More protectionism for more large companies, even those coming from outside of New Zealand
Summary: Corporate conquest or takeover of New Zealand culminates in empty promises from government officials and blackmail against citizens of New Zealand, especially the country’s dairy industry
THE DEBATE about software patents in New Zealand is very important because it set the tone for similar debates in Europe and Anglo-Saxon-dominated countries such as Australia and Canada. It usually revolves around lobbying from US giants against local companies in New Zealand. The lobbying is done through law firms and front groups, but sometimes it’s done more directly (risking backlash and brand erosion for the likes of Microsoft and IBM).
The fight is back in a big way and there are many articles in the local media, as well as the international media. The Institute of IT Professionals has just had the corporate media in New Zealand lobbying for TPP, as expected, despite it being an evil secretive deal, enabling more systemic looting by the world’s super-rich. Some myths and classic nonsense get propagated, but there is also criticism of the secrecy, for instance: “Despite some of the potentially positive matters outlined below, we still hold concerns about the detail – or rather, lack of it. As the negotiations are being held in private, the actual wording being negotiated is restricted to negotiators and other government officials only. This means we and others can’t undertake independent analysis of the impact of what is being agreed until negotiations are complete.”
Rob O’Neill, who has used his role at the CBS-owned ZDNet to fight back against software patents in his country, now explains “How New Zealand’s software patent ban can survive the TPP”.
“Officials give assurances there will be no changes to software patents, ISP liability and parallel importation,” he wrote the other day. Does he really trust these officials given their terrible track record on other secrets? Remember how John Key repeatedly lied about surveillance. It was only when leaks came out (undoing the secrecy) that he had to respond like an angry brat, shooting the messengers rather than admit that he had lied.
It may sometimes seem like the corporate press helps raise scrutiny rather than help the corporations that own the media. Despite that, on the very same day IDG hosted (at ComputerWorld) a notable lobbyist these days for software patents (Martin Goetz). He is now treated as a guest author in this nonsensical piece denying the existence of patents on software, even if he’s just reposting there (plus some “NZ” added) what he very recently wrote for lobbyists of software patents in IP Watchdog (patent lawyers with an exceptionally big mouth). How dumb does he think the readers are?
The people who want software patents in New Zealand are basically blackmailing for changed laws, using sanctions in reverse. As Clare Curran (MP) put it the other day, “Will Groser trade NZ innovation 4 dairy? Software sector raises concern over patents 2 secure access 4 dairy products”
See this Australian article which supports what she wrote and take note of this article from New Zealand:
While not unanimous, there is strong consensus from the industry against software patents. “In a 2013 poll of over 1,000 New Zealand IT Professionals across the sector, around 94% of those with a view wanted to see software patents gone,” Taylor says.
“Following significant work by IITP and others, the Government agreed and modified the Patents Act to protect New Zealand technology firms from software patents in their home market.”
“The patent system doesn’t work for software. Research shows it’s near impossible for software to be developed without breaching some of the hundreds of thousands of software patents awarded around the world, often for ‘obvious’ work.
The government is of course lying and misrepresenting the opposition. It just wants this deal sealed and done for the plutocrats, some of whom are not even based in New Zealand at all. As one author put it the other day, alluding to Groser: “The government is also running the line that those same hard core anti-TPP protesters have opposed every single trade deal that New Zealand has entered. This is willfully deceptive in that it assumes the TPP is a free trade deal – when in reality, several of its most noxious provisions are anti-trade in that they entrench existing corporate advantage.
“Also, regular protest is necessary because successive “trade” pacts have included the same objectionable elements for well over 20 years. Almost identical investor-state dispute settlement mechanisms (which enable corporations to sue sovereign governments when they pass laws that infringe on profit expectations) have cropped up in mooted trade deals ever since the MAI (Multilateral Agreement on Trade) proposals in the 1990s. Eventually, the MAI was defeated by a mass mobilization around the world very similar to the anti-TPP protests today. It can be done.”
