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03.01.12

15,000 Blog Posts

Posted in Site News at 8:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Techrights has over 15,000 blog posts now

We have just crossed the 15,000 milestone and we still serve about a quarter of a million hits per day at the back end (not cache), owing primarily to our extensive archives. Thanks to all those who follow the site and provide input.

Principals Say No to Gates’ Occupation of US Schools

Posted in Bill Gates at 7:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Man holds world

Summary: Bill Gates’ ambitions of world domination are met by resistance from yet more influential people

IT IS serious enough when teachers are dismissed for standing up against Gates Foundation‘s bullying (with money and influence). “There are some brave principals with principles who will not get with the Gates Foundation programme,” notes Gates Keepers, who links to this article (paywall warning) which says:

Through the years there have been many bitter teacher strikes and too many student protests to count. But a principals’ revolt?

Teachers across Seattle continue to complain about Gates’ lobbying against their occupation and one warns about Vicki Phillips of the Gates Foundation:

16. Her close association with controversial education reformist Vicki Phillips of the Gates Foundation.

For a number of years, Susan Enfield has had a close affiliation with the controversial ed reformist Vicki Phillips, now of the Gates Foundation’s education department. Cronyism, the overuse of costly outside consultants and other issues apparently cropped up for Phillips in both Portland, OR and PA, where both women worked together, according to this article: Calls of cronyism add to concerns over core curriculum (http://www.portlandtribune.com/news/story.php?story_id=117339349292820000) Enfield worked for Phillips at multiple locations, following her from Pennsylvania to Oregon and now to Seattle (via Vancouver, WA). Is Enfield influenced by this association? Will the Gates Foundation, which embraces a controversial education reform agenda, have even more access to the superintendent and influence district policy?

Here is another one about the superintendent:

We are aware of the tremendous pressure being directed at the Board by the small but monied business interests represented by the Alliance for Education, Stand for Children, the League of Education Voters, and, behind all of them, the Gates Foundation. We remind the Board that while these interests have the money to employ full-time operatives to pester the Board with emails, phone calls, and personal contacts, they are UNELECTED. They represent only a small constituency and the Board has other constituencies to whom it owes some small consideration: communities, parents, students, and teachers.

And finally, a video:

The unholy trinity of Stand for Children (SFC), the League of Education Voters (LEV) and the Washington State PTA (WSPTA) will be lobbying for a charter school bill starting in January with the backing of Microsoft, Boeing and Bill Gates. They will be in the House and Senate halls in Olympia in front of our representatives saying that they stand for the rest of us when in actuality they are representing only a wealthy few.

Gates is also mentioned a couple of times here. Everywhere that we hear about education reform one or more of Gates’ proxies appear at the scene. The Gates Foundation has many proxies (funded by Gates) to work through and hide its negativity from the public.

Bill Gates Pays Learning Matters, Inc. for Lobbying, Information Censored

Posted in Bill Gates, Deception at 7:42 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: “Learning Matters” too is confirmed to be in the pocket of the Gates Foundation with its insidious, self-serving, for-profit agenda

THE Gates Foundation is trying to control all channels of communication in particular areas where it operates (for profit). It is routinely bribing the media to warp perceptions and make a profit this way. We gave many examples from several fields.

One area that we shall concentrate on shortly is the occupation of the education system — with a budget of $500,000,000,000 per year (many profit opportunities on the back of taxpayers). Watch another outpost being revealed as having been occupied by Gates: [via]

Of course it is coincidental that Learning Matters, Inc. has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, most recently:

2009: $325,000
2007: $308,000

In my final paragraph they substituted “among others” for my “acting in concert with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.”

Watch what happened later.

Dr. Ben Goldacre Speaks Out Against Gates Foundation Support for Bad Drugs

Posted in Bill Gates, Patents at 7:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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

Bill Gates

Summary: The patent ventures (monopolies) of Bill Gates are criticised by medical doctors and Warren Buffett’s son

THE Gates Foundation helps companies it is investing in sell some more drugs and conduct clinical trials on impoverished populations that won’t sue when the experiment fails. Such is the nature of the PR operation set up by Bill Gates to make himself richer (and Gates is still getting richer, despite claims of “giving away” his wealth).

One person who is affiliated with MSF asks: “Why is the Gates Foundation supporting this trial of a rubbish AIDS drug?”

To quote: “There’s food for thought all over this letter. The Gates Foundation are supporting a trial comparing two AIDS drugs to see if the cheap one is as good at treating AIDS as the expensive one. But the cheap one has well demonstrated worse side effects. Is that worth it? Maybe, if you want to be realistic about more people getting access to cheaper treatments (remembering, natch, that’s it’s both hideous and absurd that drug co’s try to claw back drug development costs from developing countries, but there you go). However, it looks like the cheap one won’t be that much cheaper than the expensive one for long anyway. Fascinating messy area.”

We found this link in Gates Keepers, a blogger who separately adds: “Death and outmigration of seropositive sex workers are the simplest two explanations for a decrease in the percentage of sex workers infected in this brothel area. Condom use is another. Was this mentioned to the Gates Foundation?”

Gates wants to claim credit for the “end” of AIDS and all sorts of sex-related conditions. We wrote about this before. It’s all about PR, a lot less about practice. But it works — it works in the sense that it whitewashes the reputation not only of Gates but of fellow plutocrats too. It sells the fairytale that the population depends on the robber barons for survival. Watch what Warren Buffett’s son is saying. While his dad, along with Bill, is making a population dependent on patents (to help make a profit) he criticises Gates’ approach: “Buffett says the Gates Foundation approach is to focus on high-tech farming techniques including hybrid seeds and synthetic fertilizers that aren’t sustainable in poor countries. “We need to quit thinking about trying to do it like we do it in America,” Howard Buffett said about the farming programs underway at the Gates . “At some point those guys are going to go home and the money going to not be there.””

It’s about Monsanto, which Gates is investing in. They are looting Africa too; it is a long-term investment that will cost farmers dearly. This as well was covered here over the years.

Google Helps EPO Manage Monopolies, Unitary Patent Aided

Posted in Europe, Google, Patents at 7:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Et tu, Larry?

Larry Page in the European Parliament

Summary: Google fuels the EPO with its tools that can help usher software patents into Europe

HEY, Google, what on Earth are you doing again? Leaving aside your latest new patents [1, 2] that you applied for, where is the call for reform? Real reform.

First this silly censorship and now this indirect assistance to software patents in Europe? Have the patent lawyers already fully taken over the company? Where are Larry and his technical colleagues?

Leave dirty jobs like this one to Microsoft:

Patent information can now be translated into English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Swedish via a ‘patent translate’ tool on the EPO website after the patent registry joined forces with internet giant Google to develop existing automated translation software.

The EPO said that it had provided Google with “several hundred thousand high quality translations of patents” in the seven languages which Google had used to “train” its translate system. The president of the EPO hailed the launch of the new service as a “landmark” in removing language barriers from patent documents.

This is bad. For those who do not understand why, see our latest post about the unitary patent.

Microsoft Imperialism Shot Down by Protests in Europe

Posted in Europe, Microsoft, OpenDocument at 7:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Slovakia's flag

Summary: Protests in Slovakia drive Microsoft away, at least for the time being

LAST month we saw protests across Europe shooting down ACTA. According to this (English translation) Microsoft gets similar treatment and to quote a reader of ours, the “Slovak government postponed 53 mil. EUR deal with Microsoft after public protests… [...] only google translate link if it helps [...] it’s very bad translation tho[ugh]” (remember that Slovakia is pro-ODF).

In other news, according to this press release from Protecode (and somewhat promotional article), foes of FOSS expand in Europe and yet another grows like a tumour in an Irish distribution of GNU/Linux, bringing more of Microsoft into it. Let’s hope that Europe can rid itself from this type of “cancer” that brings well-meaning governments down to their knees. This is not idealogical, it’s technical.

Linus Torvalds Scoffs at OpenSUSE

Posted in GNU/Linux, Novell, OpenSUSE, SLES/SLED at 6:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Linus Torvalds

Summary: Torvalds gets fed up with SUSE

OPENSUSE lost many of its key developers and leaders, including Greg, who works closely with Linus Torvalds. Not so long ago Greg et al. got Tumbleweed rolling, after they had founded OpenSUSE. “Tumbleweed was announced with or shortly after their 11.4 release. I was a bit skeptical at the time, because of my experience with other rolling distributions,” writes J.A. Watson.

The important news though is that according to Brian Proffitt and others, “Torvalds throws openSUSE security tantrum” (more strong language from him):

Linux creator Linus Torvalds has issued a rare public spanking for openSUSE after falling foul of its security procedures.

Torvalds has posted a rant on Google+ about his experience installing openSUSE on a MacBook Air. The installation requires the root password for many functions and he went to the Bugzilla thread to argue that this was a stupid policy, which got changes in some areas of the code, like adding wireless networks.

But the straw that broke the penguin’s back was when his daughter Daniela called him from school to complain that she couldn’t add a printer to her computer without the root password. Linus lost it, and went public with his complaints.

“He has a point,” writes Pogson. “There are systems where these settings are crucial for security but a kid’s notebook at school is proabably not one of them. In a business you may well not want 1000 nude photos to be printed in the boss’ office ( I have seen that. A student caught the principal’s password…) but in a school with the local system admin protecting what he wants to protect, not so much.”

“I think Linus has not tried Debian yet, so may be its time for Linus to give Debian a try,” writes Muktware. Debian GNU/Linux is indeed very good. Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols , a fan of SUSE, responds to Torvalds and Rupert Murdoch’s tabloids characteristically use sensationalist headlines, just like those who covered the SP2 of SLE* 11 as though it was revolutionary because of the 3.0 Linux. Here is a toned-down article about it.

The bottom line is, SUSE and Torvalds are no friends.

Microsoft Products Don’t Work, Won’t Work

Posted in Microsoft, Security, Vista 8, Windows at 6:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Warning

Summary: Microsoft cannot implement security correctly, which causes more harm than nothing at all

WHEN the government falls offline because of Microsoft it soon turns out to be the result of sloppy coding. Just days after a report comes out about proprietary software being inferior in quality to Free software we are reminded of Microsoft’s inability to grasp leap years — something that we saw in OOXML.

Should people who don’t understand Leap Year be in charge of your IT? I don’t think so. I recommend Debian GNU/Linux who seem to have it done right.

M$ lost its cloud today with the February 29 thing. It seems a certificate expired, or something…

The certificate expired and Microsoft code cannot cope. It’s not about security, it is about bad coding. And watch what’s coming in Vista 8:

The Windows 8 Kill Switch: A Hacker’s Dream Come True

[...]

There are a lot of possibilities here and a heck of a lot of them are more worrisome than thinking that Microsoft may pull the kill switch to shut up someone who hates Steve Ballmer.

In fact, nobody has even mentioned the national security threat that this suggests. First of all, Microsoft is not known for designing anything secure. The company cannot do it. So, how does adding a kill switch keep users and the nation as a whole safe when we know in advance that it will be hacked like everything else the company has done?

And wait, it gets worse: “So let me get this straight? On the proposed Windows 8 if you choose the MS login stuff (and have it on a network) that provisionally creates a Windows Live account using the email address you supplied when installing Windows 8 and, wait for it. The password you use to log into your PC!

“So if your PC is nicked and some clever clogs can extract your password (Don’t ask me how that’s way above my pay grade) they now not only have access to your PC but also your Windows Live account and anything else you used that ID for?”

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