Vista 8 is dead, long live vapourware!
Summary: As Microsoft realises that Vista 8 is worse than Vista and there is nothing to be done to change this, focus gets shifted to a yet-inexistent, mythical operating system
Amid OEM hatred of Windows Hate, or Windows 8 (developers hate it too, with Steam and Valve giving vapourware the finger and now releasing a GNU/Linux distro) Microsoft has been trying to take over the fragile Dell (perhaps with a proxy), but it is not finalised yet. According to reports such as this, Vista 8 is already killing Dell. The thing about Mr. Dell is, he also wishes to diverge away from desktops. He should know that Microsoft fails there. There is a lot of vapourvare for Vista 9 right now, as well as PR for Vista 8. Here is a Microsoft booster citing a Microsoft partner for figures that boost Internet Explorer and Vista 8. Even those biased numbers don’t look too good for Microsoft, which is why UEFI tricks get employed, tying hardware to Microsoft. Katherine Noyes wrote about it the other day:
Linux Girl was comfortably ensconced on her favorite barstool down at the blogosphere’s Broken Windows Lounge when the news broke on Tuesday.
Let’s just say there was no more peace to be had after that.
Linux bloggers fairly tripped over themselves with excitement on PCWorld, on Slashdot and beyond, generating a din that could be heard throughout the Linux blogosphere and its surrounding territories. Linux Girl jumped to attention and began taking down as much as she could.
“‘Secure boot’ does not prevent viruses from writing to the (pre)bootloader, it just notices if it has happened,” noted Slashdot blogger jhol13, for example. “Then the ‘notification’ or ‘failure mode’ is DoS, your computer won’t boot. I’d rather boot with a virus than not boot.
Microsoft Windows is struggling. Only months after Vista 8 was released Microsoft is already talking about future versions. And we’re talking about a 3-year (or thereabouts) release cycle for Windows. These dirty tricks which are intended to buy Microsoft some time without GNU/Linux gaining ground must be tackled as an antitrust issue. Microsoft moles in the press (former staff and the likes of them) are trying very hard right now to demonise the complainers and rescue Microsoft from antitrust scrutiny. █
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Summary: The latest lies from Ford, which together with Microsoft has been trying to openwash its vehicles that have rubbish proprietary software
After years of silence following a Microsoft partnership that relies on lies we are seeing it back. Ford has been doing a lot of openwashing in the press as of late. It tries to label its cars ‘open source’ for marketing purposes. It’s all about APIs and therefore has nothing to do with open source (as dozens of reporters failed to notice unless they deliberately publish deceptive placements). There are so many examples of bad reporting about this (we’ll spare the links) and the software Ford uses is not just proprietary; it is bad, too. Consider this new post: “I rented a car last week-end that featured Microsoft’s Sync. Truly a horrible, horrible piece of software, even for Microsoft. The software crashed at least five times over four days, I don’t think it liked my Galaxy SIII. The software also had the audacity to play an audio file telling me that it could not play protected music on every boot. Besides that, the software’s interface was inferior to just about every music player I’ve ever used, electronic, or mechanical; I’m not even the kind of person who cares much about interfaces.”
Will Hill wrote about the above post: “Behind the Hype, here’s how Ford/Microsoft Sync really works” (or doesn’t work). Ford is giving “Open Source” a bad name. █
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Original photo by Mark Coggins
Summary: It turns out that Dan Lyons, longtime foe of GNU/Linux, was the editor-in-chief at ReadWrite
We and many others in the FOSS world have complained about pro-Microsoft spin in ReadWrite, not knowing that its editor in chief was Lyons [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], whose anti-Linux history is long and well known (notorious even). He promoted the bogus case of SCO, among other things. Earlier this month when Richard Stallman turned 60 Lyons published a personal attack on him (on his birthday!). I wrote that I was shocked that the editors let him do this, not realising that the editor in chief was Lyons himself (it was not widely advertised or known). He attacked other FOSS proponents personally, including SJVN and PJ (very personal attacks, not professional ones). Even Boycott Novell was mentioned by him in Forbes. This is not journalism and this article helps explain why ReadWrite was so pro-Microsoft all these years.
