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Bill Gates, Philip Morris, and the Business of Illness

Posted in Bill Gates, Deception, Finance at 9:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: The investments of the Gates Foundation in tobacco return to show a certain similarity to what Philip Morris does in Boulder

A FEW days ago we showed an AIDS organisation manager saying that “Gates has created a huge blood-buying operation that only cares about money, not about people.” It came just a day after we had summarised other parts of Gates' hidden agenda when it comes to health. It’s monopoly. The Gates Foundation and its investments in the pharmaceutical cartel (patents) is a subject that we previously covered in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8]. We also remarked on the Gates Foundation’s investments in the tobacco industry. It is not unusual for such foundations to back giant tobacco companies, but this is scarcely reported on in the mainstream press.

We have already summarised some examples of the Gates Foundation’s activities. As usual, the business press is glorifying the rich (including the Gates Foundation), with truly artistic use of sob stories and fantasy. It remains for people on the ground to actually do the reporting and this new blog from Africa tells the story of the Gates Foundation and tobacco control in Africa.

We had previously informed our readers of this grant awarded in August. The press release does not provide details about the way the funds will be managed, the type of governance that will be -eventually chosen-, what African NGOs will eventually participate, how transparency and accountability will be implemented, issues that are very important and were specifically addressed by the Gates Foundation in the $7 million project awarded to the American Cancer Society.

It is important to remember that Gates has tobacco investments and NGOs are his friends. Also from the news under the same site we find this example of “philanthropy”:

This contract was apparently signed in June 2009. Its size is substantial: $451K represent about 8,5% of the global budget of $5.2 millions provided to IDRC by the Gates Foundation.

The post on the IDRC’s site does not say what the participation of the African advocates is and if they’ll receive any part of the financial support that is given to Jeffrey Drope (who had previously been awarded smaller consulting contracts).

Jeffrey Drope is the brother of Jacqui Drope who is the senior program officer of the ATSA program. Her name usually appears when ATSA grants are advertised but in this case it is replaced by Greg Hallen (new RITC program leader).

Here are some valuable videos for those who do not know what the Gates Foundation is doing to the African population. This is not an unusual opinion/analysis because the Los Angeles Times conducted and ran long investigations that led to similar conclusions.

Now, consider this example of “philanthropy” from Philip Morris. It was published a couple of days ago by CMD.

University of Colorado at Boulder Falls Prey to Philip Morris’ Strategic Philanthropy


Notwithstanding that a federal court in 2006 found Philip Morris guilty of engaging in 50 years of public fraud and racketeering, a peer-reviewed study of tobacco industry documents conducted by the University of California San Francisco’s Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education looked at why tobacco companies so robustly promote Life Skills Training.

Yes, they want a place on the table. It’s the business of death.

Speaking of which, Barbara Dunn has kindly sent us information about the “Not on My Watch Campaign”, which she introduces as follows:

When someone enters the hospital, he expects the get better of course, not worse. Unfortunately, all too often patients become terribly ill from an infection they didn’t have before entering the hospital. These infections are known as HAIs – healthcare associated infections or hospital acquired infections. With the increase in resistant bacteria, HAIs are on the rise. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), at any point in time, 1.4 million people worldwide are suffering from infections acquired in hospitals.

The Not on My Watch Campaign aims to educate healthcare professionals and patients about the best ways to prevent infections. One of the most important methods is the old standby, handwashing or hand sanitizer. Below is a short video about the campaign.

If you’d like more information about HAIs or the Not on My Watch campaign, please take a look at http://www.haiwatch.com

The healthcare sector can be brutally corrupt sometimes, as recent attempts to reform the system in the United States have shown. The lobby and AstroTurf (fake, paid-for protesters) of the insurance companies paid off, as they will continue to monetise the deaths of people who pass away due to preventable disease/conditions.

Microsoft Press Deceives the Masses About Windows

Posted in Deception, Marketing, Microsoft, Vista, Vista 7, Vista 8, Windows at 8:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Just keep rubbing it in, via the press, analysts, newsgroups, whatever.”

