Microsoft does not need to edit Wikipedia. It only needs to hire people and agencies to do this. And that’s just what it does. As proof, we have already mentioned Rick Jelliffe on numerous occasions [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9].
Earlier today day we wrote about Waggener Edstrom. We probably ought to have properly highlighted the group’s ugly track record with Microsoft [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6], which includes Microsoft’s very infamous diversion and interference with Wikipedia. Here is a bunch of examples from usgw1.wagged.com, with edits like this of the article on “MSN Search”. Edits from usgw2.wagged.com include “Windows Genuine Advantage”. Notice the edits, particularly in the former example, which add a promotional slant to Microsoft-related articles. This comes from Waggener Edstrom’s offices (no need to proxify).
“…Microsoft not only manipulates the press but also rewrites history, literally, in editable sites like Wikipedia.”So, next time someone points out Microsoft’s revisionism [1, 2, 3] and requests more proof, it should be trivial to show how Microsoft not only manipulates the press but also rewrites history, literally, in editable sites like Wikipedia. Just watch how articles about Microsoft executives changed over the years, turning then from villains to heros.
Since we recently mentioned Waggener Edstrom and their laptop bribes, worth mentioning is also the following older article that we never referenced before:
Mercury News writer accuses Microsoft of Bribery
On the latest episode of “Dean and Nooch”, San Jose Mercury News writer Dean Takahashi had some choice news regarding a $800 swag bag he received, calling the swag bag a “bribe” and saying he’ll send it back in it’s entirety.
Bad people rarely change their bad behaviour (just watch today’s news about OJ Simpson). It is naive to expect otherwise. █
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No, I didn’t mean "Red Hat does well", although they apparently do.
Recognizing the woeful economic state of the U.A.S.S*, the good folks from Raleigh, North Carolina have decided that they should forego their annual holiday festivities and rather donate the funds to provide 800,000 meals to the needy.
The cash donation isn’t all. Red Hat workers are also running canned food drives. Raleigh executives are throwing their weight behind the drives by offering to donate cash for every 500 cans donated. In Dallas, workers are running a coat drive.
Sometimes I am overly cynical of events such as these and believe that corporations use them to garner positive coverage and publicity. If so, it worked like a charm on me this time.
Nice job either way, Red Hat.
* Union of American Socialist States, comrades.
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Microsoft is policing the press again
EVISIONISM STRIKES again [1, 2, 3]. Last week and the week before that we wrote about a very serious new flaw in Windows Vista, which is not secure and prone to making more zombie PCs. Reporters who wrote about the issue seem to have received a little ‘cybervisit’ from a well-known (and very ville) Microsoft proxy, the Waggener Edstrom group. It is a fact of life that few reporters will talk about their experiences with these media bullies, but Egan at The Inquirer, being an avid reader of Groklaw, has just spilled the beans on them. They tried to change his report about the kernel flaw in Windows Vista (“Would you be able to update your story to reflect this?”). Here is the story which reveals the full correspondence with Rickard Andersson, a front line man for the news-shaping monopolist.
IT IS NOT OFTEN that anyone at Waggener Edstrom, Microsoft’s pet public relations firm, writes to The INQUIRER. Read on, and we think you’ll soon understand why that’s the case.
They tried to airbrush history.
The Inquirer does not report anything unusual here. The Inquirer just happens to be more frank about behind-the-scenes machinations that the public rarely hears about. This is not the first time that the Inquirer writes about this type of stuff. We covered examples of this two nights ago.
Never forget how Waggener Edstrom “plants” articles inside the media. The firm even brags to its paymaster, Microsoft, about “planting” anti-Linux stories [1, 2].
For more information about Waggener Edstrom, see [1, 2, 3, 4]. More recently, Waggener Edstrom was in the midst of the laptop bribes fiasco. These are Microsoft agents in suits and some such agencies hire people to AstroTurf [1, 2], as well.
Virtually Every Windows PC is Zombie Candidate
To address the topic Waggener Edstrom intervened with (message as opposed to messenger), let’s look at this week’s headlines about security, shall we?
Yesterday it was revealed that Windows is still hugely vulnerable due to already-known “critical” flaws. That’s the highest severity level in Microsoft’s terminology/ladder. There are no less than six “critical” flaws this time around.
System administrators look like having a busy time in the run-up to Christmas as they digest and test the eight security bulletins that Microsoft expects to release next Tuesday. Six of the bulletins are rated critical.
More information can be found here.
Earlier this week we wrote about Windows putting national security and people's lives at risk. Carla has published a brilliant, improved article not just about the insecurity of Windows; she addresses the fact that Microsoft does not allow the media to blame Windows, so the likes of Waggener Edstrom come to mind again (details above).
So my guess it’s very widespread and they don’t want to admit just how bad it is. But there is one fact that becomes apparent to the tech-educated reader with the wit to look up little clues dropped in those stories like breadcrumbs– such as SillyFDC and agent.btx– it’s all Windows computers that are affected. And yet in all of those news stories I read, not one single story said this. The closest any of them came to naming names was this ZDNet article:
“Our military is dependent upon commodity desktops whose software shares an enormous amount of DNA with systems that sit on every workplace in the planet”
A masterpiece of weasel-wording. Is Microsoft’s grip on the news media that tight? Why isn’t this a huge scandal? Weird-looking old ladies with thick shoes trying to catch their planes are not threats to this country’s security, though they are treated as such, but Windows is a proven threat, and yet Microsoft gets a free pass.
