National press in Australia (corporate news) complicit in Gates’ agenda
Summary: How a “successful” (as in profitable) criminal bought the press, rebuilt his public image, and is now on a crusade to make a lot more money while the press misinforms the public, saying he distributes (gives away) his ill-gotten money
THE Gates Foundation has been discussed in our IRC channels quite a lot as of late. Australian members of this site are unhappy to see their so-called elected leaders hanging out with a famous criminal like it’s some kind of a badge of honour. Gates is buying the press (literally) in Australia and it is a recipe for disaster. It is not about helping journalists but about enlisting them for PR. Journalists these days are not talking about the business crimes of billionaires like the Rockefellers* and they are only ever mentioning Gates in a positive connotation because their editors or publishers know the implicit rule that money comes from PR, not criticism. Watch Associated Press whitewashing Rockefeller while lumping in Gates and the Bill Gates-funded [1, 2] BBC doing the same. Some criminals go to jail; but if they are big enough they get a bailout (taxpayers’ money) and get characterised as heroes and business champions.
“Some criminals go to jail; but if they are big enough they get a bailout (taxpayers’ money) and get characterised as heroes and business champions.”The Gates-funded BBC uses promotional language like “Rockefeller (and most other private foundations) is dwarfed in size by the Gates Foundation, which has assets of more than $36bn.”
It almost correctly notes that “The Gates Foundation is also Rockefeller’s partner in the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, and Ms Rodin says it is a “terrific” partner.”
It’s not a a green revolution, it’s “Green Revolution” (capitalised). It is exactly the opposite of green. It’s greenwashing of seed monopoly by Monsanto et al. Gates is an investor; he’s in it for money. It’s about gaining wealth through monopoly on the food supply — a subject we covered here dozens of times before.
The Gates-funded BBC doesn’t say that this is a for-profit GMO alliance. The BBC has been publishing many pro-GMO/Monsanto pieces (or ignoring criticism) since Gates bribed it (to a certain degree the same has been true about The Guardian since Gates bribed it). We gave several examples of this. Appalling? Yes, but nonetheless very true. We are not unique in the making of this observation. This is actually a growing trend in alternative media and to a growing extent in some mainstream media too (they have to keep up with common knowledge and neglect PR).
“It’s not a a green revolution, it’s “Green Revolution” (capitalised). It is exactly the opposite of green.”To quote a noteworthy old article which has Gates and Rockefeller mentioned in tandem in relation to their pro-Monsanto agenda in Africa and the rest of world (monopoly on food), they sure have a “doomsday seed vault”. They seem to realise the problem with GMO, but GMO is about profit. Bill Gates just getting richer, he is not losing wealth. He is disseminating lies in the media to make it seem as though he is a giver, not a taker. Radio Australia says in this summary that “Bill Gates announced he would donate almost all of his fortune to charitable causes” (he is only getting richer a decade after saying this, so it’s more like expanding his fortune to widen the lead as the world’s richest man while also trying to portray himself as world’s most generous man).
We found this very gross article, too. The old headline was “Bill Gates: Richest Man and Also one of the Most Generous – ABC News” (this headline is not visible anymore, but we grabbed it from cache).
“It’s not hard to grasp the facts, it’s just hard to get the truth/facts past conservative editors and publishers of corporate media (where profit, i.e. advertising, comes before accuracy).”it is troubling enough seeing one engaging in crime; what’s even more blood pressure-raising is seeing criminals who do this injustice (with direct harm to those around them) literally buying themselves hero status, getting all the credit for the work of volunteers whom they looted, destroyed, demonised, and so forth.
Well, the editor changed the headline, so it is hard to show the nerve of this branch of corporate media. ABS is corporate press, very extremely so. The Australian press has been doing PR for Gates amidst a visit. Never mind if Gates and Microsoft are both tax evaders (too rich to pay tax), the Australian press will reverse the facts. Yes, tax evader Bill Gates keeps saying the rich should pay more tax and the Australian media prints that, completely without challenge (just like in the US press of Gates' Australian friend and partner Rupert Murdoch last month [1, 2]), not noting that this foundation is an apparatus of tax exemptions, like many other such foundations.
