix now echoes Microsoft marketing propaganda without any scepticism, essentially relaying it to GNU/Linux users. Some people in IRC complained about this. The site wrote about the FSF’s statement, as did other prolific Linux news sites like Softpedia. “Well,” wrote Michael Larabel a short time afterwards, “it looks like the Free Software Foundation’s message about Windows 10 wasn’t too effective: reportedly, as of this morning, Windows 10 has already been installed on more than 67 million PCs.”

“Anyone who uncritically passes these Microsoft-sourced numbers around is participating in the deception campaign.”These numbers are lies and we have spent some time debating why they are lies. Anyone who uncritically passes these Microsoft-sourced numbers around is participating in the deception campaign.

Windows Banned

Microsoft clearly knew that BRIC/S governments would dodge Windows because of surveillance (some already banned Windows and Office after the NSA leaks), so what’s the thinking behind Vista 10 anyway? So many Microsoft-centric and hence NSA-centric privacy violations would clearly make it unfit for adoption in many domains, especially businesses and governments. Microsoft is again “Lying About Costs,” said Mr. Pogson, alluding to Microsoft propaganda in Europe. “You’d think they’d weigh the cost of seeing the truth juxtaposed with their lies on .eu sites widely read by governments in the region,” Pogson wrote.

Microsoft already announces many thousands of layoffs, death of Windows Phone/Mobile/RT, billions of dollar in losses, and then releases alpha-quality Windows as “final”. What kind of entity would consider it safe or economic to rely on Microsoft in the long term? Days ago I spoke to Microsoft staff and it’s not looking good. Phones of staff break apart (Microsoft/Windows phones, i.e. discontinued) and morale is quite low.

Vista 10 was generally built as though it was designed to be an April Fools prank, designed as a publicity stunt to show how much surveillance can fit in an operating system. Based on what Microsoft staff (programming) told me, there’s more of the same in the future of Windows. The key word here is “more”. See articles like “Windows 10 Spies on Almost Everything You Do, Unless You Opt Out” (Russian media), “Oops! New Microsoft Windows 10 Is Spying On You – Hackers Online Club (HOC)” (US), and “Windows 10: Microsoft under attack over privacy” (UK). Everywhere in the media there’s some coverage regarding the privacy violations of Vista 10, which we have been writing about for years (with some insider information). As Sputnik put it, “Microsoft will synchronize your settings by default with its servers. This would be included your program history, website surfing, hotspot and Wi-Fi network names passwords”

There is absolutely no chance that governments like Russia’s government will ever even allow it to be installed anywhere.

“Microsoft’s Windows 10 is spying on nearly everything its users do,” says another article, “and anyone who agreed to the operating system’s new terms of service consented to the surveillance, whether knowingly or otherwise.”

Windows Boosters Tied to Microsoft

There is a propaganda campaign going on with a huge budget behind it, as we first noted some days ago.

IDG, which currently employs current Microsoft staff as 'journalists', has made a “Senior Contributing Editor” out of Woody Leonhard, a longtime Microsoft booster. To quote his own introduction to himself: “Woody’s next, “Windows 10 All-in-One For Dummies,” is coming soon. He’s senior contributing editor to InfoWorld’s Tech Watch blog, senior editor at Windows Secrets Newsletter, and a Microsoft MVP. A self-described “Windows victim,” he’s won eight Computer Press Association awards and two Neal awards. Woody specializes in telling the truth about Windows in a way that won’t put you to sleep.”

Microsoft’s Vista 10 propaganda at IDG right now is therefore coming from a propagandist masquerading as a “Senior Contributing Editor”. That’s how IDG is advertising Vista 10, appeasing a big sponsor of the site (advertising revenue flows to IDG, but advertising slots may not be sufficient for the advertiser to keep the money flowing).

We have already shown some more examples like that (Vista 10 raves from Microsoft boosters). It’s almost as though every positive ‘review’ we have come across so far was composed by a Microsoft booster before Vista 10 was even released (these were prepared in advance, in coordination with Microsoft PR agencies). It’s then being artificially promoted (Microsoft paid Twitter a lot of money to artificially promote Vista 10, as we noted several days ago)

If one looks away from Microsoft boosters and propagandists, the main theme seems to be security issues, privacy violations, crashes, anticompetitive tactics against rival Web browsers and so on.

Kim Komando, for instance, wrote about the latest bug doors: “Yesterday’s release of Microsoft’s Windows 10 saw Microsoft introduce a new browser to replace the aging Internet Explorer. Called Microsoft Edge, it’s supposed to be faster and more secure than its predecessor. However, according to several tech reviews that came out in the hours since its release, cyberattacks are still very possible on Edge.”

Well, it’s a given that there are holes because it’s a service Microsoft provides to the NSA (and has provided for many years). The NSA is a big client and customer of Vista 10. People who ‘upgrade’ to it for ‘free’ simply become the product. Remember that Microsoft has no "security issues", it has back doors and front doors. Users are a commodity to be sold to other parties.

