EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS


Gates Foundation Keeps Increasing Investments in BP, Super-Patent Troll Nathan Myhrvold Joins the Feast

Posted in Bill Gates, Finance, Microsoft, Patents at 6:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

BP glass

Summary: Nathan Myhrvold and Bill Gates make money from the world’s energy (where the big money is), not just a software monopoly; we take a deeper look at their extensive use of patents

SOME of the more distasteful activities of the Gates Foundation revolve around energy. That’s where Bill Gates really makes a killing. We explained this many times before, but for those who are new to it, the short story is that Gates is making money while lobbying for nuclear energy that he and his unethical friend Nathan Myhrvold have patents on. In essence, the goal is to pass taxpayers’ money to the pockets of Bill and his circle of rich friends.

The following new article mentions quite clearly the involvement of Nathan Myhrvold, whose role has not been all that apparent thus far.

The company is already backed by two software magnates, Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, and Nathan Myhrvold, who was Microsoft’s chief technology officer. TerraPower would not say how much of the $35 million came from Charles River and Khosla, or who the other investors were. Prior to this investment, the company said, it had raised “tens of millions” of dollars.

This is also mentioned in some other publications [1, 2] and from Reuters we have the following overview:

* Gates, Charles River Ventures, Khosla Ventures investors

* Investor says co. attracting interest from other players

* TerraPower aims to have test reactor in few years (Adds comments by Intellectual Ventures’ Nathan Myhrvold)

That’s the same thing Gates has been lobbying for in various events. Nathan Myhrvold, Microsoft's patent troll, is part of it too, not just Bill Gates who increases the investment in the very same company he lobbies the government for and promotes in public events (clearly not out of “goodwill” as much as self gain).

“Bill Gates hikes investment in nuclear-reactor firm,” says this report.

Bellevue, Wash.-based TerraPower said in a statement Wednesday that in addition to Gates, other prior investors contributing to the new funding round include former Microsoft Nathan Myhrvold.

Myhrvold now heads Intellectual Ventures, an intellectual property investment firm that spawned TerraPower in 2007.

It is worth mentioning that the Myhrvold-Gates pairing is rather common. Myhrvold is the world’s largest patent troll and he also has patents/investments in some of those pharmaceutical companies that Gates is promoting (while he invests in them too). It’s all about patents, i.e. monopolies. Let’s look at some examples from last week.

Here is the “Children’s Hospital” spin/lipstick [1, 2] being put on an actual investment in vaccination.

Our first challenge was to ensure that all the people who were eligible for the drugs got what they needed. There were issues around the delivery and how to finance it. The drug itself is donated, but to circulate it to every sufferer involves a lot of extra cost. Initially we received donations from the UK’s Department for International Development (Dfid), then from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. And then we started to receive funds from the Tanzanian government, which is now our main source of funding.

A closer look at the press release shows that there may be patents involved. In other words, someone gains a monopoly here. It’s not exactly all about the children, or maybe it’s a bit of both.

Here is Gates’ exploration for more drugs [1, 2] and more news about Argentina getting Gates' vaccination treatment (there are again patents and pharmaceutical giants whose shareholders — Gates included — will gain).

This conflict of interests might not be as desired as it a coincidental one and in some cases it may also be innocent [1, 2], but sometimes it’s just hard to ignore, given that medical professionals too are complaining. Many of them do not like what the Gates Foundation is doing and few of them dare to speak out about it. The problem with the Gates Foundation and its affiliates is that they monopolise research (patents) and they also control data on health, based on this new report regarding IHME:

Founded with a $105 million grant from the Gates Foundation, IHME’s mission is to bring rigorous statistical analysis to the evaluation of health programs and trends worldwide.

There is a conflict of interests here and based on the bias of Gates Foundation-funded ‘studies’, this ought to strike a nerve. There is too much power in the hands of the foundation, which is also very close to GAVI [1, 2] and WHO.

“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

Here is some more news about GAVI and Gates. The alignment there creates suspicion of an incestuous relationship as Gates runs an investment vehicle that also has vested interests in overly expensive drugs. The Gates Foundation is close to companies like GSK and Merck (whose senior employees flock into the foundation) and here is a new example of Merck and Microsoft getting closer [1, 2], and not for the first time, either. They help bring the poor quality and unreliability of Windows to biology too.

But anyway, going back to energy and patents, watch how Bill Gates lobbies for that same company he’s investing in (or several of them) [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. The news goes on and on about him being so smart and generous, but rarely is his vested interest mentioned at all. He tries to convince the government to shell out some money for him to profit from. Also, it’s not as though Gates is a true proponent of nuclear energy. He seemingly promotes whatever pays well. How else can one explain Gates’ investments in BP [1, 2, 3], which continued to increase based on this new report?

