“Every line of code that is written to our standards is a small victory; every line of code that is written to any other standard, is a small defeat.”
–James Plamondon, Microsoft Technical Evangelist. From Exhibit 3096; Comes v. Microsoft litigation
Summary: Moonlight is neither ready for reliable use, nor is it ready for non-Novell customers to safely use
MOONLIGHT is quite clearly a case of spreading Microsoft formats and Microsoft codecs, which are also riddled with Microsoft patents and are therefore not free. Fortunately, given the difficulties of running this software, it is unlikely to ever gain serious traction. Based on the latest experiences of SJVN, Moonlight is still messy. Earlier today he wrote:
Moonlight 2 arrives and falls flat on its face
Specifically, Novell claims that “The Moonlight 2 beta offers Linux users improved functionality compared to Moonlight 1, including support for adaptive streaming of video and audio playback. This feature allows for better streaming of multimedia content based on the quality of the user’s connections.”
Better? I don’t think so. It failed for me much more often than not.
It ought to be mentioned that SJVN is usually a proponent of Novell’s products.
There’s more right here in terms of reactions to Moonlight. “Thanks but no thanks Novell, Moonlight is something I’m sure I can do without,” writes MWC. It is relieving to know that SIlverlight is failing in terms of adoption [1, 2]. Hopefully it is a passing fad.
Joining the early coverage from pro-Microsoft reporters, we now find some coverage about the beta from the more agnostic news Web sites but only one from a Linux site, namely Phoronix.
Moonlight is beneficial to Microsoft. This amounts to some kind of an ActiveX 2.0 which advances Windows and MSIE. On that particular topic, one reader wrote to us this afternoon:
Here’s a good picture to paste in some articles, it’s been circulating since 2005 at the latest. It’s the apparent source of Microsoft new marketing campaign to distract the public from quality browsers like Opera, Firefox, Chrome and Safari:
MSIE has to be at least 10 years behind Konqueror in design. MSIE is such an ongoing embarrassment and legal hassle, what reasons are there *not* to have it completely removed from the OS as the EU wishes and as the US tried to request? Oh, yeah. Lock-in. Probably the best way to get rid of MSIE is to upgrade the whole system straight to Ubuntu.
Hadn’t Opera had tabbed browsing for a decade before MSIE caught up? Hadn’t Firefox always beaten MSIE in speed?
Konqueror has been beating MSIE for over a decade in modularity, being largely a shell for KHTML and other components. They all beat MSIE in standards support. Even Safari has MSIE beat in cross-platform support.
In order to open up the Web, we share the responsibility of spreading standards-compliant Web browsers and the rejection of “binary/proprietary Web pages”, rendered with Microsoft Silverlight or the inferior Microsoft Moonlight. █
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Summary: ODF and OpenOffice.org unaffected by the i4i dispute with Microsoft
THERE are minor new developments in the i4i saga [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10] and also some important clarifications. As a direct result of the i4i case, the PFF expresses its objection to the Texan courts system, which is pretty major because this is where many patent trolls are thriving. More importantly, a statement is being made which confirms what we wrote about ODF and ODF-using software. Microsoft puppets like Burton and Gartner [1, 2, 3, 4] were totally wrong and they should be served crow for dinner, having created a lot of unnecessary fear among the ODF community.
ODF safe from Microsoft / i4i Lawsuit
Late last week, analysts from Gartner and the Burton Group expressed the opinion that ODF could also be in breach of a patent belonging to Canadian company i4i which, a court ruled, Microsoft had breached.
Other reporters, who have assumed that any use of XML could fall foul of the i4i patent, get short shrift from Hickins and others.
Last week, the pro-Microsoft Nicholas Kolakowski fueled the FUD from others in pro-Microsoft crowds/circles, probably in order to harm ODF. We refuted all this and offered some relevant background to defend our contentions. Right now, Kolakowski is at least man enough to publish a correction in eWeek based on/in relation to the article from eWeek Europe.
In an interview with eWEEK, i4i Chairman Loudon Owen and founder Michel Vulpe asserted that while they were determined to pursue their patent infringement case against Microsoft, many of the open-source community’s fears over the patent were unfounded.
So, we were right all along. Those Microsoft analysts had indeed been spreading fear which then propagated through less informed reporters on FOSS (whom we need not name again). It is usually best to ignore so-called analysts like Gartner and Burton, who act based on ‘faith’ and whoever pays their bills. It is known because we even have copies of virtual receipts.
