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05.21.15

Gartner Group and NASSCOM: Will Lie for FUD, on Behalf of Microsoft and Proprietary Software

Posted in Asia, Bill Gates, Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 4:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft is like a political party

Bill Gates and Nasscom
Photo from NASSCOM’s Web site

Summary: Some of the latest arguments against Free/libre software turn out to be arriving from couriers of Microsoft and its agenda

LAST NIGHT’S article about Microsoft's lobbying in India sure made a lot of a splash. It had impact. It has been widely circulated by now, even by former Microsoft managers who had grown tired of the company’s abuses. Upon further research we found out the role of NASSCOM.

For those who cannot recall the historic role of NASSCOM, here is a quick summary of posts of ours, covering NASSCOM:

NASSCOM is now pushing against the Indian government’s Free software-friendly policy. Techrights is unusually popular in India (based on various Web metrics like Alexa) and our Indian readers have often been cynical about the integrity of their officials/politicians. They probably recognise Microsoft’s influence in the Indian government and right now Microsoft appears to be doing its lobbying (against FOSS) in India using a group that is tied to Bill Gates (not just Microsoft) and masquerades as non-commercial. This is gross distortion of justice, even corruption.

“NASSCOM is now pushing against the Indian government’s Free software-friendly policy.”Another Bill Gates-backed (and Bill Gates-funded) group, the Gartner Group, recently spread a lot of FUD against FOSS and advertised Windows using lies (some Gartner staff came from Microsoft). One very recent piece of FUD against FOSS (there is some against containers, using ‘security’) says that there is a lack of skills. Gartner recently injected these claims into a lot of Web sites, assisted by gullible writers. Mike Olson, speaking to the media, shoots down Gartner’s latest FUD, noting that Gartner cites a non-existent dilemma. And to use his own words: “The reason I think Gartner’s report is off base, enterprises don’t need to build deep data science skills if they can buy solutions and applications that run on top of the platform that allows them to solve business problems.”

The problem with Microsoft is that it is well connected and a lot of the talking points against Free software come from buddies, partners, former staff and mouthpieces of Microsoft. This cannot be conveniently ignored and refuting the lies isn’t a case of shooting the messenger, just showing who the messenger works for/with.

02.17.15

Microsoft Already Killed Nokia, Don’t Let It Kill Android Players Too

Posted in Bill Gates, Deception, Microsoft at 6:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Microsoft’s strategy against Android mirrors the company’s evil strategy that derailed MeeGo and Nokia

THERE remains a small crowd in the Free software world that is easily fooled by Microsoft’s claims that it’s warming up to Free software (though Microsoft won’t use the “F” word, it just wants to kill Freedom). It’s a harmful façade which facilitates infiltration and today we are going to remind readers of what Microsoft is really up to. It’s a moles strategy.

“Patent extortion is not “pro-competitive”, it is anti-competitive, but that’s just what happens when Microsoft lobbyists speak out.”Microsoft's attack on Android through Cyanogen is easy for all to see. Cyanogen hates freedom; it hardly makes any pretenses about it. It’s not about choice, it’s not about privacy, and it is definitely not about freedom. It’s likely to become all about Microsoft. But not only Cyanogen is part of this subversive strategy. Samsung too seems to have been pressured into it. Florian Müller, who was paid by Microsoft (specifically the patent exotortion part of the company), wrote this ludicrous thing the other day: “Congratulations to @MicrosoftIP and @Samsung on settling their Android patent royalty dispute. This is good news bc it’s pro-competitive.”

Patent extortion is not “pro-competitive”, it is anti-competitive, but that’s just what happens when Microsoft lobbyists speak out. Well, perhaps that’s Microsoft’s money talking. Müller openly admitted to me last month that Microsoft had paid him more than once.

Well, the upcoming S series (Galaxy) is not infested with Microsoft apps based on reports we have posted in recent days in our daily links. Perhaps this is only the “embrace” stage, not yet the “extend”. Microsoft’s criminal track record and series of dead products (including Windows Mobile) ought to serve as a warning here. Nokia is pretty much dead to the bone and almost exactly one year ago Motley Fool (Microsoft-affiliated) published some ugly revisionism about it, flattering Microsoft and hailing it as some kind of rescuer rather than a killer/assassin of Nokia, which had only begun seriously adopting Linux, quickly becoming one of the top contributors to Linux.