Exactly how many shares of BP does the Gates Fund really own?


H/t to commenter David C. for telling me that I badly understated the BP stock holdings of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation which I reported first as 4 million and than revised to more than 7 million shares. Here’s where I got my original figures. But in yesterday’s NYT, Green blogger John Rudolph (“How British is BP?) reports that the Gates Fund actually owns an astonishing 43 million shares. The estimates keep climbing on par with BP’s spill estimates.

As Gates Keepers puts it, “The Foundation is a major investor in the gusher.” That’s just the latest propaganda — not saying that he lobbies for his own gain while supporting BP*. In the case of nuclear energy, he wants more money from the public, he is not donating to this cause at all. Gates Keepers also says:

Pledge? Social contract? Document? What do rich people (or poor people) need a pledge for? It has been for the last several years the norm for the very rich to give away a lot. Why the hegemon? Three billionaires’ dinner party diners decided on the 50% figure.

On the Charlie Rose show Melinda says she doesn’t care what the funds are given to. Huuh? Warren has not missed a meal or a movie because he gives most of his money away. No surprise there. Philanthropy appears to be enriching the Gates’ relationship. Good for them. Bill says: “there’s a broad set of things that would never happen without philanthropy.” What arrogance! Charlie says: “This is not a billionaire’s club”. It sure looks like it – no one else is invited.

See if you can find Charlie Rose with the Gates and Warren http://www.charlierose.com/ or http://bit.ly/w12m.

This short complaint refers to the typical glorification from the national press, which receives less-than-flattering comments from the public [1, 2]. Despite more PR from the mainstream media, both for Buffett [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] and for Gates [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9], not everyone is gullible enough. One person opines that “Gates now runs an investment company in the guise of a charity.”

“World’s Most Generous People” was the headline from the business press. Well, the people they name hardly feel the giveaway (a fraction of the money, which otherwise they would pay in state tax anyway, so essentially they give away taxpayers’ money). Who are they kidding? The same PR charade has Slim joining to receive a lot of press coverage [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] along with Gates. There is also this piece about Benioff and Gates’ illusion of being humble while his father compares this work to that of Rockefeller. At least they are being honest about exploiting people and then pulling the same trick as other robber barons:

Bill Gates Sr. believes that a charitable foundation should be set up to run forever — in “perpetuity.” He points to the success of the foundation created by John D. Rockefeller Sr. in the early 1900s.

Rockefeller’s work is nothing to be proud of. It’s a story of someone who looted the public and later gave a fraction of this money to get people off his back. Both the Rockefeller Foundation and the Gates Foundation are currently bringing US patents to Africa, in order for the population there to be more dependent (enslaved). They call it “Green Revolution” and it’s GMO.

Someone has just mailed us a link to this new 3-part post about the Gates Foundation and how its goals relate to Rockefeller’s. We do not know if this particular site is reliable, but it begins as follows:

Like many of the world’s richest businessmen Bill Gates believes in a special form of democracy, otherwise known as plutocracy, that is, “socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor”. Following in the footsteps of the robber barons, like John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie, who founded two of America’s most influential liberal foundations (e.g. the Rockefeller Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation), Gates, like most capitalists, relies upon the government to help regulate and protect his business interests from competition, but is less keen on the idea of a government that acts to redistribute wealth to the wider populous. Dean Baker surmises this idea when he writes that Bill Gates is after all “one of the heroes of the conservative nanny state.” In the minds of such massively powerful would-be capitalists, the State is merely a tool to be harnessed for profit maximization, and they themselves, the ones who have acquired their wealth by exploiting and manipulating the economic system then take it upon their own shoulders to help relieve global inequality and escalating poverty – the modern day’s white man’s burden. As one might expect, the definitions of the appropriate solutions to the capitalist-driven inequality that are generated by the world’s most successful capitalists neglect to seriously challenge the primary driver of global poverty, capitalism. For the most part the incompatibility of democracy and capitalism remains anathema to all, instead liberal philanthropists industriously fund all manner of ‘solutions’ that help provide a much needed outlet valve for rising resistance and dissent, while still enabling business-as-usual, albeit with a band-aid stuck over some of the most glaring inequities.

Tomorrow we are going to cover Gates’ and Microsoft’s latest subversion of the education system. There is no real separation between those two.

Gates Foundation logo

* There are also new Microsoft connections to the oil and gas industry.

