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01.26.20

MIT and Microsoft Have Done Nothing to Actually Tackle Pedophilia and Ephebophilia

Posted in Bill Gates, Deception, Microsoft at 10:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

They just seeded some face-saving press releases through publishers/operatives who are media partners (as if words can substitute action)

Why listen to victims? You can manipulate the media instead
MIT continues taking money from some of the worst abusers (facilitators of pedophilia and ephebophilia)

Summary: MIT never actually resolved the issue that caused Joi Ito, Richard Stallman and others to be ejected; Microsoft meanwhile continues to profit from life-changing abuse (while seeding puff pieces in friendly media, just to pretend otherwise)

THIS INTERLUDE-type post does not directly relate to our series about Bill Gates, which has occupied a lot of our time (and behind-the-scenes efforts) lately. The series did, however, attract a number of sources who are victims. We collaborate behind the scenes as our investigation and fact-checking endeavors move forward. Of course we use encryption.

“We collaborate behind the scenes as our investigation and fact-checking endeavors move forward.”A recent theme in IRC (very/most lately) is that Microsoft’s Bing gained from pedophilia and when forced to put an end to it much market share was lost. This was mentioned as recently as yesterday by a former Microsoft MVP (Ryan). Mainstream media currently reports aggressive strategies of Microsoft/Bing as the market share diminishes. Many pieces were published about this in recent days, e.g. “Microsoft will never win the search engine wars by forcing people to use Bing” (Microsoft tries to do just that; details in our Daily Links).

The above-mentioned sources who are victims took note of Microsoft’s horrible stance when it comes to these matters.

“The above-mentioned sources who are victims took note of Microsoft’s horrible stance when it comes to these matters.”“Gates, Microsoft, et al. has come up consistently as people who profiteer off myriad surveillance of underage kids and exposing them to an unprecedented scale of predation,” one victim told me. “As more of Epstein’s connections and investments in tech come to light, we are both very invested in making sure the tech infrastructure that supported him is ripped out… we’ve been tracking use of digital technology for pedophilia and ephebophilia for many years…”

“We looked through some of those today and are planning on reviewing in more depth in the coming days,” she carried on. “Absolutely fucking disgusted with Bill Gates as per usual…”

“MIT ended up punishing people for merely receiving MIT funds from offenders or for making excuses for Minsky (if he is guilty at all, it’s all posthumous and his surviving wife denies everything).”As we await the next installment from the police (hopefully actual documents) we remain concerned that progress is far too slow. It’s being slowed down by the police itself. For background, (re)visit part one, part two, part three and part four. The fifth part and the sixth part speak about the role of the media and the seventh part — along with part 8 — speak of the latest progress we’ve made.

We wish to make very stern clarifications upfront; we never defended what Richard Stallman had said. Speaking for myself, I don’t share his views on sexuality. Au contraire — I repeatedly distanced myself from views he had expressed on the subject of consent age. I even condemned these views (things he said years ago about pedophilia and some of what he said about Minsky). Stallman has his own views, which differ from mine. He has a site where he expresses his own views. His words regarding consent age, for example, aren’t good; they’re not good at all. The things he said years ago were a lot worse and he has since then retracted those — not that it helps entirely because people can doubt the sincerity of the retractions.

“Not many (or enough) people are aware that Bill Gates’ maternal side of the family (the Maxwells) — set aside his powerful paternal side — is rooted in the State Senator and a large bank (there’s ample literature on this topic).”What’s wrong is the way this Minsky scandal (or Stallman and his old views etc.) were tailored if not designed to distract from the real/bigger MIT scandals and let off the hook the actual, direct offenders. MIT ended up punishing people for merely receiving MIT funds from offenders or for making excuses for Minsky (if he is guilty at all, it’s all posthumous and his surviving wife denies everything). At the behest of self-interested parties, MIT protected money and power (and itself or its donors), not women or children. It was grotesque.

Based on the mainstream media, ephebophilia and rape of teens were all too common among people directly connected to the top of Microsoft (top-level executives) and corporate media/publishers ought to do more, e.g. to at least speak about it. Microsoft pays them (e.g. advertising budget), so it’s not difficult to understand some reluctance to deal with it; the editors just pass over the subject. What we’ve all along deplored was the media’s (and MIT’s) inability to actually hold the worst offenders accountable, maybe because they too are MIT donors. Maybe because they’re well-connected. Gates isn’t just wealthy but also highly politically connected all around the world. Not many (or enough) people are aware that Bill Gates’ maternal side of the family (the Maxwells) — set aside his powerful paternal side — is rooted in the State Senator and a large bank (there’s ample literature on this topic). This side of the family played a considerable role in getting Bill the ‘big break’ with IBM. It’s not the hard work or spark of genius, it has a lot to do with connections — connections which have since then only grown stronger and more global/international. How much can these people get away with?

01.25.20

When the Monopolists and the Patent Litigation Industry Hijack the News They Control the Narrative

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 2:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Hardly independent. They want something in return.

Labiotech patrons

Summary: Money buys perception and litigation firms have certainly ‘bought’ the media coverage, which fails to convey the issue at stake and instead paints a rational court decision as tragedy for “innovation” (by “innovation” they mean monopolies on nature and on life)

THE SEEMINGLY ENDLESS MEDIA CHEERLEADING for the UPC — and deliberately false predictions — have long amused or entertained us. Sure, lies can be rather obnoxious, but we chose to approach it all with humour, including lots of memes and jokes. Team UPC didn’t appreciate the funny side of it because its sociopathic members lack a sense of humour and honesty. They see truth-telling as scorn or ridicule.