What Microsoft did to Nokia was an utter failure, but not according to a Microsoft spinner who wrote:

Nokia’s 2011 decision to collaborate with Microsoft by swapping out Symbian with Windows Phone was a good one, but by the time it was made, the sun was already setting.

This is completely untrue as a lot of evidence suggests. Nokia had released devices with MeeGo and they did quite well despite the fact that Microsoft quickly buried them. Windows was always a dud and people did not want another Windows/Office on their phone. This whole idea was rejected by the market, whereas Android as an option for Nokia would have worked quite well (many apps, virtually no security issues, low cost). Motley Fool, which is associated with MSN (Microsoft), did at least conclude correctly:

So no, these latest results aren’t quite the final chapter for Microsoft/Nokia phones…but that unit’s best days are clearly far behind it, and it doesn’t look like it has much of a future to speak of.

Don’t let the Android leaders (like Samsung) become another Nokia. There is already a lot of distortion of history, exploiting people’s short memory span. We are being assaulted by media ownership and control, as exercised by Bill Gates under disguise of ‘charity’ in order for him to hoard more money while the media keeps people dumb about it (thinking he is giving money). Vis-a-vis Gates, Microsoft executives are lobbying China to adopt Microsoft’s back doors that the NSA uses for espionage purposes (with Microsoft’s help). As China bans Microsoft software (rightly so for security reasons) Bill Gates reportedly goes lobbying China’s technology minister. China has by far the biggest mobile market. How insidious an opportunist Gates has become. How many companies does he need to kill before the world wakes up and takes defensive/reactionary steps?

01.07.15

Microsoft Fired Chief Privacy Officer for Suggesting Real Privacy

Posted in Bill Gates at 7:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Caspar Bowden

Summary: The story of Caspar Bowden retold in the media, noting that he lost his job after he had warned the abusive company about the NSA

Caspar Bowden recommends GNU/Linux. He wasn’t always like that however. He worked for Microsoft, but right now he works hard explaining to people that Microsoft is a sham when it comes to privacy. He should know. He was the company’s Chief Privacy Officer. He warned about Microsoft’s NSA situation almost 4 years ago.

“Caspar Bowden recommends GNU/Linux.”This new article, originally titled “Ex MS privacy head had warned of cloud spying, but lost his job”, shows how the Microsoft cult treats people with morals. The article has been retitled “Former Microsoft privacy head had warned of cloud spying” (no explanation for the headline change) and there is another article like it, concurring with the former article and saying that he was fired. To quote this latter article:

In 2013, when Edward Snowden began leaking information about the massive surveillance program known as PRISM, much of the world was shocked.

But for dozens of high level Microsoft employees, the news may have been old hat.

According to Microsoft’s then-Chief Privacy Advisor, Caspar Bowden, he warned dozens of colleagues in 2011, two full years before Snowden’s National Security Agency disclosures became worldwide news. Specifically, he says, he told dozens of colleagues that increasingly gutted American privacy laws, thanks to the 2008 FISA Amendment Act, meant the NSA could conduct “unlimited surveillance” on cloud computing data sold to foreign countries.

So here we see someone who did care about privacy. What did Microsoft do about him? It fired him. It says a lot about Microsoft.

As we showed numerous times last year, Bill Gates supports the NSA and disregards Edward Snowden. It has been like that since the nineties at the very least. Unlike Richard Stallman, whose interviews with us are being re-encoded right now, Gates openly supports surveillance, bribes newspapers to fool the public about him (glorifying tax exemption loopholes), and based on one of our readers, “Wired continues shilling for Bill”, essentially whitewashing criminals with a new PR piece.

It is sad that people who obey the law and wish to compel a company to obey the law lose their job, whereas the criminals become very affluent and seemingly admired by the journalists whom they bribe for it. In some ways, Caspar Bowden is like John Kiriakou, except he only lost his job rather than go to jail for nearly 3 years (for exposing illegal torture).

