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04.03.10

Vista 7 Does Have Battery Issues (Microsoft Lied) and Microsoft Gives “MVP” to Man Who Loves “to Argue Against Linux Fanatics”

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Vista 7, Windows at 8:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Battery icon

Summary: Vista 7 battery Issues are now confirmed because a “fix” is made available; Microsoft promotes one of its Internet trolls, Andre Da Costa (also known as “Mr Dee”)

AFTER battery issues [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] were reported — affecting only Vista 7 one might add — Microsoft apparently lied to the public by denying the problem (Microsoft previously denied any such problems existed, so just check out top results for “microsoft denies” in Google). The monopolist is trying to guard the image of Vista 7 and this is not the first such example where Microsoft contradicts itself. From Mary Jo Foley:

Windows 7 battery-fix available for LG machines: Remember the dust-up earlier this year regarding Windows 7 and battery-life issues? Although Microsoft officials said at that time that there weren’t any battery-related problems of note, it looks like there were battery problems with certain LG machines, including the R500 family of notebooks. Microsoft published a Knowledge Base article that points to BIOS refreshes now available from LG that will fix false “battery is low” reports. (Thanks to Ars Technica for the pointer to the KB article.)

OpenBytes says: “The Windows 7 problem that never existed is finally fixed.”

So thats good news eh? The problem that didn’t exist is now finally fixed.

It is worth remembering that prior versions did not have the problem and it required a fix at the software end, not the hardware end.

As The Mad Hatter points out in the comments: “That’s Microsoft. Claim that the problem doesn’t exist, and then fix it by stealth.” At the very least, Microsoft did not coordinate compatibility with partners and then it concealed real problems.

“Is this MVP also for Andre’s pseudonyms that troll GNU/Linux and F/OSS bloggers?”Microsoft uses similar tricks in security by silently patching security problems without announcing these (the code is secret, so they can usually get away with this).

OpenBytes also has a new article about a Microsoft AstroTurfer, Andre Da Costa [1, 2, 3]. It turns out that Microsoft sometimes rewards its trolls with expensive gifts and later “MVP” titles. Is this alleged MVP also for Andre’s pseudonyms that troll GNU/Linux and F/OSS bloggers? He has confirmed that these pseudonyms exist because he got exposed.

According to Tim from OpenBytes, Da Costa says in his Twitter profile: “Microsoft MVP, Technology Enthusiast, Windows Enthusiast, Windows Live, Windows 7, Blogger, Notebooks.com, ActiveWin.com”

Tim says that “according to his blog he received an email on April 1st… He gives a little “history” of his “work” on the Net… it’s funny he doesn’t mention Mr Dee or his posting on Microsoft Watch.” From his blog: “with the MVP Award come new responsibilities, which is to bring you information that is always accurate, responsible and dependable while building on that strong spirit of community!” To quote further from OpenBytes:

Here’s Andre’s comment which Joe Wilcox left Microsoft Watch, obviously Microsoft thinks this behaviour is the stuff of MVP’s:

I don’t understand, if there is no Joe Wilcox on Microsoft Watch where will I go to argue against Linux fanatics? I find it therapeutic.

You can see the MSwatch article here.

It seems to me (if Andre is not the unwitting victim of an April fools joke) that Microsoft either hasn’t researched its new MVP properly or merely doesn’t mind. Does this to you sound like MVP material? After the Plurk incident nothing would surprise me about Microsoft.

Take the time to research Andre’s posting. It seems the only rule you need to follow to get one is “promote, promote, promote” – by any means necessary and you can look at some of the Openbytes articles covering the behaviour which Microsoft seems to deem worthy of an MVP:

[...]

I think thats enough to get you started on the well documented comments of Andre Da Costa. If you are interested you can also see him over at Twitter where his (known) handle is Adacosta although after him admitting to having more than one handle at Cnet, one could be forgiven for thinking he has more than one on Twitter.

Yes, Microsoft seemingly recruits and rewards people “to argue against Linux fanatics”. Microsoft sometimes hires such people, who in turn harass this Web site (among other Web sites that are critical of Microsoft, to this date).

“Mind Control: To control mental output you have to control mental input. Take control of the channels by which developers receive information, then they can only think about the things you tell them. Thus, you control mindshare!”