Dan Lyons, the editor-in-chief at tech blog ReadWrite, is leaving for a position at marketing software company HubSpot. We heard the news from knowledgeable sources, and the part about Lyons’ departure for HubSpot was confirmed…
Marketing, eh? Well, he was never a journalist, just a lobbyist/personal attacks specialist. He was using personal attacks for advancement of Microsoft agenda. We might as well assume that HubSpot will join the list of Microsoft PR agencies now. █
“There is nothing so bad but it can masquerade as moral”
–Walter Lippmann (American Journalist, 1889-1974)
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Staging a connection
Summary: Shameless, dangerous hijacking of the voice of Free/open source software by Microsoft and its notable proxies
Mac Asay, who had applied to work for Microsoft, was too soft on the company amid the latest openwashing attempts. There seems to be a big campaign right now to make Microsoft seem like an open source player, with Microsoft allies doing a lot of the work.Microsoft Gavin promotes and grooms Miguel de Icaza this week and Microsoft’s mole in FOSS, Mr. Walli [1, 2, 3], calls FOSS freeloaders in this new article. Yes, freebies is how Microsoft wants us to perceive Open Source, as if freedom is all down the trash along with the GPL and the FSF. There is something called “Future of Open Source Survey”, which is being promoted right now without revealing the Microsoft connection. Black Duck is pushing around this stuff in social networks (using its corporate account). It is a recipe for trouble. The openwashing of Azure, as seen here, may be the reason, or one among several. Black Duck, which is openwashing its partner Microsoft, is behind some of it and here it is interjecting itself into the press. It says: “Perhaps no one knows this better than Dave Gruber, Black Duck Software’s Director of Developer Programs. Black Duck is a software management and consulting firm. The company does not specifically market its own open source product line. Instead, it focuses on helping software developers build better software faster through open source.”
No, it is exploiting FOSS, patenting software, and taking away other people’s word (Palamida for instance) while openeashing partners like Microsoft. Black Duck is scooping up data analytics and forums related to FOSS to speak on everyone’s behalf and form a pseudo-authority. No wonder Black Duck was founded by a former “Evangelist” of Microsoft, a euphemism for AstroTurfer.
The “Open Source Think Tank” too is Black Duck-controlled and Red Hat makes a mistake by participating. Here are some older posts about the Open Source Think Tank:
Microsoft’s Gianugo Rabellino, in the mean time, finds a way to promote his new paymaster’s agenda by openwashing in ZDNet with this:
SINGAPORE–The pervasiveness of multiple device ownership has made mobile a key area to further the open source and open standards momentum, and one project Microsoft Open Technologies is driving is the introducing specifications related to enabling Web pages on any browser to understand different inputs such as touch-based movements.
What utter nonsense. This has nothing go do with open source, it’s just called Open Technologies and it brings code into Microsoft’s proprietary stack. Microsoft does not invite FOSS developers, it invoices them.
Resist Microsoft’s abduction of the Open Source message or see the term dying, even in governments which claim to adopt open source software. █
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Imperialism the other way around
Summary: Bill Gates is trying to abduct and privatise the system which indoctrinates the public not just in the United States but also in other countries
The sad thing about US policy is, it often spreads to other countries sooner or later. This is especially true when it comes to the copyright industry. Concerns about Gates’ abduction of US education policy is that it may, in turn, spread to other countries. Some years ago we saw Gates expanding its lobbying apparatus, the Gates Foundation, to the UK. Now we learn that the “UK to house a new national education center.” It is Gates- and Hewlett-controlled, just like in the US where the Murdochs, Rockefellers, Broads, Waltons etc. seek to privatise and control children by their minds (schools). Here is a new report:
The National Center for Innovation in Education will be funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and UK, according to a UK news release.
The Gates family has not been hiding its vision and agenda for schools. This is a cumulatively multi-trillion-dollar opportunity for profit and control over minds of future adulls. Consider what we wrote in posts such as those found in the Gates Foundation wiki page .
There is more of the same going on this year. Gates is lobbying to change teaching methods (Gates himself never graduated from college or taught) and he is lobbying by funding generation of data supportive of his agenda. He is seeding awards to promote agenda, using money to control behaviour and policy. As one article put if: “The goal is to better align the district’s budget with agreed-upon goals for reform. ”
With strings attached then, eh? The Washington Examiner has this new article on the subject and it says:
Education watchdogs are raising concerns over the Gates Foundation’s involvement in shaping public education policy, saying the private foundation’s influence in public education policy interferes with the democratic process and local input.