Gates Foundation Hires More Advertising Agencies to Spin its Work in the Press; Gates Grantees Are Complaining, Finds Survey

Posted in Bill Gates, Deception, Marketing, Microsoft at 5:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Puck cover

Summary: The Gates Foundation adds more PR muscle to its operations; new survey (conducted by/for the stakeholder) shows internal problems

THE BILL GATES™ brand is being embellished further. The more it’s worth, the more lobbying power it has. According to this new report from PR Week, it’s not enough for Gates to just have numerous external PR agencies working on his image full time. He wants more, he wants everything. This latest report suggests that another PR firm will use its “global reach” to indoctrinate the world and tell each citizen of Earth that the world’s richest person is also most lovable (never mind his crimes that gave him money in the first place).

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation expanded its work with Weber Shandwick, awarding the firm its global communications business after a competitive bid.

The firm began work on the account June 1. Melissa Milburn, deputy director of media relations for the foundation, said by e-mail that Weber Shandwick was selected because of the firm’s “global reach.”

Edelman and others are already involved in this PR campaign too. There are billions of dollars at stake. It’s about brand power and it also helps Microsoft, based on a recent survey of public opinion.

“It’s about brand power and it also helps Microsoft, based on a recent survey of public opinion.”Journalists need to be given only the opportunity to tell one side of this story, based on Gates’ vision. He sincerely believes he’s doing the right thing. Our previous post showed similar practices being used to sell Office 2010; in this case, the product is Bill Gates and the investment portfolio he is boasting.

Further to last week's example from Nigeria we have this PR piece which neglects to mentioned Gates’ investments that increase polio too. That’s what we call one-sided coverage. They repeat what Gates’ PR agencies tell them and never reach out for all the facts. Charm pieces are being spread in many languages, which breeds consent among the population with limited access to information.

It is not news that the Gates Foundation insists on secrecy (except the PR facet). A survey has just found that the Gates Foundation has “overwhelmingly negative” feedback from the respondents.

A survey of more than 1,500 organizations receiving grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation shows numerous frustrations and challenges in working with the world’s largest philanthropy.

Last year, the Gates Foundation hired the Center for Effective Philanthropy to survey 1,544 of its grantees. Although respondents indicated strong ratings for the foundation’s positive impact on knowledge, policy and practices, responses were overwhelmingly negative.

Organizations complained about inconsistent communications, a lack of responsiveness, unclear goals, strategies and decision-making processes.

The Seattle Times (which has always been biased) says that the “Gates Foundation gets low marks in relations with non-profits”:

The Gates Foundation received lower than average ratings in many aspects of its relations with grantees, CEO Jeff Raikes disclosed in a letter today.

The results were disclosed following a survey of more than 1,500 non-profits who received grants from the Gates Foundation over the last year. Raikes said the foundation worked with the Center for Effective Philanthropy to measure the perceptions of its grantees.

“They say we are inconsistent in our communications, and often unresponsive,” he wrote.

Here is the report from the Gates Foundation and its apologists [1, 2]. Will transparency increase as a result of this survey? Or will the foundation continue to snub critics by ignoring them altogether (there is a long track record when it comes to that).

Last week we shed some light on the foundation's role in Haiti, but more of the same PR continues to appear, never with a mention of Monsanto (whose Vice President is inside the Gates Foundation). For background, see posts such as:

  1. With Microsoft Monopoly in Check, Bill Gates Proceeds to Creating More Monopolies
  2. Gates-Backed Company Accused of Monopoly Abuse and Investigated
  3. How the Gates Foundation Privatises Africa
  4. Reader’s Article: The Gates Foundation and Genetically-Modified Foods
  5. Monsanto: The Microsoft of Food
  6. Seeds of Doubt in Bill Gates Investments
  7. Gates Foundation Accused of Faking/Fabricating Data to Advance Political Goals
  8. More Dubious Practices from the Gates Foundation
  9. Video Transcript of Vandana Shiva on Insane Patents
  10. Explanation of What Bill Gates’ Patent Investments Do to Developing World
  11. Black Friday Film: What the Bill Gates-Backed Monsanto Does to Animals, Farmers, Food, and Patent Systems
  12. Gates Foundation Looking to Destroy Kenya with Intellectual Monopolies
  13. Young Napoleon Comes to Africa and Told Off
  14. Bill Gates Takes His GMO Patent Investments/Experiments to India
  15. Gates/Microsoft Tax Dodge and Agriculture Monopoly Revisited
  16. Beyond the ‘Public Relations’
  17. UK Intellectual Monopoly Office (UK-IPO) May be Breaking the Law
  18. “Boycott Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in China”
  19. The Gates Foundation Extends Control Over Communication with Oxfam Relationship
  20. Week of Monsanto

Here is a new report about more lobbying from Gates. We don’t know if GMO is part of it.

