‘Microsoft Android’ is like ‘Microsoft SUSE’
Summary: Microsoft’s mole inside Nokia is said to be officially rejoining Microsoft, receiving yet another financial award for the successful entryism, arming of patent trolls (that attack Google/Android), and shockingly cheap sale to Microsoft
Baffled pundits have been trying to make sense of Microsoft Nokia‘s Android phones, with all sorts of speculations about the future (or lack thereof) of Windows Phone, Elop’s role, the Microsoft acquisition, the patents agenda, forking of AOSP and so forth. One sure thing is, there’s a lot of confusion, perhaps even inside Nokia. People might be arguing fiercely inside the company. Whatever the motivation, Nokia’s newly-released so-called 'Android' phones are surveillance devices on steroids and they serve Microsoft's interests. SJVN calls it Microsoft Android in his new article “Hello, MS-Android. Good-bye, Windows Phone” and one pundit asks: “Are Nokia’s Android Phones Going to Get Axed By Microsoft?” Why would Microsoft axe them? These phones harm Android and they help an agenda of suing peers (using patents) that use Android. It’s basically 'pulling a Sony'.
“With the Mobile World Congress show underway in Barcelona,” says the pundit, “people are still talking about the significant news from the event on the open source phone front. As predicted here recently, Nokia announced the Nokia X and X+, which are smartphones running Android. The Nokia X will start selling for €89 next week.”
That’s very expensive for an enhanced surveillance device. Nokia and Microsoft should really subsidise these devices, paying people just to take them.
“What makes these phones news,” continues the pundit, “is that Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia is looming, so some are predicting that the phones will put Microsoft in the Android business, but others are predicting that Microsoft might simply do away with these phones after the acquisition.”
Yes, because Microsoft exploits these to disrupt Android, just as it used SUSE to disrupt GNU/Linux. It’s malicious intrusion and interference from the inside. It’s part of the strategy. As a Nokia expert put it today: “Elop didn’t want N9 or MeeGo to succeed because Elop had his mission to turn Nokia’s handsets into Microsoft’s division – an explicit achievement which he had negotiated to be in his CEO contract, and which ended up paying him a bonus of 25 million dollars in 2013. So Elop took every step he could as CEO to torpedo and undermine any chances for MeeGo…”
Well, he never left Microsoft and he never even left Seattle. Based on this news Elop is getting yet more money for this entryism. To quote: “News spreading online from a leaked memo point former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop to become the new lead at Microsoft’s Devices and Studios division. This appointment puts Elop in charge of all games and hardware for the Xbox platform, Microsoft Surface and all the game developments by Microsoft owned studios. This comes on the back of Satya Nadella being named as the post-Ballmer Microsoft CEO, for which Elop was quoted as being in the running.
“Elop replaces Julie Larson-Green who is taking on a new role as Chief Experience Officer for the Applications and Services group, which includes user experiences on Office, Skype and Bing.”
Don’t believe for one single second that Nokia’s ‘Android’ phones are good for Linux or even for Android. Suggesting that it’s good is like saying that the Microsoft/Novell deal was a “victory” for GNU/Linux, as Novell always wanted us to believe. █
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Summary: A call for people to leave a comment/digital letter to British officials who elected ODF as the only document standard for communication with the public
TOMORROW is the last chance to leave feedback on this British consultation (must be registered to leave one’s comment) which we covered in some recent days. Today, in the latest of three previous posts, we covered the disgusting flame and biased coverage from Microsoft apologists who try to incite. They try to make ODF proponent look like a bunch of radicals.
Here is my feedback:
The only opposition to ODF comes from one single entity: Microsoft. It’s not a British company and it is not an ethical company, to say the very least.
Microsoft would like us to believe that “Open” XML (an Orwellian name) is a “standard” without telling how it became a “standard”, starting with ECMA, where key officials publicly gloated about the corruptible process, and the ISO, from which key/top members resigned following what Microsoft had done (while specifically citing what Microsoft had done).