Microsoft, internal document [PDF]


Summary: The press which is in Microsoft’s pocket uses its position irresponsibly to brainwash the masses by the spread of marketing and not reporting

THE reality behind Vista 7 cannot be distorted, not even with obedient, self-appointers reporters who comply with norms, pressure, PR agencies, and hearsay. Some of them are also paid by Microsoft. They made a big mistake when they spread the message that Windows Vista would be a great success (even after it was released) and they are doing it again with Vista 7.

“They made a big mistake when they spread the message that Windows Vista would be a great success (even after it was released) and they are doing it again with Vista 7.”Shifting of focus from Vista to Vista 7 is perfectly clear to see and there is even a shift of focus to vapourware that we call “Vista 8″. We’ll come to this later. Not a single headline about “Vista” has appeared in the past week’s news*, compared to 20 clusters of headlines about Vista 7 (which is also relatively little). This is typical.

So who is responsible (at least in part) for hyping up Windows? Well, there is the unofficial ‘Microsoft press’ (they recently set up a biased “visualization” site), which writes positively about Vista 7 and quotes Microsoft as taking pride in waste. The same publisher also shows what Comes vs Microsoft once revealed — that Microsoft may want to abolish SQL.

Think the “NoSQL” movement isn’t prominent on Microsoft’s radar screen?

Think again. Not only is the company tracking it, some people inside Microsoft have actually jumped on the anti-SQL bandwagon. This came to light when Microsoft Technical Fellow Dave Campbell took some pot-shots at the latest threat to the company’s bread-and-butter database strategy during the recent Professional Developer’s Conference.

This is an old plan that never materialised (more lock-in). It is interesting that the ‘Microsoft press’ can bring this up, along with baseless and ridiculous claims from Doug Barney, who shockingly claims “Mobile Windows Surge Due”. Where does this man live? Based on several surveys from planet Earth, Windows Mobile is sinking like a rock, but that’s just the reporting one ought to expect from the ‘Microsoft press’ (they have a whole bunch of domains now), which sometimes seems to act like a peripheral marketing agency of Microsoft.

In a similar vein, BetaNews is talking only to so-called ‘analysts’ who are in Microsoft’s pocket. They are approached for the reporter to get perspective on Microsoft’s competition. This includes Rob Enderle [1, 2, 3] (on the same week when Enderle is using TG Daily to boost Windows Mobile) and a Microsoft-focused group, which has been saying the same things elsewhere this week (Rosoff as a source). On the other hand, BetaNews has also published this article from Carmi Levy, titled “See ya later, WinMo: Microsoft’s mobile strategy needs a reboot”

After 13 years and countless kicks at the can, it’s time for Microsoft to call it a day.

Going back to Vista 7, Microsoft is looking for free labour, just like the in “Show Us Your Wow” campaign that left submitters’ contributions dumped altogether, along with the campaign Web site.

What’s in it for those who help Microsoft?

In return, Microsoft will choose five random winners who will get some Windows 7 swag.

They must be referring to schwag (bribes), many of which we saw before. Microsoft offers many “incentives” to people who praise and promote the operating system. In fact, Microsoft’s PR booster Ina Fried is selling the illusion of scarcity whilst another Microsoft booster, Paul Thurrott, does likewise. Joe Wilcox, formerly of Microsoft Watch, wrote about this in BetaNews. Now that people criticise the marketing tactics of Apple and Microsoft, Wilcox also comments about their stores.

Perhaps even more interesting is the level of fantasy, which includes hype and vapourware one finds when it comes to Windows. Vista 7 is hardly adopted and Microsoft is already talking about future versions. Why? Probably to “freeze the market,” to use Microsoft's own words. They always fail to deliver what they promise, but it keeps people deluded and unwilling to explore other options.

Vista 7 is already anti-competitive by design and people still notice.

Now there is a more Microsoft orientated web version reliant on Microsoft servers (I’m sure)?

Vista 7 stifles Samba compatibility, for example.
* We use Google News as a yardstick.