New Zealand is under attack. It’s not just affecting software professionals but also countries outside of New Zealand, which is why we hope that citizens of New Zealand will get involved and help crush TPP. The assurances given by government officials are just lies and a shallow form of deception whose purpose it to sell the deal. Once it’s signed there’s no going back. █
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Summary: Black Duck is still carrying water for Microsoft and pretends to be working for ‘Open Source’, despite doing it much harm and doing nothing that is actually Open Source
AN ARTICLE titled “The channel’s role in improving open source security” cites a FUD ‘study’ from Black Duck, the firm which, by its very own admission (high level), was created to spread FUD against GPL and discourage its use/adoption.
“Don’t forget that Ohloh, just like Black Duck, was created by people from Microsoft. “The day beforehand we saw gross revisionism that said the firm “set up in 2002 not as an anti-malware tool or a security outfit, but as a ‘curator’” (that’s a lie). All that Black Duck has become is a parasite and a back stabber, wielding software patents and proprietary software.
Another thing that Black Duck turns out to have killed, based on this new post, is Open HUB. It’s said to be “dead” now, maybe because it doesn’t serve the agenda of Black Duck anymore. To quote:
Some may recall it as Ohloh, then it was taken over by Black Duck Software and now runs under the name of Open HUB, the open source network to “Discover, Track and Compare Open Source”. What a laugh. Since Black Duck took over things continuously have gotten worse, spinning repository updates became infrequent, and now OpenHUB simply can’t catch up with all projects, their engine for months was months behind with updating source code, and now completely fails on big repositories.
Don’t forget that Ohloh, just like Black Duck, was created by people from Microsoft. They both should be treated as such. █
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Assocham (or ASSOCHAM) has been fronting for Microsoft’s interests for nearly a decade (if not much longer)
Summary: Assocham is showing its true colours yet again, lobbying for the interests of foreign companies and endorsing serious abuse or compromise of India’s national sovereignty
MICROSOFT, which suffers big financial losses, layoffs, and cancelled products, must be rather nervous right now. It even appointed a new CEO with Indian roots, as part of its desperate, shallow effort to change the company’s image. More than seven years ago we showed how Assocham had become somewhat of a lobbyist for Microsoft's interests in India (effectively aiding Microsoft corruption of international scale). Now that India is moving towards Free software we see a lot of lobbying from Microsoft again. Microsoft still exercises far too much influence against the interests on India, often relying on proxies and front groups that it is closely connected to. We covered it earlier this year in articles such as:
In lobbying for Microsoft et al. Assocham now uses the same propaganda as for software patents, using almost exactly the same words, mainly “fair” and “non-discriminatory” (remember what FRAND and RAND stand for, uttering in quite an Orwellian fashion the very opposite of what they are). Microsoft’s India lobby wants back doors, spying, and strong foreign lock-in in India. Anything else would be “unfair” and “discriminatory”, or so Microsoft would have us believe.
“Given Assocham’s past actions it would be hard for it to deny rogue play.”India’s corporate media and paid-for press wires are now clogged up by at least a dozen English language bits of propaganda from Assocham, e.g. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. It’s pure nonsense and it is consistent with what Microsoft has been doing in recent months, both directly and indirectly, e.g. through NASSCOM, which is connected not only to Microsoft but also the Gates Foundation.
Given Assocham’s past actions it would be hard for it to deny rogue play. It’s easy to see why propaganda is needed here. Assocham should be asked by our Indian readers, “are you that corrupt?” We urge for action, perhaps some petition, questioning the integrity of this 95-year-old body, which was either corrupted or was always inherently corrupt.
Vista 10 is totally unacceptable for use by any government. It is definitely unacceptable for use in Munich, which is now under attack by Microsoft boosters yet again (report from CBS), amid many reports about NSA espionage inside Germany (vindicating Munich). Microsoft is a spyware company and no nation in Europe, especially a nation’s government, should let Microsoft possess any data, yet in Italy, based to Microsoft boosting sites [1, 2], there is a retreat to the huge costs of lock-in and OOXML. They say it’s done “to Save Money” as if selling citizens’ data without their consent to some foreign company that cooperates with the NSA more than any other software company is some kind of achievement.
India ought to fight for its digital sovereignty. It has many talented software engineers who can build and maintain the country’s infrastructure using Free software. Assocham may continue to prove itself to be a parasite, a mole, and a sellout. It’s time to shut it up. █
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Summary: Analysis of Cisco’s claims that it is making a new video codec ‘royalty-free’ in an effort to fight trolls (probably MPEG-LA et al.)
Cisco, itself somewhat of a troll these days (reversal of a previous stance and previous actions), is trying very hard to paint itself ‘anti-trolls’ right now (picked by LWN by now), leading to misleading press coverage like “Cisco hands license-busting troll-hammer to THOR”. To quote:
Cisco is sick of the state of patent licensing for video codecs, so has decided to set a royalty-free of its own loose on the world.
The Borg’s problem is twofold: on the one hand, the licensing pools for H.264 fail to represent many of the participants in the industry; on the other, the successor, H.265, can be vastly more expensive.
Is Cisco ever going to stand up to MPEG-LA? Cisco enters a space already populated by Google’s WebM/VP9 and Ogg Theora/Vorbis (here is Monty Montgomery’s initial response to Cisco making its codec free, but not Free software like his own ‘baby’). It would be nice to see Cisco throwing its weight against MPEG-LA, and by extension MPEG-LA backers such as Apple and Microsoft. Some sites frame Cisco’s software as “H.264 and H.265 alternative”. Let’s see how they cope with the patent troll, MPEG-LA. Sooner or later we are bound to find out.
It is no secret that Techrights distrusts Cisco, even for reasons other than patents. Today in the news there are damaging allegations about (and also from) Cisco. Cisco claims that its gear can be hijacked (Cisco’s very own back door must not have helped and instead contributed to it). Perhaps Cisco found out that letting only the “Good Guys” get into everything from Cisco rarely works in practice. Cisco is a back doors industry leader, with public attempt to even standardise the practice and Web pages that boast about it (Cisco may have removed or watered down these pages since the Snowden-provided leaks). Does anyone wish to actually use Cisco products, irrespective of the codecs used, to transmit audio and video inside a private business? Sensitive data is being passed around, making it an attractive target for espionage. Cisco gear is a bug waiting to be remotely accessed (or its communications intercepted) by Cisco’s partners in high places, such as the NSA. Remember that Cisco’s stacks are almost entirely proprietary, no matter how much openwashing the company habitually resorts to. █
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“Greenwashing is the unjustified appropriation of environmental virtue by a company, an industry, a government, a politician or even a non-government organization to create a pro-environmental image, sell a product or a policy, or to try and rehabilitate their standing with the public and decision makers after being embroiled in controversy.” ~Source Watch
Summary: By bringing proprietary software from one proprietary platform (iOS) to another (Windows) Microsoft hopes to make people believe that it’s now ‘open’
A Microsoft tool for proprietary-to-proprietary conversion is being framed as “open” by the company looking to add more proprietary software to its proprietary platform using this non-proprietary tool. Everything is basically proprietary except this tool. Is this something to be celebrated? Does it make Microsoft “open”? hardly so. But be sure Microsoft boosters such as Microsoft Peter and The Verge (Bill Gates-connected) will use it to paint/portray Microsoft as “open”, aided by AOL, Venture Beat, The Register, and other Microsoft-friendly journalists, working for Microsoft-friendly networks.
If all that Microsoft can make “open” is some tool for promoting and spreading proprietary software, what does that say about Microsoft?
Watch Microsoft’s propaganda channel (Channel 9) trying to openwash Vista 10 and Visual Studio [1, 2, 3, 4] (both proprietary) (“Visual Studio 2015, Windows 10, and Open Source”). Who are they trying to kid? █
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Summary: Microsoft debunks its own false promises, showing that Vista 10 as ‘free’ is virtually a mirage
With Vista 10, Microsoft still makes it hard to install GNU/Linux (without Windows then wiping or breaking it). But to make matters worse, watch how Microsoft now treats people who ‘upgrade’ their computer to Vista 10:
Vista 10 is not free. It’s not free for anyone. Get over it. █
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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
Summary: The Vista 10 entrapment is being sold to the public using bogus/unverified figures, Microsoft propagandists pretending to be journalists, and some gullible people who actually believe them
VISTA 10 has only been officially out for a number of days and already we are seeing the old propaganda about number of buyers/users. We expected this propaganda to come. Microsoft propagandists (for a living) like Matt Rosoff even prepared people to actively absorb this propaganda, days before Vista 10 and the propaganda were released.
Phoronix now echoes Microsoft marketing propaganda without any scepticism, essentially relaying it to GNU/Linux users. Some people in IRC complained about this. The site wrote about the FSF’s statement, as did other prolific Linux news sites like Softpedia. “Well,” wrote Michael Larabel a short time afterwards, “it looks like the Free Software Foundation’s message about Windows 10 wasn’t too effective: reportedly, as of this morning, Windows 10 has already been installed on more than 67 million PCs.”
“Anyone who uncritically passes these Microsoft-sourced numbers around is participating in the deception campaign.”These numbers are lies and we have spent some time debating why they are lies. Anyone who uncritically passes these Microsoft-sourced numbers around is participating in the deception campaign.
Microsoft clearly knew that BRIC/S governments would dodge Windows because of surveillance (some already banned Windows and Office after the NSA leaks), so what’s the thinking behind Vista 10 anyway? So many Microsoft-centric and hence NSA-centric privacy violations would clearly make it unfit for adoption in many domains, especially businesses and governments. Microsoft is again “Lying About Costs,” said Mr. Pogson, alluding to Microsoft propaganda in Europe. “You’d think they’d weigh the cost of seeing the truth juxtaposed with their lies on .eu sites widely read by governments in the region,” Pogson wrote.
Microsoft already announces many thousands of layoffs, death of Windows Phone/Mobile/RT, billions of dollar in losses, and then releases alpha-quality Windows as “final”. What kind of entity would consider it safe or economic to rely on Microsoft in the long term? Days ago I spoke to Microsoft staff and it’s not looking good. Phones of staff break apart (Microsoft/Windows phones, i.e. discontinued) and morale is quite low.
Vista 10 was generally built as though it was designed to be an April Fools prank, designed as a publicity stunt to show how much surveillance can fit in an operating system. Based on what Microsoft staff (programming) told me, there’s more of the same in the future of Windows. The key word here is “more”. See articles like “Windows 10 Spies on Almost Everything You Do, Unless You Opt Out” (Russian media), “Oops! New Microsoft Windows 10 Is Spying On You – Hackers Online Club (HOC)” (US), and “Windows 10: Microsoft under attack over privacy” (UK). Everywhere in the media there’s some coverage regarding the privacy violations of Vista 10, which we have been writing about for years (with some insider information). As Sputnik put it, “Microsoft will synchronize your settings by default with its servers. This would be included your program history, website surfing, hotspot and Wi-Fi network names passwords”
There is absolutely no chance that governments like Russia’s government will ever even allow it to be installed anywhere.
“Microsoft’s Windows 10 is spying on nearly everything its users do,” says another article, “and anyone who agreed to the operating system’s new terms of service consented to the surveillance, whether knowingly or otherwise.”
Windows Boosters Tied to Microsoft
There is a propaganda campaign going on with a huge budget behind it, as we first noted some days ago.
IDG, which currently employs current Microsoft staff as 'journalists', has made a “Senior Contributing Editor” out of Woody Leonhard, a longtime Microsoft booster. To quote his own introduction to himself: “Woody’s next, “Windows 10 All-in-One For Dummies,” is coming soon. He’s senior contributing editor to InfoWorld’s Tech Watch blog, senior editor at Windows Secrets Newsletter, and a Microsoft MVP. A self-described “Windows victim,” he’s won eight Computer Press Association awards and two Neal awards. Woody specializes in telling the truth about Windows in a way that won’t put you to sleep.”
Microsoft’s Vista 10 propaganda at IDG right now is therefore coming from a propagandist masquerading as a “Senior Contributing Editor”. That’s how IDG is advertising Vista 10, appeasing a big sponsor of the site (advertising revenue flows to IDG, but advertising slots may not be sufficient for the advertiser to keep the money flowing).
We have already shown some more examples like that (Vista 10 raves from Microsoft boosters). It’s almost as though every positive ‘review’ we have come across so far was composed by a Microsoft booster before Vista 10 was even released (these were prepared in advance, in coordination with Microsoft PR agencies). It’s then being artificially promoted (Microsoft paid Twitter a lot of money to artificially promote Vista 10, as we noted several days ago)
If one looks away from Microsoft boosters and propagandists, the main theme seems to be security issues, privacy violations, crashes, anticompetitive tactics against rival Web browsers and so on.
Kim Komando, for instance, wrote about the latest bug doors: “Yesterday’s release of Microsoft’s Windows 10 saw Microsoft introduce a new browser to replace the aging Internet Explorer. Called Microsoft Edge, it’s supposed to be faster and more secure than its predecessor. However, according to several tech reviews that came out in the hours since its release, cyberattacks are still very possible on Edge.”
Well, it’s a given that there are holes because it’s a service Microsoft provides to the NSA (and has provided for many years). The NSA is a big client and customer of Vista 10. People who ‘upgrade’ to it for ‘free’ simply become the product. Remember that Microsoft has no "security issues", it has back doors and front doors. Users are a commodity to be sold to other parties.
Even Microsoft Knows That Vista 10 Sucks
Based on this new article, Microsoft expects people to set up Web sites protesting and ranting not only against Vista 10 but also the 2 Web browsers that it forces/throws upon users (“useds” would be a better word) by making them part of the core of the operating systems, hence more of a security risk and impossible to remove. “Microsoft relaunched Internet Explorer this week as “Edge”,” wrote The Register, “and the software behemoth appears already prepared to accept that its super new browser may absolutely suck.”
The Register continues: “But it looks as though it has stayed away from buying domains associated with the controversial new king of online suckage: the .sucks top-level domain name, which caused a furore by charging companies $2,500 for a .sucks domain featuring their brandname. So, no, there is no MicrosoftEdge.sucks for now.
“For the same price as MicrosoftEdge.sucks, you can get roughly 250 dot-coms or 50 domain names ending in new dot-words like .blog. As such Microsoft has also grabbed the typo domains microsoftede.com and microsoftegde.com.”
That’s pretty good investigative work. It looks like Microsoft knows what’s coming, not just from Web developers who will be furious having to deal with two — not just one (with numerous zombie versions) — defective-by-design Web browsers of Microsoft. They are hardly different, but the branding has changed (dodging the notoriety of Explorer). In our IRC channels we have learned from people who took Edge for a spin that in many ways it’s even worse than Explorer.
Why Vista 10 is a Failure
The Register wrote many articles — mostly negative — about Vista 10. It’s just hard to find anything positive to say, unless you are paid by Microsoft to lie. Even people from Microsoft hate Vista 10.
Vista 10 “marks the end of ‘pay once, use forever’ software,” says The Register, which explains this as follows: “Windows 10 is the last version of Windows that will ever be released. If this really is the last version of Windows desktop operating system ever, though, where will Microsoft make its money?
“Microsoft, after-all, has built a multi-billion-dollar business on sales of new versions of Windows through retailers and to PC makers, who pass on the cost of licensing Windows to us through the cost of a new PC. Windows was the firm’s genesis, something that led to Office and thence to the server.”
Someone from Microsoft told me that they now work on Vista 12 and the privacy violations are likely to further expand. So don’t jump on this trap. It’s an entrapment. Even user data will be held hostage for ransom (locked in) on the ‘cloud’, owned by Microsoft and accessible by naughty spy agencies. ‘Upgrading’ to Vista 10 is giving up privacy and entering a trap. So avoid the trap now. The Register reminds people that Vista 10 turns PCs into zombies of Microsoft, literally. Alluding to an issue that we covered here before, Wired reminds people that Vista 10 also treats user like the product, on their own computer, which effectively becomes an ad delivery platform (and along with it surveillance for ad targeting).
“10 things Windows 10 failed to fix or flat-out broke” is the provocative headline of an article that actually reads more like an advertisement for Microsoft (from IDG). “Some niggling issues have been hindering Microsoft’s operating system for years,” wrote the author (typically pro-Microsoft), “and Windows 10 adds a few new irritating quirks of its own. Don’t let these (predominantly minor) complaints sour you to the OS overall, but these are the problems Windows 10 doesn’t fix.”
Given the background of this author (Microsoft-friendly), one may interpret that as him not being happy about where Windows is going.
Competition Abuses and Strong-arming
Mac Asay, who once tried to work for Microsoft, says that Microsoft’s goals are “sad … really sad” (probably the editor’s own headline). He says at The Register that adoption of Vista 10 is “unfortunate, because for that billion-device number to mean anything, Microsoft really, really needs it to be relevant to phones.”
Well, based on this new article, Microsoft tries using Vista 10 to shove Microsoft malware into Android phones. Microsoft basically tries to ‘steal’ the competition. In our IRC channels we learn that if one tries to disable (not even uninstall) Microsoft malware for Android, then menacing alerts will appear, saying it might damage the phone. That’s Microsoft’s FUD and lies right on top of Linux.
The press is finally catching up [1, 2, 3] and reporting Mozilla's complaint over anticompetitive abuses, so not only GNU/Linux is being sabotaged by Vista 10.
In summary, a lot of the positive coverage about Vista 10 is corrupt, or put another way, it comes from corruptible sources. People who actually use the software (if they managed to install it at all) are not happy and the media is slowly starting to reflect on that. The same thing happened when Vista was released, greeted by staged excitement (“the Wow starts now”). █
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Entryism is alive and well
Summary: Microsoft pays the supposedly ‘public’ network to act as courier of Microsoft marketing, shrewdly disguised as ‘information’
BIAS in the corporate media is not hard to buy. That’s the business model of such media. Consider for example how this Bill Gates-funded (bribed) ‘news’ site complained one month ago that Microsoft might actually need to pay tax, having already dodged billions in taxes (illegally). Yes, The Seattle Times is paid by the Gates Foundation and for a number of years it acted as a mouthpiece for Bill, his father, and their massive tax-evading schemes (we have covered all this before). Now it’s time for Microsoft. “They haven’t advertised it,” wrote the author, “but the budget deal agreed to by state lawmakers this week quietly targeted Microsoft for a $57 million tax increase over the next two years.”
The word “targeted” is a strong and misleading word. Microsoft is generally painted as a victim despite its tax evasion crimes, which are very well documented. Therein lies the value of bribed media. The criminal is presented as the victim. Hell is frozen and pigs surely fly. The power of money corrupts.
“Therein lies the value of bribed media.”Four years ago we wrote about how Bill Gates had paid CBS in exchange for lobbying and favourable coverage (which we demonstrated thereafter). Now it’s Microsoft’s turn. “RIP PBS” called it one reader of ours, linking to this press release. It’s about “PBS’s announcement that it will air the Microsoft-funded ‘reality’ show Code Trip,” wrote Slashdot yesterday. Well, like in the case of Koch-funded PBS or NPR pieces, we don’t need to speculate about the outcome. PBS is a sham like the BBC (also bribed by Gates, on numerous occasions that we have documented), so maybe it should remove the “P” from the acronym (or change it to “private”) because it works for the private secret, not the public. “Microsoft bought themselves a show on PBS,” wrote Ryan in our IRC channels. “This comes after Walmart and the oil companies did the same thing. Of course, with everyday people losing their personal wealth and being left unable to donate, while PBS had their public funding slashed by more than two-thirds under George W. Bush, this was probably inevitable.”
It sure is a huge disappointment which shows where press priorities really lie. “They’ve been like this for years though,” Ryan explains. He is a former Microsoft MVP from Indiana. “Microsoft is just the latest “sponsor” that has hijacked PBS. It’s not public broadcasting. It’s just a zombie.”
Meanwhile, as just revealed by the site which was created to replace Slashdot after Microsoft boosters had ruined it (this was the main Microsoft-hostile news site before it got trashed), “[a] new round of funding has increased Uber’s valuation to around $51 billion. The New York Times cites anonymous sources in reporting that Microsoft contributed about $1 billion, “a substantial amount of the financing.” As you may remember, Uber recently acquired mapping assets and talent from Microsoft’s Bing search engine division. Microsoft’s participation in the latest funding round may indicate a “strategic alliance” between the company and Uber.”
It looks like Uber might be the next Nokia, but that’s an entryism story better saved for another day and another article. Microsoft is still an extremely destructive force with zero ethics. █
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