Each years for about half a decade they’ve been telling us that the UPC would come the following year.

“Without UK participation the UPC itself is doomed, but never mind those ‘pesky’ facts.”At the end it was, as usual, proven false. The UPC is buried and this new comment has just said: “Brexit is starting to show its effect. And there are still people thinking that UK might be participating in the UPC. Time to give up this dream…..”

Without UK participation the UPC itself is doomed, but never mind those ‘pesky’ facts.

Desperate for a miracle, António Campinos did a photo op earlier this month, akin to this one of Battistelli and CIPA. We reproduce it below.

CIPA meeting with Stephen Jones

Compare it to this month’s Campinos photo op, begging for UPC in defiance of constitutions and many other things. Did anything at all change at the European Patent Office (EPO)? Not really. The main difference is, the media became indifferent and uncaring for EPO staff. EPO bribes and threats (directed at the media) played a role. A lot of the media is corruptible and EPO ‘slush funds’ just ‘took care of that…’

“Compare it to this month’s Campinos photo op, begging for UPC in defiance of constitutions and many other things.”It’s pretty astounding when one looks for patent news in 2020. There’s virtually nothing but press releases and statements by law firms. There’s no journalism. Almost none left.

Promoted through Mondaq by John Leeming (J A Kemp LLP, proponents of all the bad things that promote excess litigation and monopolisation) was this piece with overview of software patent cases and related cases, offering tricks for getting software patents in Europe. This is what he wrote about the upcoming T 0489/14, which might as well demonstrate that many if not all software patents granted by the EPO are junk:

2019 has been another busy year for the EPO Boards of Appeal covering computer-implemented inventions, although the most significant case has not reached a conclusion. In T 0489/14 (Pedestrian simulation/CONNOR) of 22.2.2019 questions relating to the patentability of simulations and modelling were referred to the Enlarged Board of Appeal, which has not yet set a timetable for a hearing and decision. Although the questions asked are primarily related to the narrow field of simulation of physical systems, it is possible that the answers given could have a broader impact by affecting what is considered technical.

As has been the case for many years now, the definition of “technical” remains the most significant unanswered question in this field. However, progress has been made, with several decisions developing the approach to separating technical and non-technical features by reference to the “notional business person” first expounded in Cardinal Commerce (T 1463/11) and some other decisions analysing the circumstances in which non-technical features may be considered to contribute to a technical effect.

[...]

This case is discussed in more detail in our briefing here. At the time of writing, a board has been appointed and numerous amicus curiae briefs have been filed, along with invited comments from the President of the EPO. However no timetable for oral proceedings or a decision has been set.

The majority of the amicus curiae briefs and the comments from the President of the EPO are supportive of the existing case law: that simulation or modelling of a specific technical or physical system is patentable, that the simulation has to be based on scientific or technical principles and that the same applies if the simulation is part of a design process. However, there is no guarantee that the Enlarged Board will follow this approach and previous Enlarged Boards have rewritten the questions they have been asked. It is possible therefore that the Enlarged Board will give a decision that has ramifications beyond the field of simulation.

Having said that simulation or modelling of a technical system or process is usually patentable, T 2677/16 (Drug target/QIAGEN) is a case where it was not. In this case, the purpose of the method was “identifying a drug discovery target”. A drug target is a molecule in the body, usually a protein or a gene, that is associated with a particular disease process, and could theoretically be targeted by a drug to treat the disease by interrupting the disease-related metabolic pathway. The examining division considered that the potential to produce a therapeutic effect was a sufficient technical purpose but rejected the application for lacking inventive step for not achieving that purpose. The board however held this unduly broadens the concept of a technical purpose to encompass any scientific endeavour in medicine, observing that a “drug target is not a therapy: it has no therapeutic effect, but is merely a promising direction for future research.” Thus the invention was considered to be about making discoveries, which are not patentable.

[...]

The EPO recognises the claim categories method, apparatus and product (often created by the method or apparatus) and usually considers a claim to a “system” to be apparatus (hardware). However in T 1499/17 (Pathway recognition/UC) board 3.5.05 observed that ‘claims for an “ecosystem” are unheard of. An “ecosystem” neither has an established meaning in the relevant art nor can be construed as an apparatus solely because it has the word “system” as a sub-string.’

In T 1125/17 (Parallelizing computation graphs/AB INITIO) board 3.5.06 commented, obiter, that a “computation graph meant to be executed is, essentially, a computer program.” However, the fact that such a graph may be “easier to parallelise” does not provide a “further” technical effect in the absence of a parallel execution platform in the claim. The mere potential for a speed-up by parallelization was not sufficient.

A common issue in some fields of technology is whether a claimed invention provides a technical effect across the entire scope of the claim. This issue rarely arises in the software field but two cases raised similar issues in 2019. T 2223/15 (User-configurable multi-function key entry timeout/Doro) and T 1882/17 (Malware detection/QUALCOMM) refused cases for not demonstrating that a technical effect “is credibly achieved over essentially the whole scope of protection sought”.

