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Links 28/3/2010: Sabayon 5.2 and GIMP Fun

Posted in News Roundup at 6:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Old phones save lives

    IntraHealth and the Senegalese Ministry of Health are using a simple mobile information system based on FrontlineSMS:Medic, a free, open-source software platform that enables large-scale, two-way text messaging. The software was customized for the project in partnership with RAES, the African Network for Health Education. Providers send health data via cell phones to a centrally supported automated response server in Dakar, where it is analyzed by Ministry of Health staff.

  • Making Sense of Open Source Diversity

    Open source needs an app store.

    No, I am not crazy. Well, not about this, anyway. I know that apps for Linux, and open source apps in general, are free and easy to download and install. They are also numerous. Very. To the point where it has become increasingly difficult to keep track of which apps are available to do which tasks. And that’s me talking–someone who is supposed to know what’s what in the community.

  • Editor’s Note: What is There Besides Money?

    My county lives and dies by volunteer labor. If we didn’t have so many generous, far-sighted volunteers filling key positions we’d be in sorry shape. The fire departments are all volunteer, and they are required to have the same training and skills as big-city paid departments. Search and rescue, sheriff’s reserves, home health care and hospice, and on and on and on…all of these jobs that are ordinarily paid positions are capably filled by skilled, committed unpaid volunteers.

    Sound familiar? It is true that a lot of FOSS development is paid, but a sizable amount is still done by unpaid volunteers. The value of diverse, open development and distribution should speak for itself, given its long and successful history, and yet one of the biggest unanswered questions is how can a person make a living from FOSS? Those folks who are quickest with answers like “give away the code, sell service and support” are people who have jobs with paychecks, and have never tried it.

  • Culture in computing.

    This is my quick take on these three computing cultures in an already too long blog posting. In summary, I think that Apple culture is going the way of mobile gadgets, windows culture is as hard and mouldy as two week old stale bread and the open source culture is undergoing a renaissance and bringing computing back to an even keel. I also believe that a very important factor is that the younger generation are much more technologically savvy than my generation of fat balding greybearded eldergeeks :) They realise the intrinsic value and it is their thoughts and opinions which are influencing the change in the current cultures. What do you think? How are the current computing cultures evolving and how will they evolve in the future?

  • GIMP

    • Adobe’s “Magic” Is Gimp’s Old Plug-In

      Suddenly the graphics world is all atwitter about this miraculous new feature they’re previewing in Photoslop. A Photoslop team guy has a video up with a “sneak preview” of what they’re calling “Content-Aware Fill.” As soon as I saw it, I remembered some plug-in that I’d tried in Gimp long ago, but couldn’t remember what it was.

    • Episode 137: A Trip to Hamburg

      I mention two podcasts worth to follow. Jeff Curto’s “The History of Photography” and The World’s “Technology Podcast“. And then there is the Haus der Photographie in the Deichtorhallen, which has good exhibitions and a good bookstore. The map in the bbegin was provided by the Open Street Map Project.

    • Photoshop’s CAF (content-aware fill) – unbelievable? Not quite.

      They can rest assured – it is possible and it has been around for years, e.g. in the GIMP plugin by Paul Harrison called Resynthesizer.

    • Development GIMP Version 2.7 Review

      GIMP 2.7 seems to always start in multi-window mode, even if the user closes GIMP in single-window mode. Although this may have just been a misconfiguration with our GIMP, proper configuration won’t be completely implemented until GIMP 2.8′s release.

      There is another thing. If you maximize the window and then switch tabs it unmaximizes, bringing the window back to the size it was before maximizing.

      With minor GEGL improvements, the current development version of GIMP 2.7 doesn’t appear to have that many new features. We’ll review GIMP again in a while. Until next time…

  • Mozilla

    • 7 Cool Firefox Add-ons

      One of the coolest things about Firefox is its extensibility. Everyone has their collection of favorite Firefox add-ons and I thought I would share mine. Some provide improved organization, some have a certain “WOW!” factor, and others just look pretty.

    • Mozilla Developers Talk Up Firefox as a Key Development Tool

      For many users of Mozilla’s open source Firefox Web browser, Firefox is simply a tool for looking at Web content. For others, Firefox is an enabling tool to actually help develop content and code for the Web.