Groklaw wrote about this subject too. The article goes further to explain that Microsoft hid what it knew could become patent trouble inside OOXML.
I have a question for Microsoft. Why didn’t they tell us about this i4i patent litigation during the OOXML ISO process? Didn’t we need to know?
Now what? Well, look at this, from Government Computer News:
i4i said it has looked at OpenOffice and found it doesn’t infringe on its patents.
So, there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. Straight from the horse’s mouth, so no need to look to any other part of the horse’s anatomy. No need for analysts’ opinions and such. OpenOffice.org is clean, according to the i4i folks, and it’s their patent. As for ODF, it doesn’t use CustomXML, and it had no plans to do so, despite what you’ve been reading in the fuddy papers.
You know what else was happening around March of 2007 and thereafter? Go to Groklaw’s ODF/OOXML chronology pages, and you’ll see. They were twisting Massachusetts’ arm to accept their competing format instead of just ODF, and their supporters were raising a stink about ODF not being easily accessible to the disabled.
Meanwhile, Microsoft was, we now know, in litigation that could make their format as submitted unusable by anyone in the entire US. And they never said a word that I ever heard. Anyone know about this patent case during the ISO ram-through of OOXML? Anyone? Maybe ISO needs to add this to their To Do List: find out if there are patents threatening a proposed standard. Or better yet, could someone take software and patents to Nevada and get them a quickie divorce? They’re not compatible.
Remember when the OOXML convenor Alex Brown said, after the OOXML approval, that he agreed ODF was cleaner than OOXML?
“I’d go with that. I think ISO/IEC 26300 (ODF 1.0) can be compared to a neat house built on good foundations which is not finished; 29500 (OOXML) is a baroque cliffside castle replete with toppling towers, secret passages and ghosts: it is all too finished.”
Well, it appears he was correct. ODF is cleaner. And now we know where one secret passage in OOXML leads. To a US courtroom, an injunction, and a $290 million judgment. Towers are toppling.
That’s the Microsoft we know and this is what people have come to expect.
In other patent news, the nuisance known as SpinVox [1, 2, 3, 4] seems to be crumbling. It is the company which claims to ‘own’ voice-to-text even though it probably was never invented there. Likewise, there is a company called VoloMedia which claims to ‘own’ audiocasing and TUAW has this new article about it.
The second round of patent wackiness occurred on Wednesday, when media analytics firm VoloMedia was granted a patent for the basic elements of podcasting. Patent number 7,568,213, “Method for providing episodic media content” was awarded Wednesday to Volomedia after almost 6 years of study by the Patent Office. Volomedia’s founder, Murgesh Navar, claims that the patent filing in 2003 was made “almost a year before the start of podcasting.”
Mentioned last week, we also saw the Europe Commission commissioning a study regarding the patent system. Here is an actual analysis of this move.
In political terms, this move of the EU Commission might indicate that they do want to have a take of their own on the topic of patent quality: Despite the fact that the European Patent Office (EPO) is working since many years on this aspect on their business, the EU Commission has decided to spend some money in order to obtain something like a second opinion independently from EPO.
When will the United States apply a similar “sanity check” now that the PFF seemingly calls for it? █
“[Y]ou’re creating a new 20-year monopoly for no good reason.”
–David Kappos, Director of the USPTO
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Summary: Already misguided by the mainstream press, people are not told about the insecurity of Windows; MSNBC buys another independent news Web site
ACCORDING to some sources such as the BBC, 130 million debit/credit card numbers got stolen electronically. The system which was the culprit here gets no mention, but — reading between the lines — some suspect that Microsoft is to blame because Windows is commonplace in US-based ATMs.
One man in Florida was arrested by federal authorities (the other two are presumably in Russia) after exploiting Microsoft Windows vulnerabilities in credit card processing terminals in places including 7/11 gas station/convenience stores. The men got away with stealing over 130 million credit and debit card numbers as well as detailed information of millions of people from their bank records that could be used to commit identity fraud.