01.05.15

Bill Gates Does Not Want to Pay Tax (Uses Proxy to Avoid It), Only to Continue to Tax Society With Patents and Other Monopolies

Posted in Bill Gates, Finance at 4:13 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Thomas Piketty
CC BY-SA 4.0

Summary: Piketty is approached by Bill Gates, who bemoans the idea that the plutocrats too should pay tax like the rest of us

BEST-SELLING author Piketty reveals some interesting details about the mindset of Bill Gates, the man who created — using criminal activity — software monopolies and is now preoccupied with monopolies in education (public sector), a GMO monopoly, etc.

“This relates to the whole “job creator” myth — a myth more harmful that that of the “free market”.”As mentioned the other day, Gates is increasing his personal wealth very quickly. He is not giving away or back, except in the form of media distortion and spin (he bribes a lot of publications and channels for this distortion and spin). The money he acquires is not earned through hard work; some of it is essentially stolen from taxpayers (through bamboozled politicians), taken by force from poor and exploited people, and on top of this Gates evades tax using the Gates Foundation.

A reader sent us this article about two of the most famous people for supposed ‘charity’ (actually investing tax-free in large corporations that exceptionally harm society and the planet). The article says that Bill Gates and Warren Buffett became $21.1 billion richer in just one year (last year). To quote: “The fact that wealth begets more wealth was illustrated once again last year by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, currently the two richest people on Earth. According to Bloomberg, the pair finished 2014 a combined $21.1 billion richer than when the year began. (Gates’ fortune rose $8.1 billion to a total of $86.6 billion. Buffett’s rose $13 billion; he’s now worth $73.8 billion.)”

A lot of gullible people think that Gates is feeding the world with wealth rather than hoarding at the world’s expense (this money comes or is generated by other people’s labour), so to them the idea of Gates dodging tax may seem appealing. This relates to the whole “job creator” myth — a myth more harmful that that of the “free market”. Gates and Buffett happily let their bribed papers tell us they are “givers” and the Wall Street press (Bloomberg), owned itself by a plutocratic billionaire, reveals what Gates thinks about paying tax:

“I had this discussion with Bill Gates a couple of weeks ago,” Piketty, the author of “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” said today at an economics conference in Boston. “He told me, ‘I love everything that’s in your book, but I don’t want to pay more tax.” A tax on wealth is one of Piketty’s key recommendations for addressing inequality.

The famous thief Bill Gates literally tells Piketty: “I don’t want to pay more tax”. what a ‘generous’ guy, eh?

“Minor Gates apology going on there,” wrote to us a reader, “and emphasized in articles based on the Bloomberg post.”

Never expect balanced coverage of Gates from Wall Street papers that are themselves owned by famous billionaires. This includes the Wall Street Journal, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch. These newspapers exist to serve power and depreciate privileges of all except the super-rich.

01.03.15

Despite Controversy and Backlash From Scientists and Human Rights Activists, the Gates Foundation Continues to Promote Private Prisons and GMO Ventures That It Profits From

Posted in Bill Gates, Patents at 1:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Prison

Summary: Bill Gates continues to engage in class war by creating a penal system that maximises detention while giving poor people dependence on giant food monopolies, both of which he profits from

THE Gates Foundation‘s destructive path is not news. A lot who are sceptical of corporate media have been paying attention to how the Gates Foundation bribes a lot of writers (even bloggers) to bamboozle those without critical skills, so we live in a world where a lot of people think that GMO is about ending hunger and that Bill Gates is a charitable man (they don’t know he invests in GMO, which is essentially a patent monopoly on nature).

“He just keeps getting richer at a pace of about 10% per year”Bill Gates has been working with PR magnates for well over three decades, so he knows how to play this game. He would pose for photos to appear in newspapers, usually with black kids or poor kids (ultimate PR hit in local/national media), but won’t even paint a bridge [1, 2] or associate himself with tasks he never did (he grew up in a super-affluent family with many helpers). He would fly a private jet to very poor areas, contributing little more than carbon and a dangerous impression that the world’s plutocrats are those who will save it (famous mythology that serves power). Let’s look at some recent figures. The super rich people are getting richer and richer ($92 billion richer in the past year for the richest 0.000000006% – yes, that’s in 2014 alone!) while using their corporate press (bribed or subsidised) to fool or scam the public. Here is how much money Gates has made last year:

Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft Corp., was up $9.1 billion during the year.