Links 06/12/2009: FreeNAS Moves to GNU/Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 6:13 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • FreeNAS Switching From FreeBSD To Debian Linux

    “FreeNAS, a popular, free NAS solution, is moving away from using FreeBSD as its underlying core OS and switching to Debian Linux. Version 0.8 of FreeNAS as well as all further releases are going to be based on Linux, while the FreeBSD-based 0.7 branch of FreeNAS is going into maintenance-only mode, according to main developer Volker Theile. A discussion about the switch, including comments from the developers, can be found on the FreeNAS SourceForge discussion forum. Some users applaud the change, which promises improved hardware compatibility, while others voice concerns regarding the future of their existing setups and lack of ZFS support in Linux.”

  • FreeNAS ready for the next step – Future of FreeNAS

    - Volker, the current FreeNAS project leader and main developer, will create a new project called “‘OpenMediaVault” based on a GNU/Linux using all its experience acquired with all its nights and week-ends spent to improve FreeNAS during the last 2 years. He still continue to work on FreeNAS (and try to share its time with this 2 projects).

  • Meet Your Linux Journal Team

    Here’s your chance to get a peek at the awesome group of people I get to work with behind the scenes at Linux Journal.

  • Desktop

    • Never mind virtual desktops – what about the apps?

      On the other hand, application virtualisation may offer a way of delivering a new application into an environment which, without the virtualisation capability, wouldn’t allow the application to run – for example running Windows applications in a Linux environment or vice versa.

  • Server

    • Intel Unveiled Sincle-chip Cloud Computer in a Press Event

      The SCC operates with a customized version of Linux. As SCC has the cores it is able to run an OS instance, Intel and its partners have a possibility to work with various networking arrangements on the software side and then decide what works best.

    • The Linux answer to Windows SBS is clear

      This is the problem the Clear Foundation want to tackle head on with the release of the ClearOS 5.1 small business server Linux distribution.

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • Pentoo 2009.0 Screenshots

      Pentoo Linux is a Gentoo-based Linux distribution that runs as a Live CD or Live USB. Pentoo has been designed to provide a penetration testing and security assessment solution through the use of Nessus and Metasploit. Pentoo uses the Enlightenment window manager, is optimized for Pentium III architecture, and supports package modularity like Slax.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora 12 and unprivileged package installation

        Since the release, and all of the publicity and complaints, the maintainers of PackageKit have decided to remove the feature. Out of this controversy, though, are lessons for any project regarding security, transparency, and system defaults. There were no real complaints about the existence of the feature, rather it was the choice to make it the default, coupled with a lack of any notice of the change, that led to the outcry.

      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux tuning tips help boost performance

        Shakshober and Larry Woodman, a Red Hat consulting engineer, lead four-day performance tuning courses for advanced users throughout the year and offer a briefer version for intermediate users annually at the Red Hat Summit.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Video Review: Nokia N900

        Here’s our 15 minute video review that covers the UI, webkit web browser, video playback and much more…

      • Nokia plans one Linux phone

        Nokia Oyj plans to install Linux software on just one new smartphone next year, a source told Reuters on Monday, dampening prospects of a quick makeover of the Finnish group’s struggling product line-up. But a spokesman said the world’s biggest handset maker had no plans to sell its manufacturing plants, clarifying earlier comments by an executive in the run-up to the firm’s strategy update on Wednesday.

      • Google image search coming (eventually) to Android

        Google is working on a mobile application that enables Android smartphone users to take a photo and run an image search to bring up additional information, says eWEEK. The Google Visual Search technology could also be used to drive mobile advertising based on taking photographs of billboards, says the story.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Netbook Makeovers, Cloud Censorship, and a Lucky Backup

        I shouldn’t have to come clean on this, but I will. I’m not the world’s biggest fan of Microsoft Windows (really?) but I recognize its position in business and on most of the world’s desktop. But trust me. It doesn’t belong on a netbook.

        So what does? Linux, of course. The kind of Linux that was designed for a netbook. In the hours that followed my decision to scrap Windows from yet another computer, I tried Easy Peasy (based on Ubuntu 8.04), Moblin, and Ubuntu Netbook Remix 9.10 which is based on the current Sue Graftonesque release “K is for Karmic Koala” (there’s a thread on my WFTL-LUG titled “Sue Grafton meets Linux” so I couldn’t resist).

