Archive for May, 2009

This email I received recommends me to download the “security update” http://downloads-microsoft.de/MS_bugfix_270509.exe from an alleged Microsoft website downloads-microsoft.de, according to denic the domain is owned by a German citizen from Riedering who put his contact data online.

It is much more professional than those spoof scam attacks I am used to, despite the link to the “security update” all other download links point at original Microsoft’s website and the website downloads-microsoft follows their corporate design.

Sehr geehrter Microsoft Kunde,

hiermit unterrichten wir Sie über die Veröffentlichung eines neuen Sicherheits-Updates zu Ihrem verwendeten Produkt.

Wir empfehlen Ihnen ausdrücklich jenes zu installieren, um weiterhin die Sicherheit Ihres Systems gewährleisten zu können.

Sie können sich Ihren Sicherheitspatch unter folgendem Link downloaden


oder unter http://downloads-microsoft.de unter Topdownloads 1. Windows Sicherheits-Update 27. Mai 2009 für Windows XP/Vista.

Wir wünschen Ihnen weiterhin viel Spaß mit Ihrem Microsoft-Produkt.

Microsoft Corporation


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Microsoft Corporations’s Steve Ballmer was announced as the Cannes 2009 media person of the year in advertising. Together with its prestigious movie festival Cannes is also known as the Mekka of commercial advertisement. Over 28,000 ads from all over the world are showcased and judged at the Festival. Winning companies receive the highly coveted Lion trophy, honouring the most creative TV/cinema, print, outdoor, interactive, radio, design, sales promotion, integrated advertising, as well as the best media and direct marketing solutions.

The Media Person the Year award pays tribute to a prominent personality who is an influential figure in the development of today’s media landscape, which ultimately plays an integral part in shaping the future of the advertising industry.

Sure, the award reflects the great public attention Microsoft received with its viral marketing star Ballmer and the Seinfeld-Gates advertisement campaign. The Seinfeld-Gates advertisement series used the trick of confusion to let customers speak up with their appreciation of the Microsoft products and services. What came out of it was the “I’m a PC” campaign which takes on the operating system competitor Apple and it seeks to improve brand profile by a focus on core messages.

Microsoft also follows Google and Yahoo as a business which creates a way to profit from internet search, currently being number three. As the application sphere moves towards the cloud and advertisement budgets are cut, the competition becomes even more fierce.

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Council Resolution on “The Contribution of space to innovation and competitiveness in the context of the European Economic Recovery Plan, and further steps” as adopted by the Competitiveness Council meeting on 29 May 2009.

…HIGHLIGHTS the potential of satellite communications technologies to bring broadband to European citizens and enterprises, ensuring a better access to modern ICT particularly in rural and remote areas6, in the context of the European broadband strategy called for by the European Council of 19-20 March; CALLS on the Commission, ESA and the EU and ESA Member States to consider integrating satellite technologies in future broadband projects with a view to support the implementation of the EERP, while respecting the principles of open competition, technology neutrality, and open and neutral internet architecture; and further RECOGNISES the need to explore innovative approaches and architectures for the provision of global satellite communications services in response to institutional demand in support of European programmes and policies, including transport, energy and security;


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A map of services around twitter.

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In European competition enforcement cases you can request a hearing which you should better do. Of course it is optional, an opportunity for you. Same in the recent Internet explorer bundling case.

