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07.31.14

Microsoft-Linked Codenomicon and Bluebox in the Business of Smearing FOSS/Linux/Android

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, FUD, Google, Microsoft at 3:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Name tag
Embracing and extending, but not yet extinguishing

Summary: Codenomicon and Bluebox, two companies with strong Microsoft links, fill the media with negative articles about Android

“M

icrosoft marketing again” is what our reader labeled it. Brett Winterford, who played ball for OOXML after Microsoft had given him gifts, smears Android using a Microsoft buddy, Codenomicon, the company that hyped up an OpenSSL bug, or as this new article puts it:

Codenomicon, which coined the term “Heartbleed” upon discovering the OpenSSL flaw, will name and shame app developers later this month when it publishes its findings on those that neglected robust security practices.

Codenomicon did not discover the bug (a man from Google did, but some give both credit); Codenomicon did the marketing, registered a domain, and spread the “Heartbleed” brand.

The “Heartbleed” marketing is still floating in the media, this time because of Venafi, keeping it in the media nearly 4 months later. What we basically have here is Codenomicon making a comeback, this time making derogatory claims about Android.

A reader of ours says that “it makes sense. I have trouble tracking all the names though. If one is cynical, pretty much 100% of the pro-Microsoft or anti-Linux (especially anti-FOSS) writings can be tracked to direct Microsoft influence. One wonders society can do with all the “former” employees, especially the managers.”

Codenomicon’s board is managed by a man from Microsoft, one of Microsoft’s chief executives, for those who have not been keeping up.

Another company like this is Bluebox, whose Microsoft connection we covered here before. It is a Microsoft partner created and managed by a Microsoft guy. Now it has some dirt to throw on Android, too.

We first saw that covered by the FOSS-hostile Dan Goodin (he still only covers FOSS/Linux security issues, ignoring any proprietary software issues) and then we saw this in the Bill Gates-funded “The Guardian” and BBC, which like to chastise only Google over things that Microsoft does (and worse). This is definitely some of the earliest coverage, maybe coordinated ahead of distribution, leading other sites to covering it, only later on, even though the issue was already fixed. Later on we saw a report saying that it “Could Put Millions in Jeopardy” (key word is “could”) and Microsoft-friendly sites joined in, making a huge fuss about a bug that was patched very quickly.

“One need to keep track of who’s who and where the money travels.”While it is hard to show a conspiracy to smear Android, like Microsoft asking its former employees and affiliates who run Codenomicon and Bluebox to fill the media with negative coverage about Android bugs, we do need to consider such possibilities based on evidence that exists. It is clear who these companies are loyal to; it’s no secret, just follow the money. Why don’t they cover the loads of bugs in Windows or even the back doors, which are there by design?

The media too should be held accountable here, as we know that Microsoft bribes publishers like O’Reilly (we gave examples for years) and based on fresh complaints from the President of OSI [1], it is true that OSCON (O’Reilly’s so-called ‘open source’ conference) has become more of a Microsoft-subsidised breeding ground for moles and misdirection (sponsored by Microsoft in exchange for stage time/room).

When living in a spin zone (not spin-free zone), where many of the messengers are funded by Microsoft, it would be unwise to take and accept everything at face value. One need to keep track of who’s who and where the money travels.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. SAP embraces opens source — sort of

    At the annual OSCON (Open Source Convention) last week, those stuck in a worldview of open source from the previous decade would have suffered serious cognitive dissonance.

    First, Microsoft was an anchor of the conference, with a full-scale display from Jean Paoli’s subsidiary Microsoft Open Technologies. As I walked past I repeatedly heard people expressing shock that Microsoft was there at such scale. Wholehearted support for open source still largely stops at the boundaries of Microsoft’s Azure cloud offering, but plenty of staff people with genuine open source credentials were showing their wares. Microsoft’s journey is definitely progressing.

07.27.14

Apple and Microsoft Are Proprietary Software Companies and the Media Should Stop Openwashing Them

Posted in Apple, Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 6:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Hardware

Summary: New examples where proprietary software giants are characterised as FOSS-embracing and FOSS-friendly by gullible or dishonest ‘journalists’

Apple has made many headlines recently because of its back doors and Microsoft has made many headlines recently because of its massive round of layoffs (almost 20% of the staff). Both companies are proprietary software companies and they have a lot in common.

