09.20.09

Microsoft Admitted UNIX is Better Than Windows Even 9 Years Ago, Finally Kills Windows Server 2000

Posted in Microsoft, Security, Servers, UNIX, Windows at 5:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Sun server

Summary: A blast from the past shows Microsoft dismissing Windows 2000, which it has just officially discontinued

“Here’s an oldie but goodie,” says a reader to us. It is an article discussing Microsoft’s dilemma that it faced when Hotmail ran on UNIX very well, which was damaging for Microsoft’s corporate pride as it contradicted the hype about NT. Microsoft touted it as “better UNIX than UNIX”. We wrote about this before [1, 2].

MS paper touts Unix in Hotmail’s Win2k switch

An older MS internal whitepaper from August 2000 on switching Hotmail, which MS acquired in 1997, from front-end servers running FreeBSD and back-end database servers running Solaris to a whole farm running Win2K, reads like a veritable sales brochure for UNIX, but concludes that the company ought to set the right example by ensuring that each division “should eat its own dogfood.”

The whitepaper, by MS Windows 2000 Server Product Group member David Brooks, has been posted on the Web by Security Office, which says it discovered the item and numerous other confidential MS documents on a poorly protected server. There are a number of other fascinating documents posted, in which the careful reader will find a veritable treasure map for hacking the citadel, but the one I enjoyed best was the comparison between Win2K and UNIX.

Hotmail is currently a mess, which even some fans of Microsoft dislike (Microsoft censors critics of it). Hotmail is also a spam issue and it has security problems. But regarding Windows Server, whose problems we covered some days ago, it finally sees the end of the 2000 version. Microsoft has newer problems to tackle, such as this one from the news (still unpatched):

Microsoft still does not acknowledge a weakness in its Internet Explorer browser that was pointed out seven weeks ago and enables attackers to hijack what are supposed to be secure Web sessions.

Microsoft typically hides its flaws and attempts to patch them secretly. This way, numbers can be kept lower and dishonesty is further enabled when politics come into play.

Microsoft Dumping in SXSW, Barnardos, and Samsung

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Samsung at 4:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Old and rusty

Summary: Microsoft spreads its FOSS suppressors with SXSW promotion, Barnardos ‘donation’, and more

EVERY NOW and then we see Microsoft dumping software in order to block its competition. Microsoft always passes it by the press as “charity” or “donation”, which essentially recasts anti-competitive behaviour as goodwill (for the gullible). We gave an example from the UK one week ago.

It is unfortunate to see SXSW selling out to Microsoft for promotion, according to this press release.

South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive is now accepting entries for the Microsoft BizSpark Accelerator at SXSW competition. Debuting last year, the first edition of Microsoft BizSpark Accelerator at SXSW generated entries from more than 200 innovative companies from around the United States and across the world.

Microsoft is still dumping software using the *Spark programmes, which we wrote about to explain in:

There is also some new dumping in Barnardos, which the New Zealand press covered as though it was “donation of software to childcare charity.” Well, “open source” is mentioned there among the comments, so people are not foolish enough to fall for PR (“donation”, “children”, and “charity” all in the same sentence).

Microsoft chief financial officer Chris Liddell, a New Zealander, on Monday announced a $1.4 million donation of software to childcare charity Barnardos New Zealand.

Software cannot be donated, as it costs nothing to copy. People should read up on EDGI. Here is a similar publicity stunt from Microsoft’s extortion racket subscriber, Samsung.

The philanthropic initiative will reward winning writers with a Samsung Go Netbook and their local schools with cutting-edge Samsung products, Microsoft software, DIRECTV educational television programming and cash grants as well as special @15 gift cards supplied by Best Buy.

Best Buy and Microsoft software are quite a pair, aren’t they? They bash GNU/Linux together [1, 2, 3, 4].

Secretary Robert Gates Honours Bill Gates, Microsoft May Manage Stimulus Funds

Posted in Bill Gates, Finance, Microsoft, Security, Windows at 4:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Corporocracy map

Summary: The incestuous relationship between Microsoft Corporation and the US government rears its ugly head again

Microsoft’s proximity to the government’s security bureaucrats is an issue we explored before, with obvious evidence such as Microsoft managers at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) [1, 2]. In general, Microsoft’s impact on current American politics is too easy to see (Obama and Silverlight, anyone?) and the back doors in Microsoft’s software [1, 2] may as well be token of that.

The following new press release is very funny. Microsoft is granted — wait for it — a “Freedom Award”.

Yes, Microsoft.

The “Freedom” company.

Who was this award given by? It’s the Office of Secretary of Defense. From the press release.

Microsoft Recognized by the Office of Secretary of Defense With Freedom Award

Joining 14 other companies from around the country, Microsoft Corp. is being honored in Washington this week by President Barack Obama and Secretary Robert Gates as a top supporter of the National Guard and Reserve. Today, the diverse set of companies, chosen from among a record 3,200 National Guard and Reserve member nominations of employers, will each receive a 2009 Employer Support Freedom Award from the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Robert Youngjohns, president of Microsoft North America, will accept the award for Microsoft during an award ceremony to be held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington.

Let us remember that Bill Gates and Obama are no strangers. In fact, Gates paid Obama and that’s just how politics work. The above “award” is something for Microsoft to brag about to clients, pretending it can deliver security. It’s like a publicity stunt that ignores reality.

To make matters worse, Microsoft now intervenes with government finances. It wants to manage the bailout money (public looting by banks), which is not particularly surprising [1, 2, 3, 4]. Here is the press release from Monday.

BNY Mellon and Microsoft Corp. Launch New Solution to State and Local Governments for Managing Stimulus Funds

BNY Mellon today announced it has executed an agreement with Microsoft Corp. to bring to market a solution for project fund administration, tracking and reporting to aid state and local governments with their requirements related to the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).

There is some more coverage of this, but it all neglects to mention the irony of putting a convicted monopoly in such a position where it gets to converge with the government. Microsoft has already abused taxpayers’ money to build a bridge for itself, leading to great controversy.

How the Gates Foundation Privatises Africa

Posted in Africa, Bill Gates, Deception, Microsoft at 3:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Kenya, Africa - agriculture

Summary: Exploration of the relationship between the Gates Foundation and Monsanto

Microsoft’s colonisation in Africa is a subject that we last covered earlier this year. It is a complicated and long subject, but our reader Scientes responded specifically to yesterday's post about the Gates Foundation, doing so by showing this article from earlier this month. It alludes to some of the things we previously wrote about, including genetically-modified crops and their relation to Bill Gates.

The preference for private sector contributions to agriculture shapes the Gates Foundation’s funding priorities. In a number of grants, for instance, one corporation appears repeatedly–Monsanto. To some extent, this simply reflects Monsanto’s domination of industrial agricultural research. There are, however, notable synergies between Gates and Monsanto: both are corporate titans that have made millions through technology, in particular through the aggressive defense of proprietary intellectual property. Both organizations are suffused by a culture of expertise, and there’s some overlap between them. Robert Horsch, a former senior vice president at Monsanto, is, for instance, now interim director of Gates’s agricultural development program and head of the science and technology team. Travis English and Paige Miller, researchers with the Seattle-based Community Alliance for Global Justice, have uncovered some striking trends in Gates Foundation funding. By following the money, English told us that “AGRA used funds from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to write twenty-three grants for projects in Kenya. Twelve of those recipients are involved in research in genetically modified agriculture, development or advocacy. About 79 percent of funding in Kenya involves biotech in one way or another.” And, English says, “so far, we have found over $100 million in grants to organizations connected to Monsanto.”

This isn’t surprising in light of the fact that Monsanto and Gates both embrace a model of agriculture that sees farmers suffering a deficit of knowledge–in which seeds, like little tiny beads of software, can be programmed to transmit that knowledge for commercial purposes. This assumes that Green Revolution technologies–including those that substitute for farmers’ knowledge–are not only desirable but neutral. Knowledge is never neutral, however: it inevitably carries and influences relations of power.

Is anyone in this case participating in an experiment for the potential of long-term profit? This is already done at a pharmaceutical level. The population is made dependent on American patents (medicine and agriculture) and those who benefit incidentally receive endorsements and heavy investments in them from the likes of the Gates Foundation, which in turn profits.

Microsoft Found Guilty of Breaking Korean Law for Second Time This Year

Posted in Asia, Law, Microsoft at 3:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

South Korea building - death defying

Summary: Microsoft broke the law again, essentially by bundling rather than competing

KOREA takes antitrust laws seriously. It has already addressed Intel's crimes and found Microsoft guilty some months ago, having studied this for a while. Recently, Korea was also a victim of Windows zombies. Korea chose ODF and rejected OOXML, so more sanity seems to prevail there as far as technology is concerned.

Right now, according to reports, Microsoft is declared guilty of breaching antitrust laws, yet again.

A South Korean court ruled that global software giant Microsoft Corp. broke anti-trust laws by bundling programs with its Windows operating system, local media reported Monday.

In a case filed by local software company Dideonet, the Seoul Central District Court ruled against Microsoft on Friday, saying its bundling the Windows Media Service with the Windows operating system violated fair competition regulations by infringing upon consumers’ right to free choice and obstructing fair competition among rival firms.

Korea Times has more to say:

A Korean court ruled Monday that Microsoft Corp.’s bundling practice was disruptive to the market, but stopped short of ordering it to pay damages.

The American press, unlike the Korean press, hardly covered this news. It mostly passed on copies of the translation to English and no major Web site appears to have covered it. Why is that?

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: September 19th, 2009

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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To use your own IRC client, join channel #boycottnovell in FreeNode.

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