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

01.23.09

Microsoft and Politics (Against Google)

Posted in FUD, Google, Microsoft at 11:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Routine of “good Obama, bad Obama”?

I‘ve personally been supportive of Obama all along, but recent posts were rather harsh on him [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] because money voids trust and certain actions, combined with early appointments (e.g. [1, 2, 3]), represent a betrayal of citizens’ rights, typically in favour of elite interests and preservation of monopolies.

In today’s news we find two contradictory examples that are worth exploring. The first comes from a strong supporter of GNU/Linux, who claims that Obama is fighting Microsoft, despite some contrary examples.

Obama vs. Microsoft”

Obama, the first true 21st century President, and his staff have arrived at the White House to find themselves stuck with 20th century Microsoft software… and they’re not happy.

According to a report in The Washington Post, Obama’s staffers found themselves blocked from social networks, like Facebook, instant-messaging, and even plain old E-Mail.

Another report suggests that White House staff will be using Google Mail. “It might put salt on it to remind about the Abramoff/Gates scandal,” says one reader, “as well as the fact the problems with VBA/Access/Windows on the voting machines helped create the problem and that the failed Microsoft infrastructure is helping prolong the mess, especially the Microsoft exchange E-mail mess.”

As the press release appended to the bottom suggests, Obama challenges Bush’s policies, which is good news. But there is bad news too. Having already put an RIAA lawyer in charge of one area, Obama now puts in power a man from a Microsoft pressure group and task force, the BSA [1, 2, 3, 4].

Obama picks BSA’s antipiracy enforcer for high-level post

For his vice president, Barack Obama chose Joe Biden, a senator with a long history of aiding the Recording Industry Association of America. Then Obama picked the RIAA’s favorite lawyer, Tom Perrelli, for a top Justice Department post.

Now, as one of his first official actions as president, Obama has selected the Business Software Alliance’s top antipiracy enforcer and general counsel, Neil MacBride, for a senior Justice Department post. Among other duties, MacBride has been responsible for the BSA’s program that rewarded people for phoning in tips about suspected software piracy.

The BSA is hostile towards Free software, so there is a certain conflict of interests inside Obama’s cabinet.

Microsoft Uses Politics Against Google

Microsoft’s political games are utterly ugly, even illegal. We have been writing extensively about Microsoft’s political machinations against Google [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8] and now comes this good article from Wired Magazine. Microsoft uses a campaign of smears and manipulation to earn ‘protection’ from the government.

Google’s capitulation marked a rare defeat for the search giant, which has been almost as successful among the regulators of Washington as among the coders of Silicon Valley. And it was cause for celebration in Redmond, where Microsoft spent six months on a massive effort, costing millions of dollars, to block the Yahoo deal. Microsoft played a role in persuading members of Congress to hold hearings. It initiated a campaign that filled DOJ mailboxes with letters from politicians and nonprofit groups objecting to the deal. It convinced the country’s largest advertisers to join together to oppose the company in public. It’s impossible to know exactly what impact all this had on the DOJ decision. But many observers believe that Barnett, who declined to be interviewed for this article, was influenced in part by Microsoft’s arguments.

Devil sculpture
Bullying as a business model

Mike Masnick remarked on this article:

Plenty of folks have been sending in links to Wired’s article on The Plot to Kill Google, which basically shows how both Microsoft and AT&T — two companies scared to death by Google, are now working hard not to build better products to beat Google in the marketplace — but on hiring better lobbyists and marketers to try to destroy public perception of Google.

AT&T is arguably worse than most. However — quite naturally — we are far less interested in telecoms and government affairs, so given limit on scope, we’re inclined to skip this issue.

A few months ago we mentioned Microsoft’s possible intentions to use patents against Google, but buying Yahoo! — no matter how aggressively or brutally — would potentially be required [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16].

According to this new report, Google is encouraging junk patents by getting some of its own:

Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) has filed for a patent to allow users to enter either search terms and domain names into a search box (such as an address bar), and having the computer figure out if the search term was meant to be a specific domain name or web site.

How on earth can this be granted as a patent?

Meanwhile, Yahoo is trying to patent reciprocal linking.

What is happening to this system and why is any conceivable neural output seen as worthy of ownership?

While Microsoft remains without Yahoo’s search assets (this may change), its infamous search briberies [1, 2, 3] just carry on, based on this news report.

Microsoft Offers SearchPerks Incentive

Microsoft’s SearchPerks program is running a three-day incentive to encourage participants to do more searches on Live Search. Starting today, and running through January 23, SearchPerks is offering double tickets for every search with a max of 50 tickets available to be earned each day.

