12.17.09

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Apple Behaves Like Rogue Nation, Poor Intel Under Attack by ”Anti-American“ FTC

Posted in Antitrust, Apple, Europe, Fraud, Hardware, Microsoft at 6:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Intel: criminal inside

Summary: Scrupulous behaviour from two companies that are now working as partners

YESTERDAY we cited a rant about this post, which obviously broke Godwin’s law. The Inquirer removed the Nazi analogy from that post and told the story of what Apple was doing:

PURVEYOR OF RIDICULOUSLY EXPENSIVE GADGETS, Apple has hired a secret police force to keep its black shirted employees in line.

Gizmodo has confirmed the existence of a division that reports directly to Jobs and Oppenheimer.

Dubbed the “Worldwide Loyalty Team”, its sole function is to purge Apple stores of people who are not rabid fanboys or toeing the company line on everything.

Apparently the division has moles who are ordered to report deviant activity amongst the staff and management of the stores. High on the list are people who might be talking to the media.

Apple is now controlling the crowd and suppressing dissent, very much like Microsoft. Maybe that’s why they have managed to create hype and build an image which is difficult to surpass.

“Apple is now controlling the crowd and suppressing dissent, very much like Microsoft.”It is worth adding that Apple does not break the law here, but it is important to understand how the company works. It is reasonable to describe this as deceitful and even unethical.

As for criminal companies, Intel is a leading example. When the EU Commission found Intel guilty (so did Korea) Intel was quick to respond with the same talking point as Microsoft. They quickly call the regulators “anti-American” (there can never be anything wrong with Intel’s and Microsoft’s conduct, it must be those envious nationalist zealots!), but this poor defense is contradicted by the US FTC, which is on the move again. From the news:

i. FTC takes Intel to court

THE US FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION (FTC) filed a lawsuit in federal court against Intel today, seeking to stop the world’s largest chipmaker from threatening, anti-competitive actions.

Although word processing applications will soon start to auto-complete the sentence, “Intel has been accused of antitrust violations”, we’ll have to keep typing it, and explain once again that someone has accused the firm of throwing its weight around and dominating the chip market.

Today the FTC said that Intel had unfairly harmed its rivals in semiconductor markets by either offering sweeteners or dishing out threats to its customers. In a statement released today, Richard A. Feinstein, director of the FTC’s bureau of competition, said, “Intel has engaged in a deliberate campaign to hamstring competitive threats to its monopoly. It’s been running roughshod over the principles of fair play and the laws protecting competition on the merits. The Commission’s action today seeks to remedy the damage that Intel has done to competition, innovation, and, ultimately, the American consumer.”

ii. Intel being sued for using size to keep out rivals

Intel, the world’s biggest maker of computer chips, is being sued by a US competition authority.

iii. FTC whacks Intel with anticompetition complaint

Intel is accused of locking AMD out of key vendors by using “threats and rewards… to coerce them not to buy rival computer CPU chips.”

Intel is apparently responding with shameless PR and distraction. Microsoft should be sued by the FTC under similar charges.

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17 Comments

  1. Yuhong Bao said,

    December 17, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    Gravatar

    “Apple is now controlling the crowd and suppressing dissent, very much like Microsoft.”
    Only that it is limited to Apple employees only.
    “It is reasonable to describe this as deceitful and even unethical.”
    At least it is limited to Apple employees only.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Apple and its crowd sometimes attack researchers.

    http://www.macworld.com/article/52464/2006/08/wirelesshack.html

    Yuhong Bao Reply:

    Yep, I know, and from http://features.techworld.com/security/2856/apple-security–silence-then-abuse/:
    “What’s crazy is that these exact same criticisms used to made of Microsoft, to the extent that the company’s security image has never recovered.”
    And this is not the only example. Oracle, which once claimed to be “unbreakable”, is another. Another open source example is OpenBSD:
    http://www.coresecurity.com/content/open-bsd-advisorie
    http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=226603&cid=18365343

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    OpenBSD still has a very good record.

  2. Yuhong Bao said,

    December 17, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    Gravatar

    NVIDIA has cartoons about Intel, including some about it’s anticompetitive behavior:
    http://www.intelsinsides.com

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Yes, this is why I found Cringely’s speculation to be a nonstarter.

    http://www.cringely.com/2009/12/intel-will-buy-nvidia/

  3. kreshwolf said,

    December 18, 2009 at 8:42 am

    Gravatar

    I think you have to be very careful when you start ridiculing people or companies, and if you do you had better make sure that you are not doing the same things that you are ridiculing.

    I mean be honest, how can you take shots at Apple for doing exactly what Richard Stallman wants to do at Planet Gnome?

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    It’s an improper comparison; Stallman is not trying to sell products.

    kreshwolf Reply:

    So I guess the ends really do justify the means then.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Who said such a thing? I did not.

  4. kreshwolf said,

    December 18, 2009 at 9:22 am

    Gravatar

    Apple wants to remove employees from their organisation for not towing the company line, and Richard Stallman wants to remove the blogs of developers from the the Planet Gnome organisation because they do not tow the FOSS community line.

    You are the one who said that the ends justify the means when you said that it was an improper comparison because Mr. Stallman is not try to sell products.

    The end (a community where everyone is towing the line) is justified by the means (Richard Stallman calling for the removal of blogs from developers not towing the line).

    The end (Apple having all PAID employees show brand loyalty) is justified by the means (firing employees who are not loyal).

    So Apple is bad. Mr. Stallman on the other hand is not trying to sell products so any means to that end is good.

    your_friend Reply:

    The two actions are as close to polar opposites as you can find in any organization. Apple demands sheepish obedience to a single company and whatever it does. GNU advocates four freedoms.

    The goal of Gnome is software freedom. RMS asked Planet Gnome people not to promote software that compromises user freedom. That’s easy to do because everyone knows what the four freedoms are and what violates them. Because those freedoms are the purpose of the group, it makes sense to define membership based on it. Nothing bad happens to people who don’t want to be a part of Gnome Plannet. This is a rule of principle. It needs no secret police.

    Apple’s goal is making money through brand loyalty. It’s sort of a cult that worships Steve Jobs and a few nice looking logos, only slightly less fanatical than the cult of Gates. It is impossible to deduce what will come next from any of the people in charge at either company but all are expected to follow with blind enthusiasm. If you don’t, your fired, something that causes lots of big problems and smears your record. That is tyranny and it often comes with vigilante type justice.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    The issue with such a company is that by not being ruthless (maximising shareholders’ value), you’re asking to be thrown out.

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 18, 2009 at 9:47 am

    Gravatar

    You are the one who said that the ends justify the means when you said that it was an improper comparison because Mr. Stallman is not try to sell products.

    No, I did not say this. You misinterpreted what I wrote.

    Let me say it clearly; Stallman is motivated not by the bottom line of a corporation, so I favour his words.

    Here is a video that might help in understanding the distinction between sociopaths/psychopathic institutions and democracy/solidarity. The FSF is now apathetic towards ethics.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    /s/now/not/

  6. kreshwolf said,

    December 18, 2009 at 11:14 am

    Gravatar

    If FSF has no interest or concern in ethics then they have become anti-social and anti-community. Ethics is defined by the community and if the FSF has no interest in ethical behaviour then I have no interest in them.

    I refused to believe, but there is no other option now than to believe, that free and open source software has been hijacked by radicals. I hope the violent extremists are not close behind!

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    …hijacked by radicals. I hope the violent extremists are not close behind!

    Are you talking about software or wars? Either way, you seem to be losing this debate.

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