The content of this post typically fits better under the daily lump of links because it escapes our main points of focus. However, since there are some bits here which are worth citing in the future, here are some news items worth commenting on, in turn.
The other day we wrote about tax evasion and the following article from Red Herring not only reveals that Microsoft leads the pack in terms of lobbying, an unethical multi-billion-dollar industry, but it also uses it for tax breaks.
Microsoft is leading the tech industry’s charge up Capitol Hill, according to statistics released Monday.
The world’s largest software company spent $9 million on lobbyists to make its case in issues including taxes and trade, according to statistics compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.
Keeping Microsoft's considerable influence on the United States government in mind, also watch this news:
Tax benefit helped Microsoft’s 3Q earnings
Turns out Microsoft and Uncle Sam have been going back through the company’s books from 2000 to 2003. Not knowing how that would end up, Microsoft had “over accrued” its tax provision in past quarters, said Colleen Healy, general manager of investor relations. With the review settled, the company was able to reduce that provision.
For those curious enough, the following was posted in a Web forum last night in order to give just a few more examples:
Accounting Fraud and Misrepresentation of Profits:
What we have here is probably systematic and we wrote about this in details not so long ago.
This is the same man who originated the term “doing a Newham” – ie the process of feigning interest in Linux to get, ahem, ‘preferential arrangements’ with Microsoft.
This is the same man who, in line with Newhams MoU with Microsoft, starred in Microsoft’s “Get the Facts” roadshow.
As Dr John Pugh MP has stated, “Microsoft is *very* close to the UK Government, and they intend to stay there”.
Richard Steel’s appointment as President of Socitm is a very canny play from the multiply-convicted monopolist.
Of course the contractual obligation to promote Microsoft in the UK Public Sector will not affect either his credibility, or his bias-free ability to perform this new role, nobody could possibly think that, could they?
A day or so later came this announcement which seemingly suggests British children will be ‘adopted’ by Microsoft, at least in the digital sense.
As part of a long-term strategic partnership, Microsoft, learndirect, UK online centres and OCR (Oxford Cambridge and RSA Examinations) have launched the Microsoft Digital Literacy curriculum.
It’s probably not needed to merely repeat the dangers of children turned into a Microsoft workforce, becoming dependent using freebies. All of these things continue to fascinate those who fear commercialisation of education, whereby corporations are permitted to control the minds of future generations and shape their perceptions accordingly, to fit an agenda. Microsoft even speaks about it in its latest SEC filing and now offers pro-intelletucal monopolies lessons for young children.
Corporations are, by nature, unethical, due to the nature in which they are run. Some European politicians fail to see this and merely follow the money.
Last but not least, consider old articles about ways in which Microsoft uses influence in government to control education and expand the monopoly.
Of course, some of the states giving these monopolies to Microsoft are different from those suing Microsoft and it is different parts of government — namely education officials — who have granted the software monopolies versus those parts of government — namely Attorneys General — who are investigating the company.
We’d already learned that Microsoft hands out cash rewards to professors willing to tout Microsoft products in their academic programs, and offers a $10,000 stipend to “Microsoft Scholars” who “advise” Microsoft on how to win academic accounts. But these efforts directed towards replacing educational integrity with corporate opportunism are almost benign in comparison to those being undertaken in Idaho, Texas and Indiana.
A web site at Idaho State University’s Business School offers free course materials to instructors wishing to teach Internet site development. Ironically, the home page displays “junk” characters at the bottom of the left-hand frame — not a good example for a site that purports to offer materials on proper design.
What’s disturbing about the site, however, is the statement on the main page that the course material has a “focus on Microsoft technology” and is “sponsored” by Microsoft. The main page also contains Microsoft’s advertising “buttons” for Internet Explorer and BackOffice. Since when do academic sites at public institutions carry advertising?
To summarise, what we have seen here is that control of governments permits one to receive financial benefits, escape financial fraud with minimal scrutiny and expand the monopoly through contracts that rarely (if ever) involve a tender. █