The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) argues that this is indeed the case. The project financed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is lobbying for the enrichment of foods destined for the dinner tables of children and adults across Africa.

There are some causes that are good, but the way they are marketed to the public (for self glorification) sometimes deserve scrutiny. For instance, many news sites [1, 2, 3, 4] including the MSBBC are still promoting the same PR about women, children, and babies (story mentioned and dissected last week) and few mention the controversies and ulterior motives.

Links 21/6/2010: Debian Community Poll Results

Posted in News Roundup at 11:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

  • Mozilla

    • Browser Speed – Perception IS Reality

      It looks as though the people over at Mozilla Foundation are more than a little fed up with the fact that their software, no matter how it changes, has of late been perceived as slow, especially at start up.

  • Oracle

    • Solaris, OpenSolaris, and the Oracle wall of secrecy

      And perhaps it is also telling that in an article posted on the Oracle website and extracted from the July/August 2010 issue of Oracle Magazine, that Ed Screven, who bears the title of chief corporate architect, never once mentioned Solaris or OpenSolaris.

      None of Oracle’s actions (or inaction) could be construed as being proactive about telling the 50,000-strong Solaris customer base – from which Oracle is trying to extract $2bn in profits – what is going on with the platform.

  • WordPress

    • 400,000 WordPress 3.0 Downloads in 2 Days

      WordPress is one of the best blogging platform. Bloggers and Webmasters were waiting for the release of WordPress 3.0 and now it is available for download. Response for WordPress 3.0 is awesome as it is already downloaded 400,000 times in just less than 2 days of its release. Number is still moving in positive direction.

    • Q&A: Founder of WordPress talks tech
    • WordPress 3.0 Released: The Top 7 New Features

      WordPress custom post types are a feature that could turbocharge WordPress as a content management system — and not in the way of the now defunct Turbo mode. While this may not seem much different than a post category at first glance, this gives developers and theme designers the ability to cause certain types of posts to have a different appearance and functionality than the rest of the blog.

  • Business

    • Linux: “Free” Software vs “You Get What You Pay For”

      Some may ask, “What about those stock holders in a company? Won’t their dividends suffer in a switch that is possibly as disruptive as a switch to FOSS and Linux on the corporate desktop?” Sure, in the short term, a corporation may spend less to stay with proprietary, costly, closed source software and keep dividends up for stock holders. But anyone with the ability to think ahead and plan for long term results can see that down the road switching to in-house support using FOSS and Linux will mean significant savings for a corporation in the long term. It could also mean more dividends for stock holders, those people that Microsoft FUD mongers try to point to as blockades for moving off of Microsoft. Any company that I hold stock in should be thinking in the long term and should be switching to FOSS and Linux.

  • Project Releases

    • Getting Blender 2.5 Test Builds

      Blender 2.5 is still live and in development, but the most recent builds are getting really close to a stable version that can take over for 2.49. I’ve been updating my Blender on a semi-regular basis for some time now, and so far it’s actually been a fairly stable platform, with the occasional crash, mostly in the weird corner cases people who animate with textures and physics run into.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • KLISS: Law as source code

      Over the past couple of days I have received some comments – and some pushback – about my assertion that law is basically source code, so I’d like to explain what I mean. As it happens, explaining that is also a good way for me to start to explain the Legislative Enterprise Architecture that underpins KLISS, so here goes.

    • Open Web Challenged By Misuse of the Word “Open”

      At Google I/O, Messina talked with us about several topics related to the open web, including Facebook’s “Open” graph, which has been heavily criticized for not really being that open.

    • Graham Linehan: The genius behind The IT Crowd

      And he also has a faith in web users and filesharers as fundamentally honest, saying: “It’s probably not been the best thing for people to brand themselves as pirates … the image we should be concentrating on is sharing” – a view that informs his opinion that the media, music and film industries need to stop regarding filesharers as thieves, and accept that trying to patch up their current models is pointless.

    • Something in the Air: the Open Source Way

      One of the most vexed questions in climate science is modelling. Much of the time the crucial thing is trying to predict what will happen based on what has happened. But that clearly depends critically on your model. Improving the robustness of that model is an important aspect, and the coding practices employed obviously feed into that.