In T 1164/15 (Printer colorant usage/IPC) the application was rejected because ‘the claimed printer controller is defined solely as a “black box” rather than specifying its essential properties for actually finding an optimised trade-off’.

All the above are computer programs, but the lawyers try really hard to find ways to justify these. They don’t care what the law actually says, only what their clients want.

“They don’t care what the law actually says, only what their clients want.”And speaking of these patently dishonest law firms, watch what the law firm Novagraaf has just published. The piece by Oliver Harris (“Lessons from CRISPR: Getting your European priorities straight”) has just been boosted in Lexology — possibly for a fee — and the piece is making it sound like a mere formality — something to be easily overcome by tricks — was the reason CRISPR patents are rejected. But no, the lesson is that CRISPR patents are junk and worthless, hence should not be pursued anymore.

Harris is not a journalist; his boss is a patent maximalist, so he said: “In a somewhat dramatic twist, the Board of Appeal indicated during the oral proceedings that it might refer the matter of priority to the EPO’s Enlarged Board of Appeal, only to decide a day later that it could deal with that matter without such a referral. Ultimately, the Board re-affirmed the EPO’s ‘all applicants’ approach to valid priority entitlement, whereby all applicants of a priority filing, or their successors in title, must be named as applicants on a later case, for that later case to validly claim priority to the priority filing.”

“Nature is simply not an invention.”It was not exactly a “dramatic twist” and the reason oppositions succeeded against such patents was their ludicrous nature. Patents ought not be granted on nature. Nature is simply not an invention. Modifying it a little does not make it a human invention, either.

On at least 4 occasions (4 articles) we’ve taken note/stock of the very poor level/quality of press coverage. It was surreal!

What happened to journalism? Is it unofficially over in 2020?

This morning we saw another example of this trend. A site called Labiotech issued this “press release” (that’s how it was labeled!) under its “CRISPR” section to say something (mis)labeled in the headline “Analysis” (spin would be the proper term). To quote:

A decision from the Boards of Appeal at the European Patent Office has revoked the claim of the Broad Institute to general patents on CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technology, strengthening the position of its opponent UC Berkeley in Europe.

The Broad Institute in Cambridge, US, is one of the main contenders in the ongoing battle for the rights to the intellectual property of CRISPR/Cas9 technology, which is making gene editing easier and faster than ever before. While the Broad Institute has secured CRISPR patents in the US, the European Patent Office (EPO) revoked one of its key patents in 2018.

Now, the Boards of Appeal of the EPO have corroborated this decision. The hearings that took place in Munich last week revolved around the filing date of one of the Broad Institute’s CRISPR patents. The Broad was contending the decision of the EPO that the earlier filing date of a provisional application submitted in the US could not be considered the filing date of its patent application.

So far, so good (the introduction), but then it says “this dispute is affecting many other applications where exclusivity would not be necessary” and quotes talking point from the monopolists, claiming that it somehow harms small companies.

“The situation is paralyzing small companies.”

Really?

Then it promotes the patent troll MPEG-LA. To quote: “A solution to this problem would be setting up a patent pool, so that anyone that wants to use the technology can get a single license that covers the IP of all different parties. While the US patent firm MPEG LA has been trying to set up such a patent pool, its efforts have so far not been successful.”

“What happened to journalism? Is it unofficially over in 2020?”A pool of fake patents? Like those patents on maths that MPEG-LA uses to blackmail everyone, leveraging these bogus patents in bulk? This way it’s virtually impossible to wage a legal challenge. Overall, it became a profitable cartel.

The author, Clara Rodríguez Fernández, works only for this site (as far as one can see) and the site is a German “Trade/B2B” firm. It is more like a business front group than a publisher — consistent with the pattern we’ve been noting here for over a week.

“A pool of fake patents? Like those patents on maths that MPEG-LA uses to blackmail everyone, leveraging these bogus patents in bulk? This way it’s virtually impossible to wage a legal challenge.”Aside from the above we’ve also found more self-promotional stuff from law firms. Hours ago we found another new example, this time from DLA Piper.

There was also this paid press release about a new patent grant (drowning out any real journalism about the EPO). To quote:

Kitov Pharma Ltd. (“Kitov”) (NASDAQ/TASE: KTOV), a clinical-stage company advancing first-in-class therapies to overcome tumor immune evasion and drug resistance, today announced receipt from the European Patent Office (EPO) of a Notice of Intention to Grant for its patent application entitled “Combinations of IRS/STAT3 Dual Modulators and Anti-Cancer Agents for Treating Cancer.” The patent, which expires in 2036, covers the treatment of NT-219, the company’s novel dual inhibitor of IRS 1/2 and STAT3, in combination with EGFR antibodies and inhibitors.

One more patent among millions. Is this newsworthy? ResearchAndMarkets are once again reposting their advocacy of software patents to make sales (of seats). It’s a paid press release.

“The money is in litigation and extortion. This means that patent maximalists run the show.”This, believe it or not, pretty much sums up all one can find about the EPO in the news. Still not a single article about the strike vote, not a word about the absurdity of patents on code and nature, not a word about various scandals and blatant corruption of EPO management. Who controls the press? Wrong question. What controls the press? Money. The money is in litigation and extortion. This means that patent maximalists run the show.