Even Microsoft Knows That Vista 10 Sucks

Based on this new article, Microsoft expects people to set up Web sites protesting and ranting not only against Vista 10 but also the 2 Web browsers that it forces/throws upon users (“useds” would be a better word) by making them part of the core of the operating systems, hence more of a security risk and impossible to remove. “Microsoft relaunched Internet Explorer this week as “Edge”,” wrote The Register, “and the software behemoth appears already prepared to accept that its super new browser may absolutely suck.”

The Register continues: “But it looks as though it has stayed away from buying domains associated with the controversial new king of online suckage: the .sucks top-level domain name, which caused a furore by charging companies $2,500 for a .sucks domain featuring their brandname. So, no, there is no MicrosoftEdge.sucks for now.

“For the same price as MicrosoftEdge.sucks, you can get roughly 250 dot-coms or 50 domain names ending in new dot-words like .blog. As such Microsoft has also grabbed the typo domains microsoftede.com and microsoftegde.com.”

That’s pretty good investigative work. It looks like Microsoft knows what’s coming, not just from Web developers who will be furious having to deal with two — not just one (with numerous zombie versions) — defective-by-design Web browsers of Microsoft. They are hardly different, but the branding has changed (dodging the notoriety of Explorer). In our IRC channels we have learned from people who took Edge for a spin that in many ways it’s even worse than Explorer.

Why Vista 10 is a Failure

The Register wrote many articles — mostly negative — about Vista 10. It’s just hard to find anything positive to say, unless you are paid by Microsoft to lie. Even people from Microsoft hate Vista 10.

Vista 10 “marks the end of ‘pay once, use forever’ software,” says The Register, which explains this as follows: “Windows 10 is the last version of Windows that will ever be released. If this really is the last version of Windows desktop operating system ever, though, where will Microsoft make its money?

“Microsoft, after-all, has built a multi-billion-dollar business on sales of new versions of Windows through retailers and to PC makers, who pass on the cost of licensing Windows to us through the cost of a new PC. Windows was the firm’s genesis, something that led to Office and thence to the server.”

Someone from Microsoft told me that they now work on Vista 12 and the privacy violations are likely to further expand. So don’t jump on this trap. It’s an entrapment. Even user data will be held hostage for ransom (locked in) on the ‘cloud’, owned by Microsoft and accessible by naughty spy agencies. ‘Upgrading’ to Vista 10 is giving up privacy and entering a trap. So avoid the trap now. The Register reminds people that Vista 10 turns PCs into zombies of Microsoft, literally. Alluding to an issue that we covered here before, Wired reminds people that Vista 10 also treats user like the product, on their own computer, which effectively becomes an ad delivery platform (and along with it surveillance for ad targeting).

“10 things Windows 10 failed to fix or flat-out broke” is the provocative headline of an article that actually reads more like an advertisement for Microsoft (from IDG). “Some niggling issues have been hindering Microsoft’s operating system for years,” wrote the author (typically pro-Microsoft), “and Windows 10 adds a few new irritating quirks of its own. Don’t let these (predominantly minor) complaints sour you to the OS overall, but these are the problems Windows 10 doesn’t fix.”

Given the background of this author (Microsoft-friendly), one may interpret that as him not being happy about where Windows is going.

Competition Abuses and Strong-arming

Mac Asay, who once tried to work for Microsoft, says that Microsoft’s goals are “sad … really sad” (probably the editor’s own headline). He says at The Register that adoption of Vista 10 is “unfortunate, because for that billion-device number to mean anything, Microsoft really, really needs it to be relevant to phones.”

Well, based on this new article, Microsoft tries using Vista 10 to shove Microsoft malware into Android phones. Microsoft basically tries to ‘steal’ the competition. In our IRC channels we learn that if one tries to disable (not even uninstall) Microsoft malware for Android, then menacing alerts will appear, saying it might damage the phone. That’s Microsoft’s FUD and lies right on top of Linux.

The press is finally catching up [1, 2, 3] and reporting Mozilla's complaint over anticompetitive abuses, so not only GNU/Linux is being sabotaged by Vista 10.

In summary, a lot of the positive coverage about Vista 10 is corrupt, or put another way, it comes from corruptible sources. People who actually use the software (if they managed to install it at all) are not happy and the media is slowly starting to reflect on that. The same thing happened when Vista was released, greeted by staged excitement (“the Wow starts now”).

Wine 1.7 Series Turn Two Years Old, No Sign Of Wine 1.8

Phoronix - 4 hours 43 min ago
Today marks two years since the start of the Wine 1.7 development series. While it's been two years of doing bi-weekly development releases, there's no sign of Wine 1.8.0 being ready for release in the near future...
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