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Bad Management Ruining Canonical and Sirius ‘Open Source’

Video download link | md5sum 1df78d5342750f6e4e11cfa4536aa0da
To Developers, Canonical Not the Same Anymore
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: A former client of my former employer (we supported postgres for them) has just lost a key developer and then resorted to ‘hijacking’ a project, exploiting the Contributor License Agreement (CLA); yes, Canonical is becoming more “closed”, just like Red Hat, so Free software proponents won’t stick around for much longer

THERE is a familiar sight. The symptoms strike a nerve.

A very short time after I had announced my resignation from Sirius ‘Open Source’ (that was before I even knew about the crimes, which I wrote about today in my personal site), someone from Canonical did the same thing and told a similar story. My wife joked that maybe he was inspired by us, but who can ever prove such a thing?

The video above discusses what happened this month and explains similarities to what happened last year at Sirius ‘Open Source’.

As a reminder, Canonical is a former client of Sirius. It shows it right there in the front page and footer, it’s not a secret:

Screenshot of Canonical as client Sirius

In any event, days ago Stéphane Graber (Launchpad member since 2005-09-26) resigned from Canonical and it doesn’t look pretty. Consider this original departure message and little other coverage that followed (any further updates clustered here in the future; we didn’t see this in LWN or Phoronix). To quote little coverage we found (from OMG! Ubuntu!): “Stéphane Graber has announced their resignation from Canonical after 12 years of working at the company, mostly on LXD. The decision follows news last week that Canonical has taken the LXD project in-house after years of it existing as a community endeavour under the Linux Containers (LXC) umbrella. Stéphane’s engineering expertise and enthusiasm for LXD (and containers in general) has arguably made them the “face” of LXD. In social media replies to their (somewhat unexpected) decision, many have commented on this and thanked them for their contributions and help over the years.”

“As a reminder, Canonical is a former client of Sirius.”He wrote many blog posts in the official Ubuntu site, albeit not in recent years (nothing since 2019).

“It’s a very bad situation for LXD / LXC due to Microsoft control and influence over Canonical,” one reader told us. We’ve recently shown just how close Canonical was getting to Microsoft, so maybe LXD work (and staff) was being chained to Microsoft’s proprietary surveillance grid.

From what can be gathered between the lines and elsewhere, there’s a leadership issue.

Stéphane Graber later added: “Canonical upper management apparently expects a community project to have the majority of its code contributed by external parties which LXD obviously didn’t. With a team of 10 or so to the engineers, Canonical likely contributed 90% or so of LXD’s code. I do strongly disagree about this being the main metric of the success of a community though…”

Gabriel Reiser responded: “Sad that they no longer understand the open source model and expect the community to get behind uninspiring leadership. LXD will live on. Canonical however, needs to find itself again.”

Maybe they hired the wrong managers, as the video points out. This happened in Sirius. When I left the company nobody in the management used Free/Open Source software. It had been like this for years already.

Comment or conclusion from my wife: “My personal view is, when the company changes its mission and vision, that’s a red flag, followed by the exodus of many, e.g. colleagues, managers, and even interns — and that is also another thing. Life in general isn’t going to revolve around work and money, that isn’t the essence of it. The feeling of freedom and fulfillment are most rewarding and that’s something which I haven’t felt for a long time until I left my job.”

Sirius ‘Open Source’ Contributed to Perceptions That Open Source is a Fraud and the Government Lets It Off the Hook

Video download link | md5sum 25143997fa3602ec8a0eb4b96c0ea757
Complaining to the Government About Government Contractor
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: The accountability for crimes of Sirius ‘Open Source’ will require government intervention, i.e. law enforcement and courts’ involvement; based on what we’ve witnessed so far, the British government would rather ignore crimes that involve its frequent contractor for Free software projects

THIS tenth part of the series is primarily a video. It talks about the government connections at Sirius ‘Open Source’. Not only the police ignores the matter; we’ve also shown that HMRC is looking the other way and later this month we’ll show the reaction from agencies that gave the contracts.

Next week is important because we’ll see whether British police also ignores Members of Parliament, who are understandably upset about this impunity. The police was given 4 weeks to respond — that’s very ample time — and Tuesday (or Wednesday) marks 4 weeks.

Sirius Open Source is Collapsing

Sirius: Open Source software, Stress free technology

Summary: The end of Sirius ‘Open Source’ is near; we shall explain what goes on there these days, as the company may only last weeks or months longer (with obligations to staff it robbed and potentially arrests of current and past managers)

MY wife and I resigned from Sirius 6 months ago (10 days ago it was exactly 6 months). We think we know what triggered a chain of events, but cannot definitively prove it at this point (maybe some other day, we’re in no hurry with this investigation).

The company is in a state of disarray and since we left about 50% of the remaining staff also left. With staff fleeing, and the company unable to recruit the people it needs to fulfil obligations to remaining clients, it will soon have no clients at all, i.e. no source of revenue.

We are getting there with accountability. After fraud committed against Sirius staff, we’re now successfully escalating to a political level (the company has a lot to do with political bodies in the UK). This will be a source of embarrassment to bodies and companies other than Sirius itself.

While source protection is paramount, we are still able to share some details that highlight the chaos in this company, where things have never been the same since Microsofters and Bill Gates intervened, occasionally mentioning me by name as they tried hard to destroy my source of income. They’ve been doing this since 2005. This will actually be the subject of a separate series or article.

Sirius is a cautionary tale about companies that defraud their own employees. What makes it relevant to this site isn’t myself but the fact the company fancies itself or describes itself as a leader in “Open Source” (it used to also say “Free software”) in the UK — that’s also the reason I joined this company 12+ years ago.

