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10.16.14

Vista 10 is Still Vapourware, But We Already Know It Will Increase Surveillance on Its Users and Contain Malicious Back Doors

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FUD, Microsoft, Vista 10 at 12:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“In the face of strong competition, Evangelism’s focus may shift immediately to the next version of the same technology, however. Indeed, Phase 1 (Evangelism Starts) for version x+1 may start as soon as this Final Release of version X.”

Microsoft, internal document [PDF]

Summary: The villainous company which makes insecure-by-design operating systems will continue to do so, but in the mean time the corporate press covers only bugs in FOSS, not back doors in proprietary software

After the vapourware tactics of Vista (for 5 years!) as well as the terrible (worse than Vista) Vista 8 and Vista 7 we already know Microsoft’s dirty tactics too well. Microsoft admitted to using these tactics when it falls behind the competition. Now that Microsoft faces embarrassment from the majority of the population, which is women, it sure needs a good distraction from negative publicity that started with infiltration.

Vista 9, vapourware for a year and a half now, already looks like garbage and at this stage it remains vapourware. Microsoft already jumps ahead to the next imaginary generation of vapourware, which will go further in providing the NSA with back doors and remote surveillance features. China was right to ban present generations of Microsoft Windows because it becomes more spyware-filled all the time and it is also known that the NSA engages in espionage against China. Here is a new article about how Windows servers and other Windows devices got hijacked in Hong Kong. It is suicidal to use Windows unless one is a partner of Microsoft and South Korea too has just suffered severely for depending on Windows. Pogson says: “I expect Korea will have to redo everything and get it right this time. Let’s hope they demand GNU/Linux be used for on-line/financial transactions and to protect data but failing that let’s hope they make GNU/Linux optional and the people can decide. There’s something refreshing about a whole country aroused about insecurity with that other OS on the check-list of things to fix.”

Korea and China are both planning to move away from Microsoft. This is well overdue.

According to several new reports, despite the NSA leaks that embarrassed Microsoft (and caused some nations to abandon Microsoft), Microsoft will increase spying in future versions of Windows and even previews spy on the users. As one author put it: “Back in 2012 with the release of Ubuntu 12.10 the EFF, Richard Stallman and countless other privacy advocates led vocal campaigns against Canonical for including Amazon results in the dash, the issue was that Amazon would know everything you were typing into the dash. Now however Microsoft are targeting early users of their Windows 10 Operating System in a much more egregious way.”

Here is more about Windows: “For the more liberal minded regarding privacy who are reading, thinking this is just for the purposes of improving the product then you should also know that Microsoft state they will share this data with third parties and also that they will use your data to send your advertisements about their new products and updates. The third parties that Microsoft mention also include law enforcement. They say “we may access, disclose and preserve information about you when we have a good faith belief that doing so is necessary to: 1. comply with applicable law or respond to a valid legal process from competent authorities, including from law enforcement or other government agencies; 2. protect our customers, for example to prevent spam or attempts to defraud Microsoft’s customers, or to help prevent the loss of life or serious injury of anyone; 3. operate and maintain the security of out products and services, including to prevent or stop and attack on our computer systems or networks; or 4. protect the rights or property of Microsoft, including enforcing the terms governing the use of the services – however, if we receive information indicating that someone is using our products or services to traffic in stolen intellectual or physical property of Microsoft, we will not inspect a customer’s private content ourselves, but we may refer the matter to law enforcement…”

Windows is a massive security risk and one that no nation should take. Not even the US; all back doors are bound to be used by cyber criminals who are not associated with any government (or with a friendly government) at one point or another.

We are still seeing Microsoft-affiliated media calling for more severe criticism of GNU Bash, but how about Windows shell vulnerabilities like this new one?

A class of coding vulnerabilities could allow attackers to fool Windows system administrators into running malicious code because of a simple omission: quotation marks.

The attack relies on scripts or batch files that use the command-line interface, or “shell,” on a Windows system but contain a simple coding error—allowing untrusted input to be run as a command. In the current incarnation of the exploit, an attacker appends a valid command onto the end of the name of a directory using the ampersand character. A script with the coding error then reads the input and executes the command with administrator rights.

Microsoft booster Andrew Binstock continues to trash-talk FOSS security ,but why is he not commenting on back doors in Microsoft software? Lies by omission. Bloomberg also publishes poorly-researched articles while it misuses the word “hacker” to confuse readers. How about back doors in proprietary software? Will Coverity ever cover this, or will it keep its focus on flaws in FOSS for writers like Richard Adhikari to single out FOSS as the problem? To quote Adhikari’s new article:

Open source developers apparently don’t adhere to best practices such as using static analysis and conducting regular security audits, found Coverity’s Spotlight report, released Wednesday.

The Coverity Scan service, which is available at no charge to open source projects, helped devs find and fix about 50,000 quality and security defects in code last year.

Microsoft’s circle of partners would rather debate and hype up FOSS bugs using codenames/brands that are all of a sudden being assigned for bugs (for increased press coverage), but discussions about back doors are out of scope.

Here we have Europol advocating back doors. The Europol boss says: “I hate to talk about backdoors but there has to be a possibility for law enforcement” (i.e. back doors).

Once upon a time (even 1.5 years ago) people who spoke about back doors were called paranoid and nutty. It is Free software advocates who have the last laugh now because they were right all along.

It should be known by now that back doors are being used for ransom and blackmail, even murder. Even Europol recognises this.

Windows should generally be avoided by everyone. No server should ever run Windows because it’s dangerous for everyone. Only fools would host a site using a back-doored operating system, which in turn puts its visitors at risk.

“Only fools would host a site using a back-doored operating system, which in turn puts its visitors at risk.”It is now being reported that NATO was silly enough to use Windows and it paid the price, potentially resulting in loss of life. The article “Microsoft Windows Zero-Day Vulnerability “CVE-2014-4114″ Used to Hack NATO” should note that NSA is told about this before Microsoft even issues a patch.

In summary, do not use Windows. It is not secure and this is part of the design. Microsoft has no intention of correcting this. In terms of security and privacy, Windows continues to get only worse over time.

10.14.14

With .NET Foundation Affiliation Xamarin is Another Step Closer to Being Absorbed by Microsoft

Posted in Microsoft, Mono at 5:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A vow till death

Wedding vows

Summary: Xamarin is not even trying to pretend that separation exists between Microsoft and its work; yet another collaboration is announced

MICROSOFT’S OFFICIAL partner Xamarin, the Mono company founded by Microsoft MVP Miguel de Icaza with people of Microsoft background, funding from Microsoft-linked sources, Microsoft-copyrighted code with Microsoft licences and Microsoft APIs (all groomed all along by Microsoft and its media moles) is in some headlines again. It all started this morning when my wife told me about “that Microsoft guy” publishing a blog post. It’s Miguel de Icaza who wrote:

We are launching the official .NET Foundation forums to engage with the larger .NET community and to start the flow of ideas on the future of .NET, the community of users of .NET, and the community of contributors to the .NET ecosystem.

Michael Larabel later covered this:

Miguel de Icaza of GNOME/Mono fame who is heading Xamarin to push .NET software for multiple platforms using Mono, passed along some .NET Foundation news. In particular, the .NET Foundation Forums have been established for allowing the .NET community to collaborate and “start the flow of ideas on the future of .NET”, according to Miguel. Those forums are part of DotNetFoundation.org.

“Mono may be fine for Microsoft; it’s an utter disaster and a dangerous trap for everyone else.”This is just more openwashing of .NET and Miguel de Icaza, as always, helps it. Mono is not just promotion of proprietary software; it is promotion of Microsoft APIs, Microsoft patents, generally poor technology, and a Microsoft Trojan horse in the technical world. Based on some new figures just released by Unity3D (which turns out to be secretly spyware), very few GNU/Linux users are foolish enough to install Mono (and Unity3D). They measure that at 0.1% of the whole!

Mono may be fine for Microsoft; it’s an utter disaster and a dangerous trap for everyone else. A quick smell test of the capital (money) and where it comes from (Microsoft-linked VC or Microsoft-funded Novell) should serve as a clue; only Microsoft benefits.

10.13.14

Microsoft’s Disdain for Women Steals the Show at a Women’s Event

Posted in Deception, Microsoft at 2:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Satya Ballmer
Satya Ballmer

Summary: Steve Ballmer’s successor, Satya Nadella, is still too tactless to lie to the audience, having been given –through subversive means — a platform at a conference that should have shunned Microsoft, a famously misogynistic company

Several days ago we warned that Microsoft was hijacking the Grace Hopper conference and thankfully enough Microsoft just continues to show its hatred towards women, not the opposite. Still, Microsoft became the news. Everything else received little or no coverage. This in itself derailed the event.

Microsoft totally stole the show last week. The show was not about Microsoft, but a publicity stunt and some bribes typically distort events in Microsoft’s favour.

“Microsoft hijacked a conference about women in tech last week and this made it the topic of the whole coverage…”Microsoft booster Stephen Withers reminds us how companies bribe journalists, for example, as he ends his article with this: “Disclosure: The writer traveled to the Progress Exchange conference as the guest of the company.”

This is how Microsoft bribes journalists, giving them flights and other perks in exchange for event coverage and Microsoft propaganda in the international media. It is fake journalism that is actually PR, not journalism. See how this abusive company where managers don’t get along (high tensions between Gates and Ballmer) is characterised in the press as one big happy family. Total lie. Unchallenged.

Now let’s get back to the point. Microsoft hijacked a conference about women in tech last week and this made it the topic of the whole coverage as seen here. “First,” says The Register, “we discovered that things had gotten so bad between former Microsoft bosses Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer that they don’t even speak to each other anymore.” Then comes lots of Microsoft woman-washing (trying to associate Microsoft with women).

“Microsoft was able to hijack media coverage of yet another conference,” told us a reader. “Microsoft participation is toxic.” Here are some more examples of how Microsoft hijacked coverage of this event. There remains a stigma that women cannot succeed in FOSS and that one cannot enter into the community unless “a white male” (this is from a Microsoft-friendly site).

Nadella — let’s face it — is not a real Microsoft CEO, for reasons that we covered before. He is a Microsoft front end. The company is still controlled and run by serial criminals. Ballmer and Gates put a Ramji in charge of that mole strategy against FOSS for similar reasons; these people are a PR facet that hides their employer’s insidious activities (bribes, racketeering, et cetera).

Nadella has not done well in his speech. He actually offended women, even though it was not his intention. Nadella is not yet a good liar like Ballmer and Gates, but he did make the headlines (unlike Grace Hopper) , ending up in the middle a PR gaffe. Now he’s in a rush to apologise.

“What Bill and Satya did not want covered,” says our reader, is the angle that is so embarrassing and Sarah Gray explained to a lot of readers at Salon (Microsoft has already tired to change her article).

10.08.14

How Microsoft Handles Disasters: Grace Hopper Conference Has Been Infiltrated by “Microsoft Disaster Response”

Posted in Deception, Microsoft at 10:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Horse

“I’ve killed at least two Mac conferences. [...] by injecting Microsoft content into the conference, the conference got shut down. The guy who ran it said, why am I doing this?”

Microsoft's chief evangelist

Summary: Free/Open Source software (FOSS) must be a disaster to Microsoft’s bottom line because Microsoft is sending “Microsoft Disaster Response” to infiltrate and disrupt a conference about women in FOSS

Every time there is a FOSS conference that attracts Microsoft’s worst nightmare (developers not loyal to Windows) Microsoft attacks with moles. It’s not only distracting but actually disruptive and it is annoying a lot of attendants. It serves to marginalise or eliminate this group of Microsoft resistors. It’s a way to capture and dilute events and thus communities. It is the “Killing with kindness” approach that Microsoft repeatedly used in LinuxTag [1, 2, 3]. Germany is rapidly moving to GNU and Linux, so it’s a common target for bribes and FUD, as seen repeatedly in Munich.

Conference organisers should politely decline their participation (politely because otherwise Microsoft would use it to create a stigma of rudeness), recalling that Microsoft is suing companies that distribute FOSS over their FOSS distribution, using software patents they lobbied exceptionally hard for (even in Europe).

“Sadly, the opportunist Microsoft appears to have already given money to Grace Hopper conference organisers in exchange for participation, pretending that Microsoft is FOSS and that Microsoft is kind to women (both are gross reversals of the truth).”Do not let Microsoft pretend to be friends with female developers. There is plenty of sexism at Microsoft. This needn’t be the subject of this post as (we already covered some examples and showed how Microsoft had offered cruises with female prostitutes to Microsoft distributors [1, 2])). Microsoft is trying to keep it inside/quiet, unlike in FOSS where it happens out in the open because of the development nature.

Sadly, the opportunist Microsoft appears to have already given money to Grace Hopper conference organisers in exchange for participation, pretending that Microsoft is FOSS and that Microsoft is kind to women (both are gross reversals of the truth). To quote Red Hat’s news site:

Open Source Day at the Grace Hopper Celebration this year starts today! The program is committed to helping women grow their skills and interest in using open source technologies.

“Our program philosophy is about tackling disaster response challenges in partnership with other industry and technology experts,” said Harmony Mabrey of Microsoft Disaster Response.

Why is Microsoft in there? Because it essentially bribed for it.

What a face-saving name too. “Microsoft Disaster Response”. What utter FUD and PR. Microsoft uses disasters to rob the poor. Microsoft also destroys the credibility of this female-oriented conference, using it as a Trojan horse for Microsoft sales and Microsoft AstroTurfing. It is an insult both to FOSS and to feminism.

10.06.14

Symptoms of Post-x86 Era: Even Intel Apologists Turn Against Bribes-Dependent Intel While Microsoft Continues to Deceive Journalists on Patents in Order to Create a Scare

Posted in Hardware, Microsoft at 3:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Alternative (dirty) business models on the rise

Some roubles

Summary: The Wintel press, which is bribed by companies that it covers, is challenged by prominent developers and Microsoft continues to plant its patent propaganda in the Wintel-centric (and paid) press

Things are changing for the better as GNU/Linux, usually on non-x86 platforms, continues to gain. The Wintel monoculture is trying to use patents, lockdown (‘secure’ boot), bribes and other forms of abuse to maintain revenue.

“With some exceptions, especially desktops (not necessarily laptops), x86 can now be abandoned.”The many crimes of Intel have not, until very recently, bothered the UEFI apologists, notably Garrett, who now hates Intel (see “Actions have consequences (or: why I’m not fixing Intel’s bugs any more)”. UEFI is bad for several reasons that we mentioned here before and FreeBSD accepts it nonetheless. It is becoming part of an operating system that does not even need x86 because:

A new Beta version has been made available for the FreeBSD 10.1 branch, an operating system for x86, ARM, IA-64, PowerPC, PC-98, and UltraSPARC architectures. Users can now download and test it.

Who needs x86 anyway? With some exceptions, especially desktops (not necessarily laptops), x86 can now be abandoned. Samsung makes its own processors now and it has a thriving business based on Linux (Android and Tizen). When Samsung tried messing about with UEFI it ended up making a machine that was remotely brickable (a real problem that the NSA may exploit). Bricking is only one among numerous problems with UEFI. Our main concern about UEFI is that it’s designed to secure the monoculture known as Wintel.

“Microsoft does not receive a billion dollars per year from Samsung for Android; the deal works in two directions and the PR stunt is attempting to portray Android as very expensive.”Speaking of Samsung, the company is finally fighting Microsoft over patents (rather than sign secret patent deals) and The Mukt explained the insignificance of the latest news spin. As we noted at the time, not only Microsoft boosters relayed the deception but even some FOSS blogs repeated it (probably because of the former group, based on their links), including GNU/Linux advocates such as Robert Pogson and Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols. Microsoft does not receive a billion dollars per year from Samsung for Android; the deal works in two directions and the PR stunt is attempting to portray Android as very expensive. This is propaganda that mostly (originally) comes from pro-Microsoft circles such as CBS and IDG.

Microsoft Reinforces Its Criminal Organisation Status by Bribing and Corrupting More Officials, Even in Europe

Posted in Europe, Fraud, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 2:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Some fingerprints

Summary: More criminal activity from Microsoft in Romania and a new TV programme that sheds light on Microsoft’s dirty assault on Free software in France

Bribes can be passed in all sorts of ways (e.g. promise of a job for a spouse, revolving doors, nepotism with verbal contracts). We have given many examples of Microsoft bribes over the years and last year it was reported that Microsoft had bribed officials in some of the largest countries in Asia and there was an investigation into it; maybe Microsoft bribed or somehow silenced the investigators too has we have not heard anything about it since then (some of these countries, however, have in the mean time shunned Microsoft). Some of the bribes we covered involved OOXML, a deeply monopolistic ’cause’ which had bribes given to officials in many countries including Romania, where Microsoft routinely uses infiltration as a strategy. For Microsoft to impose NSA back doors on the whole world takes some audacity and it shows that no strategy is beyond the acceptable; just watch how the NSA took a whole country (Syria) offline, cracked the network of a national technology giant (Huawei), and actively supported assassinations, even of US informants. No nation should ever even consider using Microsoft anywhere in its infrastructure, but what happens when bribed are introduced? Now we have yet another example of Microsoft corruption in Romania:

‘Microsoftgate’ scandal rocks Romania

The Romanian National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA) is currently seeking approval to begin criminal investigations for office misconduct and corruption in an unfolding scandal the press has dubbed ‘MicrosoftGate’. EurActiv Romania reports.

The accusations are related to public procurement procedures for Microsoft licenses intended for schools. Ministers are suspected of having taken bribes for facilitating the conclusion and ensuring the continuation of an illegal contract with Fujitsu Siemens Computers for leasing Microsoft licenses at over-inflated prices.

The case started last summer after the Control Body of the Prime Minister was notified about the existence of a series of irregularities at the Ministry of Information Society and the Ministry of Education concerning the leasing of IT educational licenses.

Several former ministers, heads of the Secretariat-General of the government, as well as Microsoft officials, have been questioned by Romanian prosecutors. More recently, the Chief Prosecutor of the DNA requested that the general prosecutor of the office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice seek approval from the Senate, the Chamber of Deputies, the Romanian president and the European Parliament to start criminal investigations against nine former Romanian ministers.

Microsoft is not quite a “company” per se; it is almost like a crime syndicate that uses rogue (tainted) contracts for revenue and bribes officials for them. A government delegate once compared Microsoft's methods to “Scientology cult” and this new TV programming from France shows just how far Microsoft “lobbying” goes.

Thanks to the working group transcripts of April we managed to get an automated translation too English. Transcript below:

Journalist : France today begins its digital. So we have to buy hardware: tablets, computers, interactive whiteboards, but also virtually non-existent in the hexagon educational software. The British market, however, is overflowing already. We are in London, BETT, the show for educational technology. Everyone from digital to school has given them appointment.

English students in uniform, singing around shelves.

Journalist : We find Mrs. Becchetti-Bizot, the new head of digital in Education.

Speaker : I present the company Education City.

Journalist : It came out what could soon equip our schools.

Jamie Southerington, commercial Education City : Let me show you what we can offer in French. We have activities for students of three years. If you have an interactive whiteboard in your classroom, it was the software that allows children to learn the alphabet by singing. Well, just press here.

Catherine Becchetti-Bizot, responsible for the direction for the educational digital : I am very surprised by the richness and diversity of what is proposed by the vitality of small businesses that are there and really trying to adapt to the needs of the teaching community.

Reporter : Today the Department of Education is ready to provide all children in tablets?

Mrs. Becchetti-Bizot : The Department is not ready to buy for all, it would be impossible, can you imagine the price that would be! However it is ready to partner, to imagine consortia with communities and businesses, perhaps, perhaps! I do not know if we’ll do it, but we will try to do that, to effectively we can encourage, facilitate equipment.

Journalist : Partnerships who dream because the industrial market to win is huge. Globally, it is estimated at 100 billion euros and growth forecasts give the spin: more than 1500% in the next decade.

Today, the market leader in educational tablet is Apple. Yet the brand has no official stand on the show, preferring to highlight its suppliers of content, the famous educational software.

Why is Apple company absent the show?

Mark Herman, Albion : Because we no longer need to explain what an iPad. Everyone knows what it is. However one has to take people by the hand and let them demonstrations to show them the educational potential of our software. Then they can decide if they are interested or want to buy from our competitors and that is where we are useful. We are here to advise schools not to force their hand. But you know, we have equipped schools, there has been incredible changes and it’s a real motivation for us.

Reporter : For industry, this software is the best way to attract customers in their nets. Once purchased, you become dependent on their computer system. In most cases, your Mac software is usable by a computer or a Mac tablet. Ditto for the PC. We went to the other giant digital, Microsoft. To discover their marketing strategy, they invite us into a showroom software and educational materials to Paris. This place was named immersive class.

Teacher : That’s it. You sit in the pit there.

Journalist : Set up two years ago at the company’s headquarters here the teachers and students are invited to discover tomorrow’s school according to Microsoft.

Nao Robot : Hello. I’m Nao, a humanoid robot. I come from the planet Saturn.

Journalist : That day, a retired teacher, hired by the multinational, we made ​​a small demonstration in front of some guinea pigs.

Prof : What is it?

Kids : It’s the land.

Prof : We’ll have to write the names of the planets. You take this pen, here you choose a color.

Journalist : The goal: to seduce the students and their teachers to schools to sell a classroom of the future, turnkey.

Prof : Let’s go get a picture of a book.

Children : Oh! Lava and smoke!

Prof : Well, that comes out. After it comes out of where?

Journalist : The man who had the idea of this showroom is Thierry de Vulpillières, education manager at Microsoft France.

“…the law forbids to advertise in schools. So to get around the problem, Microsoft has found another strategy. We’ll show you how, for years, the American company infiltrates National Education to sell its products.”Thierry de Vulpillières, head of Microsoft France Education : We at Microsoft. Our subject is to help the passion for the education of teachers and students. 55% of French children are bored in school. It’s a shame. Well it’s because we will move the way we teach and we will involve more students these tools come naturally fit into this new way of learning. What we want is that indeed all students can benefit from digital. I would love there to be 11 million tablets in the hands of every student.

Journalist : The difficulty of Thierry Vulpillières: the law forbids to advertise in schools. So to get around the problem, Microsoft has found another strategy. We’ll show you how, for years, the American company infiltrates National Education to sell its products. The man who found out about roses is Alexis Kauffmann, a math teacher. In 2008 he went to the site Innovative Education Forum, a forum sponsored by the National Education, where teachers have educational projects. Alexis discovers a photo that plot, that of this little Asian girl sitting in a classroom.

Alexis Kauffmann, math teacher : I was able to show that the site of the first forum of innovative teachers using the images we found on the official websites of Microsoft. You could tell they were a little sloppy, they have not even taken the trouble to make up the task of changing images.

Journalist : Oh yes, they reversed.

Alexis Kauffmann : Yes they reversed.

Reporter : Alexis wants to know why a photo is featured on the Microsoft site. He then discovers that the multinational is behind these forums and continues to fund discreetly.

We went to the last forum for innovative teachers. This year it is held at the Regional Council of Aquitaine. In the lobby, teachers present their projects.

Teacher : There is no class, in fact, it is a space that is completely open to life. One lot in life …

Journalist : On the platform of representatives of teachers, the Regional Council and the Ministry of Education

Jean-Yves Capul, Deputy Director of Digital Development, Education : Management of Digital Education was wanted by the Minister as a direction for educational purposes. This is the pedagogy and not technology that is the heart of this direction, even if the aim was to combine the two aspects, education and information systems and technology.

Journalist : In the audience in the front row, sitting behind the plant, Thierry de Vulpillières, Mr. Microsoft. Alexis Kauffmann came asking for more transparency in the financial involvement of the multinational forum.

Alexis Kauffmann : What is the sum allocated by Microsoft for this type of event, for example?

Thierry de Vulpillières : Me I do not give a number. The sum is marginal today on the organization of this forum. Unfortunately. I’m glad you ask me …

Alexis Kauffmann : Since the first time, Serge Pouts-Lajus launched a number, it was almost 50% of the budget.

Thierry de Vulpillières : I think it has never exceeded 50%, but actually it was in the order of 50%.

Alexis Kauffmann : It’s hard, even when enough!

Thierry de Vulpillières : Absolutely! And we are very proud to support that event.

Alexis Kauffmann : Okay.

Reporter : Thierry de Vulpillières will not say more. Sponsorship remains discreet. Some teachers do not even have knowledge.

This is an event that is largely funded by Microsoft. It inspires you what?

Christophe Viscogliosi economics professor : That I did not know already, first. And secondly it would have been better than the national education fully fund this type of forum.

Journalist : Why?

Professor of Economics : There is a potential conflict of interest. I did not necessarily want to be forced to use Microsoft products in progress.

Reporter : Thierry de Vulpillières is the only industrial digital world present here. From stand to stand, it maintains its network with faculty.

Thierry de Vulpillières Laurence June This is not the first forum.

Laurence June, Professor of French : No.

Thierry de Vulpillières And paradoxically it seems that we are in a stand of handicrafts. You see son and wool. This is a teacher who was one of the first teachers to use Twitter.

Professor of French Twitter that allows students to communicate, that is to say we are in a classroom, but it opens. We did projects where communication was contacted politicians, writers and journalists. Short exchanges, which led us to do larger projects, meetings, writings and exchanges.

Journalist : Adept Internet, the teacher becomes a target for Microsoft representative. This morning he offered his ten tablets Professor of French class was fortunate to have five computer stations, this is not the case all the time. Perhaps we will have tablets.

Journalist : Microsoft?

Laurence June, a French teacher : Yes.

Thierry de Vulpillières : Small areas will land home.

Professor of French : The good news. The forums also allow these exchanges there.

Journalist : Ten tablets offered to try to take the market in an establishment of seven hundred students. Microsoft has set up a well-rehearsed with faculty and hierarchy lobby. We were able to get that invitation sent to certain officials of the Ministry of Education. The Academy of Paris invites them to discover digital innovation at Microsoft headquarters. Program immersive class. Remember, the showroom Microsoft invented for the promotion of the classroom of the future. Alexis Kauffmann is the neutrality of the school that is harmed.

Alexis Kauffmann : What is outrageous is that academic information day, training, study, around digital is found in Microsoft. It has absolutely nothing to do with Microsoft, simply. Do we imagine the Ministry of Agriculture organize study days at Monsanto for example? No!

Journalist : We went to present the invitation to the new director of digital education.

On May 28 there was the Academy of Paris organized a day of innovation at Microsoft headquarters.

Catherine Becchetti-Bizot : Yes, the rector of Paris made ​​the event at Microsoft headquarters.

Reporter : You do not see that it’s a bit much, it may be a collusion of interest.

Catherine Becchetti-Bizot : Yes, I found out the same day.

Reporter : Were you there?

Catherine Becchetti-Bizot : Ah, I was not there! I would not go there because I think there is a confusion of genres. I do not disagree with the President, I think there is a kind of naivete that there was no will to promote Microsoft. Reporter: But you are against?

Catherine Becchetti-Bizot : I am neither for nor against. I think it is not a policy of the Ministry of Education to organize that, with Microsoft in particular, things of that guy, and it will actually fit. It’s also one of the immediate projects I have in opening this direction is clearly align our corporate partnerships.

Journalist : Multinationals have powerful lobbies and nothing seems to stop them in their conquest of the school of the future. Recently they attacked an amendment to the law of rebuilding the school. The amendment proposed that our school prioritizes the use of free software. Free software is the bane of high-tech enterprises. They can be created, shared, and modified by anyone and they are almost always free. A system that competes digital giants. It’s Green MP Isabelle Attard offering this amendment to the Assembly in favor of free software.

Isabelle Attard, MP for Calvados : This amendment has been fully validated by the Culture and Education Committee for first reading in the Assembly, the Senate also. And when the text comes in second reading in the Assembly, we see that the union of the digital sector, Syntec, just sent a press release to alert precisely this amendment accepted by the Assembly and the Senate, on the overhaul law school.

Reporter : Here’s the press syndicate of digital companies. A very alarming statement: “These provisions will handicap seriously most firms already in this industry.” He was sent to the press, all members and to the Minister of Education at the time, Vincent Peillon. While Isabelle Attard amendment would have allowed the state to make significant savings, Vincent Peillon back.

How do you explain this?

Isabelle Attard : Because there is a lobby and incredible pressure from the largest proprietary software and, as I said, Microsoft is the biggest.

Journalist : We have tried repeatedly to contact the former minister for him to explain his reverse. He refused.

Anyone who still treats Microsoft like an ordinary company does this at his or her own peril. Microsoft is a criminal organisation and it should be regarded as such.

10.04.14

Corporate Media Repeats Microsoft Propaganda About Patents by Claiming Microsoft Makes Billions From Android

Posted in Microsoft, Patents, Samsung at 4:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Microsoft is spreading the myth that Android is not free (and is in fact very expensive) while its staff and boosters continue to deceive the public in other ways

ANYTHING that is repeated often enough, especially by seemingly credible news networks, may in turn be treated as truth without much further scrutiny. Microsoft is an expert at doing that. We gave dozens of examples over the years. This is sometimes known as “reality distortion”.

Claims about Microsoft profit from Android are overstated and often reliant on just a single person (with Microsoft ties) along with folks who repeat his claims (usually Microsoft boosters). Even some FOSS-friendly sites like Muktware got bamboozled, whereupon we explained to them that this is just another divide-and-rule approach, much like Novell’s. Microsoft wants the industry to believe that GNU/Linux (or Android) is not free and that any company that sells devices with GNU/Linux will be punished severely by Microsoft. Behind the NDAs and behind the illegal extortion there is often lots of smoke but not fire. Microsoft may charge a few cents for something like FAT patents and then issue a face-saving press release (imposed on the victim) to pretend there was some massive patent deal that taxes “Linux”. For “Android” it’s usually something like Microsoft Exchange (ActiveSync). We spoke about this with OIN’s CEO, so we say this based on a professional opinion from one whose livelihood depends on it and one who knows what happens ‘behind the scenes’, so to speak.

“Microsoft may charge a few cents for something like FAT patents and then issue a face-saving press release (imposed on the victim) to pretend there was some massive patent deal that taxes “Linux”.”Yesterday we found an ugly piece that’s basically a Microsoft propaganda piece. It’s basically propaganda from Microsoft’s ‘former’ chief patent counsel. The crudest pro-software patents site (IAM) quotes the biggest patent troll in the world, Microsoft (by extension), as saying that “US has not come close to abandoning software patents”. That’s a straw man; nobody said that the USPTO (or the US) is “abandoning software patents”. It just gradually cuts down, both at the examination level and at the court level. Evidence of this is very extensive. It just seems like Microsoft is afraid of losing its last remaining ‘product’: patent racketeering.

There is currently an ugly whisper campaign in the corporate media. It claims that Samsung paid Microsoft a billion dollars for Android. It’s simply untrue. Thankfully, Swapnil Bhartiya has already written a strong rebuttal. He says that “some news outfits are projecting it as if Samsung paid Microsoft $1 billion solely for Android patents. Some headlines go like these – “Lawsuit reveals Samsung paid Microsoft $1 billion a year for Android patents” or “Samsung paid Microsoft $1 billion in Android patent-licensing royalties in 2013″. These claims start and end with the headlines, you won’t find a single mention of ‘Samsung paying Microsoft $1 billion for Android patents’ in any of those stories.

“Organizations like BloomBerg and ReCode are refraining from such misleading headlines. The court filing is available publicly which you can read on Scribd. Microsoft says in the document that Samsung paid Microsoft $1 billion in second financial year of their patent deal. From what I understand that is *the* total amount Samsung paid Microsoft under the deal. What we don’t know is what all is covered in these patents. The court document doesn’t specifically says that ‘Samsung paid Microsoft $1 billion for Android patents.’

“I didn’t find a single sentence making such a claim. Please correct me if I am wrong, I would appreciate that.”

Bhartiya correctly dubs this a “PR stunt” and he explains why: “It seems to be nothing more than a PR stunt. Every-time someone creates such a headline, Microsoft scores a PR point. Microsoft drops the keywords Android, Chrome and Linux every-time it signs a deal with a company even if the deal is about using ancient technologies such as FAT 32 in devices running Linux.

“We never heard of any other deal between the two companies (Samsung and Microsoft) so it can be logically concluded that the deal also covers the use of Microsoft technologies in non-Android or non-Chrome devices such as point-and-shoot cameras, DSLRs, music players, photo-frames, BD/DVD players, TV sets and dozen of other things that Samsung sells.

“Those crisp $1 billion bills are not just for the Android powered devices, right? Samsung does a lot of thing, in 2013 the company raked in over $54.95 billion in revenues. Only half of that revenue came from the IT and mobile division.”

Finally, adds Bhartiya: “It’s not a one way traffic. Microsoft also pays Samsung annual royalty for using Samsung’s patented technologies and this amount it credited against the amount Samsung pays to Microsoft.”

Yes, this is an old trick. Microsoft still uses it to flood the press with lies (or half-truths), which its booster are just too happy to spread. It’s like a tumbleweed of lies and it gathers momentum. Soon enough the lies become the equivalent of a reality; it’s an attempt to induce surrender. It’s an attempt at self-fulfilling prophecies. The time seemed right for Microsoft because it fights with Samsung in the courtroom. Microsoft knows it might lose and the defendant is the biggest possible target because Samsung sells the lion’s share of Android-powered phones.

The Microsoft booster Gavin Clarke is meanwhile warning that trolls may try to attack OpenStack. He uses OIN as a source:

A group established to shield Linux from patent trolls has warned OpenStack will be the next big target for intellectual property hoarders.

The Open Invention Network (OIN) reckons the open-source cloud is ripe for the plucking by trolls, who would easily be able to box off and claim core technologies as their own.

That would see developers and customers using OpenStack forced to hand over fistfuls of cash in royalties – following either cases or, more likely, closed-door deals that avoid the expense of court.

This may be a legitimised concern, but Clarke does not name Microsoft’s own behaviour. By these standards, Microsoft too is a troll, not just by proxy. In fact, Microsoft is perhaps the biggest threat here.

As a side note, Techrights is under DDOS attack )since yesterday). The attacks are all coming from Windows NT (various versions) machines and they are hammering on the site, sometimes to the point where the site is no longer available. This seems to have spread from Tux Machines, so these attacks are clearly personal. This was done to us also 5 years ago (see the report “Burying the truth? Boycott Novell hit by Denial of Service attack”).

Software Patents’ Demise Includes Exceptional Defeat for Microsoft-Connected Trolls, But Bar Still Lowered for Patents

Posted in Law, Microsoft, Patents at 4:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The rule of low, not law

Team work

Summary: The USPTO continues to lower the bar for patents’ acceptance, but on the other hand, many software patents are increasingly being rejected at the courts

Software patents may be on their way down, but patents as a whole are not going down, only their standard goes down. As a relatively benign patent lawyer put it the other day: “The fight for patent reform isn’t about trying to trample on inventors’ rights. It’s about trying to deal with the reality of thousands of bad patents and trying to prevent people from collecting money (and hindering innovation) based on patents that should never have issued.”

On another day he shed light on this troll:

And an Acacia subsidiary was ordered to pay NetApp’s legal fees after suing on patents that turned out to be licensed already.

“Software patents may be on their way down, but patents as a whole are now going down, only their standards go down.”The roundup links to this article about Acacia and it says that this “subsidiary of the patent aggregator had brought suit despite already striking a licensing deal with RPX.”

RPX is another kind of troll, but not quite the aggressive one. Here is some more coverage:

NetApp sticks biggest “patent troll” with $1.4M fee sanction

This summer, the Supreme Court made it easier for defendants to collect fees when they win patent cases. The decision is starting to have an effect—the nation’s largest patent troll just got slapped with an order to pay $1.4 million in attorneys’ fees to NetApp, which it sued in 2010.

The case brought by Summit Data Systems, a branch of Acacia Research Corp., hinged on an accusation that NetApp infringed when its server-based software interacted with an end user on a Microsoft operating system. The two patents-in-suit, 7,392,291 and 7,428,581, relate to “block-level storage access over a computer network.”

Notice the Microsoft connection. Some consider Acacia to be somewhat of a Microsoft proxy for several reasons that we covered before. This again is a software patent. This patent got defeated. Here is the EEF writing about another software patent, dubbing it “stupid patent of the month”:

Blue Spike LLC is a patent litigation factory. At one point, it filed over 45 cases in two weeks. It has sued a who’s who of technology companies, ranging from giants to startups, Adobe to Zeitera. Blue Spike claims not to be a troll, but any legitimate business it has pales in comparison to its patent litigation. It says it owns a “revolutionary technology” it refers to as “signal abstracting.” On close inspection, however, its patents turn out to be nothing more than a nebulous wish list. Blue Spike’s massive litigation campaign is a perfect example of how vague and abstract software patents tax innovation.

EFF is calling out software patents now, not just “stupid patents”.

According to some new numbers, the stupidity of patents only gets worse as it gets easier to have them granted:

Dennis Crouch over at Patently-O reports that for Fiscal Year 2014 (which just ended), the USPTO granted a record number of utility patents, over 300,000. Dennis determines that this results in an allowance rate of about 70%.

“Think about that – 70% of patent applications result in a patent,” says this article, but the real number may be 92% because some reapply until 'success'. This is ridiculous. A patent lawyers’ site says 300,000 patents got granted in one fiscal year. Good luck keeping track of so-called ‘infringements’.

Well, only recently we gave many examples of software patents being eliminated by US courts. Steven Seidenberg, writing for Intellectual Property Watch, claims that the “US [is] Cracking Down On Software Patents” and in his own words:

The US courts are aggressively applying the ruling. So is the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Thanks to their common interpretation of the US Supreme Court’s recent decision in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank, it is now open season on software patents.

Software patents are definitely suffering a major blow right now, but the overall problem is far from over. As TechDirt put it yesterday, the USPTO‘s standards are so low that a “Design Patent Granted… On A Toothpick”. It’s not satire. The EPO is corrupt, but the USPTO may not be much better. They are not providing public service; they are a front for corporations and increasingly trolls too.

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