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NBC Purchases MSNBC Rights From Microsoft

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the under-new-management dept.

Microsoft 209

flatt writes "Ending a sixteen year partnership between the now Comcast-owned NBCUniversal and Microsoft, the MSNBC.com website has been immediately renamed to NBCNews.com. Both parties note that the integration between both parties is deep and will require 2 years to complete the decoupling. For the immediate future, NBC will continue to provide news content for MSN.com and Microsoft will continue to be the advertising provider for the site. Content control, brand confusion, and partisan content are cited as reasons behind the breakup. Microsoft sold its 50% share in the MSNBC TV rights to NBC back in 2005."

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209 comments

Partisan content? (4, Interesting)

mpoulton (689851) | about 2 years ago | (#40661181)

Does that mean that Microsoft didn't like MSNBC's political bias, or that NBC didn't like Microsoft's insertion of political bias on MSNBC.com?

Re:Partisan content? (4, Interesting)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 2 years ago | (#40661201)

Or maybe MS wants to focus on other things. Also the venture for MS may not have been profitable. The summary is partially correct: in 2005, MS sold 32% of its 50% stake of the venture and gave up control as well. MSNBC from them was probably partisan from NBC's control not MS.

Re:Partisan content? (1)

drinkydoh (2658743) | about 2 years ago | (#40661517)

Both Microsoft and Facebook will, however, profit from this greatly. NBC is now letting Facebook stream olympics for free. Microsoft is a major shareholder on Facebook. Magically shares turn back to their owner.

Re:Partisan content? (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 2 years ago | (#40662225)

I don't know the details of the finances and costs of running MSNBC. I don't expect to be very profitable as the only thing that brings in revenue is ads.

Re:Partisan content? (3, Funny)

dintech (998802) | about 2 years ago | (#40661373)

Whenever I see any MS 'news' content, it seems to be mostly celebrity drivel. I suppose I get what I deserve for having a hotmail account. :)

Re:Partisan content? (2)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 2 years ago | (#40661477)

If Microsoft doesn't like the political spin that NBC puts on news, it just goes to show you that corporate news is not about providing information, but providing corporate propaganda. Corporations don't want proper news organizations, but organs that promote their point of view.

Re:Partisan content? (2)

drinkydoh (2658743) | about 2 years ago | (#40661503)

You're being overly paranoid. Newspaper and websites want eyeballs so they can sell advertising and make money. Now, individual authors and writers might have their own point of view, but so does everyone.

Re:Partisan content? (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#40661553)

You're being overly paranoid. Newspaper and websites want eyeballs so they can sell advertising and make money. Now, individual authors and writers might have their own point of view, but so does everyone.

You do realize that eyeball-herding celebrity gossip and 'infotainment' fluff are probably overwhelmingly more efficient in neutralizing the effects of a free press than simply having your Political Kommisars order them to publish assorted farcical lies?

Propaganda in the classic sense certainly isn't a total failure; but a voluntarily afactual media is ultimately even more useless than one that is merely contrafactual.

Re:Partisan content? (2)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 years ago | (#40661729)

It doesn't matter how factual your news report is, if no one wants to read it.

Re:Partisan content? (5, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 2 years ago | (#40661967)

It doesn't matter how factual your news report is, if no one wants to read it.

Wow, there's a lot of subtext in that.

Read that statement over a few times. "It doesn't matter how factual your news report is, if no one wants to read it.

If you had the "most factual" accounts of the news, and nobody wants to read or watch it, then it says a lot more about the viewers, and maybe the medium, then it does about the news.

"I don't want the factual news, I want the news that has my point of view"

Is not that different from, "It's got what plants crave..."

Re:Partisan content? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40662157)

This is a revelation to you? The vast majority of American media is skewed to one political bias or another and few are willing to publish the hard facts. That's all the gp was saying and you got modded up for pointing out how sad of a fact it was? Slashdot really amazes me. But then again, around here we have a fair number of dopes who honestly believe that the reason people still run Windows and OSX is because they've never seen Linux. SMH.

Re:Partisan content? (1)

erp_consultant (2614861) | about 2 years ago | (#40662247)

I think that's part of the problem with news coverage in general. News broadcasts are governed by the Nielsen ratings, which makes it somewhat of a popularity contest. That helps to explain why the vast majority of newscasters (it seems) are hot young blondes. Are they the only people that can learn to read a teleprompter? Or is it more to do with the fact that they are more visually appealing, which arguably helps the ratings? Don't get me wrong - nothing wrong with being visually appealing, unless it bumps off someone less visually appealing but more intelligent and/or better qualified. It might also explain why nearly every news broadcast in America seems to have a political bias one way or the other. Some of them are quite noticeable (Fox news on the right and MSNBC on the left). It seems to me that the BBC is about the only truly unbiased TV news source left now. Which might help to explain why I get most of my news from the internet :-)

Re:Partisan content? (1)

lilfields (961485) | about 2 years ago | (#40661643)

I think -at least when GE owned them (and they are still partial owners)- that a GE product would be significantly more profit for that company than advertisements, that's just icing.

Re:Partisan content? (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | about 2 years ago | (#40661969)

You're being overly paranoid. Newspaper and websites want eyeballs so they can sell advertising and make money. Now, individual authors and writers might have their own point of view, but so does everyone.

Almost. It's more like they want eyeballs so they can sell them to advertisers. Companies provide copy AND news stories, and news organizations sell their consumers to the highest bidder. YOU are the product.

Re:Partisan content? (2, Informative)

MachineShedFred (621896) | about 2 years ago | (#40661519)

Or it could be that they thought that a "proper" news organization like MSNBC shouldn't be so buddy buddy with the left, that they even report on their own website [msn.com] how skewed they are:

Msnbc.com identified 143 journalists who made political contributions from 2004 through the start of the 2008 campaign, according to the public records of the Federal Election Commission. Most of the newsroom checkbooks leaned to the left: 125 journalists gave to Democrats and liberal causes. Only 16 gave to Republicans. Two gave to both parties.

Never mind that their prime time news personality (Chris Matthews) used to be Chief of Staff for the Democratic Speaker of the House during the Reagan years - yep, that engenders political objectivity...

Re:Partisan content? (4, Informative)

jbolden (176878) | about 2 years ago | (#40661619)

MSNBC isn't objective, neither is CNBC, NBC aims to be objective.

CNBC covers financial news from the perspective of a the small stock / mutual fund investor. You'll rarely hear news on CNBC from the perspective of professionals or control investors.
MSNBC offers opinion journalism from the perspective of the left.
NBC tries as best as possible to offer traditional journalism, i.e. news from the perspective of the Washington rulership.

Re:Partisan content? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40662353)

CNBC covers financial news from the perspective of a the small stock / mutual fund investor. You'll rarely hear news on CNBC from the perspective of professionals or control investors.

"Oh wait, you're serious ... let me laugh even harder."

Most "news" on CNBC is from the perspective of the Wall Street investment banks. "The small stock / mutual fund investor" doesn't give a fig about detailed reporting from Davros...

Re:Partisan content? (2)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | about 2 years ago | (#40661679)

Several things. First, that report was over the media landscape entirely. They identified CNN, ABC, Fox and yes, their own as giving political donations. This is precisely the reason what got Keith Olbermann in trouble in 2010/2011. He made donations to Congressman Grijalva of Arizona to the tune of 2,400 bucks. Thus his suspension, then firing from the network. He was also MSNBC's biggest draw.

The other point is that when talking about MSNBC's biases, you've got to look at life before and after Keith Olbermann.

Before Olbermann, MSNBC had such rightwing luminaries as Alan Keyes, Pat Buchanan and Michael Savage as part of their on air personalities.

After Keith they still had guys like Tucker Carlson and Joe Scarborough.

It wasn't until after Olbermann's success with resonating and pandering to a left wing audience did MSNBC make a leftward swerve in a big way. And Joe Scarborough is STILL there after Olbermann's blow up over 2,400 bucks in campaign contributions.

Re:Partisan content? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40662031)

That was the pretext for firing Olberman. It was no secret inside NBC that Olberman demolished any relationship he had with people inside the network, including Phil Griffin (president of msnbc) other execs, sales, and so on... People hated dealing with him. He was only kept on air for so long because of the audience he drew.

Re:Partisan content? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40662167)

It is a mystery why advertisers would be interested in unemployed OWS losers

Re:Partisan content? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40662295)

They aren't, this is why the mainstream press is mostly right-wing, with a few exceptions being extreme right-wing. Don't confuse the not nearly as extreme right-wing for being left-wing.

Left-wing biased journalism is extraordinarily rare.

Re:Partisan content? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40662359)

You need your bias filters cleaned and adjusted.

Did you not see they "news" organization this post is discussing?

Re:Partisan content? (5, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 2 years ago | (#40662355)

Or it could be that they thought that a "proper" news organization like MSNBC shouldn't be so buddy buddy with the left, that they even report on their own website [msn.com] how skewed they are:

There's a word for "they even report on their own website". It's called "disclosure" and it's something MSNBC is doing that Fox doesn't do, CNN doesn't do, and ABC doesn't do.

Never mind that their prime time news personality (Chris Matthews) used to be Chief of Staff for the Democratic Speaker of the House during the Reagan years - yep, that engenders political objectivity...

You're a big supporter of every company where you used to work? You think Burger Village is the best food in town just because you flipped burgers there and got to be assistant manager when the previous assistant manager left to have her father's baby?

Go take a look at the pundits and talking heads on every network. They all used to do something. They all voted one way or the other (most likely) and they all have a sexual orientation, a religion (or not) and probably prefer either Apple or Android.

It's really not hard to discern who's ringing the bullshit bell (and for whom it tolls) if you have half a brain and the willingness to check your own bias once in a while. Also, check a fact now and then. Do it yourself. If you are checking a media outlet's facts against what another media outlet's "fact checker" says, your running in a circle, so don't rely on "fact checker sites" to be your ref because now every two-bit Right Wing (or Left Wing depending upon your own in-house bias) outfit has it's own "fact check" site that is supposedly telling you how full of shit the other side is. Yes, it gets confusing, but if you act in good faith, and (I'm not kidding about this) have a heart that is pure you'll be able to figure it all out easily enough.

Re:Partisan content? (2)

INT_QRK (1043164) | about 2 years ago | (#40661595)

So, you equate **not** liking political spin, in other words, **bias**, with propaganda? I find that logic less than satisfactory. Political spin is, by definition, biased, and a therefore a close cousin of propaganda.

I will always remember this partnership negatively (1)

shione (666388) | about 2 years ago | (#40661493)

Everytime I installed windows 95/98 and having to get rid of that stupid icon from the desktop and then from the ie bookmarks which were included even up to win 7. FInally that stupid icon is going to die away.

Re:I will always remember this partnership negativ (0)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | about 2 years ago | (#40661775)

Yeah, too bad along with the icon's death the whole operating system is going to suck, since Microsoft is so dead-set on making Windows 8 a touchscreen/tablet OS and already trying to make the desktop feel "legacy" by making it a royal pain in the ass to use. I have to admit though, I didn't realize there were MSNBC favorites in IE all the way up to Windows 7 though... but then, I haven't run Windows myself since XP and ditched IE6 for Firefox/Mozilla Suite way back when Microsoft thought it would be a brilliant idea to just sit on their illegally-obtained monopoly and leave their browser to rot, along with the entire Web itself--but what did they care, they had the entire Web and its users by the balls.

Enjoy Metro and your lack of a little MSNBC icon. I've been MSNBC-free for years and will not be forced into switching to Metro.

Re:Partisan content? (4, Funny)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | about 2 years ago | (#40661579)

It means the two most evil entities in their respective industries are separating to focus on being more effective at being evil in their respective industries.

Re:Partisan content? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40661979)

I didnt know there an apple-fox channel.

Re:Partisan content? (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 2 years ago | (#40661603)

I know the NBC is comfortable with the bias. As they see it, MSNBC is a cable station that has established a strong niche regular viewership. A dedicated viewership in the millions is gold for a cable station it means reliable ratings i.e. advertising dollars day after day, week after week, year after year. And MSNBC's ratings are likely to double under a Republican administration. Moreover "news junkies" are a good demographic. Further this split allows NBC news to do important journalism with less political interference. Right now NBC can't do deep investigative work since they need access policy makers, which hampers the quality of their journalism. Even if it is the very same journalistic staff reporting for MSNBC and NBC, just being asked different questions by the hosts By shifting the power hostile reporting to MSNBC and then allowing NBC to just cover the controversy this has helped.

Finally of course MSNBC is a huge fan of clean energy which requires all sorts of complex devices made by GE.

Re:Partisan content? (1, Insightful)

lilfields (961485) | about 2 years ago | (#40661633)

When did Microsoft insert political bias into MSNBC.com? You think NBC would care anyhow? Have you watched MSNBC? It's like the Fox partisan line-up on steroids.

Re:Partisan content? (3, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about 2 years ago | (#40661695)

It is kinda funny, when MSNBC started it was considered a Right Leaning, new organization, then Fox News came out, making it seem much to moderate. So to survive, it went to more left leaning then the other stations. So in terms of Cable News you have these options...
Fox News, News for Right Wing Nuts, Fare and balanced if you are right wing nut.
CNN, News for those people who really don't care, in an attempt to be moderate it doesn't really go into any depth.
MSNBC, New For Liberals, Hard hitting on the liberal agenda.

I am a political moderate myself and I don't care for any of these sites, I seem to switch to NPR, While it is left of center, and I am right of center, I found that NPR puts a little more depth in its coverage compared to the others, and doesn't really jump on the insanity.

Re:Partisan content? (1, Flamebait)

jbolden (176878) | about 2 years ago | (#40661779)

Interestingly enough that's the common wisdom, and it makes sense. But the actual viewerships are quite a bit different:

FOX -- news for the old
MSNBC -- news for the highly educated (more than college)
CNN -- news for the economically liberal

Re:Partisan content? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40662277)

Interestingly enough that's the common wisdom, and it makes sense. But the actual viewerships are quite a bit different:

FOX -- news for the old
MSNBC -- news for the highly educated (more than college)
CNN -- news for the economically liberal

Wait - I'm old (to some folks - only 70), highly educated (PhD) and economically liberal.

What do I watch?

Re:Partisan content? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40662217)

NPR is News for the Conceded.

When did this happent? (2, Insightful)

SeaFox (739806) | about 2 years ago | (#40661221)

Wait, I'm confused. This story suggests that this sale of the Microsoft share of MSNBC is a recent thing, but the summary says the sale happened in 2005. Is this old news, or did Microsoft have additional ownership that has recently (like within this calendar year) been purchased as well to finalize the split?

Re:When did this happent? (1)

thaylin (555395) | about 2 years ago | (#40661249)

re read the summary. It said it sold the shares for msnbc TV, not msnbc.com, back in 2005.

Re:When did this happent? (5, Informative)

rsmith-mac (639075) | about 2 years ago | (#40661279)

It's a bit confusing. There were two MSNBCs: MSNBC the cable channel, and MSNBC the website.

Microsoft divested itself of MSNBC the cable channel in 2005, which is what TFS refers to. MSNBC the cable channel has been owned and operated solely by NBC since then.

MSNBC the website is what today's news is about. Microsoft has sold off their 50% share of MSNBC the website to Comcast/NBC. As a result NBC now has full control over MSNBC the website - content, technology, and (most importantly) advertising.

NBC now owns both MSNBCs. Ultimately in 2013 there will be a single TV/web MSNBC entity just like CNN and FoxNews today. Meanwhile the current MSNBC the website will become NBC's news website.

Re:When did this happen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40661399)

NBC paid over a billion dollars for the Olympics, again.

NBC announced a huge Olympic tie-in with Facebook. (google news is your friend, for purposes of this citation) This is a 180 degree position from the last Olympics. The last Olympics was 'delayed' and only viewable on your TV set during evening prime-time viewing, and NOT on-the-net (with any legality). Now, all is going to be available online, so everyone can chat with their facebook friends. Both NBC and Facebook corporations have gone public to state no cash has (or will) exchanged hands, this is just a pure partnership to grow interactive TV.

Nothing is accidental. Especially the timing of this announcement.

Re:When did this happen? (3, Informative)

arth1 (260657) | about 2 years ago | (#40661487)

The last Olympics was 'delayed' and only viewable on your TV set during evening prime-time viewing, and NOT on-the-net (with any legality). Now, all is going to be available online, so everyone can chat with their facebook friends.

Looked at from another angle, it's being locked down. Facebook isn't "everyone".

And it's still delayed.

Re:When did this happen? (1)

sycodon (149926) | about 2 years ago | (#40662233)

I wonder if they'll edit the tapes to make it look like people who lost, won and people who won, lost. Then they'll claim some controversy based on that.

Re:When did this happent? (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 2 years ago | (#40661287)

One set of shares were for the TV channel, and the other more recent set of shares were for the MSNBC.com website - two separate independent transactions for two separate entities.

Content control by the previous owners? (1)

captainpanic (1173915) | about 2 years ago | (#40661223)

So, if I read this correctly, NBC is its own owner again, and therefore also in charge of its own contents. Independence is important for a news provider.

Re:Content control by the previous owners? (2)

daemonfc (2606137) | about 2 years ago | (#40661305)

Every Cabloid news channel is lying and manipulating and propagandizing the news. There is no real journalism going on, just laundering of corporate agendas and government talking points. CNN and Fox Noise have had their viewership go down by half and 20% respectively, over the last year. I believe the rapid decline is due to the fact that people know they're being lied to and have done to get the real news somewhere else, or have just stopped caring and tuned out. The world is depressing enough already without their crap.

Re:Content control by the previous owners? (1)

jonwil (467024) | about 2 years ago | (#40661363)

Is there such a thing as actual TV news in the US anymore instead of the so-called "news" put out by entities like Fox, CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC etc?
I think "The News Hour" (on PBS in the US and SBS in Australia) is watchable but how does it go on bias and agendas?

Re:Content control by the previous owners? (1, Informative)

Troyusrex (2446430) | about 2 years ago | (#40661571)

I think that PBS is every bit as biased as Fox and MSNBC. IMO, it's biased towards "highbrow" which is to appeal to left leaning upper middle class people. It focuses much more on culture that the masses don't care about (such as opera). It's pro-environmental but in a concerned instead of alarmist way. Oddly, it's pro investing but mildly anti-business (perhaps it'd be more accurate to say it's pro business but also pro heavy regulation of business). It's very pro-welfare state.

My brother, who is a much more avid watcher/listener than I am, calls it "Marxist, feminist radio/TV" and while there's a lot of hyperbole there's a small bit of truth as well.

Re:Content control by the previous owners? (4, Insightful)

Goody (23843) | about 2 years ago | (#40661655)

I think that PBS is every bit as biased as Fox and MSNBC.

What are the equivalencies to Beck, Fox and Friends, Hannity, Maddow, or Olbermann on PBS? PBS is appealing to left leaning upper middle class because the content doesn't cater to political wingnuts like Fox and MSNBC. You're confusing content with bias. When a Fox producer gets caught on the job riling up a crowd at a Tea Party event, Beck promotes "Fox Tea Parties", or FoxNews.com reports the ACA being upheld as affirmation of ObamaTax, that's bias.

Re:Content control by the previous owners? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40662069)

They had Daniel Schorr and especially Bill Moyers. Both thankfully gone now. NPR is being careful to stay away from too much controversy lest they lose most of their funding when Republicans take control again.

Re:Content control by the previous owners? (1)

spike2131 (468840) | about 2 years ago | (#40662093)

NPR is the most conservative force in media today. Fox may make Tea Partiers crazy, but NPR makes liberals complacent.

Maddow != Hannity. (3, Insightful)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 2 years ago | (#40662095)

Both have partisan viewpoints, but that is all the commonality. When it comes to admitting errors, saying "There I go, but for the grace of God" when CNN flubbed the ACA decision, issuing corrections, Maddow is way way better than Hannity.

And here is the clincher: Maddow has a light saber in her desk. [google.com] Hannity comes nowhere close to being as cool as Maddow.

Re:Content control by the previous owners? (1)

starless (60879) | about 2 years ago | (#40662067)

Actually, these days, PBS seems to carry more and more dubious infomercial type "medical" programs, very bland music, and ancient British TV programs.
(OK, I exaggerate a little, not all the British TV programs are old.)

get real. (4, Insightful)

nimbius (983462) | about 2 years ago | (#40662239)

it's biased towards "highbrow" which is to appeal to left leaning upper middle class people.

right, because PBS and NPR are trying to promote enriching and beneficial news and entertainment in separate realms. as for the left leaning upper middle class people, i guess they just havent succumbed to the sophistication of nascar and larry the cable guy.

It focuses much more on culture that the masses don't care about (such as opera).

So the acclaimed science program Nova, Inspector Lewis, Downtown Abbey, and Childrens programming like Barney? im sure there are others [pbs.org]

Oddly, it's pro investing but mildly anti-business

so a television station that isnt willing to just carte blanche pander for advertising cash and instead gets a chance to truly criticize things like hydraulic fracturing and the pharmaceutical industry has somehow become a bad thing.

I doubt your brother has ever watched PBS (the "listeny" one is called NPR, both under the CPB but separate entities.) flamebait bullshit like "theres a small bit of truth" is the same crap FOX does in order to gin up dissent against anything that goes against the GOP or its inherent interests. it would be better to say "my brother once watched Tavis Smiley form a coherent and well structured argument against the established patterns and processes of social inequality as it applies to race, and that didnt fit with my american dream narrative so now the entire station is some sort of marxist cabal."

Re:Content control by the previous owners? (2)

LordNicholas (2174126) | about 2 years ago | (#40662089)

So, if I read this correctly, NBC is its own owner again, and therefore also in charge of its own contents. Independence is important for a news provider.

Hope the OP was aiming for a "funny" mod.

NBC, MSNBC, and CNBC are all owned by NBCUniversal (as in Universal Studios; the two merged in 2004), which is in turn owned by GE and Comcast.

CNN is owned by Turner, which is in turn owned by Time Warner.

ABC is owned by Disney

Fox is owned by Fox Entertainment Group, owned by News Corp

Independence doesn't exist in modern media- at least not in the television space.

oh, so *that's* why it was called MSNBC (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40661227)

Two big profit-making concerns go from providing "news" together to providing "news" apart. Oh well.

Nobody Seems To Notice and Nobody Seems To Care (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40661231)

Nobody Seems To Notice and Nobody Seems To Care - Government & Stealth Malware

In Response To Slashdot Article: Former Pentagon Analyst: China Has Backdoors To 80% of Telecoms 87

How many rootkits does the US[2] use officially or unofficially?

How much of the free but proprietary software in the US spies on you?

Which software would that be?

Visit any of the top freeware sites in the US, count the number of thousands or millions of downloads of free but proprietary software, much of it works, again on a proprietary Operating System, with files stored or in transit.

How many free but proprietary programs have you downloaded and scanned entire hard drives, flash drives, and other media? Do you realize you are giving these types of proprietary programs complete access to all of your computer's files on the basis of faith alone?

If you are an atheist, the comparison is that you believe in code you cannot see to detect and contain malware on the basis of faith! So you do believe in something invisible to you, don't you?

I'm now going to touch on a subject most anti-malware, commercial or free, developers will DELETE on most of their forums or mailing lists:

APT malware infecting and remaining in BIOS, on PCI and AGP devices, in firmware, your router (many routers are forced to place backdoors in their firmware for their government) your NIC, and many other devices.

Where are the commercial or free anti-malware organizations and individual's products which hash and compare in the cloud and scan for malware for these vectors? If you post on mailing lists or forums of most anti-malware organizations about this threat, one of the following actions will apply: your post will be deleted and/or moved to a hard to find or 'deleted/junk posts' forum section, someone or a team of individuals will mock you in various forms 'tin foil hat', 'conspiracy nut', and my favorite, 'where is the proof of these infections?' One only needs to search Google for these threats and they will open your malware world view to a much larger arena of malware on devices not scanned/supported by the scanners from these freeware sites. This point assumed you're using the proprietary Microsoft Windows OS. Now, let's move on to Linux.

The rootkit scanners for Linux are few and poor. If you're lucky, you'll know how to use chkrootkit (but you can use strings and other tools for analysis) and show the strings of binaries on your installation, but the results are dependent on your capability of deciphering the output and performing further analysis with various tools or in an environment such as Remnux Linux. None of these free scanners scan the earlier mentioned areas of your PC, either! Nor do they detect many of the hundreds of trojans and rootkits easily available on popular websites and the dark/deep web.

Compromised defenders of Linux will look down their nose at you (unless they are into reverse engineering malware/bad binaries, Google for this and Linux and begin a valuable education!) and respond with a similar tone, if they don't call you a noob or point to verifying/downloading packages in a signed repo/original/secure source or checking hashes, they will jump to conspiracy type labels, ignore you, lock and/or shuffle the thread, or otherwise lead you astray from learning how to examine bad binaries. The world of Linux is funny in this way, and I've been a part of it for many years. The majority of Linux users, like the Windows users, will go out of their way to lead you and say anything other than pointing you to information readily available on detailed binary file analysis.

Don't let them get you down, the information is plenty and out there, some from some well known publishers of Linux/Unix books. Search, learn, and share the information on detecting and picking through bad binaries. But this still will not touch the void of the APT malware described above which will survive any wipe of r/w media. I'm convinced, on both *nix and Windows, these pieces of APT malware are government in origin. Maybe not from the US, but most of the 'curious' malware I've come across in poisoned binaries, were written by someone with a good knowledge in English, some, I found, functioned similar to the now well known Flame malware. From my experience, either many forum/mailing list mods and malware developers/defenders are 'on the take', compromised themselves, and/or working for a government entity.

Search enough, and you'll arrive at some lone individuals who cry out their system is compromised and nothing in their attempts can shake it of some 'strange infection'. These posts receive the same behavior as I said above, but often they are lone posts which receive no answer at all, AT ALL! While other posts are quickly and kindly replied to and the 'strange infection' posts are left to age and end up in a lost pile of old threads.

If you're persistent, the usual challenge is to, "prove it or STFU" and if the thread is not attacked or locked/shuffled and you're lucky to reference some actual data, they will usually attack or ridicule you and further drive the discussion away from actual proof of APT infections.

The market is ripe for an ambitious company or individual to begin demanding companies and organizations who release firmware and design hardware to release signed and hashed packages and pour this information into the cloud, so everyone's BIOS is checked, all firmware on routers, NICs, and other devices are checked, and malware identified and knowledge reported and shared openly.

But even this will do nothing to stop backdoored firmware (often on commercial routers and other networked devices of real importance for government use - which again opens the possibility of hackers discovering these backdoors) people continue to use instead of refusing to buy hardware with proprietary firmware/software.

Many people will say, "the only safe computer is the one disconnected from any network, wireless, wired, LAN, internet, intranet" but I have seen and you can search yourself for and read about satellite, RF, temperature, TEMPEST (is it illegal in your part of the world to SHIELD your system against some of these APT attacks, especially TEMPEST? And no, it's not simply a CRT issue), power line and many other attacks which can and do strike computers which have no active network connection, some which have never had any network connection. Some individuals have complained they receive APT attacks throughout their disconnected systems and they are ridiculed and labeled as a nutter. The information exists, some people have gone so far as to scream from the rooftops online about it, but they are nutters who must have some serious problems and this technology with our systems could not be possible.

I believe most modern computer hardware is more powerful than many of us imagine, and a lot of these systems swept from above via satellite and other attacks. Some exploits take advantage of packet radio and some of your proprietary hardware. Some exploits piggyback and unless you really know what you're doing, and even then... you won't notice it.

Back to the Windows users, a lot of them will dismiss any strange activity to, "that's just Windows!" and ignore it or format again and again only to see the same APT infected activity continue. Using older versions of sysinternals, I've observed very bizarre behavior on a few non networked systems, a mysterious chat program running which doesn't exist on the system, all communication methods monitored (bluetooth, your hard/software modems, and more), disk mirroring software running[1], scans running on different but specific file types, command line versions of popular Windows freeware installed on the system rather than the use of the graphical component, and more.

[1] In one anonymous post on pastebin, claiming to be from an intel org, it blasted the group Anonymous, with a bunch of threats and information, including that their systems are all mirrored in some remote location anyway.

[2] Or other government, US used in this case due to the article source and speculation vs. China. This is not to defend China, which is one messed up hell hole on several levels and we all need to push for human rights and freedom for China's people. For other, freer countries, however, the concentration camps exist but you wouldn't notice them, they originate from media, mostly your TV, and you don't even know it. As George Carlin railed about "Our Owners", "nobody seems to notice and nobody seems to care".

[3] http://www.stallman.org/ [stallman.org]

Try this yourself on a wide variety of internet forums and mailing lists, push for malware scanners to scan more than files, but firmware/BIOS. See what happens, I can guarantee it won't be pleasant, especially with APT cases.

So scan away, or blissfully ignore it, but we need more people like RMS[3] in the world. Such individuals tend to be eccentric but their words ring true and clear about electronics and freedom.

I believe we're mostly pwned, whether we would like to admit it or not, blind and pwned, yet fiercely holding to misinformation, often due to lack of self discovery and education, and "nobody seems to notice and nobody seems to care".

Free F-Secure FOR LINUX Antivirus! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40661239)

Current version as of July 16, 2012:
(visit site below for newer versions!)

- Linux Security 9.14
Download: http://download.f-secure.com/webclub/f-secure-linux-security-9.14.1942.tar.gz [f-secure.com]
Release Notes: http://download.f-secure.com/webclub/f-secure-linux-security-9.14.1942-release-notes.txt [f-secure.com]

- More Linux Downloads:
https://www.f-secure.com/en/web/business_global/support/downloads [f-secure.com]

- F-Secure Linux weblog:
https://www.f-secure.com/linux-weblog/ [f-secure.com]

MSN.COM (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40661333)

I'm 15 years old what is this?

Re:MSN.COM (1)

Eravnrekaree (467752) | about 2 years ago | (#40662133)

Why don't you visit msn.com and find out what it is? It is pretty self evident. It is a site that Microsoft runs, for news etc, it will remain controlled by MS, after microsoft has sold off its stake in MSNBC, which Microsoft helped found. MSN is also an ISP with dial up access but this is shrinking, due to the fact we have unfortunately monopolies by cable companies and telephone companies on broadband services that other companies are not able to enter that market.

Re:MSN.COM (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40662275)

Do you peek at your sister?

MSnPropganda network not needed no more (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40661365)

ms got what it and its hollywood buddies wanted...
control

The story is what, exactly? (0)

kenh (9056) | about 2 years ago | (#40661409)

As noted in the brief blurb, NBC bought-out Microsoft back in 2005, the branding has changed, but little else will, and the complete seperation of the two will not be completed until 2014, nearly ten years after the buyout.

I seriously doubt the issue was political spin, ratings, etc. since this divorce started back in 2005 - it simply took Microsoft a long time to decide to actually do something with a cable channel on their own.