Watch some nasty characters trying to label those who say the obvious “conspiracy therorists” and mind the comments. Even academics are now being insulted by Gates’ minions. Remember that Gates is funding blogs, too, as long as they promote his agenda in education. Here is Gates funding and running conferences with agenda, working to give funds selectively, etc. “Of the 316 scholarships awarded,” says this article, “more than a third — 111 — went to students at Friendship Collegiate Public Charter School, Dan Cronin, a spokesman for Friendship Public Charter Schools, announced Monday.”
Charter school, eh? Sometimes Gates is giving loans — not donations — with lobbying strings attached, as shown here.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, another propaganda firm is coming to assist Gates’ lobbying in education, including Microsoft agenda:
“‘Someday, and that day may never come,’ Don Corleone says famously in The Godfather, ‘I’ll call upon you to do a service for me.’ Back in 2010, filmmaker Lesley Chilcott produced Waiting for ‘Superman’, a controversial documentary that analyzed the failures of the American public education system, and presented charter schools as a glimmer of hope, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-backed KIPP Los Angeles Prep. Gates himself was a ‘Superman’ cast member, lamenting how U.S. public schools are producing ‘American Idiots’ of no use to high tech firms like Microsoft, forcing them to ‘go half-way around the world to recruit the engineers and programmers they needed.’ So some found it strange that when Chilcott teamed up with Gates again three years later to make Code.org’s documentary short What Most Schools Don’t Teach, kids from KIPP Empower Academy were called upon to demonstrate that U.S. schoolchildren are still clueless about what computer programmers do. In a nice coincidence, the film went viral just as leaders of Google, Microsoft, and Facebook pressed President Obama and Congress on immigration reform, citing a dearth of U.S. programming talent. And speaking of coincidences, the lone teacher in the Code.org film (James, Teacher@Mount View Elementary), whose classroom was tapped by Code.org as a model for the nation’s schools, is Seattle teacher Jamie Ewing, who took top honors in Microsoft’s Partners in Learning (PiL) U.S. Forum last summer, earning him a spot on PiL’s ‘Team USA’ and the chance to showcase his project at the Microsoft PiL Global Forum in Prague in November (82-page Conference Guide). Ironically, had Ewing stuck to teaching the kids Scratch programming, as he’s shown doing in the Code.org documentary, Microsoft wouldn’t have seen fit to send him to its blowout at ‘absolutely amazingly beautiful’ Prague Castle. Innovative teaching, at least according to Microsoft’s rules, ‘must include the use of one or more Microsoft technologies.’ Fortunately, Ewing’s project — described in his MSDN guest blog post — called for using PowerPoint and Skype. For the curious, here’s Microsoft PiL’s vision of what a classroom should be.”
It says: “Innovative teaching, at least according to Microsoft’s rules, ‘must include the use of one or more Microsoft technologies.’”
Quite telling, eh? And this is the type of people we want controlling UK education? After we got rid of BECTA? Napoleon got exiled after his megalomania caused much stress to France. Maybe we should take a lesson from that. █
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Summary: Microsoft is under fire for bribery allegations in governments; now that the UK government says it will adopt Free and open source software while the Swiss government refuses to do so there is more food for thought about the motives and backdoor dealings
Governments are not only being robbed by Microsoft through tax evasion. Taxpayer are constantly being hit by Microsoft tax when they buy PCs and when the government buys PCs. Now we know, based on Murdoch’s press that “U.S. Probes Microsoft, Partners Over Bribery Claims”. Microsoft is Obama’s second among companies that bribed him in 2012, so we doubt anyone will go to jail over it. Bribery is a crime when the small person does it; for a corporation like Microsoft it is just a standard way of doing business. We saw a lot of it amid OOXML scandals.
Here is what the Wall Street Journal says:
Lawyers from the U.S. Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission are examining kickback allegations made by a former Microsoft representative in China, as well as the company’s relationship with certain resellers and consultants in Romania and Italy, these people said.
The investigation is in a preliminary phase, according to people familiar with the probe, and the government hasn’t accused Microsoft or any of its business associates of wrongdoing. Such investigations can end with no charges being filed.
The Slashdot summary includes more news links. There are reports in other languages as well. It’s an international fiasco and the thing about the invetigation is that it’s well overdue. Microsoft is a criminal firm with criminal past, so there’s not much of a reputation to keep and not much reason for hesitation in investigating the practices.
Today in the mail I received two letters. One tells me that City Council tax is up almost ten percent and the other says that the bank is slashing an already low interest rate by around 12.5 percent. Inflation is a popular form of hidden tax, more hidden than the notorious bank levy in Cyprus.
So, how does my government save money other than by taxing ordinary citizens who have no access to offshore tax havens like the multi-millionaires and billionaires? Well , it recently seemed like Microsoft was on its way out. As one report puts it:
Open source use in UK government has been establishing itself, in both the Government’s G-Cloud and in procurement standards. Now, the publication of a beta of the UK’s “Government Service Design Manual”, part of the Digital by Default Standard for government services, is writing in a preference towards using open source into the guidance for service managers, developers and web operations.
Robert Pogson, responding to this move from the government, says:
If you read the comments on that blog post you find that previously the IT department were afraid of the security of WordPress, used on tens of millions of web-facing sites…
Sometimes top-down leadership is needed to break log-jams and catch the wave.
Here is another report. We are waiting to see what Microsoft will do other than bribe, openwash, or intimidate rivals or politicians (like in Massachusetts). It affects me personally in my daytime job. Here is some widely-cited post about the news:
Since I’m writing this on St. Patrick’s Day, covering news involving the British government–those perfidious Hanoverians who dispossessed my Irish ancestors several centuries ago–feels just a little off-base. Still, the United Kingdom’s official endorsement of open source software, which became public just a few days ago, seems too important to miss, particularly for the implications it could have for businesses, governments and other organizations throughout the channel.
In other words, this is bad news for companies such as Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), whose products the guide discourages.
Microsoft will definitely lobby behind the scenes, as it always does to derail such policies. Bribes are possible too. We saw it before.
Switzerland is a country where Microsoft corruption in government contracts led to a lawsuit which we covered before in:
Here is a nice analogy for what’s happening in Switzerland:
The reason behind the motion was an application called Agate which is used by farmers to report on transport of their animals. The application is available only for Microsoft Windows so if someone is running GNU/Linux system they can’t file the report. So in other words the government is ‘forcing’ people to pay Microsoft tax, buy Windows operating system and then file the reports.
Government related activities should be vendor neutral and citizens must be able to file report using any operating system they deem fit instead of being forced to buy proprietary and extremely insecure Microsoft products.
Corruption in the Swiss government was covered in the following posts around 2009:
- Switzerland and the UK Under Fire for Perpetual Microsoft Engagements
- Microsoft Sued Over Its Corruption in Switzerland, Microsoft Debt Revisited
- Can the United Kingdom and Hungary Still be Sued for Excluding Free Software?
- 3 New Counts of Antitrust Violation by Microsoft?
- Is Microsoft Breaking the Law in Switzerland Too?
- Microsoft Uses Lobbyists to Attack Holland’s Migration to Free Software and Sort of Bribes South African Teachers Who Use Windows
- ZDNet/eWeek Ruins Peter Judge’s Good Article by Attacking Red Hat When Microsoft Does the Crime
- Week of Microsoft Government Affairs: a Look Back, a Look Ahead
- Lawsuit Against Microsoft/Switzerland Succeeds So Far, More Countries/Companies Should Follow Suit
- Latest Reports on Microsoft Bulk Deals Being Blocked in Switzerland, New Zealand
- Swiss Government and Federal Computer Weekly: Why the Hostility Towards Free Software?
Corruption in the Swiss banks makes it not far-fetched to assume corruption in the government as well. Here’s where things stand:
The Swiss Parliament on Wednesday rejected a motion calling on the government to create vendor independent e-government services, Swiss newspapers report. With 14 votes against and 12 vote in favour, the Swiss Council of States (Ständerat) threw out a motion, submitted in 2011, requesting the government to create ‘Non-discriminatory eGovernment solutions for Swiss farmers’.
Pogson responds by saying:
I hope the voters wake up their representatives. Apparently a bunch of them are asleep. It is the 21st century and many governments recognize that there is more than one supplier of software for personal computing.
Remember what happened in Switzerland amid OOXML abuses. Someone should investigate to see if here too there are bribes. The outcome of the anti-ODF campaign was clear and today we found this article which says:
…both [ODF and OOMXL] are ISO standard document formats
They neglect to say how Microsoft corrupted ISO to make this happen. Bribes too were involved. Whether Microsoft is found guilty in this latest investigation won’t change Microsoft’s record on bribes. Microsoft is corrupt. █
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“Mind Control: To control mental output you have to control mental input. Take control of the channels by which developers receive information, then they can only think about the things you tell them. Thus, you control mindshare!”
–Microsoft, internal document
Photo with permission from Jason
Summary: ZDNet’s Microsoft bias becomes ever more simple to see; it is fair to say that it is corrupt as a publication
TECH TABLOID/PR rag ZDNet was not corrupted by accident. It was corrupted by design, and sadly enough it saturates news feeds and now works with a conglomerate, CBS.
Mr. Perlow, who was promoting Miguel de Icaza and other Microsoft agenda at times, is now working directly for Microsoft.
Our contributor Iophk says, “does the “mandatory author disclosure” show M$ Zack’s conflict?” He refers to other Microsoft folks who work as writers for ZDNet.
“ZDNet now needs to let Perlow go,” he says. “I was wondering why you all of a sudden started posting all these pro-MS blogs, and now I know why.”
"Windows 8" continues to be entire section in ZDNet and many Microsoft staff have been “writers”, so the bias makes sense. Why select people with conflicts of interest? After bashing Stallman Perlow wrote some FOSS-hostile pieces and now this: “Open-source and free software: Free, as in beer,” says his latest article.
The FTC has been cracking down on fake journalism (we filed complaints and got responses at times), so why the failure to identify simple cases? As this new article puts it:
The guidelines also take aim at bloggers who provide information or reviews in exchange for products or services. In one example, the FTC shows a blog post about house paint in which the writer states at the end that she received a free can of paint. According to the agency, such disclosures must be clear and conspicuous and not tucked away after a series of links or other distractions. The new guidelines may affect companies like Microsoft that have paid bloggers to ”astroturf” on their behalf.
We wrote quitw a lot about Microsoft AstroTurfing and gave many examples. Watch this as an example:
The difference in reasons why people who create, manage, and develop open-source and free software, and why end users consume it is a major philosophical disconnect.
Is this is suitable article for a Microsoft employee to plant in news feeds through ZDNet’s brand? Paula, the Open Source writer in ZDNet, recently left or lost her job (like Dana Blankenhorn, who at times did decent work), leaving just Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols as a form of regularisation in ZDNet. While many Microsoft cronies like Mary Jo-Foley and Ed Bott praise Vista 8, he has been trying to give a reality check. Here is his latest go:
Windows 8, like Vista before it, is on its way to the trash heap of PC history unless Microsoft makes some big changes as soon as possible.
Meanwhile we learn about more technical problems in Vista 7, which ZDNet seems to have been paid to promote in the editorial — not advertisements — side of things.
The reality is, Windows is failing very badly (cannot complete with or imitate Android/Google), but ZDNet will hardly tell that to readers because it is corrupt. It chose to become agenda driver, not journalism. █
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“As in this case the Silverlight shuffle,” as one reader told us, sending this screenshot
Summary: Microsoft’s deception campaign has various news sites including the BBC falsely call Kinect “open source”
With projects like Moonlight and Mono, Microsoft has been openwashing C# and Silverlight, but what about using Kinect openwashing (as noted the other day) to also portray C# as ‘open’? With nonsensical headlines calling Kinect code “open source” we are left wondering if journalism is dead. This bad journalism includes the MSBBC. Well, a site which is typically pro-Microsoft challenged the nonsense from the BBC:
The need for this news item arises because the BBC has a story with the headline “Microsoft shares source code for Kinect gadget”. This isn’t the case – Microsoft has open sourced some samples that use the Kinect.
The BBC is often taken to be the source of all truth and so it is important to correct it when it gets it wrong.
Do not let Microsoft engage in mass deceit, blurring the difference between close and open and thus devaluing Open Source as a brand. █
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