Systematic corruption cannot be ignored and the debate cannot be framed as one where we look at stamps of approval alone.
As a researcher, a former journalist, and a webmaster of sites which receive hundreds of millions of hits annually, I already wrote almost 1,000 articles on the topic of OOXML, sacrificing a lot of my time because this classic case of corruption was too serious to be ignored. The European Commission said it would investigate this, but the huge extent of Microsoft’s abuses are, according to the Commission itself, why it no longer pursued this, even after it said it would (too many resources would be required because of the international scale).
Bribed officials are just the tip of the iceberg. Spamming officials with letters (not just through partners but also lobbyists, “sockpuppets” who are operated by peripheral staff etc.) is just one of many tactics as well. Microsoft went as far as pushing senior people out of their jobs if they dared to oppose OOXML. There are documented examples as such.
This is not atypical for Microsoft; Microsoft had done similar things (and got caught) a decade earlier when it faced antitrust charges. Ballot stuffing, insiders in committees, bribes etc. are Microsoft’s way of doing business and here too we should expect to see it.
I wrote extensively about technical issues in OOXML, as well as legal issues such as patents. Some of the letters to you may have already covered at least a small subset of those. There were protests in numerous places including Poland and Norway, where members of the standardisation process marched the streets in protest. That’s how bad it was.
There was a BRM in Switzerland — a jaw-dropping case of corrupt process. This was part of how Microsoft got its “standard”, ignoring thousands of listed and properly enumerated issues. It would be impossible to list these exhaustively in a letter because there were literally thousands of pages detailing technical issues. These were discarded, ignored, and the attendees appalled by what they clearly considered to be a deeply rigged process.
Microsoft was flying journalists to Seattle (at Microsoft’s expense) in order to manufacture favourable articles. It seems to be doing something similar in the British press right now. Microsoft offered delivered presentations and studies from so-called ‘independent’ experts who would soon thereafter be hired to work full time at Microsoft. There were attempts to equate ODF with one single company (notably IBM) and attempts to equate ODF with a particular piece of software when ODF was in fact backed by hundreds of entities, both from the private and public sector. Many programs support ODF, and they support is very well. OOXML is just a rebranding of closed Microsoft formats (legacy), propped up by companies which Microsoft paid specifically for the purpose of backing OOXML (there are publicly accessible documents that clearly support these allegations). OOXML is about protecting the common carrier, Windows, creating lock-in for a cash cow. British taxpayers cannot bear these costs anymore.
I would like to quote a leaked Microsoft document which was presented in a case against Microsoft in the United States. The internal document stated: “A stacked panel, on the other hand, is like a stacked deck: it is packed with people who, on the face of things, should be neutral, but who are in fact strong supporters of our technology. The key to stacking a panel is being able to choose the moderator. Most conference organizers allow the moderator to select die panel, so if you can pick the moderator, you win. Since you can’t expect representatives of our competitors to speak on your behalf, you have to get the moderator to agree to having only “independent ISVs” on the panel. No one from Microsoft or any other formal backer of the competing technologies would be allowed -just ISVs who have to use this stuff in the “real world.” Sounds marvellously independent doesn’t it? In feet, it allows us to stack the panel with ISVs that back our cause. Thus, the “independent” panel ends up telling the audience that our technology beats the others hands down. Get the press to cover this panel, and you’ve got a major win on your hands.”
This basically sums up what Microsoft is trying to do in order to derail British standard policies at this moment. This was done before in many places and at different times. As one who works for British government clients I am very familiar with some of the ways in which Microsoft tries to interfere with standards and with competition, claiming to pursue “choice” when what it actually means is proprietary software, privacy infringement, lock-in etc. disguised as “choice”. Do not be misled by claims of victimhood and appeals to fairness which are actually just self interest, designed to increase licensing costs and dependence of software from the United States.