Wow, what a giver! He just keeps getting richer at a pace of about 10% per year. Last year was more than 10%. Is this a cause for celebration? This wealth came from somewhere, he wasn’t created in a vacuum. Michael Bloomberg, a billionaire himself, helps glorify the looting in his publication:

The world’s 400 richest people added some $92 billion to their collective wealth in 2014, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. As of Dec. 29, they were all worth a combined $4.1 trillion.

The reasons we have hunger in the world include the fact that just 80 people or so have the same combined wealth as 3,500,000,000 people (the poorer people). It is a wealth distribution issue. The 400 richest people probably have as much in combined wealth as the poorest 5,000,000,000 or so people (the latter figure is a conjecture, the former is established). Watch another billionaire, Rupert Murdoch, using his Wall Street-centric media to once again whitewash the name-shifting “Bill Gates Investments” (basically a Gates Foundation extension that does not need to pretend not to be after money). That what happens when you have much to dodge. Gates invests in big polluters and even worse companies than that. The Gates Foundation wishes not to be seen as an investment vehicle, but the decoupling is merely cosmetic. Gates supports private prisons (to control the poor) by investments in G4S and reportedly in GEO. Here is last month’s article from Mother Jones:

Is the Gates Foundation Still Investing in Private Prisons?

[...]

In recent years, the GEO Group has faced accusations of detainee abuse and substandard care in multiple states. In 2012, Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Office of Detention Oversight reported that GEO Group’s Adelanto facility near Los Angeles had committed “several egregious errors” in administering medical care to detainees. (GEO Group has repeatedly dismissed allegations of mistreatment.) More recently, a group of former immigrant detainees in Colorado sued the company for making them work around the prison for minimal pay, sometimes under the threat of solitary confinement. (The GEO Group said detainees were working under a “volunteer work program” and that its $1-per-day wages met federal standards.) The Gates Foundation Trust did not respond to requests for comment directed through a foundation spokesperson.

According to the Gates Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates—the only members of the trust’s board—have defined areas that the trust will not invest in, “such as companies whose profit model is centrally tied to corporate activity that [Bill and Melinda Gates] find egregious.” Tobacco companies fall into that category.

The trust’s last reported investment in the GEO Group took the form of a $2,148,790 bank loan. (The Gates Foundation Trust did not issue the loan itself. The term “bank loan” refers to a type of corporate debt that companies with low credit ratings occasionally sell through a conventional bank to get extra cash.) The asset was reported in a tax form filed with the Internal Revenue Service this October, but is accurate only through October 2013.

Bank loans can yield higher returns for investors than stocks or bonds, but their ownership is harder to trace independently.

In April, after demanding Gates divest from the GEO Group, supporters of a coalition of immigrant, Native American, and Latino rights groups rallied outside the foundation’s Seattle headquarters. The foundation eventually accepted more than 10,000 petitions from the activists and promised to submit their grievances to the trust.

“Bill Gates needs to be transparent about whether they’re still investing in GEO Group,” says Mariana Ruiz Firmat, managing director for Presente, which organized that protest. “It’s really problematic for the foundation, which claims to invest in communities of color. By investing in GEO Group now or in the past, that goes against communities of color.”

It’s not just prisons that Gates makes the news for. There is also the GMO venture he profits from, causing health issues (pesticides and mutations of genes) just so that he can secure a profitable monopoly on food. As one site put it last month:

At least 124 food and outreach organizations, as well as 26 individual scientists, have signed onto a letter sent to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation protesting ongoing human trials of genetically modified (GM), beta-carotene-enriched bananas intended for Africa.

The GM bananas, which never underwent animal trials, are currently being administered to 12 students attending Iowa State University (ISU), presumably without full disclosure as to the many unknown risks involved.

According to the letter, the trials are taking place under the guidance of Dr. Wendy White, an associate professor of food science and human nutrition. Funding for the trials came from a grant issued by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

“We, the undersigned, representing diverse constituencies from across Africa and the world, working towards food sovereignty, are strongly opposed to the human feeding trials taking place at the Iowa State University involving the so called genetically modified (GM) ‘super banana,’” reads the letter.

Here is how The Ecologist put it: “Among the controversial projects funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is the development and testing of a biofortified GMO banana developed to boost its iron, Vitamin E and pro-Vitamin A content.

“To this end the Foundation, via its Grand Challenges in Global Health Initiative, has so far given $15 million to Queensland University of Technology for the program run by Professor Dr James Dale, with a latest tranche of $10 million handed over this year.”

Here again we see what Gates makes money from. Quite a good doer, eh? He seems to be following the footsteps of his father, who himself seems to be a businessman masquerading as good doer until his nineties. “Bill Gates Sr.,” says a Gates-connected site, “the 89-year-old father of the Microsoft co-founder, has resigned voluntarily from his position on the Costco Wholesale Corp. board, according to a regulatory filing from the Issaquah, Wash.-based company.”

If Bill Gates junior has another 30 or so years to harm the world for profit, then we are really in serious trouble.

Bill Gates Buys the System, Writes Cheques to the White House

Posted in Bill Gates, Microsoft at 12:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Cheque

Summary: The latest reports about Gates’ attempt to buy the hearts and minds of the young generation by taking over the schools system in the US

THE Gates Foundation has been Bill Gates’ private front group for advancing his for-profit interests under the guise of goodwill or charity. Gates is not the only plutocrat who uses such mechanisms to camouflage his agenda, but he is probably the biggest among them. A lot of charities are basically a sham (self-feeding money vacuums that call for public input or taxpayers' money) and explaining to the public why this is so is not harming charity but defending the integrity or real charities. They have gotten a bad reputation because of people who exploit them, not just for tax-exempt status.

“The thing that motivates Gates to get involved is that he profits from it.”The other day there was a widely published report about Gates’ intervention in a taxpayers-funded system that he seeks to privatise for profit (we wrote many articles about Gates’ abduction of the US education/schools policy). It is probably the biggest and most lucrative such system except the US Army (trillions in money flow, excepting black budget). “When he took the stage,” said the article, “Bill Gates used the word “naive” — four times — to describe himself and his charitable foundation.”

Well, apparently he is not willfully ignorant. He knows damn well what he is doing. Valerie Strauss, a respected critic of Gates, recently wrote about Bill Gates buying agenda in the US public sector, primarily education. Her piece in an American journal of record stated: “In terms of dollars spent, Gates is the leading billionaire/millionaire who has poured money into school “reform” in recent years. Such philanthropy has raised questions about whether American democracy is well-served by wealthy people who pour so much money into their pet projects — regardless of whether they are known to be useful in education — that public policy and public funding follow in their wake.”

Here is an article about this original report from Strauss:

Gates has been credited by some and blamed by others for the spread of Common Core, which was initially adopted by 44 states and the District of Columbia. Since then, several states have repealed Common Core altogether, while others are making changes to the testing or are reviewing the standards.

The thing that motivates Gates to get involved is that he profits from it. It has nothing to do with sharing, it is about power. Moreover, based on this other new report, Gates is now giving cheques to the White House, possible in order to promote Windows in computer science:

The White House also announced $20 million in private donations to train 25,000 computer science teachers by 2016. Donations came from companies like Google and Microsoft and individuals like Bill Gates, Napster founder Sean Parker, LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman and others.

Notice how both Microsoft and Bill Gates put money in there. Microsoft is not a charity, so we can safely assume that the monetary gift has been justified as serving Microsoft’s bottom line.

Thousands of Child Rape Photos Traded Out of Bill Gates’ Mansion

Posted in Bill Gates at 12:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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

Bill Gates

Photos

Summary: Bill Gates finds himself under scrutiny as people who are very close to him turn out to be making money from pedophilia

MR. GATES AND THE Gates Foundation are not going to comment on this incident. The ‘brand’ would be hurt. Distancing itself would be wise, but to dissociate from the crime would not be trivial.