      This week, Mozilla released the results of a developer survey it conducted in November 2009. The survey received responses from 5,054 developers spread across 119 countries and provides some insights into how developers work with Firefox — and what about Firefox makes it so critical as a tool for developing.

    • Firefox 3.7 Alpha 4 Pre
  • Oracle

  • Business

    • Please break our open source business strategy model

      It included a partial explanation of my theory that those strategies do not exist in isolation, but are steps on an evolutionary process, and also introduced our model for visualizing the core elements of an open source-related business strategy.

    • Reductive Labs, Home of Puppet, Changes Name to Puppet Labs

      Reductive Labs, the home of Puppet, the open source leader in data center automation, has announced that it has changed its name to Puppet Labs. This name better represents the focus of the company on guiding development of Puppet, supporting the large and growing Puppet community and delivering premium tools and services to enable broader deployments of Puppet in large enterprises.

    • New Release of OrangeHRM’s Open Source HRM Software

      OrangeHRM, Inc. is pleased to announce that it released the latest version of OrangeHRM, its open-source HRM software today. Release 2.6 incorporates a Performance Module, a new feature designed to help small- and medium-sized enterprises conduct formal employee performance reviews.

    • Mickos: What’s bigger than open source?

      Mickos is a smart guy. He has deep institutional knowledge of the industry. For Eucalyptus to be wildly successful, it’s going to have to be bigger than just open source, as The VAR Guy points out, i.e., bigger than just an open license attached to otherwise ordinary software. Customers pay for value, and that value, as Mickos thinks, sits at the nexus of cloud, open-source, and collective computing.

    • Former MySQL CEO Mickos Says Open Source Needs More Money Flow

      Mickos also said that part of the reason MySQL kicked off so much open source code for community use was that revenues from it were constant.

    • How do I know if an open source software product is right for my organization?

      More and more organizations are relying on open source software to build, test, deploy, and run mission critical IT applications. From small start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, organizations worldwide are continuing to find open source as a cost effective means to deliver quality business applications. With a wealth of commercial and open source software options widely available, how does an organization know if an open source product is right for them?

    • Coming to America: Abiquo Cloud Management

      Open Source or Enterprise License

      The company provides its cloud management product as an open source Community Edition and as a commercial Enterprise Edition. The former is offered via the GNU Lesser General Public License Version 3. Abiquo 1.5 will be available within 45 days.


  • Standards/Consortia

    • Let’s All Get Together

      But developing standards and open source software are not the only areas where people and companies would like to launch collaborative activities among nationally and internationally distributed participants. The question is, will they know how to go about doing so?

    • ODF Plugfest

      The third in a series of plugfests, aimed at lead developers of commercial and open source ODF implementations, experts from local and regional governments, members of the OASIS TC’s and other stakeholders.


  • 5 Websites With Strange & Unusual Facts
  • Finance

    • Big Banks to Try Putting on Lipstick

      The Financial Services Roundtable, which lobbies on behalf of around 100 of the country’s top banks, credit card companies and insurance firms, will undertake a professionally-organized public relations campaign to try to improve the tarnished image of the financial industry.

    • Big Banks Begin Effort to Improve Image, Set `Record Straight’

      One of Wall Street’s main lobbying groups is starting an image-improvement campaign aimed at showing the financial industry as trustworthy and a positive force after more than a year of being chastised in Washington.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • State Insurance Commissioners Take Baton from Congress

      The NAIC, which comprises the insurance commissioners from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. territories, is having its spring meeting today through Sunday in Denver. The fact that more than 1,700 insurance industry executives are also at the meeting should give you an idea of how important the NAIC is to insurers. Just as members of Congress are far out-numbered by lobbyists on any given day in Washington, the commissioners are far, far outnumbered by insurance company executives who come to NAIC’s conferences to try to influence everything the commissioners do.

    • History in the Making

      I have been transfixed by the long health care reform debates in the US, which finally culminated with the House of Representatives passage of the health care reform bill on March 21, and which President Obama signed into law two days later. The House also passed the reconciliation bill which the Senate subsequently approved on March 25. The health care reform bill is now the law of the land.