Microsoft’s OOXML is so “open” that when I leaked it on my Web site (should be fine for “open” document) I received legal threats. The purpose of the leak was to highlight many technical flaws which Microsoft hid using restrictive access and prohibitive costs, leaving information to only a few insiders in the know, much like TPP and other secret “free trade” negotiations.
Be strong in the face of bullying and pressure. Microsoft would not permit open standards to be accepted. That would give people a choice of platform, a choice of an office suite, and the choice of long-term preservation of their data.
Remember that the deadline is tomorrow (Wednesday), so now is a good time to leave a comment. █
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Insults and lies continue to dominate Microsoft’s arguments against OpenDocument Format (ODF)
Summary: Some more disgusting flame and generally poor coverage from Microsoft apologists who hit the British press
THERE is a war of words between the Microsoft camp and the rest of the world or at least Britain, as we covered here before. The Register, which accepts payments from Microsoft, continues its provocative and very offensive coverage, summarised with: “Even if Microsoft bosses collectively whistled Always Look on the Bright Side of Life they’d still struggle to drown out people backing Cabinet Office proposals to adopt the Open Document Format as the official standard for UK.gov missives.”
That’s because everyone but Microsoft (and its partners) does not want or need OOXML, which is all about crime. Can’t The Register get that?
“In the war of words,” says the author, “it is 1-0 to the open source zealots.”
This is journalism?! It’s more like Microsoft lobbying and propaganda disguised as “reporting”.
The whole article is full of insults. The author is “conflating program with format… dismissing the case for open standards as zealotry,” writes iophk. “The Reg has been crap for years no end in sight” (there were Microsoft payments, whereupon the sceptical eye which The Register once laid on Microsoft pretty much went away).
“Zealous about the right thing,” said the headline of one comment response. “Not “open source zealots”, but “open data zealots”,” stresses the commenter. Notice that ODF is not about FOSS; proprietary software can benefit from it also.
“Fred Flintstone” (pseudonym) wrote: “I rather object to the repeated use of the word “zealots” in the article, which seems to suggest the author has a bias.
“IMHO, choosing proper open formats has got ZERO to do with religion or beliefs, but everything with realistic value assessment.”
There are much better comments in this consultation (British readers, please log in and leave feedback). Microsoft’s attack on ODF in this case is paradoxical for the reasons put in this statement: “This isn’t about switching to open source software, but to a format widely and well-supported by open source office formats [...] The government could continue to run Microsoft Office, but the preferred data format would be ODF. This makes Microsoft’s argument seem to be rather shrill. Why on earth would changing the default format of released documents be a big deal?”
Red Hat’s FOSS site covered this subject, but at the same time it gave this proxy of Microsoft a platform in which to equate FOSS usage with “consuming” (similar to the idea of exploitation and so-called “freeloaders”, which is how Microsoft’s Outercurve staff refers to FOSS users in Red Hat’s very own OpenSource.com).
Microsoft is rallying its British partners, urging them to bamboozle and pressure the British government to drop ODF as a requirement. Don’t let Microsoft monopolise the voice of Brits. Don’t let the company that committed crime pretend that we, the victims, as the bad people (just because we are rightly upset). █
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Summary: How Android and energy-efficient hardware have taken the inertia away from Windows and Intel (Wintel)
Intel, which just like Microsoft is in bed with the NSA and the whole intelligence apparatus (see this recent response from Intel's chief and what Microsoft does with Lync, essentially spying on businesses), simply deserves no business. Intel not only helped Microsoft’s abusive monopoly but also engaged in a lot of expensive crime (expensive to the public). Karma is well overdue. Vista 8 has not been a hot seller of Intel/x86 hardware; quite the opposite. In fact, Intel recently laid off many employees.
Mr. Pogson has a decent take on it and he argues: ‘I don’t know whether or not it’s wishful thinking but rumours have it that ‘Microsoft plans to further decrease Windows 8.1 licensing rates for entry-level PCs priced below US$250 and tablets, from nearly US$50 currently to about US$15, according to Taiwan-based PC supply chain makers.’ (source)
We covered the lowering of prices yesterday. It shows that Microsoft has almost given up, especially in low-end devices. This is where Android reigns.
Android has been a boon for Linux. The NSA-proof Blackphone is said to be running Android , some new rugged devices run Android , and the world’s biggest phones (big screens) run Android . Chrome OS and Android now threaten Windows on the desktop as well [4,5]. It’s not just Taiwanese phone makers  that follow this trend; Taiwanese PC makers have been doing the same thing as of late.
Android is of course based on Linux  — a fact that Linux bashers miserably like to deny. As the release of version 4.4 is approaching  Intel tries hard to interject itself into it , but it’s not going to work because Intel hardware is not just designed for energy efficiency. Leading devices, such as the Android 4.5-based Nexus device that’s expected to come out in the summer , do not use x86. Intel is a misfit in the mobile world. It’s a niche!
Intel missed the boat when it comes to Android. It knows it. Innovation is now centered around Android (new example in [11-13]) and some of the best applications target Linux [14-17], showing that the only rival Google has now is its own ego . Microsoft and Apple cannot catch up. With large backers like Visa, MasterCard, and Sony [19,20] (howevr unethical they can be) it is clear that there are big powers driving Linux inertia, stealing the thunder away from the middle ages of clumpsy “PCs”. █
Related/contextual items from the news:
Like the idea of using a pocket-sized computer to make calls, send messages, surf the web, and smash birds into pigs… but don’t like the idea of government agencies snooping on your communications?
Aaeon announced a rugged, 10.1-inch tablet running Android 4.0 on a Tegra 2 SoC, and featuring IP65 ingress protection and industrial temperature operation.
You don’t have to look too hard at the slate of new smartphones to see Android’s “bigger is better” ethos. While iPhones have remained resolutely conservatively sized, Android manufacturers continue to push the limits with phones like the 5.5-inch LG Optimus G Pro or the 6.3-inch Samsung Galaxy Mega.
Android phone and tablet users have now become accustomed to the immense functionalities and level of comfort that the platform offers
How ironic that Android Desktop and Chrome OS are two of the first slides in the article. Did anybody ever really think that Google would be the one that might introduce Linux to the broader desktop market? And yet it seems to be happening as Android moves to the desktop and Chromebooks explode in popularity.
The Windows 8 fiasco has opened the door to Linux in a way that hasn’t happened before. Many Windows users took one look at Windows 8 and immediately cast about for alternatives for their computers that didn’t lead them to Apple. So the time is ripe for Chromebooks and Android Desktop.
Featuring Android 4.2.2 operating system, it is said to shoot detailed 4K video–the next generation of ultra-high-definition video.
Now that we have studied the Linux kernel very well and learned how to make our own, we will move on to a slightly different direction in this series. Many of you may be unaware of this, but Android is Linux. True, they are not quite the same, but Android is Linux. For example, Ubuntu is “GNU/Linux” while Android is “Dalvik/Linux”. If an operating system uses the Linux kernel, then it is a Linux system. The userland (GNU and Dalvik) does not determine whether an OS is Linux or not. Android uses a modified Linux kernel. As we know, Android runs on phones. As you may remember from configuring the kernel, there were no drivers for phone devices (like small keypads, 3G/4G cards, SIM cards, etc.). The Linux kernel used in Android lacks drivers that would not be in phones and instead has drivers for phone devices. In other words, no Android system uses a Vanilla Kernel.
Intel launched a 64-bit dual-core Atom Z34xx mobile processor and announced an upcoming quad-core “Moorefield” version, promising Android 4.4.2 support.
Google surprised everyone at last year’s I/O when it didn’t announce any new devices or updates for Android. This year too, Google I/O conference scheduled for June 25-26 is expected to focus on new services. Taking this to be true, Android Geeks reports that Nexus 8 will be launched in July running Android 4.5.
The prototype device has a 5-inch display, runs Android, and uses the Unity Game Engine. It is loaded with developer tools, including application programming interfaces, or APIs, that offer depth, orientation and position data to standard Android applications that are written in Java or C/C++ programming languages.
Google hasn’t just kept Motorola’s patents in its deal with Lenovo, it’s also keeping the mobile manufacturer’s skunkworkish Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group.
Project Tango was announced yesterday by Google and Motorola’s Advanced Research and Projects” (ATAP) group, which Google will retain when it sells Motorola Mobility to Lenovo. The 5-inch Project Tango smartphone prototype augments a basic Android phone with a pair of Myriad 1 vision co-processors from Movidius. It also integrates a variety of sensors, including a compass, gyros, and Kinect-like 3D visual sensors for integrated depth sensing and motion tracking.
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Web guru and Android enthusiast Tim Bray has announced he’s leaving Google. Why? Because he wants to work from home.
“It’s an amicable separation in the face of irreconcilable differences: I wouldn’t move to California and Google wouldn’t open a Vancouver office,” Bray wrote in a blog post. “Both before and after being hired, I had been asked to consider moving south. I didn’t want to and politely declined. Eventually, the group I’m in politely informed me that staying remote wasn’t an option.”
MasterCard and Visa want to make it easier for you to pay for goods at retail stores with a tap of a smartphone. The US credit card groups on Wednesday separately announced two Internet-based technologies providing merchants and banks with more options to make mobile payments happen in a big way.
Tipped to measure 6.4mm thick in a waterproof body, the tablet will feature Android 4.4 Kitkat OS (it’s is expected to be skinned with Sony’s custom user interface). It will also pack a 3GB of RAM, a 6,000mAh battery, an 8MP rear-facing camera, a 2MP front-facing camera, and 16GB of onboard storage expandable via microSD card.
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Major Setback for Corporate Surveillance in Cars and Phones
Summary: The demise of privacy-infringing operating systems from Microsoft and the growth of Linux in tracked devices such as phones and cars
LARGE OEMs long ago signalled their departure from a Windows-only strategy. Companies, unlike some governments, are not in the business of providing welfare or subsidies to Microsoft. When doing business with Microsoft stops making sense, then assuming there are no bribes or extortion, they do have a solid, industrially-recognised alternative to turn to. It’s GNU/Linux and Android/Linux (Apple does not work with partners as such).
Microsoft’s biggest and perhaps only supporter when it comes to automobiles (also a surveillance-leaning company) is reportedly going to ditch Microsoft for a Canadian platform. As one Canadian put it: “When Ford figures out that BB is not much better in the user-interface department they may come to their sense and use FLOSS.”
Yes, they can also turn to Linux, which has several initiatives specificially for automobiles. There is plenty of momentum there. “I guess from a sales perspective it makes sense,” one added. “Anyone would run far far away from a Windows Car. Blackberry, not so much. It’s Unix-like, so it should be hackable,” Chris wrote.
Will Hill said: “That’s not a far jump from Microsoft but it’s better than nothing. [...] People need to realize that all non free software is malicious. My brother tried to watch one of my videos, html 5 video tag pointing to theora, and it crashed his blackberry. Barfed it so hard he had to cold start it.”
Not only cars are ejecting Windows. A Nokia expert says that “Windows Phone is dead” just a few years after Windows Mobile quietly died. iophk from Finland wrote: “Despite what other articles may say or imply, Nokia phone are not Finnish, at least not after a few weeks from now. The sale to Microsoft will be final then.”
Yes, Microsoft Nokia remains a huge problem and its so-called 'Android' phones are surveillance devices on steroids (don’t believe the spin the media). Microsoft is a very creepy corporate surveillance company, or as one new article puts it , “Microsoft turns bosses into the NSA” (and informs on bosses to the NSA). Microsoft is going to do spying on users of Google’s Android, based on what it did with Lumia, leaking Finnish information to its close espionage partners at the NSA. █
Related/contextual items from the news:
Software giant Microsoft has invented tools which can turn control-freak bosses into the NSA.
For a while now there has been a hole in the market for autocratic bosses who love to spy on their employees. After all they have looked at the US government looked at how they can check everything that their citizens do and said “I want some of that”.
Now the friendly software maker Microsoft is allowing such bosses to set up a NSA spy network in their own companies.
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Summary: The risk of back doors in GNU/Linux comes not from source code but from blobs, back room deals, the build process, and bogus standards with weaknesses cleverly shoehorned into them
IT HAS BEEN a while since we last wrote about Mr. Srinivasan from Microsoft-Novell. Suffice to say, Novell did a lot for Microsoft and some former staff of Novell continues to work for Microsoft (either directly or indirectly). One gift from Novell to Microsoft was OOXML inside FOSS/OOo. Another was Mono and let’s not forget intrusion into Linux itself. Robert Pogson goes as far as saying that Microsoft “Hacked Linux!”
“My configuration,” Pogson argues, “has CONFIG_HYPERV not set. The code in question is Copyright 2010, Novell (mshyperv.c), and Copyright 2009, M$ (vmbus_drv.c). K. Y. Srinivasan is listed as one of the authours on both. I’m not about to run that other OS on Beast, but thank you, Thomas Gleixner, for fixing things.” (see this link)
Performance issues overlook the much bigger problem — a problem which we addressed several times before. We already know that the NSA is pursuing back doors in Linux [1, 2, 3, 4] and as we pointed out before, the NSA might already have some.
incidentally, as we have shown before, Yahoo was fighting against NSA surveillance in court. When Microsoft took over Yahoo it became apparent that Yahoo stopped fighting and soon became part of PRISM. While some new reports suggest that Yahoo might be ready to escape Microsoft “Yahoo is still in NSA’s pocket though even if they break free of Microsoft,” explains iophk.
Likewise, even if Linux does not engage with Microsoft, the code from Microsoft remains stuck inside Linux and even if there are no back doors in the code itself, this connects to a system, Hyper-V, which is developed by a back doors specialist (Microsoft). There are binary-level back doors from which to access GNU/Linux systems because if the host machine runs Windows, then we already know that the NSA has access. A nearby company that I once visited, UKFast (the UK’s largest ‘cloud’ provider), runs GNU/Linux servers under HyperV, based on what they told me. How insane is that?! GCHO must love it!
Adding to some concerns about back doors, NSA ally and PRISM partner Apple turns out to have hidden a back door. As Think Progress puts it, “Apple quietly released a major update Friday to fix a security glitch in its iOS 7 systems. But independent security experts say the seemingly routine update covers up what arguably could be Apple’s biggest security lapse, exposing iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch users to hackers.”
Whether it’s a back door or just direct access does not matter, but it enables Apple to dance around important questions. It works across several Apple platforms, even desktop platforms .
As iophk put it, in relation to this other new article  “Potential problems with an official back door in HTTP 2.0, though only in a proposed draft so far. But because of the ways certificates are currently (mis-)managed, this kind of interception of HTTPS is already easy.”
“See one example with four steps,” he added, pointing to  from the OpenBSD mailing lists.
It’s not as though GNU/Linux is immune to back doors (Debian has some new security advisories [4,5]), but at least with access to source code the back doors remain very shallow and too risky/difficult for malicious/covert entities to hide. It’s when proprietary software gets added that we lose the ability to ascertain security and privacy. █
Related/contextual items from the news:
If you care about Internet security, especially what we call “end-to-end” security free from easy snooping by ISPs, carriers, or other intermediaries, heads up! You’ll want to pay attention to this.
You’d think that with so many concerns these days about whether the likes of AT&T, Verizon, and other telecom companies can be trusted not to turn our data over to third parties whom we haven’t authorized, that a plan to formalize a mechanism for ISP and other “man-in-the-middle” snooping would be laughed off the Net.
But apparently the authors of IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) Internet-Draft “Explicit Trusted Proxy in HTTP/2.0″ (14 Feb 2014) haven’t gotten the message.
What they propose for the new HTTP/2.0 protocol is nothing short of officially sanctioned snooping.
This mail includes a quite detailed explanation of the attached diff that adds support for SSL Interception (“SSL-MITM”) to relayd. If you don’t want to read the story, just skip to the configuration example and diff below.
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Summary: Slashdot is promoting Microsoft spin/agenda, insinuating that people who dislike Microsoft are irrational and that it’s the equivalent of discrimination
OVER THE PAST few years the blatant Microsoft affinity at Slashdot turned into somewhat of a disease (like in ZDNet, where top-level sections are all about Microsoft and writers are from Microsoft), with additional hires of Microsoft boosters as staff writers and subsequently grooming of the Gates Foundation, Microsoft, and people who work for Microsoft. Selling agenda is the business model now. Slashdot rapidly became a Microsoft mouthpiece, choosing agenda instead of news. No wonder readers are moving elsewhere, abandoning Slashdot and sometimes even boycotting it.
Don’t expect sites like Slashdot to cover what sites like Activist Post are covering, reminding us again that Bill Gates remains an inherently malicious, greedy and selfish individual, spying on children for profit. As Activist Post puts it: “New York state authorities are outsourcing data collection on school kids. The program, which is to be launched state-wide, is supposed to gather information on students starting from the age of five to better “tailor education” to the needs of children.
“New York hired a non-profit private contractor inBloom, funded by the Bill Gates Foundation, as the gatekeeper of this data.”
The latest agenda-selling from Slashdot can be found here, linking to a self-described employee of Microsoft (“Web Platform Team at Microsoft”). Slashdot hardly discloses this relationship, nor does it bother to highlight the fact that Microsoft employment is a choice, not a condition (nobody is born a Microsoft employee). The messenger actually chose to work for the criminal organisation, but now he pretends that the crimes have absolutely nothing to do with him. He is trying to portray disdain for crime as a psychological issue of some kind and to also pretend Microsoft has changed while it’s clear that it did not.
This is a typical Microsoft tactic and Slashdot should be ashamed of itself for pushing this agenda. “Dice publishing shills,” iophk wrote about it, “quite shameless” (here is the alternative link he sent).
The Microsoft spinner says: “I think that Microsoft is very aware of perceptions and is actively trying to counter them by actually being open. I’d say we’re more concerned than a Google or Apple about how folks perceive us.”
Nonsense. Marketing. His closing words are: “I said, find a new reason to hate Microsoft. I didn’t kill your Pappy, son.”
What utter nonsense. He uses projection from collective to personal in an attempt to cleanse his employer from liability for crimes.
“Scott Hanselman disagrees,” Mr. Robert Pogson responds. “He claims we should forget history.”
It’s not just history, it’s the present too, including bribes, racketeering, etc.
To quote further from Pogson: “Bill Gates offered to pay Intuit to ship IE instead of Netscape. That’s not a business deal. That’s a criminal conspiracy to drive Netscape out of business. That’s what Bill Gates is all about, harming others going about their businesses. He’s still in charge last time I checked.”
Lastly, here is where Pogson addresses the deception pattern which is to equate choice with a condition: “Hatred like any mind-set can be rational or irrational. We are right to hate the dog chewing on the kid. We take brisk action to deal with that evil. We are wrong to hate someone for something they can’t help like skin colour, genes, or their ancestral home. There’s nothing anyone can or should do about things like that. Microsoft? It’s definitely in the rational hatred category. M$ is out to get us. It has been from early on in its existence and it’s still run by the same people. Some have changed. But Gates and Ballmer are still around. They are evil people trying to harm us all by supporting and exploiting monopoly to do unspeakable things in IT, meddling with the business of software development, manufacturing, retailing, end-users to enrich itself at the expense of everyone else. Proper businesses serve customers, not enslave them.”
Nobody hates Microsoft staff for racial reasons, but it’s easy for Microsoft to try and spin it like that, especially with its new CEO (we covered this before and predicated this move last year). People hate the choice to commit crimes and the choice to join criminals.
Slashdot could not defend the editorial choice by saying it’s newsworthy. It’s not news, it’s not noteworthy, and there is a conflict of interest here. █
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Summary: A report about migrations to GNU/Linux and how UEFI ‘secure’ boot is making it hard for ordinary people to make such migrations succeed
Microsoft is losing the battle and it knows this. The common carrier is becoming Android. Microsoft is rightly worried. It is reportedly dropping the price of Windows (dumping), as claimed by corporate press. As Sosumi put it, Microsoft “is slashing prices of windows licenses by 70%… according to them, to compete with Apple… so windows 9 to be a toy OS? that fails at even accomplishing that… or not to just shove the monstrosity that vista 8 is with its disjointed GUI” (Vista 8 was a disaster in terms of adoption and usage, to the extent that I never saw anyone using it).
Based on some of the latest news, “11 Percent of Windows XP Users Will Switch to Linux” , there are some real stories about large migrations to GNU/Linux , usage of GNU/Linux doubles on the Net [3,4], and non-techies also manage to cope with GNU/Linux . One client of ours (with over 100 seats) is moving to GNU/Linux desktops, not just servers. It’s because Windows XP support (security patches) will end soon. Microsoft is already reacting to it by trying to adapt to price differences, just as it did back in the days of major GNU/Linux gains in sub-notebooks. It is, as iophk put it, “price dumping of Vista8, probably out of fear of GNU/Linux.”
At ZDNet, one pundit says that “Office is the only thing that can kill a Chromebook”, but let’s face it, document formats lock-in not a feature. It is more of a reason to escape Windows, not stay with Windows. It’s why Microsoft tries so hard to derail ODF. Adding to all this mess, because businesses  and schools  are moving to GNU/Linux, Microsoft seems to be leaning towards artificial inconveniences for GNU/Linux at hardware level. Already, UEFI makes it harder even for GNU/Linux enthusiasts. Very recently we saw the NSA acknowledging that any claims of improved security were bogus because security was actually harmed by all this complexity. Microsoft is making it more difficult for people to install GNU/Linux and one ZDNet pundit whom the UEFI Forum tried to appease/silence continues to show that what Microsoft did was harmful to everyone. It’s too complicated dealing with UEFI and it may very well confuse new users , which is exactly what Microsoft wants. What’s needed now is another antitrust complaint. Microsoft is just playing dirty, as it always did. Reject any claims that Microsoft has changed. █
Related/contextual items from the news:
The research group asked organisations still using Windows XP about their plans post-April, when Microsoft ceases providing official support and security fixes for the 11-year old OS.
Recently, a High School in Millersville Pa struck a cord with me personally. Like many east coast advocates of Linux, I often have to watch California, Europe, and other countries from the sidelines, engaging fun and interesting Open Source events and projects. Imagine my excitement when I learned of one such champion of Open Source, but not from Europe, from a place not more than a few hours from me. Deploying over 1700 laptops, armed to the teeth with Ubuntu and Open Software to students, I knew there was more to the story than the small stories floating around. Even if for my own personal education, I wanted to know more.
By comparison, Linux Web traffic grew from 1.1 percent to 1.9 percent over the last five months. Chitika didn’t provide statistics for Windows or Mac, but they presumably account for nearly all of the remaining desktop traffic.
Chitika, a former advertiser on Phoronix, has issued a new report about Chrome OS and Linux web usage growth from September 2013 through January 2014. Chitika found that the number of Chrome OS devices rose from 0.1 to 0.2% of all accounted web traffic by the network. Meanwhile, for Linux devices in general, they found Linux rose from 1.1% last September to now at 1.9% when ending their numbers at the end of January. The Linux growth really took off in October has continued since.
I suggest you take a look at Linux. Why? Because Linux can serve your basic computing needs well enough that the experience is comparable to your previous operating system of choice.
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