Sirius ‘Open Source’ Does Not Pay Its Contractors

The company’s victims include blind people

Saturday:

You trying to seed doubt and gaslight many victims. You moreover make  veiled threats against people who speak out facts. Based on your earlier message, you're a friend or de facto  promoter/fixer of Mark

Sunday:

When I saw the praise for Sirius I did cringe to myself because I also find them to be a scummy company.   I thought I'd avoid responding, because frankly life is too short.  However, this veiled threat of libel is simply ridiculous, so now I am going to respond. The reason I find them scummy is because I worked on a project with them 10 years ago, and they simply didn't pay me and ignored reminders to pay the invoice.  The project was ultimately cancelled as the client changed their mind, so I guess Sirus thought they didn't need to pay me. It wasn't even a huge sum of money, but it was enough to totally burn their reputation with me.  So yeah, if they want to sue me for libel, bring it the fuck on. Thanks

Summary: The crimes of Sirius ‘Open Source’ turn out to have gone further than the pension fraud; according to a new message, the company withheld payment to staff that did a lot of work and we’ve seen even worse “wage theft” before (at one point the company was taken to court over it, almost exactly a decade ago if not many times more)

A Tale of Bossware-at-Home in Company That Rejected Free Software

Video download link | md5sum 9a90a5de7aacd9fc4b8847cf61321f6a
When Sirius Abandoned Jabber for Bossware
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: The company known as Sirius ‘Open Source’ generally rejected… Open Source. Today’s focus was the migration to Slack.

THE above video discusses the migration/transition/downgrade from Jabber to a truly terrible, centralised, proprietary and vulnerable platform known as Slack. Aside from technical problems and various glaring limitations, Slack was a risk not just to Sirius ‘Open Source’ but also to its clients.

No matter the hard evidence and how much I pointed this out (maybe a dozen times, at personal risk), that always fell on deaf ears. The company was already governed by incompetent people.

It was abundantly clear that many colleagues did not like this. Some opposed this. Some faced disciplinary action for antagonising. That would include me. So in a company called “Open Source” we’re meant to assume that adopting proprietary software — and not because some client requires it — is considered acceptable. Whereas insisting on the company’s values is considered an offense.

From what we can gather, Red Hat staff was subjected to similar treatment after IBM had bought the company. It’s hard to believe that later this year it will be 5 years since that announcement.

ISO Certificates Are Junk (and Sirius Proves This)

Video download link | md5sum 07a2f3b98615ee2d67a59e46c7ac4f8e
ISO as Meaningless Certificates Mill
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: Sirius ‘Open Source’ has used “ISO” as a catch-all talking point since 2019 in spite of doing illegal, unethical and truly dubious things while failing really badly at security

IN OUR last post we started the first part of several parts about ISO, commencing a separate (sub)series of posts that may take about a week to finish.

Sirius ‘Open Source’ disregards security advice, deems commentary that it lacks security staff to be “defamatory” (actually it’s perfectly factual), and moreover it is ignoring advice from technical people who do have a clue — all this while failing to do basic things like change passwords after a major breach.

If ISO considers that to be “OK”, then that says a lot about ISO.

ISO perception; ISO reality

A Culture of False Pretences at Sirius Open Source Inc./Ltd.

Video download link | md5sum 8a0c716f5505ae9716a939a2824a5a3e
Sirius False Pretences
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: The Sirius ‘Open Source’ CEO built his repertoire on lies; technical staff did antagonise these lies, but it did not help; today I show how he lied about what had initiated his “investigation” and the company lied about his predecessor, too (they’ve managed to ‘normalise’ deceit all across the board)

THE company I left last month is a lot dodgier than I had realised (from within). We shall see where the shells go… US? Another residential address in the UK? How far does the nepotism go and can any Sirius worker be honest about what’s going on? A company that is honest to staff and to clients doesn’t have such issues; it doesn’t need to hide lots of skeletons in a closet. Just be honest and consistency will follow (as opposed to shuffling excuses and phony timelines).

A lot went wrong with the company when the CEO took money from the Gates Foundation under an NDA; proving a correlation is hard, but things have never been the same. The bullying against my wife and I started only weeks later (same time I was investigating extremely damning things about Bill Gates).

The video above focuses on one rather obvious example of lying. It starts with me showing our Cisco phone (now obsolete) and lousy copy-paste job by the CEO, in effect reusing accusations against two different people. Towards the end it shows the latest meme and article. That article shows how the CEO was stalking IRC and when he saw a name mentioned he decided to use that as a sort of pretext (to make it seem like a client had complained). He not only used this unrelated mention to allege somebody had complained; he took it further than this to do the same to my wife. But I spoke to the person in question. The person did not complain. The CEO of Sirius is lying. The company is basically built on a thick layer of lies.

To conclude the video, it’s worth mentioning that the ‘original’ terrible manager (not the wife of the CEO, who was the predecessor, but a former colleague of his from the Open Source Consortium) already damaged the morale of all the staff. Many left weeks/months later and those who stayed were suffering abuse. We’ve mentioned it many times, as that is how things deteriorated 4 years ago, but we need to emphasise it again.

The company said that she went away for a long holiday and then silence… she would never come back. How mysterious. That was a lie. Months passed and not a word was spoken; then one of the colleagues, who had suffered abuse from her, asked if she is ever coming back. The rest of us also wondered, “Where is she? Is she still on a holiday?”

The company didn’t even bother to reply. She just vanished without a trace… good riddance. But why lie about her going on holiday? This wasn’t the only time colleagues were just vanishing without an explanation. We gave examples last month. In short, the predecessor and the current CEO are the same awful imposters, only the gender has changed, and some of the workers might say the current one is even worse. Worst ever.

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