Techrights is disturbed to have found continued distortion of the facts. “Microsoft might finally be committing to open source” is a new article (reprinted here) which says: “Microsoft is known for keeping its programming secrets to itself. But under CEO Satya Nadella, the maker of proprietary behemoths like Windows and Microsoft Office is starting to show up in the world of open-source software, whose code is public for anyone to see, borrow from and tinker with.”

No, this is fiction. This is the fairly recent PR strategy that tries to associate the new CEO with FOSS, even though he continues using patents to attack FOSS and is running blatantly dishonest attack ads against FOSS products, especially Google’s. If Microsoft brings proprietary software to Android, for instance, this has nothing to do with FOSS. Quite the contrary in fact; it is about contaminating FOSS with proprietary spyware. The puff piece continues: “Late last year Microsoft finally made itself an account on Github, now the de-facto platform that software writers use for sharing and working on open-source code. “Microsoft has changed as a company and is becoming more open in the way that we collaborate with others,” the account’s description reads.”

Wow! Microsoft “made itself an account on Github”! Imagine the heroic act! I already have two accounts on Github, one for my job and one for my personal projects. The article goes on and makes all sorts of softball claims, pretending to be giving Microsoft the sceptical treatment.

Here is another silly new article, pretending that a proprietary NSA-accessible platform called Azure has “Open Source Partnerships”. It then cites the Microsoft proxy/mole “Microsoft Open Tech” by saying: “Microsoft Open Tech (MS Open Tech), a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft, has added two new partnerships under its belt. Announced during the ongoing O’Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON) in Oregon, they have teamed up with Packer.io and OpenNebula.”

This proxy has done nothing FOSS-like. It just wants to devour FOSS by putting it under a proprietary platform with surveillance. OSCON and O’Reilly have once again shown themselves to be soft on Microsoft. Based on the amount of press coverage this has received [1, 2], one might say that Tim O’Reilly keeps giving Microsoft an effective propaganda platform. Microsoft has paid him for this, ensuring that a proprietary surveillance platform gets coverage in a supposedly FOSS-centric conference.

But let’s not focus only on Microsoft. Misreporting is often seen when it comes to Apple, the most hyped-up company in the world. It’s all about perception and branding. One author’s bias (he is a “Mac”-branded PC user) can be found in this supposedly FOSS-centric site. He says that “Apple is a beloved company in the open source community,” but based on our experiences, this is patently false. There is other promotional language there, including: “Despite being one of the most well run technology companies ever, Apple has a surprisingly complicated relationship with open source. Ironically, Apple is a beloved company in the open source community, but, now more than ever, it needs to hear the call to become more open. I’ve also always noted here on OStatic that many open source enthusiasts favor the Mac over Windows systems. That’s no surprise. Apple’s culture closely aligns with many open source principles, though its culture certainly isn’t totally open.”

What?!

“Apple’s culture closely aligns with many open source principles”?

In what universe?

There are other large companies that try to openwash themselves these days. We recently covered HP’s publicity stunts and here we have another, pretending that defanging one’s software patents is somehow an act of becoming “Open Source” (Tesla uses this type of propaganda).

A man from HP, speaking about OpenStack, says that “just as we indemnified Linux 15 years ago, we are doing exactly the same thing now.” Well, indemnification does not achieve much. Why acquire software patents in the first place? Why has HP been so hostile towards GNU/Linux, including in Munich? Why is HP hiring so many executives from Microsoft? Why is HP lobbying for software patents?

The bottom line is that many companies (if not all) want to be seen as “open”, but most of them are faking it. For the press to play along with their marketing/PR ambitious is worse than irresponsible; it is reckless.

Bloomberg’s Microsoft Propaganda

Posted in Deception at 6:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Bloomberg delivers ‘damage control’ and PR ahead of the layoffs announcement; Microsoft uses Nokia to hide it and Bloomberg helps Microsoft by radically modifying headlines

THERE has been something notably insidious about the coverage of Microsoft matters (and its rivals) in the Wall Street-friendly, plutocrat-owned Bloomberg.

