This is what Microsoft staff distributes to attendees in FOSS events:
Photo credit: Neil McAllister
Summary: Microsoft’s relentless attacks on GNU/Linux and Free software in general (even if it runs on Windows) are so evident that claims of ‘love’ remain laughable at best (if not infuriating)
MICROSOFT JUST CANNOT HELP itself. It’s like a scorpion riding a tortoise over a river. It keeps attacking GNU/Linux while claiming that it “loves Linux”. The truth is, Microsoft loathes Linux with a deep passion, but it doesn’t want to show this because it needs to infiltrate Linux events such as LinuxCon. It’s a strategy of entryism. It’s really ugly.
Imagine Microsoft having Linux folks as its keynote guests/speakers in its developers’ events, preaching passionately in favour of Free software (GPL for instance). Microsoft keeps infiltrating every single Linux event that matters. Microsoft is paying for it and it knows that it’s annoying people who pay a lot of money to attend (or whose employers are sponsors). Microsoft runs many developers’ events. Imagine Linux ‘infiltrating’ these. That would be entryism in reverse. But FOSS doesn’t play dirty. We leave the crimes and the unethical deeds to Microsoft.
Several days ago someone wrote to point out that Microsoft speaks nonsense and spread FUD again. To quote:
The giant from Redmond must be desperate since it has to use a controversial story from a relatively small Italian city to combat open source software, as in the mean time many larger deployments also in Italy are happy with LibreOffice and the numbers produced by Provincia di Perugia prove the opposite of the Microsoft-publication.
As Robert Pogson put it: “Why do they keep spreading it? Every time they get caught lying they destroy their own credibility amongst their loyal followers, if there are any left…”
Microsoft and its goons recently spread some more lies about Munich, using media partners which took the words of just two people and made that seem like the whole of Munich was upset with GNU/Linux. “Most people don’t really realize that they have Linux and they do not really care,” wrote Mr. Heath yesterday . He was the first person who wrote a story about this in English, foreseeing and properly preparing for Microsoft’s FUD attacks (Microsoft advocacy sites soon took the story out of context to lie about Munich).
Susan Linton, writing her daily column, said that “everyone reading of this knew that couldn’t be entirely right and today Heath reported, “the bulk of users have not taken issue with the move.” He quoted Munich IT developer, Jan-Marek Glogowski, at DebConf15 saying, “Most people don’t really realize that they have Linux and they do not really care, they want to do their stuff.” That’s not to say there aren’t issues and growing pains, primarily keeping up with hardware support with LTS Ubuntu-base, but plans are to keep forging ahead. Robert Pogson linked to the actual video from DebConf15.”
So basically we have just Microsoft FUD going on. Here is a new article that is just more utter lies, maybe ‘prepared’ propaganda from Microsoft (misleading, inaccurate) . They have totally made up the ‘facts’ to sell people the illusion that GNU/Linux is a failure. It’s that same old tired Munich lobbying from Microsoft Germany. As Pogson noted:
Lately, in the news, we read that agitators are still pushing to roll back GNU/Linux desktops.
They really are just “agitators”; there are only 2 of them at the moment, but they are joined by Microsoft spinners who have access to newspapers and/or news sites. “Munich councillors want to return to proprietary software,” wrote Gijs Hillenius in the European press, but we are speaking about just “two councillors [who] have not yet responded to emails seeking their position on interoperability” (if they know what it is at all, as they’re non-technical). Maybe they need to ask Microsoft Germany.
This headline, “Munich Officials Who Dumped Windows For Linux Want Microsoft’s OS Back” , is also a lie because it’s not the same officials, there’s no change of mind, there are just 2 dissenting voices.
This latest round of anti-GNU/Linux FUD is not something that we are unfamiliar with. We wrote dozens of in-depth articles about this. Munich is a large-scale migration and as we showed in previous years, Microsoft usually orchestrates this FUD behind the scenes. Sometimes some information leaks out to the media, showing Microsoft’s role in it (occasionally through proxies like HP). All we have here is a PR exercise, not news. █
Related/contextual items from the news:
In spite of complaints from a couple of councillors about the Limux OS, the city council said the bulk of users have not taken issue with the move.
“Most people don’t really realize that they have Linux and they do not really care,” said Jan-Marek Glogowski, a developer in the IT team at the City of Munich told the DebConf Debian developers meeting earlier this month.
Whatever the case, the city of Munich will have to wait it out for another year at least. According to The Inquirer, a review and subsequent response into the future IT policy will not take place until the end of 2016.
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Summary: Windows surveillance expands retroactively, making its way into platforms other than Windows and also expanding to predecessors of Vista 10
IN TERMS of sales and technical weaknesses, Vista 10 is a huge disaster, doing probably worse than its predecessor, which also did worse than the mythically ‘great’ Windows Vista. It really is a total disaster, but Microsoft employees won’t say this to the media for fear of personal retribution (firing).
“…Microsoft is putting Bing inside Cyanogen OS, not just from the company Cyanogen but also in OnePlus.”The unprecedented spyware problem is no longer limited to just Vista 10, so users of Windows on PCs are all affected. They should escape all of Windows as soon as possible because even older versions have spying features silently added to them. Well, this has actually been known for a while and we wrote about it several weeks ago. Now it appears as though more people become aware of it (the latest headline says “Updates Make Windows 7 and 8 Spy On You Like Windows 10″). Based on [1-3], Microsoft is putting Bing inside Cyanogen OS, not just from the company Cyanogen but also in OnePlus. This company, OnePlus, should dump Cyanogen OS, for reasons we covered here before [1, 2].
Mind this new article titled “Windows 10 automatically sends parents detailed dossier of their children’s internet history and computer use”. To quote just the opening paragraphs: “Windows 10 sends a weekly “activity update” on childrens’ internet browsing and computer history to parents, by default and without telling anyone. The feature could be dangerous as well as embarrassing, users have pointed out, allowing parents to watch everything their children do on the computer.
“Microsoft has become just a surveillance company and Windows the surveillance platform.”“The operating system sends a weekly note that includes a list of websites children have visited, how many hours per day they have spent on the computer, and for how long they have used their favourite apps, according to reports.”
Microsoft has become just a surveillance company and Windows the surveillance platform.
Vista 10 lies (“marketing”) now grow in lieu with Munich propaganda (anti-GNU/Linux myth-making, in order to scare CIOs who are fed up with Windows). Beware Microsoft’s fake vista 10 figures. These are being pushed by Microsoft into its boosters and moles in the media right now. The company has a long history gaming numbers to lie about number of ‘sales’ or ‘useds’ [sic]. Here is one Microsoft booster disseminating what it essentially Microsoft marketing with a sloppily-made image that cement the Big Lie (carving it in stone, within an image that cannot be edited for correction). “The only question,” wrote to us iopkh, “is how they are fiddling the stats.”
These claims are pulled directly from Microsoft, or rather, they are being pushed by Microsoft onto gullible journalists or complicit ‘journalists’. The author is a known Microsoft booster with history. Microsoft’s own figures hysterically debunk some early claims that the media cited a lot (between 45 million and 55 million ‘upgrades’ after 3 days). We warned that these were baseless claims from the rumour mill and Microsoft’s trolls army.
This time too we cannot trust the figures since they come from Microsoft. Based on how it has always gamed the numbers (‘sales’ not meaning actual sales or even users), we know these are lies. Look at web statistics from some of the more respected sources. Maybe 5% market share (or less) is what Microsoft’s latest beast has got at the moment, which given the price and other exceptional factors, is truly (and quite frankly) pathetic. █
Related/contextual items from the news:
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Data Center Operating System (DCOS) is a proprietary trap
“I’d be glad to help tilt lotus into into the death spiral. I could do it Friday afternoon but not Saturday. I could do it pretty much any time the following week.”
