Using PCs and networks as skylines, just like Sky(pe)net, which is basically an intrusive, parasitic, large-scale botnet
Summary: The Microsoft botnet (using people’s PCs as nodes and relays) is shamelessly and without users’ consent clogging up whole networks by passing around spyware (in executable binary blob form)
THERE are many negative things to be said about Vista 10, including criminal aspects of it. A lot of it began in its predecessor, Vista 8, which used so-called Dark Patterns (“User Interfaces Designed to Trick People”) in order to seduce people into violating their own principles and accepting unacceptable things, clearly against their will.
“If you remotely download a keylogger onto people’s PCs without their consent, you may end up in prison. Microsoft does the same and it’s framed as benign, or “business as usual”.”According to a growing number of reports, Microsoft is still operated by anti-competitive thugs, who even without users’ consent take over Windows (prior versions, not Vista 10) and secretly download gigabytes of data for business reasons alone. Dumping Windows becomes imperative now, even versions prior to Vista 10. They’re all part of a botnet and Microsoft commandeers this botnet to do just about anything it wishes. It’s truly a menace, let alone a national security threat.
As Geek.com put it, “Microsoft may be pushing the [Vista 10] install files onto your system” even if you did not consent to that. Some people are paying for their bandwidth, so what Microsoft does here is abusive and it can, as already reported elsewhere, cause severe issues to corporate and home networks (not just reduction in productivity but also something akin to DDOS). Quoting the original report from The Inquirer:
MICROSOFT HAS CONFIRMED that Windows 10 is being downloaded to computers whether or not users have opted in.
An INQUIRER reader pointed out to us that, despite not having ‘reserved’ a copy of Windows 10, he had found that the ~BT folder, which has been the home of images of the new operating system since before rollout began, had appeared on his system. He had no plans to upgrade and had not put in a reservation request.
He told us: “The symptoms are repeated failed ‘Upgrade to Windows 10′ in the WU update history and a huge 3.5GB to 6GB hidden folder labelled ‘$Windows.~BT’. I thought Microsoft [said] this ‘upgrade’ was optional. If so, why is it being pushed out to so many computers where it wasn’t reserved, and why does it try to install over and over again?
If you remotely download a keylogger onto people’s PCs without their consent, you may end up in prison. Microsoft does the same and it’s framed as benign, or “business as usual”. █
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Microsoft is herding the masses back to Microsoft
Summary: Microsoft is trying to gain an ‘Edge’ in the game by preventing people from getting the Web browsers which they actually want to use — all this while publicly pretending to have ended its anti-competitive abuses
AT THE beginning of this week we saw openwashing of “Edge” (the “Blue E” by another name) in Microsoft propaganda sites (1105 Media) and among Microsoft boosters like Microsoft Peter. This was mentioned even in Phoronix and Ogg’s Monty wrote that “to be fair, this isn’t as fantastically unlikely as some pundits have been saying. After all, MS does own an IP stake in Opus.”
Microsoft adopts VP9, Opus, Ogg and Vorbis because it has to (the Web has these media formats all over it, including in high-profile sites such as YouTube), not because it is playing nice or anything like that. The same goes for implanting a driver for the proprietary Hyper-V inside Linux, which necessitated GPLv2 for the driver itself (after Microsoft had been caught violating the GPL).
“Edge” is a bunch of nonsense (rebranding of IE) for Vista 10, which is so anti-competitive that Mozilla openly complained. Don’t let Microsoft use this catchup with VP9 et al as a publicity stunt. As this new article serves to remind us this week, “Microsoft is trying to persuade users to keep Edge, the company’s new browser that replaces Internet Explorer, when they search for “Chrome” or “Firefox” on Bing.
“The discovery, made by VentureBeat, shows that users who use Edge in Windows 10 to search for other browsers get a small message that says: “Microsoft recommends Microsoft Edge for Windows 10″ with a link to a page explaining why.”
Well, welcome the ‘new’ Microsoft. It uses one monopoly to illegally gain another. █
“…[Windows 98] must be a killer on shipments so that Netscape never gets a chance…”
–Former Microsoft Vice President James Allchin in an internal memo
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‘Upgrading’ to Vista 10 means giving your PC to Microsoft and then renting it (buying computer time)
Made by Rami M. Amin
Summary: Microsoft is exposing all users of Windows (even their keystrokes are recorded in real time), whereas Microsoft’s silent modifications to Windows become more secretive and frequent
Microsoft’s Vista 10 ‘damage control’ has become rather laughable. The operating system is so buggy that mega-patches are being released and forcibly installed (remotely) more than once a week, clogging up home and corporate networks. Lots of binaries are being changed with no ‘paper trail’, not even textual. It would seem like a joke if Windows wasn’t so ubiquitous and Windows Update quite so banal. People cannot know what the programs running on their computers are doing and any behaviour of these programs can be silently changed by Microsoft at any time. Microsoft also reserves the ‘right’ to remotely delete programs (not just Microsoft’s programs). People have grown accustomed to it (Stockholm Syndrome) and many blindly accept this or don’t even know about this. The practice has been expanded to all post-Vista versions of Windows, which inherit all the malicious antifeatures of Windows Vista. Microsoft boosters euphemistically call this “Cumulative Update” even though it addresses “five critical flaws, including two hitting all versions of Windows,” according to this headline. Over in our IRC channels, Ryan (ex-Microsoft MVP) wrote: “No changelog = coverup for true number of bugs.”
It’s “business as usual,” as MinceR put it, for Microsoft already admitted secretly hiding severe bugs in order to game these numbers. Microsoft’s close partner, the NSA, must be pleased.
“Microsoft Pushes a Dozen Security Updates,” Krebs wrote, but NSA back doors remain and surveillance may have been silently expanded, not curtailed (the latest EULA shows almost no legal limitations). Vista 10 is a monstrous surveillance apparatus and every computer that it’s put on becomes a bug. Vista 10 is little more than a 3GB keylogger. No sane person would touch it as it is hard to tell what it’s actually doing and when, who for, etc. Vista 7 and Vista 8 have meanwhile been modified (by Windows Update) to incorporate many of the same surveillance capabilities, so it’s time to escape to GNU/Linux or *BSD. The sooner, the better. Windows is being statically (in-place) modified for espionage purposes.
“Lots of binaries are being changed with no ‘paper trail’, not even textual. It would seem like a joke if Windows wasn’t so ubiquitous and Windows Update quite so banal.”Demonstrating that even the corporate media recognises the severe problems with Vista 10 (noting that it is piece of very malicious spyware), leading British papers said the other day (even in headlines) that “Microsoft is recording EVERYTHING you type”. No doubt Microsoft is aware of this negative publicity and it working hard to change perceptions, not to change privacy infringements in Vista 10. Microsoft’s propaganda network 1105 Media (includes “Redmond Channel Partner”) is openwashing Windows again (see “Is It Time for Microsoft To Open Source Windows?”) as if people will come to believe that Microsoft is moving in a direction other than making Windows even more malicious. People from inside Microsoft have told me explicitly that privacy violations are only going to get worse in future versions of Windows.
“Microsoft is so desperate to infect the enterprise with its Surface products,” told us a source, “that it has compiled a list of companies you should no longer support under the guide of an “enterprise initiative” (IRC logs will have more details on that).
“‘Microsoft Expands Surface Pro Options for the Enterprise,’ says a blatant Microsoft booster,” according to our source. “Dell will be reselling it and offer its own enterprise services for them.”
Well, Dell has (with few exceptions) become an extension of Microsoft, so it’s not terribly shocking. Enterprise are especially sensitive to data leaks, so there will be resistance for sure. Microsoft knows that OEMs are increasingly leaning towards GNU/Linux and Android, so Microsoft pays a lot of money to get them under Microsoft’s control and to get patent royalties on Linux (yes, Dell recently signed yet another patent deal covering Linux-based operating systems). As we noted last week, "Microsoft's Vista 10 Still a Failure, So Focus Shifts to Attacks on GNU/Linux, Android". It mostly alludes to and pertains to patent monopolies, not technical merit or anything ethical. █
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“The genesis of this idea was when I was at Microsoft.” —Nathan Myhrvold, WSJ: Transcript: Myhrvold of Intellectual Ventures
Summary: Intellectual Ventures suffers another major blow as Alice v. CLS Bank (Alice/§101) smashes software patents in the United States
WE finally have some more good news regarding Microsoft’s pet troll, Intellectual Ventures (IV), which has been funded by and works with Bill Gates.
Patent Buddy, which has been good at tracking the post-Alice aftermath, has found this followup to previous IV v. Capital One losses, “Second IV Patent Asserted Against Capital One Also Killed by Alice/101,” he claims, linking to this ruling
This is part of a broader trend because as Patent Buddy put it another day, “101 Patentability-USPTO Bypasses Substantive 103 Examination” (101 refers to Alice).
More software patents were being thrown down the drain by a judge last week. To quote Reuters: “A federal court in Delaware has invalidated a patent on multimedia messaging early in a lawsuit against some of the country’s largest cellphone providers, another example of a controversial trend that critics say wipes out patents before they are fully understood.”
“Anyone who is not intellectually dishonest because he or she does patent ‘business’ for a living would probably acknowledge by now that software patents are on their death throes.”“US business method patent applications down 52.4% since Alice,” moaned the patent lawyers in Twitter, pointing to their new analysis which states that: “Companies have pulled back drastically from filing business method patent applications in the US. Managing IP analysed figures for USPTO applications in patent class 705, the class covering “data processing” in which business method patents are placed.
“Patent applications in class 705 not only plummeted after the Alice decision on June 19 2014, but have kept tumbling.
“Some 8,620 class 705 patent applications were filed in the 12 months between July 1 2013 and June 30 2014. In the same period 12 months later, after Alice, the figure was 4,106 – a 52.4% drop.”
Patent maximalists that glorify the world’s biggest patent troll (IV) are now offering their ‘analysis’ (actually, offering by proxy), claiming that “Software Patents Are Resilient in the Wake of Alice Corp. vs. CLS Bank”.
Yeah, right. And the world is cooling down, too. According to News Corp. and other oil tycoons-connected ‘news’ networks. Anyone who is not intellectually dishonest because he or she does patent ‘business’ for a living would probably acknowledge by now that software patents are on their death throes. █
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Summary: Microsoft is trying to label everything ’10′ (like Vista 10), despite there being no significant adoption of the ’10′ franchise
THE Vista 10 charade is not quite over yet. Microsoft is now ‘spamming’ people (using its so-called ‘decisions’ engine) to get them to use proprietary spyware, essentially lock-in with back doors. A bait title (headline) was used in a Microsoft puff piece the other day, demonstrating what we consider to be Microsoft and Vista 10 ads in ‘article’ form. It is too easy to be fooled by the artificial hype and actually believe that ’10′ is a success. It’s not.
Now that Nokia is dying (due to Microsoft) and is belatedly moving to Android, Microsoft “kills off some of Nokia’s apps for Windows Phone”. To quote IDG:
Microsoft announced Friday that it will cease development of several apps Nokia developed for Windows Phone as the company streamlines the photo experience on Windows 10 Mobile.
This will never take off. Vista 10 has been a disaster even on desktop, so why would it ever gain a foothold on mobile devices, where Microsoft has such minuscule market share whereas Linux dominates? █
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Summary: Microsoft’s aggression against GNU/Linux as witnessed in light of the company’s multi-boot policies and handling
AT THE very end of July we noted (in several articles in fact) that Microsoft continues to attack dual-boot setups (meaning GNU/Linux). After all these years and despite having the manpower, Microsoft still claims to be incapable/unable to do what very few Linux hackers could do decades ago in order to facilitate OS co-existence.
grub is maintained by very few people (almost none) and
lilo is dying. As we noted here 4 days ago, "Microsoft's Vista 10 Still a Failure, So Focus Shifts to Attacks on GNU/Linux, Android". Below [1,2] there are some newest rants about dual-booting. Microsoft, now with the UEFI trap (some computers won’t made ‘secure boot’ toggle-able with the introduction of future versions of Windows), continues to making life hard for GNU/Linux users. It’s not a coincidence, it’s intentional. Formal complaints were made as recently as 2 years ago to European authorities, which are too slow or apathetic to take action.
“Formal complaints were made as recently as 2 years ago to European authorities, which are too slow or apathetic to take action.”Vista 10 reportedly gets some users banned from particular sites, notably torrent sites. It is not as though many people are affected because according to the most Microsoft-friendly data/surveys, Vista 10 has not even reached 5% market share. The market share share of Vista 10, based on the past week’s logs in Techrights, is 0.8%. This is not a success story considering the zero-cost ‘upgrade’ in the summer vacation months (when people have time to undertake this task). The market share share of Vista 10 based on the past week’s logs in Tux Machines is even lower (0.18%). Deterrence against exploration of GNU/Linux is now high on the agenda at Microsoft, as recent stories of ours served to demonstrate. █
Related/contextual items from the news:
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Hopping to the competitor’s side of the fence/gate, just like in Troy
Summary: Vista 10 adoption is already plateauing (at very low levels considering the zero-cost ‘upgrade’) and Microsoft is trying to assert or exploit (patent) monopolies where adoption and market growth are extremely high (Free software)
Barely anybody is using Microsoft’s ‘new’ (rebranded) browser, according to this article which cites an IDG report, which in turn uses Microsoft-friendly data sources such as Net Applications. That’s despite Microsoft’s dirty and anti-competitive tricks regarding the default Web browser (Microsoft overriding users’ preferences) [1, 2] in Vista 10. Microsoft Emil, who is writing lots of propaganda pieces for Vista 10 over at VentureBeat these days, is trying to give a terribly false impression by passing the gross distortion/illusion that Vista 10 now has majority market share (extreme cherry-picking) while even the most Microsoft-friendly surveys put its market share at under 5%, instantaneousness debunking Microsoft’s unverified claims of 75 million Vista 10 ‘users’ (however Microsoft defines these). Matt Weinberger, in the mean time, comes out with another promotional Microsoft piece advocating a new Microsoft monopoly (because the operating system monopoly has been lost to Android, GNU/Linux, and so on). One Microsoft apologist (very Windows-centric) is now trash-talking GNU/Linux and devaluing privacy in an effort to convince people to adopt Vista 10 and avoid GNU/Linux. How much more blatant can it get? Microsoft doesn’t “love Linux”, it just hates it. The Microsoft boosters truly fear Free software and they’re pretty bad at hiding it.
“Expect Microsoft to continue wielding patents against GNU/Linux and Android (it’s still happening), especially now that Windows is in a state of crisis.”Android is currently being besieged by Microsoft. A site that is affiliated with Microsoft’s MSN (and by its own admission “owns shares of Microsoft”) is trying to promote Microsoft inside Android, a former Microsoft lackey (see her career history, before she scrubbed it off her profile) is promoting Skype on Android, and Ketan Pratap says “Microsoft’s Push Into Google’s Android Is Good News for Users”. That’s almost as foolish or terrible as saying that the Trojan horse was good for Troy.
Microsoft is viciously attacking Google, Android, and ChromeOS using patents. Make no mistake about it, there is extensive evidence of that and not even Microsoft would deny it when asked. When Microsoft approaches Android et al. it’s part of an effort to weaken competitors, not contribute or complement them.
Patents are an ugly business. They’re offensive, not defensive, but tabloids like Gizmodo make gossip out of Google’s patent search, adding a ‘sexy’ angle to it. Google is no fan of patents and it tries combating them using prior art searches.
There is a practice we’ve been covering here in relation to patent attacks to Android. Tim Sparapani calls this “Attack of the Patent Privateers”, alluding to a system of cartels that collude against competitors (assuring one thrives with protectionism, not innovation). As Sparapani puts is, companies like Apple or Microsoft “are becoming more clever about using – or misusing, depending on your perspective – the patent system to extract funds from competitors or thwart others’ growth. This harms America’s best companies and most promising startups.
“One example of this growth is the emergence of so-called patent privateering, which contributes to an ever-greater amount of frivolous or abusive patent litigation. Privateering is a pleasant euphemism for empowering a pirate to attack your competitors for profit. Patent privateering occurs when a company lends or sells a portion of its patents to another litigious company to sue alleged patent infringers who are all too often the competitors of the original patent recipient company that was under the impression it had licensed the entire portfolio.”
That’s what Microsoft is doing to Android and Google, using Nokia‘s patents in MOSAID/Conversant‘s hands, to give just one example. Microsoft even does this more directly with Vringo. Sparapani uses the word “pirate”, not “troll”, to refer to the types of goons whom Microsoft empowers to attack competitors.
Patents are thankfully collapsing with developments such as the Alice determination. Patents on software lose their value, as do their profiteers, based on this latest analysis of the Marathon Patent Group, which (as the name implies), is not a producing company. This is basically nothing but a bunch of goons for hire — people who will use patents to attack by proxy (hence retaliatory litigation becomes an impossibility). To quote the latest on this:
According to Zacks, “Marathon Patent Group Inc. is a patent and patent rights acquisition and licensing company. The Company acquires patents from a wide-range of patent holders from individual inventors to Fortune 500 companies. It serves its clients through two complementary business units: IP Services and IP Licensing and Enforcement business. Marathon Patent Group, Inc. is based in Alexandria, Virginia. “
Expect Microsoft to continue wielding patents against GNU/Linux and Android (it's still happening), especially now that Windows is in a state of crisis. Microsoft will do this not only directly (blackmail using patents) but also indirectly, using entities like the one above (we wrote about several of them before).
Microsoft does not want peace, it wants domination. As long as this remains the case, peace will be reached with Microsoft only when Microsoft is practically dead. █
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“DRM is the future.”
–Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO
“We’ve had DRM in Windows for years. The most common format of music on an iPod is “stolen”.”
–Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO
“We’ve been very focused on producing a DRM system. [...] We think DRM is important”
–Robbie Bach, Microsoft President
“DRM is nearly always the result of a conspiracy of companies to restrict the technology available to the public. Such conspiracy should be a crime, and the executives responsible for it should be sentenced to prison.”
Summary: What Microsoft et al. call ‘Next-Generation Open Media Formats’ are basically neither open nor acceptable (it’s DRM) and what Microsoft apologists dub ‘Open Source Tools’ are just another example of a Microsoft Office openwashing Trojan horse
“Alliance for Open Media” is the latest Orwellian name/title for that which casts DRM collusion as “open”. Typical DRM proponents are part of it (Microsoft included) and so is Mozilla, which joined the DRM cartel about a year ago, causing much anger among many of its strongest supporters. DRM is not “open”. It’s not even compatible with the notion of “open” as this strictly requires proprietary software. Mozilla gave up on “openness” when it entered the DRM conspiracy and now we have the press littered by lots of puff pieces that frame DRM as “open” (however they define open, maybe alluding to patents). These are manufactured false perceptions and spin, calling a DRM conspiracy “Next-Gen Video Format” [1, 2, 3]. Here is the press release. It’s hogwash.
It is sad to see the Open Web falling over like this, after the MPAA essentially bribed the World Wide Web Consortium, which had hired a fool from Novell (we wrote a lot about this in prior years). These people are trying to set up ‘standards’ with patents on them and DRM as part of the (secret) ‘standard’. When it comes to what they define to be “open”, it’s just about patents. When a bunch of companies agree not to sue each other (like OIN, which has just added WSO2, but proved rather fruitless when one member, Oracle, sued another, Google). “In joining OIN, an organization dedicated to defending the Linux ecosystem, WSO2 extends its commitment to fostering innovation through open source software,” says the summary from the new press release. That’s nothing to do with innovation. It’s nothing to do with FOSS, either. Many members are proprietary software companies just agreeing on patents being pooled together. Many of these patents pertain to sofwtare and are therefore inherently incompatible with FOSS. Therein lies the core of the latest spin, misleadingly named “Alliance for Open Media”. It’s not a standard but a collusion. That’s what it is. It is, at best, a patent pool.
In other news, we have just come across some truly bizarre openwashing of Microsoft Office. Sam Dean is once again doing a service to his apparent new hero, Satya Nadella. Under a rather misleading headline Dean describes something which facilitates proprietary software as “Open Source”. But it’s not open source, it’s bait for OOXML and proprietary software. Watch the article starting with nonsensical claims:
Has Microsoft finally, truly warmed up to open source? New CEO Satya Nadella (shown) is definitely pushing that notion. Several media outlets previously reported on his comments on how he “loves Linux” and he has claimed that approximately 30 percent of Microsoft’s Azure cloud is already Linux-based.
Any GNU/Linux instance running under Microsoft’s control is already compromised, with back doors included. It’s basically dependent on proprietary software from a company which notoriously colludes with the NSA.
Talk about distorting the notion of “openness”…
Those who can successfully ‘sell’ the corruptible media OOXML, Office and DRM as “open” can probably also ‘sell’ it genocidal carpet-bombing as “spreading freedom and democracy”, or disabled people as “special people”. █
“[Vista DRM] seems a bit like breaking the legs of Olympic athletes and then rating them based on how fast they can hobble on crutches.“
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