Microsoft, internal document [PDF]

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28 Comments

  1. your_friend said,

    April 3, 2010 at 10:50 am

    Gravatar

    All versions of Vista and Windows 7 will have poor battery life because of DRM and technical incompetence, and XP itself was poor for similar reasons. Microsoft designed the ACPI power management scheme more as a barrier for competitors, especially GNU/Linux, than for power management. Intel engineers later complained that Microsoft had not properly implemented ACPI in XP, using a clumsy “degrade” method instead of real frequency scaling that’s commonly used by GNU/Linux for most hardware now. I do not know if Vista or Windows 7 finally implemented ACPI properly but user hostile DRM and badly implemented disk indexing preclude power efficiency. Microsoft’s attempts to copy Apple’s “spotlight” disk indexing caused disk thrashing so severe that Vista was incapable of using CF based SSDs and major CF makers expressed their disappointment publically. Vista’s user hostile digital restrictions require extra hardware to comply with wasteful checks of “trip bits” to insure no one has attached a recording device to make copies of music and other works. These checks are so frequent and wasteful that the network performance of Vista was only 25% of XP’s on the same hardware, though XP was already the worst performer available. The only improvements to this situation that Windows 7 might provide are a reduction in the frequency of DRM checks, file indexing and some maturation of hardware drivers. Repair of the problems can only occur if Windows were free software instead of malware but Microsoft insists on being a spyware company and all of their propaganda based on this.

    Yuhong Bao Reply:

    Vista DRM reduces battery life: Really? Where is the evidence for that?

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Peter Gutmann, University of Auckland, on Vista’s content protection measures:

    http://schestowitz.com/temp/research/vista-gutmann-presentation.pdf

    your_friend Reply:

    The evidence is Everywhere. Every digital restriction cycle is a waste of power from the user’s perspective. There are other reasons for Vista’s poor battery life too, and I’d be happy for you to enumerate them, but that does not make Vista’s DRM any less costly. The Executive Summary is adequate for this issue:

    Windows Vista includes an extensive reworking of core OS elements in order to provide content protection for so-called “premium content”, typically HD data from Blu-Ray and HD-DVD sources. Providing this protection incurs considerable costs in terms of system performance, system stability, technical support overhead, and hardware and software cost. These issues affect not only users of Vista but the entire PC industry, since the effects of the protection measures extend to cover all hardware and software that will ever come into contact with Vista, even if it’s not used directly with Vista (for example hardware in a Macintosh computer or on a Linux server).

    Microsoft may have toned down some of this in the last few years but their contempt for users and their core principles remain unchanged. Microsoft is dedicated to “secure path” playback, which wraps everything in power hungry encryption the user neither requests nor needs. Microsoft requires all Vista hardware, such as sound and graphics cards, to have built in encryption. While GNU/Linux is able to deliver multimedia on ARM processors at a price of 5 watts, Vista and Windows 7 demand multiple processors and special purpose crypto processors to do the same. Try as they might, Microsoft will be unable to mask this difference or be competitive in mobile computing.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I beat you to it by two minutes, it seems. And we appear to have both cited exactly the same paper/author.

    Yuhong Bao Reply:

    Yea, I have read it too, and have seen some of these issues discussed on other sites like AnandTech too.

    Yuhong Bao Reply:

    “While GNU/Linux is able to deliver multimedia on ARM processors at a price of 5 watts, ”
    Can it play Blu-Ray?

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Blu-Ray is for suckers. I would rather have media I can keep and can access later from other devices.

    ~4802px Ogg Theora is very light on the CPU.

    Remember that part of rejecting Vista is to do with rejecting the copyright cartel for its draconian demands.

    your_friend Reply:

    It should be possible to play high definition movies, but they will have to first be taken out of obnoxious containers like Blu-Ray. The Beagle Board, for example, already does this and has very low power consumption. There are many reasons but no excuse for the poor performance of Windows 7 and Vista.

    Yuhong Bao Reply:

    And the funny thing is that HD DVD is better that it allows DRM-free replication with full feaures, unlike Blu-Ray.
    http://boycottnovell.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/irc-log-16092009.html

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    If a medium is DRM laden, there is not much you can do.

    Yuhong Bao Reply:

    Of course.

