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09.19.10

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 9 Marketing Comprises Lies, Angers Mozilla, Mocked by Analyst, and Bound to Fail

Posted in Deception, Marketing, Microsoft at 10:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Nine-o-nine

Summary: Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) is marketed using misleading claims that Microsoft has not corrected and the decision to make it incompatible with Windows XP is insanely stupid

IN MANY RECENT posts about IE9 [1, 2, 3] we showed that deception merely continued as it had started months ago [1, 2, 3]. Reality is not so important to Microsoft as long as lies it tells sell and do not harm sales. It’s as simple as that. It works better for shareholders. For users and customers? Not so much. For competitors? Hell no (this is false advertising and we mentioned this before, so no need to go through it again).

“A lot of proprietary software has already died on Windows due to Microsoft’s despicable actions.”Microsoft is making misleading and arguably false claims (“misleading” is the polite term to use, maybe “inaccurate” too) and Microsoft conveniently assumes a Windows-only world (especially when it comes to hardware acceleration, e.g. with Microsoft DirectX). Mozilla should pay attention to this and realise that Windows is a hostile platform and should therefore not be treated as a higher priority than GNU/Linux, for example. A lot of proprietary software has already died on Windows due to Microsoft’s despicable actions.

Some say that Microsoft’s comparative analysis of Web browsers is not up to date and that Microsoft has not corrected out-of-date information, either. The latter is even more shameful because it means that Microsoft is deliberately misleading. Is anybody shocked by this? IE9 fake 'leaks' were mentioned here about a month ago. That too was an example of dishonesty for the sake of hype.

One cited article states: “Microsoft created some controversy on its IEBlog this past weekend with a post claiming that the IE9 beta release was “the first and only browser to deliver full hardware acceleration of all HTML5 content.”

“Mozilla chucks Roc at Microsoft’s new hardness,” says The Register:

Microsoft has claimed that Internet Explorer 9 is the only browser offering “full” hardware acceleration.

And Mozilla has accused its old rival of talking nonsense.

With a Friday blog post, Microsoft web graphics program manager Ted Johnson laid out a trio hardware acceleration “phases,” before telling the world that only IE9 does all three. “With IE9, developers have a fully-hardware accelerated display pipeline that runs from their markup to the screen,” Johnson said.

To quote another headline, “Microsoft has made IE9 a ‘non event’ for enterprise says analyst”:

The 800 pound software gorilla Microsoft has rendered its new web browser IE9 virtually useless for enterprise users. This is the conclusion drawn by a senior ICT market analyst who believes that the software giant has completely missed the mark with its new browser.

Watching the Microsoft boosters talk about IE9 is especially regrettable. It is hardly coverage and more like promotion. Mary Jo Foley published a Q&A and her colleague at ZDNet says (based on readers) that “No IE9 on XP is a mistake Microsoft will regret” (hello… people can run Firefox, Chrome, Opera and just about any other Web browser on XP, so Microsoft’s Vista 7 rush may backfire rather than spur sales of Vista 7).

“Microsoft’s IE9 incompatible with widely-used Windows XP” says this headline, so they might not buy Vista 7 but rather get the latest Web browser from the competitors. Besides, as IE9 is just aping Chrome, why not just use the real thing? “IE6 Screws IE9″ says one last article about IE9. This smells like a problem in the making. What on Earth was Microsoft thinking when it ignored compatibility with prior versions of Windows? It’s just common sense, is it not?

Microsoft’s Most Profitable Windows (Vista) is Already Dead, Microsoft Camp Urges a Rush to Vista 7

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Marketing, Microsoft, Vista, Vista 7, Windows at 9:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Upgrade treadmill reloaded

Gym

Summary: Windows XP is declared clinically dead (although it’s not), Windows Vista has totally vanished from the news, and the shameless PR for Vista 7 continues despite relatively low adoption

“XP is Dead,” says IDG and this is obviously an exaggeration. It is actually good news for GNU/Linux and for BSD (XP-grade computers are not sufficiently powerful for current versions of Windows). One key milestone is Dell’s ending of XP:

Dell has become the first, but it will not be the last, to bid adieu to Microsoft’s workhorse operating system, XP.

This was also covered in articles such as [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6].

Needless to say, Dell won’t be selling Vista, either. Hyped today, gone tomorrow. But a lot of people may not realise that Vista was far more profitable than Vista 7 at its time (we explained the decline in Windows profit some months ago). We found not a single headline about “Vista” in two weeks (nothing about “Azure” or “Hotmail”, either) and Mary Jo Microsoft is just pushing everyone to Vista 7, helped by Gartner hype (Microsoft is a client of Gartner, which sells bias). One must remember that Gartner was very optimistic about Vista, which made a lot more money than Vista 7. Gartner helped market it by selling the illusion that a lot of enterprises would inevitably adopt it within months [1, 2]. Vista 7 too has adoption problems in enterprises (no compelling reasons for upgrades), but Microsoft does not like to talk about it. Mary Jo Microsoft, Gartner, and the rest of this dishonest clique can shout “Vista 7″ all they want, but enterprises — unlike home users — are more prudent and less susceptible to marketing hypnosis. Two weeks ago we wrote that Vista 7 price drops show its sales are poor. The IE9 preview release is an example of Microsoft's more forceful push for people to buy Vista 7 rather than use another company’s Web browser.