“The amusing thing — not that child abuse is in any way amusing — is that he actually uses Google (not Microsoft) at Gates’ home.”We already wrote many articles about how Bill Gates gets children addicted to malware (like a drug dealer), but his staff goes further by trading pedophilia out of Gates’ own home. The amusing thing — not that child abuse is in any way amusing — is that he actually uses Google (not Microsoft) at Gates’ home. The British press has this to say:

An engineer employed at the home of Bill and Melinda Gates has been charged with possession of child porn after he was discovered to have more than 6,000 images depicting rape and sexual abuse.

Rick Allen Jones, 51, of Seattle, allegedly had thousands of images stashed on his home computer, according to court documents this week.

Here is what the press in Seattle (close and in some ways connected to Gates) wrote about this incident. The American press speaks of this interesting bit:

Jones has not been jailed, but he is ordered to stay away from all children.

Get this.

No jail after trading thousands of photos of child rape. If it was legal, Gates’ Corbis would probably have monetised that too. Perhaps — just perhaps — being close to Gates contributed to this (knowing politicians and having secret access to the system helps). Gates never ends up in jail, no matter how many crimes and how severe the crime he commits (there are many examples like this photography business, not just driving violations). Gates himself got arrested in the past, but he was rich enough to pay his way out of jail. Moreover, this is not the first time that Gates employs criminals (at a very high level even) who go to prison or even kill people. Examples were given here before.

12.16.14

Bill Gates’ Pet Troll Intellectual Ventures is Collapsing as Founder Quits

Posted in Bill Gates, Microsoft, Patents at 4:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Gates and his friend are not having the last laugh

Bill and Nathan

Summary: Intellectual Ventures founder leaves after an exceptionally large round of layoffs, despite recent subsidies from Sony and Microsoft

As noted in the previous post, software patents are gradually going away (if trends are to be judged). Not too long ago we showed how Intellectual Ventures laid off much of its staff after the Alice ruling (amid other ongoing issues). The layoffs were widely reported on and now we learn that Detkin is leaving while saying that “market is tough right now”. It is hilarious because he refers to extortion as a “market”. The news about his departure is excellent news, but he probably won’t go to prison for extortion and a pyramid scheme.

Here is the word from the site which targets trolls but not patent scope:

Here’s some schadenfreude for your Monday: seems that Peter Detkin is leaving Intellectual Ventures. As I noted about a year ago, IV has been having a tough time, although it’s not clear why Detkin is stepping down.

It is worth noting that Sony and Microsoft recently paid more money to Intellectual Ventures in order to keep it afloat. It is also worth noting that Microsoft and Sony share investments in other massive patent trolls and they also share a role in crimes, outlined in part by [1,2,3] (below) and revelations about Sony threatening journalists while launching DDOS attacks. As Will Hill put it the other day:

Inside the Perception Management and Censorship Machine: The Sony Crack Yields Evidence of More Sony Criminal Conduct

Techdirt reports political corruption and bribery against Google by all the major movie studios, all missed by the incompetence or malice of The Verge, a Microsoft mouthpiece. Big publishers are insatiable censors interested only in maintaining their dominant position as determiners of world culture. Google’s efforts to please them only served evil.

The Microsoft press also focuses on Hollywood celebrities and personalized trivia. While it’s nice to learn that Sony executives are racist pigs with a 0.01% sense of privilege and power, hundreds of articles like this will pollute the name space and make it difficult to find real news later.

email exchanges also included racially insensitive remarks about President Obama and derisive comments about Hollywood heavyweights like Kevin Hart and Adam Sandler.

Microsoft often pollutes name spaces and is probably coming to the rescue of their big publisher pals. Microsoft is also persistent censorship threat. They are the biggest issuer of DMCA take down requests, a prolific briber of public officials, university professors, and they created an entire search engine by spying on Windows users to know what results scrape from Google. If you want to know just how dishonest a company they are read their training manuals about subverting the press [2]

Sony themselves are using every botnet and cracking tool at their disposal to stop people from sharing their leaked emails. Amazon Web Services is also being used to censor the files. It’s not about movies, it’s about the embarrassment of power.

