12.03.09

With Microsoft Monopoly in Check, Bill Gates Proceeds to Creating More Monopolies

Posted in Bill Gates, Microsoft, Patents at 9:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“The chief of malaria for the World Health Organization has complained that the growing dominance of malaria research by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation risks stifling a diversity of views among scientists and wiping out the world health agency’s policy-making function.

“In a memorandum, the malaria chief, Dr. Arata Kochi, complained to his boss, Dr. Margaret Chan, the director general of the W.H.O., that the foundation’s money, while crucial, could have “far-reaching, largely unintended consequences.”

“Many of the world’s leading malaria scientists are now “locked up in a ‘cartel’ with their own research funding being linked to those of others within the group,” Dr. Kochi wrote. Because “each has a vested interest to safeguard the work of the others,” he wrote, getting independent reviews of research proposals “is becoming increasingly difficult.”

“Also, he argued, the foundation’s determination to have its favored research used to guide the health organization’s recommendations “could have implicitly dangerous consequences on the policy-making process in world health.””

New York Times, 2008

Summary: Bill Gates professionally tied to Tony Blair, lobbies the FCC, promotes agricultural and pharmaceutical monopolists

DESPITE the new image Bill Gates buys for himself using PR agents*, too many people are aware of his real motives, which are similar to what they have always been. Having monopolised parts of the computing industry using illegal activities, Gates is now doing something similar in other areas such as agriculture and medicine. We gave elaborate explanations and examples before. Even renowned people have made similar accusations against Gates, but they are facing a massive PR campaign which Gates’ PR people constantly bombard the media with.

According to this revealing new research from The Guardian (UK), there is a financial link between Tony Blair (former British Prime Minister) and Bill Gates’ foundation. People have always joked about the personal relationship between those two, but now there appears to be a professional link too.

• Can you explain what funds are paid into the Windrush Ventures No3 LP partnership, by whom and why? Both the Gates Foundation and the Gatsby Foundation list payments in to this unusual partnership, and according to the FT, these are for charitable Africa projects. But the sums listed are much less than the £6.4m fee for “management services” which the partnership pays out to other Blair entities, plus a listed profit.

[...]

I note that Mr Blair has refused to answer any of our specific questions.

In other news this week, Gates the lobbyist [1, 2, 3] is at it again, looking to influence the FCC, which is already in Microsoft’s pocket anyway [1, 2, 3].

Both Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Google’s Larry Page are said to have personally lobbied the FCC in favor of the use of white spaces.

Didn’t Mr. Gates say that he was “retiring” to do “charitable” work?

This brings us to some news about patents, which Gates is aggressively lobbying for, as well. He knows that patents are beneficial to monopolists**, such as those he is advancing (not just Microsoft anymore). Here is a software patent being shot down:

Federal Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment of Obviousness for Bulk EMail Patent

[...]

Claim Construction: Interestingly, the court issued its summary judgment order prior to claim construction. The Federal Circuit found no error because construction of the disputed claim terms would not have changed the obviousness outcome.

FFII’s president tells us that “the judge considers that MP3 is patentable because of the technical effect trick” and he also shows us this new article about IBM’s lobbying for software patents.

In a September blog I took IBM to the woodshed for its stance on Bilski. Big Blue filed an amicus brief (PDF) that I argued was disingenuous at best. IBM argued:

Patent protection has promoted the free sharing of source code…which has fueled the explosive growth of open source software development.

Really?!?

IBM was not alone. Novartis, the big pharmaceutical company, also filed a supporting brief.

We wrote about IBM's selfishness when it comes to software patents and also about Novartis [1, 2, 3, 4]. It brings us back to the relationship between Bill Gates and the pharmaceutical cartel [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8], which is similar to his relationship with Monsanto (see links at the bottom of this post). Not so long ago, the court declared the USDA approval of Monsanto’s sugar beets illegal, but for how long will it stand in the face of lobbying from the likes of Bill Gates?

In October 2009, the Center for Food Safety scored a significant victory with a court ruling declaring the USDA’s approval of Monanto’s sugar beets illegal. This victory followed a similar win on GE alfalfa. The courts based their rulings on the fact that the USDA didn’t produce an environmental impact statement.