    • Open Access/Content

      • 21 Years of Open Access Publishing

        In August 1989, I began my scholarly digital publishing efforts, launching one of the first e-journals on the Internet, The Public-Access Computer Systems Review. This journal, if it was published today, would be called a “libre” open access journal since it was freely available, allowed authors to retain their copyrights, and had special copyright provisions for noncommercial use.



    • ICANN Day 0: A lot of yakking, a little movement
    • Beckstrom: You are not a pipe

      Answering accusations that the organization is ignoring its own accountability processes, that the staff and Board have insufficient checks on their work, and that he himself had overstepped the mark in comments he made to governments at the last meeting in Nairobi, Beckstrom was unapologetic.

      “Much has been made in the media of ICANN’s consideration of the application for a dot-xxx top-level domain, which the board will address this week,” he acknowledged, before repeating the assertion that caused much of the trouble: that the decision, made by an independent panel, was “non-binding” on the Board.


      This defiance is a marked departure from the previous CEO – who is at the conference – who always tried to avoid conflict, particularly in public. It is also a risky strategy in an environment that spends much of its time trying to get people to agree with one another.

  • Science

    • Forth Valley Royal Hospital to use robot ‘workers’

      A hospital in Scotland is to become the first in the UK to use a fleet of robots to carry out day-to-day tasks.

      The robots will carry clinical waste, deliver food, clean the operating theatre and dispense drugs.

    • San Francisco will tell the world about mobile phone radiation

      MOBILE PHONE USERS in the UK and EU will soon be able to tell if their mobile gadget is more or less likely to be toasting their brain cells.

      A law passed in San Francisco will require mobile phone companies to post how much radiation they are pouring into your ear everytime you ring someone up to say, “I am on the train”.

  • Security/Aggression

  • Environment

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying/Fake News

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Google to Commies: We’ll make censorship illegal

      Google is working with the US government to try to make it illegal for countries to censor the Internet by using international trade rules.

    • Indonesia flips over internet rock star smut clips

      An online celebrity sex video is giving Indonesia’s authorities an opportunity to try and restrict internet use.

      Two explicit web clips showing Jakarta rock star Ariel in action with two models/television presenters has upset yet proved strangely enticing to the population, which is mainly Muslim.

    • Australia mothballs Internet controls

      WITH ITS PROSPECTS in the next Australian election not looking that well for the party in power, it seems that the Rudd government wants to avoid bringing in its daft Internet filtering plan.

      The Rudd government has plans to censor the Internet to make it safer for children and right wing born again Christians.

    • Spanish Lawsuit Joins Stack Against Google

      Google’s collection of sensitive WiFi data sent over personal networks will cause the company problems for a long time if a group with a long name has its way. The Association for the Prevention and Investigation of Crime, Abuse and Malpractice in Information Technology and Advanced Communications has filed a lawsuit in Spain.

    • DoS attack stuffs Turkey’s internet censors

      Access to the internet in Turkey is becoming increasingly ragged, as growing state censorship collides with retaliation by anti-censorship hackers, leading to difficulties both in viewing sites and applying key online functions.

  • Copyrights

Clip of the Day

CLUG Talk 11 November 2008 – Homebrew Utilities (2008)

2010 is the Year of Linux on the Desk

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux at 10:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Photo by Gubatron

Summary: Dan Gillmor dumps Apple for GNU/Linux and form factors in general are changing over time (so discussions about “desktop” matter less)

With tablets, phones, and many devices which run Linux and sit on people’s desk (or in people’s pocket), is it finally the year that Linux dominates the desk?

On the desktop too, a famous journalist dumps Apple for GNU/Linux right now.

So why am I about to migrate to Linux (aka GNU/Linux)? Because Apple is pushing me away, and because I value some principles, perhaps almost religiously, that affect other decisions.

GNOME 3.0 is coming soon. The Linux kernel is fastest-growing on phones. Most tablets run GNU/Linux.

Office 2010 Coverage Largely Fake, Orchestrated by Microsoft

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Marketing, Microsoft, Office Suites, Open XML at 7:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft dolls

Summary: Microsoft and its PR agencies seem to be working overtime to sell the impression that people still need Microsoft Office (even the latest version of it, which requires paying again for increased lock-in)

PAID EXCITEMENT about Microsoft has mostly been replaced by Apple’s (which uses the service of AstroTurfing agencies). Nonetheless, some praise for Microsoft comes from Microsoft MVPs like Jason Hiner [1, 2, 3]. Microsoft really needs these people, which is why it rewards them to act as cheerleaders. Other Microsoft boosters rave about a worldwide brainwash campaign for Office 2010 [1, 2]. Almost a tenth of a billion dollars will be spent on marketing alone and Microsoft Nick reveals how Microsoft treats co-called ‘journalists’ in order to ensure they cover Office 2010 ‘correctly’:

I just spent the afternoon at Microsoft’s Executive Briefing Center in Redmond for a media event around the consumer launch of Office 2010. While I’m working on those reports, I thought I’d post a little something for you all.

