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

03.22.10

Government Cronyism Watch: Microsoft Inside FCC, California, Washington, and Bahrain

Posted in America, Asia, Bill Gates, Finance, Microsoft, Office Suites, Steve Ballmer, Windows at 2:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

FCC logo

Summary: Latest examples of Microsoft entering the non-commercial arena and influencing decisions so as to help its bottom line

THE FCC family grows and the latest addition is covered by BusinessWeek, which says:

‘Sexiest Man’ Joins Navy Admiral, Microsoft Veteran at New FCC

[...]

Also among Genachowski’s recruits are retired Navy Rear Admiral James Barnett Jr., 56, who is chief of the FCC’s bureau of public safety and homeland security; Steven VanRoekel, 40, the agency’s managing director, who came from Microsoft Corp.; and Steven Waldman, 47, founder of beliefnet.com, which offers prayers and commentary to help users seeking spiritual guidance. Waldman, a former Newsweek correspondent, heads an FCC task force on the state of the media.

[...]

VanRoekel oversees the agency’s day-to-day operations. The former Microsoft executive and aide to founder Gates on speeches and strategy says he has worked to boost technology use since arriving to find an agency where “the status quo was the norm.”

We wrote about this tactless appointment before [1, 2]. The FCC took on Apple just weeks after VanRoekel had become the Managing Director of the FCC. But anyway, why does BusinessWeek care so much about a man’s appearance? It’s not as though people should vote for someone based on whether he is “Sexiest Man” or not.

Apropos, a couple of weeks ago Schwarzenegger put himself in Microsoft's pocket and now he’s getting bitten in the rear. From the San Francisco press we now learn:

Glitches in Microsoft’s California vouchers

[...]

Last week, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger visited Microsoft Corp.’s Silicon Valley campus to announce that the tech company would hand out more than 70,000 training vouchers through the state’s One-Stop Career Centers. The idea was to give Californians – whether unemployed or working – a chance to take online computer courses and get free tests to certify their skills.

This Microsoft-sponsored program, called Elevate America, mainly offers intermediate training in office programs – Word, Access, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Vista – with some vouchers set aside to provide advanced online training to people hoping to work in computer administration.

[..]

Microsoft has run this same program in 12 other states and officials say the average completion rate has been just 30 percent – giving local workforce boards a chance to improve on that ratio by making sure that Californians follow through and take advantage of the training.

This is just nationwide dumping, as we have already explained. Microsoft tries to indoctrinate everyone by means of Windows and Office “training” that it “donates”. This programme is mostly being used in the US, but there are similar things going on in the UK. We gave examples.

To the US government, Microsoft is the tail that wags the dog. Last month we showed that a former Microsoft manager (Hunter) had entered the government where he is now helping Microsoft escape tax [1, 2, 3]. Microsoft’s darling press, the Seattle Times, still seems to be unwilling to cover this blunder; instead it says that “State tax break entices tech firms to build data centers”

Legislators and businesses have been worried about losing new data centers to other states since Microsoft, citing the state’s tax law, moved its cloud- computing platform Azure out of Washington to another U.S. data center. The news was distressing to the Grant County town of Quincy, where Yahoo, Microsoft and Intuit have built large server farms, drawn to the county’s cheap and green hydropower.

Server farms send data and software across the Internet to users and to Web sites around the world. Microsoft continues to operate a data center in Quincy but chose last year not to expand Azure there. Running a server farm requires large amounts of energy and bandwidth.

The Seattle Times should be shamed of itself for continuing to ignore a serious fiasco that hurts citizens of Seattle. Is this publication paid by Microsoft in any way (directly or indirectly)? There’s quite a déjà vu here because other Seattle or Redmond ‘publications’ are dedicated just to Microsoft boosting and some masquerade as government-oriented Web sites that offer impartial advice to governments.

“The Seattle Times should be shamed of itself for continuing to ignore a serious fiasco that hurts citizens of Seattle.”Here is the latest example of Microsoft promotion as an ‘article’ in one these Web sites; Microsoft seems to have gotten its own magazines to sell its products and deceive readers (under the the illusion that these are “news” sites). Here is one new example and another one. These new articles may seem like news, but they are embedded in sites that are named after Microsoft products. It’s an insult to real news sites and it dilutes authentic reporting as a whole. Shouldn’t the FCC look into such issues of misreporting (or improper media centralisation)? Oh wait, the FCC would not care because it’s partly run by a former colleague of Gates and Ballmer. It’s all just PR from a highly PR-dependent company that he used to work for, so why would he care?

Speaking of government influence, Microsoft will have a conference in Costa Mesa next week and we also learn that it has “workshops” in Bahrain, where these simply enable Microsoft to send instructions to people who make decisions:

Furthering its commitment to promote good government practices through the use of technology, Microsoft Bahrain today announced that it hosted a workshop for senior technology executives from the various entities within the Government of Bahrain.