    Yuhong Bao Reply:

    On the Vista network performance issues caused by sound, Larry Osterman discussed this on their blog:
    http://blogs.msdn.com/larryosterman/archive/2007/08/28/windows-vista-sound-causes-network-throughput-slowdowns.aspx

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Speaking of sound:

    “Why Vista sounds worse”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2008/jan/31/microsoft.technology

    your_friend Reply:

    Osterman’s reply is deception by misdirection that’s bad enough to be called an outright lie. He says,

    when you’re playing multimedia content, the system [Vista] throttles incoming network packets to prevent them from overwhelming the multimedia rendering path – the system will only process 10,000 network frames per second … the problem is that multimedia playback is inherently isochronous.

    People at Microsoft did this because their obscene DRM checks and media encryption leave little processor time for things users actually want. Osterman should be ashamed of himself for avoiding that part of the explanation.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    One ought to ask why previous versions did not have this problem. A sincere answer would say that the software was released in poor form.

    Yuhong Bao Reply:

    “People at Microsoft did this because their obscene DRM checks and media encryption leave little processor time for things users actually want. ”
    Really? Even if that was true, it would be a different issue from what Larry is talking about.

    Yuhong Bao Reply:

    “One ought to ask why previous versions did not have this problem.”
    Because MMCSS is new in Vista. In fact, audio was completely rewritten in Vista, and yes part of it is to support DRM.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Clearly it needs more work then.

    Yuhong Bao Reply:

    And Larry Osterman detailed what exactly led to this particular problem.

    your_friend Reply:

    There are no technical details in Osterman’s excuse making, but there is a nifty car analogy. That kind of writing from high level Microsoft employees leaves me less than convinced that Vista or Windows 7 will ever be fixed.

    Yuhong Bao Reply:

    Can you say in detail why? Perhaps some quotes?

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    As the saying goes, “show me the code.” All these people do is use words. Spin is ambiguous, code/maths is deterministic.

    Yuhong Bao Reply:

    Yea, MS does show code excerpts sometimes:
    http://blogs.msdn.com/sdl/archive/2009/07/28/atl-ms09-035-and-the-sdl.aspx
    (and yes I have verified by disassembly that these are accurate and even provided a binary patch in the comments.)

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    “Sometimes” and “excerpts”.

    your_friend Reply:

    Someone as smart as you are, Yuhong, should be able to work out that a 32 bit, 2 GHz processor should have no problem handling both a CD audio stream and a network stream at the same time. A CD audio stream is two 16 bit streams sampled at 44,100 times per second. There’s room for about 100,000 such streams in 2 GHz, though memory may lag a bit. A Gigabit ethernet network is 1e9 bits per second. A 33 MHz processor should be able to keep up with that. Osterman’s assertion that Vista’s “multimedia rendering path” could be overwhelmed by a CD or network stream can only be based on Vista’s massive waste of both CPU and bandwith on DRM. Gutmann claims that this DRM includes the encryption used for the “secure path” between hardware components, encryption used by processes for communications, indirect only hardware access and “trip bits” designed to shut the system down on voltage fluctuations that might indicate the user has tapped a wire to make a recording.

    All of Windows’ user hostility carries a power price that is blindingly obvious. People carry cell phones and portable media players that work all day. iPod is said to suffer about a 33% reduction in battery life due to DRM features in AAC, but even this is trivial next to the waste of Vista and Windows 7. In order to give users decent battery life, laptop makers add secondary computers that use ARM and GNU/Linux to access user media and networks. How much more obvious can Microsoft’s failure be?

    That hardware makers avoid reasonable designs, such as iPad, with free software is a good indicator of Intel and Microsoft’s grip on the OEM and retail market. Users are lining up in droves to get iPads, which is basically a $200 picture frame with a touchpad and OSX instead GNU/Linux. Makers like Sharp were able to deliver the same experience eight years ago but were driven from the US market and hardware makers still complain about Microsoft’s dominance and how it keeps them from offering reasonable hardware with GNU/Linux.

    Yuhong Bao Reply:

    Well, I am fine with words, in fact I often I find reading MSDN and TechNet blogs very interesting. What IMO is important is verifiability of the information. For example, the issue with verclsid that was discussed on Raymond Chen’s blog can be easily verified by debugging the issue yourself.

  2. Yuhong Bao said,

    April 4, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    Gravatar

    Well, maybe only now has the problem been finally diagnosed. As I said in one comment:
    “And on the Win7 battery life issues, that is probably quite hard to debug and can have more than one cause.”

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