When Microsoft talks about security initiatives, they’re talking about the kind of “security” that makes them money. They aren’t talking about securing your data from remote attacks, because they are not being held to account for this. They’re talking about “securing” the RIAA’s music from “attack” by you, they’re “securing” their Windows revenue stream from “attackers” who crack the product activator and costing them money, and they’re “securing” the MPAA’s movies from you, the “attacker”, who is trying to record them on his computer through Windows Media Center to watch later when you get home from work. If Microsoft put half as much work into securing your private and confidential information as they do circle jerking their pals over at the RIAA/MPAA, then maybe there wouldn’t be so much identity theft.
Rarely does the press point a finger at Microsoft. The PR agents of Microsoft harass those who do and Sam Varghese points out that in a 45-minute programme on computer security (just aired on Australian television) the word “Windows” is conspicuously avoided. The BBC did the same thing some months ago when it broke the law [1, 2].
What’s the one word that comes to mind when people discuss worms, viruses, spyware, malware and botnets?
Anyone who’s not been living under a rock for the past decade knows that one can’t start talking about such subjects without a mention of Windows, the glue that binds them together.
But when it comes to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, it is perfectly possible to go through a 45-minute programme on just these topics and avoid any mention of the W word.
Sadly, things are unlikely to improve. Microsoft already has tremendous control over channels like the BBC and (MS)NBC, which has just acquired yet another small(er) broadcaster.
Msnbc.com acquires local news Web site
Msnbc.com has acquired EveryBlock, a Chicago-based Web site that offers news and information down to the neighborhood level in 15 cities, the two companies announced Monday.
This is part of a worrisome trend that applies also to television and radio. There is ever-increasing centralisation of so-called ‘approved’ sources which express ‘permissible’ views that are narrow, naturally. Not everyone is wise enough to reach out for more independent sources and net neutrality interferences help not at all.
Going back to Australia, how about this from the news? The UK-based Register summarises it as follows:
Australian Federal police have been humbled after boasting of taking over an underground cybercrime forum – only for hackers to break into a federal police computer system, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
The Australian Federal Police is very close to Microsoft as deals were signed some months ago (also see what Microsoft did there with EDGI). We wrote about this repeatedly [1, 2, 3] as readers from Australia brought the issue to broader attention in here.
Has the Australian government learned any lessons about the security implications of using Windows? If not, then every script kiddie (“skiddie”) may continue to break in and even share nation-wide databases with criminal records of everyone, so punishment can be collective. Windows is designed to permit unauthorised intrusion, which makes it unsuitable for any practical use as such. █
On BBC and Microsoft:
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Summary: Microsoft is still just about tugging along, but the truth proves more challenging than what’s widely reported
Xbox has been a total disaster for Microsoft, but Microsoft is unable to admit defeat because a sign of weakness harms sales and tarnishes a brand. Years later, after losing the company literally billions of dollars that will never be recovered, more damaging secrets are coming out regarding the failure rate of Xbox 360.
“Microsoft even fired an employee who revealed it, so he lost his job rather than received a reward for defending public interests…”These figures may seem like old news, but each time they come out Microsoft seems to operate some form of AstroTurf (“PR”) and they carry on hiding this, which means putting people’s lives at risk. Previously, Microsoft fired a whistle-blower who had fiery secrets about Xbox 360-imposed fires. At the time, based on offhand statistics, it was claimed that most Xbox 360s went out of commission as they were defective by engineering. The failure rate was reportedly 66%. And yes, Microsoft even fired an employee who revealed it, so he lost his job rather than received a reward for defending public interests; there were no proper protections or harbour to people who mean well. It’s all about money and bottom lines, apparently.
Microsoft’s failure with Xbox was accompanied by the departure of many people at management levels (the same can be said about Zune). A lot of Xbox staff quit about 2 years ago, amid a large exodus and Will shows us this news about a study into the failure rate of Xbox 360 (compared to the rest).
In a survey of the print edition of Game Informer, nearly 5,000 readers were surveyed about the consoles. Here’s how console failure broke down:
¥ Xbox 360 has a 54.2 percent failure rate
¥ PS3 has a 10.6 percent failure rate
¥ Wii has a 6.8 percent failure rate
These figures are astounding and they are being established at present (so they are not out of date). Compared to Nintendo’s Wii, Xbox 360 is almost 10 times more likely to fail. The Consumerist wrote about it too, and it’s not the first time that the Consumerist voices complaints about a variety of Xbox issues.
