05.07.10

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When Brands Become Cults

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents at 7:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Scientology Centre

Summary: ABC News is slamming Apple for its behaviour; Apple is sued again for patent infringement

MICROSOFT’S very own Encarta (now facing the firing line) defines “cult” as “a system of religious or spiritual beliefs, especially an informal and transient belief system regarded by others as misguided, unorthodox, extremist, or false, and directed by a charismatic, authoritarian leader.” Another definition is “an extreme or excessive admiration for a person, philosophy of life, or activity” and “a person, philosophy, or activity regarded with extreme or excessive admiration.” In sociology terms, a cult is an “elite group: a self-identified group of people who share a narrowly defined interest or perspective.”

“Yes, Apple does have AstroTurfers, perhaps not as many as Microsoft’s.”Many things can be characterised as a “cult”, including Microsoft, Apple, and perhaps even GNU/Linux groups (there is no single group), but the difference we wish to stress here is the role companies play. In the case of GNU/Linux, there is no company encouraging a cult-like behaviour; no single company owns Linux and GNU is not even a company at all; it’s antithetical to it. Now, compare this to Microsoft’s army of AstroTurfers and Apple’s fake hype campaigns which are facilitated by sites like Roughly Drafted, which are getting inside access as a reward for their borderline-AstroTurfing for Apple. Yes, Apple does have AstroTurfers, perhaps not as many as Microsoft’s.

There is a new article about Apple’s abuse of a blogger from Gizmodo — a subject that we covered in the following posts (in order of appearance):

To quote from the new article which appeared in ABC (mainstream media by all means):

Instead, fearful of being blackballed and missing the big story, and afraid of being swarm attacked by the legions of Apple fanatics who act as unpaid flacks to anyone who dares to challenge the perfection of the company or the divinity of its founder — and most of all, not having the muscle of the old-time media empires — today’s press largely has turned into the company’s full-time lapdog and lickspittle. Some well-known reporters have built entire careers out of being Apple promoters — and thus being given insider access.

The latest word is that Chen and Gizmodo have lawyered up and are considering suing the police. Good. And they should go after REACT as well, to the point that it is disbanded and replaced by another entity that isn’t a tool of big corporations.

Meanwhile, those Apple fanatics out there (including a few big-name bloggers) that are defending this assault on liberty should be deeply ashamed of themselves for being willing to trade the First Amendment for a few cool techno-baubles.

Apple has gone way too far and at the bottom of this post we add a fairly new message regarding Apple’s behaviour and Steve Jobs’ vanity. Apple apologists are a subject that we covered last month.

Over at IDG, there is this new post titled “Shakespeare weighs in on Apple/Gizmodo” and it contains the following:

In early 2007 he seemed none too pleased with the Microsoft/Novell alliance, among other things.

But focusing again on Apple, Florian sent us this press release earlier today:

Nokia announced that it has today filed a complaint against Apple with the Federal District Court in the Western District of Wisconsin, alleging that Apple iPhone and iPad 3G products infringe five important Nokia patents.

There is already press coverage of that.

Nokia, not content with the pair of existing patent actions in Delaware, has filed another action for five patent infringements. This time it’s in Wisconsin, presumably for variety.

We have already written many posts about the Nokia-Apple patent situation [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]. Since Apple sues Linux/Android and Nokia says that it would protect Linux using its patents, a lot has changed since this confrontation began and we have to take Nokia’s side. Apple seems to have more or less sidled with Microsoft, which is a proprietary software ally with joint interests in harming Linux.


From USENET (for context):

Re: [News] [Rival] Apple Does a Lot of Evil and Continues to Get bad Publicity
From: Homer / Slated
Date: Wednesday 05 May 2010 18:44:21
Groups: comp.os.linux.advocacy

>> His only “sin” is founding a company that makes great products.

Apple’s greatest “product” is their indoctrination of sheeple like you, such that even the Microsoft faithful can’t see beyond Messiah Jobs’ “shiny-shiny” propaganda, to the political slime underneath.

Here’s a good article on that “product”:

http://www.theonion.com/articles/apple-unveils-new-productunveiling-product,2162/

Then again, it’s people like you who shovelled that slime in there to begin with, so it’s doubtful that you’d be repelled by it.

>> Your sins are helping an oil drilling firm pollute the ocean

Please don’t embarrass yourself by discussing things which you obviously don’t understand in the slightest. A gas FPSO, such as the one I worked on, does nothing to pollute the ocean.

Your continued and desperate attempt to stigmatise me with this is futile and pathetic.

You probably pollute the ocean more than that FPSO. You certainly pollute COLA, and the rest of the world, with your sick ideologies.