The company is using hundreds of computers in Asia to execute what’s known as a denial of service attack on sites where its pilfered data is available … Sony is using Amazon Web Services, the Internet retailer’s cloud computing unit, which operates data centers in Tokyo and Singapore, to carry out the counterattack … individuals who attempted to access the torrent file encountered bogus “seeds” — or computers — that sapped the resources of their software …

There’s a great deal of fear mongering and BS going on. While the attack was typical Windows malware, the FBI is reported to say it’s really sophisticated and that 90% of businesses and governments are open to similar attacks. If you don’t use Windows, you don’t have to worry about this one. The FBI also says there is no connection to North Korea, but that’s being brought up about as often as Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.

Sony is a criminal company as has been obvious since their nasty music CD root kit fiasco. Not only did they root millions of computers, which must have included sensitive “protected” military, government and health care systems, they committed criminal copyright infringement by using GNU software to make it. As Richard Stallman noted at the time,

Sony didn’t comply with all that [the GPL]. That’s commercial copyright infringement, which is a felony. They’re both felonies, but Sony wasn’t prosecuted because the government understands that the purpose of the government and the law is to maintain the power of those companies over us, not to help defend our freedom in any way.

If you did not believe him then, Snowden and other brave people are providing you with plenty of proof.

One more area where Sony and Microsoft intersect is patent attacks on Google, among other attacks of other types. See the new report titled “Leaked Emails Reveal MPAA Plans To Pay Elected Officials To Attack Google”. A lot of companies, including Facebook which uses the same lobbyists as Microsoft, pressure politicians to harm Google, a steward or guardian of some important FOSS projects, including Linux-based operating systems.

In other news from the above site (the original is unfortunately behind a paywall), there is a new breed of troll which Matt Levy explains as follows:

Here’s the scenario: a patent troll files a suit (or suits) and wins a big judgment. Another company then files an inter partes review petition with the PTAB against the patent troll’s patent and demands a payoff from the patent troll in exchange for withdrawing the petition. If the troll doesn’t pay, it risks losing its patent in the IPR.

I would be more upset about this if I could stop laughing, although it’s hardly a positive development. It can’t be good to have more trolls, even if their victims are patent trolls. Unless of course this new twist helps spotlight dysfunctionality in the patent system for the new Congress.

It’s like extortion against extortion and it is not going to work (blackmail is inherently a problem). It’s like trying to extinguish terrorism using terrorism.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Sony Leak: The Secret Meetings That Set Hollywood’s Anti-Piracy War Plan

    Every year, legal representatives from seven of the biggest movie studios in the country gather in Sherman Oaks, California to talk about all things anti-piracy. Which isn’t surprising; it’s their livelihood, after all. But what does leaves a sour taste in your mouth is their plan to spread the DMCA-dispensing gospel: With shadowy back room dealings and skewed facts.

    According to an email in the leaked inbox of Sony Pictures General Counsel Leah Weil, the meeting is facilitated by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) as a way for the top lawyers at Sony, Time Warner, Viacom, Paramount, Disney, NBC Universal, and Fox to put their heads together and talk global strategy.

  2. Sony Hackers Threaten to Release a Huge ‘Christmas Gift’ of Secrets

    As leaks from the recent Sony hack continue to make headlines and company executives apologize for insensitive comments made in exposed emails, we still don’t know how the hack occurred or the exact nature of the demands made by the attackers. But we’ve learned a bit about Sony’s security practices. And we’ve learned that the attackers may have tried to extort Sony before releasing its secrets. We’ve also learned that attempts by Sony to rally public support from rival studios has failed.

  3. News Agencies Are Within Their Rights to Report on the Leaked Sony Data

    On Sunday, a lawyer from Sony Pictures Entertainment sent a strongly-worded letter to news organizations, including The New York Times and Hollywood Reporter, demanding that they not report on the vast quantity of data in the Sony leak.

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