Vista may seem like one of the dead products like SteadyState. Here is a somewhat belated article about the death of SteadyState (one among many dead products from Microsoft). Judging by Vista’s lifeline, it might not be long before Vista 7 too is passé. Why not move to GNU/Linux, which is constantly upgraded reliably and free of charge?

Microsoft PR Success Story: From Abuser to Victim, From Villain to Hero

Posted in Asia, Deception, Marketing, Microsoft at 9:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Wernher von Braun

Summary: An amazing story of spin and reversal from Microsoft after an important-yet-rare exposé from the New York Times (NYT)

THE previous post discussed Microsoft's behaviour in Russia very briefly, but it did not refer to the PR response from Microsoft (NYT published a “Statement by Microsoft” as it historically posted responses "for balance"). As a result of this PR exercise, Microsoft saw published many articles which characterise only Russia but not Microsoft (just some supposed “bad apples”) as the villain [1, 2, 3, 4] (literally dozens more like these are on the Web now, spinning the real and original story). There is some truly fascinating spin out there, suddenly attempting to paint Microsoft as a friend of NGOs it was actually attacking before the NYT piece tarnished its name even further. One site asks, “Why is Microsoft offering free software to Russian NGOs?”

The Russian authorities have been using antipiracy laws to target government critics, and local activists say Microsoft officials have aided in the process.

In essence, Microsoft is portraying itself as defender of the very same NGOs it helped attack. It also fights GNU/Linux adoption at the same time.

“In essence, Microsoft is portraying itself as defender of the very same NGOs it helped attack.”Microsoft uses some more PR funds to rid itself of guilt in Pakistan (symbolic payment) and in India it helps the police fight against people who use Windows (the police is not a friend of the population in every nation). This new article starts as follows: “They call it the world’s back office, but Gurgaon cannot say the same about its police force when it comes to cyber crimes. The city’s policemen have always been clueless about such cases.”

They always call it “crime”, even when it’s mere opposition or dissent. Since when is Microsoft in the police enforcement business? They even give the police back doors [1, 2] (overcoming people’s need for privacy). Microsoft found a way to spin that one too, even when it got leaked.

As always, Microsoft strives to distance itself from reality due to PR damage, showing Microsoft as the poor victim and/or the brave saviour. Either the media is extremely gullible or it is ‘bought’ (vested interests of some kind). This whole brouhaha helped show the genius of PR and how to spin it all (a big story) with little press manipulation. Microsoft: 1 – truth: 0.

Microsoft Wants the Network, Starts White Space PR

Posted in Microsoft at 8:35 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Communication vs. communism

FCC logo

Summary: As companies compete over ‘white spaces’, the Microsoft marketing machine (or the “R&D” PR) kicks into high gear with eyes on the now-Microsoft-occupied FCC

With Microsoft employees in the FCC (Steven VanRoekel is its Managing Director) and some resultant issues, e.g. [1, 2], it is not shocking to see that Microsoft’s ‘white space’ experiments, which go back to FCC affairs from a couple of years ago, carry on this month and are being advertised, too [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] (lots more articles like that, maybe dozens). As one article puts it, “Microsoft is testing a new wireless hot spot that uses the airwaves previously reserved for television.”

“Would you trust Microsoft around suppressive regimes?”One has to look back a couple of years to understand the significance of this (our previous posts cover that). These control grabs are likely to be made easier by Microsoft veterans inside the FCC and as Microsoft's behaviour in Russia ought to teach, giving Microsoft control over communication is a path towards disaster. There are already devices in the mix and Murdoch’s press says that “Microsoft has already begun eyeing basic blueprints for white-spaces devices, however, which could include mobile phones and laptops.”

Should one trust Microsoft? How about spying for example (see this leaked Microsoft document)? Would you trust Microsoft around suppressive regimes?

“Microsoft Launches Massive Wireless Hotspot” says this headline which makes it sound like Microsoft is so sophisticated and unique (a lot of Microsoft boosters covered the Microsoft angle), but as other articles explained, there is more to it than Microsoft PR:

Technology companies plan to put unused wireless spectrum that sits between TV channels to use when the Federal Communications Commission finalizes rules for the new spectrum next week.

Companies such as Microsoft, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, and Motorola, are already testing products that will use unlicensed wireless spectrum called “white spaces,” which sit between broadcast TV channels.

So the story is not about Microsoft after all. Nice spin, though. Microsoft wants more power over people’s connectivity/broadcast.

“Since the birth of the Republic, the U.S. government has been in the business of handing out “exclusive rights” (a.k.a., monopolies) in order to “promote progress” or enable new markets of communication. Patents and copyrights accomplish the first goal; giving away slices of the airwaves serves the second. No one doubts that these monopolies are sometimes necessary to stimulate innovation. Hollywood could not survive without a copyright system; privately funded drug development won’t happen without patents. But if history has taught us anything, it is that special interests—the Disneys and Pfizers of the world—have become very good at clambering for more and more monopoly rights. Copyrights last almost a century now, and patents regulate “anything under the sun that is made by man,” as the Supreme Court has put it. This is the story of endless bloat, with each round of new monopolies met with a gluttonous demand for more.”

Lawrence Lessig in “Reboot the FCC”

Another Dead Microsoft Product: Vine

Posted in Microsoft at 7:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mushroom on tree

Summary: Microsoft Vine is pronounced dead, but almost nobody is there to mark the event (because Microsoft does not matter so much anymore)

TECHRIGHTS MAINTAINS A WIKI page which organises information about dead products from Microsoft (since about 2008). There are many such products and the latest addition to them is a low-profile death (not much of an official announcement about it has reached the mainstream media).