This is wrong on very many levels. No wonder so many governments blindly sign contracts with Microsoft and sometimes get sued for it by their citizens. In some cases, the lawsuits come from competitors. Take Switzerland for example. We covered it in:

  1. Microsoft Sued Over Its Corruption in Switzerland, Microsoft Debt Revisited
  2. Can the United Kingdom and Hungary Still be Sued for Excluding Free Software?
  3. 3 New Counts of Antitrust Violation by Microsoft?
  4. Is Microsoft Breaking the Law in Switzerland Too?
  5. Microsoft Uses Lobbyists to Attack Holland’s Migration to Free Software and Sort of Bribes South African Teachers Who Use Windows
  6. ZDNet/eWeek Ruins Peter Judge’s Good Article by Attacking Red Hat When Microsoft Does the Crime
  7. Week of Microsoft Government Affairs: a Look Back, a Look Ahead
  8. Lawsuit Against Microsoft/Switzerland Succeeds So Far, More Countries/Companies Should Follow Suit
  9. Latest Reports on Microsoft Bulk Deals Being Blocked in Switzerland, New Zealand
  10. Swiss Government and Federal Computer Weekly: Why the Hostility Towards Free Software?
  11. Switzerland and the UK Under Fire for Perpetual Microsoft Engagements
  12. Lawsuit Over Alleged Microsoft Corruption in Switzerland Escalates to Federal Court

Microsoft’s manufactured ‘studies’ are another important subject that we mentioned last week (Microsoft uses these for government lobbying) and here is the latest example.

Microsoft’s Worldwide Utility Industry Survey 2010 is their latest attempt at doing this, and while this is not really a major study, there are a handful of meaningful conclusions that I think will – and should – resonate with utilities.

In the next post about the Gates Foundation we will show the latest ‘studies’ that they fund to serve themselves. This type of behaviour ought to be exposed because it only adds ‘noise’ to the debate and it harms citizens for the benefit of few large corporations.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

A Single Comment

  1. your_friend said,

    March 22, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    Gravatar

    Microsoft’s training programs are worse than dumping, they are state sponsored dumping. In all of these programs, Microsoft uses government resources like staff and office space. While they have spun their software donation as a gift, what they’ve really done is convince US states to fund Microsoft training. Even if 100% of state expenses were reimbursed, in cash not through phoney retail price software donations, it would be a bad deal for states because it excludes competitors from the same resources. Training is a private issue and Microsoft should be going through private colleges or through a very carefully monitored public University program.

What Else is New


  1. 'Reform' at the EPO Means Destroying the Staff Union, Crushing Patent Examiners, and Imposing on Europe a System It Does Not Want (UPC)

    The chaotic transition at the EPO -- a transition from something which has been workable to something intolerable -- and the role of the Unitary Patent (UPC), which lurks in the shadows and threatens to harm the whole of Europe



  2. Shakeup Against Patent Parasites in the US and More Rumours/Speculations About USPTO Director Michelle Lee After Trump's Inauguration

    The US patent system is becoming ever more hostile towards patent trolls, owing in part to reforms introduced under Michelle Lee's tenure, but people are still not certain that she will maintain her job and continue to fix the system



  3. EPO Abuses Now Make the Netherlands Look Like a Facilitator of Human/Labour Rights Abuses

    Rather than crack down on human rights abuses, the Dutch government now sends out the signal that it's an island for those wish to violate human rights whilst enjoying immunity (EPO)



  4. Links 20/1/2017: Docker 1.13, Linux 4.4.44 LTS

    Links for the day



  5. “Federal Circuit Had Affirmed on Every Issue in 77.4% of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board Appeals it Had Seen” in 2016

    The Federal Circuit (CAFC) and Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) continue to squash a lot of patents on software, in contrast to that fake news from patent maximalists



  6. Kudelski Group Not Only Acts Like a Patent Troll But Also Run by Intellectual Ventures Person; Mobile Market in Dire State of Patent Armageddon

    The patent thicket which pervades everything that is used by billions of people, mobile technology in particular, can be traced back to a lot of non-practicing parasites (or patent trolls)



  7. Watchtroll and His Swamp Still Blame Google (Where Michelle Lee Came From) for Improving and Gradually Fixing Aspects of the US Patent System

    Shooting the messengers (even wrongly associating yours truly with Google) in an effort to undermine patent reform when it is so desperately needed due to serious injustices



  8. In an Age of Necessary Patent Reform and Permanent Uncertainty for Software Patents the Patent Microcosm Looks for Workarounds and Spin

    Commentary on the status quo in the Michelle Lee era and some examples of bias from the patent microcosm, as well as news regarding the NFL getting sued by the Kudelski Group



