01.23.09

Microsoft and Politics (Against Google)

Posted in FUD, Google, Microsoft at 11:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Routine of “good Obama, bad Obama”?

I‘ve personally been supportive of Obama all along, but recent posts were rather harsh on him [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] because money voids trust and certain actions, combined with early appointments (e.g. [1, 2, 3]), represent a betrayal of citizens’ rights, typically in favour of elite interests and preservation of monopolies.

In today’s news we find two contradictory examples that are worth exploring. The first comes from a strong supporter of GNU/Linux, who claims that Obama is fighting Microsoft, despite some contrary examples.

Obama vs. Microsoft”

Obama, the first true 21st century President, and his staff have arrived at the White House to find themselves stuck with 20th century Microsoft software… and they’re not happy.

According to a report in The Washington Post, Obama’s staffers found themselves blocked from social networks, like Facebook, instant-messaging, and even plain old E-Mail.

Another report suggests that White House staff will be using Google Mail. “It might put salt on it to remind about the Abramoff/Gates scandal,” says one reader, “as well as the fact the problems with VBA/Access/Windows on the voting machines helped create the problem and that the failed Microsoft infrastructure is helping prolong the mess, especially the Microsoft exchange E-mail mess.”

As the press release appended to the bottom suggests, Obama challenges Bush’s policies, which is good news. But there is bad news too. Having already put an RIAA lawyer in charge of one area, Obama now puts in power a man from a Microsoft pressure group and task force, the BSA [1, 2, 3, 4].

Obama picks BSA’s antipiracy enforcer for high-level post

For his vice president, Barack Obama chose Joe Biden, a senator with a long history of aiding the Recording Industry Association of America. Then Obama picked the RIAA’s favorite lawyer, Tom Perrelli, for a top Justice Department post.

Now, as one of his first official actions as president, Obama has selected the Business Software Alliance’s top antipiracy enforcer and general counsel, Neil MacBride, for a senior Justice Department post. Among other duties, MacBride has been responsible for the BSA’s program that rewarded people for phoning in tips about suspected software piracy.

The BSA is hostile towards Free software, so there is a certain conflict of interests inside Obama’s cabinet.

Microsoft Uses Politics Against Google

Microsoft’s political games are utterly ugly, even illegal. We have been writing extensively about Microsoft’s political machinations against Google [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8] and now comes this good article from Wired Magazine. Microsoft uses a campaign of smears and manipulation to earn ‘protection’ from the government.

Google’s capitulation marked a rare defeat for the search giant, which has been almost as successful among the regulators of Washington as among the coders of Silicon Valley. And it was cause for celebration in Redmond, where Microsoft spent six months on a massive effort, costing millions of dollars, to block the Yahoo deal. Microsoft played a role in persuading members of Congress to hold hearings. It initiated a campaign that filled DOJ mailboxes with letters from politicians and nonprofit groups objecting to the deal. It convinced the country’s largest advertisers to join together to oppose the company in public. It’s impossible to know exactly what impact all this had on the DOJ decision. But many observers believe that Barnett, who declined to be interviewed for this article, was influenced in part by Microsoft’s arguments.

Devil sculpture
Bullying as a business model

Mike Masnick remarked on this article:

Plenty of folks have been sending in links to Wired’s article on The Plot to Kill Google, which basically shows how both Microsoft and AT&T — two companies scared to death by Google, are now working hard not to build better products to beat Google in the marketplace — but on hiring better lobbyists and marketers to try to destroy public perception of Google.

AT&T is arguably worse than most. However — quite naturally — we are far less interested in telecoms and government affairs, so given limit on scope, we’re inclined to skip this issue.

A few months ago we mentioned Microsoft’s possible intentions to use patents against Google, but buying Yahoo! — no matter how aggressively or brutally — would potentially be required [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16].

According to this new report, Google is encouraging junk patents by getting some of its own:

Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) has filed for a patent to allow users to enter either search terms and domain names into a search box (such as an address bar), and having the computer figure out if the search term was meant to be a specific domain name or web site.

How on earth can this be granted as a patent?

Meanwhile, Yahoo is trying to patent reciprocal linking.

What is happening to this system and why is any conceivable neural output seen as worthy of ownership?

While Microsoft remains without Yahoo’s search assets (this may change), its infamous search briberies [1, 2, 3] just carry on, based on this news report.

Microsoft Offers SearchPerks Incentive

Microsoft’s SearchPerks program is running a three-day incentive to encourage participants to do more searches on Live Search. Starting today, and running through January 23, SearchPerks is offering double tickets for every search with a max of 50 tickets available to be earned each day.

Microsoft is losing to Google in Washington DC, so its borderless political games against this rival will certainly live on. This is definitely worth careful attention.


Obama Revokes Bush Order on Presidential Records

For Immediate Release
January 21, 2009

The President today signed two Executive Orders and three Presidential Memoranda. These five documents represent a bold first step to fulfill his campaign promises to make government more responsible and accountable, to launch sweeping ethics reform, and to begin a new era of transparent and open government.

Across the country, families are tightening their belts in this economic crisis, and so should Washington. That is why in the Presidential Memorandum Regarding Pay Freeze the President has announced that he will freeze his White House senior staff pay at current levels to the full extent allowed by law. This will enable the White House to stretch its budget to get more done for the country. The President and his staff recognize that in these austere times, everyone must do more with less, and the White House is no exception.

The American people also deserve more than simply an assurance that those coming to Washington will serve their interests. They deserve to know that there are rules on the books to keep it that way. In the Executive Order on Ethics Commitments by Executive Branch Personnel, the President, first, prohibits executive branch employees from accepting gifts from lobbyists. Second, he closes the revolving door that allows government officials to move to and from private sector jobs in ways that give that sector undue influence over government. Third, he requires that government hiring be based upon qualifications, competence and experience, not political connections. He has ordered every one of his appointees to sign a pledge abiding by these tough new rules as a downpayment on the change he has promised to bring to Washington.

In the Presidential Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government, and the Presidential Memorandum on the Freedom of Information Act, the President instructs all members of his administration to operate under principles of openness, transparency and of engaging citizens with their government. To implement these principles and make them concrete, the Memorandum on Transparency instructs three senior officials to produce an Open Government Directive within 120 days directing specific actions to implement the principles in the Memorandum. And the Memorandum on FOIA instructs the Attorney General to in that same time period issue new guidelines to the government implementing those same principles of openness and transparency in the FOIA context.

Finally, the Executive Order on Presidential Records brings those principles to presidential records by giving the American people greater access to these historic documents. This order ends the practice of having others besides the President assert executive privilege for records after an administration ends. Now, only the President will have that power, limiting its potential for abuse. And the order also requires the Attorney General and the White House Counsel to review claims of executive privilege about covered records to make sure those claims are fully warranted by the Constitution.

Lee White
Executive Director
National Coalition for History
202-544-2422 x-116
Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2009/01/23/ms-politics-against-google/

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

3 Comments

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    January 23, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    Gravatar

    It’s annoying that MS is indirectly hampering the clean up the Bush legacy. These are records that will determine whether the junta is packed off to The Hague for further action or dealt with domestically.

  2. SR said,

    January 24, 2009 at 12:13 am

    Gravatar

    Let’s also have a link to the article showing Obama’s extreme dismay at finding Windows in the Whitehouse, and wondering where the Macs and Ubuntu were, please?

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 24, 2009 at 5:41 am

    Gravatar

    Here it is.

    http://blog.wired.com/gadgets/2009/01/obama-disappoin.html

What Else is New


  1. Links 2/8/2021: XEyes 1.2 and Fwupd 1.6.2 Released

    Links for the day



  2. Freenode is IRC... in Collapse

    Freenode is now down to just 13,194 online users, which makes it the 6th biggest IRC network. Months ago it was #1 with almost 6 times as many users as those below it. The graph above shows what the latest blunder has done (another massive drop in less than a week, with a poem and the all-time chart at the very bottom).



  3. Barrier and Synergy Can Work Together, Connecting Lots of Different Machines

    Barrier and Synergy can be configured to work properly in conjunction, though only provided different port numbers (non-default) are specified; in my current setup I have two computers to my right, working over Barrier, and two older ones on the left, working over Synergy; the video explains the setup and the underlying concepts



  4. Links 2/8/2021: Open Science in France and Zoom Pays to Settle Privacy Violations

    Links for the day



  5. It Almost Feels Like Battistelli Still Runs the EPO (by Extension/Proxy)

    The "Mafia" that destroyed the EPO is still being put in charge and is using the EPO for shameless self-promotion; it is never being held accountable, not even when courts demand remediatory action and staff seeks reparations



  6. [Meme] Vichyite Battistelli Committed Crimes and His Buddy António Snubs Courts That Confirm These Are Crimes

    Staff of the EPO is coming to realise (or reaching acceptance of the fact) that the spirit of Battistelli — not just people he left in charge of the EPO — dooms the Office and there’s no way out of this mess



  7. Links 2/8/2021: Linux 5.14 RC4 and 20% Growth in Steam

    Links for the day



  8. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, August 01, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, August 01, 2021



  9. Links 1/8/2021: LibreOffice 7.2 RC2 and Lakka 3.3

    Links for the day



  10. Was Microsoft Ever First in the Market?

    Confronting the false belief that Microsoft ever innovates anything of significance or is "first" in some market/s



  11. Links 1/8/2021: 4MLinux 37.0, IBM Fluff, and USMCA Update

    Links for the day



  12. Microsoft Knows That When Shareholders Realise Azure Has Failed the Whole Boat Will Sink

    The paranoia at Microsoft is well justified; they've been lying to shareholders to inflate share prices and they don't really deliver the goods, just false hopes and unfulfilled promises



  13. [Meme] Nobody and Nothing Harms Europe's Reputation Like the EPO Does

    Europe’s second-largest institution, the EPO, has caused severe harm/damage to Europe’s economy and reputation; its attacks on the courts and on justice itself (even on constitutions in the case of UPC — another attempt to override the law and introduce European software patents) won’t be easily forgotten; SUEPO has meanwhile (on Saturday, link at the bottom in German) reminded people that Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos have driven away the EPO’s most valuable workers or moral compass



  14. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, July 31, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, July 31, 2021



  15. [Meme] When it Comes to Server Share, Microsoft Azure is Minuscule (But Faking It)

    Don't believe the lies told by Microsoft's charlatans and frauds; Azure has been a total failure and that's why there are layoffs as well



  16. [Meme] Mozilla Has Turned From Technical to Marketing

    Way back, long before Mozilla and Firefox got hijacked by politics (turning Mozilla into a VPN reseller that lies about its stance on privacy), geeks were driving the company, not corporate lawyers and spying/marketing people



  17. Over 1,500 (Known/Unorphaned) Gemini Capsules and Over 160,000 Page Requests in gemini.techrights.org During July

    Techrights is expanding at gemini:// (Gemini space) and over 1,500 capsules are reported to have been found (less than 4 months ago it was about 1,000)



  18. Links 31/7/2021: Kernel Additions and Linux Mint 20.3 Release Date

    Links for the day



  19. Microsoft Azure Stagnating

    Reprinted with permission from Mitchel Lewis, former Microsoft employee



  20. For 17 Days (and Counting) António Campinos Has Failed to Respond to Call for Compliance With the Law

    Team Campinos has been so arrogant and so evasive that there’s no indication (yet) that it will follow court orders (Willy ‘Guillaume’ Minnoye openly bragged about ignoring court orders and he's still cheering for the EPO's abuses); therefore, staff of the EPO takes collective action



  21. Raw: Elodie Bergot Breaking the Law by Threatening Against the Exercise of Fundamental Rights

    Over the years we saw a number of rude letters from Elodie Bergot, the grossly under-qualified spouse of a friend of Vichyite Benoît Battistelli; most of these we never published (we already have these and can always publish if the need arises), but those paranoid and insecure “Mafia”-like ‘cabal’ need to be exposed for the mobsters they are; for nearly a decade they’ve illegally bullied EPO staff in clear violation of the law (and for over 3 years António Campinos has kept those bullies on board); why does Europe do nothing and why is it never holding high-profile abusers accountable (only low-level facilitators)? Is it because the EU too is being infiltrated by them?



  22. Linspire Should Be Avoided in 2021 Just Like It Was Avoided 14 Years Ago

    The brand "Linspire" was brought back, but the agenda seems to be more or less the same, namely pushing proprietary software and serving Microsoft's commercial agenda (in 'Linux' clothing)



  23. The Death of Freenode Would Be Freenode's Own Fault

    Freenode is going dark and now it’s asking people to create accounts at IRC.com (just to get back into the network that they may have already occupied for decades) as if Freenode owns “IRC” as a whole



  24. Links 31/7/2021: KDE Progress and Activision Catastrophe

    Links for the day



  25. IRC Proceedings: Friday, July 30, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, July 30, 2021



  26. The Smartest Meter of All

    Yesterday a lady came over to take our power readings (electric/gas meter); secure these people's jobs as they help protect people's privacy (dignity) at home



  27. [Meme] A Web of False Dichotomies

    A reminder that Techrights is fully available (all blog posts and wiki pages) in gemini://



  28. Freenode Shrinks by Another Quarter and Gemini Continues to Grow (For Techrights at Least)

    Freenode continues to perish faster than we've imagined; it's a good thing that we've had contingencies set up; regarding the monopolised and increasingly centralised Web, we're still making baby steps towards weaning ourselves off it



  29. Links 31/7/2021: Wine 6.14 and Chrome 93 Beta

    Links for the day



  30. European Media Does Not Care About Europe's Second-Largest Institution Crushing Basic Laws and Fundamental Rights

    New video about the latest publication from SUEPO (the EPO’s staff union); it was published yesterday, seeing that the “Mafia” (what EPO staff actually calls the management!) hasn’t done anything to comply with a wide-ranging set of court rulings from ILO-AT; why has the media said nothing about this and what does that say about today’s media? The material is all in the public domain, in widely understood languages, and SUEPO spoke about it more than 3 weeks ago.


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts