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01.26.15

Microsoft’s Media Attack on Free Software and GNU/Linux

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 6:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Chess

Summary: Brainwash war is still being waged by Microsoft and its friends to convince people that Windows is universally dominant and that Microsoft is now part of the Free software world

ALONG with the measurable decline of Windows (GNU/Linux is rapidly gaining) comes the "Vista 10" publicity stunt -- an attempt to bury bad news. Microsoft tries to scare and distract the competition, bamboozling the whole world with what is essentially vapourware. It’s just a PR campaign and Microsoft enlisted many boosters to play along. Microsoft even got them to deceive the public into thinking that Vista 10 is ‘free’, but as this new rebuttal puts it, “I had to laugh aloud at Microsoft’s announcement that Windows 10 would be offered as a free upgrade for users of both Windows 7 and Windows 8.”

Vista 10 is not ‘free’ (we already explained why) and it is moreover proprietary. It seems as though even some FOSS bloggers (including FOSS Force above) fell for the lies. There are things even worse than these lies which were perpetrated by Microsoft and propagated by Microsoft-friendly media. Pogson’s “Some Twits Just Are Too Funny To Ignore” and Lynch’s “Windows 10 doesn’t matter to desktop Linux” are basically feeding the latest troll (with a history doing this type of flamebait against Free software). Elsewhere on the Web, Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols is playing Chamberlain by going along with the latest openwashing of Microsoft and Sam Dean doing some more Microsoft promotion (of proprietary software) in an Open Source news site.

Whatever is happening right now comes to show that Microsoft’s propaganda is so far-reaching that even FOSS people are confused by it and they are eager to sometimes repeat the lies from Microsoft (nonsense like “Microsoft loves Linux”). If Microsoft is allowed to take over the media like this, then we are in serious trouble and Microsoft will be able to infiltrate the competition with Mono, OOXML, etc.

In recent years we have shown many examples where Microsoft and Gates essentially bribed many news sites in order to achieve mind control, revisionism, and demonisation of competing ideologies or companies. To give one new example of this disturbing trend, The Verge makes Bill Gates its editor next month (direct influence with no need to bribe them like the rest of the news outlets). This helps explain why site has become somewhat of a Microsoft mouthpiece.

If people do not stand up for what’s true, the perceived truth will become a reality in the minds of the prey.

“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 [PDF]

Microsoft Accounting Practices After Fire Again, After Previous Abuses and Book-Cooking

Posted in Finance, Microsoft at 5:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: After the infamous IRS brawl comes another confrontation between Microsoft and the SEC, which is unhappy with Microsoft for seemingly cooking the books again

AS OUR longtime readers may know, Microsoft’s financial fraud is a good example of how certain companies with strong government connections essentially exist above the law. According to this new SEC correspondence (regarding filings), Microsoft tricks — same ones as those we have covered here for years — upset the regulators. Robert Pogson has already written about it and it comes at a time when Microsoft is under investigation by the IRS too. “I’ve been reporting that for years now and the SEC is concerned that investors may not be getting the full story because of the layout and detail of Microsoft’s filings,” he wrote.

Microsoft got caught by the SEC even in the 1990s, whereupon it bribed the whistleblower to escape true accountability. It’s a “too big to jail” scenario. Microsoft’s financial practices have historically reaffirmed its status as a criminal, corrupt entity. Perhaps we are going to see more of that in months or years to come. Perhaps not, assuming Microsoft can pull some strings inside the government (with moles or nepotism, like those who help the Microsoft dodge tax).

01.24.15

The Latest ‘Microsoft is Open Source’ Propaganda a Parade of Lies

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 10:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A ‘reformed’ Microsoft just a myth perpetrated and propagated by corporate media

Beheading

Summary: Microsoft myth makers continue their assault on what is objectively true and try to tell the public that Microsoft is a friend of “Open Source”

Calling Microsoft “Open Source” anything is like calling King Abdullah a proponent of women’s rights or pro-women anything (as some elites already shamelessly claim). Microsoft is a strong opponent of “Open Source” and as with Abdullah, those claiming otherwise are either bribed or on the same boat as Abdullah/Microsoft.

We were disgusted to see a very misleading headline from Condé Nast yesterday. The latest propaganda from a Condé Nast publication reads like a puff piece from beginning to end, truly complete and moreover decorated with a highly misleading headline whose aim is openwashing the most anti-FOSS (Open Source) company in the world. Microsoft is doing nothing FOSS here; quite the contrary in fact, as it locks something behind a so-called ‘cloud’. To quote the opening paragraphs of the propaganda piece: “Microsoft has agreed to acquire open-source software company Revolution Analytics, heavily embracing the R programming language, a data analysis tool widely used by both academics and corporate data scientists.”

Revolution Analytics is not an “Open Source” company (the headline misuses this brand). The term “open-source” with a dash serves to highlight that the author is misusing brands (the OSI controls this brand and can potentially take action if it chooses to). Last night we checked all the new articles other than the afore-linked article and all these article did not use the spin. Not even known Microsoft boosters with a long track record did this. To name all which were published around the same time (mostly from Microsoft boosters):

Going through ~30 articles about Revolution Analytics helps reaffirm suspicions that Condé Nast is now in the Microsoft propaganda business. We already highlighted such a trend before.

Now that Microsoft boosting sites are trying hard to paint Microsoft as “Open Source” the last thing we need is a paper like “Wired” (to Microsoft?) pushing this agenda, carrying water for a serial abuser that bribes journalists and misleads the world’s technical community through journalists.

A roundup from Jim Lynch has responded to another recent propaganda piece from Condé Nast (by Microsoft Peter), citing in response to it this call to destroy Internet Explorer (which Condé Nast is openwashing). To quote Slate: “Internet Explorer has become a liability, and I’m happy to report that Microsoft seems to know that.”

Another article worth highlighting is this piece from Andy Patrizio, who has a long history of shilling for Microsoft although we have not seen much of him in recent years. He now works for Microsoft’s propaganda section of the Microsoft-friendly NetworkWorld, carrying water for the Moodle "embrace extend and extinguish" move by Microsoft.

While we expect this kind of openwashing from allies of Microsoft, bribed authors (publications that are run on Microsoft money), etc. we don’t typically expect it from “Wired” because historically, before Condé Nast acquired “Wired”, the paper had covered Microsoft properly, especially in the antitrust days. Condé Nast basically shattered any illusion of neutrality. “Wired” is now reduced to the churnalism business, as a recent statement from its head of operations served to confirm (this quickly reached the media and went viral).

Microsoft does not “love Linux” and it does not “March Toward Open Source” as “Wired” wants us to believe. Microsoft embraces patent abuse and aggression against Open Source because it’s the company’s last resort. Microsoft also tries to infiltrate (to destroy) Open Source and it’s easy to see why, especially now that Microsoft suffers more layoffs (see context). A report from this week “noted that both HP and Microsoft announced plans to cut payrolls by 59,523, a combined 69 percent increase from the 35,136 job cuts by these companies in 2013.”

Microsoft is going down. Don’t let Microsoft drag FOSS down with it.

Apple — Like Microsoft — Not Interested in the Security of Its Operating Systems

Posted in Apple, Google, Microsoft, Security at 9:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A big hole in Apple, but Apple doesn’t mind as long as the public doesn’t know

Foul apple

Summary: Apple neglected to patch known security flaws in Mac OS X for no less than three months and only did something about that vector of intrusion when the public found out about it

LAST year Apple admitted having back doors in iOS, conveniently dubbing them “diagnostics” (Orwellian newspeak). Apple did this only after a security researcher had found and publicised severe flaws that enabled remote intrusion into any device running iOS (there are unfortunately many such devices out there). This led us to alleging that not only Microsoft and the NSA worked to enable back doors for secret access into Windows. Both Apple and Microsoft are in PRISM and both produce proprietary software onto which it’s trivial to dump back doors, both undetectable and immutable.