  • DRM

    • EA’s Own Employees Annoyed At Pointless DRM Solutions

      However, now it appears that it’s even pissing off EA employees. Slashdot points out that the editor of EA.com got really frustrated over the game kicking him out because his DSL was flakey:

      “Booted twice — and progress lost — on my single-player C&C4 game because my DSL connection blinked. DRM fail. We need new solutions.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • Hollywood Seeks To Kill Off 3D Golden Goose With Much Higher Prices

      So what’s Hollywood doing? They’re just making it more expensive. Yes, they’re jacking up the prices on 3D movies, in a typical short-term strategy. Rather than recognize how this might just drive more people to more seriously consider getting a 3D setup at home, Hollywood’s simplistic business modeling seems to be “let’s see how much we can squeeze out of people as quickly as possible.”

    • LEGO to Project Legos: Let go of our trademark

      Toymaking giant LEGO is suing a small Minneapolis nonprofit, saying it benefits from the high-profile name.

    • Want to Use My Suit? Then Throw Me Something

      Mardi Gras Indians have been around for more than a century — more than two, some say — and are generally thought to have originated as a way to pay homage to the American Indians who harbored runaway slaves and started families with them.

    • Universal Music Funds Yet Another ‘Educational’ Propaganda Campaign Against File Sharing

      Back in January, we noted that Chris Morrison, the manager of Damon Albarn’s bands, Blur and Gorillaz, stated at a conference that “piracy can be stopped,” while also suggesting he wanted to personally beat up anyone who shared Albarn’s music (oddly, this was right after he had admitted how much wonderful free publicity Albarn had gotten from a leak of the Gorillaz album). Now it looks like Morrison and a former partner of his are involved in a silly and amusing new propaganda campaign, funded by Universal Music, to try to equate file sharing to drunk driving in some cases and racism in other cases. Seriously.

    • Sony accuses Beyonce of piracy for putting her videos on YouTube

      Sony Entertainment has shut down Beyonce’s official YouTube site. Congrats to Sony Entertainment for wisely spending its legal dollars and working on behalf of its artists.

    • Sony Music Claiming Beyonce’s Official YouTube Channel Violates Copyright?
    • Times and Sunday Times websites to charge from June

      The Times and Sunday Times newspapers will start charging to access their websites in June, owner News International (NI) has announced.

    • Murdoch Puts Up Some More Paywalls

      Unfortunately, the details look like the rumor was wrong, or the plans changed entirely, because now it looks like both publications are going with your standard everyday super expensive paywall. Starting in June, both publications will begin charging a whopping £1 per day or £2 per week for access — which is actually pretty steep, especially in a market where there’s an awful lot of competition. On a yearly basis, it’s only a bit less than what Newsday is charging for its website — which has been a colossal failure.

    • First Amendment Based Copyright Misuse

      We are at a crossroads with respect to the under-developed equitable defense of copyright misuse. The defense may go the way of its sibling, antitrust-based patent misuse, which seems to be in a state of inevitable decline. Or – if judges accept the proposal of this Article – courts could reinvigorate the copyright misuse defense to better protect First Amendment speech that is guaranteed by statute, but that is often chilled by copyright holders misusing their copyrights to control other’s speech.

    • Fighting intensifies over how to enforce intellectual property laws [UPDATED]

      One fight stems from the secretive negotiations over the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, which began under President George W. Bush. Copyright holders have pressed for provisions that could force Internet Service Providers to do more to combat online piracy, such as cutting off broadband accounts that are used repeatedly for infringement. Such three-strikes provisions are anathema to tech advocacy groups, which also fear that the agreement would make it harder for them to bring some fair-use balance to the anticircumvention provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

    • Must Read: CCIA Sets US IP Czar Straight On Intellectual Property

      The RIAA, MPAA and the Screen Actors Guild teamed up to submit their own filing, and as the LA Times noted “it’s a doozy.” Consider it a wishlist of protectionist, anti-consumer, anti-innovation policies, basically demanding that the White House prop up their own businesses, because of their unwillingness to adapt:

      Among other things, the “creative community organizations” urged that:

