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07.01.09

MSCOSCONF ‘Winner’ is a Marketing Guy, Attacks FOSS

Posted in Asia, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Marketing, Microsoft, Windows at 4:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Thaumaturgic

Summary: Microsoft is giving awards to marketing people who help its fight against GNU/Linux (and Free software in general)

FOR the uninitiated, learn how Microsoft trains its evangelists to crash competitors' events by attending them and stealing the thunder. This is not a side-effect but an actual intention which Microsoft employees are trained to adhere to.

Having just taken a second look at the Open Malaysia blog, the MSCOSCONF entry which we wrote about at the beginning of the month appears to be ‘decorated’ with new comments. Nasrul, who was the winner of the maligned ‘LAMP2WIMP’ contest (push GNU/Linux software towards Windows) is attacking the Malaysian FOSS proponents. His rude attacks are in Malay, but the answers are mostly in English, which helps the international crowd understand what is happening.

Being a winner of the Microsoft contest, he may deem it necessary to defend Microsoft. He is not a FOSS guy, but mainly a marketeer. See some of the comments, e.g.:

naah, I dont envy that advertisement. It was of no use for me. It was your facial expression and tone change after the people in the secretariat room (we) stated the advertisement was too large for the screenshot for the launch was what I see as something need to be fixed.

[...]

Free
its not free as in free price
its free as in Freedom

Open
its not just about opening up your source code
its also about the culture of Openness

[...]

Nasrul,

It is interesting that you are criticising our actions as FOSS proponents, when your comments itself certainly gives a bad impression to all the other LAMP2WIMP winners. Are all the winners of Microsoft’s money so hell bent in attacking FOSS people? I hope not. I really hope that you are the only anomaly. So lets try to fix that.

Can you state exactly what I criticized which has gotten you so riled up? As far as I can see, the above blog post on “the cognitive dissonance within MDeC” is a fair representation of the current state of events. I elaborated in the post to provide constructive corrections for MDeC and the communities to take in the future, so as to be more consistent with the FOSS message.

After your first comment, I tried to get in touch with you via Facebook, your favourite Social Networking platform, so as to take this issue offline. However you did not respond privately but instead preferred to engage in the name calling and petty personal attacks online. If thats the image you want to project for yourself, by all means, keep going. We’ll just sit back and enjoy the show.

So Nasrul, can you please tune down your vitriol? You are hurting your standing in the community more than you realise.

If you intend to contribute to the community, please realise that you need to thicken your skin with regards to taking constructive criticisms. You, like what I went through, will get alot of it. You should know by now that geeks like us are more direct and blunt with our messages.

We arent smooth tongued salesmen ala experienced marketeers, who have are thick in skin for self promotion even at the most inappropriate occasions, yet thin in skin when it comes to self criticisms.

Read my article again. I “spat” out my thoughts, but it was to heal the wounds [0 : follow the link; your favourite word, "licking," is involved too].

I will be happy to report to Microsoft that their Marketing monies in sponsoring their brilliant LAMP2WIMP competition has worked beyond their wildest dreams; Their investment has created some really fanatical anti-FOSS marketeers from within. So unless you want to remain a testament to their strategy, do us all a favour and educate yourself in what really FOSS means, and not be a tool for others.

Remember: Free as in Freedom.

The following response ought to explain who the “winner” of this Microsoft competition really is:

I am surprised, as an expert in Facebook marketing (after all, you wrote a whole book on it) that you could leave your Inbox so poorly maintained. Perhaps you could add that as the 12th Mistakes you can do in Facebook Marketing: [ http://www.rahsiapemasaranfacebook.com/buku/ – Bonus Tambahan ] : Prune your Inbox to Catch that Important Sale!

So besides that, I guess you missed the tweet I sent you at 2:25pm, Fri 27th June 2009 as well, reminding you that I sent a FB message?

http://twitter.com/yoonkit/statuses/2356075761

“@nasrulrpfb tone down the vitriol, dude. You are making yourself look lame #osdcmy you may take it offline if u like, if FB’d u 3 days ago.”

And yet you continued to comment on this public forum at 9pm later that day. As a PAKAR in viral marketing, I would expect you to handle your online communication logistics better.

So for those who keep pleading us to keep this private (Kage and Rafe), I let the evidence show that I gave him ample opportunity to do so. Nasrul, you obviously thought that you had to have your say, and I am not denying you that right. How you want to proceed is entirely up to you.

You asked, what is my purpose to be involved in the FOSS community? I dunno. I could tell you my history with regards to FOSS, but I believe you are not interested in it. After all your response was dripping with sarcasm, so I wont waste both our times.

[...]

Just how many people is Microsoft hiring to attack GNU/Linux under the disguise of "open source"? It’s getting shallow enough to see through.