–Brad Silverberg, Microsoft
Summary: Hiding behind a misleading ‘open’ label while actually backed by Microsoft (and based on new rumours may join Microsoft), Mesosphere wishes to eradicate Free and back doors-free software in large datacentres hosting a lot of physical and virtual servers
WE have patiently been watching with great concern a company called Mesosphere. We have been watching it for quite some time, but have not yet properly covered it in Techrights (except incidentally). I personally complained about it many times in social media sites, not just because it’s backed by Silverberg (some Microsoft-centric publications call him “Mr. Windows” these days) but because it’s basically proprietary yet pretends to be ‘open’. It’s a big deception. Mesosphere is a parasite that has been often (and mostly) promoted by friends of Microsoft over the past year. Mesosphere is one of those companies that only people bribed by Microsoft (like Om Malik and his increasingly-defunct ‘news’ network) would actually openwash, excepting perhaps some gullible journalists who truly believe that there is genuine openness at Mesosphere or merely repeat what others are writing (the corrupting effect of manufactured hype).
Thankfully, Mesosphere is now showing its true colours, so we need not merely speculate or accuse Mesosphere with relatively weak evidence. Mesosphere has nothing to do with FOSS, except the fact that it wants to replace it with its own proprietary operating system. It can be viewed as a Microsoft Trojan horse with Microsoft veterans backing it — the same sorts of people who would distribute “Microsoft loves Linux” buttons (spreading a Big Lie) to help themselves devour the GNU/Linux market.
“Avoid Mesosphere, Mesos, and the Data Center Operating System (DCOS). Treat them as a creation of Microsoft, emanated silently to entrap the competition.”A Microsoft propaganda site (and by extension a network) recently showed Microsoft’s anti-Linux plan of entryism [1, 2], trying to make GNU/Linux just subservient to Windows, essentially demoting it. Other Microsoft propaganda sites did the same thing at the same time. Then we saw rumours that Microsoft was essentially ‘buying’ its own moles, just as it had done with Xamarin (now bankrolled by Microsoft veterans). All one has to do now is watch headlines from the financial press, for instance:
There are many more like the above, but we omit them for the sake of brevity.
I personally feel somewhat vindicated, having repeatedly accused Mesosphere of serving Microsoft’s agenda. I said the same about Mono about a decade ago, well before it officially became a sort of Microsoft adjunct in the form of Xamarin. These are more like moles. They serve as Microsoft’s bridge into the heart of the competition.
Mesosphere ought to be treated as a Trojan horse or a proprietary software company with Microsoft roots (intending to replace GNU/Linux at datacentres). It shows true colours with articles such as “Why Microsoft Could Reportedly Want To Buy Cloud Startup Mesosphere Even At $1 Billion”.
Watch what Microsoft boosters are writing right now [1, 2, 3]. Headlines such as “Windows Server Getting Open Source Mesos Container Technology for Scaled Operations” or “Mesosphere And Microsoft Bring Mesos To Windows Server” speak volumes.
Microsoft’s many attacks on GNU/Linux and Free software can only be as effective as GNU/Linux users can be dumb, gullible, defeatist, or lenient. Scott M. Fulton III, a Microsoft expert, wrote the other day that:
Developers outside of Microsoft will be able to experiment for the first time with new classes of applications that run partly on Windows, partly on Linux.
As one response to this framed the key message: “It’s hard to imagine anyone actually wanting to build an application that is part-Linux, part-Windows. Or, to go one step further, to intentionally engineer a server-based program that straddles two very, very different flavors of operating system.
“Why on Earth would anyone build or use an application that needs two operating systems to function?”
Why would anyone need a platform from Mesosphere to manage GNU/Linux? It’s not even Free software, so back doors are to be expected (voluntary or not), compromising the security of everything down the hierarchy/stack.
Avoid Mesosphere, Mesos, and the Data Center Operating System (DCOS). Treat them as a creation of Microsoft, emanated silently to entrap the competition. Time will tell what Mesosphere really is and where it’s heading. █
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Summary: A look at the recent assault on GNU/Linux in Munich and the likely cause for this assault (in such a timely fashion, too)
Over the past couple of days we have been writing about what Microsoft does in Munich, basically trying to stereotype/stigmatise this city’s GNU/Linux migration (also on the desktops) as a failure, doing so repeatedly, each time just quoting a person or two at most. There is now a good article on the subject, noting: “This “story” surfaces every several months and, for some reason I always fail to fathom, everybody starts parroting it. It goes thus: Munich is sick and tired of how inadequate Linux is for everyday use and is ready to ditch years of work and millions of euros to return to Windows.
“As usual, the facts say something different: all that has happened this time around is that two (count ’em: 2) councillors have sent a letter to the mayor requesting that some new devices that have had Limux (Munich’s tailored Linux flavour) installed on them, be equipped with Windows because the Linux distro comes with “no programs (text editing programs, Skype, Office, etc.)” that the councilors can use.”
This “story” has once again been amplified by Microsoft propaganda sites and then some blogs, perpetuating old myths and factual inaccuracies (some more gross than others). Microsoft AstroTurfing is quite possible here. As one person, Michael Matthew, put it this morning, “Microsoft Germany has their own dedicated team to wrest Munich away from Linux” (and Free software at large).
“They are trying to scare those who wish to move governments to GNU/Linux, especially in light of Vista 10′s serious failings.”It is not hard to see why Microsoft is nervous about Munich. The city’s success story with GNU/Linux can lead to the spread of a new trend, so McCarthyism (like witch-hunt against Communism) is what Microsoft now resorts to. Vista 10′s overt privacy violations combined or conjoined with NSA leaks that show Microsoft collusion in espionage can potentially destroy the Windows monopoly everywhere in the world, including parts of the US. There are “Lots of Reasons to Avoid Windows 10″, as the Goodbye Microsoft Web site put it earlier today, and “Meanwhile, Linux is getting easier to install and more capable every year. And it doesn’t snoop. Some applications issue crash reports that ask me if I want to send them to the developers; “no” is always presented as an option.”
Ken Starks, in the mean time, says it’s time to target (and boycott) Lenovo for spyware that it adds to Windows. Lenovo merely piggybacks Microsoft when it comes to surveillance, so it would make sense to target everything that runs Windows, not just Lenovo. It’s a tool of espionage. It is also not secure (by design), so even Five Eyes oughtn’t use it in governments. It’s a bait or a trap.
Microsoft is understandably nervous right now because Vista 10 is failing in a very big way, as we last showed last night.
The large army of Microsoft boosters at IDG (some are existing Microsoft employees, not just former ones) continues to belittle Vista 10 issues. Remember that IDG receives a lot of money from Microsoft in order to promote Vista 10 (advertisements in IDG sites), so IDG appointing many Microsoft people as “writers” simply makes business sense. Preston Gralla is the latest among the boosters of Vista 10, doing his usual Microsoft propaganda (he has been doing this for over a decade) which iophk calls “spin and lies” because it’s hardly hinged on facts at all. It’s jaw-dropping drivel which might only fool the most gullible among readers.
Having already made a beautiful Spanish word, “Vista”, get a bad connotation (Like Isis), Microsoft now does the same thing to a special decimal number, “10″. Attacking Munich’s story of successful migration to GNU/Linux is a priority at the moment. They are trying to scare those who wish to move governments to GNU/Linux, especially in light of Vista 10′s serious failings. In many countries and in many occupations the EULA of Vista 10 is not even compatible with the law. █
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Summary: Confirmatory evidence that Vista 10 is failing in the market about a month after its much-hyped (paid coverage) release
MUCH as we expected even well before Vista 10 came out, the market is overwhelmingly apathetic, regardless of the price. It’s just not interested in Vista 10.
“Microsoft has been on a tear with Windows 10 updates,” Ryan wrote in our
#techrights IRC channel (he used to be a Microsoft MVP and he follows Microsoft very closely). “It hasn’t even been a month and they’ve apparently already patched so many bugs it’s like an entire service pack has happened.”
“Vista 10 adoption is pathetic, especially when one considers the cost of an ‘upgrade’.”Vista 10 is clearly a failure (technically speaking and also in terms of sales), so Microsoft now wants to attract GNU/Linux users into its arms (to suffocate them with lock-in). It has gotten so bad that Microsoft (through Yahoo) is entering old versions of Ubuntu for surveillance purposes. If Canonical is pressured by Mozilla to make Firefox link to Microsoft (through Yahoo as a proxy/middleman), then users should move to IceWeasel or IceCat, if not drop Ubuntu altogether. There have also been several articles recently about how Microsoft was trying to sneak its surveillance and propaganda engine into Android.
At IDG, a Microsoft booster (strong professional ties to Microsoft) comes out with “False dichotomy,” to quote iopkh. “The real answer is move to GNU/Linux.”
“One common concern right now is privacy, not just the heap of serious bugs.”Vista 10 adoption is pathetic, especially when one considers the cost of an ‘upgrade’. This week it’s said that “Windows 10 now has 5.95 per cent of the desktop operating systems market, according to the folks at StatCounter.”
That’s hardly a gain since a week ago. “Windows 10′s growth has slowed, according to StatCounter Global Stats,” which means that it will possibly plateau at around 10%, despite so many people being ‘eligible’ for a ‘free’ ‘upgrade’.
One common concern right now is privacy, not just the heap of serious bugs. One has to wonder if Microsoft’s secret (proprietary) code in Vista 10 implements any callback functions for option buttons that relate to privacy. It is worth pursuing these questions. Did Microsoft add privacy ‘controls’ for a false sense of control or is this a bug? Is this just being disguised as a bug but is actually intentional? A lot of people were surprised that Microsoft does not obey privacy preferences from users; maybe they forgot it’s a company of cheaters and liars, not to mention bribes. Watch what Microsoft is still up to in Munich. █
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Summary: Microsoft and its minions refuse to leave Munich alone, even though the vast majority in Munich are perfectly happy with Free/libre software
A story that we covered here on Monday has received quite some attention, far more than we anticipated. It’s basically about a letter composed by two technically-incompetent people, which means it’s full of factual errors and serves more as Microsoft endorsement and scare tactics against GNU/Linux, ODF, and Free software. It’s about Munich, where two officials got a lot more press than they deserved (even in English-speaking media [1, 2, 3]). As one article put it, “proprietary software companies are known for their public affairs (lobby) large budgets.” The article recalls “90 percent discount from then Microsoft CEO Steve ‘I’ve had the time of my life’ Ballmer to keep Windows” (a form of bribery in a sense).
“The article recalls “90 percent discount from then Microsoft CEO Steve ‘I’ve had the time of my life’ Ballmer to keep Windows” (a form of bribery in a sense).”Continuing the trend and the line which we went along the other day, in this article from the Monday Glyn Moody said that Russian “Members of parliament [are] worried about personal and classified data being sent to the US.”
The British media covered this as well, saying that “Russian lawyers have filed a complaint calling for an outright ban – or at least tight restrictions – over the sale of Windows 10 in Russia.”
Well, they’re right and Munich would be ever so dumb to abandon software Freedom, having already paid a lot to escape the lock-in/exit barrier, whereupon it chooses to be spied on by a hostile country which targets Germany (political espionage). Moving to Windows would mean Vista 10 or later (our contacts at Microsoft says that future version will have even more spying).
Munich is going to stay with Free software, as before, but the Microsoft camp keeps trying to maintain the mythology of failure there. The negative press gives many officials the wrong impressions and scares them, discouraging any other nation-wide moves to GNU/Linux. That’s what it’s all about. █
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Strapping NSA back doors onto Munich oughtn’t be an option
Summary: A look at a strange suggestion, signed by Sabine Pfeiler (above) and Otto Seidl, who suggest going back to Microsoft which is basically a spyware company now
THE enormous long-term cost of Microsoft Windows, deferred and inevitably incurred due to blackmail and espionage (possibly more expensive then dealing with script kiddies/crackers alone), was detailed in the previous post. No nation other than the US (not even other Five Eyes nations) should procure proprietary software from the United States. Britain has just repeated this error  and some Microsoft fans in Germany apparently want to revert back to making this error, having already undone this error (dumping proprietary software, including Microsoft, in Munich).
We wish to start with some rather exciting news. Thankfully enough, Russia is now following China’s footsteps and may ban Vista 10 (China also banned Office in government, not just Vista 8, recognising that it’s a collective Trojan horse from the NSA). Last year or the year before that Russia had already taken first steps towards banning Windows by banning x86 in government (Wintel) and days ago it went further. Citing Russian media, Linux Veda writes: “The vice speaker of Russia’s State Duma, Nikolai Levichev, has written to Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev asking for the Russian government to ban the use of Windows 10 amongst Russian civil servants. Levichev is concerned that Microsoft may allow US agencies to access data collected from Russian officials.”
Based on countless leaks from the NSA (many mention Russia by name), the above is undoubtedly being done. To think otherwise would be willful ignorance. Germany too is a target (political and industrial espionage), as recently demonstrated by Wikileaks, not just Snowden’s leaks and subsequent unattributed leaks.
It then leads us to our main topic, which is bogus stories from Microsoft propaganda sites, distorting the stories that were originally published in Germany about a week ago. We have a misleading headline about just two people, making them sound like the whole city of Munich. These people are Sabine Pfeiler and Otto Seidl.
Microsoft propaganda sites will latch onto anything and anyone, as they have been doing for years, never leaving Munich alone because it has become an embarrassment to Microsoft and a winning example/trophy for GNU/Linux on the desktop. What Microsoft does in Munich right now is definitely not sitting on its hands and accepting defeat. There is lobbying that is difficult for outsiders to see, but evidence occasionally comes out, as we have shown here over the years (we wrote dozens of articles about this). Partner companies, not just moles or lobbyists, are involved in this. Munich is constantly under attack.
A European reader of ours helped us understand what is happening in Munich right now. “Two ‘softers,” he said, is what it boils down to. “Annoying that they get any press at all. [...] it does look like only two ‘softers and not two independent people. More can be done to bring up the games that Microsoft continues to play against competitors, especially FOSS. Too many are falling for that “another chance” tactic, one that’s been used every few years for decades.”
We tried to find out more, for instance anything suspicious in the professional background of the troublemakers. Microsoft recently blackmailed members of the British Parliament, as it had previously done in Norway and other places (if you do what we say, we’ll do this thing for your area, but if you don’t, we’ll punish you). There are plenty of bribes and blackmail examples; Microsoft is full of those.
Our reader tracked down the original PDF. It is signed by these two people:
Sabine Pfeiler, Stadtrat
Otto Seidl, Stadtrat
“Your German is certainly better than mine,” said the reader, “but there are probably these two. They’re both in office through 2020. The main argument that the laptops have no programs for text editing, Skype, Office etc does not hold water. LibreOffice and even nasty ol’ unsafe Skype are available for GNU/Linux on x86, though the latter has not been approved by the IT dept there. But the Tech Republic article does say they are using Intel processors and that LibreOffice is on them.
“Seidl had in 2014 defended LiMux against mayor Dieter Reiter and Josef Schmid. However, I think that something is fishy, but cannot find anything with just a cursory search.”
“Microsoft just remotely modifies Vista 10 and won’t explain how, why, and when.”Vista 10 is an unacceptable risk, especially for government, and German has been more strict than most nations about digital control over its computing (even UEFI 'secure boot' is verboten). Vista 10 can add back doors, bug doors, delete files, add files etc. and it won’t even tell the user. We covered this the other day, noting that RMS (Richard Stallman) was right all along. This is why Microsoft will consider doing almost anything (even blackmail and bribes) to get its way here, enabling the Trojan horse to slip inside the whole of Germany. The NSA would certainly like for this to happen.
According to Manish Singh, “[i]f you’re having trouble deciphering what exactly Microsoft is bundling in Windows 10 updates, it is not your fault. Moreover, it is about to get worse. Microsoft has confirmed that it might choose to not offer a detailed changelog with new Windows 10 updates.”
Microsoft just remotely modifies Vista 10 and won’t explain how, why, and when. It is virtually as though one’s own computer is rented or leased. Even the British media took note. Simon Sharwood spoke to Microsoft and then reported that “Microsoft has explained its policy about how much information it will offer on the content of Cumulative Updates to Windows 10.”
Remember that for most users it will be impossible to even deny automatic updates. Microsoft Peter, not only Microsoft sceptics, reminds us right now that Microsoft has no plans to tell us what’s in Windows patches. Vista 10 already has back doors (and worse, it turns networks into botnets), but the point is, additional ones can be added at any time, silently. What would happen at times of war? Germany simply mustn’t consider going back to Windows and more cities should now follow Munich’s lead, maybe adopting much of the same Free software that Munich developed over the years.
Have politicians actually been following what’s happening right now? BND collusion with the NSA makes it simpler to blackmail German politicians, this we know for sure… █
Related/contextual items from the news:
The UK’s Crown Commercial Service (CCS) yesterday revealed that it would be teaming up with software giant Oracle, in a three-year partnership which will see the two collaborate to deliver services to public sector bodies including the National Health Service (NHS).
Just weeks after the government announced that it would be cutting back on its use of Oracle software, the new deal instead extends the existing agreement signed in 2012 and aims to bring new cost-saving solutions. The CCS has promised the that the signing of the Oracle memorandum of understanding (MoU) will “deliver additional savings for the taxpayer.”
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“Our products just aren’t engineered for security.”
–Brian Valentine, Microsoft executive
Summary: Another news overview, detailing high-profile examples of high-cost Windows deployments (including the cost of litigation and settlement)
THE “IRS hack [is] far larger than first thought,” according to this new report. It’s no secret that the IRS is a Microsoft Windows shop (which was warned about security breaches as far back as 6 years ago), so it makes one wonder if Windows was to blame here, as in the OPM breach, the Sony breach, and most recently the Ashley Madison breach (not to mention Stuxnet in Iran). Based on our information, all these high-profile breaches one way or another involve Microsoft reliance. The corporate media failed to call out Windows, but a little bit of research often helps boil it down to Microsoft’s NSA-accessible (through back doors) platforms.
“The parent company can now be sued into bankruptcy. It’s the (hidden) high cost of Windows.”Below is a new story which shows how Argentina targets  a large number of dissidents for surveillance using a fake “confidential document [that] was intended to infect a Windows computer.” GNU/Linux users needn’t worry about such things. Then of course there is the latest high-profile breach, the one affecting tens of millions of members of Ashley Madison (including almost ten thousand members of the military, including high-ranked ones), some of whom are suing  (what’s the price of a failed marriage or blackmail?). The parent company can now be sued into bankruptcy. It’s the (hidden) high cost of Windows. According to , “Security Was An Afterthought” at Ashley Madison. Well, that’s quite evident. Ashley Madison is hardly even hiding it (DMCA rampage is not a substitute) and it has been made ever more obvious by the fact that they were using Microsoft Windows.
Microsoft and security are mutually exclusive, unlike Microsoft and insecurity. No secure application can be mounted on top of a base with back doors. It ought to be crystal clear after Snowden’s many revelations. █
Related/contextual items from the news:
Alberto Nisman, the Argentine prosecutor known for doggedly investigating a 1994 Buenos Aires bombing, was targeted by invasive spy software downloaded onto his cellular phone shortly before his mysterious death. The software masqueraded as a confidential document and was intended to infect a Windows computer.
A BRACE OF LAW FIRMS ARE BEHIND A class action lawsuit against Ashley Madison because it did not do enough to protect personal and private information.
The class action case, from two Canadian law firms, argues that the hookup stations failed users by not protecting their information and for not deleting it after a fee had been paid to ensure its deletion. It seeks $578m.
According to the New York Post the lawyers want some satisfaction for a cluster of punters who are currently wearing outraged expressions and regretting joining a site that does what it does in the way that it does it.
It’s already clear that, despite handling very sensitive data, Ashley Madison did not have the best security. Hackers managed to obtain everything from source code to customer data to internal documents, and the attackers behind the breach, who call themselves the Impact Team, made a mockery of the company’s defenses in an interview.
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