      • Linux Is Regaining Netbook Market Share Quickly

        Despite this ABI Research published some new data last month and the results may surprise you. They place the 2009 market share for Linux on netbooks at 32% with 11 million units preloaded with Linux shipping this year. In an interview with DesktopLinux.com, Jeffrey Orr of ABI makes clear that dial boot machines (i.e.: the Acer Aspire One AOD250-1613) and machines that are purchased with Windows but later have Linux loaded do not count in the 32% number. That number is pure Linux sales. This data confirms comments made first by Jay Pinkert and later by Todd Finch of Dell that one third of their netbooks sales are Linux machines and that there is no higher return rate for Linux systems than there is for ones sold with Windows preloaded.

Free Software/Open Source

  • The best helmsmen stand on shore

    Bruce Byfield is completely unaware of this too. In his latest misguided rambling ‘Open Source Projects and the Meritocracy Myth’ he lists a number of major projects with paid developers. As if meritocracy is and should only be applied there.

    First, he obviously doesn’t understand the full concept of meritocracy. Meritocracy in FOSS is about merits, not just “who is the best”. If a paid developer can spend eight straight hours per day and provides most of the code he will obviously rise in the ranks, a fact that is clearly supported by the findings of the FLOSS polls, that infamous report that everybody likes to quote and nobody obviously read. Furthermore, in our capitalist world those who pay call the shots. The privilege that the community has is that if it doesn’t like it, it can fork. Something that Eben Moglen recently confirmed.


    Meritocracy is not the guiding principle of the FOSS ideology. It simply works best for these thousands of unpaid volunteers you’re so eager to insult and attack on each and every opportunity you get. Proof? Here you got it. Source? FLOSS polls!

  • Episode 128: Beam it up, F-SPOT!

    You can participate in episode planning in the Wave. It is open for everybody.


  • Inquiry of Philippines Massacre Urged

    Two United Nations human rights officials urged the government of the Philippines on Thursday to pursue a thorough investigation of the election-related massacre in which 57 people were killed, and the police recommended that murder charges be filed against 11 more suspects.


    Mrs. Arroyo, who has been under intense pressure to take action on the killings, attended a wake Thursday for some of the journalists who were killed and spoke to their relatives. “We will help in the studies of the children as well in finding justice,” Mrs. Arroyo said.

  • AWESOME: Ancient Pompeii Ruins Now on Google Street View

    Google’s Street View service, which lets you zoom into Google Maps and stroll through the city streets in a 3D environment, is amazing in its own right, but it just got twice as amazing with the addition of the ancient ruins of Pompeii.

  • Environment

    • Canada’s image lies in tatters. It is now to climate what Japan is to whaling

      In 2006 the new Canadian government announced it was abandoning its targets to cut greenhouse gases under the Kyoto protocol. No other country that had ratified the treaty has done this. Canada was meant to have cut emissions by 6% between 1990 and 2012. Instead they have already risen by 26%.

    • UK should open borders to climate refugees, says Bangladeshi minister

      Up to 20 million Bangladeshis may be forced to leave the country in the next 40 years because of climate change, one of the country’s most senior politicians has said. Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, Bangladesh’s finance minister, called on Britain and other wealthy countries to accept millions of displaced people.

    • Climate Change, Climate Sceptics and Open Data

      With the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen starting on Monday, it is of vital important that there is consensus on the scientific evidence about climate change, in order to inform debates about the best course of action for the international community. Sharing the same basic picture about the climate, global warming and the impact of human sources of carbon dioxide (regardless of the details of this picture, regardless of differences in opinion about the most appropriate course of action in reponse to it) is surely a critical prerequisite to effective and fruitful negotiations.

    • Release of global-average temperature data

      This data is a subset of the full HadCRUT record of global temperatures, which is one of the global temperature records that have underpinned IPCC assessment reports and numerous scientific studies. The data subset will consist of a network of individual stations that has been designated by the World Meteorological Organisation for use in climate monitoring. The subset of stations is evenly distributed across the globe and provides a fair representation of changes in mean temperature on a global scale over land.

  • AstroTurf

    • How the Afghan Surge Was Sold

      When ABC News, for instance, looks for someone to help explain the president’s decision to send more troops, they turned to Kimberly Kagan. In this segment, Kagan plays the role of Beltway policy wonk, describing how U.S. troops will initially surge to southern Afghanistan (”Those forces would go in, they would protect the population they would interact with local elders, village elders, try to figure out who those bad guys are in those communities and figure out different ways of making those communities safe,” she says). But there’s no mention of the fact that she played a role in shaping the strategy.

      USA Today, by contrast, quotes Fred Kagan on the troop increase and the prospects for improved security (”the good news is the administration does not seem to be planning that a rapid turnaround will take place”), but also mentions that he helped McChrystal with the assessment. CNN, quoting Fred Kagan in this segment, does not.


      More importantly, think tanks served as a sort of advance guard for a troop increase, with some pundits pushing early — and hard — for an escalated involvement. Here’s Cordesman, arguing in early August for more troops and fewer allied caveats. And here’s a CNAS brief from back in June. Not everyone one McChrystal’s advisory team signed on to the surge — Shapiro of Brookings, for one, did not advocate more troops — but the panel’s bipartisan design helped lend more weight to the general’s recommendations.

  • Internet/Censorship/Web Abuse/Rights

    • EU-Consultation On The European Citizens’ Initiative

      The Lisbon Treaty introduces a new form of public participation in European Union policy shaping, the European citizens’ initiative, which enables one million citizens who are nationals of a significant number of Member States to call directly on the European Commission to bring forward an initiative of interest to them in an area of EU competence. Before citizens can start exercising this new right, a few ground rules and procedures have to be laid down in an EU regulation.

    • The Lisbon Treaty – What Really Matters (in under three minutes)

      One controversial issue, which arose at the drafting stage, related to the removal of “competition policy” as one of the EU’s objectives from the draft Treaty. Instead, a legally binding “Protocol on Internal Market and Competition” was compiled, stating that “the internal market as set out in Article 3 of the Treaty on European Union includes a system ensuring that competition is not distorted”. However, the European Council’s Legal Service also provided an opinion confirming that the fact such reference is omitted from the EU’s objectives would not, in any case, prevent the EU legislator from acting under Article 308 to ensure competition is not distorted.

    • Turkey tests new means of Internet control

      “All internet communication data goes to foreign countries and then it returns. This activity has a security aspect,” said Acarer. I can’t be 100% certain but I think most of Turkish citizens would probably rather have their data go live somewhere on a Google server in California than to be looked at by Turkey’s intelligence services – on a server in Istanbul. But then again I may be misjudging the mysterious Turkish soul.

    • Police U-turn on photographers and anti-terror laws

      Police forces across the country have been warned to stop using anti-terror laws to question and search innocent photographers after The Independent forced senior officers to admit that the controversial legislation is being widely misused.

    • The Digital Economy Bill – a first critical look

      …the Bill has an inflexible and stereotyped view of the way in which access to the internet is provided which ignores many useful and important business models: many business from Weatherspoons and Macondalds to the British Library and local community access projects will be affected and may have to cease to provide internet access.

    • “Do I have the right to refuse this search?”

      Within the last few months, I have been singled out for “additional screening” roughly half the time I step into an airport security line. On Friday, October 9, as I stepped out of the full-body scanning device at BWI, I decided I needed more information to identify why it is that I have become such an appealing candidate for secondary screening.

      Little did I know this would be only the first of many questions I now have regarding my airport experiences.

      Over these last few months, I have grown increasingly frustrated with what I view as an unjustifiable intrusion on my privacy. It was not so much the search (then) as it was the embarrassment of being singled out, effectively being told “You are different,” but getting no explanation as to why.

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • Spanish online community ablaze as government questions Internet rights – #manifiesto

      If that wasn’t enough of a sign as to how much of an online movement this has become and the attention it’s getting, in the afternoon, after the failed meeting, President Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero came out in a press conference to appease tensions, stating that “no website will be shut down”, discrediting the Culture Minister.

      But it got bigger. Press coverage has been impressive. Last night at 8pm, an unofficial protest—a walk—was called, in defense of our fundamental internet rights. As far as I know, people came out in protest in Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, Vigo, Bilbao, Palma, Malaga, Granada, La Coruña and Santiago de Compostela. And I’m sure there are more. We mobilized for internet rights, without which we wouldn’t have been able to mobilize in the first place. Whatever comes out of the commotion now, whatever final decisions are drawn (unlikely to happen quickly), this spectacular reaction is something to talk about.

    • Anti-Piracy Group Calls in Debt Agency To Collect ‘Fines’

      DigiProtect, the anti-piracy company that makes money from threatening alleged file-sharers with court unless they pay up a ‘fine’, has a worrying new tactic. Hoping to scare letter recipients even more than they already do, the company is now sending more threats via a debt collection agency.

Eye on Microsoft: BitLocker Offers No Protection, Webcams and Windows Compromise

Posted in Microsoft, Security, Windows at 11:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Security failures in the news

Germans devise attacks on Windows BitLocker (also see [1, 2])

German researchers have devised five methods that determined attackers can use to bypass hard-drive encryption in recent versions of Microsoft operating systems.

Man loses fight against firm that suffered data breach

A Missouri man has lost his legal battle against an online prescription processor that suffered a security breach that exposed highly sensitive subscriber information.

John Amburgy alleged that Express Scripts was negligent because it failed to adequately safeguard customer data, including names, dates of birth, social security numbers, and prescription drug histories. He argued that the breach in October 2008 that exposed an unknown number of subscribers’ details put him at risk of identity theft for which he was entitled to compensation.

Thanksgiving Webcam Promo Leads to Malware

The US$10 webcam that Anna Giesman bought her daughter at Office Depot over the Thanksgiving weekend sounds like one of those deals that’s too good to be true. And for her, it was.

A week later, she’s worried and upset because a CD that came with the camera contained a Web link that apparently infected her PC with fake antivirus software.

Clientless SSL VPN Products Open Web Browser Security Hole

US-CERT has issued a warning about impacting dozens of clientless SSL VPN products it says can be exploited to break Web browser security.

Microsoft Hires in Areas of Tax Dodging and Offshoring

Posted in Asia, Europe, Finance, Fraud, Microsoft, Search at 11:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Pay taxes (sign)

Summary: Microsoft saves money by reducing wages and avoiding tax

Microsoft has been hiring near SCO despite layoffs everywhere else in the Unites States. Overall, Microsoft is shrinking, but not all layoffs are created equal.

There is a lot to be learned from Microsoft’s hiring/layoffs patterns, mostly because Microsoft favours areas of cheaper labour (like China and India) and areas of tax dodging, e.g. Ireland. We provided a lot of evidence before.

Last week was the last time we wrote about Jeff Reifman, a former Microsoft manager who accuses Microsoft of offences relating to taxation. He showed that Microsoft is using Reno as a distant place from which to process transactions and thus avoid paying tax like everyone else. Reifman appears in this new article from the Seattle Weekly and while the Seattle press reports on Microsoft laying off in Washington, some days ago we also found this new report.

Reno’s Microsoft outpost has grown from 40 to 250 employees


“This is an attempt for people to know more about us,” said Mary Ellen Smith, general manager of the Reno operation which employs 250 people.

Is it not interesting that Microsoft is shrinking almost everywhere while in Reno it grows more than six-fold? Is it not related to the routine which saves Microsoft about a billion dollars in tax? Who could be so gullible? Financial fraud is not foreign to Microsoft [1, 2, 3] and now there is a lot of noise out there about the Reno operations. That’s where they stash the tax money they do not pay (Google, Intel, and Apple are not innocent, either).

“Financial fraud is not foreign to Microsoft and now there is a lot of noise out there about the Reno operations.”Speaking of which, Microsoft’s CFO, who is aware of all this and also partly responsible, has just quit the company. What a good timing. Chris Liddell, who was partly responsible for this potential violation of the law, might even leave the country and go back to New Zealand, having dumped his shares in Microsoft [1, 2].

Nevertheless, there is no reason to worry about Mr. Liddell, who quit with his own (very personal) special loot.

Microsoft Chief Financial Officer Chris Liddell will get $1.9 million after he leaves Microsoft, according to a company filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

It is mostly/only covered by the Seattle blogs, which are of course reluctant to say something negative. Some of them are sponsored by Microsoft.