Opera, a Norwegian browser manufacturer filed a compaint, the competitor’s product Internet Explorer is as we know bundled with the Windows operating system, but bundling is contra legem when you have a dominant market position. Of course IE bundling was yesterday’s fight. So to the great surprise a year later a statement of objections was communicated by the Commission to Microsoft. A company may then request a oral hearing where it can present its counter-arguments and submit a statement. The statement is submitted, 250 pages. Microsoft also said it wanted a hearing. The Commission sets a date for your hearing. You are supposed to attend it, what else…? Forget everthing you know about the common code of conduct:

The dates the Commission selected for our hearing, June 3-5, coincide with the most important worldwide intergovernmental competition law meeting, the International Competition Network (ICN) meeting, which will take place this year in Zurich, Switzerland. …, it appears that many of the most influential Commission and national competition officials with the greatest interest in our case will be in Zurich and so unable to attend our hearing in Brussels. …We pointed out that there’s no legal or other reason that the hearing needs to be held the first week of June. We believe that holding the hearing at a time when key officials are out of the country would deny Microsoft our effective right to be heard and hence deny our “rights of defense” under European law.

In the New York Times it sounds even more silly:

Microsoft decided not to give oral evidence in the case after it was unable to persuade the commission to move the meeting, scheduled for June 3 through 5, so that it did not conflict with a global antitrust conference in Zurich that draws European antitrust regulators.

or in the original tune:

Therefore, we reluctantly notified the Commission that we will not proceed with a hearing on June 3-5. While Microsoft maintains its request for a hearing at a different date, that request has been denied and the Commission hearing officer has deemed Microsoft to have withdrawn its request for a hearing.

or with media spin which makes the incompetence even more apparent:

Microsoft calls off EU antitrust hearing over IE
Blames inflexible EU agency, scheduling conflict, as it cancels June defense

Whoever tries to slap in the face of the European hearing officer because some potential national observers prefer to go to an international conference, looks pretty incompetent. It was reported also Commissioner Kroes intended to honour the hearing of DG competition with her attendance. It seems also inspiring how failure is spinned in a way to smear the Commission and dig the hole deeper.

“It’s pretty unheard of for a company to cancel its own hearings in Brussels,” said one antitrust lawyer.

in the Financial Times. And Stephen Kinsella shows how to do diplomatic damage control:

“The fact that they are often scheduled without much consideration for the wishes of the defendants does tend to reinforce that impression [of irrelevance].”

Indeed, as said before the proposed defense sounded not very well thought.

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I nominated Co-Ment for the Sourceforge award.

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These days there are strong public discussions about the good old free flow of information principle. Often overlooked is that a filtered internet is a reality in parts of the world. From my daily mail communication:

Mist, ich kann dein Blog in China nicht erreichen. Hab grad keinen
passenden Proxy konfiguriert.

(translated: What a pity, I cannot read your blog in China. I have no suitable proxy configured.)

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Prof. em Donald E. Knuth, the algorithm pope, sent an Amicus Curiae letter to the European Patent Office in the case G03/08 and expressed his desire to “innovate in peace”:

Dear Ms Brimelow,
A friend in Europe just told me that you are interested in “amicus curie” letters to explain why so many computer scientists around the world have long been alarmed about patent trends, and that you hope to receive them by 30 April. I hope this letter reaches you in time; I could not send it by FedEx, having no complete address. Enclosed is a copy of a letter that I wrote to the US Patent Commissioner in 1994; I believe it is self explanatory- Also enclosed is the transcript of a talk I gave at the Technical University of Munich in 2001, where I gave a somewhat more nuanced view of extremely unusual cases in which algorithms or even mathematical constants might conceivably be patentable in my view. IThe latter remarks occur near the end of a rather long lecture; I have highlighted the relevant information, on page 324, for your convenience.

Basically I remain convinced that the patent policy most fair and most suitable for the world will regard mathematical ideas (such as algorithms) to be not subject to proprietary patent rights. For example, it would be terrible if somebody were to have a patent on an integer, like say 1009, so that nobody would be able to use that number “with further technical effect” without paying for a license. Although many software patents have unfortunately already been granted in the past, I hope that this practice will not continue in future. If Europe leads the way in this, I expect many Americans would want to emigrate so that they could continue to innovate in peace.

His and many other Amicus Curiae (~90) Amicus letters are published on the EPO website.

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Cloud won’t become standard, says Kaspersky

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