“There’s no company called Linux, there’s barely a Linux road map. Yet Linux sort of springs organically from the earth. And it had, you know, the characteristics of communism that people love so very, very much about it. That is, it’s free.”

Steve Ballmer

Rob Weir Complains About Microsoft’s Manipulation of Wikipedia

Posted in Formats, FUD, IBM, Microsoft, OpenDocument, Wikipedia at 3:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Steve Ballmer on ODF

Summary: Microsoft carries on smearing ODF in public while pretending to support it

Microsoft is still changing ODF’s history and daemonising ODF using Wikipedia. We wrote about that in:

Rob Weir has already complained about this. It is part of Microsoft’s ongoing attack on ODF [1, 2] — an attack which it is defending by buying journalists lunch (now confirmed to us by the journalist) so that is can carry on breaking ODF interoperability [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] without public scrutiny.

Weir has just published another rant about Wikipedia, so obviously he keeps track of the continued manipulation by Microsoft — one that we too are seeing because all edits are visible.

I have a mental model of how Wikipedia works and behaves. This may not reflect reality, but it is how I, as an end-user, expect Wikipedia to behave. I think these are reasonable expectations regarding things like standards of proof and balance and that if the real Wikipedia differs substantially from these expectations, then we have a problem.

[...]

Does anyone know whether the above statements have any basis in the aspirations or actual practice of Wikipedia editors and admins? Sadly, my recent reading of some articles suggests that these reasonable expectations are routinely flouted and bear little resemblance to reality.

It’s obvious what Microsoft must be thinking.

“All those haters…”

But to characterise opposition as “anti-Microsoft” is like describing the police as “anti-criminals” and thus “irrational haters”. Microsoft’s behaviour speaks for itself.

“Their documents display a clear intent to monopolize, to prevent any competition from springing up. And they have used a variety of restrictive practices to prevent that kind of competition.”

Judge Robert Bork, former US Supreme Court nominee (on Microsoft)

Who Promotes Mono? Microsoft and Novell

Posted in Europe, FSF, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 3:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

RCA cables

Summary: New signs lead back to Microsoft (not just Novell)

IN recent posts [1, 2, 3, 4] about Richard Stallman's statement on Mono, we saw that resistance to it mostly comes from Mono developers, Novell, Microsoft and other such stake holders. We have already seen the FSF and the SFLC putting their weight behind Stallman’s statement and now there is this from the FSFE (Adriaan de Groot from the board of directors of KDE e.V.):

There have been two posts about C# and mono on PlanetKDE this week (e.g. Richard and Andreas). The comments on Andreas’ entry are quite cogent, as are those replying to Richard, but it deserves a wider audience. As far as asking RMS at Gran Canaria this weekend, it’s worth a shot if you abstract the question away from specifically-C# and specifically-mono.

[...]

This isn’t to say there’s not other submarines in the water. We don’t know. Maybe we should. The known submarine should be treated with caution. And the side of caution is to treat C# as a non-Free platform to be avoided.

Mono is a win to Windows [1, 2, 3] and it is also helping Novell, which owns Mono and has exclusivity over it (including perceived ‘protection’ from Microsoft patent assaults that target Mono). This is explicit in the Novell/Microsoft agreement. As Stefano Forenza puts it, there is “pressure Novell and Microsoft.”

Pressure Novell and Microsoft (as some of you work in both the companies) to change the agreement to look like this:

Subject to the terms and conditions of this License, Google and its affiliates hereby grant to you a perpetual, worldwide, non-exclusive, no-charge, royalty-free, irrevocable (except as stated in this License) patent license for patents necessarily infringed by implementation of this specification. If you institute patent litigation against any entity (including a cross-claim or counterclaim in a lawsuit) alleging that the implementation of the specification constitutes direct or contributory patent infringement, then any patent licenses for the specification granted to you under this License shall terminate as of the date such litigation is filed.

Is that easy. Everybody wins. Even Microsoft.

Just look what they are doing. At Novell, there is now promotion of a new conference called Monospace. Details of the registrar are “protected”, so it is hard to know who initiated the Web site, but Miguel shows that it’s probably Scott Bellware, whose blog says: “I am a recipient of Microsoft’s Most Valuable Professional award.” As for the conference he seemingly sets up for Mono, its description is: “Monospace is the conference that teaches .NET software developers and organizations how to use the Mono framework to leverage investments in .NET skills on a broader array of platforms where business opportunity awaits.

Microsoft staff may openly say "Fuck you, Richard Stallman", but there are rebuttals to this disgraceful behaviour. Stallman was being polite and rational.

Does anyone still doubt Microsoft’s involvement in Mono? Some people in the Mono team itself are directly on Microsoft’s payroll (not just via Novell). Had Mono been beneficial to GNU/Linux, would Microsoft really help it? Mono is a bridge leading to Microsoft, not from Microsoft. There is even evidence.

