“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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Summary: Looking at some of the latest propaganda for and against a bill which is already too watered-down to actually fix the US patent system
TECHRIGHTS has spent a lot of time explaining why the US patent system is dysfunctional beyond repair (Europe’s system, by contrast, can still be salvaged) and why so-called ‘reform’ in a political atmosphere that is dominated by large corporations is just a mirage [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]. The so-called Innovation Act or PATENT Act have already been derailed by lobbyists, employed by large corporations and very rich people who want protectionism in the form of patents (monopoly or “market exclusivity”, to use a euphemism).
All that ‘reforms’ speak about these days are “trolls”, even though patent trolls are far from the only issue. They are arguably just a symptom of a broken system and fixing a problem by redefining that problem won’t help solve the real problem. Joe Mullin, who has been focusing on patent trolls for nearly a decade, continues to focus on patent trolls and says that a “patent was invented [patents are being invented?] by Warren Sandvick, president of a Texas company called HasSex, which has an extremely trollish website and licensed the patent several times. Filed in 1998, and granted in 2002, the patent lays broad claim to a remotely controlled sexual “stimulation system,” one version of which involved a “second user interface” located remotely from the first.”
“This is clearly lobbying that exploits women to mask corporations and billionaires, but then again, we we noted many times before, that’s what The Hill is for.”The article focuses on sex (sex sells!) and trolls rather than matters pertaining to patent scope. Another site which obsesses over patent trolls because it is funded by large corporations including Microsoft weighs in, calling for the bogus ‘reform’ (dealing only with trolls) to go ahead. In it, Matt Levy responds to a nonsensical piece we mentioned the other day, from lobbyists’ favourite media (The Hill). Bill Watson took note of the propaganda from The Hill, paraphrasing as: “Patent reform will enable sneaky “foreign entities” to harm “the American family unit”” [the exact headline is “New patent bill would undermine economic growth, hurt families” and it does refer to “foreign entities” at the end].
Who wrote the article? By the description of oneself, “Nance is CEO and president of Concerned Women for America (CWA), the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization.”
Wait, we already know this. Like several other such groups, it is a front for lobbyists, exploiting women’s rights for corporate agenda. We covered such examples almost a decade ago. It’s not a new trick.
CMD wrote about this front group last year. Quoting the relevant parts: “This includes right-wing religious groups that oppose gay marriage and abortion rights, like Concerned Women for America, which has received at least $11.4 million from the Koch network since 2010, and Focus on the Family spinoff Citizen Link, which has received at least $10 million, including at least $885,000 this election cycle.”
There is also “Concerned Women for American Legislative Action Committee,” with a budget of $8,150,000, according to this “New List of the Dark Money Shell Game Groups Connected to the Kochs”.
So who opposes patent reform in this case? CMD’s SourceWatch has some good, well-organised background about “Concerned Women for America” and “Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee”. This is clearly lobbying that exploits women to mask corporations and billionaires, but then again, we we noted many times before, that’s what The Hill is for. That’s coming from the same billionaires who use sockpuppets to airbrush Wikipedia. █
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“In the future, Microsoft wants Windows to run everything, from PCs to phones to cars to appliances. This is a terrifying prospect. If it happens, I’d be far more afraid that machinery everywhere would grind to a halt, planes would fall out of the sky, and civilization would crumble as a result of crummy embedded Windows design than any Y2K problem.”
–Paul Somerson, PC Computing
Summary: Media carries on openwashing Visual Studio and perpetuating the illusion that it is not tied to Microsoft Windows
TECHRIGHTS has already responded to the Visual Studio openwash the other day (also mentioned this other openwashing effort), having already warned about it five years ago, earlier this year, and earlier this month. It’s not about .NET or Mono, it’s about Visual Studio, which is purely proprietary with no imminent opening of anything, not even Visual Studio Code, which some Linux sites foolishly promote [1,2] (there are better programs which are neither from Microsoft nor are proprietary).
IDG has done this promotion of proprietary Visual Studio for platforms other than Windows. It’s only towards the end that discrimination against non-Windows platforms is very evident:
The software also can easily hook into Microsoft’s software for managing team projects, Team Foundation Server 2015 and Visual Studio Online, both of which provide the base for a speedy, devops-styled development environment.
Well, this is Windows software. There is no parity at all between platforms. Visual Studio is still a proprietary program for Microsoft Windows, don’t let Microsoft paint it as cross-platform, not without a challenge. Microsoft is still aggressively attacking GNU/Linux, it is not playing nice with it.
“Eradicating Windows and slapping Linux on your computer sure isn’t as easy as it used to be,” writes Chris Hoffman this week, alluding to ‘secure boot’ in UEFI. This is the type of abuse Microsoft promotes (and now escalates further by removing the “on”/”off switch from some UEFI implementations on future computers — those coming with Vista 10 bundled). As an important reminder, UEFI lockdown is getting even worse, demonstrating that Microsoft hates Linux. With more such headaches on the horizon, affecting anyone wishing to at least try or explore GNU/Linux (not very technical people), Microsoft clearly has lots of hidden hate for Linux. There’s no “love”, just opportunistic PR. Anyone who actually thinks that Visual Studio will “play nice” with GNU/Linux has clearly not been paying attention (or paid attention only to puff pieces). █
Related/contextual items from the news:
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The “legally-binding” and “transparency” conundrums grossly distorted
Summary: News sites mislead their readers, teaching them that the biggest dangers associated with proprietary software are in fact problems exclusive to Free/libre Open Source software
FOR Microsoft to ever pretend to care about security would basically mean to lie, blatantly. Microsoft works hand in glove with the NSA and it has, on numerous occasions, admitted that true security isn’t the goal. Its actions too show this repeatedly. Known flaws -- or holes, or bug doors, or whatever one frames them as -- are not being patched unless the public finds out about them.
In order to bolster security perceptions and to give an illusion that Microsoft actually cares about security and invests in security, the company has just hired some staff in Israel (acquisition is one other way to frame this). The media calls it “security provider”, but given Israel’s record on back doors, cracking (e.g. Stuxnet development), wiretapping etc. this is rather laughable. A lot of Microsoft’s so-called ‘security’ products are made in Israel, and some companies in this military-driven industry facilitate and cater for spies using back doors, usually under the guise of ‘security’ (they mean “national security”). We wrote about this in past years.
“This proves that security through obscurity is a myth that merely encourages people to rely on poorly implemented programs with shoddy security, whereupon developers choose to hide the ugliness of the code.”We were rather disturbed to see this bizarre article yesterday. Titled “Hackers targeting .NET shows the growing pains of open source security”, the article is a big lie. The headline is definitely a lie. .NET is PROPRIETARY (still), it has holes in it, and some fool tries to use it to call Free/libre software “not secure”. Let’s assume for a second that .NET code becoming visible to the world exposes many holes, indeed. It proves exactly the opposite of what the headline says then. If anything, it shows that Microsoft keeping the code secret assured low quality code and bred vulnerable code. Once shown to the world, these holes are being exploited. This proves that security through obscurity is a myth that merely encourages people to rely on poorly implemented programs with shoddy security, whereupon developers choose to hide the ugliness of the code. A lot of the claims from the article come from a FOSS foe, Trend Micro, but they can be framed correctly to state that, if anything, a public audit of .NET now shows just how terrible proprietary software can be, having never been subjected to outside scrutiny.
In other disturbing headlines we find another inversion of the truth. The Business Software Alliance (BSA), or the EULA police, has done a lot to show how dangerous proprietary software licences can be. Nevertheless, Slashdot with its pro-Microsoft slant as of late [1, 2] gives a platform to Christopher Allan Webber.
“Is this another false “I really like the GPL except” post,” asked us a reader. To quote the author: “The fastest way to develop software which locks down users for maximum monetary extraction is to use free software as a base” (oh, yes, those greedy Free software developers!)
The article has a misleading/provocative headline (hence we provide no direct link) and Bruce Perens, who had already accused Black Duck of FUD against the GPL (“I think it’s 100% B.S.,” he said three years ago), responded to the piece by stating:
I help GPL violators clean up their act, it’s my main business.
Every one has had a total lack of due diligence. I will come in and find that they have violated the licenses of 21 proprietary software companies (this is a real customer example) by integrating their code into their main product, just like the GPL code. Some of them only had an “evaluation” license, some not even that, some wildly violated the terms of any license they got.
Most of them are in silicon valley. They seem to have the attitude that they will clean up their legal problems when they’re rich, and nothing but getting their product out of the door matters until then.
They don’t ask me to feel sorry for them. I bill them a lot, and in the end, they’re clean and legal.
When it comes to legal risk and licensing, nothing beats proprietary software. It’s risky, it’s expensive (lock-in makes the exit barriers considerably higher), and it is very hard to obey or comply with, especially when you are low on staff and funds (must renew licences all the time). Contrariwise, it is very easy to comply with copyleft; there is no renewal work required and no renewal fees. All one is required to do is to maintain the copyleft of the code used. The rules are very simple. █
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Summary: An outline of stories where the language used to describe patents is grossly distorted so as to bias the reality and mislead the audience/readers
TECHRIGHTS often links to articles about patents, including some awkward ones from patent lawyers, but rarely does it nitpick or criticise the warped terminology, which with the art of semantics helps rig the discussion. Just like in politics, language defines the debate, and choice of words can either glorify or demonise an idea. Today we will give some examples that we set aside over the past fortnight.
“Trade Secrets” and Patents (Opposites)
A lot of articles such as this one began to appear some days ago, mixing or mistaking patents for “trade secrets”, which are inherently very different (patents were originally introduced in order to discourage trade secrets and encourage publication). It was very hard to get the story straight based on the large majority of articles (we checked about a dozen). Ford is being sued over some rare combination of reverse engineering/’trade secrets’ but also claims pertaining to patents, according to few of the reports, including this reposted article from Bloomberg, which said: “Ford allegedly began developing its own version of Versata’s software by reverse engineering, according to court papers. The Dearborn, Michigan-based carmaker is also accused of disseminating Versata’s proprietary information to unauthorized users to create “a copycat configuration technology.””
So this is basically a combination of reverse engineering and patents. It’s an attack on Ford over patents and claims of reverse engineering. A lot of the media does an extremely poor job explaining this. the word “theft” or “steal” is used sparingly, subjecting readers to a trial by media (theft is a crime, but patent violation is not the same as theft and reverse engineering should arguably be legal everywhere).
“Stealing”, “Intellectual Property”, and “Innovation”
One of the grossest blogs out there (IP Watchdog, which we sometimes call “Watchtroll”) really beat its record. It not only used a propagandistic photo of a violent/militant bandit but also used three propaganda terms in one single headline: “Does Stealing Intellectual Property Boost Innovation?”
What a loaded, ugly headline (and a question). Patent lawyers who promote software patents really don’t try to come across as professional, do they? See the photo too. It’s worse than the Daily Fail, a notorious UK-based tabloid.
Patent Stacking/Royalty Stacking
There is a practice by which one company or several companies are stacking up patents and working to increase legal costs so as to discourage challenging of the patents, or simply drive a product out of the market. Watch the lawyers’ media framing this ugly strategy as “consolidation”. To quote:
No consolidation was granted where the petitions involved some non-overlapping grounds and arguments. However, the Board used its discretion to coordinate the date of the oral arguments to lessen the burden on the patent owner.
Software Patents by Another Name
Software patents are quite controversial, especially after Alice, which makes them weak. We have seen software patents alluded to in all sorts of ways that dodge the bad connotation, but how about “Behavioral Analytics”?
Patents as Objects
Patents are now sold like fruit and vegetables. Watch this piece titled “Improved Auction and Online Marketplace Patents Available from ICAP Patent Brokerage” or another one titled “Sleep, Temperature Analysis Wearables Patents Available”. They treat these like food. To quote one of these ridiculous pieces: “ICAP Patent Brokerage announces for sale patents disclosing methods for monitoring wakefulness and body temperature, available from inventor Gaby Badre (Bader). This portfolio is offered as part of the Internet of Things IP Auction, with a bidding deadline of July 30, 2015.”
They are truly selling them like some kind of objects, even though the patentor is supposed to be the holder. What has the patent system turned into? They are clearly perverting the logic behind patents when they were first introduced. Are these justified anymore? The meaning of patents has changed profoundly.
Buying Patents Like Products
“We’ve filed over 2,000 patents,” says this piece, “which is actually a lot, and we’re acquiring patents.” The saddest thing? It’s about Hugo Barra, known for his work on Android.
Patents can be a waste of time, money, and effort. “Westerners zealously guard their IPRs with patents and copyrights and so on,” said this piece the other day. What is “IPRs” anyway? Intellectual Property Rights? It’s a meaningless collective term that alludes to many separable things. It’s a bit like “cloud”.
Any protectionism by law (for the rich) can rely on metaphors like “intellect”, “right” and “property”, but just as in the case of that “cloud” buzzword, the reality is very different. It can simply means lock-in, surveillance, entrapment, and financial extortion. Nebulous terms make people oblivious and hence more gullible.
On “Discovering Patents”
IDG thinks that patents are being “discovered” because it says “newly discovered patents”. As if there’s some finite number of patents just waiting to be discovered, like gold buried beneath the ground. How foolish can the author be? Chemical elements can be discovered. Islands can be discovered (or colonised, or attacked). Patents are just an abstract concept, they’re man-made and they’re more like a musical composition. We never say that musicians “discover” a song when they come up with a new song.
Monopoly as “Market Exclusivity”
Monopoly is an ugly thing and a lot of literature exists to explain why monopolies are collectively harmful. So, ProactiveInvestors.com uses the propaganda terms of monopolisers and calls these “market exclusivity”. To quote: “Market exclusivity is a critical component of valuation. Patenting strategies, regulatory data exclusivity and product life-cycle management will give about 10 to 15 years of market exclusivity to most novel drugs.”
In reality this often means that poor people are left to die from curable diseases, just so that few companies that are often subsidised by governments (i.e. taxpayers) get to increase their private profits (going into few private pockets). Watch this new lobbying from the New Jersey press, titled “N.J. biotech companies need patent protection from Congress”. What they probably mean is that they want monopoly and protectionism. Competition is something they cannot tolerate.
The patent maximalists, as usual, refer to patent applicants as owners, in the same way that once upon a time men from Africa were considered “property” to be “owned” by white men in the northern hemisphere. This whole notion of “ownership” of ideas is perverse, but given enough repetition in the corporate media people might come to take that all for granted and accept it, just like many people used to happily accept slavery and deem it “just” or “necessary”.
“Intellectual Ventures Combats Malaria” Nonsense
Reddit, which is a horrible Web site (reportedly in steep decline this month), is now grooming the world’s biggest patent troll (and strongly Microsoft-connected, too). Watch this kind of advertisement disguised as discussion. A reader of ours told us that he got banned by the moderator/s for merely questioning such dodgy ‘advertisements’ for an evil, reprehensible firm. It attacks practicing companies while hoarding patent monopolies by acquisition. This non-practicing (and thus by definition not good-doers or even doer) is owned by Nathan Myhrvold from Microsoft. █
“The last thing this company needs is another fucking [computer] language.”
–Nathan Myhrvold, Microsoft (now Intellectual Ventures)
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Remember what Microsoft itself has said (in its words, click below for original PDF):
Summary: Microsoft and its minions (inside the media) pretend that Vista 10 will change the world, but technical folks from Microsoft say it’s not even stable and nowhere near ready
Vista 10 is nothing to be celebrated. It will mean yet more nightmares for software/web developers, even if they don’t use it at all. At my job I have already encountered people who use IE11 (Internet Explorer 11), which essentially breaks lots of commonly-used stuff (CKEditor for example). It’s like another IE6 and Microsoft makes matters worse by introducing another broken browser, in addition to Internet Explorer. According to The Register, this ‘new’ browser “is built on a fork of the Trident rendering engine that powers IE. Microsoft said it’s stripped out all that legacy code and, certainly, early benchmarks would seem to indicate it’s found a way to speed things up. But when it comes to the standards support developers are accustomed to, Edge reveals its Trident underpinnings.”
“Windows is getting more expensive, not cheaper. Pricing/tariff tricks are making it easier to entrap people, getting them ‘hooked’ (locked in) on Microsoft’s so-called ‘cloud’. The cost of being locked in is very high. Moreover, there is the cost of bad security.”So it’s basically the same rubbish under another name. It’s just marketing, much like “10″ itself (just a brand). Remember that Vista 8 objectively performed (in market terms) a lot worse than even Vista and based on what I hear about Vista 10 (from those working inside Microsoft), the zero-cost delusion around Vista 10 is there for a reason. Microsoft knows that it’s rubbish, so it is willing to give it away as a free ‘upgrade’ to existing users, hoping to game the so-called ‘adoption’ numbers. A lot of them might not choose to ‘upgrade’ (even at zero cost) because, as a Microsoft programmer told me a few days ago, Vista 10 still crashes a lot and it has hardware compatibility issues. Now we have this article from Brad Chacos telling us that Vista 10 won’t change much after Vista 8, except bundle it with more unwanted surveillance online, courtesy of the NSA’s leading partner in crime. “Don’t let that fresh new coat of paint fool you,” Chacos wrote, “Windows 10 may mask the nasty symptoms that made users shrink away from Windows 8, but it doesn’t cure the underlying causes. Windows 10 still advances most of Windows 8’s core missions—and those core missions are what made Windows 8 so controversial to many defenders of the traditional desktop.”
We remind readers not be fooled by the Vista 10 media flood (puff pieces all day long). Microsoft is paying a lot of money right now in order to manipulate/bribe journalists, as always (not to mention the AstroTurfing. As before, Microsoft does this by proxy, shielding itself from embarrassing litigation. Microsoft’s spammy barrage has already begun in CBS (see this ‘advertisement’ from Lance Whitney, who had worked for Microsoft media but did not disclose this conflict of interest). Vista 10 propaganda is going to get a lot worse in the coming days and weeks, that’s for sure. Regarding the forced software updates that we wrote about the other day, Mr. Pogson says that Microsoft “wants to control you by forcing upgrades which let in updates to everything, new “features”, even advertising on the hardware you own.”
Windows is getting more expensive, not cheaper. Pricing/tariff tricks are making it easier to entrap people, getting them ‘hooked’ (locked in) on Microsoft’s so-called ‘cloud’. The cost of being locked in is very high. Moreover, there is the cost of bad security. There are still back doors in there (Microsoft never changed its policy regarding the NSA) and back doors in Vista 10 are hardly even hidden because Microsoft’s ToS/EULA allows them to suck up (‘cloud’) one’s data. Windows is quite an hazardous OS. It used to be said that people believing Windows has back doors are “paranoid”. Now, those who say there’s none are viewed as stupid. When Vista 8 and prior versions (predecessors of “Windows 8″) were released Microsoft publicly bragged about NSA collaborations, even when the release (build process) was imminent. It says a lot, does it not? Prior to the NSA leaks Microsoft used to publicly pose with the NSA to brag about collaboration for ‘security’. This won’t happen with Vista 10 because the NSA is not popular and definitely not trusted anymore. Vista 10 will provide the latest and greatest back doors. The Register chastises GNU/Linux this week, saying that North Korea tracks GNU/Linux installations; well, even if true, they are copying Windows and OS X antifeatures, ‘innovated’ and ‘championed’ by the West. Outside of North Korea there are no such issues. On the other hand, The Register has just shown again that there are too many Windows back doors (having just been exposed to the public, partly thanks to Wikileaks), so Microsoft must fix them. It just can’t keep up.
“It’s 2015, and bad font files in webpages will still pwn you” if you use Microsoft Windows, says The Register. It hasn't been long since the last such flaw.
In summary, everyone should brace themselves for a lot of Microsoft propaganda, including puff pieces and overt lies, nonstop in the coming days. █
“If you can’t make it good, at least make it look good.”
–Bill Gates, Microsoft
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Fooling just the dummies?
Summary: Yet again, a new version of proprietary software from Microsoft is being grossly mischaracterised in order to give the illusion that it’s not all about Microsoft lock-in
THE world is changing and Microsoft is not prepared for this change. Free software (or “Open Source”, or FOSS) is gradually becoming a requirement in more and more places. In India, for example, the government moved toward adoption of FOSS, so Microsoft crushed policies, primarily by lobbying (both directly and by proxy). In some cases Microsoft simply pretends that it is now an “Open Source” company, or something along those lines, openwashing (characterising as “open” proprietary software) its ‘crown jewels’, e.g. Windows and Office (remember that OOXML stands for “Office Open XML”). We need to counter that, or else Microsoft will succeed at changing perceptions (making them all distorted and false). It’s about systematic, induced confusion and ultimately about making it hard to distinguish between FOSS and proprietary.
“It’s about systematic, induced confusion and ultimately about making it hard to distinguish between FOSS and proprietary.”One Microsoft advocacy site openwashes Microsoft because some people threw/slapped software that not many people are likely to find useful (not even Microsoft) at GitHub. Worse, however, is what Microsoft does yet again as a piece of proprietary software from Microsoft reaches a new version. We recently gave one example of that (the BI product) and now we see it in Visual Studio. We saw that done five years ago, earlier this year, and earlier this month. It’s a Big Lie.
Here is Microsoft’s official announcement. Phoronix did some Linuxwashing of Visual Studio and Microsoft Peter painted Visual Studio as an “Android, iOS, and even Apple Watch” thing. There are just two examples among many. There is also openwashing that typically latches onto .NET for weak support of the false insinuations. This is just proprietary software (compiler in this case, which makes it worse as it can potentially add back doors to compiled software).
Speaking of Windows, Microsoft, and Openwashing, watch Marius Maronilla (with a Windows-like avatar) marketing Windows as ‘free’, pretending that people choose GNU/Linux for price and that Free/libre is the same as gratis (the headline alone is calling it Linux, mistaking free for gratis, and assuming it’s all down to price). Propaganda efforts will likely escalate if not exacerbate in the coming days becase of the Vista 10 hype — a subject we shall cover in the next post. █
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