Microsoft is losing to Google in Washington DC, so its borderless political games against this rival will certainly live on. This is definitely worth careful attention.


Obama Revokes Bush Order on Presidential Records

For Immediate Release
January 21, 2009

The President today signed two Executive Orders and three Presidential Memoranda. These five documents represent a bold first step to fulfill his campaign promises to make government more responsible and accountable, to launch sweeping ethics reform, and to begin a new era of transparent and open government.

Across the country, families are tightening their belts in this economic crisis, and so should Washington. That is why in the Presidential Memorandum Regarding Pay Freeze the President has announced that he will freeze his White House senior staff pay at current levels to the full extent allowed by law. This will enable the White House to stretch its budget to get more done for the country. The President and his staff recognize that in these austere times, everyone must do more with less, and the White House is no exception.

The American people also deserve more than simply an assurance that those coming to Washington will serve their interests. They deserve to know that there are rules on the books to keep it that way. In the Executive Order on Ethics Commitments by Executive Branch Personnel, the President, first, prohibits executive branch employees from accepting gifts from lobbyists. Second, he closes the revolving door that allows government officials to move to and from private sector jobs in ways that give that sector undue influence over government. Third, he requires that government hiring be based upon qualifications, competence and experience, not political connections. He has ordered every one of his appointees to sign a pledge abiding by these tough new rules as a downpayment on the change he has promised to bring to Washington.

In the Presidential Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government, and the Presidential Memorandum on the Freedom of Information Act, the President instructs all members of his administration to operate under principles of openness, transparency and of engaging citizens with their government. To implement these principles and make them concrete, the Memorandum on Transparency instructs three senior officials to produce an Open Government Directive within 120 days directing specific actions to implement the principles in the Memorandum. And the Memorandum on FOIA instructs the Attorney General to in that same time period issue new guidelines to the government implementing those same principles of openness and transparency in the FOIA context.

Finally, the Executive Order on Presidential Records brings those principles to presidential records by giving the American people greater access to these historic documents. This order ends the practice of having others besides the President assert executive privilege for records after an administration ends. Now, only the President will have that power, limiting its potential for abuse. And the order also requires the Attorney General and the White House Counsel to review claims of executive privilege about covered records to make sure those claims are fully warranted by the Constitution.

Lee White
Executive Director
National Coalition for History
202-544-2422 x-116
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

3 Comments

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    January 23, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    Gravatar

    It’s annoying that MS is indirectly hampering the clean up the Bush legacy. These are records that will determine whether the junta is packed off to The Hague for further action or dealt with domestically.

  2. SR said,

    January 24, 2009 at 12:13 am

    Gravatar

    Let’s also have a link to the article showing Obama’s extreme dismay at finding Windows in the Whitehouse, and wondering where the Macs and Ubuntu were, please?

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 24, 2009 at 5:41 am

    Gravatar

    Here it is.

    http://blog.wired.com/gadgets/2009/01/obama-disappoin.html

What Else is New


  1. Links 17/8/2019: Unigine 2.9 and Git 2.23

    Links for the day



  2. Computer-Generated Patent Applications Show That Patents and Innovations Are Very Different Things

    The 'cheapening' of the concept of 'inventor' (or 'invention') undermines the whole foundation/basis of the patent system and deep inside patent law firms know it



  3. Concerns About IBM's Commitment to OpenSource.com After the Fall of Linux.com and Linux Journal

    The Web site OpenSource.com is over two decades old; in its current form it's about a decade old and it contains plenty of good articles, but will IBM think so too and, if so, will investment in the site carry on?



  4. Electronic Frontier Foundation Makes a Mistake by Giving Award to Microsoft Surveillance Person

    At age 30 (almost) the Electronic Frontier Foundation still campaigns for privacy; so why does it grant awards to enemies of privacy?



  5. Caturdays and Sundays at Techrights Will Get Busier

    Our plan to spend the weekends writing more articles about Software Freedom; it seems like a high-priority issue



  6. Why Techrights Doesn't Do Social Control Media

    Being managed and censored by platform owners (sometimes their shareholders) isn’t an alluring proposition when a site challenges conformist norms and the status quo; Techrights belongs in a platform of its own



  7. Patent Prosecution Highways and Examination Highways Are Dooming the EPO

    Speed is not a measure of quality; but today's EPO is just trying to get as much money as possible, as fast as possible (before the whole thing implodes)



  8. Software Patents Won't Come Back Just Because They're (Re)Framed/Branded as "HEY HI" (AI)

    The pattern we've been observing in recent years is, patent applicants and law firms simply rewrite applications to make these seem patent-eligible on the surface (owing to deliberate deception) and patent offices facilitate these loopholes in order to fake 'growth'



