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Lawsuit exposes Microsoft executives’ complaints about Vista

Anyone who has had to endure the incompatibility issues, bugs, and gaping holes in software should get a kick out of this New York Times article.

Here’s one story of a Vista upgrade early last year that did not go well. Jon, let’s call him, (bear with me – I’ll reveal his full identity later) upgrades two XP machines to Vista. Then he discovers that his printer, regular scanner and film scanner lack Vista drivers. He has to stick with XP on one machine just so he can continue to use the peripherals.

Did Jon simply have bad luck? Apparently not. When another person, Steven, hears about Jon’s woes, he says drivers are missing in every category – “this is the same across the whole ecosystem.”

Then there’s Mike, who buys a laptop that has a reassuring “Windows Vista Capable” logo affixed. He thinks that he will be able to run Vista in all of its glory, as well as favorite Microsoft programs like Movie Maker. His report: “I personally got burned.” His new laptop – logo or no logo – lacks the necessary graphics chip and can run neither his favorite video-editing software nor anything but a hobbled version of Vista. “I now have a $2,100 e-mail machine,” he says.

It turns out that Mike is clearly not a naïf. He’s Mike Nash, a Microsoft vice president who oversees Windows product management. And Jon, who is dismayed to learn that the drivers he needs don’t exist? That’s Jon A. Shirley, a Microsoft board member and former president and chief operating officer. And Steven, who reports that missing drivers are anything but exceptional, is in a good position to know: he’s Steven Sinofsky, the company’s senior vice president responsible for Windows.

Their remarks come from a stream of internal communications at Microsoft in February 2007, after Vista had been released as a supposedly finished product and customers were paying full retail price. Between the nonexistent drivers and PCs mislabeled as being ready for Vista when they really were not, Vista instantly acquired a reputation at birth: Does Not Play Well With Others.

So Microsoft execs have been caught acknowledging that they shoved a piece of shit operating system on the public, knowing full well that it was actually inferior to their last piece of shit operating system.  But it never would have happened, had somebody not been brave enough to sue Microsoft.  According to the article:

We usually do not have the opportunity to overhear Microsoft’s most senior executives vent their personal frustrations with Windows. But a lawsuit filed against Microsoft in March 2007 in United States District Court in Seattle has pried loose a packet of internal company documents. The plaintiffs, Dianne Kelley and Kenneth Hansen, bought PCs in late 2006, before Vista’s release, and contend that Microsoft’s “Windows Vista Capable” stickers were misleading when affixed to machines that turned out to be incapable of running the versions of Vista that offered the features Microsoft was marketing as distinctive Vista benefits.

Last month, Judge Marsha A. Pechman granted class-action status to the suit, which is scheduled to go to trial in October. (Microsoft last week appealed the certification decision.)

Given that one of the first actions as dictator by George W. Bush was to drop the anti-trust against Microsoft, I doubt this suit shall go anywhere this year.  But it has served at least one purpose: to expose the true thoughts of those who push inferior, and often-times, lethal products on consumers.

Word of advice to Clinton: use original footage from now on.

You’ve just got to feel sorry for Hillary Clinton.  She just can’t seem to do anything right in this campaign.  It’s not just her underestimation of the Clinton Rules, under which anything she says or does — no matter how innocent or mundane — is transformed into some conniving attack formed from evil intentions (just look at the false hype over the “dark” ad).  It’s that things like this happen.

One of the actors in the Hillary Clinton ad was shocked to see herself, especially because she’s a fierce supporter of Barack Obama.

The so-called “red-phone ad” was played all over the country and helped turn the tide for Hillary Clinton leading up to her big win in Ohio. The ad shows a sleeping child and asks voters who they would want to see answering a 3 a.m. emergency phone call to the White House.

But the young girl starring in the ad will actually be voting age next month and says she’s no fan of Hillary Clinton.

One of the unintended consequences of using recycled video footage, obviously.  Which is why it’s probably better to use original material.  Time to fire the poor schmuck who failed to consider something like this happening, eh?

I originally saw this posted on the Rude Pundit‘s blog.

This does the left no good.

Looks like Moulitsas still can’t let go of the paranoid “Clinton darkened Obama in her ad” conspiracy theory.

Look, I dislike Hillary Clinton as much as any true Progressive, but this has got to stop.  There are plenty of things the senator says and does in this campaign that are worthy of criticism, but engaging in this sort of unsubstantiated speculation and attack really only hurts two things: Obama’s campaign, and Left Blogsylvania.

It hurts Obama’s campaign because it makes his followers and, by association, the candidate himself, look like they’re hiding behind his race.  Similarly, it hurts Left Blogsylvania because it makes us look like a bunch of delusional kooks who probably haven’t been laid in ages (if ever) and from whom candidates can’t distance themselves fast enough.  Substantive posts like this one end up being ignored or marginalized, because of the association with what is perceived to be a group of utter loons.

I respectfully advise Markos Moulitsas and his band of bloggers to please give it a rest.  Dig up what you can on Clinton; Lord only knows she deserves it.  But don’t let your zeal for exposing her overtake common sense and better judgment.  Or sanity.  Especially sanity.

Brent Larkin whines about Dennis Kucinich’s victory in the Ohio primary.

Brent Larkin pretends to manage the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper. He and most of the upper-level staff have had it in for the Progressive Democrat ever since the Muny Light battle in the 1970s, when the banks and newspapers were pressuring then-mayor Dennis Kucinich to sell the municipal power company to a privately-owned rival. He refused, and the banks retaliated by sending Cleveland into default on its debts. The business interests decided to punish the mayor by trying to remove him from office via recall election. That effort failed, but Kucinich was voted out in the next regular election cycle. But rather than remain in political oblivion, Kucinich came back and has since gone on to become the Ohio 10th Congressional District’s representative.

The Plain Dealer helped get a DINO by the name of Joe Cimperman to run against Kucinich this year in the primary. The problem was that three other candidates also decided to get in on the action. So despite having roughly $500,000 to $1,000,000 on hand, Cimperman lost. It didn’t help that Cimperman ran a fundamentally stupid campaign, which argued that a sitting elected official shouldn’t waste taxpayer time and money running for another political office. Why is this stupid? Cimperman is currently a sitting elected official — on Cleveland City Council. He also doesn’t even live in the district.

Anyway, this morning Larkin posted a whinefest on following Kucinich’s victory in the primary last night.  So I made a video to go along with the audio file.  Enjoy.

My vote in Ohio’s primary.

I just returned from voting in Ohio’s primary.  I cast my ballot for Dennis Kucinich, as my choice for both the presidency and the 10th Congressional District’s representative.  And thus my conscience is clean.

I know, I know.  “You just wasted your vote,” many of you shall say.  To that I give you this simple response:  Horse shit.  The only votes wasted, dear readers, are those not cast and those cast for a candidate who doesn’t represent you.  Anyone who tells you differently is either lying to you, or doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

These are not things I write lightly.  I know quite well that what I’ve just typed shall piss off a number of people.  The truth, however, was never designed to make people happy.

Primaries are precisely the time when we as voters are supposed to stand up and vote our beliefs.  Why in God’s name would anyone vote for someone who doesn’t represent him?  “Pragmatism”?  That’s a bullshit excuse, one designed to justify keeping the status quo intact.  And for far too long, far too many Democrats have succumbed to that argument.  We voted “pragmatically” in 2004, cast our ballots for a candidate who wasn’t worth the toilet bowl he shat into, and what did it get us?  Nothing, except four more years of crap raining down upon our country.  Four more years of craven capitulation — two of them under a Democratic Congress — to a boy tyrant who in a sane world would have been removed from office and convicted of treason during the first year of his reign.

Neither Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama have earned so much as a single Democratic vote.  But for the desperation of Americans to elect anyone other than a Republican, the adulation and scorn of the corporate media, and the humongous egos of the two prima donnas themselves, they are the candidates we have been saddled with in this primary season.

There is an admonition against allowing the “perfect” to be the enemy of the “good”.  But really, how many people do you know who ask for or expect perfect?  I and everyone I know is fully aware that nothing and no one is perfect.  All we want are good policy and good representatives.  Yet each and every election cycle, we’re forced to accept the mediocre and the downright bad.

It doesn’t, and shouldn’t, have to be that way.  However you intend to vote in the general election, is this or is it not the time to vote your beliefs — to cast your ballot for the presidential candidate who represents you?  Not Big Business, not the DLC, but you.  Mr. and Ms. Average American.  To hand your ballot to someone who doesn’t represent you is to surrender it to the status quo, to send a message that, no matter how much you may complain about the way things are, you’re perfectly content to leave it as is.

That isn’t democracy, ladies and gentlemen.  It’s a monarchical system, one in which the will of the public is subjected to the greed and ambition of a political minority whose interests are to keep you beaten down and in service to the economic elite.  And I don’t know about you ladies and gentlemen, but I refuse to give in to that bullshit.  Politicians are supposed to work for us, to be our voices in the halls of power.  We are not supposed to subject our interests and political beliefs to those we employ.

Maybe your state’s primary or caucus has already been held.  Maybe it’s today, or has yet to be held.  For those of you who fall into the latter categories,ask yourselves if it isn’t worth it to challenge this fucked up system by voting for the candidate who represents you, just to see what would happen.

Bringing Back the Progressive Party

Timothy Gatto posted a column at Thursday that really, I think, illustrates the fraudulence of this year’s presidential election.  No matter who wins, we’ll be stuck with a president who shall do little or nothing to alter the terrible course our once-great nation has been dragged on these last seven years.  It really is like being given a choice between Coca Cola and Pepsi; no matter how you vote, you’re still casting your ballot for empty calories and other toxic wastes that serve only to slowly destroy the body.

I think it’s time to face facts: the Democratic Party as we knew it is no more.  It has ceased to be.  What we have left is a pale imitation of the Republican Party.  And 2007 is a perfect example.  What Progressives really need to do is bring back the Progressive Party.  Read on, and I’ll explain further.

For a little while now I have been doing my own part to accomplish this goal on my discussion forum.  But my efforts are neither original or the first to be made.  Already some states have revived the Progressive Party, including Washington and Vermont.  In the latter state, Progressives have gotten a number of members elected to the legislature, and are now running their own candidate in the gubernatorial election.

What does this mean for Vermont?  Democrats and Republicans in the state legislature are forced to work with the Progressives to get anything done.  The political power the party has in this capacity is, therefore, significant — and growing.

This did not happen overnight, but it did so with surprising swiftness; the Washington Progressive Party reformed in 2003, according to its web site, with assistance from the Vermont chapter.  So all this has taken place within the last five to seven years.  Not bad for a revived political party that, nearly a century ago, made history by causing an incumbent Republican president to come in last in a three-way election.

Whatever doubts you might have about the effectiveness of bringing back the Progressive Party, the examples of states such as Washington and Vermont should ease or eliminate them.  Allow me to paint a portrait in your mind.  It’s not very likely to happen, but let your imagination loose for a bit as I describe this scenario:

The Congressional Progressive Caucus, made up of seventy-one House members and one senator (Vermont’s Bernie Sanders).  Frustrated with the refusal of Democratic leaders to end the occupation of Iraq, impeach the Bush-Cheney regime, and pass progressive legislation.  Imagine if, some day soon, each and every member were to leave the Democratic Party and register under a newly revived Progressive Party.  Like I said, not likely, but suspend your disbelief for a few minutes and bear with me.  Imagine the sheer power Progressives would have, especially over Democrats.

“We’ll caucus with you, so you keep control of the House,” they say to the leadership.  “But here are the things you must do for that to happen.”  And then the Progressives would trot out their list of demands.  If the Democrats balk, the Progressives caucus with no one, and control reverts to the GOP.  Do you think the spineless, conniving Democratic leaders would dare let that nightmare come to pass?  I don’t.  No, they’d fall all over each other to please the Progressives, desperate to retain their tenuous hold on power in the Legislature.

This is, of course, wishful thinking on my part.  But consider the headway already made in just a handful of states by the Progressive Party.  Yes, it would take years to achieve results on a national level.  We’d have to start locally, of course, work our way up to county and state-level offices.  And then, once each state in the Union has enough of a party presence, run national-level candidates.

This is already happening.  It has already achieved tangible results.  It is now time for Progressives in every state to ask themselves if it’s worth the heartbreak, frustration, and continuous disappointment by sticking with the Democratic Party.  If you’re interested in bringing back a political party to your state that can give real political power to Progressives, you could do a lot worse than to start exploring ways to revive the party that bears our name.  If you’d like to give it a try, you may either register an account at my forum or, better yet, establish contacts with the Vermont and Washington state parties to learn how you can bring it to your community.

If we’re to eradicate movement conservatism once and for all, we need to create a strong, energized Progressive movement to counter it.  It’s worth trying.

How we can hold Barack Obama accountable.

Yesterday I posted about how Barack Obama’s record does not match his campaign rhetoric, or the misperceptions of far too many of his followers.  Today I’m going to explain how we can hold his feet to the proverbial fire, should he win the Democratic nomination and go on to become president.

The most important thing about being a Democrat: vetting our candidate.

Matt Gonzalez over at wrote a brilliant exposé on Barack Obama that must be shared.  The hardest part of trying to get Democrats elected to power is vetting them, especially during election years in which people are so desperate for someone who can deliver on a promise of change that they fail to look past the campaign rhetoric to see the truth.  I’ve explained on other blog sites that Barack Obama is a DLCer in progressive’s clothing.  Mr. Gonzalez hammers the point home.

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