And yet, Gates is funding/protecting/promoting such a monopolist striving to control the world’s sugar, which is not even properly tested for safety. Once a monopolist, always a monopolist.

Related posts:

____
* Part of it is an investment vehicle called the Gates Foundation, similar to Rockefeller’s and even the Mellon Foundation. Rich men’s foundations are typically constructed by PR experts to deceive future generations and portray robber barons as saviours or guardians of society (while enjoying certain benefits like tax relaxation).

** Gates complained about and even denounced patents before he had a monopoly.

Less OpenSUSE, More Microsoft Software at Novell

Posted in Europe, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, OpenSUSE, Patents at 8:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Nomo

Summary: Microsoft focus at Novell is revisited now that SaX2 is put aside and FOSDEM gives Mono a room

Egbert Eich has announced that a S.u.S.E. selling point, SaX2, is to hit the binary graveyard. This is sad because back in 2004 or 2005 I contacted its creator with a suggestion. SaX2 was a fantastic tool at the time and other GNU/Linux distributions lacked it. So where is OpenSUSE heading when it come to added value? For all it seems, Novell spends a lot of resources making GNU/Linux more like Microsoft (beyond Windows).

Now here is a curious sight. We previously wrote about Novell bias at FOSDEM [1, 2, 3] (Novell is a major FOSDEM sponsor) and in the next FOSDEM there will also be a special room for the Mono crowd. Why do they need a separate room? It only comes to show how they blend (or hardly blend) with the rest of the GNU/Linux development community. Here are the details:

I am very pleased to announce that in 2010, for the first time ever, we will have a Mono developer room at FOSDEM. This room is organized by Stephane and me, with the kind input of Andreia and many others.

This idea of separation into “Mono” and “non-Mono” is rather familiar because of Ubuntu’s “free speech zones” (mentioned here). The short story is that Ubuntu set aside complaints about Mono and diverted these to a separate forum. This type of division receives endorsement from Novell's de Icaza of Microsoft's CodePlex Foundation. Maybe they can use their special room to discuss the “superb” OOXML, have a session on the joys of .NET, and end with some “drooling” over Silverlight [1, 2].

Interestingly enough, Mono is holding joint events with Microsoft, e.g. MonoSpace [1, 2, 3, 4]. This type of fusion leads to tension or confusion. It also leads to a fragmentation in direction.

As an aside, the GNU/Linux-hostile Forrester (Microsoft paid them for anti-Linux [1, 2]) still has a special blog in ZDNet, which is neither particularly surprising nor new. We complained about messages that came from there before and a couple of days ago Forrester’s James Staten made this improper comparison:

To address the technical side, VMware said it will take a three-way partnership between it, AMD, and Intel jointly testing, qualifying, and then supporting this solution. Such a partnership is certainly feasible; it would be similar to the joint integration efforts by Microsoft and Novell to ensure Linux and Windows integration.

The key difference is that Novell and Microsoft built a partnership all around software patents and exclusion of competitors using those patents. This is not at all the case when it comes to hypervisors and chipmakers.

OpenLogic — Like Novell — Supports Red Hat Clone

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Oracle, Red Hat, Servers, SLES/SLED at 8:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Crowd

Summary: The Red Hat Enterprise Linux clones debate returns as a company with Microsoft connections adds a new service

OpenLogic is a company which is run by a former Microsoft employee and its latest news got mentioned in this post and also mailed to us by OpenLogic itself. Now, to be fair, OpenLogic means well but the conflict of interests involving OpenLogic and Microsoft is a subject that we covered in:

“So just like Novell, OpenLogic is hoovering revenue sources, which CentOS could definitely use.”As we showed some months ago, Novell is trying to get CentOS users to move to the Microsoft-taxed SLES. In order to do so, Justin Steinman and others proudly announced that they would support CentOS users throughout a migration. This is actually more of a step that’s intended to hurt Red Hat. What OpenLogic does at the moment is good in the sense that it offers support to existing CentOS users (and lifts the “enterprise” credibility of CentOS), but it comes at the expense of Red Hat. So just like Novell, OpenLogic is hoovering revenue sources, which CentOS could definitely use. Such a move will maybe hurt CentOS experts too — those who already offer support for it (alongside RHEL).

Here is a good new article about the subject. It also alludes to Red Hat.

Free, community-driven versions of Linux don’t often benefit from commercial enterprise support efforts.

For CentOS, that’s now about to change. The clone of Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) Enterprise Linux is now being commercially supported by services vendor OpenLogic.

[...]

It’s unclear how Red Hat will respond to the new offering. A Red Hat spokesperson was not immediately available for comment. The company told InternetNews.com in 2007 that it viewed CentOS positively for encouraging participation in Red Hat Enterprise Linux’s development community and for broadening the distro’s user base.

But now, OpenLogic admits that its addition of commercial support is likely to have some negative impact for Red Hat.

What does Red Hat say about all this? The same author writes about it in his blog.

Why Red Hat doesn’t see CentOS as a Linux rival

I wrote a story yesterday about CentOS (the Red Hat Enterprise Linux clone) getting commercial support from OpenLogic. One thing that isn’t in the posted story, that I’ve always been curious about, is why Red Hat itself doesn’t go after CentOS users in an effort to convert them to paid Red Hat support.

The impact of OpenLogic’s move is to be seen, but there is probably no hidden agenda. It is not as though Oracle behaved better when it rebranded RHEL “Unbreakable” and took support contracts from Red Hat.

Microsoft ‘Innovates’ Microblogging, Buys User Accounts, Followers Spoil Google Wave

Posted in Google, Marketing, Microsoft at 7:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Noisy miner

Summary: Microblogging is ‘embraced’ by Microsoft, but not exactly in the ethical ways one might expect (or not expect, depending on prior convictions)

ONE of our regulars, who goes by the name of Goblin (he prefers anonymity), has spent the past few months tracking and exposing Microsoft AstroTurfing. It is him, for example, who managed to unmask Andre Da Costa [1, 2], whom Microsoft ‘compensated’ for his promotion of Microsoft, under pseudonyms. Goblin has actually developed software to analyse patterns and help identify those whom he eventually exposes, including AstroTurfers in Twitter.com.

According to Goblin, the Microsoft crowd is ruining Google Wave, which directly competes with almost-analogous Microsoft software.

As more of the Microsoft faithful discover Google Wave we can (IMO) expect more of this behaviour and perhaps highlights an issue which Google need to sort out quickly in respect of features, that being, only the creator of a wave can delete it and users own comments cannot be edited by any other user. Its a shame that there are people so frightened of an alternative to Microsoft that they have to engage in actions like this. Its also a shame that I believe the creator of this wave actually is a Windows 7 user and now they too have had their first experience of the Microsoft faithful.

Goblin also wrote about MSNBC/Microsoft’s acquisition of popular Twitter accounts, such as the case we wrote about yesterday. He adds this to the news about Microsoft ‘stealing’ Twitter’s idea.

Microsoft (masters of Innovation as many of their faithful will like you to believe) have just taken another step in trying to create a popular web service of some description (any description in my opinion) Looking at Bing and also considering Google apps, its easy to see why this next piece of news has happened (IMO).

Its being reported that Microsoft have “acquired” a Twitter account started by a 19 year old which offered news reports and has over 1 million followers. Michael van Poppel allegedly set up the account two years ago and on December the 1st a (very thankful Microsoft I believe) took possession of it.

Another example of Microsoft “not getting it” when they turn to the successes of a 19 year old in order to get their hands on a successful service?

[...]

So why is this a problem? Well its not, however Ive covered those “dubious” Twitter accounts that promote Microsoft products and then suddenly stop when challenged. I’ve covered the Twitter account which was using a legitimate (and innocent) company name to promote Microsoft stock. Who is behind this? I could (and would) not say for sure. I will let you decide however when you see all the Microsoft product RT bots on Twitter, you have to wonder how much is officially Microsoft and how much of the Twitter servers bandwidth is being taken up by the RT of MS PR around it.

[...]

In the first part of this article I covered Microsoft “acquiring” that which it HADN’T innovated, but now we move on to an example of Microsoft Innovation. Im sure you will be impressed as much as I am.

Microsoft China has developed a service called Juku which allows you to post 140 char messages to people in the MSN live network. I have to say that I was blown away at the originality of such a scheme. ;)

There is more information about it here.

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