01.24.20

When EPO Press Coverage Boils Down to Lobbying, Press Releases, EPO Lies, and Bribery

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 5:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Media and academia both [1, 2] bribed to toe the party line

Toeing the Line
Toeing the Line, Byam Shaw

Summary: Any attempts to properly assess and explain what happens in Europe’s patent landscape are being drowned out by EPO-bribed and law firms-connected media; to make matters worse, the EPO’s bribes have expanded to academia, so even scholarly work in this domain is corrupted by money of special interest groups

NOW THAT CRISPR patents are disallowed by the European Patent Office (EPO) — as one can infer from a BoA case that the decision extends to other patents — one can hope that software patents are next to be buried. António Campinos has openly supported these patents and in a Battistelli-like fashion pressured judges in the upcoming case concerning simulations. Just imagine the reaction if the Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) pressured the Federal Circuit in some case concerning 35 U.S.C. § 101. Absurd, right? But apparently not in Europe…

“Where’s the proper journalism about this case? There has been almost none. We just saw many statements from monopolisers and their lawyers, not journalists. The EPO has of course not uttered a single word about this. It has been a whole week. It hopes nobody will notice; that might keep a flow of patent applications…”An advocacy site of monopolisers of life/nature is still pushing that sick old agenda (“Broad Institute presses for CRISPR settlement after EPO revocation” is the latest). Trying to “settle” using fake patents? That does not make any sense.

Where’s the proper journalism about this case? There has been almost none. We just saw many statements from monopolisers and their lawyers, not journalists. The EPO has of course not uttered a single word about this. It has been a whole week. It hopes nobody will notice; that might keep a flow of patent applications…

As it turns out, there’s also a site called European Pharmaceutical Review (not the same as the above “Review” or WIPR) churning out press releases as though they’re articles. Is this journalism or promotional marketing? Has media coverage regarding patents been reduced to “moves” (which company hired which people) and which patent is being advertised? Here’s how it reads:

Inflazome have announced that the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the European Patent Office (EPO) have granted approval to patents for the company’s small molecule compounds that show useful activity in inhibiting NLRP3 inflammasome activation.

The patent application WO 2016/131098 will be accepted by the USPTO as US 10,538,487 on 21 January 2020 and by the EPO as EP 3,259,253 on 15 January 2020.

The pharma business currently has two NLRP3 inflammasome inhibiting compounds in Phase I trials, Inzomelid and Somalix. These treatments can be used in a range of disorders, including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and motor neurone disease, where inflammation is a key factor and starts or progresses due to the NLRP3 inflammasome.

So pending appeals/opposition (we presume) some company was granted approval to one patent among tens of millions and we’re supposed to think this is “the news”?

“To manufacture an illusion of UPC “progress” Gregory Bacon of Bristows makes it seem like “decision in the “ECB bond purchase program” case on 24 March 2020″ has something to do with UPC!”It’s even more laughable if one turns to Bristows’ site, which says: “The German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfG) has announced here that its Second Senate will hand down its decision in the “ECB bond purchase program” case on 24 March 2020.”

Compare this to the misleading headline. Totally surreal! To manufacture an illusion of UPC “progress” Gregory Bacon of Bristows makes it seem like “decision in the “ECB bond purchase program” case on 24 March 2020″ has something to do with UPC! Because of a judge’s name!

The EPO has meanwhile tweeted: “The first results from our Academic #Research Programme are now available. They offer new insights into the #patent system.”

“Anything the EPO touches turns to something awful.”This links to the latest spammy ‘news’ item (warning: epo.org link), wherein the EPO now brags about bribing scholars to manufacture propaganda for patent maximalists. When did the EPO become a propaganda department rather than a patents assessment branch? The EPO is as proud about bribing academia as it is about bribing the media (as it does, a lot).

When the EPO says “Academic Research Programme” it simply means a programme for legitimising bad EPO policies and practices by means of bribery offered to corruptible/desperate scholars. The opening paragraphs are presenting Battistelli’s mate (Ménièr) as some sort of genius and bribery of academia as some sort of ‘charitable’ act. To quote:

The EPO has published six research reports developed with funding from its Academic Research Programme. The research used patent data to investigate topics such as financing for innovation, knowledge transfer, trade, tracking inventions in the marketplace, and the growth of technologies to tackle climate change. Grants totalling €300 000 were awarded for the six projects in 2017, with the researchers presenting their final results at a workshop hosted by the EPO in Munich last month.

EPO Chief Economist [sic] Yann Ménière, who chairs the programme’s scientific committee, said: “The impact of the patent system on industry, society and the economy raises important questions for policymakers. Careful, robust, peer-reviewed academic research can often be the best way to get answers. The insights these new results give us into different aspects of the IP ecosystem and the functioning of innovation cycles can be very useful to the EPO, other researchers, and innovators alike.”

As they’re funded by the EPO, of course there’s expectation that they will “toe the line” and exploit the veneer of “academia” or “research”. A number of years ago we took note, on several occasions, of the corrosive effect it has on academia. It erodes trust and breaches a number of rules. Anything the EPO touches turns to something awful.

01.23.20

Passion of the Microsoft

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Kernel, Microsoft at 3:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Even the GPL is no longer favoured (it is about Azure, not freedom)

'Microsoft loves Linux' (rinse the past and repeat); Microsoft on the Board of Linux (Foundation); Two seats on the Board of Linux (Foundation); Former employee as Board's Vice Chair and kernel longterm (second in command); exFat in Linux and WSL (Windows integration); Linux Foundation code outsourced to Microsoft (GitHub)

Summary: A rough timeline of Microsoft’s interactions with Linux and the Linux Foundation since 2015

“There’s no company called Linux, there’s barely a Linux road map. Yet Linux sort of springs organically from the earth. And it had, you know, the characteristics of communism that people love so very, very much about it. That is, it’s free.”

