09.15.21

Open Invention Network (OIN) Recognises a Risk Posed to Cryptocurrencies (Danger From Software Patents), But OIN Still Proposes the Wrong Solutions

Posted in Deception, Finance, IBM, Intellectual Monopoly, OIN, Patents at 9:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 93f0af36dc02563b8b0cf0931164c1b7

Summary: Square is joining OIN, but it’s another example of banking/financial institutions choosing to coexist with software patents instead of putting an end to them

THIS video concerns the latest high-profile OIN addition. We’ve assessed not press releases but promotional puff pieces from Microsoft-centric sites [1, 2] that favour corporate front groups such as LOT, OIN, and Linux Foundation. They make no effort to question the proposed approach; instead, it is akin to a press release in quasi-interview form.

“OIN itself isn’t evil, but it misleads people by offering the wrong solutions to the community while mostly serving the interests of companies looking to ‘bag’ the community’s work (or privatise it).”We don’t wish to start with all the basics and the history of OIN. We did several videos about it earlier this year, there’s lots more in the wiki, and 188 articles in the OIN category of this blog. OIN itself isn’t evil, but it misleads people by offering the wrong solutions to the community while mostly serving the interests of companies looking to ‘bag’ the community’s work (or privatise it).

Cryptocurrencies are a pollution-related problem, but they’re not inherently evil, either. Patents remain a potent threat to them and we’ve named some of the blockchain patent trolls (they sent nasty and threatening messages to us).

Cryptocurrency companies need to work to abolish software patents, not flock to join the likes of OIN. There’s not much OIN can do to protect them from patent trolls.

09.08.21

EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part XVII – Secret Bank Accounts in Switzerland and Germany

Posted in Europe, Finance, Fraud, Patents at 12:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Series index:

  1. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part I – More Captured Delegates?
  2. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part II – Old Wine in New Bottles…
  3. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part III – Introducing the Finnish “Facilitator”
  4. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part IV – Martti Enäjärvi and His “Good Brother” Networks
  5. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part V – A Man With a Conviction…
  6. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part VI – “A Good Friend of Estonia and a Steady Cooperation Partner”
  7. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part VII – A Self-Appointed “Select Committee”
  8. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part VIII – Pulling for the Portuguese Pretender?
  9. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part IX – António’s Faithful Acolyte in Alicante
  10. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part X – A Pan-European “Good Brother” Network Celebration?
  11. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part XI – With a Little Help From My Friends…
  12. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part XII – Battistelli and His Baltic Fiefdoms
  13. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part XIII – Out With the Old, in With the New?
  14. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part XIV – Business as Usual in Tallinn
  15. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part XV – Worse Than “a Backward Kolkhoz”…
  16. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part XVI – A Promising Start Followed by an Unfortunate Cock-Up
  17. You are here ☞ Secret Bank Accounts in Switzerland and Germany

Zigrīds Aumeisters
Zigrīds Aumeisters headed the Latvian Patent Office between March 1992 and June 2010.

Summary: Why Zigrīds Aumeisters was apparently removed at the advanced age of 80; Criminal charges followed, just like his friends up north

The Latvian Patent Office was officially re-established by law on 26 November 1991 and it started operations under its new Director-General Zigrīds Aumeisters on 2 March 1992.

Aumeisters was just over 60 when he took up his new position as head of the Patent Office and he was 80 by the time he was finally put out to grass in June 2010.

His successor was a young lady by the name of Jekaterina Macuka.

Jekaterina Macuka
Jekaterina Macuka ended up as ad interim head of the Latvian Patent Office following Aumeisters’ departure.

It’s not clear how exactly Macuka ended up in charge of the Latvian Patent Office. Prior to taking up that position she was an official at the Justice Ministry and was involved with the Board of Religious Affairs which is responsible for supervising the activities of religious institutions in Latvia. [PDF]

It seems that she was appointed as head of the Patent Office on an ad interim basis just to keep the show on the road pending the appointment of a more suitably qualified candidate. Nevertheless, she was the head of the Latvian delegation on the EPO’s Administrative Council for the first year of Benoît Battistelli‘s EPO presidency.

On 13 July 2011, about a year after Macuka’s appointment, it was announced that the Minister of Justice had decided to appoint Reinis Bērziņš [PDF] to the position of Director-General of the Patent Office following a competitive selection procedure in which Bērziņš was the highest scoring candidate.

Reinis Bērziņš
It fell to Reinis Bērziņš to recover the missing funds.

Bērziņš took up his new position in August 2011 and soon afterwards it was reported in the Latvian media that when reviewing the financial operations of the Patent Office he had discovered the existence of two secret bank accounts operated by Aumeisters. [PDF]

“The Swiss bank account opened in 1999 was used for receiving payments from the WIPO in Geneva and the German bank account opened in 2005 was used for receiving payments from the EPO in Munich.”One of the accounts was opened in Switzerland in 1999 and the other in Germany in 2005.

These dates are not coincidental. They correspond respectively to the date of Latvia’s accession to the Madrid Trademark Agreement administered by WIPO (5 October 1999) and the date of Latvia’s accession to the EPO (1 July 2005).

The Swiss bank account opened in 1999 was used for receiving payments from the WIPO in Geneva and the German bank account opened in 2005 was used for receiving payments from the EPO in Munich.

These secret bank accounts were private accounts under the personal control of Aumeisters. According to Latvian press reports, when the existence of the accounts was discovered in 2011 they contained around € 1.4 million in total.

“In the next part we shall see how there has been a high of turnover at the top of the Latvian Patent Office over the last decade with no less than six directors or “acting directors” since Aumeisters’ departure in June 2010.”Aumeisters explained that he had held the funds in foreign bank accounts because it was needed for the Patent Office’s operations and for improvements in information technology. He said that state funding was scarce and would not have been sufficient to meet the requirements of the institution.

Criminal proceedings were initiated against Aumeisters but the outcome is not known. It’s more than likely that he got off with a slap on the wrist as a reward for cooperating with the authorities and assisting them in their efforts to reclaim the funds.

In the next part we shall see how there has been a high of turnover at the top of the Latvian Patent Office over the last decade with no less than six directors or “acting directors” since Aumeisters’ departure in June 2010.

08.13.21

[Meme] As ‘Azure’ (Project Red Dog) Turns 13 It Has Become Crystal Clear That It’s an Epic Microsoft Failure

Posted in Finance, Microsoft at 2:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft laying off Azure staff; Microsoft speaking to shareholders about 'Azure'

Summary: Contrary to what Microsoft will try to tell us, Azure was “announced at Microsoft’s Professional Developers Conference (PDC) in October 2008″ (according to Wikipedia) so it isn’t a newcomer or new entrant or underdog; it’s a big failure, with layoffs [1, 2, 3] included, so Microsoft keeps rebranding everything "Azure" and "clown", hoping to hide the losses somehow

07.31.21

[Meme] When it Comes to Server Share, Microsoft Azure is Minuscule (But Faking It)

Posted in Deception, Finance, Microsoft, Servers at 8:38 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

AWS and Microsoft Azure

Summary: Don’t believe the lies told by Microsoft's charlatans and frauds; Azure has been a total failure and that’s why there are layoffs as well

Microsoft Azure Stagnating

Posted in Deception, Finance, Microsoft at 5:39 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Reprinted with permission from Mitchel Lewis, former Microsoft employee

Azure chart
Source: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-07-27/microsoft-posts-sales-profit-gain-shares-drop-on-azure-concern

It’s not a secret that Microsoft’s future depends on Azure not only being successful, but dominant. With Google Workspace dethroning Office 365 in the cloud productivity markets, Windows needing a complete re-write since a decade ago and their consequent monopoly on exploits and ransomware attacks in the PC and Server markets, much is riding on Azure’s ability to dominate the cloud infrastructure space as Microsoft has done with the OS, productivity, and server spaces before.

One consequence of Microsoft’s dependence on Azure is that Microsoft can post its best quarter ever and investors will get spooked if Azure’s revenue growth slips in the slightest. It also doesn’t help when their CFO Amy Hood admitted that Azure slowing revenue growth still performed better than she anticipated.

“Forty-five percent was both better than we expected and driven by consumption growth, which is very good,” Hood said in an interview. “Demand is healthy. The overall execution was better than I expected.” -Amy Hood

Unlike before though, Microsoft isn’t starting at the top as it did in the OS, Productivity, and Server spaces. Instead, Microsoft was 2 years late to the market and has to compete with the likes of AWS instead and claw market-share away from them. And this is bad news for Microsoft as competing with other tech monopolies in established markets is not something that they’re especially good at; they aren’t the same company that mothballed IBM all those years ago.

The success of Microsoft’s business model relies mostly on them being among the first movers of infant markets, becoming the industry standard, and entrenching its products throughout said industry; lock-in if you will. In turn, their products no longer need to compete on quality, cease to evolve, and stagnate no differently than the human race as they have no ecological competition. Apparently, the law of natural selection even applies to markets.

In doing this, Microsoft’s frustrating, insecure, and unstable architecture renders users change and technology averse, traumatized if you will, and consequently vying to keep everything the same. Further, they can artificially inflate the switching costs of moving to their competition, derail migration efforts to their competition even if it’s better technology, and maintain dominance. Put simply, Microsoft’s products and services create a moat of sorts that keeps users in and competition out while allowing them to compete with themselves. Mitigating their defenses is much easier said than done.

Being a first-mover that optimizes their solutions for lock-in is a double whammy for Microsoft and no one seems to care; hence why they do it. This happens to be why Windows, Active Directory, Server, and Exchange are still in play today despite being legacy, expensive, complex, frustrating, and unstable for users and admins alike. It’s simply too ingrained and users/admins are rendered apathetic to change.

While Microsoft can’t exactly take credit for this brilliant aspect of their business model, they can absolutely laugh all the way to the bank at anyone who is criticizing them about their quality woes without realizing that they don’t even have to compete on quality; at least until Azure became their last hope.

One immediate problem with their tactics though is that they don’t bode well in markets that are already well-established nor is it easy to re-structure a company to engineer for quality when it’s structured to maximize lock-in. Although absolute genius goes into engineering products for lock-in, especially when realizing that all of their engineers are trying to do their best/ethical job, this heroin-esque approach to engineering is systemic and cannot be turned off like a light switch; quite the contrary. Any manager at Microsoft can and will affirm that Microsoft is a big ship to steer and such a restructuring could take years to fully implement.

As such and much like their founder Bill Gates, Microsoft isn’t equipped for fair competition, hence why they lose their ass in markets they’re late to, nor are they known for being a good sport at that. And as they have shown repeatedly with cloud, mobile, social, gaming, and laptop markets, Microsoft is consistently a fish out of water when entering well-established markets because they are not optimized to compete on quality which is the only card that a new entrant has to play against the status quo; exhibit Zoom and Slack. All of which stacks the deck further against Microsoft’s ambitions with Azure.

To highlight this and although Microsoft is doing great things in the cloud space with Office 365, they were late to the market, ironically among the last to host their own services, and are in second place while losing further ground to Google Workspace. The same is true of Azure in that it was 2 years behind AWS to the cloud infrastructure market.

Azure curve

And although Microsoft and analysts claim Azure to be second in the cloud infrastructure space from a revenue perspective, Microsoft has yet to corroborate this with data and is refusing to post individual performance metrics of Azure after a decade of production. Based on what little we’ve seen though, AWS revenue is growing while Azure revenue growth is shrinking which is the opposite of what Azure needs to do. Meanwhile, AWS revenue grew 9% in the last year.

No matter where you look, you can find Microsoft consistently omitting all key performance indicators (KPIs) worthy of mention concerning Azure financials or usage; MAU, P&L, CPA, ARPA, RPE, etc; nada. Meanwhile, you’ll find a whole host of ambiguous metrics such as vague growth rates, total user counts instead of monthly use statistics, and containers like the Intelligent Cloud averaging various offerings together. All of which takes significantly more effort than simply reporting individual performance and is frankly hard to keep under wraps for 12 years. Meanwhile, AWS has no problem reporting on AWS’s performance; they have nothing to hide.

Oddly enough though and while it’s even their policy to never report on KPIs, they definitely track them and occasionally post them but only if they exude a dominant market presence. In doing this though, Microsoft has a tell so to speak. Put simply, when products are doing fantastically, Microsoft will break protocol from time to time and report KPIs. But when products are doing horribly, Microsoft seems to hide behind their bogus policy so as to keep KPIs under lock and key while sugar-coating poor performance with ambiguities instead.

In doing this though, this being not reporting common usage and financial metrics while further hiding individual performance in the Intelligent Cloud, Microsoft has made it impossible for analysts to evaluate where Microsoft stands in the fold compared to AWS or Google Cloud. Ironically, the assessments declaring Azure to be in second place among cloud providers are speculative at best.

“Muddy waters make it easy to catch fish.”Chinese Proverb

With all of this in mind, it’s easy to see why Microsoft needs investors to believe that Azure’s position is strong and why Microsoft is working so hard to keep Azure’s performance under wraps; that dog don’t hunt. Although I can only speculate, it seems as if the KPIs surrounding Azure do not exhibit dominance or a route to dominance that Microsoft needs to project in order for share prices to keep rising while its stagnant revenue growth serves as further evidence of this.

If said KPIs did exhibit Azure’s dominance or even a route to dominance, then Microsoft would have no reason to be shy and release them in the face of increasing scrutiny of their persistent refusal to report on these metrics. And their refusal to post these metrics while muddying the waters with pointless statistics/rates and odd financial containers instead isn’t exactly a good omen so far as the health of Azure is concerned; if not symptomatic of the contrary. Put simply, if Azure truly had a big ol’ dong then Microsoft would have thrown it on the table by now rather than hiding it behind excuses and obscure metrics for over a decade.

To be fair though, Microsoft could indeed be shy about Azure’s performance for the past 12 years. Azure could be doing great for all I know. What I do know is that omission is the most common form of lying with statistics, followed by obfuscating matters with bogus metrics, and Microsoft doesn’t have an incentive to resort to these squid and ink tactics if Azure is in great shape. All stars go through an inflationary phase before they go supernova.

You’re welcome to believe otherwise though. You’re welcome to believe that the 71.355 billion Microsoft spent on stock buybacks since March of 2018 were made to benefit the shareholders too; but that’s for another day.

07.28.21

[Meme] There’s Always a Way (When Financial Results Are Not So Good…)

Posted in Deception, Finance, IBM, Microsoft at 3:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Kombucha Girl: Financial Results Not So Good... what if I rebranded everything 'cloud' and created new brands to fake 'growth'?
Not just Microsoft anymore… IBM does that too.

Summary: Too many US ‘tech’ companies still lie to their investors. They choose financial engineering instead of real engineering.

07.26.21

Funding Sources Like Corporate Sponsors/Patrons/Masters Put at Risk the Freedom of Free Software

Posted in Finance, Free/Libre Software, Office Suites at 4:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 2c1236a74235b8218f02ec9b0f94aaaf

Summary: Sources of funding or “sponsors” such as large corporations typically come with some barely-visible or temporarily-invisible strings attached (an expectation of commercial reciprocity, rendering the recipients subservient like ‘slaves’) and we need to understand how to preserve software freedom in the face of such trends

THE ethical condundrum surrounding Free software funding is hardly new. Richard Stallman spoke about it more than two decades ago (he suggested ways to get paid for writing freedom-respecting software) but corporate media likes to pretend Free software can only succeed if monopolies fund to control it. They don’t even speak about freedom; they prefer shallow nonsense such as “Open Source”.

Red Hat statement about Richard Stallman’s return to the Free Software Foundation boardThis video is part of an ongoing series or a theme that explores the loss of collective control by users and communities; by encouraging non-reciprocal licensing, CLAs etc. the monopolists seek to control everything. Remember what IBM did with Red Hat only months after IBM had taken over (and then again a year and a half later) because money comes with demands. They want something in return. Audacity comes to mind and earlier on we mentioned LibreOffice, which relates to the links below:

This subject is part of a much broader problem; sponsorship and funding are a matter of control (coercion, subjugation and so on). And if the goal is to empower users and give them true control over their lives (on the platform or on-line), then we need to understand and accordingly tackle the emergent threats.

“This subject is part of a much broader problem; sponsorship and funding are a matter of control (coercion, subjugation and so on).”As always, we welcome guest posts and other contributions from readers. There seems to be a passionate and eager ‘base’ that recognises these risks and has a bunch of stories to tell, based on rumours heard somewhere like Microsoft and/or the Linux Foundation. People who see these from the inside are sometimes horrified to learn what a bunch of charlatans and frauds work there. They want to control Linux users; but they aren’t even Linux users themselves.

06.14.21

Hardly Shocking and Not At All Surprising That Thugs Who Run the EPO Hired External Thugs to Help Them Oppress Aggrieved Staff

Posted in Europe, Finance, Patents at 5:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: With the EPO’s management flooding the bank accounts of aggressive law firms (at our expense) we need to ask serious questions about how such a “Mafia” (what EPO staff calls the management) managed to metastasise inside Europe’s second-largest institution and how to remove this “Mafia” as soon as possible (some arrests too are well overdue)

THE staff of the EPO can certainly expect workplace atmosphere to deteriorate. In 2015 when Benoît Battistelli and his goons hired several aggressive law firms (notoriously so, according to my lawyer) in order to SLAPP and bully me it became apparent that the EPO’s management is a “Mafia” not only inwards but also outwards. It’s a lunatic institution that takes its toll on its own staff and costs Europe billions of Euros (the above video explains why it’s actually all of us in Europe who pay the price for this thieving, self-serving “Mafia”). Battistelli actually took longer than António Campinos to recruit a legion of lawyers, enlisting a platoon of de facto thugs to go after his perceived ‘enemies’.

“The reputation of Europe (and the EU) is at stake here, not just the European economy.”The video goes through this hours-old article that I decided would be worth remarking on (separately, so as not to distract or detract from the original message).

How many more lives need to be totally ruined before the “Mafia” is overthrown and maybe even held accountable (legally)? The reputation of Europe (and the EU) is at stake here, not just the European economy.

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