06.14.10

Big Financial Link Between Fraunhofer and Microsoft: The Gates Foundation

Posted in Bill Gates, Finance, Microsoft at 3:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Fraunhofer

Summary: A look at financial links that help create a conflict of interests; more new examples of the press in Washington and Seattle museums getting corporate controllers

LAST week we started writing about the relationship between Fraunhofer USA and big-shot financier the Gates Foundation. For those who have missed the lobbying from Fraunhofer FOKUS for Microsoft, here are some posts on the subject:

It is sometimes reassuring to find out that millions of dollars are passed from Microsoft’s co-founder to Fraunhofer in order to serve his pharmaceutical agenda which we’ll explain again in a later post (using newer evidence).

The Gates Foundation has provided more than $20 million for Fraunhofer scientists in Delaware to research and develop vaccines for malaria, avian flu and sleeping sickness.

This is also covered here. Both are reputable sources.

In less interesting news, the influence of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on the Washington Post is being recalled in the following new article:

Wagoner Joins Board of Washington Post

[...]

Also serving on the Post board is another Buffett friend, Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and wife of Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

We mentioned this before. The appointment from GM is mentioned also in:

This publication sets a lot of political agenda because of those who read it (the other politically-influential publication is the New York Times), but it is driven by business, not by people with background in reporting. Shouldn’t this be a reason for concern? No?

Anyway, here is the official press release, which lacks substance.

In other news from Washington, “Long-time docent, Microsoft executive elected to BAM’s [Bellevue Arts Museum] board”

A long-time museum docent and a Microsoft executive were elected to the Bellevue Arts Museum’s board of trustees, the museum announced Thursday.

Gates puts money in some of these galleries and museums [1, 2]. We gave many examples before and spotted another one a few days ago. So again, corporate influence ought to be remembered. Even museums that record our history are affected.

“Microsoft has had clear competitors in the past. It’s good that we have museums to document them.”

Bill Gates March 10th, 2005

Later on we see Murdoch's press and also Reuters spouting out corporate propaganda about counterfeiting (these major publications wrongly call it “piracy”), pretending that Microsoft is hurt by it. Here is the latest example from the Wall Street Journal (there were more last week). Have they no sense of decency?

“They’ll get sort of addicted, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.”

Bill Gates

Microsoft and the Gates Foundation Inherit More Roles of the US Department of Education

Posted in America, Bill Gates, Microsoft at 3:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

US Department of Education seal

Summary: A look at the latest evidence we have of a silent takeover of US education, courtesy of Gates’ newer monopolistic venture

LAST week we showed how US education was being hijacked by Bill Gates. This was just the latest among many posts on the subjects — posts that quote respectable people who made identical allegations against the Gates Foundation. Today we wish to present more evidence that we have gathered over the past week. As always, readers are encouraged to follow the links and reach their own conclusions based on the many reputable sources that we cite.

We wish to begin with this news report:

D.C. agency to probe Rhee critic’s complaint over ethics of school funds clause

The District’s Office of Campaign Finance will investigate a complaint, filed by an outspoken critic of Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee and Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, alleging that Rhee violated the law by soliciting donations from private foundations that reserved the right to pull their funding if there was a change in the school system’s leadership.

Fortunately for us, Gates Keepers (dedicated observer of the Gates Foundation) summarised this by saying that “Foundations bought leadership” (we will show more examples in a moment). To quote the interpretation of the article above:

Whether Michelle Rhee went too far or not, philanthropic donations involved vested interests. She should resign and see if the money stays put. The Gates Foundation appears to have dodged this bullet by not being directly involved.

Is a leadership clause really a “standard feature of private funding agreements” in education. It is not in field of health.

It is not unusual for the Gates Foundation to use funds for PR in education, or even in order to fund self-serving ‘studies’, change leadership, and to change curricula. We saw more examples like this last week (people move from top academic jobs to help the educational push of Gates) and here is another, newer example:

Harvard Trader Zuzic Quits, Said to Join Gates’s Fund Manager

Stan Zuzic, one of Harvard University’s top-paid endowment managers, quit and joined the firm that oversees investments for Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

This was also covered here. Stan Zuzic has a lot of influence and Gates has a lot of money that it can offer Stan in exchange for this power. It’s not the first such story.

According to Murdoch's press, this whole intervention in education is a success. But it’s probably just PR intended to give the impression that they are beneficial. It’s a Washington article, so the bias should be expected. Gates’ foundation assesses its own performance, so he is giving himself high scores.

According to another new report, Gates is entering the university business. The University of Indiana is apparently not enough, so another one gets adopted by the Gates dynasty. From the press release:

WGU Indiana is being established with support from the Lumina Foundation for Education and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Here is some local press coverage:

The university will not receive state tax dollars. The nonprofit institution is receiving startup funding for its Indiana operations from the Lumina Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and will operate on tuition dollars after that.

It’s called “startup funding”, it’s not a donation. Here is some more coverage; they will probably just teach Microsoft, as expected.

Speaking of “startup funding”, here is a very new example from last week. It involves Microsoft:

Harris: ‘Launch’ event gives startups a boost

[...]

Launch, co-presented by Microsoft and Garage Technology Ventures, has been casting a wider net since.

Watch what Gates is doing in Memphis:

Memphis City Schools has won a highly competitive $90 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation by submitting a brilliant proposal based on a commitment to obtain and train highly qualified teachers like Miss Buchanan. I cannot imagine an effort more important to the future of our city.

What Gates has been doing in Memphis is a subject that we’ve already covered in the posts below (it’s where Microsoft changes the education agenda using carrot-and-stick tactics, i.e. money).

IBM Alerts IDG About “Microsoft Allegedly Trying to Derail IBM by Using SCO as a Surrogate.”

Posted in Courtroom, GNU/Linux, IBM, Microsoft, SCO, UNIX at 2:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“…Microsoft wished to promote SCO and its pending lawsuit against IBM and the Linux operating system. But Microsoft did not want to be seen as attacking IBM or Linux.”

Larry Goldfarb, BayStar, key investor in SCO approached by Microsoft

Summary: IBM claims that Microsoft did the unthinkable and at least one of its employees argues that Microsoft should be sued for billions after the damage it caused to GNU/Linux through lies from SCO

HIDDEN in one of the latest articles from IDG were the following statements which the author did not expand on:

IBM has been “alerting” InfoWorld this week to developments such as Oracle CEO Larry Ellison laying off more Sun employees than previously thought, and Microsoft allegedly trying to derail IBM by using SCO as a surrogate.

[...]

With its SCO-Microsoft example, IBM cited Microsoft-backed SCO’s failed attempt to get control over Unix from Novell, an effort that impacted IBM. A judge this week ruled in favor of Novell.

See what we wrote about Novell's role. This took too long to finish [1, 2]. IBM should subpoena SCO and if more of the necessary evidence is found, it should sue Microsoft for billions. That’s what some IBM employees have been saying (although not on the record). Does anyone still think that Microsoft has changed its ways?

“[Microsoft's] Mr. Emerson and I discussed a variety of investment structures wherein Microsoft would ‘backstop,’ or guarantee in some way, BayStar’s investment…. Microsoft assured me that it would in some way guarantee BayStar’s investment in SCO.”

Larry Goldfarb

Facebook and Microsoft Integrated Further

Posted in Microsoft, Security at 2:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Scoble and Zuckerberg
Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg
with former Microsoft evangelist (source: Robert Scoble)

Summary: The marriage of Facebook and Microsoft goes further not just in the financial sense but also in the technical sense

IN our previous writings about Facebook we pointed out that Microsoft tried buying Facebook, but instead, Microsoft is just receiving special access to Facebook's data. As a shareholder of Facebook, Microsoft receives a lot of favours from this Web site.

Web services such as Facebook are being compared to “governments” in the following new post from a well-known VC.

Web Services as Governments

[...]

Apple, Facebook, and Twitter are all companies operating in a global economy under the laws of one or more countries, but thinking of them as profit driven entities, making things in competition with other companies doesn’t really help. A for profit company is expected to maximize returns for its shareholders. In that light, Facebook’s move to control the economic activity on its platform through Facebook Credits makes perfect sense, but I was not convinced it was the right thing for them to do.

Microsoft Emil wrote about Microsoft’s intensified relationship with Facebook several days ago:

When Bing started serving up Twitter real-time search results eight months ago, Microsoft also announced a global partnership with Facebook, but refused to give a launch date.

Pamela Jones from Groklaw added: “I wonder if that explains recent Facebook events?” This is also covered in [1, 2, 3]. Microsoft doesn’t need to spend money acquiring Facebook, not anymore anyway (Microsoft can hardly afford it, either). Microsoft can just use Facebook like it uses Yahoo! and Novell, for example.

Groklaw Compares Microsoft to “Well-known Womanizer”

Posted in Antitrust, Europe, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Ubuntu at 1:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


The Accused, 1998

Summary: Microsoft is distrusted for its anti-competitive behaviour and CBS says that “Microsoft has never been a technology company”

LAST WEEK CBS made the following observation which we found interesting:

By contrast, Microsoft has never been a technology company. Instead, it has thrived on game theory, i.e., by creating arrangements and situations in which other parties found it more beneficial to cooperate with the company rather than to challenge it.

Well, actually, describing monopoly abuse as “game theory” is improper. However, we do like the part where it says that “Microsoft has never been a technology company.” There is a lot of truth there. A few years ago, Microsoft’s European business security product manager told the press : “Usually Microsoft doesn’t develop products, we buy products.” Microsoft also copies many existing products and then claims them to be its own “innovations”. Microsoft is a marketing/legal firm to a great extent, always finding ways of coercing/abusing laws to its own advantage. We wrote about this subject before and also gave examples.

“So for me, this is like watching a girlfriend since grade school marry a well-known womanizer.”
      –Pamela Jones, Groklaw
Several days ago we wrote about Ulteo’s decision to become a partner of Microsoft [1, 2] (maybe a decision made out of certain desperation after limited success moving users to GNU/Linux by embedding it closer to Windows). Pamela Jones, the editor of Groklaw, was disappointed by this news. She wrote: “Gaël Duval, who started Mandriva, my first Linux, is co-founder of Ulteo, which became an OIN member quite recently. So for me, this is like watching a girlfriend since grade school marry a well-known womanizer. She’s glowing with hope, but you’re feeling pain in your stomach thinking about her likely future.”

Well, “well-known wife beater” might fit better than “well-known womanizer”, but one has to keep polite.

In other news, Microsoft manages to escape some wrath in Europe [1, 2], which probably leaves it more room to abuse the competition.

A group of leading technology companies announced today (11 June) that they were withdrawing an antitrust complaint that they had filed with the European Commission against Microsoft.

This is an unwise move because Microsoft is still abusing its dominant position and also attempting to extort European companies with software patents [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. One of those companies distributes the “Ubuntu” distribution of GNU/Linux.

comScore — Paid by Microsoft — Finally Admits Its Figures Are Bogus, Gamed

Posted in Deception, Google, Microsoft, Search at 1:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Carl Icahn

Summary: Microsoft uses comScore, Yahoo!, Carl Icahn, and even the oil spill (with Stephen Colbert’s help) to promote its lies

Microsoft’s paid partner comScore [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10] has been used by Microsoft to show gains while Microsoft was actually not making gains; rather, Microsoft was losing market share, according to independent companies that claimed to be measuring the same thing. We have shamed comScore for its bogus, US-only ‘share’ estimates, which we claimed to be “corrupted”, possibly by the conflict of interests comScore has with its paymaster, Microsoft.