Years ago we found explosive evidence about Dina Bass from Bloomberg. It showed how Microsoft had been grooming her and using her to produce puff pieces. Earlier this month Bass 'broke' the story about Microsoft layoffs but mostly delivered 'damage control', PR and spin. She was acting like a messenger of Microsoft. Microsoft is basically trying to blame it on Nokia, which Microsoft itself just merely destroyed (so much for the “job creator” nonsense).

The reality of Microsoft’s numbers is quite grim. For starters, actual sales (numbers) were down, which has nothing to do with Nokia. Watch this Bloomberg report titled “Microsoft’s Quarterly Profit Hurt by Nokia Acquisition”. This article actually had the headline “Microsoft Profit Misses Estimates on Weak Demand”, but this headline was changed by the editor. Fortunately we spotted this discrepancy and it shows that someone inside Bloomberg is changing the story. Suddenly it’s the fault of “Nokia Acquisition” rather than “Weak Demand”. Big difference, eh? We saw similar misdirections years ago when Microsoft announced other major layoffs.

If one looks closely at the cause, GNU/Linux (in the form of Chrome OS for the most part) is gaining as Microsoft simply scrambles to keep up (dumping) and still fails. As one article put it, “Microsoft (MSFT) has good reason to be worried about Chromebooks, the cheap laptops that run Google’s (GOOG) Chrome operating system.” Sales of Windows are down significantly and a lot of staff is being laid off. As for Nokia, Ahonen says there are “still no profits out of the ex-Nokia handset businessthat Elop wrecked. The smartphone unit has now produced 12 consecutive quarters of losses!” That’s since Microsoft stepped in. “Nokia Xpress Browser and MixRadio are likely to be spun off into a separate business,” says this article, so maybe we have another Jolla in our hands, or another Digia.

“I see that Microsoft has deployed another “Get The FUD” campaign against Chromebooks,” Ryan said in the IRC channels, “like they did when they lost their lunch to Linux in the server market. This time they’re even buying Google ads. I can’t blame them. Nobody uses Bing. It’s even thrown in your face in Vista 8.1, but it must be the first thing people turn off, because even that isn’t helping them.”

07.20.14

Attacking FOSS by Ignoring/Overlooking Issues With Proprietary Software

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Security at 4:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Dan Goodin

Summary: The biasing strategy which continues to be used to demonise Free/Open Source software (FOSS) along with some new examples

SEVERAL days ago several people told us about this article from Matt Asay. Ignoring the issues with proprietary software (EULAs, back doors, etc.) the article makes the bizarre claim that “we’re living in a post-open source world”, as if Free/libre software does not matter anymore. One reader told us that Asay had been “trolling for Black Duck“. Well, looking at the licensing strategy of Asay’s current employer, this position is easy to explain.

Unfortunately, however, the problem is this case is what Red Hat staff called “Asayroll” (troll) and we often call Mac Asay (he does not use FOSS himself). He used to be a fan of the GPL but then turned against it. Black Duck is just one among several data points he uses to bash the GPL now. Other data points (at least two) were partly Microsoft-funded as well; they’re good at hiding it. It’s information war, striving to change perception and kill the GPL with words.

It is not a surprise that Asay attacks the GPL and this is actually IDG’s second article in just about a week which attacks the GPL, citing Microsoft-connected entities. They must be terribly afraid of copyleft, or maybe their clients (like Microsoft) are doing lip service.

In other FUD, Dan Goodin with his provocative images continues to attack FOSS security, focusing all his attention on bugs in FOSS rather than back doors in proprietary software. “Researcher uncovers “catastrophic failure” in random number generation,” he says. Well, actually, in LibreSSL there is much better randomness than in Intel’s hardware-’accelerated’ RNGs (which are likely facilitating back doors by keeping entropy low) and proprietary software, which uses weak (by design) encryption. “Dan is the Security Editor at Ars Technica,” says the site, which really says a lot about where Condé Nasty (owner of Ars Technica) stands on security. It only trash-talks FOSS and GNU/Linux. This is systematic bias, usually by omission.