The Xbox 360 breaks five times as often as its closest failure-prone competitor, the PlayStation 3, a print edition-only Game Informer survey found.
The poorly manufactured, red ring of death-prone console has a 54.2 percent failure rate, compared to 10.6 percent for the PS3 and the Wii’s 6.8 percent.
“And even if it works, it still has the chance of scratching the game discs, rendering them permanently unplayable,” remarked Will. Daniel at Roughly Drafted received a testimony from a Microsoft escapee, who writes:
”Did I mention to you that after the layoffs, people have been resigning right and left? Always the same story, going to do something else, not sure what, but something else. Two weeks notice, see ya. I’ll be doing the same tomorrow morning along with a friend who’s quitting for the same reasons. In fact, he’s been frustrated longer than me, probably because I was blaming myself and not the real problem of the toxic work environment.
“We can’t figure out: how can you make a great product with shifty tools, and how can you make great, or even acceptable, tools on top of a shifty platform? You can’t ratchet up the quality, certainly not when you haven’t been allotted sufficient time to do so. You can only try to prevent the quality of everything from dropping further into mediocrity.”
Daniel adds that “if you think Microsoft’s cutting corners on the Zune in the manner of the Xbox 360 is the worst example of the company’s failing to learn from its previous mistakes, get ready for a big surprise.”
For Microsoft, the hardware business has been a catastrophe. The longer Microsoft stays in there, the more money it will lose and the more damage its brand will be subjected to. So, maybe it’s a good thing for Free software. █
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Summary: Another important cogwheel in Microsoft’s perception management operations
AS promised in the previous post, today we continue to explore Microsoft’s “perception management” [1, 2]. In short, perception management is associated with PR techniques of managing brands not just by pushing out marketing messages but also by tracking (spying on) sources of negativity and attempting to shoot/shut them down. We too have had visits from Microsoft “Technology Evangelists” who — without any disclosure — attempted to annul criticism of products like Vista 7 by mocking the message and the messenger [1, 2, 3]. It is no secret that Microsoft is gagging critics; being more or less a PR-reliant company, it’s only to be expected.
“They should really be called “Invisible Technologies” for being so obscure, even secretive.”Today we take a look at a firm called “Visible Technologies”. Its front page shows Microsoft as a client. “Microsoft, GM, Hormel, Panasonic are their top customers,” writes Ryan. They even earned a Gartner award, which may only tie them to the same Microsoft interests [1, 2, 3, 4] if anything at all. But it goes deeper than this.
“I’ve got some kind of Microsoft PR firm following me now,” writes Ryan. “Trucast” or “TruPulse” is perhaps the culprit. “They’re monitoring my blog,” he argues. “I got a referral hit from them to my post about Windows Media Center DRMing cable television. I followed it back to some kind of login page, but I got to looking around the site and it says they do “brand management”, customers include Microsoft, and their tag is “They’re talking about you, listen, measure, and participate”; not sure I like the sound of this. [...] My guess is that their web crawler probably flagged that post and a human was checking up on it. http://pulse.trucast.net/Listen/54 was the referral link. [It] doesn’t even mention the company that owns it. I had to google “TruPulse” to be led back to Visible Technologies.” They should really be called “Invisible Technologies” for being so obscure, even secretive.
According to Visible Technologies, “TruCast channels the right conversations to the right subject matter experts who can quickly and easily participate in the dialogue.”
It seems like yet another Microsoft-hired PR agency that has spying methodologies as “products”. One of Waggener Edstrom’s (Microsoft’s PR Department) latest such products is a tool for spying on people in Twitter. Yes, they are monitoring blogs and Twits and they constantly develop software to do the spying more effectively. Based on their own promotional videos, they scan the Web, then check the profiles/messages of people to see if they can be manipulated. They also keep dossiers on people. As Neighborlee put it, “they can fire as many watchdogs as they wish…it’s about staying power at the end of the day.”
If one takes a closer look at the Web site of Visible Technologies, it soon emerges that there are more Microsoft connections. According to the site, “Microsoft Distinguished Engineer, Bill Baker Joins Visible Technologies as CTO.” Yes, that’s him. The reference page says that “Bill spent twelve years at Microsoft, where he directed the company’s SQL Server Business Intelligence Unit and was general manager of Business Intelligence applications for the Microsoft Office Business Platform.”