For those with a strong stomach, here is some more gross PR from the corporate news sites. Well, it’s merely a lobbying trip to Gates in Australia and it’s paying off. The agenda and business model is usually relaying tax money (by lobbying politicians) to Gates’ private investments — companies whose manufacturing costs less than one percent of the retail price, so publicly-stated ‘donation’ numbers are grossly overstated and someone — some shareholders (wink-wink) — pockets the massive margins. Here is a lobbying pitch from the man who got his wealth using illegal business tactics like sabotage designed to derail law-abiding competitors. Go figure why nobody in the corporate press dares to point this out. It’s not hard to grasp the facts, it’s just hard to get the truth/facts past conservative editors and publishers of corporate media (where profit, i.e. advertising, comes before accuracy). █
* There are many books and documentaries about it, spanning approximately one century, but it is definitely not worth delving into at Techrights as it’s not technology related.
“Don’t encourage new, cross-platform Java classes, especially don’t help get great Win 32 implementations written/deployed. [...] Do encourage fragmentation of the Java classlib space.”
–Ben Slivka, Microsoft
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“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.”
–New York Times, 2008
Summary: How Bill Gates’ monopolistic business model is expanding to the public sector, i.e. the sector which taxpayers are funding in the interest of taxpayers (Gates does not pay tax because the money gets laundered as “charity”)
The Gates Foundation wants to profit not only from the private sector but also the public sector. One example of it is the schools system. According to this piece, Gates has just gotten another lobbying group whose name is deceiving. To quote the piece: “The standards could easily reflect the political left leanings of its funders (Bill Gates), its creator (Marc Tucker), and the testing consortia (Linda Darling-Hammond). Proponents David Patti and Joan Benso, who wrote a recent Patriot News pro-Common Core guest commentary, failed to reveal that their organizations accepted huge amounts of money from the Gates Foundation to promote Common Core.
“The Gates Foundation wants to profit not only from the private sector but also the public sector.”“Teachers did not like No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top because they were “teaching to the tests.” What profound differences will Common Core make in our educational system? Nothing, except that it will change education for the worse.”
So there we have another lobby among hundreds which Gates is using to get his way in school politics (we covered other such lobbies before, primarily the large ones). This is accompanied by buyout of scientists and the appropriate medium/media that they access. One new example of this comes from pro-Microsoft news sites which show the corrupting influence of Gates not just over individual journals (e.g. Lancet [1, 2, 3]) but an entire gateway like PubMed. Bill would love to gain control over many publications in one fell swoop, claiming the right to have become ResearchGates in ResearchGate.
“What matters is that those in power get served.”Here is the Gates Foundation hailed by a Microsoft booster with some “Nobel” flavouring amidst a hostile bid. It says: “On Monday, ResearchGate announced its third round of funding, $35 million, led by Bill Gates and Tenaya Capital.”
iophk says “Bill continues his attack on science” because he seems to already know what Gates is trying to achieve here. You can count on Bill’s fan press openwashing it. Well, it’s clearly not Open Source, but in Forbes, the billionaires’ fan press, facts don’t matter much. What matters is that those in power get served. “They’ve found that the name has positive connotations so they are abusing it to promote Bill,” iophk added.
“This can potentially make Gates a gatekeeper, pushing the agenda of his investments by giving funds selectively to those who write things in favour of the companies he derives profit from, in a sense monopolising by money distribution, as always.”So what is this move all about? It is about grabbing other people’s academic work (which they rarely get paid for) and trying to hoard the data, storing data locally, and even claiming credit for it and having control over what’s more visible (e.g. in search results). This can potentially make Gates a gatekeeper, pushing the agenda of his investments by giving funds selectively to those who write things in favour of the companies he derives profit from, in a sense monopolising by money distribution, as always. It’s about money and power, masqueraded as science. The grants are routinely allocated based on personal agenda of Gates. We gave a lot of examples of this and the quote at the top is telling.
Here is a new story of a teacher who was turned away because he did not comply with Gates’ will. To quote:
The first thing you need to know reader, is that there is no job security at a charter school. Even excellent veteran educators, like the three physical education teachers who were fired one year ago, are vulnerable.
We have already seen teachers suspended/expelled for not obeying Bill's orders. Here is a new protest Web site which introduces itself as “I AM AN EDUCATOR”. To quote the Washington-based teachers: “Well-funded but non-accountable organizations, such as the Broad Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, have invested their wealth to promote the policies of “No Child Left Behind” and “Race to the Top”. These policies that purport to demand teacher accountability but ultimately reduce students and teachers to test scores–data points used to fire teachers, narrow the curriculum, keep students from graduating, privatize education, and close down scores of schools (primarily those that serve Black, Latino and students of color) across the nation.”
“Seattle-based blogs are among those which protest Gates’ agenda in education. Some of the rest have been bribed by Gates to counter those protests.”Seattle-based blogs are among those which protest Gates’ agenda in education. Some of the rest have been bribed by Gates to counter those protests. Gates has funding the lobby by paying Washington-based news sites and the outcome is clear to see (just see the comments). The Bill Gates-funded [1, 2] Seattle Times does its lobbying for Gates, failing to describe this as a politically-motivated (or for-profit) bribe. It is described as “aid” by the corporate press (also published here) as Gates is trying to generate PR by using slush funds, removing attention from actual teachers and instead generating puff pieces like [1, 2, 3]. See the report bearing the headline “More Gates dollars aim to bring charters to WA”.
“The short story is, Gates is paying for bogus studies and then bribes blogs and news sites to disseminate the resultant message for political change resulting in financial gain (privatisation).”The lobbying attempt is using bribed-for ‘studies’ which fail on many levels, as we showed here before. There is yet another new post breaking apart the latest propaganda from Gates. “This is from the Gates Foundation,” says this post which concludes as follows: “We’ve got a muddled middle, suggesting these predictions aren’t very good for 9 out of 10 teachers. One last point: Condensing the whole data set down to these 5% average points further “cleans” the data. To see what I mean, check out this post by Gary Rubinstein.”
The short story is, Gates is paying for bogus studies and then bribes blogs and news sites to disseminate the resultant message for political change resulting in financial gain (privatisation). Everyone including teachers seems too know it already, but Gates keep trying to gag his critics by overriding them or encumbering those who are still not enlightened with his PR. █
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This is what tomorrow’s ‘terrorists’ may look like to the ruling class…
Summary: Why software freedom is not enough for freedom as a whole and why technology rights in the age of ever-increasing Western oppression necessitate privacy, free speech, competition (e.g. forks, multiple trajectories), collaboration and other libertarian practices
Journalists, activists, protesters, dissenting online voices, whistleblowers (i.e. truth-tellers) and alternatives to the current economic system have come under attacks using laws that were passed to tackle terrorism. “Terrorism” as a label is nearly becoming synonymous with dissent when even Wikileaks gets called “terrorists” by some politicians and Occupy protests (against crimes of banks) get called “low-level terrorism”, then crushed by the FBI. It’s all about maintaining a status quo of profound economic disparity and a perpetual atmosphere of tension or bloody wars (motivated at times by greed, ideology, and racism). Many who engage in preserving or restoring justice are now literally terrorised. Let the press around the world go wild over the latest NSA scandal, knowing that they now have the hard evidence they needed. This is all over the British news today, including the radio. An old friend whom I’ve just had a long lunch with was taken by surprise by these latest revelations (to him it’s new and he is a businessman in his sixties). The debate about privacy is being transformed rapidly and radically right now. Imperialism and the accompanying oppression rear their ugly head for everybody to witness in shock and awe.
This is a good time to pause and ask ourselves, how can we defend ourselves from this tyrannical anarchy of pseudo accountability? First of all, pass the latest news reports to friends and loved ones. Make sure that everything they do over the wire and wireless (Internet and phone calls) they do with full knowledge that they may be recorded, even if they do nothing controversial and have never set foot on the United States (there is actually a worldwide conspiracy among fusion centres, just like ECHELON, so it’s not just a US issue). But this is just the first step. Tell them about free/libre software, putting aside the economic arguments. Free as in freedom-respecting software is a prerequisite, but it is not enough, not quite anyway. Now is a good time to equip friends and loved ones with freedom- and privacy-respecting software (non-free/libre software cannot be trusted for privacy unless it never ever in its entire lifetime gets access to an Internet connection or external media/peripherals). Make sure they know that everything they do online they should always be happy to make public to everyone (marking something private or “deleted” on the so-called ‘cloud’ has insufficient effect due to weak data retention regulations).
“”Terrorism” as a label is nearly becoming synonymous with dissent when even Wikileaks gets called “terrorists” by some politicians and Occupy protests (against crimes of banks) get called “low-level terrorism”, then crushed by the FBI.”If you are involved in a business which uses so-called ‘cloud’ services, put nothing personal there and, if possible, insist on internal-only use (self-hosted and firewalled with reputable encryption method at endpoints, e.g. Jabber). Changing for the better corporate choices of software, such as ‘clouds’, ought to be somewhat easier now that we know how the NSA and its international allies operate behind a veil of secrecy and documents do exist to prove it.
If you are using a third-party E-mail service, don’t. Self-hosted or domestically-hosted mail is not expensive and help can be sought when it comes to setup. Invite other people to drop US-based mail hosts like GMail, Yahoo Mail, and Microsoft’s brand du jour for E-mail. My wife and I only ever pass mail through
localhost with strong encryption at the end-points. If you must buy a phone, buy it anonymously using cash and top it up as you go, using cash. Keep names off conversations and remove the battery when the phone is not used (we know for a fact that some phones can track and also record remotely when turned off; some got backdoored and turned into listening devices). Think this is paranoid? Then read Aaron Swartz’s full story. Think this is impractical? Then fine, it sure makes life a little harder — a sacrifice that many campaigners (however benign) must make. The Swartz fiasco hardly even started to make mainstream news until after he had committed suicide (watch how his Wikipedia article/biography has exploded in length since the day he died), whereupon the extremely unjust allegations and charges got dropped. Swartz was an effective advocate/campaigner in the field of copyright (not anti-war) and those who hounded him reached out for things he had written to prove intent to commit a non-crime which he never even committed. Secret agents, for a verified fact, were ‘assigned’ to him. Bradley Manning is currently being smeared in the corporate media for helping to expose war crimes; he had reached out to the Washington Post and New York Time (got ignored and turned away) before he came to Wikileaks. Notice the pattern; you hardly need to do anything but threaten those in power (or with a lot of money) to get hounded and spied on retroactively.
“If you surf controversial sites (not illegal, just controversial, which in some nations is illegal), be sure to use privacy-assuring VPN or Tor.”Don’t use cash machines with nearby phone/s switched on (suffice to say, with the exception of monthly billings which are banal anyway, do not make transaction with a credit/debit card as they all phone home to the NSA in the post-SWIFT era). The ATM (cash machine) is an identity checkpoint. One’s house can be roughly identified if the phone is used there too often. CCTV does not register one’s ID.
If you surf controversial sites (not illegal, just controversial, which in some nations is illegal), be sure to use privacy-assuring VPN or Tor. Better yet, consider setting up Tor nodes for those in the world whose authoritarianism is more trigger-happy and censorship-leaning. Judging by current trends, online censorship is only ever getting worse — not better — as this new thing called the Web grows, expanding to more nations and to more underprivileged people who find a voice or a source.
“Do not underestimate the extent of the surveillance industrial complex; it is embedded in society, possibly even in societies and clubs you are a part of.”Use SIP clients on the phone. Linphone has a good Android app which works well for me with video. Do not use Skype for video, voice, or even text. Microsoft recently confirmed that it is reading what you write. Assume all mobile and landline communication to be recorded, if not by you or the other participant/s, then by a corporation or a shadowy government contractor (as suggested in the UK years ago). Don’t share password over the phone and definitely not by E-mail. Don’t over-re-use passwords. Where possible, I always give people their passwords on a piece of paper, having handwritten it with a pen. You cannot have your mind read for the password and the US is currently breaking the Constitution by demanding that a man gives his decryption passphrase or go to prison. He is used as a witness against himself, but the Constitution defends his right for now (while prosecutors try to brute-force crack his hard drive and succeed to extent). Crypto-cracking is the NSA’s lesser-advertised role. Cryptology is disabled by default (if available at all) in many proprietary software applications where integrity of encryption algorithms (i.e. no back doors) cannot be verified and free(dom) software downloads of crypto packages is banned in some nations whose interests are seen as West-hostile (this controversy goes several years back and they label download “export” to make embargo rules applicable). Two relatives of two people I know were approached by spooks who tried to recruit them, one as a cracker and another as an informant (de facto infiltration); they both declined (and those who don’t decline cannot talk about it). Do not underestimate the extent of the surveillance industrial complex; it is embedded in society, possibly even in societies and clubs you are a part of. You would not know if you spoke to a secret agent unless s/he unmasked him/herself (at which point s/he was no longer secret). I only found myself speaking to a spook once (knowingly, there may be more), but I was warned in advance, so it already restricted the conversation. Be careful of Internet trolls or sources of provocation, or those who ask for more access into your privacy without first earning deep trust. Some provocation is indeed to incite and incriminate; same with the latter — it is to demonise, ‘expose’, destroy reputation or derail popular action against notorious rulers.
“Be careful of Internet trolls or sources of provocation, or those who ask for more access into your privacy without first earning deep trust.”Secret agencies are very relevant to software freedom and decentralisation because they help show us that free/libre software is essential. They can’t suppress it when people recognise what’s at stake. I may live a harder life because I choose to challenge some zealous forms of authority, but it sure feels rewarding. Recycling one’s trash and enjoying a life without materialism is a gift money can’t buy. Switch off public broadcast (government-endorsed programming), neglect and dismiss consumerism as a time-consuming distraction, pick up some digital tools that come in source code form and help fix what has become a corrupt society — one where the biggest criminals usually wear suits, loot everyone, and sneer at all those ‘smelly peasants’ from whom they derive all of their power. █
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The Red Room is still dominated by corporate guests like Gates and Ballmer
Summary: A summary of thoughts and analysis amid White House statements regarding the patent system
There is good news but also bad news, as we noted earlier this week. For quite some time now, US politicians have been pushing for reform involving trolls but not software patents, or scale rather than scope [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7].
“…fighting patents one by one will never eliminate the danger of software patents, any more than swatting mosquitoes will eliminate malaria.”
–Richard StallmanA high-tier court decision regarding software patents sure had the potential to change the consensus about patentability of software in the US. It didn’t happen though. The patent lawyers are littering 'legal' sites (designed for patent lawyers’ interests, suiting the target sudience) with yet more promotion of software patents, characterising the latest CAFC ruling as providing “limited guidance”. The problem is, the news feeds on the subject of software patents are filled to the rim with software patents promotion like this. By this point, those who claimed that many software patents had died in the US have been mostly washed away by the stampede of overzealous patent lawyers. It was the same after the Bilski case. Life goes on, the status quo is hardly challenged.
The EFF has lost its sting because it recently started focusing on patent trolls again (like this one), instead of software patents. Here is the alleged troll:
The “inventor,” Jim Logan, started a completely failed business around delivering audio news on cassettes. And now he claims to have invented podcasting and wants a cut. Once again, it’s an example of everything that’s wrong with the patent system.
Dr. Richard Stallman, whom I habitually chat with, famously said that “fighting patents one by one will never eliminate the danger of software patents, any more than swatting mosquitoes will eliminate malaria.”
Likewise, going after one particular segment is hardly the solution to the problem.
A lot of reports about Obama’s attention to patent trolls can be found out there, including weird intervention by a SCOTUS judge. As one reporter put it:
Given the timeliness of the issue, it’s no shock to see an op-ed about the issue in today’s New York Times, suggesting a solution to “[t]he onslaught of litigation brought by ‘patent trolls.’” But the missive comes from a surprising and influential source—Randall Rader, the Chief Judge for the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which hears all patent appeals.
Here is the original. Just like Judge Posner [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6], Rader turns into some kind of columnist, which is inappropriate and unprofessional. Rader responds to the White House’s move, showing himself to be another politician in a robe. Here is the original fact sheet accompanying this blog post, request for feedback, and social media posts. Well, we’ll spare unneeded repetition of the news and concentrate on EFF posts from Julie Samuels, who targets not software patents but patent trolls (loss of focus at the EFF). Gérald Sédrati-Dinet (of April) tells Samuels “go go go for a clear exclusion and/or exception for #SoftwarePatents” while Andy Updegrove, a “good lawyer”, has this analysis which says:
Yesterday, the Obama administration announced a new effort to curb baseless patent lawsuits, which it believes are stifling innovation and economic activity. The new initiative would take five actions under the President’s Executive authority, and also makes seven legislative recommendations intended, “to protect innovators from frivolous litigation and ensure the highest-quality patents in our system.”
Steph Kennedy, the person behind That Patent Tool and a funny blog about patent trolls, wrote about this also. Matthew Rimmer thinks aloud: “Given Obama’s US initiatives, why doesn’t the Trans-Pacific Partnership have proper safeguards against “patent trolls”?” Good question and probably a rhetorical one, too.
Press coverage [1, 2] and blog coverage [1, 2], including coverage from the Gates-funded ‘Guardian’, has not been great. It was shallow and it didn’t add much, unlike Masnick’s great site which noted:
We’d already discussed President Obama’s proposals for patent reform, but now that the announcement is official, it’s worth also looking at the report about the broken patent system that was released at the same time from the White House, put together by the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, the National Economic Council, and the Office of Science & Technology Policy. It’s a quick read, but does cover many of the high points of just how broken the system remains.
Will Obama put an end to Intellectual Ventures (IV), by far the world’s biggest patent troll which was was recently exposed as having around 2,000 proxies? It’s a pyramid scheme that should be pursued with criminal charges, not a mere reform in the patent system. Watch the “Cult of Gates” as iophk calls it. The pro-Microsoft site which does damage control like this as the CIO of Microsoft quits, is still trying to portray IV as anything but a troll. Bishop, a longtime friend of Microsoft who has whitewashed the Gates Foundation with its patent troll partner (IV) and continues to do so, is at it again, responding to the facts about IV by saying “Microsoft chief technology officer, who still works regularly with Bill Gates on a variety of businesses and projects.”
“Google knows how to fight, and if you look at their record, they tend to win in the end. As for Microsoft, is their motto, Always do Evil?”
–Pamela JonesYes, Gates is well connected to this troll and he too should come under Obama’s hammer, but will he?
Here is the original piece (transcript) and a timely reminder that trolls are not the sole issue. Obama should also go after companies like Monsanto and Microsoft,
Simon Phipps, OSI President, says about the damage control from the pyramid scheme that “Intellectual Ventures recognises we all think their business stinks and promises to do a better job hiding it” (IV is quite secretive indeed, and the thousands of proxies help obfuscate its modus operadi).
Pamela Jones helps remind us of how Microsoft uses trolls as proxies in its battles. Regarding Vringo Jones wrote: “A couple of things about this Vringo affair. First, Mark Cuban bought a 7% interest. Blech. Speaking of stupid patents, Google has asked for reexamination of the patents, and some of the claims were already preliminarily rejected. And with Google’s record in patent cases, these greedy folks may just end up put out of the Vringo lawsuit business. Hence Microsoft transferring to them some patents? You think? You can find directions to find the USPTO office action on the two patents in suit — 6,314,420 and 6,775,664 — here if you’d like to track it, and if you know of any prior art, sing out. Vringo investors stated that their goal was multiple billions in both damages and royalties from Google, and that dream has died, and they also predicted that they’d send Google’s stock to zero. What kind of malevolent dream is that? They imagined Google would settle. Good luck with that, bullies. Google knows how to fight, and if you look at their record, they tend to win in the end. As for Microsoft, is their motto, Always do Evil?”
On a separate occasion she wrote regarding MOSAID, another troll which Microsoft uses as a proxy. Correctly, in light of this article she wrote: “Good! People are noticing what I’m noticing. Have I not been telling you this for a long time? And may I please point out a smarmy irony? Microsoft is complaining with tears and loud outcries to courts about Motorola asking its usual price for FRAND patents, and meanwhile, it joins with Nokia to transfer FRAND patents to a troll, with the explicit hope of being able to avoid the FRAND commitment, as the article points out: “Nokia could not assert these 2,000 patents without breaking patent peace and risking counter-suits for patent infringement. MOSAID can use these patents without fear because MOSAID does not practice in the industry and immune to countersuits. The transfer also allows Nokia to evade a FRAND commitment not to charge more than 2% total royalty for all the wireless SEPs in Nokia’s portfolio.” Priceless. 2% is very close to what Motorola was asking. How amazing Microsoft’s gall is. Nokia… what can I say? It’s pitiful. Doesn’t Microsoft know how to compete without antitrust issues coming to stage front, center? They should put some of this wonderful energy into making better phones and tablets, methinks, instead. And if they can’t, they should step back and leave others alone instead working for destruction of others whose products people actually do want to buy. Patent litigation is what dying companies resort to. The article doesn’t seem to have a link to the article it says we should all read, so I looked around, and I think this is probably the one [PDF], an article titled “Patent Assertion Entities and Antitrust: Operating Company Patent Transfers” from April, available on the Antitrust Source website.”
“MOSAID can use these patents without fear because MOSAID does not practice in the industry and immune to countersuits.”
–Pamela JonesAnd what about IV? This is Microsoft’s largest troll proxy. It feeds companies that act as second-tier proxies, e.g, Lodsys, to attack Android and Apple’s iOS developers, essentially extorting them.
Jones had this to say about Apple: “Here’s what I think folks are missing. They keep writing that Samsung hasn’t done well in the US against Apple, as if Apple keeps winning. It won once, damages, but it failed to win an injunction. As for the Motorola case, Motorola won an injunction against Microsoft in Germany, but Microsoft then got a home-team judge in Seattle to block it. Samsung also won several rulings against Apple in the UK and in Europe. It prevailed in a Dutch ruling just this week, which found that it had not infringed Apple’s design patents. The UK not only ruled the same; if force Apple to publicly apologize for claiming that Samsung was a copycat.
“What is significant about this win for Samsung is this: It is the first time either Samsung or Apple has won an injunction against the other. The second huge win is because Samsung won at the ITC with FRAND patents, which both Apple and Microsoft have been claiming should never be allowed to even ask for an injunction. If we analyze the whole picture, then, I’d have to say Samsung is now doing better than Apple. I hate software patents, personally, and I don’t believe they are valid, and watching this all play out makes me hate them more, but if you are analyzing events, there is no question Apple’s thermonuclear war against Android is fizzling out, and after the President’s trim-the-trolls announcement, I think extremist patent strategies will be less and less successful, precisely because we are all sick of it and the President is now sick of it too, evidently. He may be focusing specifically on trolls, but all the fighting is exhausting and unappealing to watch play out. Nobody, other than the parties,
wants either company’s products banned. There. I said it. We hate patent law for even making all this possible.”
“…after the President’s trim-the-trolls announcement, I think extremist patent strategies will be less and less successful, precisely because we are all sick of it and the President is now sick of it too, evidently.”
–Pamela JonesAndroid is not under attacks only by trolls but also Apple, Microsoft and Oracle (CPTN), which faces growing opposition as documented by Groklaw over the past week or so. Tackling the trolls won’t be enough. Jones too said this several times before, so why cheer so much over Obama’s latest move?
Microsoft’s chief patent terrorist, Horacio Gutierrez, says “Devil’s in the details: Proposal to expand business method rules to software patents could harm innovation and jobs” (link to Microsoft’s lobbying blog where extortion legalisation is constantly advocated by Gutierrez). At least we see reaffirmation of Microsoft’s strong anti-Linux and anti-FOSS position. How convenient software patents must be for them now that they have a monopoly and a pocket deep enough to engage in SLAPP-based (strategic lawsuit against public participation) racketeering. █
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The NSA Mafia Don, Keith B. Alexander
Summary: What the newest NSA leaks teach us and why Microsoft is the most dangerous company in the food chain of this secret establishment of international surveillance
THE surveillance industrial complex is expanding very fast, with new datacentres and recruits being added to a secretive legion of almost 50,000 staff, plus the staff of data-hoarding technology corporations, notably in the United States (Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and beyond). Microsoft is a big component of it, especially with recent acquisitions like Skype and privacy-violating, living room-intruding spatial camera technology. This is not a theory but an established fact, although the corporate media often turns a blind eye (journalists are under war by the administration), which means that so-called ‘reporters’ omit details upon request, avoid covering some topics due to “national security”, and even plant disinformation, as we recently saw Murdoch’s press (Fox) doing for the NSA (more on that later).
“It is worth noting that the NSA is outsourcing the development of illegal spying software”It is worth noting that the NSA is outsourcing the development of illegal spying software. It should also be noted upfront that Microsoft is not alone in this, but Microsoft is worst when it comes to violations because on many computers Microsoft has its system running, and routinely (more often than not) the machine is left open to remote intrusion while connected to the Internet. We covered some examples before (see CIPAV for instance). People’s rights when put in the hands of companies like Microsoft are always bound to erode. Recently we explained how Xbox One removes people's control over games that they purchase (the computer will phone mother ship Microsoft routinely for no practical purpose as far as the user is concerned) and Tim Cushing speaks of this sacrifice of rights as follows: “As Microsoft stumbles towards the eventual release of the Xbox One (an all-in-one console apparently aimed at replacing all of your entertainment devices with a sleek black box equipped with eyes, ears and a frustrating inability to fire up a secondhand game without tossing some cash Points into the tollbooth), gamers (for the most part) have expressed their irritation and disbelief, even going so far as to call on Sony to not eff up the next Playstation with the same sort of purposefully limited feature set.”
This whole experiment known as Xbox has been a failed attempt to reposition Microsoft as an appliances company. Microsoft just lost billions of dollars and took a toll to its name when many people suffered from technical problems in the Xbox 360 (not just Red Rings of Death).
“That is why Microsoft feels like it needs to feed some patent trolls, extort numerous companies using patent terrorism, and bribe those among them which complain, notably B & N.”Based on a CBS article which cites another, things are not working for Microsoft at present, with Google and Android taking the lion’s share of the market. That is why Microsoft feels like it needs to feed some patent trolls, extort numerous companies using patent terrorism, and bribe those among them which complain, notably B & N.
The Microsoft-affiliated press engages in revisionism that misportrays computing history and helps boost software patents, showing a rather embarrassing disregard for facts. What Microsoft became better known for in recent years is censorship and surveillance, demonstrating the importance of software freedom. Here is some new example of Windows leaving the users open for intrusion by anyone:
Google security expert Tavis Ormandy has discovered a security vulnerability in Windows which can be exploited by any user on the system to obtain administrator privileges. Rather than reporting the vulnerability to Microsoft, he posted details to the Full Disclosure security mailing list in mid-May and has now published an exploit to the same mailing list.
Ormandy is a familiar figure in the security world. In recent years, the security expert has discovered many different vulnerabilities. He has also been known to take the shortest route when it comes to sharing information on vulnerabilities he has discovered: full disclosure, meaning rapid publication without informing the organisation behind the vulnerable software beforehand.
Sigh. Here we go again, a billion PCs with little or no security simply because they run M$’s OS. Even if you love M$’s software for other reason, no sane person should let all their IT rest on M$. They are an unreliable “partner”. With all the money they have they are not able to secure their OS because it is defective by design.
The NSA can now intrude any Windows-running PC, with impunity.
There are two types of controversy right now, both linked to the NSA and some new leaks. One is about Verizon phone records and another is about Fog Computing surveillance.
The FSF links to this report from The Guardian (I spoke to Richard Stallman about it last year), whereas the EFF focuses on another aspect of it. The good news is that the public all around the world is starting to catch up with the illegalities of the NSA (this is not news for many, but probably for most), which just like the CIA should be de-funded for engaging in criminal activities against whatever it perceives to be threat to “national interest”. Before he got assassinated President John Kennedy was quoted as saying he wanted to “splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it into the winds.” Here is the latest news:
The U.S. government has obtained a top secret court order that requires Verizon to turn over the telephone records of millions of Americans to the National Security Agency on an “ongoing daily basis,” the UK-based Guardian newspaper reported.
The four-page order, which The Guardian published on its website Wednesday, requires the communications giant to turn over “originating and terminating” telephone numbers as well as the location, time and duration of the calls — and demands that the order be kept secret.
Top secret court order requiring Verizon to hand over all call data shows scale of domestic surveillance under Obama
The Obama administration called government review of complete phone records of U.S. customers a “critical tool” in protecting the public from terrorists.
It’s worse than we thought.
Just one day after disclosing the existence of a secret court order between the National Security Agency (NSA) and Verizon, The Guardian and The Washington Post both published secret presentation slides revealing the existence of a previously undisclosed massive surveillance program called PRISM. The program has the capability to collect data “directly from the servers” of major American tech companies, including Microsoft, Google, Apple, Facebook and Yahoo. (Dropbox is said to be “coming soon.”)
The newspapers describe the system as one giving the National Security Agency and the FBI direct access to a huge number of online commercial services, capable of “extracting audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs that enable analysts to track a person’s movements and contacts over time.”
To quote a key paragraph: “The Post describes the source who sent the slides as a “career intelligence officer” who had firsthand experience with PRISM and expressed “horror” at what it could do. “They quite literally can watch your ideas form as you type,” the officer said.”
This is still being covered by very large publications at this very moment, finally making a major public debate over issues we have covered here for a long time (in daily links I have included nearly one thousand news links about the NSA). When people realise they’re under constant surveillance they’re rather outraged. It’s no longer just those “terrorists”, it’s everyone. Everyone is treated like a terrorist.
“It’s no longer just those “terrorists”, it’s everyone. Everyone is treated like a terrorist.”As shown above, even CNN and Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal (WSJ) covered the Verizon news, so it is no longer as secretive as it used to be. They have no point hiding it, as it would damage their credibility now that it’s major worldwide news (one of our readers says it may all be a non-news distraction to move attention away from imminent US intervention in Syria). Funnily enough, it was Murdoch’s other press, Fox ‘news’, which helped the NSA deny the allegations that it was spying on Americans. Fox ran a story back in April, receiving many links from hundreds of resultant articles that helped whitewash the NSA. What does it feel like to have lied to the public at such a large scale, at great expense to civil liberties and dignity? The mistake of Binney and Drake is that they didn’t leak enough hard documents to support their claims, leaving Murdoch et al. (plutocrats-run press) to exploit the benefit of the doubt and resort to plausible deniability (“a term coined by the CIA”). The latest NSA leaks change that. █
“But rather than a search engine or even a “decision engine”, Bing also appears to be a spin engine, in that it provides partisan answers to controversial topics, such as Steve Ballmer’s propensity to throw chairs to blow off stress.”
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