Sep 20

Microsoft Announces $40BN Share Buyback 1 Month After Its Largest Bond Offering Ever:

Just 1 month after completing its largest bond offering ever, Microsoft has announced the approval of an incremental $40BN share repurchase equal to roughly 9% of its outstanding shares.

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Jun 13

Microsoft Buys LinkedIn For $196/Share In $26.2 Billion Deal:

Merger monday is back with a bang, when moments ago Microsoft announced that it would buy LinkedIn for $196/share, a massive 50% premium to the Friday closing price of $131. The total deal size is $26.2 billion and according to the press release, MSFT will finance the transaction primarily through the issuance of new debt. Indicatively, almost exactly one year ago, LNKD was trading at $300.

Microsoft, which will pay a $725 million termination fee if the deal does not go through, warns that the deal will only become accretive in 2019. This means many synergies are coming for the tech company.

Microsoft also reiterated its intention to complete its existing $40 billion share repurchase authorization by Dec. 31, 2016. Continue reading »

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May 29

Bill Gates says we need higher taxes to help the poor. Jeremy Paxman asks why Microsoft have comitted to Tax Avoidance. Hypocrisy at its finest.:

 

We don’t really need higher taxes for any purpose though. We don’t have a balanced budget. So “there’s only so much money to go around” is a false proposition.

There’s no money to help the poor because there’s no political incentive to help the poor.

The availability of money is not the problem.

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May 25

In Today’s Layoff News: Microsoft Fires 1,850; Intel Cuts 350; Shell Terminating 2,200:

How do you know the Fed is justified in hiking again, the economy is recovering, and the market are zooming higher? One hint is the just announced thousands in layoffs in both the energy and tech sector, among which are Shell, which announced it would layoff 2,200 jobs; Microsoft reporting it would cut 1,850; and Intel terminating up to 350 jobs in Germany.

The details: Continue reading »

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Feb 24

Bill Gates Says Apple Is Wrong for Not “Helping” the FBI, Built Back Doors into All Windows Software Since 1999:

It’s all over the news that Bill Gates is coming out publicly admonishing Apple for not bending over backwards to build a skeleton key that unlocks everyone’s cell phones for the FBI in the wake of the San Bernardino shooting. He’s twisting the narrative to make it seem like this skeleton key, once in existence, wouldn’t be used again and again on other people’s phones (and will be forever).

His argument isn’t even a very good one. Continue reading »

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Feb 23

windows-10
In the latest Microsoft bungle, Windows 10 is now forcing users to use Microsoft programs rather than the software they want to use

Windows 10 updates forcing PCs to use Microsoft products on default – and you can’t change it back:

It seems that the saga of Windows 10 problems is never-ending – users are now reporting that the latest Windows 10 update automatically switches a user’s chosen programs over to Microsoft alternatives without permission, and users can’t reset the defaults back to the programs they want to use.

If you’re a windows user, you probably have certain programs that you prefer to use. For example, you might prefer to use the Google Chrome web browser over Firefox to surf the web, or you might be using a photo editing program like IrfanView or Adobe Photoshop, or you might be opening all video files using VLC. Continue reading »

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Nov 16

red-alert

WHAT I HAVE NEXT IS FAR MORE IMPORTANT:

MICROSOFT IS FORCING VEILED UPDATES ONTO COMPUTERS THAT ARE NOT WEB CONNECTED. MICROSOFT IS DOING THIS VIA UNAUTHORIZED WIFI AND CELL CONNECTIONS, EVEN WITH COMPUTERS THAT ARE COMPLETELY ISOLATED WITH PHYSICAL LOCKUP, AND THE OPERATING SYSTEMS REMAIN LOOKING NORMAL DESPITE BEING CHANGED.

Via ANY visible WIFI connection, even ones your computer is not authorized to access, a secret operating system is being rammed onto everyone’s computer RIGHT NOW and changing the operating system to something new. This is happening EVEN IF WINDOWS INSTALLER IS DISABLED AND UPDATES ARE DISABLED, AND THE COMPUTER ITSELF HAS NO INTERNET ACCESS OF ITS OWN. Even if you have never logged onto your neighbor’s wifi and never asked to, EVEN IF YOU NEVER LAUNCH A BROWSER, the operating systems are coming in, and installing themselves IN SECRET. Once the hijacking operating system is installed, I suspect the computers then upload their entire contents to a remote server that commands them to.