Steve Ballmer

Distractions From Microsoft’s Gigantic Tax Evasion and Contribution to Denial of Climate Science

Posted in Bill Gates, Deception, Finance, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 7:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The greenwashing efforts (as seen earlier this month in shallow ‘media’ that’s nowadays more like a glorified PR apparatus) are a cynical ploy at best

Windows is secure. War is peace.

Summary: Microsoft (connected to oil companies) wants us to think of it as a “green” company; not only does it contribute to climate denial but it also evades tax, which is a serious crime that costs tens of billions of dollars (the public pays this money instead)

WE have been covering Microsoft here since 2006 (I had written a lot more about it since the 1990s). It’s no secret that Microsoft lies a lot about a lot of things, including its stance on the environment (we recently published "Microsoft is a Market Leader in Lying and Corruption"). Remember that both Microsoft and Bill Gates financially backed ALEC, as we noted here a long time ago. Microsoft subsidises big polluters and Bill Gates is best friends with them.

Over a decade ago we wrote about ALEC, about BP, and a lot about other environmental concerns. Microsoft very often shows up as a major facilitator. Recently there was whistleblowing at Microsoft about its close relationship with oil companies that drill the seas and cause unbelievable environmental damage.

“The people at Microsoft sometimes believe these lies! They’re not too bright, it’s like a cult to them.”Wouldn’t Microsoft want and even need a distraction from all this?

Notice how the media is nowadays painting Microsoft as “fighting patent trolls” (Microsoft passes to them lots of USPTO- and EPO-granted patents in order to attack Linux by proxy), painting Microsoft as protective of children (because Gates is closely connected to pedophilia on several levels), and saying that Microsoft is infatuated with minorities and women (the opposite is true, based on the track record and lawsuits). They keep telling us that Microsoft is “in love” with what it’s constantly attacking in a variety of ways, e.g. GNU/Linux. The people at Microsoft sometimes believe these lies! They’re not too bright, it’s like a cult to them. This cult gives them salaries. Microsoft management or the company as a whole keeps calling itself 'Open Source company' while it is actively attacking Open Source, e.g. through GitHub, which is proprietary (Microsoft is then bribing the critics at GitHub, based on admissions they publicly make in Twitter).

As one GNU/Linux developer put it this week: “I’ll believe “Microsoft loves Linux” when I see them support desktop Linux. For now it’s very self-serving and entirely when is convenient. It doesn’t count as an investment. It looks like just PR so it doesn’t show that they’re being dragged by the market, kicking and screaming.”

This is to be expected from a company of criminals such as Microsoft. The crimes are harder to perpetrate when people are aware and forewarned.

For over a decade we wrote about Microsoft’s long history of tax evasion worldwide; even whistleblowing from Microsoft itself explained all the pertinent details over the years. It’s not a secret anymore. Almost a decade ago the IRS belatedly took on this issue, tackling Microsoft (connected to oil companies) and this new report reveals Microsoft’s strategy. [via Benjamin Henrion]

“It’s the biggest audit in IRS history,” one person explained. “Of what has been the largest company in the world. It’s taken over a decade. And it’s still not done. And it’s not going well for the gutted IRS.”

They just try to make it too expensive for the IRS or to ‘run the clock’…

Bill Gates bribed a lot of publications to focus on tax evasion of all companies other than Microsoft as well as his own tax evasion using a sham, bogus ‘charity’.

Here are some of the details from this new article:

Eight years ago, the IRS, tired of seeing the country’s largest corporations fearlessly stash billions in tax havens, decided to take a stand. The agency challenged what it saw as an epic case of tax dodging by one of the largest companies in the world, Microsoft. It was the biggest audit by dollar amount in the history of the agency.

Microsoft had shifted at least $39 billion in U.S. profits to Puerto Rico, where the company’s tax consultants, KPMG, had persuaded the territory’s government to give Microsoft a tax rate of nearly 0%. Microsoft had justified this transfer with a ludicrous-sounding deal: It had sold its most valuable possession — its intellectual property — to an 85-person factory it owned in a small Puerto Rican city.

Over years of work, the IRS uncovered evidence that it believed laid the scheme bare. In one document, a Microsoft senior executive celebrated the company’s “pure tax play.” In another, KPMG plotted how to make the company Microsoft created to own the Puerto Rico factory — and a portion of Microsoft’s profits — seem “real.”

[...]

It seems likely, given the size of Microsoft’s Puerto Rico transaction, that the IRS in May 2011 had hit the company with a tax bill in the billions. But Maruca and Hoory thought the agency was thinking small.

Maruca told Microsoft the IRS needed more time, and in early 2012, the IRS withdrew its findings. By then, Hoory had taken leadership of the audit. He began sending new document requests to Microsoft, asking for more interviews and considering what other experts the IRS needed to round out its case. Over the next three years, he and his team amassed tens of thousands of pages and conducted dozens of interviews with Microsoft personnel. (Hoory, who still works at the IRS, declined to comment.)