      * The federal government encourage ISPs to use, and companies to develop, monitoring, filtering, blocking, scanning and throttling technologies to combat the flow of unauthorized material online;
      * Copyright holders be able to combat infringement by making a database of their works available to service providers, rather than submitting individual takedown notices. And once a work is taken down, service providers should be expected to employ “reasonable efforts” to prohibit users from uploading or even linking to them again;
      * Copyright owners be able to block unauthorized streams of live broadcasts without going through the formal notice-and-takedown process;
      * The federal government press search engines, social networks, hosting companies, domain name registrars and online advertising and payment networks to cooperate with copyright holders on efforts to combat piracy (“Encouraging these intermediaries to work with content owners on a voluntary basis to reduce infringements, and assuring these intermediaries that such cooperation will not be second-guessed, should be top priories that call for the personal intervention of senior government officials if necessary.”);
      * A federal interagency task force work with industry to interdict prerelease bootlegs of Hollywood blockbusters and crack down on U.S. services that assist foreign piracy hotbeds;
      * States adopt “labeling laws” that “defined unauthorized online file sharing and streaming as a felony,” giving state and local law enforcement jurisdiction to go after unauthorized copying online;
      * States use consumer protection laws to go after file-sharing sites that “expose consumers to intrusion, viruses and revelation of personal data.”

    • Textbooks are too expensive, so Italian high school tries to produce them in house

      Every year italian families must spend hundreds of Euros in textbooks for every child, while the cost limits set by the government are regularly violated in spite of denounces and warnings from consumer associations. In order to solve this problem, Education Minister Mariastella Gelmini proposed to deduce cost (and weight!) of textbooks by encouraging schools to adopt digital textbooks starting from 2011.

    • ACTA

      • Outrageous Treaty Nonsense, or The Copyright Tail Wagging the Internet Dog

        I’ve been remiss, as the VC’s (sort-of) copyright/Internet law guy, in not commenting previously about a truly outrageous bit of executive branch over-reaching on Hollywood’s behalf. I am referring to the ongoing negotiations about ACTA, the multilateral “Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.” [See Jonathan Adler’s posting earlier today about ACTA here] The US Trade Representative’s office has been conducting these negotiations entirely in secret (on some ridiculous trumped-up ‘national security’ rationale) for several years now on this Agreement; a current draft was recently leaked to the press, and it confirms many peoples’ worst fears. Here’s my attempt at a summary of what’s going on — if you’re interested in more details (and I hope you are), I’ve listed at the end of this posting some excellent sources of further information.

      • The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement

        In short, ACTA is geared up to do almost exactly what I predicted in a “Recent Development” in YJIL last year (The Origins and Potential Impact of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), 34 Yale J. Int’l L. 261 (2009)). It amps up IP protection and criminal sanctions, without respecting existing international institutional process and involving the interests of developing countries.

      • Some More Lowlights From The Leaked ACTA Draft: Whole Thing Can Be Rammed Through With 5 Votes

        Michael Geist points us to a rather thorough review, by Margot Kaminski, of some of the more troubling aspects of the leaked ACTA draft. Kaminski highlights 24 different points, but we’ll just pick out a few key ones. For example, she notes that ACTA would create an express lane for intellectual property cases in the courts, and questions: “Why should copyright take precedent over other cases and have such a fast turnaround?” There are a few concerning things about border searches. While ACTA negotiators and defenders keep insisting that ACTA won’t mean border searches for individuals, the draft highlights a few things that are troubling. For example, the US, Canada and New Zealand want to change the exemption criteria for border searches from the current “small quantities of goods of a non-commercial nature” to the much lower standard of “reasonably attributable to personal use of the traveler.” In other words, this does, in fact, grant more powers to customs and border patrol to search laptops and iPods and the like, if there’s any indication of more information that is “reasonably attributable to personal use,” — though, that standard seems quite vague and subjective.

      • ACTA’s beginning of the end

        Secondly, Devigne denied the second item in the answer to Hammerstein, who asked about the Commission’s name and shame list. It seems riddiculous to deny such an approach and plan given the “Global Europe” strategy contents, also given earlier statements from the directorate. They would no do that, indicated Devigne. How pathetic!

        Oh, and let’s not mention the desasterous performance of Devigne regarding admitting that they won’t respect the parliament’s resolution on limit to counterfeiting. There he stressed being in line with the acquis again.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Sean Shah, software developer at Eye.fi (2009)

Digital Tipping Point is a Free software-like project where the raw videos are code. You can assist by participating.

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: March 28th, 2010

Posted in IRC Logs at 6:21 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Read the log

Enter the IRC channel now

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

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: March 27th, 2010

Posted in IRC Logs at 6:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Read the log

Enter the IRC channel now

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

Microsoft Obeys Communism, Not Capitalism

Posted in Asia, Google, Microsoft at 5:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft Values

Summary: Microsoft’s tax evasion in the United States expands (robbing the American population), whereas Chinese rules that suppress the population are upheld

A READER OF OURS CONTRIBUTED a couple of articles [1, 2] about his/her nation (China) and how Microsoft engages with the Communist party to suppress the Chinese people. That’s where we got the image seen above. Microsoft is obeying Chinese law but not obeying US law. According to the Seattle press, “Wash. gov approves smelter, server farm tax breaks” (meaning that Microsoft will be given even more tax breaks).

Gregoire said she’d spoken to Microsoft Corp. and other companies about their desire to build new server farms if the tax break were enacted, and predicted at least three of the facilities would be built soon.

Poor Microsoft. As a former Microsoft employee continues to stress, the company hoards money of very high proportions while avoiding tax.

I estimate that Microsoft has avoided B&O royalty tax on $149 billion in licensing revenue since 1997.

More here:

While we’re still reviewing and clarifying changes to the latest house-passed bill, it appears that the honorable Democratic Representatives Tomiko Santos and Kessler pushed through adoption of a last minute amendment (pdf) striking the clauses that might otherwise have given Microsoft’s tax dodge amnesty on an estimated $1.25 billion in unpaid taxes, interest and penalties.

You can see the amendments to SB 6143 here. The follow up amendment (pdf) by former Microsoft veteran Rep. Hunter directs the Department of Revenue to study the issue further, but does not forgive any tax debts, as his earlier bill seemed to….

Yes, Hunter does his duty to a former employer [1, 2, 3]. On the other side, Rep. Chase is actually serious about investigating the facts presented by Reifman.

Things are heating up in Olympia and Microsoft’s Nevada Tax Dodge is now being actively presented for discussion within the Democratic caucus. We greatly appreciate Rep. Maralyn Chase’s strong concerns for tax fairness.

Will Microsoft ever pay the tax it has been evading? With so much influence in the United States government it can get away with anything. In China it’s a different story. “Brin drove Google to pull back in China,” claims the Wall Street Journal.

“Ultimately I guess it is where your threshold of discomfort is,” Mr. Brin says. “So we obviously as a company crossed that threshold of discomfort.”

They claim that it’s to do with ethics and this was actually triggered by an Internet Explorer attack [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12]. The chain reaction can easily be seen now that GoDaddy follows Google’s footsteps. Here are some more items on the subject:

China condemns decision by Google to lift censorship

Google stops censoring China-based search services

Google Turns Up the China Burner, Microsoft Feels the Heat

Microsoft’s Suport of Chinese Censorship: Smart Business, Poor Morals

Google (Nasdaq:GOOG), Microsoft (Nasdaq:MSFT) and China

Google does the right thing in China — will Microsoft follow?

Google and China

Microsoft will not change China operations, official says

Microsoft and Apple Should Follow Google Out of China

Google China move puts pressure on Microsoft, Yahoo

Yahoo! is becoming just Microsoft’s relic after the corporate hijack. Upon completing his proxy battles, “Icahn’s Influence Fading From Yahoo’s Board,” says Nasdaq.com.

In any event, all companies depend on manufacturing in China, so Google’s departure too will not be a complete one. As for Microsoft:

Google Exits China, But Microsoft is Staying

China Rules Hurt U.S. Companies as Google Exit Looms

Google’s China Loss is Microsoft’s Gain?

We’re staying in China, says Microsoft, as free speech row with Google grows

“We’re staying in China” means “we’ll censor because of profit”.

Microsoft has been accused of “enabling tyranny” and the subject was covered in:

Congress On China: Google Gets A Big Wet Kiss. Microsoft Is “Enabling Tyranny”

Congress Rebukes Microsoft’s Chinese Censorship, Microsoft Fires Back

Microsoft criticized for stance in China following Google’s shift

Congressman: In China, Microsoft is ‘enabling tyranny’ (yes, even Microsoft Nick quoted it)

Lawmaker Blasts Microsoft

Microsoft came under attack Wednesday from a House lawmaker for not following Google’s lead in resisting China’s demand for foreign firms to abide by the country’s censorship rules and Internet restrictions.

During a hearing focused on Internet control in China before the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, Rep. Chris Smith, R-NJ, singled out Microsoft, which has said it will continue to operate in China and follow Chinese laws. Microsoft “needs to get with the program” and “join the side of human rights…rather than enabling tyranny,” Smith said.

Here comes the propaganda machine:

The Ministry of Truth Limits Reporting on Google in China

Chinese Gov’t Gives Press Orders On How To Report On Google’s China Decision

The Trials of Being a Chinese Reporter

China accuses Google of being tool of the U.S. government

How China’s internet generation broke the silence

Microsoft has its own propaganda machine, so Microsoft apologists and fans (some of whom indirectly paid by the company) mostly look at this with glee:

Microsoft response to Google maneuvers in China

Google Ends Internet Search Censorship in China (also in here)

Can Microsoft capitalize on Google’s decision on China?

Google, China and Microsoft

Could Google-China Spat Help Microsoft Bing?

This hopefully shows the effect of Microsoft spinners. They just seem to think what Microsoft can gain from this, so it’s not about the Chinese people. Nobody asks the right questions, excepting business morals and instead focusing on the competition between corporations, not the people of China versus their oppressor.

Gates Foundation Roundup: Schools, Vaccines Monopoly, and “Fatally Flawed” Studies

Posted in Bill Gates, Deception, Marketing, Microsoft, Patents at 4:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“The chief of malaria for the World Health Organization has complained that the growing dominance of malaria research by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation risks stifling a diversity of views among scientists and wiping out the world health agency’s policy-making function. [...] Many of the world’s leading malaria scientists are now “locked up in a ‘cartel’ with their own research funding being linked to those of others within the group,” Dr. Kochi wrote. Because “each has a vested interest to safeguard the work of the others,” he wrote, getting independent reviews of research proposals “is becoming increasingly difficult.”

“Gates Foundation’s Influence Criticized,” in New York Times, February 2008

Gates Foundation logo

Summary: Comprehensive analysis of some of the latest information about the Gates Foundation’s activities and how PR agents dress these up

THE business of “donations” cast or treated as investments is very questionable because it describes as cherishable behaviour which is inherently selfish. One example of it would be the agri/pharma “donations” from the Gates Foundation. It helps this foundation enrich itself for reasons that we mentioned before. It is often assumed that short-term benefits will obscure the effects of a monopoly and perpetual dependency. Microsoft does the same thing. EDGI for example is a programme Microsoft has established for countering adoption of GNU/Linux. It is shown in a fine level of detail in antitrust exhibits. When a nation such as India has plans to move all schools to Free software, Bill Gates makes a surprise visit and uses the EDGI programme as a counter measure that he dresses up as a “donation” (true story). Examples of E-mails from Microsoft that talk about EDGI* and give instances of cities and countries where Microsoft used EDGI to suppress GNU/Linux adoption can be found here.

The key point to take from all that is rather simple. Whenever something is given away for free, people must become suspicious. The important question to ask is, how much reliance does the giveaway create, if any? Who does it empower? Free as in “no cost” (or “free beer”) is not the same as free as in “liberty”.

Shallow thinking leads to shallow coverage, which is strongly encouraged by PR agencies with expertise in spin. It’s easy to see how that’s done and how inquisitive reports are suppressed. A Microsoft employee has published: “What’s So Bad About Greed?”

I work at Microsoft. One of the biggest corporations in the world. And I can see what a big corporation can do for a community. Besides creating jobs for over 40,000 – and that’s only at the main headquarters, I can see how Microsoft fuels the economy and the community in the surrounding area.

At whose expense? How many companies has Microsoft put out of business through criminal activities? See, that’s an example of shallow thinking. Microsoft not only harmed Free software. Microsoft has destroyed many companies (leading to unemployment that they pretend to have combated by “offering jobs”), including those that produce proprietary software. Some people willingly refuse to look at the broad picture.

The employee above must have so heavily been indoctrinated by Microsoft that she cannot see the external effects of Microsoft’s actions. As GatesKeeper puts it, “An employee of Bill Gates at Microsoft loves that invisible hand that feeds her.” The “invisible hand” is a mythical notion about unregulated capitalism which would supposedly make itself flourish rather then be corrupted over time. This brings us to the “philanthro-capitalism” part of this post, which questions Gates’ motives. The man continues to make billions despite claiming to have decided to give his fortune away. Those who keep their eyes on the ball know that the wealth is invested in stocks that include oil companies, government ventures, and even notorious cartels.

One of the more controversial investments is one in vaccination. One blogger wonders whether it’s “Philanthropy or Ethnic Cleansing?”

At a recent invitation-only conference in Long Beach, California TED2010, Bill Gates actually revealed the true agenda of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In a speech titled, “Innovating to Zero!”, Gates announces that his one wish would be reducing man made CO2 emissions worldwide to zero by 2050. He declares: “First we got population. The world today has 6.8 billion people. That’s headed up to about 9 billion. Now if we do a really great job on new vaccines, health care, reproductive health services, we lower that by perhaps 10 or 15 percent.”(emphasis added) — I generally try not to cuss but WTF!!!!!!!! If you think I’m making this up watch the video (here)

He actually said in plain English that he expects vaccines and healthcare to LOWER POPULATION GROWTH!!!! Yes, he said reproductive health services too but we all know that’s code for abortion and obviously that lowers population (especially in the black community but I digress). Oh yes, did you check out the picture behind him was composed of black and brown people? I tell you, these liberals really do just love black folks to death (pun most definitely intended).

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is also cited in the following new article which is titled “Sterilisation-for-land deal not catching on in Colombia” (there has always been something iffy about methods for population growth/reduction control).

Looking at India, Melinda is doing a lot of PR there, but she is hiding from the media that cannot be predicted or interacted with via PR agencies.

Lucknow, March 24 (IANS) A tiny remote village of Uttar Pradesh Wednesday had a surprise guest — none other than Melinda Gates, wife of billionaire Bill Gates.


She, however, chose to keep away from the media.

This is also covered in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. She was talking about particular issues of “health”.

CPI State secretary K Narayana Wednesday wanted the State Government to stop administering the vaccine preventing cervix cancer, as there were reports that four tribal women died after they were administered the vaccine, which was supplied free of cost by the Gates Foundation.

There is that vaccine again. We do not subscribe to the beliefs of people who sensationalise the issue, but there are true implications to it and also an element of control.

“Too much money gets spent just controlling how these issues get covered.”Two weeks ago we showed what seemed like a financial tie between the Huffington Post and Bill Gates. It’s about covering issues that put Gates in a positive light at the Huffington Post [1, 2, 3] and last week we found more new examples where the Huffington Post looks only at one side of this foundation [1, 2] and ignoring the rest. Control of communication or taming of the press in particular is an issue that we covered before. Too much money gets spent just controlling how these issues get covered. This breeds suspicion.

Gates is also capable of controlling government sections with people like Rajiv [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], who came from the Gates Foundation to the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Rajiv Shah, former agricultural-development director at the Gates Foundation and now administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, returned to Seattle last week to address the life-sciences gathering.

Here is a new example of the Gates Foundation controlling coverage.

Can’t get enough Law & Order even though it’s on every single hour of every day? Mariska Hargitay, of the procedural’s Special Victims Unit series, will be in the District this week to talk about Hollywood’s portrayal of global health issues. Hargitay is joined by the show’s executive producer Neal Baer, as well as representatives of both the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Hollywood, Health & Society (the sponsoring organization).

As we showed quite a lot in recent weeks, information also gets disseminated with the help of fake (self-serving and self-funded) ‘studies’ from the Gates Foundation, as we even mentioned last week. Suffice to say, such studies are likely to be flawed and here is just one new example.

A Gates Foundation study that identifies an increase in production capacity for development-stage HIV vaccines has a “fatal flaw,” says a vaccine expert.

This vaccine expert is shown criticising the same Gates study in some other news sites. One has to remember that Gates was accused of monopolising research (patents) that involved companies Gates invests in. This is a complicated subject on the surface, so we will try to simplify it again and explain is using the news. Several days ago Associated Press (AP) reported on Glaxo and Pfizer “agreeing” to supply pneumonia vaccines.

GAVI’s program to treat pneumococcal disease received initial funding of $1.5 billion from the governments of Italy, the U.K., Canada, Russia, Norway and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

We wrote about GAVI on numerous occasions before. The private stakes in it create a conflict of interests and can tarnish its image. But let’s get the most important point out of the way: Glaxo and Pfizer receive money for their patents at the expense of citizens while they pretend that it’s a bargain with a “discount” [1, 2, 3, 4]. That’s really all there is to it, at least from their point of view. The Guardian is actually asking the right question:

A groundbreaking deal is struck with two major drug companies to provide vaccines to save the lives of millions of children in poor countries. But should donor governments really be subsidising Big Pharma?