According to news, comScore doubts its own ‘statistics’. That’s putting it generously. comScore actually admits that it’s bogus, but it hasn’t said anything until recently, still leaving publications to misinterpret its false data, claiming that Microsoft gained. How much information has comScore distorted so far? And for how long? Surely enough to make Microsoft’s investment in it pay off.

Microsoft is said to be playing tricks using Yahoo! and comScore uses that to pass the blame (Net Applications, which is also funded by Microsoft, used a similar diversionary/blame-passing trick last year). As it’s put by two Microsoft boosters [1, 2], comScore blames others for its own lies.

The May comScore U.S. search market share data is out, and both Bing and Yahoo are showing gains over April, while Google is down slightly. But even comScore is questioning its own data.

Both Yahoo and Microsoft are including links on their respective Yahoo and MSN portal pages “that are search queries disguised as content,” according to a story from Business Insider. The pair also “have been stitching together image slideshows as search queries, too,” the post explains.

More here:

Comscore Says It’ll Fix Search Share Measurement Now That Yahoo And Microsoft Are Gaming It

Yahoo and Microsoft’s Bing have recently been “gaining” market share in comScore’s search engine stats for somewhat sketchy reasons: The companies have increasingly been putting a ton of links on their popular homepages that are search queries disguised as content, and have been stitching together image slideshows as search queries, too.

And also here:

“Microsoft is manipulating its statistics to boost its internet search marketshare.”
      –Anonymous
How come nobody points any fingers at comScore? They seems to have kept silent on the issue for far too long. Microsoft has been spamming with false search queries in order to boost its count for several years now, so there is no room for surprise that Microsoft is cheating, as always. In reality, Google keeps increasing in share, especially globally where Microsoft has less than 5% in terms of market share in search. Anonymous people in USENET have more to say about it. One argued that “Microsoft gaming its search marketshare”, explaining further that “Microsoft is manipulating its statistics to boost its internet search marketshare. Searches on the MSN website and even accessing content on  the Live websites are being counted as Internet search queries.  Comscore is altering its algorithms to preclude these from counting as  searches.

“I’ve mentioned before in this NG that Microsoft is rigging IE and Windows so  every non-recognized command is automatically send to Bing. These are  not proper internet searches and shouldn’t be counted IMHO. If we  deduct these I wouldn’t be surprised Microsoft’s search marketshare  falls well below 10%, maybe even below 5%.”

Let’s not forget the effect of Microsoft’s hijacking of Yahoo!. As noted in a new article from The Associated Press:

In one recent battle, he tried to oust Yahoo Inc.’s board in 2008 after the company turned down Microsoft Corp.’s $47.5 billion takeover offer. Yahoo eventually appeased Icahn by allowing him to take a board seat himself rather than kicking out the rest of the company’s directors. Icahn left Yahoo’s board last year, happy with the company’s new CEO, Carol Bartz, and its decision to hire Microsoft to provide search results.

Icahn was communicating with Microsoft throughout this gig; they were not separate. This is an experienced vulture for hire and corporate “agitator”, as Yahoo’s Yang/management called him. He is an unwanted infiltrator who uses money to break companies apart. Thanks to him, Microsoft executives took key positions inside Yahoo! and Microsoft is now taking away its userbase, too [1, 2].

“Icahn was communicating with Microsoft throughout this gig; they were not separate.”As Microsoft Nick put it, “Microsoft Aims To Power Yahoo Search By The Holidays” (“The Yahoo and Microsoft Search Alliance” calls it another article).

There are some other new articles about the subject [1, 2] and the second Microsoft Nick says that Microsoft’s algorithms will soon power Yahoo!

Given that Microsoft changes its own ‘search’ results to suit its own agenda, this is bad for civilisation’s information. It is shameless, but not shameless enough for Colbert to say “No” to sellout. All the Microsoft boosters use his fake (paid-for) endorsement [1, 2, 3], which is advertising for Microsoft and specifically for PR that takes advantage of a major disaster [1, 2] (gulf coast oil spill). Microsoft has no qualm about using disasters (which kill people) to make more money and deceive the public.

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