Microsoft’s PR agencies must be contacting journalists all around the world (not just English-speaking) to ensure Office 2010 gets plastered in each newspaper, news site, and maybe television channel too. That’s where a lot of Microsoft’s money is going at the moment, except the advertising (which is paid-for coverage, not a free ride which one receives when it’s “new”).

“All those trips, visits, and briefings are how Microsoft ends up pressuring them to hype up the products.”It’s not unusual for Microsoft to fly journalists to its headquarters, paying for their plane tickets, hotel stay, etc. Microsoft did this for OOXML [1, 2], which a proprietary format that Microsoft pretends Office implements. All those trips, visits, and briefings is how Microsoft ends up pressuring them to hype up the products. It just works pretty well this way, no matter the integrity of journalism (Microsoft never respected honest journalism).

Needless to say, Microsoft Nick eventually did the PR job (parroting Microsoft’s claims) along with Microsoft boosters like Eric Savitz who sounded like Sharon Pian Chan’s advertisement. It was more or less the same from Gavin Clarke and Todd Bishop. They always serve Microsoft’s interests; they are those who ought to be expected to promote Microsoft because it’s in their own interest (they sometimes repost aggressive marketing campaigns that includes viral videos Microsoft puts in YouTube).

In addition to all this, some days ago we wrote about the ammunition Forrester gave Microsoft in its Slog against Google Apps/Docs. Forrester is of course paid by Microsoft, but it never prevents news sites from citing Forrester. To give an example from a few days ago:

Both Forrester Research and IDC analysts are banging the Microsoft tablet drum.

There is more of that here and some other news sites that quote IDC without stating that Microsoft pays IDC directly (see IDG/IDC) or via the BSA, which recently generated some propaganda for Microsoft [1, 2, 3, 4]. Speaking of which, this propaganda is still being spread by Microsoft boosters like Sharon Pian Chan, even several weeks after it was ‘news’ (fake numbers). In order to promote Office 2010 she writes in the Seattle press:

Software piracy is on the rise. According to a study by the Business Software Alliance and research firm IDC, piracy worldwide increased to 43 percent of software on PCs in 2009, compared with to 41 percent in 2008. For every $100 spent on real software, $75 was spent on pirated software, the study said.

Lies after more lies. That’s what the Seattle press offers in order to promote its beloved Microsoft. It’s not journalism, it’s a farce. And anyway, looking at the claims from Forrester and IDC, they seemingly ignore the fact that HP’s Slate got rid of Vista 7, instead betting the farm on Linux (and other companies follow similar footsteps):

If you’ve been as dependent on Microsoft Windows for all of your computers as HP has been, how do you free yourself from the tug of Redmond’s gravity? Apparently you make some acquisitions that give you the building blocks for an alternative ecosystem. First, HP purchase Palm in large part for its webOS, and now it’s picked up Phoenix Technologies HyperSpace assets, which includes instant-on solutions.

The latest propaganda from Forrester (regarding Office) has a purpose and it’s not only pretending that Free software substitutes don’t exist or count. Microsoft boosters like Preston Gralla pick it up and then use this as ammunition, inspiring other smears that always cite Forrester, e.g. [1, 2]. It’s like a newly-manufactured talking point. That’s what Microsoft pays analysts for — propaganda. Some other Microsoft writers (like Lance Whitney [1, 2] who describes himself as “a contributing editor for Microsoft TechNet Magazine”) are attacking Google Docs without properly revealing their source of income, which would give away their biases. IDG’s Microsoft-boosting blogs join this cause and this new report is titled “Microsoft is hiring 500 cloud specialists to battle Google”

“With Office 2010, Microsoft not only promotes proprietary formats but also the dangerous paradigm of Fog Computing which governments need to reject.”It’s not that we defend Google; neither is good (privacy is just one problem [1, 2] but the main ones are control and portability).

With Office 2010, Microsoft not only promotes proprietary formats but also the dangerous paradigm of Fog Computing which governments need to reject. Microsoft already pushes this lock-in into governments because it wishes to increase lock-in as a matter of high priority (Mary Jo Foley advertises this repeatedly [1, 2]).