The evidence they assembled told a story. It revealed how Microsoft had built a massive Rube Goldberg machine that channeled at least $39 billion in profits to Puerto Rico. It revealed a workshop of outside consultants, economists and attorneys who, as they had with other corporate clients, meticulously planned a structure that seemed to have a basis in the law, even if it violated common sense.

The documents showed that Microsoft had been caught red-handed, Hoory believed. Despite all their care in preparing for an eventual audit, the deal’s architects had left damning evidence that, he thought, made it possible for the IRS to expose the sham.

So those who are rich and have prestigious lawyers (or external law firms) can just exhaust the resources of the IRS and get away with it, leaving the IRS to pick on poor and defenseless people instead. This is maladministration and a hallmark of corruption becoming the ‘norm’. We recently mentioned how lots of Microsoft crimes all around the world resulted in only a tiny settlement. Nobody was arrested. This is the kind of atmosphere which encourages Microsoft to carry on with crime.

In order to keep people ‘off its back’ Microsoft kicked off a shameless greenwashing campaign. It started about a week ago and boiled down to nothing more than a blog post and some future (fictional) date with no commitments. Associates of ours thought it was intended to perpetuate the illusion of Microsoft existing for many years to come.

Media which Gates and Microsoft have bribes blindly parroted the talking points from Microsoft. This is why many people no longer trust the media.

CounterPunch wrote this rebuttal to it and published it on Tuesday. To quote some portions:

“This is a bold bet – a moonshot – for Microsoft.”  So claimed Brad Smith, Microsoft President, in a Thursday announcement painting a picture of a company that intends to be carbon negative by 2030.  “And,” Smith continued, “it will need to be a moonshot for the world.”  That vision entails the removal of more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than it emits.  By 2050, the company intends removing from the environment all carbon the company has emitted since its founding in 1975.

[...]

But much of this should not detract from the obvious point: Microsoft is happy to have a bit each way when it comes to how it finances its green image. The waters it bathes in are not always ecologically sound. While the company positions itself high on the soapbox of environmental purity, it is still a corporation governed by that traditional mix of predatory instinct and innate opportunism. In this, it shares a streak with Facebook and Google, two other entities who exude self-confidence in the illusion that they are principled, morals at the ready.

This point was made last year when it was revealed that all three companies sponsored LibertyCon, the annual conference for the Students for Liberty, a libertarian group. Both Microsoft and Facebook forked out $10,000 each as gold sponsors; Google went a grade better with $25,000, making the platinum grade.

This clutch of sponsors was not, in of itself, odd. But the three companies found themselves sharing a crowded platform with outfits distinctly against the science of climate change, showing how vast open tents can get rather muddy on the inside. One of those present was the CO2 Coalition, a group celebrating the virtues of carbon, and feels that it has been unduly demonised. Carbon, it lauds, “is essential for life.” Available at the conference was a brochure from its good offices extolling the merits of greater quantities of carbon dioxide, explaining how that would improve “our lives and our planet Earth”.

One of its members, retired statistics professor Caleb Rossiter, spoke at the gathering by insisting that, “There has been no increase in storms, in intensity or frequency. The data don’t show a worrisome trend.”

In short, Microsoft is the very opposite of what it claims to be.

ZDNet has also just published “Microsoft to forcibly install Bing search extension in Chrome for Office 365 ProPlus users,” so anyone who still believes in the fictional ‘new’ Microsoft needs to wake up and follow the money. One might end up in some offshore tax evasion haven.

Confirmation: System1/Startpage Offered Pay to People Who Pushed for (Re)Listing in Privacy Directories

Posted in Deception, Search at 5:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Pull request or pulling a stunt/fast one? Because we value privacy we shall name nobody in this article.

EPIC privacy

Summary: The debate is now settled; those arguing in favour of listing Startpage as privacy-respecting are in fact secretly ‘compensated’ by Startpage (in other words, they’re Startpage ‘shills’)

OVER the past few days we wrote a number of articles about Startpage and about mischievous things that it had done (except selling out to a surveillance giant, System1). We still prefer not to name any people, but we will, instead, present their confessions.

“An open admission, a face-saving PR, was issued by him half a day ago.”While communicating about the unanswered Startpage questions and delisting of Startpage someone was approached by Startpage.

An open admission, a face-saving PR, was issued by that someone half a day ago. That someone confessed only after being asked questions which that someone cannot answer and having repeatedly attacked those who asked these questions, sometimes with vacuous projection tactics, hence becoming too big a liability even to Startpage. It’s a total cock-up because of that. Here’s the full confession:

Alright, I want to address the comments on this pull request.

I am going to give a lot of detail here in the hopes of clarifying this.

When the System1 investment into Startpage went down and the CEO contacted both Jonah and I to help answer the questions the privacy community had. Through those discussions and subsequent emails about how Startpage could have better handled the situation and why the privacy community was so alarmed, it was revealed that my professional background is in marketing and communications. Coupled with my experience and knowledge in the privacy community, I was offered a meeting w/ some of the Startpage team.

That meeting led to them offering me a contract to do 2 things.

1. To write a handful of blog posts for their blog related to their search engine, but also to privacy in general. This is something I already do professionally as a columnist, blogger, and author. Guest blogging is nothing new to me.

2. To meet with their team as a consultant and share my marketing/communications/privacy related experience with them.

As a professional marketer and writer, this is what I do. I will not be a Startpage employee or on their payroll.