Got it? They mine data, which can be useful for tracking blogs and doing intelligence. As Microsoft’s evangelism instructionals
[PDF] put it: “Gathering intelligence on enemy activities is critical to the success of the Slog.”
“She used to work as an independent consultant at Microsoft, but the Visible Technologies Web site does not say this.”Ryan argues that it “looks like some sockpuppet organization, run by proxy for Microsoft.” This argument seems like a big stretch, but then again, ACT also disguises itself using names of other companies.
Looking at the company’s board, Ryan argues that “most of them look like they were snapped up from small companies I’ve never heard of in Washington state.” See Rowland Hanson, for example. “Rowland is CEO of The HMC Company and Chairman of CRH & Associates. Prior to consulting, he was Vice President of Corporate Communications at Microsoft, where he created and executed the company’s highly acclaimed branding strategy which included the market introduction of Microsoft’s most popular product—a graphical interface that he named “Windows.””
“One of them is from Square Enix and also worked for the Chinese government,” remarks Ryan. That would be Michelle Goldberg, who is also with the Microsoft-loaded Ignition Partners. She used to work as an independent consultant at Microsoft, but the Visible Technologies Web site does not say this. There are other examples. Ryan brings up “David J. Moore, founder of 24/7 real Media, an advertising stat tracker. [...] Lance Maerov, some kind of dotcom bubble millionaire that blew a bunch of venture capital and ran off with the money. These are some really bad people.”
For those who wish to see if Visible Technologies and its tracker (TruCast) drops in for a visit, pulse.trucast.net is 188.8.131.52, trucast.net is 184.108.40.206, and visibletechnologies.com is 220.127.116.11. “They have some low latency servers too. Looks like they’re set up to survive some hate traffic. They’re registered with GoDaddy, netblock owner is Qwest,” adds Ryan. “They’re using Windows Server 2008 R2. That’s not even released yet, except on MSDN.”
Going a little too closely (although it’s public knowledge), Ryan persists. “[Address is] Visible Technologies, 401 2nd Avenue S, Suite 101, Seattle, 98104, United States [...] looks like they have a suite in some leased out office building [...] Google Street View is a little off, but it has a picture of the block they’re on [...] looks like an older stone building, the entrance says “Court in the Square”. Down the street (to the south) there’s a building that says “Qwest Field” [...] building is owned by Commercial Properties International. they have office space for rent, and the phone number is 622-1010. There’s a coffee shop in the northeast corner of their building called Zeitgeist Coffee. Well, whatever they have there is just a medium size office building [...] doesn’t look like you’d set up a long term company there [...] looks like it may be the kind of company where they can pack up the office today and not exist tomorrow,” concludes Ryan.
Speaking of perception management, another reader brought to our attention this old gem:
Microsoft Asks Slashdot To Remove Readers’ Posts
Our friends at Microsoft are upset about some of the readers’ comments attached to the story, Kerberos, PACs And Microsoft’s Dirty Tricks (posted on May 2), and would like us to remove those comments from Slashdot. We are not happy about this, to say the least. But instead of reflexively going into rant mode, we are calmly posting the full text of the e-mail we got from Microsoft, along with our initial response to it, so that you can see what news and community Web sites like Slashdot are up against now that the DMCA has become law. We are talking to our lawyers, of course, but we would also like your suggestions on how we should handle this situation.
From: “J.K. Weston”
Subject: Notice of Copyright Infringement under the Digitial Millennium Copyright Act
Date: Wed, 10 May 2000 07:08:49 -0700
X-Mailer: Internet Mail Service (5.5.2651.58)
Andover Advanced Technologies
50 Nagog Park
Acton, MA 01720
Phone: (978) 635-5300
Fax: (978) 635-5326
Email: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Internet Service Provider:
We understand that your website, http://www.slashdot.org, is a popular site for developers to discuss topical issues of interest. In that vein, it has come to our attention that there have been numerous posts of concern related to Microsoft’s copyrighted work entitled “Microsoft Authorization Data Specification v. 1.0 for Microsoft Windows 2000 Operating Systems” and we would appreciate your posting this email to the site to help relay our position to your users.
This notice is being sent under the provisions, and following the guidelines, of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (DMCA).
Included on http://www.slashdot.org are comments that now appear in your Archives, which include unauthorized reproductions of Microsoft’s copyrighted work entitled “Microsoft Authorization Data Specification v.1.0 for Microsoft Windows 2000 Operating Systems” (hereafter “Specification”). In addition, some comments include links to unauthorized reproductions of the Specification, and some comments contain instructions on how to circumvent the End User License Agreement that is presented as part of the download for accessing the Specification.
Although not intended to be an exhaustive representation, the specific comments below, categorized by corresponding activities, are examples of the misuse of Microsoft’s proprietary information:
Comments Containing A Copy of the Specification:
“by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday, May 02, @03:37PM EST (#197)”
“by BlueUnderwear on Tuesday, May 02, @04:09PM EST (#239)”
“by BlueUnderwear on Tuesday, May 02, @04:15PM EST (#248)”
“by smartin on Tuesday, May 02, @02:20PM EST (#86)”
Comments Containing Links to Internet Sites with Unauthorized Copies of the Specification:
“by ka9dgx on Tuesday May 02, @2:52PM EST (#133)”
Comments Containing Instructions on How to Bypass the End User License Agreement and Extract the Specification:
“by myconid (my S conid@ P toge A the M r.net) on Tuesday May 02, @07:27PM EST (#362)”
“by markb on Tuesday May 02, @05:47PM EST (#321)”
“by Sami (respect.my@authorita-dot-net) on Tuesday May 02, @01:47PM EST (#19)”
“by iCEBalM (icebalm@[NOSPAM]bigfoot.com) on Tuesday May 02, @01:52PM EST (#33)”
“by Jonny Royale (moc.mocten.xi@notners) on Tuesday, May 02, @01:59PM EST (#51)”
“by rcw-work (email@example.com) on Tuesday, May 02, @07:12PM EST (#353)”
Under the provisions of the DMCA, we expect that having been duly notified of this case of blatant copyright violation, Andover will remove the above referenced comments from its servers and forward our complaint to the owner of the referenced comments.
This email notification is a statement made under penalty of perjury that we are the copyright owner of the referenced Specification, that we are acting in good faith, and that the above-referenced comments, as part of http://www.slashdot.org, is posting proprietary material without express written permission.
We request immediate action to remove the cited violations from Andover’s servers, in accordance with the provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.
This email is not intended to waive any of our other rights and remedies.
Please confirm your receipt of this request by responding to this email. Also, confirm the status of this request either via email or via the following contact mechanisms:
J.K. Weston, Designated Agent
One Microsoft Way, 114/2314
Redmond, WA 98052
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To: J.K. Weston”
From: Robin Miller
Subject: Notice of Copyright Infringement under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act
Dear J. K. Weston:
Per your request, we are posting your e-mail on this subject on Slashdot.org to help you relay your position to our users.
The balance of your e-mail’s content is somewhat puzzling to us. I’m sure you agree that freedom of speech is at least as important a principle under American law as the freedom to innovate, so I’m sure that you personally, and Microsoft corporately, will understand our hesitation to engage in censorship.
Indeed, after reflecting on the nature of freedom for a little while, you may wish to withdraw your request that we remove readers’ comments from Slashdot. Please realize that if we censor our readers’s posts because they contain ideas Microsoft does not wish to have made public, we may set an unhealthy precedent for other online news outlets and online service providers, including those owned in whole or in part by Microsoft itself.
Meanwhile, in case Microsoft does not decide to have a happy change of heart and support a free and open Internet (which would certainly be in everyone’s best interest), we have sought advice both from our attorneys and from our readers about what, if anything, we should do next.
Please expect a formal reply to your request that we censor our readers’ comments, which we allow them to post on Slashdot as freely as Microsoft allows user-generated content to be sent through Hotmail and through chat facilities and discussion groups hosted on MSN.com servers, as soon as we receive wise counsel not only from our attorneys, but also from concerned members of the Slashdot community and other interested parties.
- Robin “roblimo” Miller
Remember how Microsoft successfully removed a negative review of Microsoft Surface a few months ago. Many such incidents go unnoticed or unannounced. It makes Microsoft happy. █
“Mind Control: To control mental output you have to control mental input. Take control of the channels by which developers receive information, then they can only think about the things you tell them. Thus, you control mindshare!”
–Microsoft, internal document
Update: Check out this article from the Seattle Times.
Clients pick an “author” or opt for anonymity. Visible [Technologies] also has a virtual army — thousands of personas registered with online forums.