“I would love to see all open source innovation happen on top of Windows.”

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO

Addendum: the gentleman who insulted Stallman has expressed regret about it and the statements should not be attributed to Microsoft.

Microsoft Kills Channel 8 and Channel 10

Posted in Deception, Marketing, Microsoft at 2:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

NTSC colour bars

Summary: Axing embellished as “folding”, more on “perception management”

Mary Jo Foley links to this report about Microsoft’s Channel 8 and Channel 10 getting folded into Channel 9, which Miguel de Icaza seemingly admires. As Foley puts it, they do not publicly acknowledge that budgetary constraints are the cause.

“As Foley puts it, they do not publicly acknowledge that budgetary constraints are the cause.”It is very interesting to see how a reduction from 3 channels to just 1 is described as neutral news, at least in the Mirosoft-sponsored Web sites. No matter how much lipstick is put on this pig, the reduction is very telling and it is part of a trend. Microsoft also axed some of its magazines recently.

The embellishment seen above is very much like PR, and it is only to be expected because it’s part of a pattern (Microsoft's pseudo-reporters break the news when the news is bad). Microsoft may not be unique in that regard. An article from yesterday shows what the monopoly abuser Intel tells its people on behaviour in social networking.

Intel’s guideline headings are: “Be transparent”, “Be judicious”, “Write what you know”, “Perception is reality”, “It’s a conversation”, “Are you adding value?”, “Your responsibility”, “Create some excitement”, “Be a leader”, “Did you screw up?” and “If it gives you pause, pause”.

“Perception is reality”?

Really?

That sounds just like an adjunct to “perception management” [1, 2], which is a gruesome practice that should be banned. Regular readers may have noticed a lot of trolls here recently, including familiar ones that are considered “Microsoft shills” and are therefore banned in other Web sites. As we never censor any comments, the trolls take advantage of it. They relentlessly try to disrupt this Web site.

“I’m a huge fan of guerrilla marketing.”

Joe Wilcox, Microsoft Fan

Microsoft-dominated DHS Concerned About Windows Zombies (Corrected)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Security, UNIX, Windows at 2:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Camera

Summary: Janet Napolitano from Microsoft speaks on behalf of the DHS about the effect of Windows zombies

A couple of weeks ago we warned about the possibility that the US security czar will be a Microsoft employee. This is alarming because the new DHS secretary is a Microsoft employee (correction: that would be Phil Reitinger entering the DHS, coming from Microsoft) who has just changed jobs [1, 2]. This was enabled under pressure from the BSA, a Microsoft front. Essentially, they installed more of Microsoft DNA inside the government.

Well, this Microsoft employee the secretary is now speaking on behalf of the DHS where she warns about “cyber threat”, probably Windows botnets.

The issue of cyber security is of “great concern” to the US, the nation’s homeland security secretary has said.

Janet Napolitano told the BBC that protecting against virtual attacks was something the US was “moving forward on with great alacrity”.

“Virtual attacks” must refer to DDOS. So, she must be aware of the simple observation that hundreds of millions of Windows PCs out there are zombies. Will she recommend migrating to the more seucre UNIX/Linux? That would be a betrayal of her Reitinger’s colleagues at Microsoft. And either way, this would not block botnets in other countries. They can still hammer on any target at the behest of the botmaster.

Last week we wrote about Windows zombies costing the economy hundreds of billions per year, accroding to estimates of the cost of SPAM alone. This is the product of Windows botnets. Glyn Moody uses some of the available figures to write about “the huge cost of Microsoft software” (to its surroundings, collectively).

Yesterday I wrote about a report from ACT that brought up the issue of TCO for free software.

As I pointed out there, it’s old news that free software has costs; but what is more interesting is the fact that fans of the proprietary world always fail to point out the huge hidden costs of using poorly-written closed-source software. Here’s a great demonstration of my point:

The `Conficker worm’ caused chaos when it hit Manchester town hall in February. Now we can reveal the bug cost the council more than £43,000 in `lost’ bus lane fines.

The computer problems meant 1,609 tickets could not be issued within the 28-day legal limit – rendering them useless.

In total, the Conficker worm cost taxpayers in Manchester nearly £1.5m, the M.E.N has learned.

A £1.2m bill in the IT department, including £600,000 getting ‘consultancy support’ to fix the problems, which including drafting in experts from Microsoft;

£178,000 in extra staffing costs across the town hall – including £169,000 going to clear up a backlog of benefits claims and council tax bills;

Compensation payments due to delays in processing benefit claims.

A few things to note here.

Watch how this article gets flooded by “perception management” [1, 2] in the comments.

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