That’s it. Any compensation being given to me will be for these services, which are part of my professional expertise.

The moment I got off the call with Startpage, I alerted the PrivacyTools team about the potential offer and that I believed this could cause a conflict of interest and since this has not happened to any other member, I wanted to make them aware so we could decide how to best handle the potential conflict. Did that mean I would have to leave the team? I was not sure, but I was willing to do so if asked. The integrity of the site is important to me, regardless of my status as a team member. While we are still discussing it now, we all agree some guidelines should be put in place. I asked that the team not go public until we had internal discussions and that I was sure I was even going to accept or decline the offer.

When it comes to this pull request to relist Startpage, it should be noted that:

1. It is a PR in response to an issue opened by another team member who agreed that Startpage should be relisted based on the answers we got from those questions. The PR cannot be pushed live by me without multiple team member approval. This ensures that even if I had not notified the team of the pending contract, that I could not just re-list a service on my own. Not only would I have to convince them it was the right thing to do, but also the community. This is one of the great features of PrivacyTools.

2. The issue and PR predates the meeting I had with Startpage and I only created the PR to satisfy the issue, as you have seen done many times before on our Github.

Startpage has not asked me to relist their service even though I am sure they would love to be. What service wouldn’t want to be? It’s a fantastic resource privacy tools and is well respected by users, organizations, and companies.

I hope this helps clarify things.

The above is pretty significant for a number of distinct reasons. First of all, anyone who still defends Startpage can be more easily accused of being either a Startpage employee or someone who was offered money by Startpage (or courting Startpage for money).

We’ve covered similar examples over the years; Microsoft is a common culprit (rewarding people with jobs in exchange for OOXML advocacy, among other things).

In the above case, it took a lot of pressure to extract the confession. “The offer could be an attempt to influence the relisting,” one person told us, “or it could be very bad judgment on the part of Startpage/System1.”

Regardless of this judgment, and irrespective of the listing, the above person was putting Startpage as a top pick for a search engine (at the same time). Is this a marketer? Seems so…

At the time the person was suddenly retweeting Startpage tweets.

Lastly, the person suddenly changed the business model and the title to “privacy consultant.”

This brings to mind this quote from Microsoft [PDF]: “”Independent” consultants should write columns and articles, give conference presentations and moderate stacked panels, all on our behalf (and setting them up as experts in the new technology, available for just $200/hour).”

We still don’t know just how much money was offered.

Fake privacy isn’t “consultation” but corruption of groups. Thankfully this one managed to call out the mole before its reputation was harmed severely.

“Why aren’t so-called private search engines DuckDuckGo or Startpage offered in Epic? Why are you unable to trust them?”Epic Browser

01.22.20

Poor Excuses for Granting Poor (and Often Illegal/Invalid) Patents

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 2:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Illegal/Invalid Patents (IPs) don’t make the system stronger but weaker

Let them eat patents. All the world's problems will be solved by more patents.

Summary: A quick look at some of the latest examples of software patents advocacy (not by actual software professionals, obviously) and why it’s deeply misguided (or guided solely by greedy law firms)

THE PUSHESR of what’s called “stronger” (or STRONGER) “patent act” in the US don’t care about the strength of patents. They care about the contrary and push for the very opposite. They just want the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to grant loads of software patents that courts reject anyway.

“In practice, however, they merely grant monopolies in technology that can reduce pollution.”The same is true for the European Patent Office (EPO), where António Campinos — like Battistelli before him — measures ‘strength’ in terms of so-called ‘productivity’. Not quality, not examiners’ skills, not validity rates (or rates of European Patents being upheld by courts). It’s hardly surprising that Campinos shamelessly lobbies for software patents in Europe. That helps him fake ‘production’…

In order to pretend that the EPC does not exist (like 35 U.S.C. § 101 in the US) they resort to misleading, novelty-sounding buzzwords such as “hey hi” (AI). To deny patents on this “hey hi” would surely be a denial of progress and amazing novelty, right? The media speaks about “hey hi” day and night, especially more so since 2017 or thereabouts (it boils down to superficial, faked hype).

Another pattern of EPO propaganda has recently been greenwashing. They pretend that their patents somehow “save the planet…” (no, they seriously try to imply that!)

In practice, however, they merely grant monopolies in technology that can reduce pollution. As we mentioned in an earlier post of ours, there’s a new example of this which is promoted in a misleading fashion. For instance, the article “SeaTwirl Granted European Patent” (from North American Windpower) says: “SeaTwirl, a producer of floating wind turbines, will be granted a patent for a divisible wind turbine by the European Patent Office (EPO). SeaTwirl has already been granted the same patent in Sweden, the U.S. and China. [...] SeaTwirl is working strategically to build a broad patent portfolio. By protecting technical solutions that make the wind turbines cheaper to build and maintain, the company strengthens its market position, notes SeaTwirl.”

How does a monopoly make things cheaper? The opposite is true. But never let “green” stunts slip away, right?

The National Law Review has just published this new piece from a giant law firm (Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C). The piece mentions the EPO’s position on so-called ‘AI’ patents and notes that “IEEE-USA urged the USPTO to focus on correcting the problems facing all computer implemented technologies as a primary approach to providing strong patent protections to AI based inventions.”