So far we have found six articles about it and we hope these help document another product’s death (it is the trend that’s indicative of Microsoft’s destiny). “Microsoft cuts Vine alert system”, “Microsoft To Shut Down Disaster Communication Service Vine”, “Microsoft Vine given the axe”, “Microsoft: To Shut Down Service “Vine”, and “Microsoft to Shut Down Vine Social Service” are the headlines identifiable by Google News and another article says that:

Microsoft has announced it is abandoning its beta program for Vine. Vine was unveiled last mid-year as a tool for helping friends and family stay in touch during emergencies. As it was designed, it would have given individuals ability to post information that would help keep others updated during an emergency.

3 more articles that we found before finalising this post are [1, 2, 3]. Microsoft loves to organise mock funerals for rivals who thrive. They — unlike Microsoft — don’t march in the streets to mark real deaths of Microsoft products. What does that say about Microsoft?

IRC Proceedings: September 19th, 2010

Posted in IRC Logs at 7:35 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#techrights log

#boycottnovell log

#boycottnovell-social log

Enter the IRC channels now

Links 20/9/2010: “Sent Using Ubuntu”, OpenOffice.org Succeeds at Fullerton India

Posted in News Roundup at 6:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • OSS Watch National Software Survey 2010
  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • Databases

    • PostgreSQL 9.0 Is Now Available

      While we have yet to see any official release announcement, if you browse the PostgreSQL FTP server you can now find the final packages for PostgreSQL 9.0.0. This major update to PostgreSQL brings easy-to-use replication, mass permission-changing, anonymous code blocks, enhanced stored procedure support, exclusion constraints, deferrable unique constraints, and a variety of other enhancements.

  • Oracle

    • Oracle ships Secure Global Desktop 4.6

      Oracle has delivered an updated version of its Secure Global Desktop that offers more browser flexibility, enhanced availability and seamless integration with VDI platforms.

    • OpenOffice.org HackFest

      OpenOffice.org just finished their annual conference in Budapest, Hungary. One of the outcomes of the conference announced today is the need for developers to spend more time together to properly fix problems.

      In light of this, OpenOffice.org decided to have a HackFest specifically targeted at developers. The idea here is for the developers to spend more time face to face working on the code. The OpenOfice.org HackFest is scheduled for November 5-7, 2010 in Hamburg. The location can be seen on Google Maps and Open Street Maps.

    • Book review – Learn OpenOffice.org Spreadsheet Macros

      However, when I got my hands on this book, OpenOffice.org Spreadsheet Macro Programming, I was curious and hoped to find I was wrong, that this would open up new opportunities for clients and organizations that want to get away from Microsoft Office, clients who are already using OpenOffice, so I was really interested to see the level of capability that Calc had in its macro programming.

    • Working with Open Office and Microsoft Office

      Instead you can download an alternative. Rather than add Open Office formats to the Open window, there are options available for opening and saving with the ODF format added to the File menu.

    • OpenOffice at Fullerton India

      Fullerton India saved crores of rupees by moving the bulk of its users onto the open source office suite.

      [...]

      Fullerton India Credit Co. Ltd. wanted to convert the bulk of its users from Microsoft Office to OpenOffice. It would turn out to be quite a complex project involving macro migration, some hardware upgrades and educating users at numerous locations. At that point of time, the company had 850 branches (6,000 PCs, 15,000 users). Currently, after consolidating and downsizing, it has 400 locations (4,000 PCs, 9,000 users).

  • Hacking

    • Trouble with Diaspora
    • iRail meet-up: Report

      Ironically we started a little later as planned due to unforeseen traffic-jams for Yeri and Christophe. Nevertheless we did a great job and I want to start off by thanking all the participants and of course the hackerspace of Ghent.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • FSFE calls on governments to stop pushing Adobe Reader

      Free software and open standards advocates are encouraging web users to put pressure on governments not to ‘advertise’ proprietary Adobe software as a tool for reading documents created in PDF format.

      Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) is asking users to conduct a month-long ‘hunt’ for examples of what it says is the promotion of proprietary PDF readers.

    • What is Lundy doing at Software Freedom Day?

      On Saturday, September 18, Melbourne will mark Software Freedom Day, a day observed worldwide to spread the message of free and open source software.

    • Look Who’s Using Free Software: CERN

      “CERN is a leading partner of the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid (WLCG) that provides the distributed computing infrastructure for scientists working on the LHC experiments. This infrastructure links more than 300 computer centers and provides access to 260,000 CPUs on which users run about 20 million jobs every month. These machines are operated under several GNU/Linux variants.

    • [Hurd] what we need

      We created a list of the things we still need for using the Hurd for in our day-to-day activities (work or hobby).

  • Project Releases

    • Update kills code-execution threat in Samba

      Version 3.5.5, which was released on Tuesday, fixes the underlying buffer overrun in functions used to generate a credential known as a Windows Security ID. It can be exploited by sending a booby-trapped ID that overflows the stack variable and injects malicious code into memory.

