“The Chinese Are Coming!” (British Empire’s national broadcaster on the weak — and obviously hypocritical — narrative of Chinese ‘imperialism’)
Summary: Patents on algorithms are promoted in all sorts of misleading (but familiar) ways, which include bias by omission (cherry-picking), fake economics, distortion of statistics, and possibly xenophobia too (fear of China)
China seems to have become almost a role model or a poster child to Battistelli’s EPO (it wants applications from China at the expense of anything). Quality of patents does not matter to them. Public interests or service don’t matter either, just the profit of some tiny niche of people who make a living out of patents alone. Patent maximalists in the US, likewise, regularly use "China!" as their argument for patent maximalism (Watchtoll, IAM, David Kappos and IBM can’t stop talking about “China!”). It’s troubling because it’s incredibly dishonest and what they are doing is clearly destructive to their nations (not that they are patriots, they are just greedy and self-serving).
Their argument in a nutshell is, if we don’t allow algorithms be to patented, China will “win” — a loose term for simple-minded and careless people like Donald Trump (there are many reports like “Donald Trump stokes foreign policy fears in China”).
“It’s troubling because it’s incredibly dishonest and what they are doing is clearly destructive to their nations (not that they are patriots, they are just greedy and self-serving).”“Good to see that SIPO aligns with the EPO’s “any hardware approach” when it comes to patent-eligibility,” said Bastian Best (very vocal proponent of software patents but not a software developer) the other day. That’s the same man who had also linked to Steve Lundberg’s “patents4software” blog (non-developer speaking ‘on behalf’ of developers [1, 2]). Lundberg says “Kudos to China on Software Patents,” alluding to news which we covered in [1, 2]. They are trying to argue that just because China permits software patenting so should the US, which scales back if not eliminates them.
Jack Ellis, another lobbyist like Lundberg (they are disguised as professionals, but all they do is lobby), has just published this post titled “China relaxes rules on software patentability – and the United States loses more ground”.
Front groups like IAM are using shame tactics against the USPTO. It’s part of that push which we have been writing quite a lot about recently. They also do this in India quite frequently (at least twice in the past week alone).
“Front groups like IAM are using shame tactics against the USPTO.”Ellis says “United States loses more ground,” as if it’s a bad thing to control quality. Ar they really losing by improving their system? IAM’s lobbyists just can’t help but show what they really are. It’s not a news site and it’s just as biased as Techrights, except we in Techrights are not funded by anyone and certainly not selling influence under the guise of ‘journalism’.
Watchtroll was of course all over this too, pushing for software patents under the headline “China relaxing barriers to software, business method patents with revised patent guidelines,” which added business methods to it.
IAM didn’t stop there. The lobbying, which characteristically came out just before the weekend started, intensified even further with gross misinterpretation of data from a group antagonistic towards patent trolls, Lex Machina. See this IAM post titled “Software patents fight back in the US as Federal Circuit decisions begin to influence lower courts” and examine it closely enough. This is mostly fiction from the think tank known as IAM, which misinterprets data for the sake of promoting software patents, as usual.
“IAM is lying/distorting things again, but that’s just its business model.”The core of their argument is CAFC, where it says: “The fall in 101 invalidations at the end of 2016, though, may indicate that a series of decisions last summer by the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) including Enfish, Bascom and McRo is beginning to have an effect.”
There were far fewer patent lawsuits in 2016, and fewer people bothered even bringing software patent to courts (after Alice, for obvious reasons). IAM is lying/distorting things again, but that’s just its business model. That’s what many firms are paying it for. It’s their propaganda mill, it’s tasked with perception management, e.g. softening the image of patent trolls.
Writing about the same data as above — albeit without the lobbying (or pseudo-activist) slant — Law 360 said that Lex Machina “tallied the number of patents that courts have invalidated under Alice.” To quote the opening paragraph (most of it is behind paywall anyway):
The national law firms that handled the most patent cases in 2016 includes several big names that were also among the busiest in 2015, according to a new report by Lex Machina, which also tallied the number of patents that courts have invalidated under Alice.
We have repeatedly made the (hopefully compelling) argument that many software patents are now de facto invalid and their holders no longer even bother suing, as they can see the high (and growing) likelihood that legal action would officially turn their patents to dust, leaving these holders with nothing but legal bills. IAM’s conclusion, as put in the headline (to make it into news aggregators) is highly misleading, but that’s what their subscribers pay for. They deposit a small proportion of their income and withdraw influence and warped public perceptions. Some of the misguided clients might be lured into lawsuits that would be lost; only the lawyers would profit.
“We have repeatedly made the (hopefully compelling) argument that many software patents are now de facto invalid and their holders no longer even bother suing, as they can see the high (and growing) likelihood that legal action would officially turn their patents to dust, leaving these holders with nothing but legal bills.”Looking closely at what CAFC has been doing, in 2016 it agreed with PTAB invalidations almost 80% of the time and the same trend continues this year, based on figures that we recently shared here. Law films keep cherry-picking CAFC cases (even old ones, as IAM did above) in order to make it seem as though software patents still have ‘teeth’. Published in a few domains of patent lawyers and other lawyers [1, 2], one such law firm explained “Federal Circuit Rules Software Patent for a User Interface is Patentable Subject Matter,” but if one looks at all the other CAFC cases, then it’s abundantly clear to see that they are just cherry-picking cases and nitpicking reality. Later on we will write about some new cases where software patents are invalided en masse — not something that IAM would touch even with a 5-foot bargepole (bias by omission). █
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Winning by knocking others over?
Summary: Assessment of patent systems based on litigation (or “enforcement”) still a misguided yardstick but a glorified theme in the news sites controlled by (and for) the patent ‘industry’
“BEWARE,” AntiSoftwarePat[ents] wrote the other day, “Patent Trolls pretending to be ‘Inventors’ https://www.cta.tech/Policy/Issues/Patent-Reform/Urge-Congress-to-Support-Patent-Reform.aspx … #FixPatents because #PatentsMatter pic.twitter.com/qcdWnTA8v0″
The death of software patents may be already upon us, but now we need to ensure that these patents don’t cross the Atlantic and spawn new patent trolls in Europe. They have already crossed the Pacific and are growingly an issue (even an epidemic) in east Asia. We wrote more about this over the weekend and last weekend; in fact, this has been a recurring theme* here since about 2 months ago. It seems like a runaway issue as while it’s gradually dying out in the US the same symptoms can not been seen elsewhere and the EPO under Battistelli implements or emulates some of the worst aspects of the USPTO, including software patents in Europe.
Managing IP (MIP), in the face of strides against software patents in the US, sets up an event that seems to be promoting a case that helps patent trolls (Halo). To quote this new post about a so-called ‘webinar’ (usually dialogue/monologue with some programme): “Federal Circuit and district court rulings interpreting the Supreme Court’s Halo opinion on enhanced damages were analysed in a webinar presented by Managing IP and Fitzpatrick” (we can envision the content based on the presenters**).
These “enhanced damages” would be mostly applicable to patent trolls (or serial patent tax collectors) and this decision will, without a doubt, embolden some of them to make them more demanding/aggressive in courts. They can broaden the number of victims and the ‘protection money’ extracted from each.
On to a similar topic, Florian Müller revisits FRAND — a subject he used to habitually cover back in his Android-hostile days. This time it’s about automotive companies, namely Daimler and Hyundai. To quote:
About four to five years ago, there was a time when “FRAND Patents” would have been a more suitable name for this blog than “FOSS Patents”: the pursuit of sales and important bans over standard-essential patents (in violation of pledges to license them to all comers on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms), royalty demands far out of the FRAND ballpark and exorbitant damages claims were the three most important symptoms of a huge underlying problem, and I did what I could to shed some light on what was going on and going wrong.
While I’m glad that some of the worst potential consequences were avoided at the time, I have realized that there is some unfinished business in that area. Antitrust settlements and court decisions were helpful. Some of them, such as Judge Posner’s 2012 Apple v. Motorola ruling, were really great. But attempts to abuse FRAND-pledged SEPs are still rampant. Various SEP owners are still seeking injunctions (not in all jurisdictions but definitely in some). Royalty demands and damages claims still appear to be out of line in too many cases.
These patents are problematic for many reasons, especially for Free/Open Source software. To see automotive companies joining this wave is troubling to say the least and now that automotive companies are also patenting the act of driving cars we find this new article which speaks of “Patents Driving Autonomous Car Technology”. To quote a portion: “Autonomous cars is a new Technological leap in the field of transportation. Imagine millions of cars, heavy duty vehicles, ships etc. being driven without drivers which will save a lot of human labor. Also, if such technology makes commuting safe and makes you reach your destination in time with 100% safety, it will save many innocent lives which are lost every year due to human carelessness or negligence while driving.”
There are already some patent trolls in this area, if not the dashboard level (e.g. navigation) then AI.
We continue to worry about patent trolls, about FRAND (or RAND, or SEPs) and of course about software patents, but at the core of these issues we have patent maximalism, or the belief that the more patents exist and are actively enforced against most entities, the better off society will be. See this new article (behind paywall) from IP Watch to witness a symptom of this disease. Called the “Online [Patent] Enforcement Index,” what we have here is “Konstantinos Alexiou [who] created the Index Of Patent Systems Strength, which ranks the effectiveness and efficiency of the patent systems of 49 countries.”
Are people serious about this? Is this what it boils down to? Ranking countries based on patent activity, as if the more means merrier? Totally misguided and dangerously so! █
* Days ago IAM wrote about patent trolls which now operate in Korea, notably “Intellectual Discovery”. To quote somewhat of a background that’s appended to the article: “Intellectual Discovery, on the other hand, saw its CEO Kwang-Jun Kim quit last month amid what he claimed to be a budget crisis at the SPF. Quoted in a feature in the most recent issue of IAM, Kim suggested that Intellectual Discovery would become a fully privately held entity, and that hook-ups with other patent monetisation companies may well be on the cards. “Going private means we would have a little more freedom – we would be able to broaden our horizons, perhaps working with non-Korean operating companies and partnering with other NPEs, if those scenarios are consistent with our strategy and goals,” he told me. The DSS transaction seems to fit this picture pretty well; but it is likely to be one of the last deals to have been done largely on Kim’s watch. Whether the person who steps into his shoes continues along this course remains to be seen.”
** MIP is very pro-plaintiff, as one might expect the messenger of patent law firms to be. Here is its new article about how “Philips and Masimo have ended their long-running dispute over blood oxygen measurement patents” and here is an update from the Eastern District of Texas, where “Medtronic has been ordered to pay $20.4m in damages by an Eastern District of Texas jury for infringing a doctor’s patents related to idiopathic scoliosis treatment” (guess who pockets a lot of this money other than the plaintiff).
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“People naively say to me, ‘If your program is innovative, then won’t you get the patent?’” —Richard Stallman
Software development is NOT writing English sentences
Summary: Dealing with some of the hard (but soft, or invisible) issues in the US, where patents on abstract things are commonly misused for trolling/blackmail and abstract ideas have state tax associated with them
THE political landscape in the United States makes it increasingly unlikely that the patent system will be reformed in anyone’s favour, only in corporations’ favour (and corporations are not people). It is abundantly clear that the current proposals/bills on the table are unfit for purpose if the goal is really fixing the patent system. We already wrote over a dozen articles about this and today we present some of the latest finds.
“Patents threaten access to vital medicine” says a headline from South Africa, part of BRICS. It looks like South Africa is starting to view things like India does (I is India and S is South Africa in BRICS). Populist nations realise that many patents are unjust or even evil because monopoly is not more important than lives. South Africa and India both disallow patents on software, too.
“Populist nations realise that many patents are unjust or even evil because monopoly is not more important than lives.”What about the US? Well, as we showed three days ago (“GOP Media Deception, Healthwashing Patents”), the healthwashing tactics are being used to curtail and eliminate any potential of a reform. It’s the “PEOPLE ARE GOING TO DIE” sort of blackmail (if patent reform is passed).
GOP media (i.e. corporations) has played a big role in lobbying against patent reform, but oddly enough, someone called Mytheos Holt, writing in a GOP-leaning site, tackles what’s titled “The Three Dumbest “Conservative” Objections to Patent Reform”. To quote the key argument: “You have to give the enemies of patent reform credit: They do love to hide behind the idea that they’re defending the free market. To hear them tell it, in fact, they’re the only thing standing between America and a lawless jungle where Google and Apple can step on inventors with impunity and then laugh in their faces as the courts’ hands are tied.”
Here is a useful and long list of reform supporters: “Patent reform enjoys a long tradition of intellectual support from a wide range of right-leaning think tanks and advocacy groups. Conservative and libertarian groups that have advocated for patent reform in one form or another include Americans for Tax Reform, the Heartland Institute, the Cato Institute, the Heritage Foundation, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the MercatusCenter, Americans for Prosperity, Frontiers of Freedom, the Independent Institute, the Manhattan Institute, the Mises Institute, Institute for Liberty, Hispanic Leadership Fund, the Institute for Policy Innovation, the Latino Coalition, Independent Women’s Forum, Lincoln Labs,the American Enterprise Institute, the Center for Individual Freedom, American Commitment, Taxpayers Protection Alliance, the Discovery Institute, Generation Opportunity, Citizen Outreach and others.”
With so much support from so many groups, how come there is still no change? See Think Progress with its new article “Why Patent Trolling Is So Hard To Fix”. As Think Progress puts it: “Software developers could have a hard time getting their next big idea patented thanks to new rules the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued, making some inventions, particularly innovative software and medical devices, unpatentable. ”
Think Progress makes it sound like a bad thing. We wrote about this an hour ago and it is definitely good news. It’s why so-called ‘reform’ might not matter after all. It’s already happening owing to the SCOTUS (Alice and § 101).
“It’s a fantasy, and just like all fantasies, sooner or later it will get shattered by reality.”Meanwhile, as revealed by Accounting Today, lobbyists’ media [1, 2], and Wall Street media [1, 2, 3, 4], the US want to introduce a ‘lower’ tax on invisible things, as if that makes any sense at all. The US is taxing immaterial things, ‘stuff’ like mere thoughts. A much later article from lawyers’ media framed this as “Tax Breaks”, stating that “proposed legislation would enable a company to deduct 71 percent of income derived from qualifying IP or 71 percent of their taxable income, if less.”
This helps prove how crazy a system we’re dealing with here, where mere ideas (misleadingly names “property”, the P in “IP” or “IPR”) are treated as taxable and the corporate media now celebrates tax “discounts” on ideas. The Alice case, which tackles a lot of these abstract patents, justifies the common reference to the case: “Alice in Wonderland”. It’s a fantasy, and just like all fantasies, sooner or later it will get shattered by reality. No country in the world deserves such a rubbish patent system. █
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Summary: Stories about military interventions (analysis of the present)
Syria and Libya (Weapons)
The absence of immediate alarm inside the American intelligence community demonstrates that there was no intelligence about Syrian intentions in the days before the attack. And there are at least two ways the US could have known about it in advance: both were touched on in one of the top secret American intelligence documents that have been made public in recent months by Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor.
On 29 August, the Washington Post published excerpts from the annual budget for all national intelligence programmes, agency by agency, provided by Snowden. In consultation with the Obama administration, the newspaper chose to publish only a slim portion of the 178-page document, which has a classification higher than top secret, but it summarised and published a section dealing with problem areas. One problem area was the gap in coverage targeting Assad’s office. The document said that the NSA’s worldwide electronic eavesdropping facilities had been ‘able to monitor unencrypted communications among senior military officials at the outset of the civil war there’. But it was ‘a vulnerability that President Bashar al-Assad’s forces apparently later recognised’. In other words, the NSA no longer had access to the conversations of the top military leadership in Syria, which would have included crucial communications from Assad, such as orders for a nerve gas attack. (In its public statements since 21 August, the Obama administration has never claimed to have specific information connecting Assad himself to the attack.)
The Times article, based on dozens of interviews in Benghazi, asserts that the attack that killed four Americans, including US Ambassador Christopher Stevens, was carried out by Libyans who had previously been allied with the US government in the 2011 war that overthrew and murdered Gaddafi. Times correspondent David D. Kirkpatrick writes that the attack was not organized by Al Qaeda or any other group from outside Libya, but “by fighters who had benefited directly from NATO’s extensive air power and logistics support during the uprising against Colonel Qaddafi.”
Ed: Reports from last year, which are based on leaks, indicated that Benghazi had been used to funnel weapons to Syria. The leak’s coverage started in CNN and as the British press put it, “The television network said that a CIA team was working in an annex near the consulate on a project to supply missiles from Libyan armouries to Syrian rebels.”
PJ Harvey Brings Guests to BBC
January 05, 2014 “Information Clearing House – When I travelled in Iraq in the 1990s, the two principal Moslem groups, the Shia and Sunni, had their differences but they lived side by side, even intermarried and regarded themselves with pride as Iraqis. There was no Al Qaida, there were no jihadists. We blew all that to bits in 2003 with ‘shock and awe’. And today Sunni and Shia are fighting each other right across the Middle East.
Ten years after the US invasion began, a stable democracy in Iraq seems further away than ever
New biography of Darcus Howe claims struggle is ignored because it does not fit idea of Britain as ‘utopia of fair play’
U.S. media coverage of Nelson Mandela’s legacy celebrates the late icon’s forgiveness. They mean his ability to reconcile with some of the leaders of South Africa’s apartheid years, of course; but one area that gets relatively little attention is US support for the racist government Mandela fought against.
Designed to compete in the DARPA Robotics Challenge, this “female” robot could be the precursor to robo-astronauts that will help colonize Mars.
For a memorial service it was a remarkably jovial scene: Barack Obama, David Cameron and Helle Thorning-Schmidt, the Danish prime minister, huddled together for a smart phone photograph.
But one person looked distinctly less amused by the world leaders’ “selfie” – Michelle Obama.
The First Lady stared straight ahead, hands clasped in her lap, while her husband laughed with the Europeans at Nelson Mandela’s memorial in Johannesburg.
The US president was the first of six foreign heads of state to address the crowd assembled in Johannesburg’s FNB Stadium. Filled with demagogic phrases about “struggle,” “liberation,” “freedom” and “revolution,” the speech’s attempt to cloak Obama in the legacy of Mandela’s years of sacrifice, imprisonment and persecution was an obscene exercise in hypocrisy.
Most telling of all is the BBC’s reference to Libya – another nation destroyed by Western military aggression that saw both Russian and Chinese interests crumble overnight and replaced by Western corporations. While South Sudan’s chaos is being orchestrated more covertly by the West, the final goal of pushing out the Chinese and taking over is the same.
Draft plans for a European Union military mission in the Central African Republic envisage the deployment of hundreds of ground troops to buttress African and French forces struggling to prevent a bloodbath there, according to diplomats briefed on the proposal.
In 2011, the U.S. midwifed the creation of a new nation, South Sudan. Though at the time Obama invoked the words of Dr. Martin Luther King speaking about Ghana (“I knew about all of the struggles, and all of the pain, and all of the agony that these people had gone through for this moment”) in officially recognizing the country, many were more focused on the underlying U.S. motives, isolating the rest of Sudan as part of the war on terror, and securing the oil reserves in the south for the U.S. The State Department rushed to open an embassy in South Sudan, and U.S. money poured in to pay for the new government. Like his counterparts from Iraq and Afghanistan when the U.S. was still in charge of those places, the new South Sudan president was brought to the White House for photos, all blithely pushed out to the world via the Voice of America. The two leaders were said to have discussed “the importance of maintaining transparency and the rule of law.”
Zhongye (Pag-asa) Island, the second largest in the South China Sea’s Spratly Islands, has an area of 0.33 square km, and is of great strategic significance for China if it wants to control a vast part of the South China Sea that it claims to be its territorial waters.
As the Island is located roughly in the middle of the area, if China builds an air force and naval base there, it will more easily control the sky and sea in the claimed area.
The “Nazi” Smears and WW2 Recalled
The vast majority of students are exposed to marketing campaigns by food and beverage companies at their schools, usually for unhealthy products, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Pediatrics.
Sweden’s Justice Minister Beatrice Ask has been criticized for sharing a satirical article about legalized marijuana killing scores of people in the US and tying it to her anti-narcotics stand as a youth politician. Her critics did not hold back.
It is a story with deep roots: The chaos and destruction of World War II left a horribly fragmented cultural world: art lost forever in the confusion or destroyed in battle; art declared “degenerate” and destroyed by Hitler (whose opinions on racial purity were mirrored in his opinions on purity in art); art seized throughout the continent and carted back to Germany; and art stolen from or sold under duress by Jewish collectors. It’s now almost 70 years since the war’s end, but European authorities and the descendants of the original owners of looted art are still attempting to put the pieces back where they belong.
Close to 1,400 of these missing pieces were found in the home of 80-year-old Cornelius Gurlitt, a recluse who has been painted by the media as tragic, bizarre and potentially culpable. He inherited the art from his father, one of only four art dealers licensed by Hitler’s propaganda chief, Joseph Goebbels, to purchase and sell “degenerate” art during the war.
“There are so many unburied soldiers, it will take decades to find them. There will definitely be work for our grandchildren,” says Marina. “But nature is working against us. The remains are decomposing and it is getting harder to find the bones, ID tags and army kit.” The more years that go by. The less information there is.
An Alfred Hitchcock documentary about the Holocaust which was suppressed for political reasons is to be screened for the first time in the form its director intended after being restored by the Imperial War Museum, reports the Independent.
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Summary: The notorious GMO ventures of the world’s richest robber baron expand with the establishment of a new strategic outpost in Nigeria
Gates must be really desperate for more money. 7 billion dollars in gained wealth last year isn’t enough, he wants even more. Who to rob next? How about Africa? We wrote about this topic since the previous decade and covered some evidence highlighting how it’s all arranged. See for instance:
In a PR and grooming piece for Renee Kaufer from the Gates Foundation it is being revealed that “since December as our Africa offices are only now opening.”
“We are seeing the (re)occupation of Africa, but the corporate press does almost nothing to highlight these simple facts.”We warned about this last month and now it goes forward, promoting GMO (which Gates invests in). To quote: “The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation plans to establish a biotechnology lab in Nigeria which will help improve the countries biotechnology capacity for crop improvement. This was revealed by Professor Ivan Ingelbrecht of Ghent University, Belgium, who visited the country on behalf of the Gates Foundation and met with the Nigerian Minister of Science and Technology, Professor Ita Okon Bassey Ewa.”
They are very careful not to say “GMO”, but it’s obvious based on the context. Well, it’s all about return for investment, or simply a case of profiteering (Gates is hiring VCs for key role along with PR people, trying to exploit women’s rights for sentimental blackmail). Remember that this foundation also has peripheral PR agencies (not just Waggener Edstrom), which generate spin and control the press, panels, etc. (Gates has already bribed the largest African news site and taken groups like AGRA into his control through moles). Quietly but surely it is getting worse for African farmers, who will be indebted to some monopoly based in another continent (Monsanto). We are seeing the (re)occupation of Africa, but the corporate press does almost nothing to highlight these simple facts. █
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“They’ll get sort of addicted, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.”
Summary: The next generation of people in the former British colony can end up colonised by Microsoft with its proprietary, NSA-ready software
Not too long ago Microsoft was seen interfering with GNU/Linux in Africa and now we see that again. Last month in Oxford I spent an hour talking to someone from South Africa and he explained to me what Microsoft was doing there. He was a Free software proponent, so he was passionate about this. He explained how gentle Microsoft bribes got Microsoft into schools in there, derailing Free software and ODF plans.
iophk told us that Microsoft is “afraid of FOSS in African schools” based on this new article which says:
Microsoft is expanding the push for so-called “white spaces” broadband to South Africa, where it will help to deploy the technology in a pilot project serving five primary and secondary schools.
The pilot project is aimed at getting schools in rural parts of the country’s northeastern Limpopo province connected to the Internet. If successful, it could give South Africa a tool that would help the country reach its goal of affordable broadband for 80% of the population by 2020.
In the South African project, Microsoft will work with the University of Limpopo, government agencies and a local network builder called Multisource. The project will set up a central white-spaces radio at the university and one at each of the five schools.
This is a backdoor plan to occupy the server and desktop side, too. Schools should be made aware that students will be spied on by the United States unless they choose freedom-respecting software. With memories of apartheid they should be able to grok freedom.
“Schools should be made aware that students will be spied on by the United States unless they choose freedom-respecting software. With memories of apartheid they should be able to grok freedom.”The problem is not just Microsoft but proprietary software, especially from the United States. The NSA must already know about a lot of back doors in US-made products because it’s eavesdropping on everyone’s E-mails — HP’s and IBM’s included — and then uses legal threats against companies until/unlesss they comply with US law and obey orders of excessive surveillance. It’s not just the PATRIOT Act.
We see a lot of it in NSA-Microsoft collusion and LeftHand back doors leave room for concern in hardware appliance (it's not just LeftHand). HP admits having back doors in storage servers by stating: “All HP StoreVirtual Storage systems are equipped with a mechanism that allows HP support to access the underlying operating system if permission and access is provided by the customer. This functionality cannot be disabled today.”
Here is more in this admission:
Hewlett-Packard has agreed that there is an undocumented administrative account in its StoreVirtual products, and is promising a patch by 17 July.
The issue, which seems to have existed since 2009, was brought to the attention of The Register by Technion, the blogger who earlier published an undocumented backdoor in the company’s StoreOnce products.
Proprietary software is malicious and dangerous. South Africa oughtn’t touch it, and especially not impose it on children. This software comes from a country that labelled Mandela “terrorists” until 2008 and provided information to aid his arrest decades ago. █
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Higher financial yield for Gates, lower food yield for Africa
Summary: Gates is further expanding his war on seed freedom, promoting instead — in very nefarious ways — a GMO (genetically-monopolised ownership) agenda from which he derives great profit
THE Gates Foundation is hungry. It is hungry for more power and wealth and it is trying hard to make billions by investing in genetically-monopolised crops. The marketing strategy is to pretend it’s about curing people’s illnesses and/or ending hunger. In reality it’s about introducing higher cancer risk and making food more expensive, hence harder to acquire.
“It is rule/reign by proxy, relaying Gates’ policies for his investments.”AllAfrica, which Bill Gates has bribed to promote his agenda in Africa (this is a large hub of articles, some say the largest in the continent) published the puff piece “Gates Foundation to Build Standard Biotech Lab in Nigeria” and a similar ‘article’ (more like PR, maybe ghost-written by the peripheral PR agencies) repeats just talking points without doing any investigation. It says: “The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, an independent and Non-governmental Organisation, has concluded arrangement to build a standard biotechnology laboratory to help build human capacity in national programmes in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.”
Africa as a whole. Got that?
It is rule/reign by proxy, relaying Gates’ policies for his investments. Here is one part which echoes Gates’ henchman: “My mission in Nigeria as mandated by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is to see the possibilities of empowering Nigeria: the National Systems, Programmes in Nigeria, to have the capacity to use biotechnology laboratory technologies for crop improvement”.” Guess who pays this man’s wage. With a black face, a lot of people will fail to spot the ringleader and the foreign profiteer.
Is it actually doing good at all? No, this is not helping Nigeria. In fact, it harms it in many ways. Ask anyone familiar enough with Monsanto why that is. Gates gives these people bribes, as we covered on numerous occasions before (across Africa). Here is the latest example, an award as an excuse for passing bribes (endorsement came with money in the past, maybe this time too).
These people don’t seem to mind the fact that Gates is causing polio in Africa, for profit, through malicious corporations that exploit Africans and harm their health for improved revenue (notably Shell). To them, Africa is an opportunity not just because it has vast oil reserves underground but also because it can be extracted from the ground while causing great pollution (smoke, leaks) without incurring the wrath of lawyers. The same goes for clinical trials (drug experimentation on humans in large numbers, without the threat of litigation).
“The whole idea is to monopolise people’s food even in less Americanised nations.”They keep printing the lie that Gates is working to end polio, giving him credit for other people’s work.
While this plutocrat puts his money in abusive oppression we also see further confirmation that confidence in GMO is somewhat low. “According to Nation Of Change,” says this report, “in an article dated July 6, Bill Gates his foundation are preparing for doomsday by having a seed vault built in a permafrost mountain of Norway. Specifically in the on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen, which is part of the group of islands known as Svalbard. For those of you that do not know much about Mr. Gates here is a small run down of him according to news reports and articles available internet-wide. Mr. Gates is not only the creator of Microsoft and one of the world’s, if not THE world’s, richest man. But he is also known for funneling tons of money into the genetically modified food (GMO) realm.”
Yes, so sure about the value of GMO that they have a backup vault, eh? But that’s not the full story, as the main issue with GMO is the patents. The whole idea is to monopolise people’s food even in less Americanised nations. And Gates invests in this agenda (profit) while lobbying for it under the guise of “doing good”. We are not going to delve into research about pesticides, cancer, soil toxicity, etc. because it’s not our subject of interest (patents are more relevant to us), but for those who wish to know about GMO, there are plenty of good resources all over the Web and in published literature. Techrights has already covered GMO in African in some of the posts below. █
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Microsoft is trying to kill GNU/Linux in Kenya
Summary: Microsoft, which repeatedly tried paying those who embraced GNU/Linux to change course, is reportedly expanding this expensive strategy and may soon implement staff cuts to subsidise this misguided last resort
Microsoft and Apple are not doing as well as their investors are led to believe. The costs of computers are declining owing to GNU/Linux with affordable and energy-efficient ARM/Tegra chips. People realise that such systems better guard their freedom, too. More and more nations are now turning to FOSS for ideological reasons, not just purely technical or economic reasons. Microsoft and Apple try litigation as a business plan, but they are mostly failing. In the mean time, Apple’s value nosedives and Microsoft is scrambling to restore its illegal monopoly.
“More and more nations are now turning to FOSS for ideological reasons, not just purely technical or economic reasons.”Over in Kenya, where Microsoft has used very dirty tactics [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6], it is reported that Microsoft is still trying to crush GNU/Linux using a familiar strategy. “The Linux Professional Institute has opposed a move by Microsoft to partner with the Kenyan government in an ambitious US$2 billion laptop project,” says an new report. It adds that: “During a visit last month, Microsoft International President Jean Philippe Courtois met with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and announced a training partnership, a move that has received mixed reactions. The plan calls for the government to issue a laptop to every child enrolling in primary school next year.”
The man behind this push from Microsoft is a really malicious and dangerous sociopath, Mr. Courtois [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. They should seriously watch out. Rebecca Wanjiku of IDG covered this and she cites IDC, part of IDG (not stating the conflict). What we see here is a repetition of the war on OLPC. Microsoft used the same tactics to destroy that project and LPI seems to have learned a lesson, not just given lessons. “The Linux Professional Institute in Kenya has issued a position paper on the partnership, saying that it is a move to lock children to one operating system,” says the report. That is correct and we know this based on a long, agonising experience. It is not unusual for Microsoft to even bribe Africans to abandon GNU/Linux, as we showed in prior years.
“…don’t expect Microsoft not to try to sabotage such liberation efforts.”The final point made by IDG is, “The Linux Professional Institute in Kenya is hoping to convince the country’s leadership to explore and adopt open source solutions and join other countries that have done so, including Germany, Spain, France, China, Brazil, India, and South Korea.”
That is good stuff, but don’t expect Microsoft not to try to sabotage such liberation efforts. Now that the company is collapsing [1, 2] and more layoffs might be imminent the gloves are off and bribes are abundant. Here is the latest.
Nokia, which is now a pawn of Microsoft, not so long ago tried to help Microsoft gain leverage in sub-notebooks (netbooks), after Microsoft had allegedly bribed netbook makers to have them drop GNU/Linux.
According to this, Microsoft is doing that in phones now. To quote IDG:
Microsoft kicks back $5-$10 to resellers who peddle select Windows 8 hardware
Starting today, Microsoft will give resellers up to $10 for each device they sell from a list of 21 Windows 8 touch-enabled PCs and tablets, company executives said.
The new program is the latest move by Microsoft to kick up sales, which on the PC side have been downright depressing. Research firm IDC, for instance, has forecast a decline of nearly 8% for 2013, and has already hinted that the drop may be even steeper. In tablets, Microsoft has had little luck in making much of an inroad into a market dominated by operating systems built by rivals Apple and Google.
But the selective nature of the incentive program — fewer than two dozen different devices qualify — shows it’s also a continuation of a strategy Microsoft has used since last summer’s launch of the Surface line, when the company said it entered the hardware business to have a platform that really flaunted Windows 8.
Well, if bribing is Microsoft’s expensive strategy, then no wonder there’s such a mess coming later today. Can Microsoft continue its quarterly layoffs while distracting the press?
CEO Steve Ballmer expected to announce dramatic restructuring around services and hardware this week, sources tell AllThingsD.
That’s later today. Pay careful attention to what they are trying to hide. A “reorg” is always bad news, wrapped up in heavy PR (mass-mailing journalists, ghost-writing, comment AstroTurfing, et cetera). █
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