In more relevant news, watch the article “Embedded Windows XP systems targeted by new Chinese malware”. It says:

“It is exceedingly hard to protect against malware when it ships pre-installed from the factory. The average business, even a large enterprise, simply isn’t set up to perform this kind of due diligence on incoming hardware with embedded systems, whether it’s Windows, Linux or another platform. If an organisation wants to ensure privacy for itself and its customers, it must bear the cost of security somewhere in the supply chain, whether that’s in increased cost of a higher assurance supplier, or in post-purchase testing,” he explained.

Why is Linux dismissed as an option? Windows has back doors, so it can never be suited/deemed suitable for financial transactions. Why insinuate that this kind of issue is inherent (to the task)?

They should call out Windows and Microsoft’s connections with the NSA. which in is in turn connected to US banks. No country other than the US can ever trust Windows for use in ATMs. That’s a fact.

We are disappointed to see incomplete, biased, vengeful ‘reporting’ with agenda tied to companies/friends/employers of the writers/publishers. This is not journalism. It’s trash talk disguised as “news”.

07.18.14

Microsoft’s Massive Layoffs Go Far Beyond Nokia; Nokia’s Android Phones Axed by Microsoft’s Elop

Posted in Deception, Microsoft at 3:49 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft’s layoffs are not about Nokia but about Microsoft

Nokia's phone

Summary: Microsoft’s rapid demise and permanent exit from Nokia’s last remaining Linux platform (after Microsoft had killed two more)

NOKIA is dead because Microsoft killed it under the guise of “acquisition” (after a so-called “partnership”). Nokia committed the ‘sin’ of exploring about 4 Linux-based platforms over the years. This could not be tolerated by Microsoft, especially considering Nokia’s size (Nokia’s had the lion’s share of the mobile market). Microsoft had to put a stop to it. When Microsoft took over Nokia (with a mole and a bribe) Nokia had just become one of the top contributors to Linux (the kernel) and was actively developing one of the most promising platforms for mobile devices. It is still being adopted by Jolla (former Nokia staff) as Sailfish OS and to a lesser degree explored by Samsung (Tizen). Let this remind us how anticompetitive Microsoft remains. It’s a force of destruction, not creation. Microsoft has done this for decades.

Some days ago we wrote about news that Microsoft would announce massive layoffs. This turns out to have been true, but the earliest coverage was Microsoft ‘damage control’ (or PR). A longtime critic of Microsoft (after the company stabbed him in the back), a man widely known as Jean-Louis Gassée, says that “Satya Nadella’s latest message to the troops – and to the world – is disquieting. It lacks focus, specifics, and, if not soon sharpened, his words will worry employees, developers, customers, and even shareholders.”

The company is in bad shape because the cash cows are in rapid decline and money is derived from aggressively milking those who are still locked in (we covered this before). The company also uses crimes like bribery in an attempt to keep people locked in. Microsoft is not a real company but more of a corrupt political movement, so if you work for a criminal, by choice, then expect to be treated like one. Here is the Microsoft mouthpiece covering (up?) the layoffs and anonymous staff saying: “that concerns me because now you have a level of stress and anxiety at Microsoft. First, the selfish stress about whether my job is affected. Then personal circle stress. Then partner collaboration stress. Then way out there general concerns about the company. And guess what: when folks are stressed and gossiping, they are not effectively – er, excuse me, productively (?) – implementing the latest strategy. Physiologically, they have increased cortisol and this time will turn into a fog.”

Only about 6% of those laid off are based in Finland. Don’t let Microsoft pretend that it is all about Nokia.

One headline says the layoffs will be complete next year and Microsoft has meanwhile axed the Android phones from Nokia. This expected decision seems to have Elop the mole at the centre of it (he works for Microsoft again, not just as a mole). In Microsoft-tied networks we again witness Sam Dean playing soft. “You have to hand it to incoming Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’” he said. “He is not afraid to stir the pot, and seems well aware that it needs stirring. In a company-wide email, Nadella announced that it will cut its employee base by up to 18,000 jobs, or 14 percent in the next year, and one of the big reasons is to accommodate the acquisition of Nokia.”