Is Windows no more fragile and vulnerable than other platforms? Using the lies of Jeff Jones, Microsoft hopes that the world will believe this, but as Microsoft fan Joe Wilcox has just pointed out, it’s all just a myth.
Will bloggers and journalists please stop writing that Apple has suddenly advised its users to use anti-virus software? That’s simply not true.
There haven’t been any major new malware attacks to suggest increasing Mac marketshare has generated more malware. Just two weeks ago, I blogged that in fact Apple’s increasing marketshare hadn’t led to more attacks—that Microsoft’s marketshare mythology is wrong.
On the other side of this, Secunia has just published what would be jaw-dropping to those who did not already know it:
1. Virtually Every Windows PC at Risk, Says Secunia
More than 98% of Windows computers harbor at least one unpatched application, and nearly half contain 11 or more programs at risk from attack, a Danish security company said Wednesday.
2. Windows patching abysmal, and getting worse
Fewer than one in 50 Windows PCs are fully patched, according to stats from users of Secunia’s new patching tool, which suggest surfers are becoming even more slipshod with applying patches over the last year.
3. Secunia publishes shocking vulnerability statistics
Since the release of Personal Software Inspector 1.0 last week, over those seven days security specialists Secunia have gathered statistics showing that out of 20,000 PCs polled only 1.91 per cent of machines in personal use are fully patched with the latest security updates. According to statistics Secunia have gathered in the past, if anything, the numbers for insecure PCs are worse now, than they were a year ago.
Added are the following thoughts which have just been sent in by a regular reader of this Web site:
“One can have a lot of fun with this: It’s more than a little ironic that the one man responsible for the most damage to the US economy is whining about economic stimulus. Windows viruses, worms and malware have been costing double-digit billions per year in the US. Spam, which originates almost exclusively from Windows, is not included in the figures any more.
“Remove Microsoft and you give a many billion dollar boost to the economy, even after the cost of upgrading to OSX, Linux, BSD or Solaris is taken into account.” █
“Our products just aren’t engineered for security.”
–Brian Valentine, Microsoft executive
“Usually Microsoft doesn’t develop products, we buy products. It’s not a bad product, but bits and pieces are missing.”
–Arno Edelmann, Microsoft’s European business security product manager
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Children take it to the streets and protest against Microsoft
JUST over a week ago we wrote about the Indian university which decided to 'sell' its students to an abusive monopolist from another country. Well, protests have just taken place and there are lots of photos too. There are some Boycott Novell graphics on these banners/posters, so we feel very privileged.
We will hopefully be able to include some blog posts about these protests pretty soon.
Microsoft’s B.A.D. is a global problem [1, 2]. The struggling company from Redmond is trying to cause as much damage as possible to young people, with the assistance of corruptible supervisors who permit this to happen. They really should be named and shamed (or at least be educated about the harms they bring). Here is another new example, this time from UAE:
Microsoft GulfMicrosoft GulfLoading… today announced the launch of the Microsoft DreamSpark Student Program in the UAE. Under the program, all high school and university students in the UAE will gain access to the latest Microsoft developer designer and gaming tools at no charge to unlock their creative potential and set them on the path to academic and career success. In its first phase, Microsoft DreamSpark is being piloted in partnership with Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT). This broad range of professional level software will be available online on http://www.dreamspark.com/ and students will also have the option of going through HCTHCTLoading…’s website to access DreamSpark.
What is this “Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT)”? It sounds like a very unethical relationship that turns young people into digital servants of Microsoft. This is appalling.
Going back to India, Microsoft is once again invading Free/open source events, as the evidence in its Fort 25 [sic] blog suggests. This embrace, extend and extinguish plan needs to be resisted [1, 2, 3]. From Microsoft:
A New Appreciation for Open Source in India – and Our Role in it.
As I stated in my last blog, I am attending the premier Indian Open Source conference, FOSS.IN, in Bangalore.
Someone should tell Microsoft that until its stops threatening to sue Free software, they deserve no role in FOSS.IN, which is described as “one of the world’s largest Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) events, held annually in India.” Microsoft is playing a game there, but it does not seem like an active participant, for a change. They add insult to injury using their ‘buddies’ (from a distance) in order to discourage adoption of Free software.
Microsoft is no friend of Free software [1, 2, 3, 4]. It ‘embraces’ it in order to change and ruin it, just like it ruined ISO (along with international software standards). This destruction is a self-serving routine. █
“Open source is an intellectual-property destroyer [...] I can’t imagine something that could be worse than this for the software business and the intellectual-property business. I’m an American; I believe in the American way, I worry if the government encourages open source, and I don’t think we’ve done enough education of policymakers to understand the threat.”
–Jim Allchin, President of Platforms & Services Division at Microsoft
Update: here is a short report about the protest.
I guess it was a good programme yesterday for free software …we have
to concentrate on the long term aspects…please do write on what we
could do better..please make this a community report on what you thought
is good and bad..
We had many people saying “NO TO M$-VTU” Lock In. the nice thing was we
were able to have some new people From colleges : both lecturers and
students ..a good representation from all sections of civil socitey
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