  9. Michelle Lee, USPTO Director, Should Recognise That the Patent Microcosm is Her Enemy Which Hates Her

    The latest outburst from the patent microcosm, which has a temper issue and notorious disdain for judges it does not agree with, is more of what we have come to expect



  10. Battistelli is an Autocrat Above the Law and It's OK, Holland's High Council Says

    Battistelli's autocratic tendencies will not be challenged by Dutch authorities, in spite of sheer condemnation from many groups all across Europe and the entire world



  11. Beware Fake News About the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    The UPC is dead, deadlocked, stuck, in a limbo and so on; those who claim otherwise are merely lobbying (in disguise of "analysis" or "news")



  12. Shame on MapR for Pursuing Software Patents While Pretending to Stand for Free/Open Source Software

    The patents gold rush sees another company joining the 'fun', albeit this company should campaign hard against software patents rather than pursue any



  13. Doomsday Scenario in the Back Mirror as Michelle Lee Keeps Her Job (and Much-Needed Patent Reform) at the USPTO

    The future of patent reform, i.e. tackling overpatenting and patent trolls, looks somewhat more promising with today's confirmation of Lee's 'extended tenure' at the Office



  14. Links 19/1/2017: PulseAudio 10.0, Linux 4.9 Longterm Kernel

    Links for the day



  15. Corporate (Wall Street) Media Agrees That Brexit Dooms the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    The nonstop lies or the fake news about the UPC starting "real soon now" don't quite pass a reality check or a basic assessment based on fundamental concepts, such as the UPC's facilitation of subordination (to Europe) in the United Kingdom



  16. Farce of an 'Independence' for the Boards of Appeal as Another Ally of Benoît Battistelli Enters as Parasite Inside the 'Overseer'/Host

    The latest cluster of lies from the President of the European Patent Office (EPO) and direct refutation of false claims of independence for the Boards of Appeal, where the former Vice-Presidents can flock, just like the Mini Minion (Minnoye) of Battistelli



  17. Links 18/1/2017: Red Hat's OpenShift 3.4, Mozilla's New Logo/Branding

    Links for the day



  18. Union-Busting Action by Team Battistelli Takes Heavy Toll, Techrights Will Continue to Expose EPO Injustices to the World

    The Staff Union of the European Patent Office, SUEPO, which faced unprecedented and probably illegal (based on local laws) attacks, is being weakened by the worst President ever, whose own management team seems to be collapsing along with the institution he is destroying in just a few years



  19. A Lot More Fake News About the UPC, Trying to Convince People That the UK is Ratifying (It's Not, It Cannot)

    Response to some of the latest misleading (self-serving) whispers about the fate of the Unified Patent Court (UPC), which is in a deadlock due to Brexit



  20. Rumours Suggest That EPO Management is Aware of Decline in Patent Quality and is Thus Actively Lying About it to the Media/Public

    Whenever Battistelli brags about patent quality he may be consciously and deliberately lying through his teeth if the latest rumours are correct



  21. Links 17/1/2017: GIMP Plans, New Raspberry Pi Product

    Links for the day



  22. Resumption of EPO Propaganda ('Meet the President') Officially Starts Tomorrow

    Yet another one of these foolish 'Meet the President' stunts, scheduled to take place tomorrow morning



  23. Caricature: Battistelli's New Year's Resolution (More EPO Lies)

    The latest cartoon being circulated within the European Patent Office (EPO)



  24. Donald Trump Gives New Hope to Patent Aggressors and Patent Trolls

    Pessimism about the prospects of patent progress or patent reform in an age of staunchly pro-business Conservatives and glorification of protectionism



  25. More Fake News About the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Based on Lobbying Tactics From Bristows UPC and the Preparatory Committee

    Unified Patent Court (UPC) lobbying has gotten so bad that it now infiltrates general media outlets, where people are asked to just blindly assume that the UPC is coming and is inevitable, even though it's clearly in a limbo and is unlikely to see the light of day



  26. EPO Totally Silent for a Month, But Deep Inside There Are Serious Cracks

    The situation at the EPO seems to be pretty grim, even at the top-level management, and the EPO has gone into permanent silence mode



  27. Links 16/1/2017: Linux 4.10 RC4, Linux Mint 18.1 'Serena' KDE Edition Beta

    Links for the day



  28. 'Financial Director' Publishes Fake News About the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    Response to some of the latest UPC propaganda, which strives to misinform Financial Directors so as to enrich the author and his firm



  29. Independent and Untainted Web Sites About Patents Are Still Few and Rare

    Commentary about news sources that we rely on, as well as the known pitfalls or the vested interests deeply ingrained in them



  30. The 20% Rule: Patent Trolling Suffers Double-Digit Declines and Patent Troll Technicolor is Collapsing

    Significant demise or total catastrophe for the modus operandi (method) of going after companies with a pile of patents and threats of litigation


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts