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[News] Microsoft is AstroTurfing Twitter Using Waggener Edstrom

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Microsoft's PR agency releases Twitter trend-tracking tool

,----[ Quote ]
| A growing number of Softies are Twittering these days, as are members of 
| Microsoft’s primary public-relations firm, Waggener Edstrom. 
| Like many tech PR firms, WaggEd also monitors religiously Twitter trends 
| involving its biggest client. On March 11, WaggEd went beyond simply 
| monitoring tweets: It introduced a beta version of a software tool for 
| monitoring and analyzing them.   


Waggener Edstrom commits ethical crimes.

There are also reports about Microsoft slurring Linux in Twitter.


PR spinner insists Vista kernel is secure

,----[ Quote ]
| IT IS NOT OFTEN that anyone at Waggener Edstrom, Microsoft's pet public
| relations firm, writes to The INQUIRER. Read on, and we think you'll soon
| understand why that's the case.



Microsoft hires InfoWorld hack

,----[ Quote ]
| Of course, Udell is far from being the first journalist to sign on
| for Big Green. In fact, Microsoft UK made a series of hires in
| 1996 from the BBC and elsewhere when it populated its MSN site
| with original news and other content.


'Legitimate concerns' - a non-correction

,----[ Quote ]
| I just noticed that Microsoft's director of corporate standards,
| Jason Matusow, has published a clarification of a recent story I
| wrote about Open XML's route through the ISO standardization process.


ComputerWorld Employs Ignorant Journalists

,----[ Quote ]
| Giving you a brief overview what the article from ComputerWorld says:
| Open Source supporters build fortresses around them that make them
| unapproachable and have infinite animosity toward Microsoft. Yep, that
| about sums it up.
| [...]
| In closing, I just thought the article wasn't even worth the pixels used
| to display it...but I'm sure its been seen by a wide variety of people.
| So, instead of giving them one side of the story, perhaps my little rant
| will give them the other side of things. Sure we can all get along...as
| long as we speak the truth to one another. And that's something both
| journalists and Microsoft have historically [1] [2] had trouble doing.


Praising Microsoft - and attacked by wolves

,----[ Snippets ]
| "That you can use the word 'virtue' in the same sentence as 'Microsoft'
| is clear indication that you haven't a clue. Then again, you do write
| for Fortune, so your alliance no doubt leans toward corporations and
| shareholders rather than users," wrote Walter Bazzini, whose Web
| site, perhaps revealingly, is entitled "Misanthrope Manor."
| "You sound as if you're suffering from 'Stockholm Syndrome,'" wrote
| Ken Davies. "Microsoft has actually set all of us back by years and
| possibly by decades."
| "Your painfully revisionist history makes you sound like one of
| the 20-something journalists who wasn't actually around since the 80s,"
| wrote Norman Gilmore, who really knows how to hurt a guy.
| Some of the letters were not only passionate but extremely well written
| and thoughtful. Here's more, for example, from Gilmore, who neatly
| summarizes the objections of quite a few writers:
| "Gee, I thought ARPA funded the research leading to TCP/IP, Tim
| Berners-Lee invented the Web, and Marc Andreessen led the creation of
| the graphical browser at [the University of Illinois]. I thought Apple
| started the personal computing revolution, Xerox invented graphical
| interfaces and IBM invented the PC. Microsoft BASIC - oh yeah, a
| language invented at Dartmouth by Kemeny and Kurtz. MS-DOS? Tim
| Patterson wrote what became MS-DOS, itself a CP/M clone.
| "And THEN Bill Gates wrote his famous memo, which summarized as -


Murdoch promises 'journalistic integrity' at The Wall Street Journal

,----[ Quote ]
| In a letter sent over the weekend to members of the Bancroft family
| that owns the company, Murdoch asked to meet with the family and
| company officials.


What happened to the guts?

,----[ Quote ]
| Of one thing I am fairly certain. Microsoft all but eliminated
| mainstream software competition. As a result, Microsoft became
| the primary source of advertising revenue for mainstream publications.
| You don't bite the hand that feeds you. So instead of publishing
| issues calling for a worldwide boycott of Vista because it focuses
| more on what you can't do than what you can do, you see special
| editions praising Vista as the greatest advancement in computing
| since Windows 95. Granted we all know that Windows 95 was a dog
| from day one, but by the 90s, the mainstream press had already
| become rampant with Microsoft sycophants and they pushed Windows
| 95 like it was the second coming.
| [...]
| In short, I'd love to see a mainstream publication become an
| advocate for the consumer once again.
| As noted above, there are exceptions, including Linux Journal,
| most other FOSS-centered publications and even The Register.
| But we're the little guys.



Bill Gates lends cash to buy newspapers

$350 million to MediaNews

,----[ Quote ]
| Gates involvement has been very behind the scenes. In fact many of
| those involved in the deal didn'teven know he was one of the investors.
| It was carried out through the Gates Foundation, the world's largest
| philanthropy outfit.


Beeb slammed for 'fawning' to Bill Gates

,----[ Quote ]
| BBC viewers have flooded the corporation with complaints over how it
| covered the launch of Microsoft Vista earlier this week.
| In one cringingly servile interview worthy of Uriah Heep, the
| Beeb's news presenter Hugh Edwards even thanked Gates at the
| end of it, presumably in appreciation at being allowed to give
| the Vole vast coverage for free.
| In other TV news items presenters excitedly explained how Vistac
| ould be obtained and installed - details courtesy of the BBC's
| website.
| But British viewers, currently forced to pay a £131.50 licence
| fee to maintain the BBC's "impartiality", were less than impressed.
| Scores got in touch to complain that so much was Auntie up Bill's
| bum that you could barely see her corset.


Brits! Act now to save the BBC from Microsoft

,----[ Quote ]
| The BBC are holding an open consultation regarding how they're
| going to delivery on-demand content, they want answers to
| questions like: "How important is it that the proposed seven-day
| catch-up service over the internet is available to consumers who
| are not using Microsoft software?"


The real question: How to keep Microsoft on the transparency track

,----[ Quote ]
| Some media members are simply shocked that Microsoft's PR team keeps
| dossiers on the reporters and bloggers who cover the company. That's
| old news, folks. And not even very interesting news.


Wrong Yesterday Wrong Today Wrong Tomorrow

,----[ Quote ]
| I just got through watching a segment on the Today Show on NBC
| highlighting the launch of the Microsoft Zune.
| First of all, I thought journalists were suppose to reveal their
| affiliations with any product if such an affiliation exists.
| Microsoft owns a stake in NBC ie MSNBC News Network.
| [...]
| Second, all the side by side product comparisons showed 4th Gen iPods
| with monochrome screens with no song selected or playing, while the
| Zune was playing a video.
| [...]
| This isn't the first time NBC has misled its morning viewers with
| puff pieces about the Zune.


Should MSNBC really be "reviewing" (Microsoft's) Gears of War?

,----[ Quote ]
| MSNBC recently reviewed Gears of War, calling it the Xbox 360's first
| killer app.... Nowhere on the page is any indication of the possible
| ethical issue MSNBC is "Microsoft-NBC", and the site is hosted as a
| subdomain of msn.com (a major Microsoft portal). Is this really balanced
| journalism?


PC World Editor Resigns When Ordered Not to Criticize Advertisers

,----[ Quote ]
| Apparently he also told the staff that product reviews had to be
| nicer to vendors who advertise in the magazine. The sad thing is
| that given the economics of publishing in this day and age, I
| doubt anything even comes of this even tho it essentially
| confirms that PC World reviews should be thought of as no
| more than press releases. I know that's how I will consider
| links from them in the future. But congratulations to anyone
| willing to stick to their guns on such matters.


Dan Rather: Journalism has 'lost its guts'

,----[ Quote ]
| To longtime CBS broadcaster Dan Rather, American journalism in recent
| years "has in some ways lost its guts."
| [...]
| I do not exclude myself from this criticism... By and large, so
| many journalists--there are notable exceptions--have adopted
| the go-along-to-get-along (attitude)," he said.
| [...]
| "In many ways," said Rather to loud applause, "what we in journalism
| need is a spine transplant."


Mercury News writer accuses Microsoft of Bribery


Bribing Bloggers

,----[ Quote ]
| It's a bribe. Period. You say nice things about us, you get nice
| things from us. Heck, just say neutral things about us-we'll give
| you a killer new laptop and we know that you'll be inclined to say
| better things about us.


Microsoft Sent A Free Laptop With Windows Vista

,----[ Quote ]
| I'm not sure how I was selected to be one of the people receiving this
| (I'm assuming there are others, but I haven't come across any yet).
| It could be that they are reaching out to bloggers who are Mac users
| (I switched to a Mac back when OS X came out) or it might just be that
| people I know who work for Microsoft or other influential bloggers
| recommended me

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