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02.05.14

‘New’ Microsoft Leadership Just Rebranding of Patent Extortion, Bribery, and Illegal Surveillance

Posted in Deception, Marketing, Microsoft, Patents at 7:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A closer look and briefer analysis (than most) of people whom Microsoft is grooming amid perception-altering appointments

Analysis of the press release from Microsoft has been shallow and promotional. Watch out for bogus ‘reporting’ from Microsoft boosters like Peter ‘Bright’, to give just one example among hundreds or thousands jaw-dropping puff pieces. Even some Microsoft-hostile circles have offered too week a scrutiny, if any at all. Let’s sum up what it’s all about (and it’s mostly marketing, not real news).

Microsoft has a new racketeer in chief, overseeing patent extortion along with Horacio while putting a ‘gentle’ face on it. It is all just a rebranding exercise — a familiar old trick that the company behind Kin and Vista is known for. This is a persona routine that marketing companies are renowned for and villains/abusers like BP or Monsanto are (in)famous for.

Also joining the leadership is the man best known for his leadership in GNU/Linux foe Symantec and his role in Seagate, a company sometimes known for its NSA connections just like Microsoft (those three are all connected, or even four if Symantec gets counted because Seagate preinstalls Microsoft software on drives and Symantec profits from Windows). As a timely side note, avoid Seagate. They are absolutely horrible, both technically (based on new studies [1, 2]) and ethically. Today I had to print labels at a high price at some shop to send back my faulty drive to Segate (Netherlands); they shipped me a faulty drive to replace another drive that had gone faulty. Seagate is garbage.

Last but not least, Microsoft boasts the involvement of serial felon, tax evader and patent booster, who is making money by charging taxpayers for his patents against their will and through governments (as an investor in Wal-Mart, for example, his quickly-growing money hoard is at least partly funded by taxpayers, as Wal-Mart itself admits [1]).

Based on what seems like a satirical piece about Vista 8, this man who joked about Vista being crappy (video from Homer) is now complaining about Vista. To quote Homer’s analysis of the satirical piece: “Bill Gates’ first day at work in the newly created role of technology adviser got off to a rocky start yesterday as the Microsoft founder struggled for hours to install the Windows 8.1 upgrade.

“The installation hit a snag early on, sources said, when Mr. Gates repeatedly received an error message informing him that his PC ran into a problem that it could not handle and needed to restart.

“After failing to install the upgrade by lunchtime, Mr. Gates summoned the new Microsoft C.E.O. Satya Nadella, who attempted to help him with the installation, but with no success.

As Will Hill points out: “Sadly, satire: PR for Gates and advertisement for Vista 7.”

This is pretty much all over the press these days: whitewash, humour, PR, and viral marketing. There was a similar story about Ballmer trying to get rid of a virus, requiring days of work and the help of several ‘engineers’. That was in Vista days, but in court documents it turned out that Ballmer and others really did struggle with Vista and expressed concerns.

Going back to Gates, it’s all decoy, distraction, and appeal to the press. So all we have here is one fake ‘charitable’ hoarder who increases his wealth by surveillance, private police thugs (G4S), GMO etc. and two people of ethnic minorities with proximity to NSA (Azure and Seagate). This is not change or reform, it’s just like the Obama speech about the NSA.

A week or so ago Microsoft booster Julie Bort was prolonging the myth of Microsoft as “an insanely profitable company” [2] when she said Microsoft should kick Gates out of the board. This reveals that Ballmer too will continue to be involved. So here we see that the architects of illegal activities still run Microsoft. Ballmer and Gates are to Microsoft what Clapper and Alexander have been to the NSA in recent years.

Remember that Gates has had a lot to do with Microsoft’s patent extortion strategy. Now that we learn about more patent deals [3] we should remember that there is nothing “gentle” or “charitable” at Microsoft. It’s the same ruthless people, including the man who was put on trial for business crimes and was arrested when he was young (to be bailed out by his affluent family). It’s all just marketing now.

“The new patent cross-licensing agreement is designed to protect both companies from patent lawsuits,” says the Microsoft booster about Google and Cisco. What a classic mischaracterisation of patents.

Where is the criticism of Gates for rackeetering? Where are the good investigative articles from Wired, which nowadays (on a weekly basis) seems to be acting as Gates’ private perception management journal?

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. In Rare Moment of Honesty, Wal-Mart Admits that Food Stamps Subsidize their Profits

    Walmart has been in the national spotlight for their poverty wages and employees’ reliance on government assistance. In their quarterly report, Walmart is set to announce that their profits have taken a hit. In a moment of rare honesty, they cited the Republican funding cut to the federal food stamp (SNAP) program as a part of the reason for their lower profit margins, admitting that the federal food stamp program amounts to corporate welfare that subsidizes their profits.

  2. Kicking Bill Gates Off The Board Is The Best Thing Microsoft Can Do

    Microsoft is an insanely profitable company standing on the edge of disaster. It desperately needs new thinking.

    With word that 22-year Microsoft veteran Satya Nadella is likely the new CEO, attention turns to the leadership of the company’s board of directors. It will have two former CEOs, Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer.

    So new thinking is unlikely to come from them.

  3. Google, Cisco sign deal to avoid future patent squabbles

NSA Watch: More Disturbing Revelations

Posted in Law at 6:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The latest reports which uncover misconduct at NSA and its accomplices around the world

  • Those NSA Transparency Reports From Google Aren’t So Transparent

    Google, Facebook, Microsoft and LinkedIn all made headlines today for releasing “transparency” reports about the number of users for which the U.S. government has requested data.

    We now know that major Internet companies have given up personal information from between 0-15,999 user accounts, but we don’t know what exactly was given up or whether additional data was taken without the companies’ knowledge.

  • NSA Reform

    The revelations, leaks, and laws of the last few years, from warrantless wiretapping and Edward Snowden to laws like SOPA, ACTA, and now the president’s attempt to fast track TPP, have painted a portrait of a superpower increasingly at war with the net. But people like the net, they live more and more of their lives on the net, which makes this conflict politically difficult and confusing.

  • Websites Vary Prices, Deals Based on Users’ Information

    “How can they get away with that?” said Ms. Frizzell, who works in Bergheim, Texas.

    In what appears to be an unintended side effect of Staples’ pricing methods—likely a function of retail competition with its rivals—the Journal’s testing also showed that areas that tended to see the discounted prices had a higher average income than areas that tended to see higher prices.

  • New Zealand Spy Agency Deleted Evidence About Its Illegal Spying On Kim Dotcom

    I have to admit that I’m consistently amazed at just how badly law enforcement in both the US and New Zealand appeared to screw up the raid and the case against Kim Dotcom. I’ve said it a few times before, but it really feels like authorities in both places actually believed the bogus Hollywood hype being spread by the MPAA about how Dotcom was really a James Bondian-villain, and acted accordingly, while ignoring any evidence to the contrary. As you know by now, the New Zealand equivalent of the NSA, the GCSB, illegally spied on Kim Dotcom and other New Zealand residents and citizens — and the New Zealand government then decided to try to hide that. While the police agreed that the spying was illegal, they declined to do anything about it, so Dotcom sued the government himself.

  • Has NSA Wiretapping Violated Attorney-Client Privilege?

    A document leaked by Edward Snowden, along with interviews with lawyers representing terrorism suspects, reveal a disturbing loophole in this once-sacred legal principle.

  • Perfecting the Art of Sensible Nonsense

    As a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1996, Amit Sahai was fascinated by the strange notion of a “zero-knowledge” proof, a type of mathematical protocol for convincing someone that something is true without revealing any details of why it is true. As Sahai mulled over this counterintuitive concept, it led him to consider an even more daring notion: What if it were possible to mask the inner workings not just of a proof, but of a computer program, so that people could use the program without being able to figure out how it worked?

  • Strong Man Snowden Rings the Bell in Geekland

    “I think Mr. Snowden did a great service to humankind,” said Gonzalo Velasco C. “He confirmed something many ‘crazy geeks’ have been saying for years. The countries that have denied him political asylum are to be remembered as cowards.” Nobel prizes are “not only about the real merit — we have seen former war-makers get a peace price! But I doubt he is going to get this one.”

  • NSA ‘spied on former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder’

    Mr Schroeder said he was unsurprised by the latest US spying revelation

  • NSA ‘tapped Gerhard Schröder’s phone too’

    Schröder, the Social Democrat chancellor who served from 1998 to 2005, appears on a list of names of people and institutions put under surveillance by the US National Security Agency (NSA) from 2002, at the start of his second mandate as German head of state.

  • NSA tapped German ex-chancellor Gerhard Schröder’s phone – report

    German media say Angela Merkel’s predecessor was put under surveillance after opposition to military action in Iraq in 2002

  • Anti-NSA Crusader Outraises Susan Collins in Fourth Quarter of 2013

    Shenna Bellows outraised Collins in the last quarter of 2013, raking in $331,454, compared with the $314,921 raised by Collins during the same period, according to filings made with the Federal Election Commission. The margin is slight, but it’s noteworthy in part for Bellows’s vocal stance against the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs, which she derides as unconstitutional.

  • NSA website can’t encrypt its covert mission to convert kids

    Lots of children play games and use toys related to adult careers: cops and robbers, spaceman, Operation, among many others. Playing in this manner teaches children about different jobs and inspires them to want to become doctors, cops or actors.

  • Belgian Prosecutor Looking Into Reports That NSA/GCHQ Hacked Well-Known Belgian Cryptographer

    Of course, looking into it doesn’t mean very much at this point. There had been serious concerns about how the NSA and GCHQ used the attacks on Belgacom to then bug systems at the EU Parliament in Brussels. Whether or not they’ll do something in response to “just” hacking a cryptographer remains to be seen — but it should remind basically everyone in the world that the NSA/GCHQ don’t seem to have any hesitation about hacking just about anyone.

  • Arizona first US state to attempt legal resistance to NSA surveillance

    Arizona’s state senate panel approved a bill withdrawing state support for intelligence agencies’ collection of metadata and banning the use of warrantless data in courts. The panel becomes the first legislative body in US to try and thwart NSA spying.

    The bill will now have to be approved by majority of the Senate Rules committee before it can move on to the full senate. It prohibits Arizona public employees and departments from helping intelligence agencies collect records of phone-calls and emails, as well as metadata (information on where and when the phone calls were made).

  • Yahoo leads NSA-FBI account content data demands

    Fresh disclosures about national security requests indicate that Yahoo was ordered to hand over content from more accounts than other tech firms during the first six months of 2013.

  • Dept of Justice official admits NSA ‘probably’ spying on members of Congress

    The US National Security Agency likely collects intelligence on congressional lawmakers and members of their staff, a Justice Department official admitted at a committee hearing on Tuesday.

  • House committee urges US government to get behind NSA reform bill

    Judiciary committee warns Obama administration to back USA Freedom Act or risk losing its counter-terrorism powers

  • Senior Congressman calls Greenwald a “thief” who sold NSA documents

    Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) has been very unhappy about the leaks by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden from the very beginning. Now the head of the powerful House Intelligence Committee has become one of several personalities at the heart of the NSA leak scandal to lash out at one of the journalists publishing stories about the documents.

  • Ex-NSA Chief Details Snowden’s Hiring at Agency, Booz Allen

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