  • Government

    • Italian Constitutional Court gives way to Free Software friendly laws

      Across Europe, several policy initiatives to implement rules that favour the adoption of Free Software and Open Standards in competitive tenders to public administration have been proposed or implemented. Many reasons have been posited to support such the favouring of such solutions, not least the evidence that proprietary software – through various mechanisms – is unjustly given preferential treatment in many tenders.2
      Italy is no exception. The main national law that rules on software procurement of the Public Administration3 is agnostic, and does not go farther than to say that a Public Administration shall always choose between various options – one of which is procuring “open source” software – and that the choice should be made according to a technical and commercial comparison.4 In the national law one cannot find guidance as to how to evaluate the characteristics of the competing offers. This means that any public administration can decide by following the general principles of public procurement.

      The Piedmont law was intended to take advantage of the limited but decisive role regional laws have in skewing the situation one way or the other. However, the national government objected to this approach, and the Constitutional Court found that it is constitutionally permissible for a regional law to try to alter the rules of the game of public procurement in order to favour one type of software offer over another, provided that certain conditions are met.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Iran: Exporting the Internet (part 2)

      Afghans headed to the polls today for parliamentary elections in a tense but hopeful atmosphere. If the Internet has a role to play this year in helping Afghanistan develop a peaceful civil society, it will probably turn on two key developments: cheap GPRS Internet delivered over mobile phones, and strong relationships with neighboring states to provide Internet transit.

    • In-house lawyers have no right to secrecy in EU competition cases, rules ECJ

      In-house lawyers at companies being investigated for competition law offences do not enjoy the same privacy rights for communications with their companies as lawyers from external firms, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has said.

      The ECJ has ruled that in-house lawyers are in danger of suffering a conflict of interest because they have a duty to their permanent employer as well as to the law. They cannot be allowed the same legal professional privilege (LPP) as external lawyers because they are not independent, the Court said.

Leftovers

  • Report: Tech firms close to settling no-poach case

    Apple, Adobe Systems, Google, Intel, Intuit, and Pixar are reportedly looking to settle the allegations to avoid a courtroom face-off with the Justice Department. The companies have been trying to persuade the government that nonpoaching agreements are not anticompetitive because they help ensure that employees can work on projects with other firms without fear of being stolen away.

  • U.S. Tech Probe Nears End

    Several of the U.S.’s largest technology companies are in advanced talks with the Justice Department to avoid a court battle over whether they colluded to hold down wages by agreeing not to poach each other’s employees.

    The companies, which include Google Inc., Apple Inc., Intel Corp., Adobe Systems Inc., Intuit Inc. and Walt Disney Co. unit Pixar Animation, are in the final stages of negotiations with the government, according to people familiar with the matter.

  • Consumer group slams Britain’s digital radio switchover

    2015 is far too early, says the Consumer Expert Group in its report for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport today entitled Digital Radio Switchover: what is in it for consumers? to start the switchover process. The Group advises that any switchover should only occur when analog radio listening has fallen to 30 per cent of total listening – the current trigger is 50 per cent of “digital” – and says there is far more to do than the radio industry or current policy appreciates.

  • Ex-IBM executive gets six months for insider trading

    WE REPORTED back in March that former IBM senior executive Robert Moffat, who was once lined up as a candidate for chief executive, collected his pink slip and did not pass go when he pleaded guilty to insider trading. He was the 11th person to do so in the Galleon hedge fund probe – the biggest insider trading scandal the US has seen for some time.

  • Ex-IBM heir apparent gets six months in the slammer
  • Former IBM Executive Sentenced to 6 Months for Securities Fraud

    Authorities say profits from illegal trades topped $50 million, though Moffat’s tips resulted in no profits and he received no money, lawyers on both sides agreed.

  • Pi record smashed as team finds two-quadrillionth digit

    A researcher has calculated the 2,000,000,000,000,000th digit of the mathematical constant pi – and a few digits either side of it.

    Nicholas Sze, of tech firm Yahoo, said that when pi is expressed in binary, the two quadrillionth digit is 0.

  • After Inmate Files Some 3,800 Lawsuits, Prosecutors Seek to Stop the Onslaught

    A federal inmate who once dubbed himself the “lawsuit Zeus” is so litigious that prosecutors are trying to put an end to the frivolous filings.

    Jonathan Lee Riches has filed more than 3,800 lawsuits, targeting defendants ranging from the planet Pluto to former president George W. Bush, the Associated Press reports. The Bush suit claimed the president and his brother had snuck into prison to clone his brain. A motion in another case, chronicled by Above the Law, claimed Riches became addicted to video games, causing him to lose touch with reality and his mind to become a living video game.

  • Supreme Court Justice Breyer denies influence of politics

    At a town hall-style meeting in L.A., Stephen G. Breyer says that the few times the court has acted under the sway of politics, the results have been disastrous.

  • Astronomy Picture of the Day
  • X Prize Winners Announced

    Edison2, a company based in Lynchburg, Va., won the $5 million top prize with its Edison2 Very Light Car. The competition was broken up into two classes: Mainstream, which was for four-seat vehicles, and Alternative, which had two divisions: two-seats side-by-side and two seats in a tandem, fighter-jet configuration.

  • Hardware

    • Credit Card with a Computer Inside

      The new cards are no bigger than the one in your wallet, and is actually slightly more flexible. It can display information at the press of a button, and can become several different cards by rewriting its own magnetic strip.

    • Intel wants to charge $50 to unlock stuff your CPU can already do
    • Intel + DRM: a crippled processor that you have to pay extra to unlock

      Intel’s latest business-model takes a page out of Hollywood’s playbook: they’re selling processors that have had some of their capabilities crippled (some of the cache and the hyperthreading support are switched off). For $50, they’ll sell you a code that will unlock these capabilities. Conceptually, this is similar to the DRM notion that I can sell you a movie that you can watch on one screen for $5 today, and if you want to unlock your receiver’s wireless output so you can watch it upstairs, it’ll be another $5.

    • ARM gets ready to enter Intel’s domain

      BRITISH CHIP DESIGN OUTFIT ARM is not flustered by Intel’s recent acquisitions and has been planning its assault on the laptop market for some time.

      That’s the message coming from the UK firm, hot on the heels of Chinese chip outfit Nufront demonstrating its dual core 2GHz system-on-chip (SoC) based on ARM’s Cortex A9 architecture. Speculation has been rife that Intel’s round of big money acquisitions means that Chipzilla is gunning for the plucky British company in the mobile space, but Nufront’s announcement has repositioned ARM as being on the offensive.

    • Intel won’t make more big acquisitions

      IN HIS KEYNOTE SPEECH at IDF 2010, Intel CEO Paul Otellini all but ruled out any more big acquisitions by the chipmaker within the next few years.

    • Lacie releases a USB 3.0 RAID drive

      STORAGE AND DISPLAY VENDOR Lacie is extending its RAID drive and external hard drive portfolios with a USB 3.0 external RAID hard drive.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • The Food Crisis is Not About a Shortage of Food

      The food crisis of 2008 never really ended, it was ignored and forgotten. The rich and powerful are well fed; they had no food crisis, no shortage, so in the West, it was little more than a short lived sound bite, tragic but forgettable. To the poor in the developing world, whose ability to afford food is no better now than in 2008, the hunger continues.

      Hunger can have many contributing factors; natural disaster, discrimination, war, poor infrastructure. So why, regardless of the situation, is high tech agriculture always assumed to be the only the solution? This premise is put forward and supported by those who would benefit financially if their “solution” were implemented. Corporations peddle their high technology genetically engineered seed and chemical packages, their genetically altered animals, always with the “promise” of feeding the world.

    • Stop Biotech’s Push for GMO Frankenfish!

      The FDA is poised to approve sale of the first GMO animal for human consumption, a fast-growing Frankenfish that hasn’t been fully assessed for food safety or environmental hazards, and that has little benefit outside of corporate profits.

    • FDA rules won’t require labeling of genetically modified salmon

      As the Food and Drug Administration considers whether to approve genetically modified salmon, one thing seems certain: Shoppers staring at fillets in the seafood department will find it tough to pick out the conventional fish from the one created with genes from another species.

      Despite a growing public demand for more information about how food is produced, that won’t happen with the salmon because of idiosyncracies embedded in federal regulations.

    • Microbiologists find the dirt on hand washing

      The American Society for Microbiology and the American Cleaning Institute wanted to see how often people wash their hands in public restrooms. (It’s flu and cold season again!) And, they found the “dirt” on people’s hand-washing habits.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Twitter airport bomb joker loses second job

      Paul Chambers, the Twitter joker victim, has been sacked from a second job a week before his appeal against a widely criticised conviction for sending a “threatening” message to to blow Doncaster airport “sky high”.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Czechs wait for Google Street View

      The Czech data protection authority has confirmed that Google does not have the proper licence to continue collecting images for its Street View service.

      The issue is not just about Wi-Fi data, as reported yesterday, but also images taken by its fleet of Street View cars which have already covered much of Prague, Český Krumlov and some major roads.

    • Appeals court reverses its own privacy ruling

      A US APPEALS COURT has reversed itself on the idea of computer privacy that it had previously upheld.

      Last year the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals issued a landmark data privacy ruling that curtailed the US government’s computer search and seizure powers. The ruling was made in the case of 104 US baseball players who had their hard drives ransacked by feds looking for evidence of drug use.

    • Mozambique blocked rioters’ texts

      A letter apparently from the Mozambique communications authority asked mobile networks to block text messages during food riots in the southern African country earlier this month.

      Hundreds of people were arrested over the protests and 13 killed, after the government put up the price of bread by a third. Petrol and electricity also went up sharply. The riots were encouraged by round-robin text messages.

    • Parents back legal ban of violent vidgames sales to kids

      The war between the video games industry and critics who think that playing violent games are harmful to children moves to the US Supreme Court in November.

    • T-Mobile Censoring Text Messages

      A mobile-marketing company claimed Friday it would go out of business unless a federal judge orders T-Mobile to stop blocking its text-messaging service, the first case testing whether wireless providers can block text messages they don’t like.

    • Public Knowledge Sees Lawsuit Over Unlawful Text Message Blocking as Another Reason for FCC Action

      Earlier today, EZ Texting, a mobile marketing company, filed suit in U.S. District Court in New York City against T-Mobile for unilaterally blocking its customers from exchanging text messages with EZ Texting’s customers, which the company said could put it out of business. The parts of the suit are here and here. The declaration of Shane Neman, CEO of EZ Texting, is here.

    • The Internet as a human right

      You don’t have to assert something as a fundamental human right to believe that it provides a social good of deep, deep of value. So, I remain an Internet exceptionalist and fanatic. I am all in favor of providing Internet access to the world, preferably for free. (Of course, I’d first want to make sure everyone can read and write, and has electricity, has a full belly, and has access to medical care, so that they can use the Net in the first place. Also, so they can live.) Access to an open Internet is an incredible social good. We who have such access should cherish it, use it, spread it, share it, and fight to keep it open. Nevertheless, calling Net access a human right blurs the line between social goods and demandable human rights. That does not bring the Net to the world any faster, and diminishes the effect of claims of genuine human rights.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Gallo report plenary vote campaign

      If voted in the European Parliament, the Gallo report will promote a dogmatic, repressive vision of Copyright for the future of EU policymaking, calling for instance for more repression of not-for-profit online filesharing. A recently tabled proposal for a resolution by the ALDE group contains the same inaccuracies and biased approach; it is almost as bad.

    • Copyrights

      • Filmmaker Premieres Movie In Theaters and on The Pirate Bay

        While most filmmakers shy away from anything remotely related to BitTorrent, Swedish director Stina Bergman has partnered with The Pirate Bay for the release of her latest movie. Today the film, titled “Die Beauty”, debuts in Swedish theaters as well as on The Pirate Bay.

      • Police spent tens of thousands on failed BitTorrent probe

        A failed three-year police investigation of a filesharing website, run in cooperation with the music industry, cost taxpayers at least £29,000, and probably much more.

        Figures released by Cleveland Police detail some costs of Operation Ark Royal, a raid on invitation-only BitTorrent site OiNK.cd.

      • State Bar of Nevada reviewing grievance against Righthaven CEO

        The Nevada agency that regulates attorneys is looking into a grievance filed against the chief executive officer of Righthaven LLC, the Las Vegas copyright enforcement company that has sued at least 124 individuals and companies in North America since March over unauthorized online postings of Las Vegas Review-Journal stories.

        The nature of the grievance hasn’t been disclosed except that someone filed it with the State Bar of Nevada against Righthaven CEO Steven Gibson, a Las Vegas attorney, and that it is related to Righthaven.

        The State Bar calls complaints filed against attorneys by citizens or clients “grievances” so they’re not confused with “complaints” the State Bar may file against lawyers.

        The grievance under investigation could relate to any number of allegations defense attorneys have made against Righthaven and its procedures — which are unusual for the newspaper industry — of detecting online infringements of Review-Journal material, obtaining copyrights to the infringed material and then suing over the retroactive infringements.

      • Prof. Richard Dawkins Advocates the Use of BitTorrent

        Professor Richard Dawkins is one of the best known evolutionary biologists today. Affiliated with the University of Oxford and Berkeley, he is famous for his fierce and outspoken critique on religious institutions through his publications and documentaries. In common with many scientists, he wants his work to be read and seen by the public, even if that means ignoring copyright by going to The Pirate Bay.

      • 4chan to DDoS RIAA Next – Is This the Protest of the Future?

        Over the last 36 hours or so, the ‘Anonymous’ masses and many unaffiliated sympathizers joined forces to attack the MPAA’s website. Continuing with ‘Operation Payback’, today an attack will be launched on the RIAA. The ultimate in decentralized protests will go ahead and there’s not a lawyer or police force in the world who can do anything about it. Is this the protest of the future?

Clip of the Day

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In Search of the Full Story About Swiss Canton and Microsoft

Posted in Europe, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Vista 7, Windows at 9:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Small church perched on the hill

Summary: Microsoft Switzerland may still be playing dirty as people in charge of GNU/Linux migrations find their way out

THE government of Switzerland was sued by many vendors for falling into Microsoft’s pocket — a tough subject which we previous covered in:

  1. Microsoft Sued Over Its Corruption in Switzerland, Microsoft Debt Revisited
  2. Can the United Kingdom and Hungary Still be Sued for Excluding Free Software?
  3. 3 New Counts of Antitrust Violation by Microsoft?
  4. Is Microsoft Breaking the Law in Switzerland Too?
  5. Microsoft Uses Lobbyists to Attack Holland’s Migration to Free Software and Sort of Bribes South African Teachers Who Use Windows
  6. ZDNet/eWeek Ruins Peter Judge’s Good Article by Attacking Red Hat When Microsoft Does the Crime
  7. Week of Microsoft Government Affairs: a Look Back, a Look Ahead
  8. Lawsuit Against Microsoft/Switzerland Succeeds So Far, More Countries/Companies Should Follow Suit
  9. Latest Reports on Microsoft Bulk Deals Being Blocked in Switzerland, New Zealand
  10. Swiss Government and Federal Computer Weekly: Why the Hostility Towards Free Software?
  11. Switzerland and the UK Under Fire for Perpetual Microsoft Engagements
  12. Lawsuit Over Alleged Microsoft Corruption in Switzerland Escalates to Federal Court
  13. When Microsoft-Only/Lock-in is Defined as “Technology”

Some of the posts above contain links to other bits of evidence which show Microsoft’s unethical and at times illegal activities in the country (concerning OOXML too).

There is a new Slashdot story linking to an article in German. As expected, there is another side to this story but it is not properly explored or told (we first mentioned this story two and a half years ago or more). The automated translation is poor and details are very limited. One of our readers has looked for additional information and a discussion took place some minutes ago (log below with typos not corrected and unrelated stuff not removed to avoid distraction). If anybody can add information about this subject, please share in IRC or in the comments. We expect the matter to be discussed in the news next week (English-speaking press) and we try to accumulate as much information as possible in preparation for it.