No, it is not about Nokia, that is part of the coverup. Dean is still sucking up to Nadella and helping Microsoft’s PR campaign. Here is a better article about how Microsoft killed everything in Nokia which deals with Linux, but there is a lot more to it. “Only 1100 culled from Finland,” tells me a reader, so the lie that Microsoft merely cuts down Nokia is just diversion and deception. About 17,000 are fired outside of Finland and claims that Microsoft goes back to Windows wrongly assume that Windows (mobile) has something going for it. It has been a massive failure. Perhaps it is all about pulling the plug on people who have no blind faith in the Windows ‘religion’:

MICROSOFT HAS ANNOUNCED that Nokia’s Android-powered X handset lineup is no more, with the firm instead planning to deliver the devices with its own Windows Phone mobile operating system.

The layoffs are not effective immediately, so any staff that challenges the status quo should beware.

A reader wrote to us: “What to you want to bet that the severance packages contain non-disparagement/non-compete clauses of some kind? They will spread like a cloud of toxins to new employers. And how many temps/permatemps are going, too?”

The reader showed us this new article which he labeled “voice of a ‘softer” (Microsoft staff). The headline is “Sipilä: Government should hire ex-Microsoft staff to build IT systems” and it suggests that the Finnish government should put an army of Microsoft moles in charge of government IT. What a horrible idea.

These layoffs are not what the early puff pieces claimed them to be. These puff pieces came also from CNET, which has helped openwash Microsoft (the chief editor systematically does this) and is now deleting articles that Microsoft does not like. Yes, CNET has removed (censored we assume) a classic article about a company that ditched Microsoft. Follow the links here (last year) or here. “CNET has taken down the article,” our reader told us, “Link was active in 2013 as it was used then by Pogson” as he indeed demonstrated.

07.13.14

Pro-Microsoft Spin in Microsoft-Funded News Networks

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 8:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Satya Ballmer
Satya Ballmer

Summary: The rogue media (misinformation) campaign of Microsoft benefits from networks which have been paid by Microsoft over the years

TECHRIGHTS has been disturbed to find some of the corporate media actively participating in Microsoft PR campaigns such as 'Scroogled', paralleling a campaign to portray Microsoft as a privacy and Open Source champion. We have already named some of the networks which routinely do this, such as CNET (part of CBS), whose chief editor Charles Cooper seems to have become a Microsoft mouthpiece by proxy (see another recently-covered example from him).

Other Microsoft-paid networks whitewash Microsoft and play along with the perception management which comes with the alleged change of leadership (Microsoft’s real leaders are behind the scenes and they have hardly changed; neither has the strategy). These “useful idiots” of Microsoft — people who are willingly being bamboozled by the PR campaign — continue to cause great damage that pundits can only try to counter. The Nadella PR is just about as lame as the NSA’s PR, e.g. dressing up the new NSA chief in whites (white knight?) — not blacks — as some kind of a branding strategy which dissociates him from Keith Alexander et al. (men in dark suits),

“…some of the Microsoft-linked media is trying to indoctrinate the public and make as many people as possible love or respect Microsoft.”The PR offensive sometimes makes in into decent sites like Phoronix, which gets it wrong on occasions (see the comments on [1], an article which was published only days ago). Last week an article titled “Open-Source Software: Bad For Non-Profit Organizations?” [article now removed for being an entrapment/marketing] got published by Michael Larabel, only to be slammed in the site forums, where subscribers expressed disappointment. Larabel got bamboozled by a proprietary software pusher who argued that FOSS is bad for charities. As Larabel put it: “For non-profit organizations, open-source/free software might not actually be the best solution according to a director at a non-profit software solution provider.”

This is the type of lie we hear from Microsoft when it imposes proprietary spyware on all sorts of NGOs, which it would later extort for licensing fees, limiting their capacity for activism and spying on them (we covered this in past years and gave numerous examples).

In summary, some of the Microsoft-linked media is trying to indoctrinate the public and make as many people as possible love or respect Microsoft. It’s a shame that some of the spin leaks into Linux-friendly sites (Google hostility, software licence FUD, ‘death’ of GNU/Linux), so we probably need to highlight the existence of the misinformation campaigns.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Manjaro Linux Developers Experience A Mass Exodus [Updated]

    It seems all of the Manjaro Linux developers might have parted way with the distribution’s development except for the project leader.