According to the report, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) has increased the headcount of its sales force by 300-500 for its cloud computing offerings.

Even health insurance is something Microsoft tries to control and there are those who make big mistakes by depending on Microsoft in healthcare [1, 2].

Going back to Office 2010, Google may have attempted to steal Microsoft’s thunder, but it faces a huge marketing blitz that is only disrupted by objective few.

Rob Pegoraro, an occasional critic of the company from Redmond, believes that Microsoft Office 2010 is “a cry for help” (see similar feelings from Neil McAllister).

It’s not just that Microsoft faces serious competitive pressure from the likes of Google, Apple, open-source developers and such startup firms as Evernote. It’s not just that it’s handcuffed itself to the contradiction of selling the same applications to IT professionals and to home users who barely touch its features. (Note: If you’re an IT professional and feel that my reviews slight your needs, you should remember that I’m a consumer-technology columnist; that means that your problems aren’t mine unless they affect what home users do on their own time.)

His writings are also in the main pages of this news site. Some people are unable to see anything attractive in Microsoft’s newer version of existing products (upgrades are not free).

When it comes to upgrades, I’m like most small-business owners: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Hey, I’m still using Microsoft Office 2003!

Some people suspect that Google’s zero-cost proposition will make Office 2010 hard to sell as financial figures decline for this product (Microsoft used the deferral trick so that it can claim massive demand for Office 2010 in the next financial report). Here is TechFlash using a provocative headline to promote Microsoft’s side. Microsoft’s money goes a long way and this whole hype around Office 2010 looks fake any way one looks at it. What is the selling point? Newer Ribbon? More RAM consumption? Answers are hard to find. It was the same when Vista 7 came out.

“There is nothing so bad but it can masquerade as moral”

Walter Lippmann (American Journalist, 1889-1974)

Why Microsoft Was the Loser at E3 (Updated)

Posted in Hardware, Microsoft at 5:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The good, the bad, and the ugly poster
Guess which one among those three is the “ugly”

Summary: Xbox 360 had no surprises in store, whereas the Japanese consoles from Nintendo and Sony have gained features that Microsoft calls sour grapes

THE problem with Xbox 360 is that it fails far too often and it offers nothing that its competition does not already have. The product has lost a lot of money so far and its management left the company after years of stagnation [1, 2, 3, 4].

Microsoft has just dressed up Xbox 360, trying to make it look like a new product [1, 2]. Here is a look inside. No technical problems were resolved in the Xbox 360 (notably scratching and especially RRoD) [1, 2] and old units are still being sold at a discount [1, 2]. We covered many issues with this 'new' product a few days ago. There is more support for our claims coming from the press. To give some examples that involve Sony and compare its product to Microsoft’s:

According to reports, the Kinect presentation began with all attendees having to put on white robes followed by an odd Circe de Soleil-type presentation and then finally followed by gameplay.

Sony took a dig at Microsoft at the E3 conference! Kevin Butler, Sony’s fictional character ridiculed Microsoft at E3 conference. Kevin gave an interesting speech telling people his reason of being addicted to games.

It is apparent that motion sensors are not unique to Microsoft, which merely followed Nintendo’s footsteps along with Sony (everyone will have a sort of parity when it comes to controller-free input, but only the Nintendo Wii actually comes with these peripherals, so it has nothing to worry about [1, 2]). The competition between them all [1, 2, 3, 4] leaves Microsoft further behind as “Sony Brings 3-D To PS3″ and Nintendo leaps ahead with 3-D as well:

Microsoft has excuses for being the only player without 3-D. It’s “too expensive” for consumers, Microsoft says [1, 2]. What a pathetic excuse given that Microsoft’s competition is clearly able to deliver.

Here is a new explanation of why Microsoft’s Kinect for Xbox 360 will fail:

Earlier this week we learned that Microsoft renamed its Project Natal for the Xbox 360 – Kinect. This is their latest attack against Nintendo and Sony to stay ahead of the game – as they have such high hopes for their motion controlled gaming technology. However, John C. Dvorak from PC Mag believes that it will fail – judging by the comments he is the only one who thinks that.

Microsoft has begun a PR campaign with Burger King. Is fatty food really the best way to promote Xbox exercise as well as Vista 7 (burgers with 7 lumps of recycled beef won’t get across the message that the operating system is light)?

As some articles make clear, Microsoft makes it more apparent that Xbox 360 is not for heavy gamers, who are the strategic target audience of this console (unlike the Nintendo Wii for example). “Something is Wrong,” argues this article:

After examining and trying camera Kinect introduced by Microsoft, I came to the conclusion that it is designed for women, kids, the whole families – but not for men. Now I’ll explain why.