So, if some blogger criticises a Microsoft product, then Microsoft — via Visible Technologies — can dispatch an army of shills to counter this blogger.
As one blogger put it, “Visible Technologies is Playing with Fire”.
Sean reminded me about a local Seattle company called Visible Technologies that enables organizations to listen and respond to the commentary that is occurring across blogs, social networks and communities.
This is a fast growing niche and one that is fun to watch. Organizations of all types are growing more and more curious about what is being said about them online – and struggling to respond in the appropriate way. While I have confidence that Visible will do well as a company, I think they are playing with fire – the destructive nature of which I hope their clients fully understand.
I just hope that Visible’s clients understand the risks before jumping in too deep. Napalm is dangerous stuff.
Is it not a violation of the law in some parts of the world?
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Summary: Serious reliability issues found in Microsoft’s products
Xbox services are not known for reliability; in fact, with Windows at the back end, downtimes should be plentiful. As a matter of fact, little or no attention was paid to this new incident.
Behind the scenes at ’1 vs. 100′ as glitch shuts down Xbox show
…[S]hortly before they were to go live, the crew realized they couldn’t get into the game. It turns out they weren’t alone, as tens of thousands of people trying to log on also saw an error message. The show — which is still in beta — ultimately wasn’t broadcast last night because of what was described as a database error. The studio crew stayed calm throughout the situation, doing everything they could to resolve it before ultimately realizing it was out of their hands. They expect to be back online for tonight’s broadcast.
This type of poor engineering has led to a show-stopper. Remember the BSoD at the opening ceremonies in last year's Olympic Games? The organisers used Windows XP and refused to use Vista, claiming that it was not reliable. Well, Vista’s successor too is more of the same. Slated has found some links which confirm poor hardware support in Vista 7 [1, 2, 3]. How about these?
Posted 03 August 2009 – 03:00 AM
yesterday i make a clean install of windows 7 rtm 7600.it installed with no problem.it installed all the drivers but not the graphics cards.it didn’t recognize it.my 8600M Gs show like this “Vga Graphic Adapter” so i installed 185.85 dox.i restart my pc.it was all normal until my pc frezees.in 5 minutes my pc freeze’s.so i tried other drivers but no solution.i tried like 15 drivers.all of them were clean installs.when i rollback my driver and return to vga graphic adapter there is no problem.it doesn’t freeze.is there any drivers that can work with windows 7 smooth?
graphic card:8600M GS
Posted 06 August 2009 – 04:52 AM
I had EXACTLY the same error. It was only showing as a “Standard VGA adaptor”. Nothing I could do would get Windows 7 to change that.
“Windows 7 “graceful” recovery from graphics issues,” Slated remarks, showing that there “is yet another “feature” that doesn’t work, apparently.”
chuckles021 02-07-2009 at 06:31:31 PM
I’m having problems with my graphics card, system hard freezes and requires reset button to continue. Upon reboot, if I disable graphics driver and run in vga mode these hard freezes no longer occur. But the trade-off is that I have no 3d accelleration, can’t play any games. I have tried ati’s catalyst 8.x for vista and 9.x for vista as well as the beta release for Win 7, all drivers load and appear to work but system will freeze when 3d acceleration occurs, ie when games load. I have a mobile hard drive tray installed to easily switch out hard drives and this only occurs when using the Windows 7 installation, I also have Win xp and and Win 2000 on other hard drives and the graphics work properly with the other systems(same configuration just different os with their respective drivers). I can’t help but think it is a driver issue with win 7 and my graphics card.
gully50 05-21-2009 at 11:50:52 AM
I’m having the same exact problem as chuckles21. Im running on WIN7 RC1, display adapter is Geforce 7950GT. Mobo is Asus P5B. I’ve tried several nvidia drivers, flashed motherboard bios, to no avail. Nothing works. Only way to prevent the screen from freezing is disabling drivers completely and running at vga resolution.
Would hate to have to install XP back, does not feel like this problem should exist.
Yet some people insist that Vista 7 will be a success. The same thing was said about Vista before it was released and as we’ve shown repeatedly, it’s all marketing. In the next post we will show how Microsoft achieves such “perception management” [1, 2, 3]. █
“If you can’t make it good, at least make it look good.”
–Bill Gates, Microsoft
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