07.10.14

The Effect of Corporate Media Bias: FOSS Demonisation and Microsoft Openwashing

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 4:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A set of very recent examples where the corporate press produces FOSS-hostile articles (or pro-Microsoft articles) by citing biased sources of convenience

Nowadays, and especially in the past few months, those of us who exhaustively scan news feeds (as Techrights has done for nearly a decade) would be seeing a relatively new angle for attacking FOSS. After Microsoft had tried using copyrights with SCO as well as patents through all sorts of proxies (and directly) Microsoft-linked groups, including Black Duck, generated more licensing FUD while monetising it (two birds, one stone). Here is the latest example from the news. It is a classic ‘script’ and it is hosted by IDG, which also offered some Black Duck staff (the one cited here) permanent blog space (a very FOSS-hostile blog). The angle, in short, is inherently anti-GPL, claiming that enterprises are afraid of it. Another Microsoft-linked firm, OpenLogic, used and disseminated the same talking point. These are FUD agencies and this is their purpose — to help marginalise FOSS and produce FUD, creating a warped debate in all kinds of events, surveys etc. that they organise. Very nasty. They actually make money from this.

“These are FUD agencies and this is their purpose — to help marginalise FOSS and produce FUD…”Here is another new example. Acting as if one bug in the code of OpenSSL is somehow so Earth-changing for FOSS as a whole, the corporate press is trying to keep the word “Heartbleed” in the headlines [1, 2]. We wrote about this some days ago and highlighted the insidious connection to Microsoft. This is just another angle of FUD: the security angle. Now that Windows XP is not supported (or not being patched) Microsoft needs to create the illusion that FOSS is “equally insecure”, or something along those lines. And this FUD works. We have seen the effect. I see the effect all the time.

Now, watch another such piece of news-flavoured FUD. Python is now the most popular introductory teaching language at top U.S. universities, according to ACM, but the Microsoft-friendly media emits licensing FUD from a familiar source of FOSS FUD, WhiteSource. Adrian Bridgwater, with his mixed history on FOSS (often FOSS-hostile), wrote in Microsoft-friendly media the headline “43% Python Open Source Libraries ‘Potentially Risky’”. This sounds like security FUD, but it’s actually licensing FUD. To quote:

The study suggested that a large percentage of the libraries are under restrictive licenses. The repercussion here may be that while many Python programmers report substantial productivity gains, the use of open source Python components introduces new challenges.

The so-called ‘study’ comes from WhiteSource, which has a consistent track record of attacking FOSS.

This is the type of trash that dominates the press these days. Who is funding those ‘studies’ and why is it so fashionable to attack FOSS using made up (or merely perceived) risks? These questions are largely rhetorical.

Condé Nasty’s Wired has meanwhile produced yet another openwashing Microsoft piece, nicely disguised with a teasing headline (“Watch Steve Ballmer Mock Linux While Dressed as The Matrix’s Neo”). It would have readers believe that Microsoft is now a friend of FOSS. This site has been doing this for a number of years now, as we repeatedly pointed out before. The new owner seems to have an agenda very different from the original owners’. Wired turned into something suspiciously weird under Condé Nasty’s management.

Wired turned into something suspiciously weird under Condé Nasty’s management.”As we showed before, there are gullible CIOs like Jos Creese who seem like the target audience for this. IDG even has a site called CIO. Facebook too has an openwashing campaign going on (we recently showed more examples of that) and openwashing has been effective at stopping government migrations to FOSS. The British press offers some responses to this trend, include this new article which says:

And Creese isn’t alone in his attachment to Microsoft. Alan Shields, architect team manager at Cambridgeshire County Council, says: “It is incredibly difficult to get away from the stranglehold of Microsoft products, and we are planning to reinforce this by entering into an Enterprise Agreement with Microsoft later this year.”

Other British press goes further with another FOSS-hostile piece from Adrian Bridgwater. To quote parts of it:

Mike James on i-programmer isn’t happy either.

James bemoans the reticence, caginess and ok then downright old stubbornness Microsoft has exhibited over its refusal to open source VB6.

VB6 (or Visual Basic 7) is programming language and IDE (Integrated Development Environment) that dates back to the heady CD-ROM centric days of 1991.