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IRC: #techrights @ FreeNode: September 19th, 2010

Join us now at the IRC channel.

twitter good morning Sep 19 13:37
schestowitz Hi Sep 19 13:37
twitter Slashdot had a trolly story yesterday about an apparently failed migration http://linux.slashdot.org/story/10/09/18/0239243/Swiss-Canton-Abandons-Linux-Migration?from=rss Sep 19 13:38
TechrightsBot-tr Title: Slashdot Linux Story | Swiss Canton Abandons Linux Migration .::. Size~: 182.34 KB Sep 19 13:38
twitter any idea what that is all about? Sep 19 13:38
schestowitz What’s the rebuttal to it? Sep 19 13:39
schestowitz I didn’t see the commentrs Sep 19 13:39
schestowitz Someone in identica linked to this Sep 19 13:39
twitter I did not look into it, comments at Slashdot are not reliable or easy to look through Sep 19 13:39
schestowitz The story did not mention intervention by Microsoft (could be omission) Sep 19 13:39
schestowitz Maybe they were offered a ‘special deal’, but one needs to ask those at the scenes, not epeculate Sep 19 13:40
schestowitz Microsoft did this in Munich Sep 19 13:40
twitter Do you know the author?  I’m susupicious. Sep 19 13:40
twitter “Open Source” at Heise Sep 19 13:40
schestowitz To send a “Warning” example to anyone else who ‘dares’ to show a Linux success story Sep 19 13:40
twitter is it another one of those fake Open Source columns Sep 19 13:40
twitter ? Sep 19 13:40
schestowitz Heise is relaible Sep 19 13:40
schestowitz No, not fake Sep 19 13:40
schestowitz Worth seeing what people on the scene have to say Sep 19 13:41
schestowitz And to what extent this is true Sep 19 13:41
schestowitz There was a similar story last week in France Sep 19 13:41
twitter I could not tell because I don’t read German and the translated page is gibberish Sep 19 13:41
twitter What does come out of the story does not make much sense.  The revolts are over applications, most of which probably won’t run on Windows 7 which they run back to. Sep 19 13:42
-TRIdentica/#techrights-[royhugo/@royhugo] ♺ @jerezim: To illustrate your posts about the #GalloReport: http://ur1.ca/1obc4 #CopyrightRepression (call! http://ur1.ca/0juns) → I ♥ it Sep 19 13:42
TechrightsBot-tr Title: File:Gallo Report private-copyright-CRS.png – La Quadrature du Net .::. Size~: 17.86 KB Sep 19 13:42
TechrightsBot-tr Title: ur1 Generator .::. Size~: 1.93 KB Sep 19 13:42
twitter Heise also mentioned Outlook, which is a real piece of garbage.  It’s hard to imagine someone making something that sucks worse than Outlook. Sep 19 13:43
schestowitz Lockin Sep 19 13:43
schestowitz But… Sep 19 13:43
schestowitz They need to invest to escape it Sep 19 13:44
schestowitz Similar story in Vienna Sep 19 13:44
schestowitz Question is, why was the CIO resigning? Sep 19 13:44
schestowitz Was he pressure like Quinn for example? Sep 19 13:44
schestowitz Microsoft often puts some moles around these people and then cause them trouble Sep 19 13:44
schestowitz Gates Foundation does the same thing Sep 19 13:44
schestowitz They toss out those who stand in its way Sep 19 13:44
twitter Lockin is trouble but the sooner you get out, the more you save. Sep 19 13:45
twitter and it’s not so bad Sep 19 13:45
schestowitz Or cut their research funding Sep 19 13:45
schestowitz Well… Sep 19 13:45
schestowitz All I can say is, if you find out something beyond what /, say, let us know Sep 19 13:45
schestowitz It’s a Heise/Slashdot information ‘monopoly’ on this story Sep 19 13:46
twitter I’m working in a Windows office and I’m able to get what I need from legacy apps through Windows terminal services. Sep 19 13:46
schestowitz I didn’t get to see an independent report… yet Sep 19 13:46
twitter OK, thanks, that’s what I wanted to know.  There are a lot o missing details and the problems I mentioned above. Sep 19 13:47
twitter Windows 7 will bring all sorts of pain to places using XP.  I can’t imagine how nasty a move from gnu/linux to Windows 7 would be. Sep 19 13:48
twitter I’m told that both samba and rdp are broken in Vista/Windows 7, so gnu/linux won’t work in a place like that – complete shut out. Sep 19 13:49
-TRIdentica/#techrights-[glynmoody/@glynmoody] Redefining the Great Wall – http://bit.ly/axmhF9 “more accurately translated into English as ‘The Great Town’”: interesting #china Sep 19 13:49
TechrightsBot-tr Title: Redefining the Great Wall .::. Size~: 91.21 KB Sep 19 13:49
twitter ok, comments from Slashdot.  Maxwell’s Demon says, “Note that 80% of the users were satisfied with the new desktop, and a further 10% just complained about transient problems.” Sep 19 13:53
twitter Another big mistake, they made the decision to migrate in 2001 but only started to migrate in 2006.  That gave the Microsoft people lots of time to make trouble. Sep 19 14:00
schestowitz <twitter> OK, thanks, that’s what I wanted to know.  There are a lot o missing details and the problems I mentioned above. Sep 19 14:01
schestowitz I haven’t even mentioned this yet Sep 19 14:01
schestowitz Not a single article in English Sep 19 14:01
schestowitz twitter: maybe you can accumulate this info Sep 19 14:01
schestowitz Then write an article with link to backing claim Sep 19 14:02
schestowitz To post a rebuttal to this piece, which is in German only Sep 19 14:02
schestowitz Readers would appreciate the other side Sep 19 14:02
-TRIdentica/#techrights-[richslxh/@richslxh] @pookito I think it would be a shame to see an established distro like Mandriva disappear. It has a sound community. Sep 19 14:02
twitter I can look around, but I think information will be lacking in English. Sep 19 14:02
twitter Like I said, it’s very trolly. Sep 19 14:03
schestowitz There’s already one thing of importance Sep 19 14:14
schestowitz Like how many people were pleased Sep 19 14:14
schestowitz But I don’t have links Sep 19 14:14
schestowitz And it needs to be suimmarised concisely, I think Sep 19 14:14
schestowitz Then we can published a more complete story Sep 19 14:15
twitter I hate Slashdot’s nasty java script.  It does not work with Konq 3.5, so I have to pull up iceweasel. Sep 19 14:17
-TRIdentica/#techrights-[richslxh/@richslxh] @pookito So far it looks like they’re getting pretty organised and the future looks good if they can maintain the same standard. Sep 19 14:22
twitter Here’s an interesting comment from an AC.  The problem with Linux and (F)OSS in Switzerland is manifold:- Microsoft has a strong lobbying group in Switzerland that figuratively “bought” several members of the parliament (even members of the socialist party, e.g. Mrs Pascale Bruderer, who worked for Microsoft Switzerland for a couple of years) Sep 19 14:23
twitter - Microsoft’s tentacles even reach out to the Federal Council (Microsoft has strong ties to the current President of the Swiss Confederation, Mrs Doris Leuthard) Sep 19 14:23
twitter - Mr Stefan Meierhans, Swiss “Preisüberwacher” (“Mr Price”, chief of one of the Swiss antitrust authorities), is a former PR expert and lobbyist of Microsoft Switzerland. He was appointed by Mrs Doris Leuthard (surprise, surprise). Sep 19 14:23
twitter - A couple of days ago, Mrs Leuthard announced the establishment of a new eEconomy Board [e-economy.ch] organization that is supposed to offer IT advice to the Swiss government and its related organizations. The appointed chief of this organization is the current CEO of Microsoft Switzerland, Mr Peter Waser. Other representatives of big US closed source software vendors are part of the board, but not a single representative of a local ope Sep 19 14:23
twitter end interesting comment Sep 19 14:24
twitter Maxwells Demon again, “The windows data base they were speaking about was a product named “Konsul” (a proprietary data base developed by a swiss company). No, I didn’t hear about that data base before either (I had to google it to find out it was a swiss product, although I suspected it due to the name), and of course it got lost in the Google translation.” Sep 19 14:26
-TRIdentica/#techrights-[mohanpram/@mohanpram] “Sent from Ubuntu” signature to be added to all mail sent from Evolution? http://ur1.ca/1obu3 (via @omgubuntu) Sep 19 14:30
-TRIdentica/#techrights-[pietercolpaert/@pietercolpaert] http://ur1.ca/1obud – Report of the #iRail meet-up 17th of September. Thanks for showing up, we’ll keep you posted Sep 19 14:30
TechrightsBot-tr Title: &ldquo;Sent from Ubuntu&rdquo; signature to be added to all mail sent from Evolution? .::. Size~: 30.07 KB Sep 19 14:30
TechrightsBot-tr Title: iRail meet-up: Report «  Bon sans nom .::. Size~: 24.8 KB Sep 19 14:30
schestowitz twitter: could you summarise all these points? Sep 19 14:31
schestowitz I can make a reader’s article based on that today Sep 19 14:31
schestowitz To counter the AstroTurfing I see with this story Sep 19 14:31
schestowitz Switzerland’s govt. was sued Sep 19 14:31
twitter often quoted troll hairyfeet talks about how cheap windows is, how wonderful AD is and how gnu/linux is only good for niche applications. Sep 19 14:31
schestowitz For signing illegally a Microsoft deal Sep 19 14:32
twitter hmm, I’m short on time and don’t think I can get it done today. Sep 19 14:32
schestowitz OK, maybe later? Sep 19 14:32
schestowitz It’s maybe a case … Sep 19 14:32
schestowitz Never mind Sep 19 14:32
schestowitz I’ll use what you put here Sep 19 14:32
-TRIdentica/#techrights-[royhugo/@royhugo] it seems like folks at #diaspora forgot the principle “release early, release often” http://is.gd/fhZ2l Sep 19 14:32
-TRIdentica/#techrights-[gbraad/@gbraad] watching #Discovery’s Into the Universe with #StephenHawking on our !dreambox http://is.gd/fhZ52 Sep 19 14:32
schestowitz And summaris that Sep 19 14:32
TechrightsBot-tr Title: Trouble with Diaspora – Steve’s Blog .::. Size~: 35.29 KB Sep 19 14:32
TechrightsBot-tr Title: http://file.status.net/identica/gbraad-20100919T133202-h9fenwy.png – Identi.ca .::. Size~: 8.97 KB Sep 19 14:32
twitter thanks, I’m busy moving. Sep 19 14:32
schestowitz_log ok Sep 19 14:33
twitter I’ve lived in this house for nine years and have lots of junk to pack. Sep 19 14:33
schestowitz I’ll use the quotes and all Sep 19 14:33
schestowitz From the logger Sep 19 14:33
twitter check you latter, thanks for all the good work. Sep 19 14:33
schestowitz I’m putting the log aside to arrange later Sep 19 14:33
schestowitz Lots of posts next week… Sep 19 14:33
twitter I do make time to read.  :) Sep 19 14:33

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