Summary: Observations and analysis of some recent deception in corporate news sites (like Condé Nasty), trying to pretend that Microsoft is secure, that Microsoft is pursuing security, and that FOSS and Android security or privacy are inherently poor
THE KARMA (or blowback) that Microsoft is meeting right now is a result of it sucking up (for government subsidies) to the NSA et al. for a decade and a half. Putting back doors in one’s software is not a safe bet for a business.
As longtime Internet saboteur (most recently Microsoft broke No-IP and offered no real apology, knowing perhaps it would fuel lawsuits by admission) Microsoft should never be trusted for anything Web-based. This is perhaps why China has put Microsoft’s latest Office push on the blacklist. “Yesterday,” said one article “Microsoft convinced a judge to let it take over No-IP’s DNS service, shutting down name service for many websites, in order to stop a malware attack. Today, the company fake-pologized.”
Never mind the fact that, as we explained before, the malware was partly Microsoft’s fault, for making a piece of software that’s insecure by design (and with back doors). “Microsoft’s PR mailout says that “some customers” experienced “temporary” loss of service but that everything was fine now; shortly after, the company’s PR emailed journalists again to say that things were still massively screwed up. It blamed the whole mess on a “technical error,” but when you look at what the judge believed about No-IP when the order came down, it’s clear that the “technical error” was a gross overstatement of both No-IP’s involvement in Microsoft’s woes, and the best way to sort them out.”
Notice how Microsoft is rallying so-called journalists. It is a company of liars and cover-ups. Why would anyone believe a single word?
The very fact that Microsoft was able to shut down millions of legitimate services shows just how much Microsoft corrupted its government. It used the Court for powers like hijacking a whole network. The No-IP story turned out to be far more outrageous than most people realised, as the press had been deceiving them at Microsoft’s behest. People should be fuming and Microsoft sued out of existence, but we just don’t know if this is actually going to happen. If Tux Machines was still on No-IP (as it had been for year, until recently), then it would have been one among millions of victims, potentially down for days.
Now, watch the audacity of Microsoft. With help from Gates’ fan press it pretends to be “against the NSA” and “transparent”. A lie bigger than that is hard to imagine, but this is marketing. This is part of a propaganda campaign which is going on at the moment (in many countries) and would have the gullible believe that Microsoft ‘fights back’ against the NSA, or something along those lines. One piece of propaganda was titled “Microsoft mocks NSA” and another doubts that it is “NSA-proof” (it is not, as with PRISM Microsoft can provide direct access, never mind NSLs).
Corporate media is meanwhile trying hard to push FOSS as “insecure” back into the debate. Gates’ fan press recently did this (citing familiar FOSS-hostile firms) and ‘Information’ Age conflates “proprietary” with “enterprise”, insinuating that FOSS is inherently not for enterprises (this is another type of FUD). Apparently, in addition to all that, a few lines of code (one bug) are the beginning of a new world. It’s that “Heartbleed” nonsense — a word coined by a Microsoft-linked firm for greater impact in an already-FOSS-hostile media (here is Adrian Bridgwater’s cheeky attacks on FOSS, using/exploiting news from 3 months ago, and here is another example). What corporate press rarely tells reader about “Heartbleed” is the insidious connection to Microsoft. There are those who look for bugs in old versions of Android which can leak location data because of the Wi-Fi stack, but these are not critical. “Android phones running 3.1 and newer versions of Google’s mobile operating system are leaking Wi-Fi connection histories, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has discovered,” says one source. Furthermore, says The Mukt, “Android seems to be the center of attention when it comes to mobile security concerns. In the latest, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has made claims that if you are an Android smartphones user, there is a high risk that your location history is being broadcasted to those within your Wi-Fi range.”
So basically, when it comes to FOSS there is nothing to really complain about except privacy bugs and some security bug from three months ago. As Ryan pointed out some days ago in IRC (citing IDG): “UPDATE: IBM on Monday corrected its report to say that the problem is not as widespread as originally thought. “The vulnerability affects Android 4.3 only. Thanks for the Android Security Team for correcting our advisory,” IBM said. About 10.3 percent of Android devices run Android 4.3.”
“That’s some sloppy reporting,” Ryan wrote. “First they reported that 86% of Android devices were affected by a critical security hole. Then they issued a correction, that it was only one version of Android that represents 10% of devices, and not even the latest version. We also don’t know that all Android 4.3 devices are affected, because OEMs can backport patches to their current firmware even when they don’t want to do a major Android upgrade at the moment. Archos kept backporting patches to Android 4.0 for a long time.
The original report, as far as we can tell, came from Android and Linux basher Dan Goodin. He led the way for writers, including in his former employer, to hide up an Android vulnerability. “It’s hard to exploit,” said his former employer, but in Condé Nasty it is called “serious”. This, in our view, is part of the hype which seeks to paint FOSS as ” insecure”, never mind the many back doors we now know of in proprietary software like Microsoft’s.
Just remember that Condé Nasty, and especially its writer Dan Goodin, has been on some kind of villainous Jihad against GNU/Linux for months now, distorting facts to make it seem as thought FOSS cannot be trusted.
To us it seems clear why all this FUD is being disseminated. Citing security concerns, large governments are moving away from pricey proprietary software with back doors, notably Microsoft’s. Watch Microsoft lying to governments of the world:
No backdoors in our code: Microsoft bid to convince governments
In yet another sign that the revelations about blanket NSA spying are biting into business revenue, Microsoft is offering to open up its source code to governments so they can satisfy themselves that there are no backdoors implanted.
There appears to be a fear among technology companies that if Microsoft is forced to do the government’s bidding, then American cloud businesses which operate in other countries could stand to lose a lot of business.
Snowden’s revelations have led to a drop in overseas business for at least two technology firms – Cisco and IBM. Additionally, the Boeing company lost an order from Brazil, which opted to go with Sweden’s Saab for $US4.5 billion worth of aircraft.
These are lies and Snowden’s revelations provided enough hard evidence to prove this. Expect many more attacks on FOSS from a security angle. Microsoft will try to save its cash cows, using a new ‘flavour’ of disinformation, as usual. █
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Summary: Bursting the bubble or shattering the illusion that Gates is merely a misguided well-meaning person when it comes to education ‘reform’
THE Gates Foundation continues to swindle the world.
GMO (e.g. Monsanto) monopoly is still on the agenda based on reports from CNET (part of CBS) and other CBS sites that highlight more patents on bananas, with investments from Bill Gates. They are of course pretending it’s about feeding hungry Africans, which is a common PR strategy, but it is really about profit. A lot of Gates-bribed media companies and blogs (bribed for silencing Gates criticism, plus the occasional grooming) might be able to keep the lies going some of the time (watch the Gates-funded Guardian publishing a disgraceful puff piece and other whitewash from the plutocrats’ fan press, Forbes), but they can’t keep the world from knowing that’s rather obvious to more and more people over time.
Well, “for a modest profit,” note reports, Bill Gates has just sold shares in private thugs. So only after public pressure and some profit Bill Gates distances self from G4S [1, 2, 3, 4]. It’s a shame that this did not receive even more media attention. It highlights the way Gates continues to rapidly increase his wealth while pretending to be giving it all away. It should be easy to see that he does this everywhere, essentially bribing to profit where it’s more challenging a task. He would bribe officials who stand in the way of his corporate ambitions. A common mistake to be made is assuming that Bill Gates ‘screwed up’ only with education when the reality of the matter is that he’s hardly any different from the Koch brothers, he just has better PR.
Here is some recent coverage about Gates’ “Common Core” crusade (privatising what’s public, for a profit). This coverage comes from a paper (Washington Post) whose board used to include Bill's wife Melinda and his close friend Warren Buffett. It says:
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation didn’t just bankroll the development of what became known as the Common Core State Standards. With more than $200 million, the foundation also built political support across the country, persuading state governments to make systemic and costly changes.
The Gates Foundation spread money across the political spectrum, to entities including the big teachers unions, the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association, and business organizations such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — groups that have clashed in the past but became vocal backers of the standards.
Money flowed to policy groups on the right and left, funding research by scholars of varying political persuasions who promoted the idea of common standards. Liberals at the Center for American Progress and conservatives affiliated with the American Legislative Exchange Council who routinely disagree on nearly every issue accepted Gates money and found common ground on the Common Core.
One 2009 study, conducted by the conservative Thomas B. Fordham Institute with a $959,116 Gates grant, described the proposed standards as being “very, very strong” and “clearly superior” to many existing state standards.
Gates money went to state and local groups, as well, to help influence policymakers and civic leaders. And the idea found a major booster in President Obama, whose new administration was populated by former Gates Foundation staffers and associates. The administration designed a special contest using economic stimulus funds to reward states that accepted the standards.
The result was astounding: Within just two years of the 2008 Seattle meeting, 45 states and the District of Columbia had fully adopted the Common Core State Standards.
We recently covered Ravitch's views, which the same paper gave a platform to, despite the infamous Gates ties.
Here we have a Gates-funded newspaper covering a “Rush-hour protest by teachers to target the Gates Foundation” and another Microsoft-linked (and at times — in a previous incarnation — Gates-funded) folks covering this protest against Bill Gates (some GeekWire staff came from Microsoft-funded circles). To quote:
Bill Gates has poured millions of dollars into public education reform in the U.S., and some teachers aren’t too thrilled about that.
About 150 instructors from the Badass Teacher Association marched through downtown Seattle toward the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on Thursday evening to demonstrate their disdain for the Common Core standards that have been implemented in 45 states, thanks largely to support from the Gates Foundation.
But as detailed in this Washington Post article from earlier this month, there’s been more and more pushback recently from both teachers and politicians on the standards. Some accuse Gates for supporting Common Core not for the benefit of students, but rather for corporate interest and to help Microsoft’s bottom line because the standards support technology and data.
The most important point we wish to highlight is that not only in education does Gates do this. Perhaps the fact that teachers are smart led to the quick realisation that Gates was selfishly doing harm and there was a triumph over Gates’ well-funded PR operation, which includes bribing politicians and newspapers. We hope that in the coming years it will become a regular thing in the press to cover Gates’ abuses in many other areas, not just obvious ones like investment in oil giants, ALEC, G4S, tobacco, and GMO. Gates is a sociopath just like the Kochs, and one with pockets so deep that he can bribe a lot of people to bamboozle the majority and ridicule (at times even suspend/fire) his opposition. █
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Summary: Another step in the long struggle to cast proprietary as ‘open’, especially when it comes to Microsoft’s last remaining cash cow and Facebook’s core business of mass surveillance
Openwashing has been a key ingredient of Microsoft’s strategy as of late, pretending that its privacy violations and patent racketeering are somehow outweighted by some kind of goodwill. This is something that not only Microsoft does but also the (partly) Microsoft-owned Facebook is doing quite a lot these days. It is truly disturbing.
Angus Kidman said that “Open [sic] XML is the format which Microsoft Office has used to store Office documents since Office 2007″ even though it is untrue. Almost nobody used it at the time, so Microsoft bribed and corrupted so many people and organisations, hoping to universally impose OOXML on people, pretending it was “open” even though it was all about proprietary Office. Nobody was going to use something so unnecessary, so Microsoft bribed many people for this, including large companies, as compatibility with existing formats had improved and the goalposts needed to be moved. Here is LibreOffice’s Meeks, who was surrendering to Microsoft’s proprietary OOXML rather than adhering to standards like ODF, probably because he was paid by Novell at the time (and Novell was bribed by Microsoft specifically — as per the contractual agreement — to promote and openwash OOXML).
“When the press is trying to insinuate that Microsoft (Office) and Facebook are open there is clearly something wrong with the press.”So once again they are using “Open Source” to promote proprietary lock-in. This is not a novel concept, Microsoft did this with Novell (converter). Phoronix says: “This work may benefit some open-source document editors / office suite software, with more commentary being available from Michael Meeks’ blog.”
How is being reliant on OOXML beneficial to anyone but Microsoft shareholders? This is a trap. We need to reject this format. Google too should stop its unhelpful backing of OOXML, which is getting more detrimental by the day (more of it in the company’s latest event was disclosed, affirming Google’s lack of commitement to document standards).
As noted by some bloggers and writers for the European Commission’s Web site: “To ensure preservation of digital assets, it is essential that specific file formats are implementable in open source software, concludes Björn Lundell, associate professor at the University of Skövde in Sweden. He recommends this should be made a requirement for digital asset strategies of public administrations, thus minimising the risk of losing control over these assets.”
Well, there are patents in OOXML and complexity which shows that it’s really just designed around one implementation in a proprietary form (Office). OOXML should be rejected, especially in the public sector. There is nothing open about it. It’s a massive lie.
Nicholas Miller from VentureBeat and others play a role in a similarly-disturbing campaign that seeks to paint Facebook as “open”. With press release-oriented ‘journalists’ out there it has been quite easy. The Facebook openwashing that we recently wrote about is further promoted by pro-Facebook sites that use semantic jokes to get across this illusion.
When the press is trying to insinuate that Microsoft (Office) and Facebook are open there is clearly something wrong with the press. These are systematic and very persistent (especially this year) openwashing campaigns that everyone should push back against because these deceive and help derail real Free software. █
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The LLP echo chamber
Summary: Heaps of editorials and analyses from patent-centric firms pretend that nothing has changed after the Supreme Court abolished patents on “abstract ideas” (as opposed to working implementations)
POTENTIALLY substantial patent changes are afoot, especially owing to a decision from SCOTUS. A new article by Timothy B. Lee chastises this court for not understanding technology, which is a typical problem with judges. “The Supreme Court doesn’t understand software, and that’s a problem,” says Lee. “Patent litigation has become a huge problem for the software industry. And on Thursday, the Supreme Court could have solved that problem with the stroke of a pen. Precedents dating back to the 1970s place strict limits on software patents. The court could have clearly reiterated that those old precedents still apply, and that they rule out most patents on software.
“Instead, perhaps fearing the backlash from invalidating billions of dollars worth of patents, the court took an incremental approach. It ruled that the specific patent at issue in the case was invalid. But it didn’t articulate any clear rules for software patents more generally. In effect, the court kicked the can down the road, leaving a huge question mark floating over most software patents.”
SCOTUS can hardly distinguish between UML, pseudo code, and source code. The ambiguities left behind are already being exploited by patent lawyers and here is a new example from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, another from Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox P.L.L.C., and one from Choate Hall & Stewart LLP, to name just three (these flood the media these days, day after day). Well, at first came lots of media reports (written by journalists) declaring a lot of software patents dead and later came (and still comes) the flood of “analyses” by lawyers, rewriting the history to assure their clients that it is worth patenting software and that nothing has really changed.
In recent days we found more examples from Proskauer Rose LLP, saying that “Applying this rationale, the Court found that the claims at issue recited computer steps that are “purely conventional” and a “basic function of a computer.”15 The Supreme Court therefore affirmed the Federal Circuit and held the claims were ineligible under § 101.”
The SCOTUS decision was too weak in some sense and law firms are spinning it in their favour. Here is an example where the title says “Supreme Court silent on general eligibility of software patents” (not entirely true). Cooley LLP , Fenwick & West LLP, Seyfarth Shaw LLP and Lathrop & Gage LLP also try to assure their clients that patenting more algorithms is OK, as if nothing has changed. “Although the Court’s decision provides some clarity concerning the inventive effect of reciting computer implementation within patent claims,” says the last analysis, “there remains some ambiguity concerning how courts will define “abstract ideas” moving forward (indeed, the Court stated that it “need not labor to delimit the precise contours of the ‘abstract ideas’ category in this case”).”
Code is already copyrighted, so one might argue that patenting anything but code would be patenting “abstract ideas”. Suffice to say, this is not what greedy patent lawyers are going to tell customers for whom they produce useless papers that the USPTO almost blindly stamps for approval.
Patent lawyers continue to rely on the ignorance or gullibility among judges (who are themselves lawyers and are rarely technical enough to grasp programming). Perhaps any court that deals with patents should have an imperative to be technical. CAFC, for example, needs to be abolished for being corrupt and also utterly dumb on technology. █
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Summary: The press is awash with Microsoft propaganda that negates truths, such as Microsoft as having “warmth towards open source” (like lawsuits), Microsoft having big share in virtualisation (based on revenue/sales alone), and Microsoft “continu[ing] Android push” (actually, extorting and derailing Android)
EVERY now and then we see some Microsoft openwashing that we are urged to respond to. There are some propaganda agents out there (some working directly for Microsoft) whose aim is to portray Microsoft as privacy-respecting, Open Source-friendly, law-obeying/abiding, and competition-respecting. Earlier today we saw a pro-Microsoft site saying that “Microsoft Refuses To Open Source VB6″, then issuing the following revisionist nonesense: “With Microsoft’s new warmth towards open source it seems a small thing to ask for VB6 to be open sourced.”
There is no “new warmth towards open source”, there is openwashing and propaganda, that’s all. Microsoft pretended to have open-sourced some very old software a few months ago, but that was a sheer lie, promoted for the most part by Microsoft-friendly sites that disregard facts. We need to keep track of such lies, which usually come from sites that have historically been linked to Microsoft (sometimes their writers come from Microsoft).
Here is the MSN-connected (Microsoft, and Microsoft Windows-run) Fool.com belittling Red Hat by warping the way one counts share in virtualisation (they count sales, but Free software is rarely actually sold). It’s the same propaganda line that Gartner and IDC use when it comes to servers share. They give the illusion that proprietary software dominates virtualisation, but that’s nonsense. VMware is linked to the NSA through RSA, and it is run by people from Microsoft (the NSA’s #1 PRISM partner and more). Like Hyper-V, VMware is proprietary and it probably facilitates back door access like Hyper-V does (Hyper-V runs on Windows, which has back doors, hence Hyper-V and every guest VM under it has an NSA back door). We need to find back against disinformation that belittles the share of GNU/Linux and Free software by framing it as a purely financial question.
The third example for today comes from an Android-hostile site. It now gives the illusion (again) that Microsoft supports Android rather than what it actually does. Microsoft extorts Android and derails it by trying to turn a portion of it into a Microsoft surveillance platform.
All the examples above show us not journalism but agenda disguised as reporting. Please report such coverage to us so that we can counter it. █
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Patent lawyers fight to maintain artificial barriers
Summary: Systematic distraction or obfuscation of the SCOTUS ruling, which basically rendered a lot of software patents utterly useless in every court in the United States and abroad/at the border (ITC)
WE SAW THIS after the Bilski case. We saw it many times after that. Lawyers try to shape the truth based on their own preferences. That’s what they do for a living. We must counter them before they successfully change the nature of this whole debate.
Various articles that we see coming from patent lawyers (and patent-centric publications) are an absolute disgrace, but this is precisely what we predicted would happen. Revisionism as such typically becomes necessary when there’s a decision impacting their business. They turn their back on truth and start spinning, or lying by omission.
Remember that lawyers are good liars (or truth twisters), they are not necessarily judges, although judges too have their faults and occasional corruption. Their goal is not justice. They need to just lie on behalf of people (clients), or twist the facts not for the purpose of justice but for winning a case. That’s their occupation by definition and the SCOTUS decision is seen as a threat to some of them.
We have been finding some more articles that we did not see in our fairly large/comprehensive press survey. Here is the EFF speaking about “bad patents” (the EFF prefers not to talk about “software patents” so much anymore, just like the Bezos/Amazon-owned CIAPost which speaks of ‘”bad” patents’). There is also some analysis from eWeek, IP Watch, and pro-Android circles.
The corporate media’s coverage [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12] was mostly OK (sticking to the facts rather than twisting them), but there’s already spin from patent lawyers, such as this article by James M. Singer from Fox Rothschild LLP. Its headline states “Supreme Court Delivers Blow To ‘Abstract’ Software Patents, While Stating That Software Still Can Be Patent-Eligible” (the latter part conveys bias).
Here is another example of distortion, with the headline “Supreme Court blow to software ‘patent trolls’”. It’s a weird type of spin, similar to “US Supreme Court squares up to software patent trolls with stricter rules” (from Microsoft-friendly site). Well, the ruling does not say anything about trolls, it speaks about scope. Here is a headline that says “US Supreme Court deals major blow against software patents and patent trolls”, again introducing a discussion about “trolls” where none really existed. SCOTUS dealt with patent scope, so to twist/shape this into something else is simply inadequate.
Watch how Microsoft booster Richard Waters twists the facts, by going with the deceiving headline “Software patents survive US Supreme Court test”. This lousy journalist is a longtime Microsoft spinner (who told lies) and he has just told readers the very opposite of what happened. Richard Waters makes the Financial Times look no better than Fox ‘news’ (AP and CNN did get it right this time).
Now, watch how a typical lawyers’ firm approaches the subject of software patents or business method patents. A patent lawyer from Stuart Meyer, Partner, IP Group, Fenwick & West LLP pretends there is a lot of uncertainty after the decision, which is a common technique for preserving the status quo (pretending that a ruling changed nothing at all due to lack of clarity). It is very clear what SCOTUS has just done, but prepare for patent lawyers all around the world to storm and press and do some revisionism.
The SCOTUS decision would do more to help than all those so-called ‘reforms’ that achieve nothing serious, except perhaps the claim that something has been done (a distraction).
Another lawyer, Matt Levy , continues to divert attention to patent trolls. To quote his latest analysis: “Yesterday, the Supreme Court released its final patent opinion of the term, Alice v. CLS Bank. This case should help clarify the patent eligibility of software, and improve patent quality, but we’re still going to need patent reform legislation to really fix the problems in the patent system that are exploited by patent trolls.”
Nonsense. As many trolls use software patents, it is scope we should be striving to change. Some very large trolls like Microsoft would not be impeded by a reform that deals with small “trolls”. Patent Progress, the site of Levy, always focuses only on trolls; perhaps his goal is not to get rid of software patents but to merely change the landscape of litigation. Here he is speaking about trolls, including Intellectual Ventures, conveniently failing to mention the company behind it or that company’s record of racketeering with patents. “And earlier this week,” said this one post. “Matt Levy explained why the demand letter bills are insufficient to fix the patent troll problem.”
Matt Levy should be doing more to tackle software patents. The same goes for Steph from this trolls-focused site which asks: “You know what the biggest problem with patent trolls is? Oh sure, it’s that they cost companies buckets of money and stifle innovation by shutting down start ups. Those are bad, of course, but the real tragedy here is that they make people like Chris Hulls call someone a “piece of shit” and then look stupid in the process.”
The focus on trolls is the reason we stopped covering patent issues for nearly a year. Here we have an important decision regarding software patents, but people who claim to be pursuing “patent progress” carry on talking about trolls, as if they simply fail to see the broader issue and the ultimate solution to spurious litigation. █
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Summary: A look at some of the latest privacy-washing of Microsoft (the worst privacy offender in the software world) and the parallel actions of Bill Gates and fellow plutocrats
Surveillance is a hot subject these days. People finally oppose mass surveillance because they know a lot better just how bad it is, owing for the most part to leaks.
Virtually no software company has been worse than Microsoft when it comes to surveillance, not even Google or Facebook, which is a monstrous surveillance machine that’s partly owned by Microsoft. We were rather disgusted to see the role that GigaOM, the network of Om Malik, played in providing Microsoft with a “propaganda platform” (to use a now-comical term from the US State Department). How much did Microsoft pay Malik in 2006 (or thereabouts) when he embedded Microsoft propaganda inside his articles (Microsoft still does such things)? Nobody knows how much, but there were payments involved. This criminal company, Microsoft, paid for AstroTurfing of this kind and now it pushes the preposterous idea of opening ‘transparency centres’, owing to Malik’s hosting. Microsoft admits it is hurt by the public’s understanding that it’s in bed with the NSA , so it lies to the public using Malik’s platform. Here is more of that, also from HP.
The situation has gotten so serious that even British banks are now worried about Fog Computing , especially if it involves NSA/PRISM companies like Microsoft (the #1 company in PRISM).
Speaking of surveillance, Bill Gates, who is a famous proponent of the NSA, uses taxpayers-funded Establishments, such as schools and public media (e.g. PBS and NPR), for surveillance. These are common targets for Bill Gates bribes. It’s a perception game. You bribe the right people to get the agenda rectified. He also invests in surveillance companies such as G4S and InBloom (along with Rupert Murdoch). The other day we found this good article on this topic, titled “PARCC Security Breaches Revealed; Microsoft, InBloom, News Corp. Implicated”.
The article says: “When LouisianaVoice broke the story about the stealth agreement between the Louisiana Department of Education (DOE) and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. whereby DOE would provide News Corp. with personal information on Louisiana’s public school students for use by a company affiliated with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the resulting firestorm resulted in cancellation of the agreement.
“Or did it?
“Remember, too, that it was Murdoch who, in 2010, speaking of the enormous business opportunity in public education awaiting corporate America, said, “When it comes to K through 12 education, we see a $500 billion sector in the U.S.”
“In June of 2012, Erin Bendily, assistant deputy superintendent for departmental support and former education policy adviser to Gov. Bobby Jindal emailed Louisiana Superintendent of Education John White:
““I think we need to start with a very strong introduction and embed more CCSS (Common Core State Standards) alignment/integration throughout. This sounds harsh, but we should show that our current/old educator evaluation system is crap and the new system is stellar.””
We covered Common Core before. It’s all about turning schools into indoctrination centres (of the rich) and Professor Diane Ravitch, a vocal opponent of Gates (who calls for Federal action against him), has this new article about “Making Schools Poor” (so that they can be bought out). To quote: “It pretends that great teachers will magically appear after principals gain the power to fire teachers without the necessity of hearings. But inner-city schools already have high teacher turnover and difficulty attracting well-qualified teachers. What’s needed most in schools that serve the poorest children is adequate resources, a full curriculum, and a stable, experienced staff. The Vergara decision will do nothing to improve working conditions, to attract better qualified teachers, or to increase the resources available to the neediest children.”
Related/contextual items from the news:
Microsoft admitted that, since the scandal broke, it has seen concrete evidence that trust in its services is plummeting.
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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: Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is expected to do nothing, as usual, even through there is overwhelming evidence that Microsoft breaks the law by bribing journalists and bloggers, not just government officials
THE FTC promised to fight bribery of bloggers, but it never really did anything (not a single action that we are aware of). A cynic may simply conclude that there are face-saving laws and rules, but they are not being enforced against criminal enterprises like Microsoft, which habitually engages in AstroTurfing, even in Wikipedia [1, 2, 3] which now bans it and demands disclosure of payments. Microsoft’s PR agencies do this too (they are void of ethics just like Microsoft and some literally emanate from inside Microsoft), not just moles whom Microsoft pays secretly. Microsoft has been bribing bloggers and journalists (with laptops) in exchange for positive reviews of operating systems and nothing is improving these days because Microsoft is paying people to comment in Reddit (now owned by the Microsoft-friendly Condé Nasty), maybe even to misuse moderation to ban opposing views or to submit stories. Microsoft got caught doing this just months ago and there was a similar abuse involving bribed-for YouTube placements (bribing vloggers).
Microsoft is a criminal company and criminals don’t obey laws. After Condé Nasty took over Reddit the site began advertising (in the content section) the most NSA-friendly Web browser (many back doors with new ones every month, enabling whole OS capture due to illegal integration/bundling), probably in exchange for a lot of money. It is a form of AstroTurfing, distorting and ultimately derailing the editorial process.
Well, Microsoft has just been caught bribing bloggers to covertly advertise the most NSA-friendly Web browser (Internet Explorer of course). The pushback actually came from Michael Arrington almost a decade after Arrington had played along with Microsoft and got caught (and shamed for it, losing a lot of credibility). Arrington blew the whistle, but Microsoft lies to him (and his readers) by claiming it had nothing to do with it (see the update). is Microsoft trying to distance itself from it all, but now we finally know Arrington was right all along:
Why in the world is Microsoft (through an agency) trying pay bloggers to write about Internet Explorer? Do people still do this? And given my position on paid posts, why would they think I’d be willing to participate?
This is just layers of stupid.
Here’s the link in the request below. Here’s the hashtag (#IEbloggers) that they’re requesting people use, so I’m guessing anyone using that is getting paid.
Arrington once agreed to do the “people-ready” Microsoft propaganda, embedded in articles for some Microsoft cash (hence a violation, as per the FTC’s rules). Microsoft could not escape such scandals, later confirming — implicitly — that it was definitely something Microsoft was behind. Even a site that serves Microsoft propaganda very routinely has covered it. Here is a quote: “Microsoft Internet Explorer officials are attempting to distance themselves from a paid social-media effort by an advocate marketing company meant to promote Microsoft’s IE browser.”
Coming from ZDNet this is quite grand because the site was paid by Microsoft to become its propaganda mill (we exposed this numerous times in the past).
What can people do? Well, given that the FTC won’t do anything (highly unlikely), people should boycott Microsoft and urge journalists ban Microsoft from various circles of the media, not just from procurement.
Microsoft is run by the same unethical thugs, even if the public face (CEO) has changed. People who don’t wish to reward criminals should pay not a penny to Microsoft. █
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