Weeks ago we showed that Microsoft does not strive to make Windows secure, based on its very own actions whenever the public is unaware of the insecurities (only the NSA/GCHQ and the reporter/s are 'in the know'). Now we come to realise that Apple too — like Microsoft — did not close back/bug doors in Mac OS X for 90 days despite knowing about them. This isn’t a 0-day, it is a 90-day. It’s incompetence, negligence and might one even say deliberate sabotage by Apple. Apple just chose to leave the serious flaws in tact until it was too late because the public found out about it, owing to Google.

Do not let the Wintel-centric media blame Google for merely informing the public that proprietary operating systems like Windows and Mac OS X have holes in them that Microsoft and Apple refuse to patch. We should generally be thankful for this information. It says quite a lot about Microsoft’s and Apple’s priorities. It helps prove China right for banning Windows and Apple operating systems in government.

There is increasing consensus that Apple is going down the bin when it comes to users’ trust and browsing the Net these days I often read or hear from people who abandon Apple for GNU/Linux. Suffice to say, based on public appearances, the NSA is intimately involved in the build process of OS X (for a number of years now), which does make one wonder.

01.22.15

Microsoft is Dying Due to Free Software, Tries to Infect GNU/Linux With .NET and to Infect Moodle in Schools With Microsoft Office and OOXML Lock-in

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Open XML at 12:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“They’ll get sort of addicted, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.”

Bill Gates

Drugs

Summary: ‘Free’ drugs (a proprietary software analogy) the new strategy of Microsoft in its latest battle against Free software, especially in schools where choice is a rarity (if not an impossibility), with the premeditated intention of forming dependency/addiction among young people

The Microsoft marketer from the CBS-run ZDNet says that GNU/Linux has now successfully pushed the price of Windows down to $0. No wonder the company is laying off many employees and fighting with the IRS over its tax violations. Microsoft is a company in rapid decline and there are many ways to show this. Just because Microsoft pressures and even bribes people to pay lip service to Vista 10 doesn’t mean it’s real news or that FOSS sites should cover it too (but some do). It’s more of a distraction or a decoy amid a lot of negative publicity for Microsoft. Vista 10 is not ‘free’, neither gratis nor libre. That’s a lie perpetrated by Microsoft and propagated by Microsoft-friendly media. As Pogson put it in his rebuttal: “Freedom isn’t just about the price. An operating system isn’t a service. One needs software on a device to make it seem intelligent, nothing more. Bundling that other OS with every kind of device on the planet doesn’t make any sense at all.”

Microsoft has been trying to infiltrate the FOSS community and even infiltrate GNU/Linux (the winners at Microsoft’s expense). Here we have Microsoft’s proxy Xamarin producing yet another Microsoft entrapment for GNU/Linux users (Mono) and here we have Microsoft trying to repurpose Free software as Microsoft lock-in. When Microsoft says “open source” it means proprietary plus some exploitation of FOSS in the Trojan sense, based on its silly press releases that it pushed even into CNN, (i.e. paid for by Microsoft handsomely). For those who missed it, Microsoft is now trying to push proprietary software with OOXML lock-in, which Microsoft committed crimes for, into Moodle. Microsoft’s ally in schools, Blackboard (proprietary), also tried to accomplish that when it acquired the competition (Moodlerooms). It is capture by proxy (Microsoft uses its own proxy) and it serves to highlight an inherent vulnerability in the ‘openness’ of Free software (it leaves itself open to Trojan horses unless it is willing to put up some resistance). Microsoft did the same thing to Linux (proprietary Hyper-V through Novell as the bribed proxy) and it is becoming a serious issue. The media too plays a role in it (see the paid press releases above) and Bill Gates’ bribes to The Guardian are clearly paying off because this wicked paper is now portraying Gates as a champion of education with another mindless advertisement/puff piece. This is often about imposing Microsoft software on schools. Gates has already made it explicitly clear that he views children the same way drug dealers view them. It’s market share. It’s money. “In other news,” wrote a reader to us, “he is attacking Moodle quite heavily. I guess the goal is to make it 100% tied to MS Office, Sharepoint, Exchange and all the other crap.”

“Microsoft has been been trying to infiltrate the FOSS community and even infiltrate GNU/Linux (the winners at Microsoft’s expense).”“Wired still sucks up to Bill,” he added, linking to this latest puff piece. Gates has spent over a billion dollars so far bribing news sites, blogs, etc. so we have grounds for suspicion that Wired too (Condé Nast) has an unstated conflict of interest. Another news site of Condé Nast has employed full-time Microsoft boosters and one of them, Peter Bright (Microsoft Peter), is now openwashing Internet Explorer despite admitting that “Internet Explorer is closed from end to end.”

Watch out as Microsoft and Bill Gates try to hijack school curriculum to impose Microsoft as part of what’s obligatory (imposed from above). The attempt to make Moodle connected to the NSA PRISM-complying (Microsoft was first in PRISM) OOXML-spreading Microsoft Office is just the first step.

Microsoft Symptoms of a Dying Company: More Boosters Depart, Back Doors Revealed, Microsoft’s Outlook Cracked

Posted in Microsoft, Security, Vista 10, Windows at 12:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Journalists currently under heavy barrage from Microsoft marketing (outsourced and in-house)

Office of telemarketing

Summary: Bad news for Microsoft shortly before the marketing extravaganza served to cover much of it up

IF YOU believe the hype (Microsoft has been talking about it for nearly 2 years), you will easily believe that Vista 10 is the return of Windows monopoly and supposed OS ‘leadership’, even though Microsoft is shrinking along with its notorious back doors and criminal behaviour (less Microsoft means less crime).

Those of us who have watched Microsoft closely for years saw a lot of the company’s boosters ebbing away. Microsoft laid off a lot of marketing people. It’s a ‘luxury’ it cannot afford anymore as breaking/infiltrating the media is not cheap. Last week we learned that Paul Thurrott left as well; he had been one of Microsoft’s leading boosters and now, according to a source of ours, he “[p]robably moved to be able to change focus, adding FUD against non-Microsoft stuff in the guise of coverage. This is how far he has gone.” (notice the usual and typical propaganda we have been seeing for weeks now).

Some falsely claim that Android is losing share and others try to paint Windows as running Android apps even though it cannot. That is the type of FUD we have been debunking here for years. This FUD is not dead yet. Just notice the patterns, part of the PR campaign perhaps. If many people repeat the same lie in unison, then the lie gains legitimacy. Just watch Microsoft’s propaganda network 1105 Media trolling FOSS yet again over ‘security’ (only yesterday). A lot of this PR/FUD started last April when a Microsoft-connected firm gave a name and a logo to a bug in OpenSSL. It did it exactly when Windows XP ran out of support (i.e. left totally vulnerable to crackers).

“A lot of this PR/FUD started last April when a Microsoft-connected firm gave a name and a logo to a bug in OpenSSL.”Either way, Microsoft boosters continue to be dissolved. We used to see many more FUD attacks on GNU/Linux or Free software several years ago and as Soylent News put it: “Longtime Microsoft-centric journalist and blogger Paul Thurrott has left Supersite for Windows, and the website he founded sixteen years ago, and its sister site Windows IT Pro, for reasons explained in his farewell post. The sites (the former of which is still branded ‘Paul Thurrott’s SuperSite for Windows’ for now, but that will surely change) will be maintained by a staff of journalists employed by Penton, an information services conglomerate.”

Microsoft very much relies on propaganda agents who blame Google for Microsoft's failings and incite against Microsoft’s top competitors (Chromebooks seem to be Microsoft’s nightmare at the moment, not just Google Docs and ODF). Consider this rebuttal from Thom Holwerda:

First, this article makes the usual mistake of calling these vulnerabilities “zero day”. They are not zero day. They are 90 day. A huge difference that changes the entire context of the story. Microsoft gets 90 days – three months – to address these issues.

The accusations against Google were repeated later, at around the beginning of last week (second time) and the end of last week (third wave). This is totally insane an accusation to make, but given that those blaming Google are longtime Microsoft boosters, one can expect it.

In other news, a new Bloomberg puff piece glamourises Microsoft privacy violations, milking the Paris shootings for Microsoft PR. What an unbelievably shallow puff piece; then again, it’s Bloomberg. In similar news, Outlook has been cracked [1]. Even Microsoft cannot maintain a state of security. “Clumsily done” labelled it our source. Maybe the back doors have taken their toll in the wrong country. That won’t be good for business.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Microsoft Outlook hacked following Gmail block in China

    Microsoft’s Outlook email service was subject to a cyberattack over the weekend, just weeks after Google’s Gmail service was blocked in China.

    On Monday, online censorship watchdog Greatfire.org said the organization received reports that Outlook was subject to a man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack in China. A MITM attack intrudes on online connections in order to monitor and control a channel, and may also be used to push connections into other areas — for example, turning a user towards a malicious rather than legitimate website.

01.18.15

Microsoft, the Back Doors Company, is Gradually Dying and Trying to Embrace the Competition

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 5:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft bug report

From documents just released by Der Spiegel, via Edward Snowden (click to zoom)

Summary: The world is leaving Microsoft’s common carrier (Windows) behind, so Microsoft, which is shrinking, tries to conquer Free software and GNU/Linux

Microsoft Windows has been facilitating/enabling GCHQ (like ‘NSA UK’) and NSA with back doors, including — perhaps passively — so-called ‘crash reports’, as revealed by new documents (published over the weekend). Microsoft bug reports are now being used against their reporters, selecting “targets” using this ‘volunteering’ effort. How nice is that? No wonder China is banning Microsoft software while Russia heads down a similar path (abolishing x86 in government).

Recently in the news there was some noise from Microsoft boosters and sympathisers who spoke about giving Microsoft control over GNU/Linux servers. It is a dangerous and dumb idea as it’s more or less like a Linux-to-Windows migration, merely self-serving (to Microsoft) and dangerous to one’s freedom. We already responded to this noise last week, but it carried on until the end of the week. It is clear why Microsoft is so eager to take control over GNU/Linux and Apache. Despite the fact that Netcraft is being gamed by Microsoft, Netcraft still shows that Microsoft continues with its losses on the Web (see January 2015 Web Server Survey) [via], declining to almost single-digit market share. It is also evident that Microsoft as a company is shrinking (people inside Microsoft tell us that) and Gates-funded papers like this one from Seattle help spin staff backlash:

A group of workers employed by a Microsoft contractor successfully organized a union — a rare feat in the tech industry — and is now bargaining with its company over a contract.

A reader told us that Microsoft is basically “still doing the permatemp thing” that helps hide layoffs. The above article from the Microsoft-friendly press does not tell the full story. Microsoft has basically outsourced a lot of its labour and put it on contract, so there is no termination, no layoffs. There is no long-term obligation to such staff.

“Microsoft has basically outsourced a lot of its labour and put it on contract, so there is no termination, no layoffs.”Finally, speaking of Microsoft spin, Adrian Bridgwater calls “Community Service” Microsoft indoctrination of students. We don’t know if he is being deliberately thick or just trying to entertain readers. This relates to what we wrote some days ago about Microsoft preying on children. Microsoft is trying to fill GitHub with .NET projects, even at the expense of CodePlex. There is a charm offensive over this and Microsoft's booster Mr. Anderson wrote that “Program Manager Kasey Uhlenhuth explains that the Roslyn team is not only moving the repository, but also switching to git internally.”

Just wait until propagandistic firms like the Microsoft-connected Black Duck claim that .NET and Microsoft-centric licences are on the rise, based on some figures from GitHub. That’s just a case of Microsoft infiltrating its competition.

01.14.15

Google Has Eliminated Microsoft’s Dominance in Operating Systems, Microsoft Resorts to Propaganda, Child Exploitation, and EEE

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft at 4:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“They’ll get sort of addicted, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.”

Bill Gates

Dutch weed

Summary: As Linux becomes the dominant kernel at Windows’ expense Microsoft pulls old tricks including media manipulation, AstroTurfing, co-opting schools (making Windows obligatory for future generations), and EEE (embrace, extend, and extinguish)

THE so-called ‘PC’ — a term which refers to a long-lived form factor (but only one among many these days) — is not the sole focus of today’s computer industry. Overall, putting together all form factors, Linux is the victor and a lot of the press said this after CES 2015. Our daily links contain examples of articles which speak about this. PCs are not even necessarily where the big money is. Far less so than ever before…

While it may be common to say that GNU/Linux has single-digit (percentage) market share in desktops, the opposite is true in some areas and Microsoft remains in single-digit market share in phones. As Ahonen put it the other day:

So then the Evil Empire. Whats Microsoft up to? Well, they were at one point the biggest player from the computer industry and for much of the past decades have been the most profitable of that industry. They did see mobile coming early on, Bill Gates launched Microsoft into the mobile OS wars and Windows Mobile at its peak was the world’s second most used OS on smartphones with 12% market share (slightly less than the level where iPhone currently is in 2014 – if you want a warning from history haha).

Steve Ballmer then threw all that away with his silliness starting with ‘no migration path’ (why on earth not, after Microsoft – which managed to migrate DOS users to Windows on the PC, how could that same Microsoft make such an elementary blunder). So today Windows Phone OS has under 3% market share of new sales, and all those phones were essentially given away – sold at a loss – and even after that we just heard last year that one in three Windows based smartphones had never been activated (likely most were simply manufactured, shipped to retail and never sold). So the real market share for Windows in smartphones is dismal now, at 2%. It is the most toxic of any ‘ecosystems’ and developers are abandoning the sinking ship. It is now only a question of time when will Nadella shut down (or sell) the Lumia unit.

Microsoft has totally lost it and Android is totally winning, not just in phones but increasingly in tablets, TVs, etc. Microsoft’s attacks on Android failed miserably and according to reports like this, Microsoft is giving up its anti-Google Jihad that makes it so publicly known how much of a loser Microsoft became. As the British press put it: “MICROSOFT HAS APPARENTLY PUT THE HOARY old Scroogled campaign in a sack, filled it with rocks and thrown it off a cliff.

“Scroogle, a riff on Google and Scrooge, a fictitious miser, was a Microsoft marketing whizz that used to shine a negative light on a rival and, by association, a positive light on its own gear.”

It failed.

Microsoft, being a propaganda company, did manage to bamboozle many people into accepting Vista 7, but Vista 7 is now pretty much dead [1, 2] for many people who will refuse to embrace Vista 8 — an operating system which failed in the market more miserably than Vista. How many are going to turn to Chromebooks, Android devices, and so-called ‘PCs’ with GNU/Linux?

Microsoft’s propaganda does not end with the ‘Scroogle’ de-emphasis; Sue Gee in the Microsoft-centric propaganda site “i-programmer” (misleading name) is now preying on children. Microsoft is “infecting teachers,” to use a term that a reader of ours used to describe it and the end goal is to impose Microsoft software on helpless children who cannot resist. This shameless pro-Microsoft site basically publishes what looks more like a Microsoft advertisement than an article, hailing Microsoft slavery as “skill”. It wasn’t alone, either. Hypocritically enough Microsoft uses the term “technology trap” to describe the alternatives and ITWire’s Microsoft booster lays out there yet another Microsoft puff piece, stating: “It’s back-to-school buying season, and both Intel and Microsoft have decided to inject some life back into the Wintel alliance and promote Windows-powered devices as the ideal back-to-school student technologies.”

Preying on children as their last resort? To avoid the “technology trap” as they put it? What a nerve they have…

“Preying on children as their last resort?”Speaking of propaganda pieces, watch ZDNet‘s Microsoft advertiser, Mary Jo Foley, paying lip service to the Microsoft “loves Linux” nonsense, as does the Microsoft-friendly Pedro Hernandez (there is history there), who advertises Microsoft surveillance over GNU/Linux servers.

The company now offers an Azure Data Center Migration Solution and expands support of its Migration Accelerator to include Linux servers and virtual machines.

This has virtually nothing to do with GNU/Linux, except Microsoft’s attempt to embrace, extend and extinguish it. These tactics worked for Microsoft before, but they are not working anymore. Just look what happened to Novell.

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