Moving on a little, in recent weeks we wrote about Kristof from the New York Times calling for a boycott of Microsoft search, which incorporates suppressive censorship in China [1, 2, 3] (it also censors the competition, as we showed repeatedly before). Microsoft Nick plays along with the pathetic Microsoft defence (excuse) that this was a “bug”.

Microsoft claims it fixed a controversial “bug” that made Bing Image Search deliver uniformly pro-Chinese-government results to politically sensitive queries inputted in Simplified Chinese.

Bing came under fire on Nov. 20 from New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, who accused Microsoft of “craven kowtowing” to the Chinese government by offering “sanitized pro-Communist results” in response to Bing searches in Simplified Chinese for terms such as “Tiananmen” and “Dalai Lama.”

We previously showed that Microsoft and Bill Gates are politically close to China, not just because both are totalitarian and suppressive. In the news we now find: “Microsoft Talks China Outsourcing”

Microsoft (Nasdaq:MSFT) has outsourced more than $100 million of business to China in 2009, qq.com reported December 3 citing Wang Ying, Senior Director of Microsoft China R&D Group’s China Outsourcing Center.

Yes, that ought to save Microsoft a lot of money, but the English-speaking press hardly covers this (qq.com is Chinese). It does, however, write about a recovery of a bankrupt company of Microsoft’s co-founder. We wrote about Charter before.

Gnote is Alive, New Release Available

Posted in FSF, GNOME, GNU/Linux, Mono, Novell, Ubuntu at 10:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Musical notes

Summary: New Gnote can strike a chord with next Ubuntu

THE same people who defend Mono have been spreading rumours about Gnote, but the project is alive and well (as always) — a fact currently noted in this new report.

The GNOME note-taking utilities Tomboy and Gnote both made releases recently. Tomboy, the older project, released version 1.0.1 and includes some long-awaited online storage features. Gnote, a port of Tomboy to C++ instead of the original C#/Mono, released version 0.6.3, a bugfix release in its own right, but one that put an end to rumors that the project was without a maintainer.

Now is a good time to incorporate Gnote into Ubuntu 10.04 (well overdue). It performs better, it resolves the issues raised by the FSF, it is already in the Ubuntu repositories, and it is in Fedora by default. If Ubuntu is looking to save disk space, which it does, then it should remove Mono (and Tomboy), not the GIMP. Ubuntu polls indicate that many/most other people feel the same way about the GIMP; they are in favour of keeping it.

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: December 5th, 2009

Posted in IRC Logs at 10:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Read the log

Enter the IRC channel now

To use your own IRC client, join channel #boycottnovell in FreeNode.

Apple May Destroy Partner and Acquisition (Lala), Google “Crushes Etherpad” with Acquisition

Posted in Apple, Free/Libre Software, Google, Intellectual Monopoly at 10:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Deer speaks

Summary: When proprietary giants meet industry’s darlings and Bambis, bystanders grow weary

IT WAS only under a fortnight ago that we wrote about Apple going aggressive with trademarks. It threatened to kill “iPodRip” in Sydney and now it is threatening another Australian business, also using trademarks. The Age reports again:

Apple trying to rip out our core: Macpro boss


Apple attempted to register the “Macpro” and “Mac Pro” trademarks for computers in May 2006, which McRae swiftly opposed as he would have had to give up his company’s name if Apple was successful.

IP Australia, which handles disputes related to trademarks and patents in Australia, found in McRae’s favour but Apple has appealed against the decision to the Federal Court. The trial is set to run over three days in June next year.

Upon hearing the news about Apple’s intentions of buying Lala (reported with more certainty here), our reader Ryan remarked: “great, another good service ruined by a giant monopoly”

Apple has some serious issues.

“Free software licensing resolves some of the above issues.”Andre Rebentisch claims that “Google crushes Etherpad” and further he writes: “That is really a bad move. Google buys Etherpad just to close it down. I would argue that Etherpad is the best online tool I came across during the last 2 years. Why do they do that to me?”

Another reader of ours says: “Etherpad seems to be closing down.” Popey says that “Etherpad opensourcing collaborative web based text editor. Useful for free software projects to collab with like gobby.” He links to the news that “EtherPad is Back Online Until Open Sourced”

Maybe miscommunication after all? Either way, time will tell. Free software licensing resolves some of the above issues.

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