>> and exploit Nigerians

It’s ironic that, out of all the many contracts I’ve done in the offshore industry over the years, you should choose to focus on the one which not only entailed the least corruption by far (not to mention the least pollution), on the part of the oil and drilling companies concerned, but in fact saw those companies exploited by others – specifically the government of Nigeria, a body which, I can assure you, the people of Nigeria have much more to be fearful of than western oil and drilling companies.

Again, you simply have no idea what you’re talking about.

Paying Nigerian workers more than double the money they’d make elsewhere in Nigeria, providing them with pristine accommodation, feeding them four square meals a day, and providing them with a full range of entertainment facilities on board, is not exactly what I’d call “exploitation”, and it’s certainly more than they could expect from their corrupt government.

But the general assertion that the oil industry is corrupt is certainly true, as it is for every other industry, or anything else which has the potential for exploitation. Every one of us is surrounded by corruption in every aspect of our lives; there’s simply no way to avoid it, except perhaps to live in a cave or commit suicide. That then leaves people only two choices, to either accept or fight this corruption, whilst nonetheless continuing to live and work in an environment dominated by it.

However, evil bastards like you contend that fighting corruption whilst still living and working in a corrupt environment is somehow “hypocrisy”, essentially precluding everyone in the world from the moral right to speak out against corruption. Naturally this artificial paradox is very useful to people like you, who seek to promote that corruption, and defend it against its detractors, by falsely stigmatising them as “hypocrites”.

Am I getting warm, DooFy?

Of course, exposing your deceptions won’t actually stop you, will it, any more than prosecuting Microsoft and Apple will stop their racketeering? That’s why even after years of being exposed as a thug and a fraud working for the cause of a twisted political agenda, you’re still polluting COLA with your filth: Your agenda hasn’t changed just because you’ve been exposed, and neither has Microsoft’s or Apple’s just because they’ve been prosecuted.

The only way to stop them, and you, is to take away the power that fuels their corruption … money. Companies that run their business like gangsters need to be shut down permanently: Forcibly liquidated and stripped of their assets. The knock-on effect of that is people like you would no longer have a corrupt cause to “evangelise”, and you and your kind would crawl back into the slime pit you slithered out of.

>> and frothing vicious hatred for people that don’t agree with you 
>> about computer software.

“Don’t agree with me about computer software” doesn’t cut it, DooFy, as you damn-well know. The core of my doctrine has nothing specifically to do with software, it is simply that all knowledge should be Free, because no one person or company is the exclusive source of any given knowledge, and therefore to claim exclusive “ownership” of it is a lie.

Unrelated to that is the principle that businesses should not be allowed to behave like a bunch of gangsters running a racketeering operation, “competing” in a way that has nothing to do with the merit of their products or services, but instead relies completely on fear, sabotage, threats, bribery and extortion.

Microsoft and Apple violate both doctrines, a whole swath of other moral principles, and often the law.

You are apparently not only content to ignore their criminal behaviour, but actually revel in it, because of you are utterly committed to the principles of exploitation, selfishness and greed.

The best defence you can then offer to justify your vile attitude is that “other people do it”, pointing the finger at /me/, when in fact you know that is no justification at all, even if your accusations had any merit or were anything more than desperate speculation and wishful thinking. Not that slander ever actually needs any merit to cause the desired damage to its intended victim, or course, which is why you continue with your lies unabated.

>> He’s a winner

He’s a gangster, no better than Ballmer. His illegal misuse of the police as his own private security company, and his comments about Theora proves that, if not his decades of thuggish behaviour towards others who merely tried to support Apple products, but were rewarded with an iron fist. Indeed, Apple is on the verge of yet another prosecution, concerning Jobs thrusting his iron fist into the face of iPhone developers.

His “winnings” are the spoils of that gangsterism, just like Microsoft’s are the spoils of Ballmer’s and Gates’. Only someone who thinks like a gangster, sympathises with thugs and criminals, and scorns their innocent victims, could perceive this as “winning”.

> you’re a loser.

Thanks to Microsoft and Apple, and various other “IP” thugs in the industry like Alcatel Lucent, I and everyone else have lost some of our freedom. Again, only someone who thinks like a criminal would condemn the victims of crime as “losers”.

> Quick Nurse, Damp Fungal Sponge’s medication is wearing off and his 
> tin foil hat is slipping!

DooFy is just clutching at straws as usual, in a desperate attempt to defend the indefensible.

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A Single Comment

  1. Yuhong Bao said,

    May 9, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    Gravatar

    “Yes, Apple does have AstroTurfers, perhaps not as many as Microsoft’s.”
    I don’t think the linked evidence is enough to show Apple is actually astroturfing.

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