It may all eventually fail, but Microsoft already makes optimistic sale projections (sometimes relying on others to make the projections), hoping they would be self-fulfilling

Some reporters believe that Nintendo maintains its lead because Nintendo “shows it gets what Microsoft, Sony don’t”

Microsoft’s Xbox division is really, really proud of its new motion-control tech, Kinect, but are not entirely convinced the future of gaming will consist of people standing in front of toy cameras and dancing for points. In case that doesn’t go exactly as expected (cough) they have a plan B: milk those hit franchise sequels!

As usual, Microsoft tries to exclude, based on some speculations and new information [1, 2]. Ultimately, Xbox 360 did not get terrible press, but many articles about it came from bribed journalists [1, 2, 3], whose reviews will be biased because of the gifts. When this product is judged by actual users, it will probably receive unexciting word or mouth.

Update: Ryan adds two more references:

More Microsoft Incentives, Bribes, or Giveaways

Posted in Marketing, Microsoft, Windows at 5:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Xmas gifts from Microsoft

Summary: Microsoft gives away a method for ensuring that press coverage is positive and developers target Windows

AS we pointed out earlier today, Microsoft's mobile business is dying. Ina Fried still advertises for the monopolist, hoping to advance the mobile platform which Microsoft is now bribing for [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. Based on this report, Microsoft gives incentives and schwag again:

‘Many Thousands’ of Pre-release Windows Phone 7 Handsets Prepped for Developers


Microsoft is confirming that “many thousands” of pre-release Windows Phone 7 handsets will be given to selected developers starting in July, but confusion over how that will be done continues.

The payments to developers were mentioned last week along with the Xbox 360 bribes [1, 2, 3] (for journalists/reviewers, not developers). For Xbox 360, Microsoft relies on the buying of people’s hearts, not to mention shameless marketing, which is dishonest by definition. More on that in the next post.

Some pro-Microsoft Web sites like Neowin turn out to be rather excited about more giveaways:

Microsoft said on Wednesday that it will be offering a complimentary copy of Microsoft Office Professional 2010 to technical beta testers.

According to Tim of OpenBytes, this is an unethical gift. “Let’s expect loads of praise from the receivers,” he writes, “Give em a free gift, they will shill for life.” Microsoft Office 2010 is a separate subject we’ll touch on later today.

Todd Bishop, who occasionally receives Microsoft sponsorships, chose the headline “Microsoft’s Xbox 360 ‘bribery’ makes journalists squirm” to more or less belittle the seriousness of this issue.

Like other tech journalists, I do occasionally ask for units on temporary loan if I’m doing a review, but in this case Microsoft was clearly just making a massive unsolicited gift to the assembled media.

Microsoft Nick took Bishop’s place at the Seattle P-I (after Joseph) and he uses this to just advertise Microsoft, still. Is Microsoft sponsoring him or his publication somehow? It’s hard to tell. In general, the Seattle press is very supportive and protective of Microsoft, for obvious reasons that are selfish. The bias can still be seen in articles such as this. The circulation of Microsoft gifts and favours must never be ignored; it has a profound effect on the press.

Related posts:

Microsoft Buys Speech Placements in Another Open Source Conference (MOSC, Malaysia)

Posted in Asia, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell at 4:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

MOSC Malaysia

Summary: Microsoft still uses the language of money to “infiltrate” events of the very same entity it’s competing against and suing

LinuxTag is the latest example of Linux conferences that Microsoft pays in order to subvert [1, 2], by its very own admission. “By injecting Microsoft content into the conference,” explained Microsoft's chief evangelist, “the conference got shut down.”

Microsoft is trying to repel and confuse people in conferences that are about Free/open source software as well. It’s the “in your face!” approach. It’s happening again. The sponsorship has strings attached to it, usually “public engagement” as they call it. Novell is there too, despite being a proprietary software company.

“The sponsorship has strings attached to it, usually “public engagement” as they call it.”Microsoft “infiltrated” (its own word) Malaysia’s open source events last year (MSCOSCONF) and “nsisodiya” from Twitter says: “look at the end of page – Microsoft & Novell are of the sponsors of Malaysia FOSS event

As expected, Microsoft’s sponsorship also gave it some spots in which it can spread its deceitful message while it engages in racketeering [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] against open source software.

« Previous entries Next Page » Next Page »

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 Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources




Samba logo

We support

End software patents


GNU project


EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com

Recent Posts