EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

09.03.08

Microsoft’s Grip on the BBC is Tightened

Posted in FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 11:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Former Microsoft executives inherit the Beeb

Whereas Microsoft crumbles at its executive ranks, it appears to find its influence penetrating other innocent companies, some of which are direct competitors of Microsoft. In addition, bias in the media can transcend the borders of the technical industry amid managerial changes, so this can affect also commerce-independent channels, such as the BBC.

Issues with the BBC were expressed before (to catch up with an assortment of criticisms, see [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15]). Problems almost immediately followed a technical collaboration that had been established with Microsoft rather than with trusted UK-based companies, which are not convicted monopoly abusers.

Bias in the media comes in different forms. Editorial control, which is also supervised by the management, can affect article headlines and convey hidden messages. It is therefore interesting (yet worrisome) that Microsoft has just ‘lost ‘a vice president. Although it reflects badly on the future of the company, it turns out that this man will likely land in a position of influence where he can serve Microsoft better. He is reportedly headed towards BBC Worldwide, which is still perceived as trustworthy media.

Chris Dobson, Microsoft’s VP for its UK Online Service Group, is leaving the company. Dobson is believed to be joining BBC Worldwide in a senior role. He joined Microsoft in 2001 following positions at Zenith and MTV Networks.

He would be not the first executive from Microsoft who occupies a position of great responsibility there. Also inside the BBC, Erik Huggers, who arrived from Microsoft, continues to use iPlayer against GNU/Linux. Despite the fact that everyone pays tax, the BBC underplays the role of the operating system and has so far refused to support it. In addition, it threw FUD at it, suggesting that only 600 people in the UK are GNU/Linux users. How familiar a routine [1, 2].

“The language and attitude is very clear to see and for the BBC to publish such articles would simply be irresponsible.”Let us assume — but not hope — that Microsoft employees at the highest of levels are running the BBC and managing public money (tax money). What might be the impact? Technical facilities (e.g. iPlayer framework) is just one small ingredient of this equation; the other is media coverage. Might the BBC refuse to say anything positive about GNU/Linux, or altogether ignore its need/right for coverage? It is always hard to measure such things. One must consider incidents, keep track of them, and maybe count them.

The BBC’s inter-personal connections and partnership with Microsoft may already have a subtle effect. For example, just earlier, the BBC published this GNU/Linux-bashing article. It published it unchallenged. It contains ‘weasel words’ like “Hippy ideals” and it’s referring to the software just as “Linux” and explaining “open source”, not Free software. The latter mistake is not so uncommon, so it’s worth ignoring for now.

Looking at the myths that are spread and reinforced throughout the article, one finds “It’s not the machine itself that’s driving me to violence, but the operating system that controls its programs and hardware: Linux.” Another piece of FUD about GNU/Linux in 2008: “As someone used solely to double-clicking on pretty pictures to do most anything on a computer this is pretty hairy stuff.” There’s also the “no support” FUD at the end: “Bang a couple of lines of code into the terminal window to tell the machine to install what we’ve downloaded. Bingo, we’re cooking on gas,” it says. The language and attitude is very clear to see and for the BBC to publish such articles would simply be irresponsible.

The bottom line is: do not consider the BBC a credible source. This is far from the first such example.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

6 Comments

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    September 3, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    Gravatar

    Where are they now?

    MS execs have been leaving, but it might be found that the companies they subsequently infest catch the Microsoft illness shortly after their arrival.

    Just a guess.

    At least while they were in MS, they were all in one place. Now many are at large and there is no word on whether they will continue to spread harm or if they can be rehabilitated into constructive members of society.

  2. pcole said,

    September 3, 2008 at 4:13 pm

    Gravatar

    So whose the cancer now, Monkey “Stevie” boy? MS seems to be the source of the disease; Ex-MS execs spreading themselves around infecting and corrupting everything around them similar to flesh-eating parasites. Ass for the BBC technical writer; if the bottom of the barrel is the best that “rag” can come up with, “journalism” is in dire straits. My 8 year old can write a better review on his own Linux experience.

  3. Yfrwlf said,

    September 3, 2008 at 7:34 pm

    Gravatar

    I would compare this to MSNBC in America, but since the BBC is tax-paid, it’s much more severe.

    I just want to know how MS is getting away with acquiring and manipulating other industries, something I thought was against the law. Competition can’t function very well when the same organization controls the land, air, and sea.

    Message to the UK, and everyone else for that matter: Push for laws in your government to require the examination of all software options as well as pushing for equal and standardized access.