Well, IEEE is at least consistent in his anti-software developers stance. We’ve long warned about IEEE pushing illegal software patents and it seems rather clear that IEEE does not represent engineers. Here are some portions: (it’s about input sent to the US patent office)

The European Patent Office (EPO) has refused two European patent applications that designated an artificial intelligence called DABUS as the inventor, following a non-public hearing on November 25, 2019. The EPO has not yet published its reasons for refusing the applications but merely stated that “they do not meet the requirement of the European Patent Convention (EPC) that an inventor designated in the application has to be a human being, not a machine.” The refusal refers to Article 81 and Rule 19 of the EPC. The EPO further noted “A reasoned decision may be expected in January 2020.”

[...]

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE-USA): IEEE-USA urged the USPTO to focus on correcting the problems facing all computer implemented technologies as a primary approach to providing strong patent protections to AI based inventions. IEEE suggested looking to other areas of IP law for models as it relates to inventorship. For example, the IEEE cited Naruto v. Slater (“monkey selfie case”) which denied a monkey copyright authorship of a selfie taken by the monkey. The rulings were based in part on the constitutional authorization to reward human authors and inventors. Accordingly, the IEEE also believes that AI cannot be inventors.

A reader has meanwhile alerted us about this upcoming ‘course’ from the patent zealots of ResearchAndMarkets (who also push UPC lies). Surely they know that software patents are disliked by programmers and are also illegal in Europe but that does not discourage them. Their target audience is law firms and they say: “This intensive one-day event will help you to understand the development strategies impacting software patents and update you on the major developments in European patent law, in particular, GUI inventions and ‘mixed’ inventions with both patentable and non-patentable subject matter.”

Those old loopholes of combining algorithms with something like a “device”; it’s a popular kind of loophole and we’ve seen that in New Zealand and in India. Just to be clear, patents on algorithms are still forbidden in India, but Spicy IP (a site whose founder died last year) is still peddling old myths, promoting such patents even though software developers — many of whom live in India — do not want software patents (and that’s all that matters). Their introduction says: “Who would have thought a Tunisian citizen would end up having a couple of major impacts on the Indian IP landscape?” (Correction below)

So what’s their excuse for advocacy of software patents? To quote: “In today‟s digital world, when most inventions are based on computer programs, it would be retrograde to argue that all such inventions would not be patentable. Innovation in the field of artificial intelligence, blockchain technologies and other digital products would be based on computer programs, however the same would not become non-patentable inventions – simply for that reason. It is rare to see a product which is not based on a computer program. Whether they are cars and other automobiles, microwave ovens, washing machines, refrigerators, they all have some sort of computer programs in-built in them. Thus, the effect that such programs produce including in digital and electronic products is crucial in determining the test of patentability.”

They’re basically squeezing a bunch of buzzwords in there, arguing that because those buzzwords are used in relation to lots of things it is therefore “innovative” and deserves a patent.

So, in summary, anything that is “green” and “widespread” — tell us the patent maximalists — needs to be patented, irrespective of underlying law, economic rationale, and so on.

Correction: There was a misunderstanding. The author at Spicy IP has stated or clarified that “the point I’ve made through that post, is that the court order is flawed and is unnecessarily favouring “software patenting”…”

The pro-software patenting position is contained in that post not as a form of endorsement; it is the writer showing what others have said.

01.21.20

Startpage/System1 Almost Definitely Pay for People to Lie About Their Surveillance

Posted in Deception, Search at 11:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Startpage/System1 lacking a sense of humility. They even exploit MLK, whom the FBI spied on very heavily (this is well documented) until his death.

Startpage/System1 on MLK

Summary: A longterm investigation suggests that there are forces in the debate that aren’t objective and are being super evasive and dodgy; this typically happens only when somebody has much to hide

AS WE pointed out in two separate articles recently [1, 2] (lots of research went into them, even if they’re short) Startpage is going very dark, very malicious. It’s still a surveillance company disguised as a privacy-respecting shelter. It spends a lot of money on media campaigns (to maintain the ‘cover’). System1 is a very large “Sugar Daddy”, so it can spare a buck or two (or even a million bucks) to glue/affix/attach some false labels. This has gone on for more than a year and the cover was secured for nearly a year.

“It’s still a surveillance company disguised as a privacy-respecting shelter.”Having inquired and reached out to people, including those whom we suspect to be working for Startpage/System1 (no response since we last mentioned it two days ago), we almost must conclude that there’s a business relationship. Its nature, however, is unknown to us (courting, employing, contracting). There’s an opportunity for the accused to issue a response; but they don’t exercise the right of defense. Does that mean there’s no valid defense? Running away is not a potent form of defense.

We suppose our readers now wonder, who is this all about and what was it all along? There are clues in our IRC channels, but not names… (we often redact names in the pursuit/interests of privacy).

“People who believe they enjoy discreetness online are in fact spied on by a surveillance giant. In some contexts or in oppressive nations this can lead to death.”Well, we don’t wish to name the culprits or divulge the proof just yet (as the names would inevitably become apparent). We are definitely not done and we shall ‘drill on’. Eventually, the whole world needs to know what Startpage (or StartPage or ixquick) became. As a former user — for about half a decade! — I have much at stake too. I know a lot about this company. As they’re pouring money into disinformation campaigns it is growingly important to refute them. People who believe they enjoy discreetness online are in fact spied on by a surveillance giant. In some contexts or in oppressive nations this can lead to death.

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