Today the Visual Basic 6.0 Resource Center is mainly focused on selling your migration and “upgrades from” than championing that which was once much loved.

James bemoans the fact that Microsoft “killed” VB6 but now refuses to open source the language despite the firm’s “warmth” for open source.

What warmth?

This rather bizarre piece from Adrian Bridgwater, who has a history of being soft on Microsoft, does not quote any Microsoft critics but only Microsoft boosters who want a little bit more from Microsoft. It is overall a very one-sided article, where the opposition (‘balance’) is basically also in favour of Microsoft (both the pros and cons are Microsoft-friendly). It is a Fox ‘news’-style debate, biasing the hypothesis and pushing for a particular, preconceived outcome, openwashing Microsoft with a list of talking points and then citing a Microsoft booster, Dr. Dobbs' Andrew Binstock (i-programmer is also pro-Microsoft and .NET/Mono, as we last noted very recently). Binstock is the Microsoft-boosting editor of Dr. Dobbs (with history of whitewashing Microsoft crimes), who is now ‘pulling a Scroogle’ as well. It is essential to remember that Dr. Dobbs too changed management not too long ago. It’s not at all what it used to be.

The final message we wish to get across is that the media is full of FUD and filled with FOSS-hostile articles. Many of them are easy to explain when knowing the background of the authors, the firms that they cite (often Microsoft-linked), and the agenda of the publisher, which is often designed to favour proprietary software (the advertisers). If these pieces of FUD are not being highlighted and challenged, then there’s risk that there will be perception of no opposition to them, hence they must be “true”.

07.07.14

The NSA’s Top (and First) PRISM Partner, Microsoft, Lies to Governments and Businesses as Office Gets Banned in China

Posted in Asia, Deception, Microsoft, Office Suites, Security at 6:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

No Microsoft Office in China

Office

Summary: Developments in China reveal that security and privacy threats posed by reliance on Microsoft are so great that a ban becomes inevitable and continues to expand (Microsoft put on more and more block lists and blacklists)

Let’s face it. Microsoft is in very serious trouble. Citing security, China already bans Windows (latest version), a top cash cow of Microsoft Corporation, which has only a few profitable products. Microsoft is now trying to warp the debate and deny back doors, even though Snowden provided evidence that speaks for itself. Windows has back doors that the NSA is exploiting. The other cash cow, Office (latest version), is also being banned in China, again for security reasons. Microsoft as a whole is being banned and censored, little by little (even its surveillance proxy, Yahoo, is being censored). This will be a big gain for free/libre office suites, including some Chinese versions (IBM employed people in China to work on OpenOffice with ODF). We will write more about the FOSS angle some time tomorrow as it’s a broad (and rapidly-broadening) subject.

Watch the Microsoft propaganda and vengeance in Microsoft media. For instance, says a Microsoft MVP and longtime booster (without mentioning Microsoft’s strong connection with the NSA), there is “malicious intent” here. It is actually a matter of national security because the NSA breaks into networks of companies like Huawei. Who is really malicious then? Here is a better and newer article about the ban of Microsoft Office 360 (5 days downtime). “Microsoft is working very hard to change the way that people see them,” says one article (part of this latest propaganda campaign [1, 2, 3, 4]) and the key word is “see”. No changed behaviour is part of the plan, especially when it comes to security and privacy. It is about perception. Some influential publishers who were paid by Microsoft are helping this perception management campaign right now, which proves that to Microsoft it’s all about marketing, not policy. The article “Microsoft Office Banned by China” generalises to make it seem like Office on the desktop too is banned and since it is written by a Microsoft MVP in a Microsoft sites we can expect the usual ridicule of China. Here is part of the full article from the Microsoft booster:

In April of this year, Microsoft made Office 365 available in China through a partnership with 21Vianet. Office 365, of course, is Microsoft’s online, Cloud edition of the industry leading office productivity software.

China represents a huge potential market for Microsoft. In addition to the launch of Office 365 in the country, Microsoft cut the ribbon on a new Azure datacenter in March.

But, Microsoft’s march to China dominance has been severely hampered as of late, and it seems with malicious intent by the country’s leadership.

This is great news, but a lot of the Western media has not picked this up. Interesting. Maybe there’s fear that this might inspire other governments.

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