  4. Mike Brown said,

    September 3, 2008 at 10:05 pm

    Gravatar

    The BBC article itself wasn’t as bad as the out of context headlines that are sprinkled within. E.g.,

    “Gary Parkinson had a torrid time when he converted to Linux.”

    Is that so? Well, here’s Gary’s first impressions of the default Linux install (Xandros) on his Eee:

    “Xandros worked right out of the box. Like most distros it includes Open Office, an open source copycat of Microsoft Office. Word processing, spreadsheets and presentations are no problem. …. Xandros connected to the net through my home wireless network at the first time of asking. And surfing was fast and easy.”

    Doesn’t sound too fucking torrid to me.

    No, his problems actually start when he removes Xandros and attempts to install a completely different Linux distribution in its place because “there were a couple of things about Xandros which I didn’t like”. And he had problems. Well, it happens sometimes. But FFS, how many non-geeks are going to do that? Is is something you’d advise your Granny to do, and maybe then talk her through the process on the phone to boot? Thought not.

    The truth is that Gazza would have very likely had similar problems had it tried to install Windows XP instead of Xandros; worse, in fact. And as for Vista…well, not even he’s that stupid, I suspect.

  5. Mike Brown said,

    September 3, 2008 at 10:35 pm

    Gravatar

    I’ve lodged a complaint on the BBC web site. Pretty much what I said above, but with the swearing removed.

  6. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 4, 2008 at 2:48 am

    Gravatar

    Thanks, Mike. It just smelled to me like the typical FUD points (e.g. “no iTunes”) Microsoft occasionally slings using its ax men, e.g. Michael Gartenberg:

    http://slated.org/linux_still_doesnt_make_it_on_desktop_is_pure_fud
    http://boycottnovell.com/2008/09/03/sabotage-google-using-shills/

What Else is New


  1. They Came, They Saw, He Died

    Microsoft is an inherently sociopathic company; today's story of AppGet is an important reminder that Microsoft has not changed and isn't changing (Maui is another week-old example of trademark-hijacking tactics by Microsoft)



  2. Microsoft-Connected CloudGuru Doesn't Care About GNU/Linux and Now It's Gradually Killing the BSD/Linux-Centric Jupiter Broadcasting (Bought by Linux Academy)

    Assuming Docker is being 'killed' by Microsoft (or at least hijacked to push Windows, Azure and so on) while the GitHub-hosted (Microsoft) CloudGuru, whose co-founder comes from Microsoft, ‘finishes the job’ with Linux Academy and its assets, it’s time to take stock of a pattern/trend that ruins the media too



  3. What Happened to Docker is a Cautionary Tale About the Not-So-New Microsoft

    It’s hardly shocking that Docker collapsed (mass-scale layoffs) after the company had gotten close to Microsoft and got rid of its very own founder (a Red Hat veteran) while the software is being killed off/co-opted by Microsoft (all over the news this week; we’ve omitted links by intention as it’s only puff pieces, no investigative journalism anywhere); we only ask one thing: is anyone paying attention and, if so, what are the lessons learned?



  4. If You Want to Support and Follow Us 'Properly', Really Simple Syndication (RSS) is Most Reliable and Robust to Censorship

    Our longstanding position on social control media (we reject it and don't participate in it) is only proven ever more justified now that the mere idea of fact-checking is seen as controversial if not illegal



  5. Links 29/5/2020: Genode OS 20.05 and FSF Video Conferencing Service

    Links for the day



  6. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, May 28, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, May 28, 2020



  7. Weaponised Media Promoting an Illegal Patent System (UPC), Exploiting Major Pandemic in the Process

    The whole 'unitary' scam/ploy (merely a Trojan horse for litigation and low-quality/invalid patents) is being promoted by Thierry Breton as EU Internal Market Commissioner (in spite of illegalities and constitutional issues), merely reinforcing the view that the EU is rather complicit in the abuses perpetrated by Team Battistelli; the media in the pockets of oligarchs and litigation firms (fronting for these oligarchs) plays along, as usual



  8. Links 28/5/2020: OpenSSH 8.3, New Mesa Release, Raspberry Pi 4 News, Fedora 32 Elections

    Links for the day



  9. The EPO Became a Very Radical Institution

    Projection tactics are doomed to say more about the people who utilise them than about anybody else; the EPO has become so autocratic and corrupt that corruption is seen as normal and workers who explain this corruption are framed as "irrational" or "crazy" or "radical"



  10. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, May 27, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, May 27, 2020



