02.10.10

Microsoft’s Touch of Death

Posted in Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 6:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“I once preached peaceful coexistence with Windows. You may laugh at my expense — I deserve it.”

Be’s CEO Jean-Louis Gassée

Summary: Microsoft continues to ruin companies that it is getting in contact with

WHENEVER Microsoft touches something, that something usually perishes at the end. A few months ago, a Microsoft insider/partner warned everyone that Microsoft “destroys” partners. We have given many examples of companies that lost their GNU/Linux focus after Microsoft deals and the latest one is FAST. Another example would be Yahoo!, which Microsoft has been harassing for 2 years now (it started in February 2008). Watch Yahoo! as it shuts down yet another part of its business.

This is the latest in a long list of properties Yahoo has shut down over the last year, including GeoCities, Jumpcut and Farechase. A Yahoo spokeswoman says that the company decided no longer to maintain a standalone tech site because it is “increasing investment in some areas while scaling back in others” as part of its effort “to build products and services that deliver the best possible experiences for consumers.”

Considering all the talented employees who fled Yahoo! because of Microsoft, it is safe to attribute this gradual destruction/implosion to Microsoft’s “touch of death”. It poisons everything. With the help of its MVP and board member (at the CodePlex Foundation), Microsoft is also poisoning GNU/Linux, putting inside it Mono and Moonlight so as to disseminate Microsoft’s standards-hostile APIs. Miguel de Icaza is doing a lot of the heavy lifting and we were amused to discover that people at FOSDEM 2010 put up a sign on the wall which says “leave it [Mono] in the hallway!” This has nothing to do with us, but it does show that Mono unrest is widespread (correction: it turns out to have been a joke which our informant did not understand). In fact, one of the big proponents of Ubuntu, who also deploys it in products for a living, is so upset by Ubuntu’s inclusion of Mono that he resorted to comparing Canonical to Microsoft. This rant of his is counter-productive as it only serves Microsoft’s agenda of poisoning good projects. But anyway, here are the concerns about Ubuntu (which Canonical can hopefully address):

I am not trying to incite riots or wars in the halls of residence or corridors of power but Canonical/Ubuntu is starting to catch more “bad karma” than is healthy for it IMHO.

* Let’s start with Mono. Yep. It’s been a prickly thorn for many and the concerns expressed are not going away. There’s no point in raking over the old ground; it is just one of the bad-karma attractants in a growing list.
* Then we have Ubuntu One. Proprietary, closed, caused much debate and friction when announced and now the possibility of a Windows version too.
* Next comes dumping GIMP, OOo and other much-loved applications from the default installation of versions of the forthcoming distribution.
* Then the discussion about what closed/proprietary applications should be made available in the Ubuntu repositories.
* Then we have the change of the default search engine from Google to Microsoft Yahoo.
* Then Matt Asay joins as COO which should be, and probably is, good news. Matt is well known, respected and experienced, yet some of his prodigious public commentary tugs at the heartstrings of many a Freedom Fighter.

Earlier this week we wrote about a Mono project called Pinta, which turns out to be developed by a Novell employee. Here is what Jan from Red Hat told me about it yesterday: “as expected and just in time for ubuntu – the mono based paint app http://pinta-project.com/” (developed by the guy who was porting Paint.NET).

“Later this year, the GIMP will be released with a single-window option, which ought to appease those who complain about the user interface.”Our reader Pawel has just shown us this new article about Pinta, calling it “another .NET-infected app” and adding that “idiots even released this under MIT X11 license” (just like Banshee, which is also a Mono application from Novell that only SLED users can safely deploy).

Well, to be fair, there is no indication that Ubuntu will adopt Pinta, but either way, polls in Ubuntu Forums indicate that most people want the GIMP back. Later this year, the GIMP will be released with a single-window option, which ought to appease those who complain about the user interface. As for disk space, a lot can be saved by removing Mono runtime. That would also save memory and remove the patent problem that Jeremy Allison warned about [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. I love Ubuntu and I want it to succeed. These criticisms are defensive and hopefully constructive.

British Library and Microsoft Corrupt the Meaning of “Open Source”

Posted in DRM, Europe, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Open XML, OSI at 5:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Microsoft is once again using the British Library to promote its own agenda and extend its grip over society’s assets

THE British Library is tied to a lot of Microsoft scandals [1, 2, 3, 4]. This post won’t discuss these older scandals, but readers can rest assured that the British Library, which is funded by taxpayers, played a role in the OOXML corruptions. It also promoted Microsoft products and DRM. It’s really that bad. The British Library sometimes seems like a victim of Microsoft infiltration into key positions (a bit like the BBC [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]), but we do not have the names of such people, except Adam Farquhar who has been pivotal to the Microsoft scandals at the British Library).

The British Library is now embarking on a project that not only brings Microsoft deeper into the heart of the public’s common property but also helps Microsoft pretend that it’s “open”. Here is an article on the subject:

The Research Information Centre (RIC) Framework v1.0 released this week has been designed to help international researchers collaborate more effectively. Hosted via Microsoft’s open source Codeplex project and based on Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Platform, the “virtual research environment” allows researchers to create and share content and also work on specific issues such as funding proposals, the organisations claim.

As Dana Blankenhorn correctly points out:

OK, where’s the catch?

Built on top of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007, the RIC extends the core MOSS functionality to meet the needs to academic researchers engaged in collaborative research projects

Gee, doc, you’re not a Microsoft shop? Even if you can connect with these resources, you’re always going to be second-class in a group project that depends on them.

Which is sort of the point. To Microsoft open source is not an end in itself. It is a marketing tool. It is a way to gain lock-in with important customer sets.

Glyn Moody, a Brit, calls the British Library the “Betrayed Library”. It’s getting easier to see why.

Harper’s Article on Bill Gates Turning Hunger Into Profit

Posted in Asia, Bill Gates, Deception, Microsoft, Security at 5:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Gates has created a huge blood-buying operation that only cares about money, not about people.”

AIDS organisation manager, December 2009 (New York Times)

Gates at Harper's Magazine

Summary: The article “Can Bill Gates turn hunger into profit?” is available online

LAST WEEK we presented an essay from Frederick Kaufman, who explained how the Gates Foundation may help the acquisition of a monopoly on food (insisting on a single route). With three books, Kaufman is an expert on the subject. It turns out that his long article (as seen above) is available online and here are some highlights:

Gates, Sheeran explained, was going to help the WFP expand its program of local purchasing to small farmers and grain traders in the farther reaches of their client nations. Such purchases, as logistically difficult as they might be, would increase and support the agricultural efforts of these so-called smallholders. “This is the next wave of the story,” said Sheeran.

Grain purchases from small farmers and traders would put cash into the hands of hundreds of thousands of people and encourage farmers to plant and harvest more and more food. In addition, the WFP would put these farmers in contact with other groups, who would in turn help them acquire better seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides, more advanced irrigation systems, larger warehouse facilities, and improved access to roads. Thus could a poverty-stricken peasant move from being a recipient of food aid one year, to creating a bit of surplus the next, to making a profitable business out of it a few years down the line—and supplying food for others.

In order to realize these plans, the World Food Program would guarantee a market where none might now exist. They would do so, in part, by “forward contracting,” whereby the WFP would promise to purchase a certain amount of a farmer’s output, at a certain price, either one, two, or three years down the line. Such guarantees would give small farmers the incentive to plant more crops, since they could count on an eventual market for their goods. A WFP contract might even help farmers get credit from the local bank, or perhaps a bit of crop insurance.

Josette Sheeran told me the acronym for her pilot program: P4P, which stands for Purchase for Progress. The $76 million program would be funded by the Howard G. Buffet Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the government of Belgium. In its first year of forward contracting, P4P would commit the World Food Program to purchasing 40,000 tons of food from 350,000 small farmers. “We are studying a proposal with Bill Gates on a way to do the contract,” Sheeran said.

[...]

Bill Gates. Why, despite our spending more money than had ever been spent to solve the problem of world hunger, and why, despite everybody’s best efforts to reconceptualize the problem—why were more and more people going hungry? Perhaps Gates would consider the paradox that our efforts might be exacerbating the problem, that all we were doing was wrong. Obviously, this was not the kind of thing I could vet beforehand with a publicist, or send over to media@gatesfoundation.org expecting a response. The nature of the question seemed to defy reason. Which was why I went to visit Amartya Sen.

GatesKeepers, a site that’s critical of the Gates Foundation, has just paid attention to Microsoft’s attitude towards China following the attacks that relied on defective Microsoft software [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12]. “If the Gates Foundation cares about the health and development of people in China,” says GatesKeepers, “then it could lobby Microsoft to make safer software.” The Gates Foundation also ought to make/advance safer foods, but instead it promotes the experimental, patent-encumbered seeds from Monsanto. Details below.

  1. With Microsoft Monopoly in Check, Bill Gates Proceeds to Creating More Monopolies
  2. Gates-Backed Company Accused of Monopoly Abuse and Investigated
  3. How the Gates Foundation Privatises Africa
  4. Reader’s Article: The Gates Foundation and Genetically-Modified Foods
  5. Monsanto: The Microsoft of Food
  6. Seeds of Doubt in Bill Gates Investments
  7. Gates Foundation Accused of Faking/Fabricating Data to Advance Political Goals
  8. More Dubious Practices from the Gates Foundation
  9. Video Transcript of Vandana Shiva on Insane Patents
  10. Explanation of What Bill Gates’ Patent Investments Do to Developing World
  11. Black Friday Film: What the Bill Gates-Backed Monsanto Does to Animals, Farmers, Food, and Patent Systems
  12. Gates Foundation Looking to Destroy Kenya with Intellectual Monopolies
  13. Young Napoleon Comes to Africa and Told Off
  14. Bill Gates Takes His GMO Patent Investments/Experiments to India
  15. Gates/Microsoft Tax Dodge and Agriculture Monopoly Revisited
  16. Beyond the ‘Public Relations’
  17. UK Intellectual Monopoly Office (UK-IPO) May be Breaking the Law
  18. “Boycott Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in China”
  19. The Gates Foundation Extends Control Over Communication with Oxfam Relationship

Even Windows Fans Turn Their Backs on Vista 7 Hype

Posted in Microsoft, Vista, Vista 7, Windows at 5:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Vista 7

Summary: Vista 7 enters the status phase of Windows Vista (as of late 2007)

SOME THINGS never change. Yesterday we posted a detailed analysis of some of the latest Vista 7 flaws (which are merely some among many more).

Microsoft apologist Adrian Kingsley-Hughes has just done that as well. He titled it “The Windows 7 honeymoon is over”

Over the past few weeks, Windows 7 has been hit by several problems, which while being high profile, may or may not only exist in the minds of the users. There’s been the battery issue, where users claim that Windows 7 is causing battery deterioration, and on top of that claims that a reliability patch released by Microsoft is actually causing problems. According to Microsoft, the battery issue is a non-issue and Windows 7 is working normally, and the company is investigating claims that the reliability patch is causing BSoDs and startup/shutdown issues.

We rarely link to Kingsley-Hughes because he is a lover of Windows. But this actually adds to the magnitude of his criticism above. This is not just some “Windows basher” tarnishing the reputation of Vista 7 in this case; it’s a proponent of Windows reaching the conclusion that things are going wrong.

“Well the initial impression is how much it [Windows 7] looks like Vista. Which I think is…uh…the thing I’m not supposed to say.”

Microsoft Jack Schofield

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