  9. IP Kat Pays the Price for Being a Megaphone of Team UPC

    The typical or the usual suspects speak out about the so-called 'prospects' (with delusions of inevitability) of the Unified Patent Court Agreement, neglecting to account for their own longterm credibility



  10. Links 17/8/2019: Wine 4.14 is Out, Debian Celebrates 26 years

    Links for the day



  11. Nothing Says 'New' Microsoft Like Microsoft Component Firmware Update (More Hardware Lock-in)

    Vicious old Microsoft is still trying to make life very hard for GNU/Linux, especially in the OEM channel/s, but we're somehow supposed to think that "Microsoft loves Linux"



  12. Bill Gates and His Special Relationship With Jeffrey Epstein Still Stirring Speculations

    Love of the "children" has long been a controversial subject for Microsoft; can Bill Gates and his connections to Jeffrey Epstein unearth some unsavoury secrets?



  13. Links 16/8/2019: Kdevops and QEMU 4.1

    Links for the day



  14. The EPO's War on the Convention on the Grant of European Patents 2000 (EPC 2000), Not Just Brexit, Kills the Unitary Patent (UP/UPC) and Dooms Justice

    Team UPC continues to ignore the utter failures that have led to lawlessness at the EPO, attributing the demise of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) to Brexit alone and pretending that it's not even a problem



  15. Links 15/8/2019: GNOME's Birthday, LLVM 9.0 RC2

    Links for the day



  16. 'Foundation' Hype Spreads in China

    Nonprofits seem to have become more of a business loophole than a charitable endeavour; the problem is, this erodes confidence in legitimate Free software and good causes



  17. Links Are Not Endorsements

    If the only alternative is to say nothing and link to nothing, then we have a problem; a lot of people still assume that because someone links to something it therefore implies agreement and consent



  18. The Myth of 'Professionalism'

    Perception of professionalism, a vehicle or a motivation for making Linux more 'corporate-friendly' (i.e. owned by corporations), is a growing threat to Software Freedom inside Linux, as well as freedom of speech and many other things



  19. Links 14/8/2019: Best Chromebooks, EPEL 8.0, LibreOffice 6.2.6

    Links for the day



  20. Being in Favour of Free/Libre Open Source Software Means Rejecting Software Patents

    Those who believe in Software Freedom cannot at the same time believe that software patents are desirable; we've sadly come to a point where many companies that dominate so-called 'Open Source' groups actively lobby for such patents, in effect betraying the community they claim to be a part of



  21. Links 14/8/2019: Apache Evaluated, HardenedBSD Has New Release

    Links for the day



  22. Planet Python is Being Overrun by Microsoft, Just Like PyCon and Python in General

    Microsoft is perturbing the Free/Open Source software (FOSS) world from the inside, promoting Microsoft's most malicious proprietary software from within that world while taking positions of power in powerful FOSS projects



  23. Coming Soon: The Innards of the Eric Lundgren Case That Microsoft is Desperate to Hide or Spin (by Defaming Lundgren)

    Microsoft is rather stressed about Eric Lundgren coming out of prison and telling how Microsoft put him there; right now Microsoft is mostly name-calling while seeking to control public dialogues



  24. Wrong Person in Charge of the Linux Foundation (and in Charge of Linus Torvalds)

    There are several glaring issues when it comes to the leadership of Linux's steward; for one thing, it lacks actual background in... Linux



  25. 2019 Tech Glossary

    This clavis refers to what the de facto definition may be, based on how (and when) media uses the words nowadays



  26. The Silence of the Media Lamb

    There are reasons that are perfectly legitimate to criticise media which is unable and more so unwilling to cover particular scandals for fear that coverage can be detrimental to the media's owners and sponsors



  27. LINUX.COM Managed by Apple’s MacOS Users, Open Source Managed and Covered by People Who Reject Open Source

    The narratives are being hijacked; people who we're supposed to assume speak for Linux and for Open Source support neither of these things; they're only in it for the money



  28. The Linux Foundation's Open Source Summit is a Proprietary Software Marketing Venue

    The distortion of the term Open Source and promotion of proprietary software such as GitHub shows that the foundation called after “Linux” is actually more of a front group of hostile corporations — large brands and rich people to whom Open Source represents a threat that needs to be controlled



  29. Links 13/8/2019: Mir 1.4 Released, Qt PDF Discussed

    Links for the day



  30. Links 13/8/2019: KDevelop 5.4.1 and DragonFly 5.6.2 Released

    Links for the day


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