  11. Allegations That Microsoft Will Ruin Besieged Clinics and Hospitals to Retaliate Against Those Who Name the Culprit

    With a broader picture coming into view, as per the above index, we're starting to wrap up the series while issuing a call for more stories and eyewitness testimonies, exposing the nature of attacks on hospitals (those almost always target Microsoft and others' proprietary software, which is technically unfit for purpose)



  12. Microsoft Has Ideas...

    Based on the pattern of media coverage, composed by Microsoft MVPs and Microsoft-affiliated blogs/sites, confusing the public about the meaning of GNU/Linux is reminiscent of an "Extend" phase



  13. ZDNet Proves Our Point by Doing Not a Single Article About Linux (RC7), Only About Linus and Windows Clickbait Junk

    It seems abundantly clear that nobody wants to cover the actual news about Linux and instead it’s all about which PC Linus Torvalds is using (gossip/tabloid); ZDNet‘s latest two articles are an example of this…



  14. UPC Lies That Make One Laugh...

    IP Kat and Bristows (overlaps exist) are still pretending that the UPC is coming because reality doesn’t seem to matter anymore, only self-serving agenda



  15. Canonical Continues to Help Promote Windows Instead of GNU/Linux or Ubuntu

    Thrice in the past week alone Canonical used the official “Ubuntu Blog” to help Microsoft instead of GNU/Linux and it is part of a disturbing trend which lends credibility to jokes or rumours about a Microsoft takeover; it's not like many people use this thing, either (Canonical helps Microsoft shore up a dying/languishing EEE attempt)



  16. Links 27/5/2020: CoreOS Container Linux Reaches Its End-Of-Life, 2020 GNOME Foundation Elections Coming

    Links for the day



  17. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, May 26, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, May 26, 2020



  18. GNEW Seedlings vs. Free Software Deforestation

    “The idea of the GNEW Project really is about keeping the goals of the GNU Project alive — hopefully, they won’t destroy or co-opt too much of the GNU Project, that people like the Hyperbola devs can’t fix it with BSD.”



  19. Joi Ito Already Admitted on the Record That Bill Gates Had Paid MIT Through Jeffrey Epstein

    An important exhibit for the accurate historical record (because MIT has been trying to deny truth itself)



  20. It's Convenient to Call All Your Critics Nuts and/or Jealous

    Bill Gates antagonists are not motivated by hatred or jealousy but a sense of injustice; spoiled brats who break the law aren’t a source of envy any more than mass murderers are subject of admiration



  21. Real History of Microsoft and How It Became 'Successful'

    New video that contains a portion about the history of Microsoft -- the part paid-for 'journalists' (paid by Microsoft and Bill Gates) rarely or never speak about



  22. Hostility and Aggression Towards Staff That Does Not Use Windows After Windows Takes Entire Hospital Down

    Microsoft Windows, with NSA back doors, continues to take hospitals offline (with records copied by criminals if not stolen by effectively locking the originals out of reach for ransom money); but guess who’s being punished for it…



  23. They Came, They Saw, We Died...

    It cannot be overstated that we're under attack (or a "Jihad" against Linux as Bill Gates himself put it) and failing to act upon it will be costly as time may be running out and our groups are being 'bought off' by Microsoft in rapid succession, as per the plan/strategy



  24. The GitHub Takeover Was an Extension of Microsoft's War on GPL/Copyleft (Because Sharing Code to Anyone But Microsoft is 'Piracy')

    Licences that make it easier for Microsoft to 'steal' (or a lot harder for Free software to compete against proprietary software) are still being promoted by Microsoft; its GitHub tentacles (see GitHub's logo) further contribute to this agenda



  25. ZDNet is Totally a Microsoft Propaganda Machine

    The site ZDNet has become worse than useless; it lies, defames and launders the reputation of famous criminals (that's the business model these days)



  26. When Microsoft's Mask Falls (or When Times Are Rough)

    Microsoft loves Linux in the same sense that cats love mice (they might play with them until they get hungry)



  27. Careers in Free Software Aren't Careers in the Traditional Sense

    With historic unemployment rates and people 'stranded' inside their homes there's still demand and need for technology; these times of adaptation present an opportunity for Software Freedom



  28. Embrace, Extend, Extinguish 2020 Edition

    Embrace, Extend, Extinguish (E.E.E.) is alive and well, but the corrupt (paid by Microsoft) media isn't talking about it anymore; in fact, it actively cheers and encourages people/companies to enter the trap



  29. Links 26/5/2020: SHIFT13mi GNU/Linux Tablet, Linux Kodachi 7.0 and Some Qt Releases

    Links for the day



  30. EPO Propaganda on Steroids (or on EPO)

    What EPO management is saying and what is actually happening


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts