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Microsoft Crowd Rocks the Media With Misleading Claims and Deliberate Lies About GNU/Linux, Vista 10, and Free/Open Source Software

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Marketing, Microsoft, Vista 10 at 6:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Distorting everything

“In the Mopping Up phase, Evangelism’s goal is to put the final nail into the competing technology’s coffin, and bury it in the burning depths of the earth. Ideally, use of the competing technology becomes associated with mental deficiency…”

James Plamondon, Microsoft

Summary: A roundup of rigged press coverage, intended purely to serve Microsoft’s agenda

MICROSOFT makes a mockery and a joke out of the media. Today we cover some of the latest examples.

The latest Microsoft marketing and pseudo-technical mumbo jumbo from Microsoft's propagandist Mary Branscombe was published by IDG the other day. It’s a Microsoft ad, basically masquerading as an article not about Microsoft. Even worse was Ed Bott‘s (Ad[vertising] Bot[net]) Microsoft spin for Vista 10, pretending that privacy is not an issue at all. This article is so Orwellian, deceptive, and detached from reality that it’s not even worth responding to. It’s just more ZDNet (CBS-owned) propaganda and it’s executed by a longtime Microsoft propagandist that Microsoft pays. It’s not even journalism, it’s just a Microsoft comedy, dismissing every concern about privacy in Vista 10 and using derogatory labels like “tinfoil hats” (much like the author did “Linux fanatics” before). The piece was translated to other languages and further disseminated by the CBS-owned ZDNet for maximum impact, masquerading as “opinion” because it’s not at all objective and it is not journalism. “Microsoft boosters all around the world (even in Czech Republic nearby) link to this FUD,” wrote to us Martin earlier today.

Attacks on GNU/Linux have also come from Beta News last week. The site is mostly Microsoft propaganda these days (see the managing editor’s recent articles to better understand his agenda). Some of the people who work under him are even more closely connected to Microsoft and are actively showing this by attacking GNU/Linux and constantly promoting Microsoft. Microsoft MVPs are not journalists, they’re Microsoft loyalists, like external staff.

A Microsoft propaganda site whose strong links to Microsoft we covered here many time before has just published a piece that is openwashing Microsoft. Originally written by Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols (SJVN), the message is repeating Microsoft’s PR, including Microsoft’s moles inside the Linux Foundation. For example: “Ramji believes that under Nadella, “Open source is catching on and it’s on the verge of being mainstreamed at Microsoft. The real proof will come when open source is used in product groups.””

No, Microsoft is actively attacking Free/Open Source software in order to sell its proprietary software. This is well documented. Microsoft is not only attacking Munich and distorting a story from Italy (making up ‘facts’, i.e. “marketing”); it attacks FOSS as a whole. Here is last week’s timely rebuttal to Microsoft’s claims in Italy (the City Council of Pesaro to be precise). The article from Paolo Vecchi says that “Microsoft’s marketing team published a press release recently saying Office 365 is about 80% cheaper compared to the open source office suite, OpenOffice – with the figures stemming from reports in Italy and the City Council of Pesaro. The Redmond giant claims that to roll out Open Office, Pesaro incurred a one off cost of about €300,000 and had lots of problems with document formatting.

“But equally how would you convince a public sector organisation to migrate to your cloud services instead of using ‘expensive’ open source software?

“The obvious way would be to present a case study from a similar organisation together with a well written report commissioned to an “independent” consultancy firm. At this point your future customer has all the data and justifications required to sign on the dotted line.

“And some journalists are now presenting this case as fact of Microsoft Office 365 being 80% more economical than open source alternatives.

“I would argue that this is an isolated case and the PR efforts by big technology vendors, like many other methods, are being used to trick private and public organisations into signing contracts based on data or claims that may be not completely true.”

Microsoft’s PR is not factual at all. Offering massive discounts to manufacture false stories and change perception is no better than bribery. When a proprietary software giant (like Oracle or Microsoft) says “deliver savings to taxpayers” it means give shackles/lock-in with discount. The British government likes to make dumb statements like these every now and then, whenever it chooses to stay a slave of unbelievably greedy corporations with shoddy ‘products’ that the government has zero control over, proprietary software which is foreign too (with security flaws and national security-threatening back doors).

Microsoft’s efforts to pretend to be “open” don’t quite stop there because days ago we found misleading articles about “Open-Source” (with a dash, i.e. not really Open Source) Microsoft browser. Microsoft Emil (Emil Protalinski) was openwashing the browsers of Microsoft (we saw more of that several weeks ago with "Edge"), despite them being purely proprietary and standards-hostile.

Microsoft is just trying to re-brand IE and escape the bad name by means of deception, including some deceptive marketing and openwashing. “Unfortunately,” says the article, “Microsoft didn’t say how long, or how many developers, it took to build this proof-of-concept browser.”

A “proof-of-concept,” eh? Enough to generate some misleading headlines for PR.

At the bottom there’s promotional language advertising Microsoft with words like: “Microsoft Corporation is a public multinational corporation headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA that develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of products and services predominantly related to computing”

This could also be rewritten (while remaining, still, factually correct) as follows: “Microsoft Corporation is a convicted monopolist financially headquartered in tax havens so as to illegally evade taxes. It licenses products it does not own (like Android), blackmails competitors, engages in various competition crimes, helps marketing companies accumulate extensive data about Windows users, and aids large-scale espionage by the NSA.”


The Rise of Patents as Just a Marketing Tool

Posted in Marketing, Patents at 4:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“There was even an unofficial competition to see who could get the goofiest patent through the system. My entry wasn’t nearly the goofiest.” –James Gosling, father of Java (context)

Summary: Examples where patenting of simple ideas can be viewed as clever PR ploys rather than actual inventions

THE patent hype is largely manufactured. It’s the outcome of brainwashing, to which patent lawyers (the opportunistic parasites) contribute a great deal. In reality, as we have shown before, terms like “patented” or “patent-pending” merely serve to give the impression of inventiveness and advancement. It’s marketing, geared towards respect from rival companies (counterparts or potential partners) and maybe customers too, especially if they are gullible.

The use of patents for marketing was demonstrated (again) by Steph the other day. “What you are seeing here is a measuring cup with a handle,” she wrote. “How, on any planet anywhere, is that patentable? You can’t throw a dead cat without hitting something similar-looking. I mean, honestly.” Steph previously showed how this is done by so-called ‘beauty’ (cosmetics) giants. They’re not alone when it comes to such charades as in the field of software (and gadgets too) this is done sparingly. Earlier this week IP Kat debunked what it called “the myth of the lone inventor.” Corporate image and senseless PR is what many patents are really about. Acquiring patents by applying for them is not hard (almost everything gets accepted at the end), it’s just expensive.

Let’s look at some recent examples where patents are used for little more than marketing. A week ago The Register wrote that “at the time of writing, 13 EVO:RAIl jobs are open at the company and patents for the software powering the appliances recently emerged.”

What will these patents be used for? Looking at the details and context of the article, they won’t be able to defend themselves from giants in their field, so these patents cannot be used defensively (nor offensively). VMware/EMC would eat them alive because of disproportionate portfolio size.

Here is another example. It’s a press release describing MacroPoint as “creators of patented freight tracking software designed to give 3rd party visibility into load status” (as if being “patented” makes it better).

We recently wrote about Fitbit and patents [1 2 3]. One potential competitor from Korea is hoarding patents rather than focus on development. To quote a puff piece about this company:

He adds 54 patents in haptic technology to Dot’s existing five, providing a strong head start over potential competitors for the company, founded only one year ago.

What exactly can this small company do with those patents? These products are designed to help spy on people even in their sleep and the patents above serve this agenda in no way whatsoever. It’s another example of (mis)use of patents for marketing, perhaps in an effort to find venture capital.

Last but not least, consider imperialism and the turf wars long fought between superpowers. Nuclear submarines (powered by a nuclear process in the US before nuclear missiles were loaded on board by the Soviets), space missions, etc. have long been used for political propaganda, giving the impression of military might and superiority. Idealogical wars (communism, capitalism and so on) have long been fought on grounds like patents, inventions, “firsts” (e.g. reaching space, landing on the moon), not just games of Chess. It’s now rather similar in the industry because many companies try to prove their supposed ‘superiority’ by hoarding patents and bragging about the number of patents they hold under their name/belt.

Here is a Pentagon-leaning site coming up with the headline “Navy’s reign in patent rankings continues”. Well, the Army wants monopoly and power; using patents in this case is just marketing. It’s not as though the Navy is going to take some foreign nation to court (which sovereignty anyway?) over patent infringement. To quote the military propaganda: “The value of military technology research can be looked at in a variety of ways, with protecting lives on the battlefield likely the most commonly cited goal. Another, easily quantified metric, though, might be the number of patents generated by the military’s research labs.”

No, that is just marketing. Calling it “research labs” is in itself propaganda, relying on two nonsensical words that are associating war and militarism with science. The army does not like science, it likes power and domination. It is Free software-hostile (except for the practical purposes), back doors-friendly, and it now leans towards yet more proprietary software, based on this news which claims: “Being able to select a commercial-off-the-shelf software package and customize it as little as possible for a project this massive is the reason that DoD has given all along for not opting to use the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ proprietary and open source VistA EHR.”

“Accenture is f*ed up,” explained iophk to us (he had served in the Army). “This will be another mess with enormous overruns like with the stock exchange. $9 billion, that’s what, 45,000 man-years at $200k salaries?”

Well, considering the love of patents (for marketing purposes), why not love for proprietary (secret) software too? Protectionism is what it’s all about.


Microsoft — Like Bill Gates — Bribes PBS for Propaganda to be Presented as ‘TV Programme’

Posted in Deception, Marketing, Microsoft at 2:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Entryism is alive and well

PBS logo

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.


Openwashing Microsoft Visual Studio to Promote Visual Studio 2015

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Marketing, Microsoft at 2:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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.


Microsoft Jack (Schofield) Promotes Microsoft’s Proprietary Lock-in and Calls People Who Recommend Free/Libre Software ‘Trolls’

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Marketing, Microsoft, Office Suites, OpenOffice at 3:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Well the initial impression is how much it [Windows 7] looks like Vista. Which I think is…uh…the thing I’m not supposed to say.”

Microsoft Jack

Microsoft Jack

Summary: Jack Schofield, writing for a Bill Gates-funded paper despite claiming to have retired, promotes Microsoft Office and insults all those readers who do not agree with him

Jack Schofield is no stranger to us. He rewrites the past in favour of Microsoft (facts disregarded) and has been accused of "lack of professionalism". His Microsoft boosting has become so epic that many people all around the Web refer to him as “Microsoft Jack” (we cannot claim credit for this label). He now writes in The Guardian again. He never quite retired as he had claimed ages ago. Well, unfortunately he still smokes his pipe and curses at his screen after he writes Microsoft screed.

The Guardian is a suitable (if not ideal) home for Microsoft Jack. It is paid by Bill Gates and renowned for Microsoft propaganda since these considerable (but undisclosed) payments. It’s a sham publication which refuses to even acknowledge financial dependence on ‘Sugar Daddies’ like Bill Gates, with clear impact on editorial control (so gross that ads are disguised as articles or parts of articles).

Microsoft Jack claimed to be retiring several years ago, but it was purely nonsense. He later wrote in another Microsoft propaganda rag (ZDNet) and he even continues writing for The Guardian, where bashing Microsoft’s competitors is OK (even for the same behaviour as Microsoft’s) and criticising Microsoft or Bill Gates is very rare (they are literally funding the paper).

“Microsoft Jack claimed to be retiring several years ago, but it was purely nonsense.”Some might deem it AstroTurfing, but “reading Microsoft Jack’s responses to the commenters who dare suggest Openoffice or Libreoffice is revealing,” Alex Barker wrote to me. Looking at the article in full, it reads like a Microsoft advertisement where nothing but Microsoft is even an option. The only provided option or question is, which version/edition? It’s a pretty clever way for Microsoft to disseminate propaganda (making the competition disappear, an exclusion by design), which is does a lot of at the moment, as we pointed out some days ago (the timing is strategic), alluding to some British Web sites. Some of these sites Microsoft literally subsidised in exchange for Microsoft propaganda and advertisements (e.g. Ars Technica UK).

Looking at the comments, it is clear that many readers are not interested in Microsoft Office. Readers of the papers are using and are happy to recommend Free software, but here is how Microsoft Jack responds:

I think they’re brainless trolls.


I find idiocy gets a bit wearing after the first 15 years or so ;-)


Otherwise, I wonder if there’s anything you can take for verbal diarrhea? ;-)


Stop kidding yourself. It’s because you didn’t bother to read the answer and/or some of the many comments above, which show that LibreOffice (a) is not a practical alternative and (b) it’s not cheaper ;-)

Most trolls are by now smart enough to have figured out that Microsoft Office is already free for the vast majority of UK students. And, by the way, it also works on Macs.

Otherwise, I’m not quite sure how saving £0 on Office 365 — or, at the very worst, £15 a year on Office 365 University — fits with expecting students to shell out £1,000 or so to get totally unnecessary proprietary software on an Apple-shaped dongle. I guess logic is not one of your stronger points…..

Free as in ‘free sample’, right? Microsoft Jack can only pretend that he doesn’t know how lock-in works. What happens when one is no longer a student? Well, Microsoft Jack is smart enough to know what he’s doing here. He cannot use ignorance as an excuse.

Microsoft Jack then calls Google “biggest proprietary spyware and surveillance company”. Yeah, because Chromium, ChromeOS, Android etc. are all proprietary, right? Unlike the platforms from the NSA’s #1 (first) PRISM partner, Microsoft. It is clear, based on numerous yardsticks, that Microsoft is far worse than Google, but Microsoft started high-budget PR campaigns (e.g. “Scroogled”) to convince the public otherwise and lobby politicians to cripple Google over it. Microsoft is one of the worst. The company’s managers even have security clearances with the spies. But why not blame it all on Google? This is acceptable propaganda for the Bill Gates-funded paper, which likes to accuse Google of tax evasion but not Microsoft (especially so after Gates gave a lot of money for the newspaper to look the other way while regularly planting Gates Foundation PR and endorsements across letterheads of entire sections).

Let’s press on with more insults from Microsoft Jack (accusing others of “verbal diarrhea” while it’s mostly him who has it). Let’s start with some revisionism, as Jack surely knows better than judges that dealt with Microsoft in court for many years. Here is what he wrote:

An area I followed closely, and there was no “dirty dealing,” as far as I know. Microsoft simply produced much better products

OK, so either he has bad memory or he has gone senile. It is well-documented and it is common knowledge that Microsoft resorted to “dirty dealing”. We have plenty of original documents to prove it right here in this site.

Here is some more ‘wisdom’ of Microsoft Jack:

Using the 1997-2003 file formats is mostly stupid as the newer formats are more robust, take up less space with large files (they’re zipped), and are ratified open standards.

Bribing officials makes “open standard”, according to Microsoft Jack’s lies-by-omission world. Or blackmailing British politicians perhaps [1, 2, 3]. Microsoft Office still cannot deal properly with ODF, only proprietary OOXML (its secret, ad hoc, undocumented format). Microsoft does not adhere to its own documentation. It’s all a big lie and many people foresaw that all along.

Here are some decent comments from one who refutes Microsoft Jack’s promotional article in a very polite way:

@ JackSchofield
“Pity we don’t have an award for the most (clueless) trollING of the week.”

MS does NOT have the answer for everything.

MS is marketing smart. They provide ‘access’ so they can inculcate new users to their line of software. They hope that new entries will to the work place will provide an internal dynamic for future sales.

‘Popular’ software is usually the lead software that gets ‘hacked’.

Some MS stuff is good (especially with languages) and other stuff is pure doggerel. Many survive but equally many pieces of software end up in the Bit Bucket of history. MS does NOT have the answer for everything.

Much university work (thesis, research) is archived for posterity and Apps/online software gets ‘modded’ and features removed. Copy, on your own PC, is advisable.

For example, I just watched Samsung download an ‘upgrade’ that changes many OS menus to a white on blue background – a combination that is near fatal for colour-blind users.

An associate company of my employer handles orphaned archive material. They have a couple of CP/M operating system – Digital Research – computers with 8 and 5.25 inch drives. They can also read/convert WANG format disks!

And if you need some work done, their systems are booked solid for the next 5 weeks. They operate on a 24/5 basis – they need the weekends for maintenance.

Remember, university students have especial needs and ‘cloud’ is not always the best solution. This also applies to businesses.

Saving documents is plain TEXT is often the best answer almost anything can read TEXT! Even from years ago.


Skype is popular feature with GCHQ and NSA.


‘Free’ doesn’t exist. MS rarely does anything ‘free’ without an ulterior motive.

And what happens when you leave your ‘free’ domain at the conclusion of your courses?

Buy a software package that resides ON YOUR HARD DRIVE – not ‘somewhere ‘.


The problem with Office is that every Version has numerous features that few use, unless you are a type setter.

My employer has licences for 2003, 2007 and, I think 2010. Employees are free to use whatever they like.

Hands down winner is 2007 with most people using Win2003/97 as the format to save in.

As for PowerPoint, it’s clunky, inhibited and a waste of disk space. There are better, free, compatible options. But essential if interacting with the US military!

Remember, using cloud based software is fine, until you are out of InterNet range. Can’t beat software mounted on your hard drive!

Those who don’t agree with Jack, according to Jack, just “post obviously pointless trolls in a topic about Microsoft Office.”

Here are insults and generalisations: “Of course, some of that hostility could be prompted by the long-winded, self-interested piffle posted by here OO fans, who are — to put it kindly — little more than trolls in a topic devoted to Microsoft Office.

“Isn’t it odd how open source supporters are generally so lacking in social skills?”

So people who care about software freedom, open standards, or like OpenOffice are “fans…so lacking in social skills” (according to Jack). He later uses the term “OpenOffice fanboy.” So they’re all just “trolls and “fanboys”. He refers to every pro-LibreOffice comment collectively as “mostly-mindless LibreOffice comments”.

Here is another response to a commenter: “Pity we don’t have an award for the most clueless troll of the week ;-)”

Just because someone adds a recommendation of freedom-respecting alternatives doesn’t make one a “troll”. Jack gamed the debate by limiting it only to Microsoft Office (or versions of it) and then he frames anyone who goes outside the boundry of his silly game a “troll”.

He later repeats the nonsense that “Microsoft’s office formats are ratified open standards.” By bribing and bullying? Like Jack himself? He too is a bully when one confronts him. We gave examples before.

What Microsoft Jack does is unethical because he helps Microsoft get young people addicted to (locked in to) Office. It’s like the drug dealer’s mentality. “They’ll get sort of addicted,” Bill Gates explained, “and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.”

In the comments we can see Microsoft Jack relaying Microsoft’s FUD about Munich. He writes: “Good luck to the Germans. I hope they do better than Munich, which spent a decade trying to get rid of Office and Windows (and didn’t make it), saved no money, and probably lost a huge amount of productivity. And now it’s considering switching back….”

Not true, but Jack doesn’t care about what’s true. He calls LibreOffice a “pile of crap” (how professional a language from the man who accuses others of having “verbal diarrhea”). He says it is “slow, bug-ridden, and very imperfectly compatible with Microsoft Office” (as if being compatible with Microsoft Office with its proprietary formats is the goal). There is actually a large number of comments that recommend LibreOffice and OpenOffice. No wonder Jack feels a little marginalised and threatened/intimidated. His article is revealed as biased and unpopular among readers. Now he need to cope with it.

Jack spreads a common lie, along the lines of needing Microsoft to get a job. He writes: “There are, after all, many reasons why it makes much more sense to become proficient in Microsoft Office, such as your future employability.”

Complete nonsense. The world has moved on, so the myths like “nobody gets fired for buying Microsoft” needs a boost from the likes of Jack (for Microsoft’s sake). He also wrote: “Unless you don’t have a job and really can’t afford Office, life’s too short.”

So free software is just for the unemployed, according to Jack. Nice stigma he spreads there.

Jack also finds the time to trash-talk LATEX. He says: “They should be learning their course topics rather than, say, LaTeX…. ;-)” (actually, LATEX has several very good front ends that are easier to use than Microsoft Office). One can also hand-pick XML files to manipulate Word files, but in reality one uses front ends, right? So it’s another straw man argument from Jack. Nothing but Microsoft, not even Google’s offerings, is allowed any acceptance. Even the mention of alternatives is verboten.

Notice the update on Microsoft Jack’s ‘article’ (puff piece/ad). It’s like he’s working in coordination with Microsoft UK. He speaks to them and adds: “Microsoft UK says that students can get the full Office 365 free if their school or university has a site-licensing agreement, and that “most universities in the UK are part of the scheme”. Students can find out if they qualify by going to Office 365 and clicking the green “Find out if you’re eligible” button.”

Nice ad you got there, Microsoft Jack. Does the paymaster of the employer, The Guardian, endorse this kind of behaviour towards readers who comment? Since Bill Gates is one of the paymasters, surely the answer can be “yes”. To close off with Jack’s own words, “I handle a lot of documents from large professional companies, fancy PR agencies, pseufo-academic [sic] white papers etc.” Yes, Jack, we can tell…


Microsoft Gives Another Bug a Name, This Time Logjam™

Posted in FUD, Marketing, Microsoft at 10:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Any logo/s yet?


Summary: The Microsoft crowd is good only at marketing, even when it comes to small bugs in software

Another brand for a bug, namely “logjam”, was made up by Microsoft et al. Linux sites cover this and add to the panic already. As the Microsoft-friendly BBC put it: “The “LogJam attack” was discovered by researchers at Microsoft and a number of US and French universities.” This “logjam” nonsense already has its own brand and even a dedicated Web site, just like Heartbleed™. As a reminder, Heartbleed™ too was coined by a Microsoft-connected firm, despite the fact that the bug was found by a man from Google.

Just over a week ago a Microsoft-connected firm spread the word VENOM™ as part of a marketing/propaganda campaign, serving to discourage companies from adopting Free/libre software for virtualisation. People remember brands better than they remember numbers (of advisories) or technical details, which may or may not indicate level of severity.


The Unethical Business of Selling Fear of Free/Libre Software Bugs (Black Duck, Sonatype, and Symantec)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FUD, Google, Marketing at 4:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Snake oil

Summary: The spreading of fear of Free/Open Source software (FOSS) is now a growth industry, so proprietary opportunists are eager to capitalise on it, even if by distorting the truth

EARLIER THIS month some Black Duck publicity stunt fooled some journalists into promotion of Black Duck FUD. We saw that persisting until April 20th (one week ago), even in pro-FOSS sites (blogs) that did this days later. IDG made a slideshow out of it. Well, sadly, it cites Black Duck, which tries to sell proprietary software under the guise of Free software promotion.

In reality, Black Duck is not just selling fear of GPL violations — the original 'product' which was 'sold' by this firm. It’s a two-faced firm masquerading as pro-FOSS whilst attacking FOSS. Black Duck and Duck Duck Go both give a bad name to ducks. They pretend to be FOSS or at least openwash themselves (a lie) and they pretend to defend users (also a lie, they merely exploit or monetise users).

In other news, Sonatype reportedly compared FOSS to “Public Health Hazard”. To quote one report: “That’s the assessment of Joshua Corman, CTO at Sonatype, who took to the stage at RSA 2015 to characterize insecure software as a kind of “cyber-asbestos,” widely deployed, inherently dangerous, and eventually carrying an astronomical cost in terms of human suffering and cost to clean up because …we just didn’t know how dangerous it was at the time when we embraced it.”

So Sonatype is again on an anti-Free software binge. It is not the first time (see examples in [1, 2, 3, 4]) and it is easy to see why it is doing this. It’s trying to sell its products, which are nothing to do with Free software. Sonatype’s track record of FOSS FUD is expanding and may one day rival the Microsoft-connected Symantec, which continues its FUD campaign against Android, generating misleading headlines such as “One in Five Android Apps Is Malware” in this case. When people install software from Google Play, then there is virtually no risk, but don’t expect Symantec to properly analyse this. Symantec sells insecurity. To quote the misleading article: “According to Symantec’s latest Internet Security Threat Report, “17 percent of all Android apps (nearly one million total) were actually malware in disguise.” In 2013, Symantec uncovered roughly 700,000 virus-laden apps.”

But where are they found? Are any accessible to most Android users? No, so Symantec is defining it wrongly and framing the issue by saying that many applications’ “primary purpose is to bombard you with ads.” That’s not malware, but they made up a new word.

Google has already responded mostly by removing apps with too many ads (that’s not malware) and saying that Android “antivirus” is snake oil, as Google said before (responding to the likes of Symantec several years ago).

Android now has an industry of snake oil around it because there is a lot of market share there. The same can be said about FOSS, which is why Black Duck and Sonatype are busy badmouthing security aspects of it. They’re all just looking for a quick buck; FUD and reputation damage to FOSS are “collateral damage”.


CBS Hires Even More Microsoft Staff to Cover Microsoft Matters

Posted in Deception, Marketing, Microsoft at 5:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: CBS continues to be infested with Microsoft staff past and present (this time Dave Johnson) and the bias in output is quite revealing

PROPAGANDA giant CBS (notoriously selling to the public wars of conquest and mass surveillance) has been a target of our criticism also because it hires people who have worked or are still working for Microsoft to cover Microsoft positively and slam Microsoft’s competition. It’s not news, it’s advertising or agenda, if not propaganda.

Microsoft boosters are everywhere at CBS, with several in CNET and several in ZDNet; some are still Microsoft employees, not former employees. They are attacking Microsoft rivals and planting PR for Microsoft. Later on when they chat to me in Twitter they still pretend to be “objective”. They don’t say much; they just know they got caught in a conflict of interest.

Anyway, CBS has apparently just hired yet another (there are many more) “former” Softer to put Microsoft puff pieces disguised as articles. This guy, Dave Johnson, works neither in CNET nor ZDNet (CBS-owned) but more directly writes for CBS sites. There are quite a few articles like this one and it’s an epidemic that ought to raise concerns and draw criticism. Watch his stream of Microsoft propaganda (even vapourware at the moment).

Meanwhile it’s reported that Microsoft paid almost half a billion dollars for NFL to pretend to endorse Microsoft (advertisement disguised as recommendation), but even this has not worked like Microsoft hoped. As TechDirt (among other publications) put it, “Marketing Failure: Microsoft Pays NFL To Use Its Surface Tablets — And People Still Call Them ‘iPad-Like Tools’”:

Over at The Verge, Vlad Savov has an amusing post about how NFL announcers this weekend referred to the sideline tablets that players are using as “iPad-like tools.” Microsoft Surface tablets are being allowed on the sidelines as part of a $400 million deal between Microsoft and the NFL. And Microsoft is promoting the Surface as “the official tablet of the NFL.” And, in the end, all anyone remembers is that it’s an “iPad-like tool.” I wonder if the guy who signed that deal for Microsoft has lined up a new job yet…

There have been quite a few articles like this one.

Embedded advertisements or fake endorsements are only some of the tools in Microsoft’s arsenal of AstroTurfing tools, used by proxy much of the time. But again, what CBS is doing is much worse than most. It’s corrupt means of providing what CBS pretends to be “news”.

CBS is not news; neither in politics nor in technology. It needs to be shunned. It’s corporate press, not news.

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