The author wonders about “subsidising Big Pharma” and their shareholders, a major part of which is Gates. The term “donor governments” actually refers to taxpayers. Here is a new article we found about TB:

The Gates Foundation alone can’t underwrite such an effort. Spigelman expects government involvement and help from other nonprofit organizations.

There are other health-related donations, which are mostly to do with vaccines [1, 2, 3], but this is a subject that we already covered last week. Taxpayers are sought who will make up the donations, which in turn benefit shareholders of pharmaceutical giants. More writers should point out this problem, but very few do.

The Washington Post — with the Gates family as its conflict of interests — keeps promoting the Gates agenda and sometimes lets them write articles. Melinda Gates, who sits on the board, recently promoted her education agenda using this publication and now they are using their own ‘studies’ to influence libraries. Since quite a few politicians read the Washington Post, the influence here can be great. But as AP points out:

The study was paid for by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and conducted by the University of Washington Information School, which gathered information in three ways…

This message is repeated without questioning in a lot of Web sites [1, 2, 3, 4] which neglect the factor of bias. Gates’ employees are paying academics to produce something they can later cite to support their actions. Later on we find them using their own ‘studies’ to influence education [1, 2, 3, 4] and there is new evidence of it in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. It is not good when education is run and controlled by private hands. It’s never good. How about this report from last week?

The committee researched the small schools initiative funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In 2001, the foundation gave billions in grants to break up large, failing high schools into smaller learning communities.

There is also something interesting going on in Florida [1, 2, 3, 4] where “Florida Senate passes SB6, eliminating teacher tenure”:

Teachers say this is the most controversial off all education proposals being decided on.

Hillsborough is exempt, because it has received a $100 million grant from the Gates Foundation to improve teacher quality.

To any rational person, to “improve teacher quality” is to make more teachers tied to a particular curriculum. But whose? Will children be taught how to use Free software? Will they be taught about exploitation of Africa? Gates is making a lot of money in Africa (with Monsanto [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8] and some oil giants), so giving some money to officials to keep them on Gates’ side [1, 2, 3] is not something to be accepted blindly. It’s not just a Gates problem by the way; The Rockefellers do that too.

The Global Impact Investing Network is funded by private investors including the Rockefeller Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Gates gets compared to other billionaires who do not enter the business of philanthro-capitalism (making money from what seems like charity) [1, 2, 3, 4] and the Seattle Times continues to be one of the major peddlers of Gates PR, with placements/interviews like this one.

In a recent Seattle Times interview with Ki-moon [1, 2, 3, 4], it was made apparent that he is fine with privatisation of aid and we could not help spotting the following paragraph in the Economist (from the new article “A world without Aids”):

Nearly 30 donors to the Global Fund met this week in the Hague, Netherlands, to review global health progress and assess funding needs for the period 2011 to 2013. osted by the government of the Netherlands, this is a preparatory meeting ahead of a pledging conference for the Global Fund at the UN Headquarters on 4 and 5 October, which will be chaired by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. The preparatory meeting in the Hague was attended by delegates from 27 countries and the United Nations Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and UNITAID.

Ki-moon is a close friend of the Gates family who defends the idea of private hands taking over such issues, using funds of course [1, 2, 3]. There are mostly patents at stake.

In summary, we increasingly see a privatisation of schools, vaccines, and seeds for agriculture. Very few powerful companies gain even more power this way and their shareholders, which include Bill Gates, benefit from it (and avoid paying tax if they do so under the identity of a foundation). This tax issue is the subject of the next post.
* Microsoft talks about “Linux infestations” and uses other derogatory terms.

Novell News Summary – Part III: Pulse Beta and Many New Adverts

Posted in Mail, Marketing, NetWare, Novell, Security, Servers, Videos, Virtualisation, Xen at 1:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Novell’s proprietary news from the week of BrainShare 2010

THIS week was mostly about BrainShare 2010 and Bob Sutor turns out to have given a talk at BrainShare.

Read the rest of this entry »

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