'It's GOOD we stopped selling the iPhone'

Plus: 'Now I'll have to call you perkeleen vittupää' says Torvalds

Quotw NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden continues to cower in Russia this week as his options narrow and Russian president Vladimir Putin makes it known that he's unwelcome.

The musclebound leader called Snowden an "unwanted gift" from America and said that the US campaign to ensure that he didn't hightail it off to some other country had left him trapped in a Moscow airport. Putin said:

He came to our territory without invitation. And we weren't his final destination... But the moment he was in the air... our American partners, in fact, blocked his further flight. They have spooked all the other countries, nobody wants to take him and in that way, in fact, they have themselves blocked him on our territory.

Putin wants the man who revealed the PRISM cyber-snooping project to the world off his land, or failing that, he's willing to let him stay if he'll stop publicising secrets of his American brethren:

As soon as there is an opportunity for him to move elsewhere, I hope he will do that.

The conditions for (Russia) granting him political asylum are known to him. And judging by his latest actions, he is shifting his position. But the situation has not been clarified yet.

Also in Russia, the final of the big three mobile carriers has abandoned the iPhone. MTS, MegaFon, and VimpelCom have all given up flogging the fruity device to their potential user base of more than 230 million people because it just doesn't pay.

Vimpelcom, the final carrier to leave off stocking Apple's shiny Jesusmobe after MegaFon dropped it in 2010 and MTS last year, didn't have much of a choice, according to Hi-Tech.Mail.Ru's chief analyst Dmitry Ryabinin:

Apple's conditions are hard, especially in terms of marketing, and not always profitable for partners, so VimpelCom's decision is logical.

As Andrei Dubovskov, chief of MTS, said last week:

Apple wants operators to pay them huge money, subsidising iPhones and their promotion in Russia. Now it's not beneficial for us. It's good we stopped selling the iPhone as these sales would've brought us a negative margin.

In Blighty, the Prime Minister has asked ISPs to go ahead and do what they were already doing about web porn filters, but phrase it in a way that makes it sound like they're doing more.

David Cameron wants to rebrand the "Active Choice +" website-blocking technology as a "default on" filter, which probably isn't a strictly accurate description but will play better with voters concerned Daily Mail-reading parents. According to officials within the UK government, writing to British ISPs:

The prime minister believes that there is much more that we can all do to improve how we communicate the current position on parental internet controls and that there is a need for a simplified message to reassure parents and the public more generally.

Without changing what you will be offering (ie active-choice +), the prime minister would like to be able to refer to your solutions are 'default-on' as people will have to make a choice not to have the filters (by unticking the box).

Can you consider how to include this language (or similar) in the screens that begin the set-up process? For example, 'this connection includes family-friendly filters as default [or as standard] - if you do not want to install this protection please un-tick the box' (obviously not intended to be drafting). Would you be able to commit to including 'default-on' or similar language both in the set-up screen and public messaging?

In comments that Microsoft would have preferred remained private, the software firm told cloudy colleagues that there was no point in trying to compete with Google on price. Competitive strategist Theresa Connor made the comments at a breakout session at the Windows giant's Worldwide Partner Conference, which were leaked as part of a webcast marked confidential that didn't stay that way. She said:

If you have allowed Google to engage in the conversation before you get there then you are a little bit behind that eight ball and you've got a much higher propensity to lose... the minute you engage in a price conversation it's very difficult to compete.

However, she also pointed out that Google's cloudy offerings could come with hidden extras:

We all know from experience … with Google Apps you can often have to add a lot of different third party appliances just to get to parity with the experience and then all of a sudden you've got lots of vendors to manage and all of a sudden it's very different to that low cost price point that Google initially positioned to the customer.

Nevertheless, winning someone back to Microsoft after they'd gone elsewhere was "incredibly painful" and cloud partners would be better off attempting to "inoculate" against Google before the customer jumps ship:

It can be incredibly costly to actually win the account back. In some instances we've had to buy out the contract as an example.

And finally, Penguin chieftain Linus Torvalds has been indulging in one of his legendary slagging matches with a developer who rather foolishly suggested it might be time for the Linux kernel founder to tone down his putdowns.

The war of words kicked off when Torvalds laid into Sharp’s boss, USB subsystem maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman, over bugs in the x86 updates for the 3.11 kernel that has just hit first release candidate as well as in the 3.10.1 stable review. The furious Finn started off politely enough:

Greg, the reason you get a lot of stable patches seems to be that you make it easy to act as a door-mat. Clearly at least some people say "I know this patch isn't important enough to send to Linus, but I know Greg will silently accept it after the fact, so I'll just wait and mark it for stable". You may need to learn to shout at people.

Stepped up ever so slightly when others on the forums started arguing over which of them was more scary, Greg or Linus. Kernel development grandee Ingo Molnar offered:

Greg might be a giant and he might squish people without ever even noticing, but that's just a grave, deadly physical threat no real kernel hacker ever feels threatened by. (Not much can hurt us deep in our dark basements after all, except maybe earthquakes, gamma ray eruptions and Mom trying to clean up around the computers.)

So Greg, if you want it all to change, create some _real_ threat: be frank with contributors and sometimes swear a bit. That will cut your mailqueue in half, promise!

And went totally off the deep end the following day:

What the F*CK, guys?

This piece-of-shit commit is marked for stable, but you clearly never even test-compiled it, did you?

Because on x86-64 (the which is the only place where the patch matters), I don't see how you could have avoided this honking huge warning otherwise...

Seriously, WTF? I made the mistake of doing multiple merges back-to-back with the intention of not doing a full allmodconfig build in between them, and now I have to undo them all because this pull request was full of unbelievable shit.

And why the hell was this marked for stable even *IF* it hadn't been complete and utter tripe? It even has a comment in the commit message about how this probably doesn't matter. So it's doubly crap: it's *wrong*, and it didn't actually fix anything to begin with.

There aren't enough swear-words in the English language, so now I'll have to call you perkeleen vittupää* just to express my disgust and frustration with this crap.

But Linux kernel xHCI driver maintainer and USB 3.0 support head Sarah Sharp has had enough, berating Torvalds and telling him to behave more professionally:

Seriously, guys? Is this what we need in order to get improve -stable? Linus Torvalds is advocating for physical intimidation and violence. Ingo Molnar and Linus are advocating for verbal abuse.

Not *fucking* cool. Violence, whether it be physical intimidation, verbal threats or verbal abuse is not acceptable. Keep it professional on the mailing lists.

Let's discuss this at Kernel Summit where we can at least yell at each other in person. Yeah, just try yelling at me about this. I'll roar right back, louder, for all the people who lose their voice when they get yelled at by top maintainers.

Which Torvalds was having none of:

If you want me to "act professional", I can tell you that I'm not interested. I'm sitting in my home office wearing a bathrobe. The same way I'm not going to start wearing ties, I'm *also* not going to buy into the fake politeness, the lying, the office politics and backstabbing, the passive aggressiveness, and the buzzwords. Because THAT is what "acting professionally" results in: people resort to all kinds of really nasty things because they are forced to act out their normal urges in unnatural ways.

The fight continues... ®

* Finnish for f*****g m*****f****r

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