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08.23.12

Speak Out: Did Microsoft Florian — Funded Also by Apple — ‘Spam’ You Too? More Funding Appears to Come From Anti-Android/Linux Camp.

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Oracle, Patents at 11:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Blog secretly funded by enemies of Android and Linux

Florian Mueller

Summary: The deception machine of Microsoft Florian is exposed further as the case of Apple against Samsung approaches its end (bar appeals)

THE high-profile Android case has led to pressure from the judge to disclose paid bloggers. Google named nobody, whereas Oracle named two [1, 2, 3].

Now it turns out that “Apple has retained Florian Mueller as a consultant,” which is a known way of passing a bribe (it’s the business model, as Microsoft privately calls it). “So GROKLAW keeps catching FM showing bias while publicly holding himself up to be an expert on FLOSS patent violations and the like, and a blogger/journalist,” writes Pogson, who adds: “The guy really is in “Technology Evangelism Mode”. He even sent me an e-mail about Oracle v Google, unsolicited. I reported it to PJ at GROKLAW as did others so she has been on FM’s case for a while.”

“They use the same tactics of misinforming journalists en masse. That’s their service.”Groklaw continues investigating this case and remarks from bloggers are telling: “So, the guy is clearly not an expert on FLOSS patents and is an advocate for those who pay him, not just a “consultant”. Apple clearly did not want the judge digging too deeply into that relationship and for sure telling the jury about it. I find it particularly interesting that FM used e-mail to contact me and to comment on the blog rather than commenting using WordPress. What’s with that? Clearly, he went to some trouble to dig up the e-mail address (It’s not as if I stick it on the front page.) rather than just clicking. Was he trying to influence me, going for a larger goal than just providing feedback? I “bit him on the hand” and I hope he does not return.”

Microsoft Florian does not allow comments in his blog because people used to comment to expose him. He thrives in secrecy and he 'spams' journalists behind the scenes. It’s his modus operadi.

Did you too get contacted by this lobbyist? Please speak out if so. Some bloggers come out saying they too were his victims.

Speaking for myself, I fell into his trap in the early days (Techrights quoted his talking points after he had mailed us repeatedly), but I soon woke up; now I find him to be an extremely scummy guy who takes money from companies to conduct AstroTurf campaigns that involves mass-mailing writers and even threatening those who criticise him (yes, he threatened me too).

Mr. Microsoft will be reported to the FTC for AstroTurfing (I am working on my submission), just like Waggener Edstrom
or Burson-Marsteller. They use the same tactics of misinforming journalists en masse. That’s their service.

Putting the lobbying aside for a moment, Apple’s case is shown to be weak in the following recent video about Apple’s lack of innovation.

Samsung won’t settle because it has a strong case, or maybe because Apple remains too delusional to drop the case as decision comes. The following video was sent to us by a reader yesterday:

Apple decided to sue different rather than think different. So many of its own supporters have defected.

This is a pointless legal battle that Apple should never have started at all (put aside the bias from IDG’s columnists).

The jury, a bunch of ordinary people, will soon decide on the case, but to what extent does deception from lobbyists and Apple’s misleading claims going to affect the outcome? As one article put it, “[t]he summer blockbuster that is Apple v. Samsung is coming to a close as both companies have delivered their closing arguments. Neither side held back in their last opportunity to argue their case, with Apple telling Samsung to make its own phones and Samsung warning the jury that Apple is trying to mislead them.

“It’s been an exciting four weeks. Along the way we’ve seen Samsung leak evidence that was refused by the court, never-before-seen prototypes of iPhones and iPads, and previously unreleased sales figures for both companies. We even got a hilarious parody from Conan O’Brien.”

“Apple decided to sue different rather than think different.”Here is the take from Pamela Jones [1, 2, 3, 4] and something about the Motorola complaint that is indirectly relevant to the case (similar allegations).

Google recently countered Apple’s attack with a lawsuit that can rattle Apple with sanctions. We will write about this subject separately, probably tomorrow.

Microsoft Has Influence in Linux and FOSS

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, SLES/SLED at 11:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft is FOSS is Microsoft

Miguel and Steve

Summary: How Microsoft staff and money help change the message of its opposition

THE LINUX FOUNDATION continues to promote ‘Microsoft Linux’ in a variety of ways. This is one of two examples from this week — an example where an offering from SUSE gets lip service from a SUSE-funded (which is in turn Microsoft-funded) organisation. Another company with Microsoft ties gets its say on FOSS after issuing a press release that can be found here. Over the years we have shown examples (here is a recent example [1, 2]) where Microsoft connections and funding helped change the policy and message of FOSS, so this subject is important. It aids the propaganda machine whenever the opposing side gets infiltrated.

“I would love to see all open source innovation happen on top of Windows.”

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO

Vista 8 Will Fail for Businesses, Says Dell

Posted in Microsoft, Vista, Vista 7, Vista 8, Windows at 10:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: After very poor adoption of Vista and Vista 7 (especially in businesses) it is expected that Vista 8 will bring more of the same

THE failure of Vista 8 is foreseen by many. It is profound enough for OEMs to complain about it already [1, 2] and Dell joins the antagonists by making its stance known.”In the earnings call to discuss its latest financial results,” says The Register, “Dell’s CFO Brian Gladden said the introduction of Windows 8 in October would have a limited effect on Dell’s results at first, since the company is really focusing on enterprise systems, and he expects the new OS to have limited appeal early on in that sector.”

“Our guess is that Linux, the kernel, which is common to all these platforms, will thrive on desktops just as it does on phones, servers, and increasingly tablets too.”The interface of Vista 8 makes it unsuitable for serious use. To quote another new article: “Though Windows 8 is winning rave reviews for its touch-friendly tablet experience, many feel that the operating system’s “Modern-style” UI makes life more difficult for PC users. Count usability expert Raluca Budiu of the Nielsen Norman Group among these critics. Though she has not conducted any formal studies on Windows 8, the former Xerox PARC researcher and user experience specialist has used the new OS enough to conclude that, for productivity tasks on the PC at least, Windows 8 is less user friendly than its predecessors.”

GNU/Linux is alive and well, but Android too is looking for growth at the expense of Windows while Chrome OS gains a more favourable position among OEMs. Our guess is that Linux, the kernel, which is common to all these platforms, will thrive on desktops just as it does on phones, servers, and increasingly tablets too.

Patent Lawyers Versus the Rest of Us

Posted in Patents at 10:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Steven Lundberg

Summary: A complete roundup of articles we found and classification of them

THE LEGAL sites are willing to tell that “Congress Takes Aim at ‘Patent Trolls’ With SHIELD Act” (we covered it in [1, 2]), but the scare quotes around “patent trolls” help show that there is still some bias there. This is the sort of bias we find everywhere in the legal news — a bias that is so endemic and consistent. Other legal sites put in the form of a question the patent debate on which public consensus is well understood. To quote: “The idea of not having patents for the software industry is just coming into its own and making the rounds in various university classes on intellectual property rights. “The idea is a mainstream one,” said John Allison, professor of Intellectual Property Law at the University of Texas. Although mainstream and with merit, classifying various industries according to whether they could or should have patent protection would be highly impractical, leaving the door wide open for manipulating the system.”

Another article, not from legal sites for a change, says that
“[p]atent trolls claim to help inventors profit from their creations, but there is overwhelming evidence to the contrary. The truth is non-practicing entities have established a practice of collecting broad computer hardware and software patents with no intention of developing any products and then filing suit against companies for alleged patent infringement.

“Unethical at best, this practice often places financial hardship on small- to medium-size companies who are often forced to settle due to the prohibitive costs of litigation despite the arbitrary nature of the claim.

“In June, a Boston University study revealed patent troll litigation is on the rise, affecting 5,842 defendants in 2011 alone and costing an estimated $29 billion in direct costs. While large firms accrued more than half of the direct costs, 37 percent of the defendants were small to medium-sized companies.”

Another decent new article comes from Brad Feld, who writes: “My startup, all five employees and $0 revenue, is being sued by a patent troll. It is madness.

“One must prepare for the reading accordingly and remember the vested interests at play.”“Software patents are weapons of mass extortion. The trolls know that the cost of patent litigation is huge- millions of dollars for a thorough defense. The vast majority of companies do a simple cost benefit analysis and settle. It costs a pittance to file a lawsuit, a fortune to fight. A troll can sue many companies and live off the settlements. Trolling is a lucrative, legally sanctioned business model with virtually no risk. The longer this continues the worse it will get.”

More opposition to patent comes from the press in NZ. To quote: “As I write this, the herculean struggle mostly known as Apple Inc v. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd is in its final stages. In the US at least. News about this fight has dominated tech news for months, spawned even more partisan vitriol than usual, and is really just complete rubbish. In August last year, there were court battles between the two in nine different countries over four continents. The vast sums of money both companies are spending on lawyers could be going to about a million better places. I’m not taking sides here though – the problem is the patent system.”

So, to summarise, we continue to see pro-patents coverage from legal sites and the complete opposite from the rest. One must prepare for the reading accordingly and remember the vested interests at play. What’s good for patent lawyers is not good for us, the 99%.

Microsoft Versus CSS

Posted in Microsoft at 10:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft tears the Web

Writing spider

Summary: Complaints about Microsoft’s intervention in decisions about CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)

THE POST recently filed under “WTF” says that Microsoft continues to break standards. To quote: “Right now the W3C is discussing CSS shader standardization on their mailing lists. Microsoft has voiced their opinion and things are about to get very strange indeed.

“A quick explanation of what CSS shaders are. They are intended to make it possible to define a shading effect in CSS in a shading language.”

Microsoft has been a major foe of CSS if one considers what IE6 did (or didn’t do) to the Web. It had a huge toll and it affected millions who designed for the Web.

The W3C should not have allowed Microsoft in [1, 2, 3, 4]. Microsoft treats CSS like Closed Source Software, not Cascading Style Sheets. Microsoft 'extends' CSS only when it tries to subvert or control (own) it.

“In one piece of mail people were suggesting that Office had to work equally well with all browsers and that we shouldn’t force Office users to use our browser. This Is wrong and I wanted to correct this.”

Bill Gates [PDF]

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