I HAVE PROOF, READ THE MAIN REPORT BELOW. THIS IS FAR MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANY “TERROR ATTACK” IN PARIS, WHICH IS PROBABLY JUST ANOTHER PHONY OR FALSE FLAG ANYWAY. Continue reading »

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Aug 29

Microsoft intensifies data collection on Windows 7 and 8 systems (ghacks, Aug 26, 2015):

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Aug 27


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Aug 23

Even when told not to, Windows 10 just can’t stop talking to Microsoft (Ars Technica, Aug 13, 2015):

It’s no wonder that privacy activists are up in arms.

Windows 10 uses the Internet a lot to support many of its features. The operating system also sports numerous knobs to twiddle that are supposed to disable most of these features and the potentially privacy-compromising connections that go with them.

Unfortunately for privacy advocates, these controls don’t appear to be sufficient to completely prevent the operating system from going online and communicating with Microsoft’s servers.

For example, even with Cortana and searching the Web from the Start menu disabled, opening Start and typing will send a request to www.bing.com to request a file called threshold.appcache which appears to contain some Cortana information, even though Cortana is disabled. The request for this file appears to contain a random machine ID that persists across reboots. Continue reading »

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Aug 02

win10sauron

The Surveillance State Goes Mainstream: Windows 10 Is Watching (& Logging) Everything (ZeroHedge, Aug 2, 2015):

If Edward Snowden’s patriotic exposure of all things ‘super secret surveillance state’ in America were not enough, Newsweek reports that, as 10s of millions of hungry PC users download the free upgrade, Windows 10 is watching – and logging and sharing – everything users do… and we mean everything.

From the moment an account is created, Microsoft begins watching. The company saves customers’ basic information – name, contact details, passwords, demographic data and credit card specifics – but it also digs a bit deeper… and finding answers is not easy, as one privacy expert exclaimed, “there is no world in which 45 pages of policy documents and opt-out settings split across 13 different Settings screens and an external website constitutes ‘real transparency’.”

As NewsWeek reports, Continue reading »

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Aug 02

Here is an alternative way to opt out …

Install Linux. (Maybe you have a friend, relative who knows how to do this and can teach you how to work with Linux. Learning something new is good for the brain!)

Turn off the internet connection for Windows.

Go online only with Linux.

Use all the programs you’ve got used to in Windows (while being offline).

This way you could still safely use Windows XP.

… or try to tame the beast …


windows-10-1

Windows 10 is spying on almost everything you do – here’s how to opt out (BGR, July 31, 2015):

Windows 10 is amazing. Windows 10 is fantastic. Windows 10 is glorious. Windows 10 is faster, smoother and more user-friendly than any Windows operating system that has come before it. Windows 10 is everything Windows 8 should have been, addressing nearly all of the major problems users had with Microsoft’s previous-generation platform in one fell swoop.

But there’s something you should know: As you read this article from your newly upgraded PC, Windows 10 is also spying on nearly everything you do.

DON’T MISS: Windows 10: The first 5 things you need to do immediately after you install it

It’s your own fault if you don’t know that Windows 10 is spying on you. That’s what people always say when users fail to read through a company’s terms of service document, right? Continue reading »

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Jul 23

Ready For Oligarchy

How Lobbyists for Monsanto, Exxon Mobil, Microsoft and the Telecom Industry are Bundling Funds for Hillary (Liberty Blitzkrieg, July 21, 2015):

The pantsuit revolutionary is at it again. Once again demonstrating her populist chops by employing the services of lobbyists to bundle millions in campaign funds. It’s no wonder opinion polls on her have been plunging as of late.

We learn from Bloomberg that: Continue reading »

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Jul 08

Windows

Microsoft Fires 7,800: Second Biggest Mass Layoff In Its History (ZeroHedge, July 8, 2015): 

It has been almost exactly one year since Micorsoft announced it would fire a record 18,000 people (surpassing the previous all time high layoff round of 5,800 in 2009) form a company that one upon a time seen as infallible as AAPL. So perhaps in order to release more funds with which to buy back its struggling stock, moments ago Microsoft did what it had to do to make corporate executives richer, and reported it would lay off another 7,700 workers. Continue reading »

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May 20

george-carlin-heres-a-bumper-sticker-id-like-to-see


education-school

Teachers using pens and paper in the classroom “not fair” to students, Microsoft official says (The Georgia Straight, May 15, 2015):

Pens and paper have no place in the modern classroom. And chalkboards? They should be banished from our schools too.

Flashback:

E-book insomnia: Kindles, iPads disrupt sleep patterns

Apple’s Steve Jobs Didn’t Let His Own Children Use iPads

The Ultimate Zombie Tool: ‘Newborn-To-Toddler Apptivity™ Seat For iPad® Device’

Doctors Raise Red Flag: Young Children Should Avoid Using iPads

38% Of Toddlers Use Mobile Devices Under The Age Of Two

Toddlers Becoming So Addicted To iPads They Require Therapy

iPad WiFi Radiation With Wireless Router On (RF Meter with Sound) (Video)

George-Carlin-2

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Nov 26

U.S. student loan debt reaches $1.1 trillion, $4 billion more than all credit-card debt. (InvestmentWatch):

“This Is Madness”(ZeroHedge):

“This has never – ever – happened before in US equity markets.”

Millionaire Chinese businessman bulldozes run down huts in village where he grew up and builds luxury flats for residents instead… for free (Daily Mail):

A millionaire Chinese businessman has bulldozed the wooden huts and muddy roads where he grew up – and built luxury homes for the people who lived there.

Xiong Shuihua was born in Xiongkeng village in the city of Xinyu, southern China and said that his family had always been well looked after and supported by residents in his childhood.

So when the 54-year-old ended up making millions in the steel industry he decided to repay the favour – for free.

Did They Want More Violence In Ferguson? 10 ‘Coincidences’ Too Glaring To Ignore (Economic Collapse):

The following are 10 “coincidences” from Monday night in Ferguson that are too glaring to ignore…

How to talk to the police

Video of the Day – Understanding the 5th Amendment and Why a Law Professor Says “Don’t Talk to Police” (Liberty Blitzkrieg)

Ferguson: The Safety of Citizens is Lost with The Unaccountability of Police — Paul Craig Roberts:

The issue has been cast as white-black racism.

Actually, the situation is far more serious than racism.

US “Secret” Deal With Saudis Backfires After Oil Minister Says US Should Cut First (ZeroHedge):

Who could have seen this coming? With oil prices holding at 4-year lows, heavily pressuring around half of US shale production economics, the “secret” US deal (see here and here) with Saudi Arabia to crush Russia via oil over-supply in a slumping demand world appears to be backfiring rapidly for John Kerry and his strategery team. Capable of withstanding considerably lower prices for longer, Saudi Arabia’s oil minister Ali al-Naimi proclaimed “no one should cut production and the market will stabilize itself,” adding rather ominously (for the US economy and HY default rates), “Why should Saudi Arabia cut? The U.S. is a big producer too now. Should they cut?” With prices expected to drop to $60 on no cut, maybe the “unequivocally good” news for the US economy from lower oil prices should be rethunk.

NSA Backdoor Exploit in Windows 8 Uncovered (InvestmentWatch):

An internal document issued by IT experts working for the German federal government warned national agencies and companies not to use Windows 8. The reason? An alleged backdoor exploit has been discovered, and the details were obtained and published by German site Zeit Online. The leaked message suggests that the NSA likely has access to a hidden feature which apparently can’t be shut off and allows Microsoft to remotely control any computer running the software.The Windows 8 feature under scrutiny by the German government is called Trusted Computing, a backdoor setting established ten years ago by a number of American techgiants including Microsoft, HP and IBM. Trusted Computing is supposed to protect computers from being manipulated by malicious third parties using viruses or other methods. The chip used to install Trusted Computing on Windows 8 computers allegedly offers Microsoft backdoor access, though the implication appears to be that the American company will extend that power to the U.S. government as well.

Microsoft now has robot security guards (DailyDot):

Robots are increasingly replacing humans in a variety of mundane tasks, like bolting a car together or making lollipops, but now they are moving into the security business.

Microsoft recently installed a fleet of 5-feet-tall, 300-pound robots to protect its Silicon Valley campus. The robots are packed with HD security cameras and sensors to take in their organic, protein-based surroundings. There’s also an artificial intelligence on board that can sound alarms when the robot notices something awry. It can also read license plates and cross-reference them to see if they’re stolen.

Dr. Rima E. Laibow: Now a crime in Japan to speak of Fukushima nuclear disaster effects:

Here Comes France: Right-Wing Leader Marine Le Pen Demands Central Bank Repatriate French Gold (ZeroHedge):

First Germany, then the Netherlands, perhaps Switzerland this weekend, and now the French right-wing Front National, which shockingly came first in May’s European parliament elections, and whose leader Marine Le Pen is currently polling in first place in a hypothetical presidential election (in both a first and run off round), ahead of president Hollande, has sent a letter to the governor of the French Central Bank, the Banque de France, demanding that France join the list of nations which have repatriated, or at least tried to, their gold.

Swiss Gold Referendum: What It Really Means — Paul Craig Roberts:

In a few days the Swiss people will go to the polls to decide whether the Swiss central bank is to be required to hold 20% of its reserves in the form of gold. Polls show that the gold requirement is favored by the less well off and opposed by wealthy Swiss invested in stocks. http://snbchf.com/gold/swiss-gold-referendum-latest-news/ These poll results provide new insight into the real reason for Quantitative Easing by the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank.

Not just gold and silver… New lawsuit says precious metals manipulation is even worse (InvestmentWatch):

From Bloomberg: Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) and HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA) were sued in New York over claims they conspired for eight years to manipulate prices for the precious metals platinum and palladium in what plaintiffs’ lawyers say is the first class-action lawsuit of its kind in the U.S.Standard Bank Group Ltd. and a metals unit of BASF SE (BAS), the world’s largest chemical company, were also sued. The four companies used inside information about client purchases and sale orders to profit from price movements for the metals used in products ranging from jewelry to cars, according to a complaint filed yesterday in Manhattan federal court.

The Fed now owns more than 50% of all outstanding 10-15 year Treasuries (InvestmentWatch)

Initial Jobless Claims Spikes Above 300k To 3-Month Highs, Biggest Miss In 11 Months (ZeroHedge):

Having trended gradually higher for the last 5 weeks (missing expectations for 4 of them), initial jobless claims printed an uncomfortable 313k (against expectations of a 288k print – the biggest miss in over 11 months) pushing to its worst level in 3 months. This is the biggest week-over-week rise in almost 4 months. Continuing claims hovers at 14-year lows and dropped this week to 2.316 million. Perhaps worryingly, this rise in initial claims is considerably larger than the average shift for this time of year…

‘Kidnapped boy may have been abused and murdered by VIP paedophile ring,’ say police (Independent):

The family of a missing boy have been told by police that he may have been abducted, abused and murdered by a paedophile ring of leading establishment figures.

Martin Allen, the son of the chauffeur of a Australian high commissioner, went missing aged 15 from King’s Cross on his way to home in Kensington in November 1979.

His brother Kevin, 51, has said he was called by Detective Chief Inspector Diane Tudway of the Metropolitan Police on Friday, who told him she was investigating whether Martin’s disappearance is linked to an alleged ring made up of MPs and senior figures of authority.

Two FBI Agents Shot Near Ferguson Protests (ZeroHedge):

While the second day of protests in Ferguson were far more contained as a result of the tripled presence of national guard troops in the St. Louis suburb, with media instead focusing on events in New York, LA and other major metropolitan centers, St. Louis violence failed to avoid the headlines for another day when shortly before 3 am, two FBI agents were shot early Wednesday morning in north St. Louis County.  The good news according to Reuters, is that this latest assault was “not directly related” to racially charged unrest in and around nearby Ferguson, an agency spokeswoman said.   “The incident is not directly related to the Ferguson protests,” Wu said, but did not elaborate further.

– #LondonToFerguson: Protests spread across London   LIVE UPDATES (RT):

Hundreds of demonstrators marched through central London and occupied Parliament Square, briefly clashing with police, in protest against a US grand jury verdict clearing Darren Wilson – the officer who shot dead black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson.

Thanksgiving mess: Airlines cancel hundreds of flights as storm rips through Northeast (RT):

Airlines in the United States have cancelled nearly 300 flights thus far Wednesday given rain and snow along the East Coast and Appalachians. The heaviest snow through the day is expected just west of the I-95 corridor between Philadelphia and Boston.

Holiday travelers will have to deal with a storm consisting of rain, at times heavy snow, fog, and poor visibility on Thanksgiving Eve, traditionally one of the busiest days for airlines and highways across the US. The regions of New England, the mid-Atlantic, and Appalachia are expected to see the worst winter weather.

–52C in Siberia: Over 70 passengers ‘push’ frozen plane to runway (VIDEO) (RT):

Freezing temperatures didn’t stop intrepid passengers from “helping out” a Russian plane that couldn’t move, because its wheels were frozen to the ground. The “selfie” won the day in a remote Siberian town beyond the Arctic Circle.

74 passengers, who were on board, offered the seven-member crew and technical staff to help move the frozen Tupolev Tu-134 plane to the takeoff runway on Tuesday, a spokeswoman for the UTair company told TASS.

The passengers disembarked to lighten the weight, and then they volunteered to move it,” she said.

T-800

Terminator series – Revelation of the coming A.I. takeover (Intellihub):

I’ll spare you any Arnold impersonations, as The Terminator impersonation is perennially the material of hack comedians. On the contrary, the Terminator series is one of the more profound examples of predictive programming, establishing memes and implanting preparatory ideas comparable to The Matrix. While The Matrix is the classic conspiracy-genre trope for “awakening” to the fraud of the system as a whole, the Terminator series is far more ominous and serious in its foreboding message. Foreboding, because the real shadow government plan is to erect Skynet in reality, and serious because the establishment’s entire paradigm is that of depopulation. Mix the two together, and you get Terminator.  Thus, I have been of the opinion for a few years now that the reason for the erection of A.I., while full of esoteric undertones, is pragmatically about erecting a control grid impervious to human error which will then function as a global human deletion grid.

Save the Children staff furious over ‘morally reprehensible’ award for Tony Blair (Telegraph):

Save the Children faces a revolt by its staff after it gave a “global legacy” award to Tony Blair.

More than 200 of the charity’s employees have signed an internal letter condemning the “morally reprehensible” decision to give the honour to the former prime minister at a ceremony in New York.

The move places in jeopardy the charity’s “credibility”, it warns.

Hacked documents: US sending lethal weapons to Ukraine (Hang The Bankers):

It has been half a year since it was first revealed that the US has been sending non-lethal aid to the Ukraine: recall that it was in early June when Obama announced he had approved $5 million in body armor, night vision goggles and additional communications equipment for the Ukrainian military.

Video: Cops Didn’t Seem to Hesitate for One Second Before Gunning Down 12-Yr-Old Boy (The Daily Sheeple):

While everyone is busy emotionally investing themselves in the muddy waters of the Darren Wilson/Michael Brown police shooting case in Ferguson and the highly orchestrated aftermath, a 12-year-old boy named Tamir Rice was shot and killed by police at an Ohio playground over the weekend reportedly because he was carrying a BB gun that the officers somehow mistook for a real gun and a real threat.

Cop shoots at Florida man rushing home during daughter’s asthma attack (XRepublic):

A Jacksonville sheriff fired shots at an unarmed suspect during a traffic incident Monday, but will not be placed on leave. Officer J.C. Garcia shot at Brian Dennison as the latter was rushing his daughter home in the midst of an asthma attack.

Ferguson brave: Female manager defends her business from looters (VIDEO) (RT)

CAUGHT: Government Creates VIRUS to Attack Russia! Cyber War! (InvestmentWatch):

World’s most advanced hacking spyware let loose
Google’s secret NSA alliance: The terrifying deals between Silicon Valley and the security state
Israeli Test on Worm Called Crucial in Iran Nuclear Delay
“‘if Iran continues with its programme for developing nuclear weapons, we will attack it. The sanctions are ineffective,
Ottawa to spend $200 million on mental health for military 30
Leaked ‘Black Budget’ Shows How The CIA Progressed From Spy Agency To Paramilitary Force

Sources:
http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/8392d1…
http://www.salon.com/2014/11/16/googl…
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/16/wor…
http://www.torontosun.com/2014/11/22/…
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/sci…
http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/medical…
http://tytruth.com
http://www.businessinsider.com/black-…

Solar and Wind Energy Start to Win on Price vs. Conventional Fuels (New York Times):

For the solar and wind industries in the United States, it has been a long-held dream: to produce energy at a cost equal to conventional sources like coal and natural gas.

That day appears to be dawning.

‘$100,000 a year’: Headhunt for drone pilots in USA (RT):

Drone pilots and engineers are certainly careers with a future in the US. Although commercial drones aren’t legal yet, reports reveal that companies are already willing to pay unbelievably high salaries, in the expectation of rules softening.

Severely disabled 19-year-old with a mental age of just five is ordered to have a fitness-to-work test despite not being able to read, write, talk or even sleep on her own (Daily Mail):

Ellie McDonald, 19, suffers from the extremely rare genetic disorder called Chromosome 7 Deletion, which means she is unable to eat, sleep or walk without the help of mother Louise.

In preparation for Ellie leaving her special needs school, her mother and her full-time carer applied for employment support allowance (ESA) to replace their child benefit payments.

But the family were shocked to be told Ellie would need to be tested to rule out her being fit for work – a process Miss McDonald branded ‘bureaucracy gone mad’.

Now, since reports of Ellie’s situation came to light, the Department of Work and Pensions have said she is no longer required to do a Work Capability Assessment.

Jamie Dimon’s Daughter Is Asking You For A Favor (ZeroHedge):

Laura-Dimon

Eating cat for Christmas: Activists call on Swiss parliament to outlaw pet consumption (RT):

Animal rights activists have drawn up a petition to ban the ‘barbaric’ practice of eating pets in Switzerland, where cat meat often appears on traditional Christmas menus in rural areas.

The animal protection group, SOS Chats Noraingue, has handed over a petition with 16,000 signatures, including such notable animal rights defenders as Brigitte Bardot, to the Swiss parliament on Tuesday.

Dog meat is often used to make sausage, while cats are prepared around the holiday season in a similar style to rabbit – in a white wine and garlic sauce. A type of mostbröckli made from marinated cat or dog is another local favorite.

I never dreamed of this
Source: Investors

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Nov 13

Microsoft finally fixes 19-year-old ‘rare, unicorn like’ bug (RT, Nov 12, 2014):

The Microsoft Corporation has finally sorted out a bug that has plagued its Windows operating system undetected for the last 19 years.

The bug was present in every version of Microsoft Windows from Windows 95 onwards, and allows a remote user to take over and control a computer. Continue reading »

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Sep 01

US judge rules Microsoft must handover personal data stored abroad (RT, Aug 31, 2014):

Microsoft has been told it must handover emails stored abroad to US prosecutors by a New York court. However, the software giant says it will fight the ruling, saying that an email deserves the same privacy protection as a paper letter sent by mail.

The company says they will not release any emails to US authorities, while it appeals the ruling, made by Chief Judge Loretta Preska of the US District Court in Manhattan. She said that Microsoft must hand over information, regardless of where it was stored. Continue reading »

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Aug 26

China may unveil homegrown OS rivals to Windows, Google and Apple (RT, Aug 25, 2014):

Following revelations of America’s National Security Agency’s global internet surveillance system, combined with a desire to enhance domestic production, China is beating a path towards unveiling its own operating systems in October.

The Chinese-made substitutes would first be introduced on desktop devices, later expanding to include smartphones and other hand-held devices, Ni Guangnan heads an official operating system development alliance established in March, Xinhau reported at the weekend.

“We hope to launch a Chinese-made desktop operating system by October supporting app stores,” Ni told the trade paper. Continue reading »

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Jul 23

Flashback:

This Is The Government: Your Legal Right To Redeem Your Money Market Account Has Been Denied – THE SEQUEL


Frontrunning: July 23 (ZeroHedge, July 23, 2014):

  • Here come the gates which we predicted in 2010: SEC Is Set to Approve Money-Fund Rules (WSJ)
  • Dick’s cuts 400 jobs as golf now less popular (MW)
  • Kerry arrives in Israel, pushes for peace (Reuters) (Sure!)
  • Pay Penalty Haunts Recession Grads as U.S. Economy Mends (BBG)
  • Appeals Courts Issue Conflicting Rulings on Health-Law Subsidies (WSJ)
  • Rebel Stronghold Donetsk Holds Breath as Shellfire Mounts (BBG)
  • Business executive wins Georgia Republican runoff in U.S. Senate race (Reuters)
  • Five held in China food scandal probe, including head of Shanghai Husi Food (Reuters)
  • Jobs Hold Sway Over Yellen-Carney as Central Banks Splinter (BBG)

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

* Two U.S. appeals courts issued conflicting rulings on subsidies for health coverage purchased on federal insurance exchanges, clouding a major part of Obama’s health law. (http://on.wsj.com/1pb81yo)

* The Federal Reserve Bank of New York found that Deutsche Bank AG’s U.S. operations suffer from a litany of serious financial reporting problems that the lender has known about for years but not fixed. (http://on.wsj.com/1jUoOXe) Continue reading »

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Jul 18

The Marginal “Benefit” Of A Terminated Microsoft Employee: $1.5 Million (ZeroHedge, July 17, 2014):

Since the advance reports of layoffs at Microsoft started circulating this Sunday, the giant tech company has surged over 8%. This has raised the market cap of the behemoth by almost $28 Billion. Today we get the ‘news’ that Microsoft was laying off a record 18,000 employees (more than tripled the 2009 dump of 5,900 employees).That means – for all activist investors out there looking to raise MSFT share price – a $1.5 million market cap boost for each scalp, which, in other words, is the marginal “value added” of every currently employed Microsoft worker.

20140717_MSFT

 

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Jul 17

Microsoft

–  Microsoft Announces Record 18,000 Layoffs, Three Time More Than Expected (ZeroHedge, July 17, 2014):

While the news was reported earlier this week, it is perhaps notable that what was once considered the leading US tech company has also succumbed to the great “jobless” US recovery (in which the US economy is somehow adding 200K+ jobs every month even as it is firing millions). Furthermore, what was supposed to be 6,000 layoffs has just tripled to 18,000, which also happens to be the largest round of layoffs in MSFT history, surpassing the previous record of 5,800 set back in 2009.

From the PR: Continue reading »

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Jul 06

NSA intercept 2

What Your “Startlingly Intimate, Voyeristic” NSA File Looks Like (ZeroHedge, July 6, 2014):

A few days ago, we asked a simple rhetorical question: “Are you targeted by the NSA?

The answer, sadly for those reading this, is very likely yes, as it was revealed that as part of the NSA’s XKeyscore program “a computer network exploitation system, as described in an NSA presentation, devoted to gathering nearly everything a user does on the internet” all it takes for a user to be flagged by America’s superspooks is to go to a website the NSA finds less than “patriotic” and that user becomes a fixture for the NSA’s tracking algos.

So assuming one is being tracked by the NSA – or as it is also known for politically correct reasons “intercepted” – as a “person of interest” or worse, just what kind of data does the NSA collect? The latest report by the WaPo titled “In NSA-intercepted data, those not targeted far outnumber the foreigners who are” sheds much needed light on just how extensive the NSA’s data collection effort is.

According to WaPo, the files on intercepted Americans “have a startlingly intimate, even voyeuristic quality. They tell stories of love and heartbreak, illicit sexual liaisons, mental-health crises, political and religious conversions, financial anxieties and disappointed hopes. The daily lives of more than 10,000 account holders who were not targeted are catalogued and recorded nevertheless.”

The Post reviewed roughly 160,000 intercepted e-mail and instant-message conversations, some of them hundreds of pages long, and 7,900 documents taken from more than 11,000 online accounts.

Continue reading »

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May 20

China “Sanctions” US, Bans Use Of Windows 8 On Government Computers (ZeroHedge, May 20, 2014):

Considering the epic production and sales flop that Windows 8 has been, one probably does not need an actual sales ban from preventing anyone sane from using it let alone buying it, however in yet another symbolic step, banning its government employees from using the latest Windows operating system is precisely what China did in retaliation to yesterday’s DOJ announcement it was charging five PLA members with hacking offenses against the US. According to Reuters, this latest blow to Microsoft came when the Central Government Procurement Center issued the ban as part of a notice on the use of energy-saving products. So Windows 8 lead to global warming? Who knew…

Continue reading »

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May 03

Microsoft includes XP users in Internet Explorer fix (BBC News, May 2, 2014):

Microsoft has said users of its Windows XP operating system will also get the security update it has issued to fix a flaw in the Internet Explorer browser.

It issued the update on Thursday to fix a bug that let hackers gain access and user rights to computers.

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Apr 28

Hackers find first post-retirement Windows XP-related vulnerability (Computerworld, April 27, 2014):

Internet Explorer 6, 7 and 8 arent being exploited yet, but harbor a critical flaw

Computerworld – Microsoft on Saturday told customers that cyber-criminals are exploiting an unpatched and critical vulnerability in Internet Explorer (IE) using “drive-by” attacks.

“Microsoft is aware of limited, targeted attacks that attempt to exploit a vulnerability in Internet Explorer 6, Internet Explorer 7, Internet Explorer 8, Internet Explorer 9, Internet Explorer 10, and Internet Explorer 11,” the company said in a security advisory.

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Apr 12

Related info:

Dutch Government To Pay Microsoft ‘Millions’ To Extend Windows XP Support


IRS Misses XP Deadline, Pays Microsoft Millions For Patches (Computerworld, April 11, 2014):

Tax collector has 58,000 PCs still running the aged XP; will spend $30M to upgrade to Windows 7

Computerworld – The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) acknowledged this week that it missed the April 8 cut-off for Windows XP support, and will be paying Microsoft millions for an extra year of security patches.

Microsoft terminated Windows XP support on Tuesday when it shipped the final public patches for the nearly-13-year-old operating system. Without patches for vulnerabilities discovered in the future, XP systems will be at risk from cyber criminals who hijack the machines and plant malware on them.

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Apr 05

Dutch government to pay Microsoft ‘millions’ to extend XP support  (Dutch News, April 4, 2014):

The Dutch government has signed a ‘multi-million euro’ deal with Microsoft for continued support for its Windows XP systems, according to website Webwereld.

Between 34,000 and 40,000 Dutch national government civil servants are still using computers equipped with Windows XP, even though Microsoft is ending its support for the programme this month.

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Jan 19

See also:

Windows XP: Microsoft’s Ticking Time Bomb


A disaster in the making: 95% of ATMs still run Windows XP (Yahoo News/BGR, Jan 17, 2014):

As we’ve mentioned multiple times, now is really the time to upgrade from Windows XP if you haven’t done so already. Even though Microsoft will extend support for its Windows XP security products through July 2015, the company has warned that “the effectiveness of antimalware solutions on out-of-support operating systems is limited.” Bloomberg Businessweek reports that some of the most important machines that desperately need to upgrade from Windows XP are ATMs, of which an estimated 95% still run on Microsoft’s older operating system.

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Jan 19

Microsoft’s secret battle against the Tor botnet (The Daily Dot, Jan 16, 2014):

In August 2013, 4 million infected computers woke up and waited instructions from their master.

The pathogen was Sefnit, a nasty bit of malware that makes infected computers mine bitcoins. Once the computers woke up, they worked under the command of Ukranian and Israeli hackers named Scorpion and Dekadent. The malware communicated with the two by downloading Tor, the powerful anonymizing software, and talking over encrypted channels. It was the first time a botnet, as a collection of slave computers is called, used Tor in such a potentially powerful way.

By using an unconventional method to exploit Windows, the hackers unwittingly forced Microsoft to show a hand few knew it had: The ability to remotely remove progams en masse from people’s computers, without them even knowing it.

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