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. Dutch Court Rules Against SUEPO (in a Reversal), But EPO Management Would Have Ignored the Ruling Even If SUEPO Won (Updated)

    SUEPO loses a case against EPO management, but the EPO's overzealous management was going to ignore the ruling anyway



  2. New Paper Provides Evidence of Sinking Patent Quality at the EPO, Refuting the Liar in Chief Battistelli

    In spite of Battistelli's claims (lies) about patent quality under his watch, reality suggests that so-called 'production' is simply rushed issuance of invalid patents (one step away from rubberstamping, in order to meet unreasonable, imposed-from-the-top targets)



  3. Battistelli Locks EPO Staff Union Out of Social Conference So That He Can Lie About the Union and the Social Climate

    The attacks on staff of the EPO carry on, with brainwash sessions meticulously scheduled to ensure that Administrative Council delegates are just their master's voice, or the voice of the person whom they are in principle supposed to oversee



  4. Unprecedented Levels of UPC Lobbying by Big Business Europe (Multinationals) and Their Patent Law Firms

    A quick look at some of the latest deception which is intended to bamboozle European politicians and have them play along with the unitary [sic] patent for private interests of the super-rich



  5. Links 29/9/2016: Russia Moving to FOSS, New Nmap and PostgreSQL Releases

    Links for the day



  6. Team UPC is Interjecting Itself Into the Media Ahead of Tomorrow's Lobbying Push Against the European Council and Against European Interests

    A quick look at the growing bulk of UPC lobbying (by the legal firms which stand to benefit from it) ahead of tomorrow's European Council meeting which is expected to discuss a unitary patent system



  7. IP Kat is Lobbying Heavily for the UPC, Courtesy of Team UPC

    When does an IP (or patent) blog become little more than an aggregation of interest groups and self-serving patent law firms, whose agenda overlaps that of Team Battistelli?



  8. Leaked: Conclusions of the Secretive EPO Board 28 Meeting (8th of September 2016)

    The agenda and outcome of the secretive meeting of the Board of the Administrative Council of the EPO



  9. Letter From the Dutch Institute of Patent Attorneys (Nederlandse Orde van Octrooigemachtigden) to the Administrative Council of the EPO

    The Netherlands Institute of Patent Attorneys, a group representing a large number of Dutch patent practitioners, is against Benoît Battistelli and his horrible behaviour at the European Patent Office (EPO)



  10. EPO's Board 28 Notes Battistelli's “Three Current Investigations/Disciplinary Proceedings Involving SUEPO Members in The Hague."

    The attack on SUEPO (EPO staff representatives) at The Hague appears to have been silently expanded to a third person, showing an obvious increase in Battistelli's attacks on truth-tellers



  11. Links 28/9/2016: Alpine Linux 3.4.4, Endless OS 3.0

    Links for the day



  12. Cementing Autocracy: The European Patent Office Against Democracy, Against Media, and Against the Rule of Law

    The European Patent Office (EPO) actively undermines democracy in Europe, it undermines the freedom of the press (by paying it for puff pieces), and it undermines the rule of law by giving one single tyrant total power in Eponia and immunity from outside Eponia (even when he breaks his own rules)



  13. Links 28/9/2016: New Red Hat Offices, Fedora 25 'Frozen'

    Links for the day



  14. Team Battistelli Intensifies the Attack on the Boards of Appeal Again

    The lawless state of the EPO, where the rule of law is basically reducible to Battistelli's ego and insecurities, is again demonstrated with an escalation and perhaps another fake 'trial' in the making (after guilt repeatedly fails to be established)



  15. After the EPO Paid the Financial Times to Produce Propaganda the Newspaper Continues to Produce UPC Puff Pieces, Just Ahead of EU Council Meeting

    How the media, including the Financial Times, has been used (and even paid!) by the EPO in exchange for self-serving (to the EPO) messages and articles



  16. Beware the Patent Law Firms Insinuating That Software Patents Are Back Because of McRO

    By repeatedly claiming (and then generalising) that CAFC accepted a software patent the patent microcosm (meta-industry) hopes to convince us that we should continue to pursue software patents in the US, i.e. pay them a lot more money for something of little/no value



  17. The US Supreme Court Might Soon Tighten Patent Scope in the United States Even Further, the USPTO Produces Patent Maximalism Propaganda

    A struggle brewing between the patent 'industry' (profiting from irrational saturation) and the highest US court, as well as the Government Accountability Office (GAO)



  18. Patent Trolling a Growing Problem in East Asia (Software Patents Also), Whereas in the US the Problem Goes Away Along With Software Patents

    A look at two contrasting stories, one in Asia where patent litigation and hype are on the rise (same in Europe due to the EPO) and another in the US where a lot of patents face growing uncertainty and a high invalidation rate



  19. The EPO's Continued Push for Software Patents, Marginalisation of Appeals (Reassessment), and Deviation From the EPC

    A roundup of new developments at the EPO, where things further exacerbate and patent quality continues its downward spiral



  20. The Battistelli Effect: “We Will be Gradually Forced to File Our Patent Applications Outside the EPO in the Interests of Our Clients”

    While the EPO dusts off old files and grants in haste without quality control (won't be sustainable for more than a couple more years) the applicants are moving away as trust in the EPO erodes rapidly and profoundly



  21. Links 27/9/2016: Lenovo Layoffs, OPNFV Third Software Release

    Links for the day



  22. The Moral Depravity of the European Patent Office Under Battistelli

    The European Patent Office (EPO) comes under heavy criticism from its very own employees, who also seem to recognise that lobbying for the UPC is a very bad idea which discredits the European Patent Organisation



  23. Links 26/9/2016: Linux 4.8 RC8, SuperTux 0.5

    Links for the day



  24. What Insiders Are Saying About the Sad State of the European Patent Office (EPO)

    Anonymous claims made by people who are intimately familiar with the European Patent Office (from the inside) shed light on how bad things have become



  25. The EPO Does Not Want Skilled (and 'Expensive') Staff, Layoffs a Growing Concern

    A somewhat pessimistic look (albeit increasingly realistic look) at the European Patent Office, where unions are under fire for raising legitimate concerns about the direction taken by the management since a largely French team was put in charge



  26. Patents Roundup: Accenture Software Patents, Patent Troll Against Apple, Willful Infringements, and Apple Against a Software Patent

    A quick look at various new articles of interest (about software patents) and what can be deduced from them, especially now that software patents are the primary barrier to Free/Libre Open Source software adoption



  27. Software Patents Propped Up by Patent Law Firms That Are Lying, Further Assisted by Rogue Elements Like David Kappos and Randall Rader (Revolving Doors)

    The sheer dishonesty of the patent microcosm (seeking to bring back software patents by misleading the public) and those who are helping this microcosm change the system from the inside, owing to intimate connections from their dubious days inside government



  28. Links 25/9/2016: Linux 4.7.5, 4.4.22; LXQt 0.11

    Links for the day



  29. Patent Quality and Patent Scope the Unspeakable Taboo at the EPO, as Both Are Guillotined by Benoît Battistelli for the Sake of Money

    The gradual destruction of the European Patent Office (EPO), which was once unanimously regarded as the world's best, by a neo-liberal autocrat from France, Benoît Battistelli



  30. Bristows LLP's Hatred/Disdain of UK/EU Democracy Demonstrated; Says “Not Only Will the Pressure for UK Ratification of the UPC Agreement Continue, But a Decision is Wanted Within Weeks.”

    Without even consulting the British public or the European public (both of whom would be severely harmed by the UPC), the flag bearers of the UPC continue to bamboozle and then pressure politicians, public servants and nontechnical representatives


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