01.24.10

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Huffington Post Lets Microsoft Lie and Lie and Lie

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, FUD, Google, GPL, Microsoft, Security at 9:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The Huffington Post is becoming filled with top Microsoft employees who use the publication for their lobbying that relies upon lies

A PUBLICATION is heading in the wrong direction when it decides to give room for convicted offenders to speak out, and moreover to spread a lot of lies. Yesterday we wrote about what was happening in the Huffington Post, whose accommodation of the whole Gates family adds an affiliation with white-collar criminals. As the screenshots above show (all from January), this has become a disturbing pattern. A few days ago, Microsoft’s Smith started lobbying Obama for almost-warrantless snoops and last night we included a link that shows the Obama administration defending the FBI’s violation of laws amid a snooping scandal (which the EFF is suing over). Microsoft’s lobbying for more of it is a subject we wrote about earlier and guess who is helping Microsoft by giving them a platform? That’s right, the Huffington Post.

“As the screenshots above show (all from January), this has become a disturbing pattern.”Gates, Ballmer, and Smith, all of whom happen to have also personally paid Obama, just treat the Huffington Post like it’s their blog. Microsoft’s new lobbying blog attracts very poor readership, so it would not serve them as much as this Huffington Post placement where Microsoft is being extremely dishonest. Brad Smith, Microsoft’s general counsel, says: “Modernization of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act so law enforcement has the tools it needs to go after malicious hackers and deter instances of online-based crimes;…”

Over at Groklaw, Pamela Jones replies by saying: “How about Microsoft improves its software instead, so it isn’t so easy to break in? Or simpler, how about when Microsoft is informed of a security problem in its software in September, or August, it doesn’t wait to fix it until Google and other companies are hacked into by means of that very security breach in January? And how would a US law stop Chinese hackers? Really, just fix your software, please. That really would help a lot more than local laws.

Jones refers to the recent Internet Explorer fiasco [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9], which cost a lot of money, caused a lot of suffering, led to diplomatic tensions, and was caused due to Microsoft’s utter negligence [1, 2, 3].

It brings us back to the Huffington Post. Why would they want to support systematic liars and spinners? This is not healthy to readers.

“Really, just fix your software, please. That really would help a lot more than local laws.”
      –Pamela Jones
Gates is deliberately lying about Free software and spreading the illusion that it is naturally unfit for business. Such FUD is having an effect. This press release from a few days ago says: “GPL licence with a level of service usually associated with commercial business software…”

What are they trying to say? That GPL and “commercial business software” are contradictory? This is partly the result of Microsoft indoctrination, although Microsoft is not the only company responsible for this FUD.

The Gates Foundation is a self-serving financial vehicle which Digital Copyright Canada has just accused of engaging in “pseudo-philanthropy” which is “actively involved with making a variety of “teaching” (sharing of knowledge) expensive and/or illegal.”

You forgot the real issue here, which is that Bono, Gates and similar pseudo-philanthropists are actively involved with making a variety of “teaching” (sharing of knowledge) expensive and/or illegal. This is the core of what Bono is ranting about this time, suggesting the world’s governments should go as far as the human rights violations in China to (theoretically — no proof of “benefit”) grant him more money.

There are those who think that making knowledge scarce, including criminalising private citizens owning and controlling their own communications technology, is the only way to make it possible to pay authors/inventors for their important contributions to society.

The scary thing ought to be that Gates is even controlling educational systems now. See for example:

  1. Bill Gates Puts in a Million to Ratify His Role as Education Minister
  2. How the Gates Foundation is Used to Ensure Children Become Microsoft Clients
  3. More Dubious Practices from the Gates Foundation
  4. Microsoft Builds Coalitions of NGOs, Makes Political and Educational Changes
  5. Microsoft’s EDGI in India: Fighting GNU/Linux in Education
  6. Microsoft’s Gates Seeks More Monopolies
  7. Gates Foundation Funds Blogs to Promote Its Party Line
  8. Microsoft Bribes to Make Education Microsoft-based
  9. Lobbyists Dodge the Law; Bill Gates Lobbies the US Education System with Another $10 Million
  10. Gates Investments in Education Criticised; Monsanto (Gates-Backed) Corruption Revisited
  11. Latest Vista 7 Failures and Microsoft Dumping

What will Gates teach our children about Free (as in freedom, not zero-cost) software and sharing?

“There’s free software and then there’s open source… there is this thing called the GPL, which we disagree with.”

Bill Gates, April 2008

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7 Comments

  1. your_friend said,

    January 24, 2010 at 11:15 am

    Gravatar

    Google can and should help out more to dispel the most serious lie Microsoft is telling. Everyone knows Google but not everyone knows that Google uses free software as a foundation. They could easily correct that with a few free software themed search pages the same way they celebrate other great human achievements. Surely there would be no Google without GNU. People should know and understand this and that software freedom is useful for all sorts of business.

    Unfortunately, Google often promotes non free software over software freedom. There are many reasons for their choice of flash and their optimizations for awful browsers but the net result is to perpetuate these platforms at the expense of software freedom. For example, a Google search for “google software” mostly returns links to Windows and Mac junkware and no mention of Linux, GNU or software freedom is found. It can be further argued that only Windows and Mac users have systems so poor that they need special help from Google. The end result is the same, there is no message of freedom from one of the world’s largest business users and contributors to free software.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Software compatibility may improve when Chrome OS is out in the market. They have begun by steering away from Flash in YouTube (HTML5 but no Ogg yet), so let’s give them the benefit of the doubt and, unless shown otherwise, assume that they mean well.

    Remember that they recently bought codecs assets.

    your_friend Reply:

    My beef is that people don’t know they are using free software when they use Google. This is something that Google may not be aware of and should correct for their own sake. As astounding as it may seem, I run into people who don’t know Google uses Linux, much less what free software is. People will trust Google’s browser and OS more if they learn it’s more of the same stuff they have been using all along.

    Microsoft’s FUD against Google is hitting home and creating the oddest fears. People trust Google, despite massive libel by Microsoft, to return honest and useful search answers. Strangely, people who don’t trust Microsoft worry that Google has “too much power” over information because so many people use the search service. Strangely, they think they might reduce that risk by using a service from a company they know they can’t trust at all. They are oblivious to the monitoring and analysis and ability to steer results that Microsoft and ISPs already have and abuse. False concerns are starting to trump real issues at the expense of those trying to fix the problem. This is typical of Microsoft propaganda, but this set is extremely flimsy and easy to deflate. Google is honest and has to be because it is easy for others to set up similar services.

    Dennis Murczak Reply:

    Power tends to corrupt, that’s why many people don’t trust Google, or other big companies, or governments.

    Personally, I just observe what they do, judge them by their actions, not by what they say, and avoid lock-in. Google doesn’t seem very “evil” or corrupt so far and I use several of their services, but I always leave open backdoors so I can move somewhere else quickly if necessary.

    Being locked in and abused sucks.

    Regarding their use of Free software, probably they don’t market it because of its commodity status. They only market products that are based on it.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Google is not a problem to GNU/Linux users, that’s for sure (Free software withstanding). But some publishers feel differently.

    Jose_X Reply:

    your_friend, I agree strongly with essentially everything you said.

    I’m always for competition or ultimately for restrictions of various sorts set ideally by a government of the population. Rights to life and basics of life of person A trump other’s rights to “indulgent” property. That’s what almost anyone in position A will think, and if there are many A’s you will see action in that direction one way or the other (human nature).

    Google’s corporate plans (like any other “not evil” company that sees huge potential ahead) is to keep growing as much as possible. In their case, they appear to have the raw ingredients (mostly in terms of market and tactical position, human resources, etc) to go very far. It’s for the rest of the world to write in those checks/balances at some point in time.

    Many people at (or who have worked at) Microsoft probably think they are good people who perhaps are even helping to keep an eye on a potential run-away train by being near the controls in case very bad things start to happen (it’s a convenient position for them to be in, of course, for better or worse). Google will be composed of these very same people as well as others with less lofty goals.

    It’s important to keep perspective and be fair to Google without letting them get into a position where they can hurt us too strongly later on. At some point in time, ugly people gain access to the controls if we aren’t very critical. These ambitious people will *eventually* tend to push for stronger and stronger actions that the “nice” people nearby will find difficult to challenge forcefully enough as the time arrives for intervention. As a society, we need to set high expectations and checks/balances, demand them, and always try to find ways to audit. Democratic governments are founded on even loftier goals than was Google, but the same exact thing applies to the former, especially since governments are usually noticeably stronger than are individual companies. [Apparently, we want government to keep an eye on the management of various crucial resources that could easily result in imbalances and bloody encounters, presumably to a greater degree than when government (of people) is involved. But any form of control involves a trade-off of liberties. We need to be demanding and preferably include openness as one of our demands upon these large entities around us. As was stated, power corrupts....]

    Microsoft will eventually almost surely bias the views people get of “open source”. Google can counter that in a better way, but they too will be biased.

    Both Google and Microsoft should have to adhere to a set of laws that give the population voting rights to certain services and policies at these companies. Eventually this will likely happen if serious competition does not come about over the next few decades.

    your_friend Reply:

    I would not compare Microsoft and Google except to show the difference between night and day. It does not matter what most people at Microsoft think they are doing when convicted criminals are the ones directing them. Microsoft is a known bad organization who’s leaders clearly want to destroy or own all software and charge for all computing services. Google simply offers services that users can take or leave but mostly take because other service providers have chosen to suck by comparison. Reasonable laws and proper enforcement of existing laws would prevent much of the abuse that has given rise to Google’s dominance of services.

    One of the reasons Microsoft hates Google is because Google is routing around much of the damage Microsoft and ISPs have inflicted. Each time Google offers a service that does not suck, they take power away from the Microsoft monopoly. They offer searches that aim to be fair by statistics, email that users can access with multiple clients and archive, chat that works and will soon provide video, news and financial services and so on and so forth. In each of these services, Google gives users as much access to their information as they can, where other companies do not. The Microsoft munchkins have said, “look at the power Google has with all of this information!” by they are hypocrites because Microsoft took far more and gave less back in return. Email is an excellent example. Besides wrecking Hotmail, Microsoft pushed ISPs to use their terrible IIS based Live mail for customers in order to push Windows and Outlook. Microsoft and Yahoo services offered no way for users to download and archive their mail for themselves and most ISPs keep coppies of user email after the user deletes it. Google’s services always put traditional telco offerings to shame and embarrasses Microsoft. People see that there’s better things in the world and wonder why they use Windows at all.

    As a free software advocate, I want people to be able to run services for themselves. Especially important is encrypted communications. Microsoft has been at the forefront of making that impossible. They are responsible for blocked ports, unimplemented standards and other mischief. Google’s rescue is not something that makes me demand my freedom any less, but it is something I’m glad to have until Microsoft fails and ISPs begin to undo the damage done.

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