Monday, September 13, 2010

The Means of Production

Another open source argument:
IRKUTSK, Russia — It was late one afternoon in January when a squad of plainclothes police officers arrived at the headquarters of a prominent environmental group here. They brushed past the staff with barely a word and instead set upon the computers before carting them away. Taken were files that chronicled a generation’s worth of efforts to protect the Siberian wilderness.

The group, Baikal Environmental Wave, was organizing protests against Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin’s decision to reopen a paper factory that had polluted nearby Lake Baikal, a natural wonder that by some estimates holds 20 percent of the world’s fresh water.

Instead, the group fell victim to one of the authorities’ newest tactics for quelling dissent: confiscating computers under the pretext of searching for pirated Microsoft software.
Not that authorities won't find another pretext to beat on hippies: that's what they do. Still, Microsoft software is wholly unnecessary (and of course so is my Mac software).

More:
As the ploy grows common, the authorities are receiving key assistance from an unexpected partner: Microsoft itself. In politically tinged inquiries across Russia, lawyers retained by Microsoft have staunchly backed the police.

11 comments:

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

a natural wonder that by some estimates holds 20 percent of the world’s fresh water

It also has some incredible endemic species. Maybe Ned will chime in, his "better half" would probably know quite a bit about this subject.

mikey said...

Yeah, 'cause goodness knows Excel, Access and Exchange are SO good they are literally irreplaceable...

J— said...

It also has some incredible endemic species.

If it isn't publicly presented with PowerPoint, it doesn't exist.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

In Russia, Microsoft hates you!
~

mikey said...

Fun things you can do with PowerPoint.

Smut Clyde said...

Nice wall-chart. Look at it from the right distance and you see the letters WOW. Look at it from further away and you see a naked lady.

Smut Clyde said...

Hilarity ensues as various people fall off their swivel chairs trying to find the right distance.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

In Russia, Microsoft hates you!

to be fair, Microsoft hates everyone, everywhere.

Whale Chowder said...

I was shocked to discover that MS was complicit in this -- doesn't seem necessary. One has to wonder if there's a quid pro quo involved or if MS is just that nasty.

Oh wait, no need to wonder.

Another Kiwi said...

There are no squid pros involved here

N__B said...

Without Irkutsk, it is almost impossible to win at Risk.