Why did MS ever combine forces w/ NBC? (3, Insightful)

unixisc (2429386) | about 2 years ago | (#40661411)

When this transaction first happened in the 90s, it didn't make sense to me. Why was MS starting a news channel and a news website, when NBC was already there, and MS really had nothing to bring to the party. I know, that was the era of Friends and Seinfeld, which made NBC far more attractive than Fox, ABC and CBS. However, MS made itself look like a shill for the Left in the eyes of Conservatives, even while it was being investigated by the DoJ for its monopolistic practices.

And these days, do too many people go to these sites? I'd imagine that they go to blogs that have the news about their subject of interest, and go there. This is different from the days of first Usenet, and later, web sites of news organizations. Nowadays, people just throng to the websites they trust, and follow whatever news they want there.

Re:Why did MS ever combine forces w/ NBC? (3, Informative)

jbolden (176878) | about 2 years ago | (#40661637)

Microsoft started MSNBC along with Slate and other such programming because they wanted a focus on internet delivery. They wanted to shift the American audience from consuming media on television to consuming media on computers. Which would lead to widespread broadband adoption and at least one and often multiple computers in every home. Seems to me their plan made quite a bit of sense.

Re:Why did MS ever combine forces w/ NBC? (2)

k(wi)r(kipedia) (2648849) | about 2 years ago | (#40661875)

Microsoft started MSNBC along with Slate and other such programming because they wanted a focus on internet delivery.

Delivery? More like they wanted a say on the content. If they wanted merely to deliver the Internet, then it would have made better sense if they signed up a bunch of different media companies (and not just one) to create a news portal. MS would be their presence on the new-fangled WWW while they continued as cable and broadcast companies (a deal that would be impossible to broker today).

Re:Why did MS ever combine forces w/ NBC? (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 2 years ago | (#40661947)

Well first off they did do that, it was called Microsoft channels and was a key component of I.E. 4. Pointcast and Avantgo ended up offering better alternatives but yes Microsoft did do that.

With the other line, they wanted exclusive content. Microsoft was of the opinion, that the internet allowed for styles of journalism that couldn't exist on print and broadcast. For example offering the depth of good newspaper articles but being updated constantly like cable news. They wanted to be much more than just a news portal with Microsoft media.

Re:Why did MS ever combine forces w/ NBC? (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 years ago | (#40661735)

Everyone was doing it. Remember AOL-TimeWarner, perhaps the worst possible name for a company possible?

Re:Why did MS ever combine forces w/ NBC? (4, Informative)

glebovitz (202712) | about 2 years ago | (#40662011)

I'd like to take the replies one step further. In the mid 1990s Sun, Oracle, AOL, and others were claiming the death to the PC and all desktop computers would become internet devices. The web or network would become the computer and Microsoft would be irrelevant. In response, Gates realigned the company, refocused on the Internet and released Internet Explorer for free. I believe MSNBC partnership was a service side hedge against what Microsoft saw as a Web assault on their business. NBC, Time Warner, and other television a cable outlets also feared the Web. They was the potential for movie, programming, and music companies to reach consumers directly cutting the media giants out as distributors. I was in the Cable business in 1999 and 2000 and heard this directly from a Time Warner content manager. An NBC / Microsoft offering made sense.

By 2004/2005 the partnership no longer made sense. Time Warner / AOL didn't take over the world and media was shifting to individuals through blogging and a trend towards media streaming. YouTube appeared on the scene in 2005/2006 along with Google Video. The trend towards individual contributions has continued to change the nature of news reporting.

I think the biggest change was the movement of news channels from delivering news to providing news entertainment. IMHO Fox, MSNBC, and CNN are now entertainment assets. This goes beyond the original vision of MSNBC as an Internet news outlet.

Partisan Content? (3, Funny)

EmagGeek (574360) | about 2 years ago | (#40661423)

No way, I can't believe it. I thought MSNBC was completely free of bias.

Re:Partisan Content? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40661443)

You'd be amazed how many people scream Fox News whenever they want to talk about news bias, yet the same people wouldn't dare dream of mentioning MSNBC whose staff actively participates in partisan politics right there on camera!

Re:Partisan Content? (1)

windcask (1795642) | about 2 years ago | (#40661539)

The difference between the viewership of Fox News and MSNBC is the latter's demographic views biased news as a problem, and the former views bias in news as the Free Market(TM) at work. MSNBC types enjoy that network's criticism of Fox News so much that they're blind to their own biases.

Re:Partisan Content? (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 years ago | (#40661751)

I don't know, if you talk to a Fox News viewer, they will tell you it is the most unbiased TV station of them all.

I was about to compare this to NBC, but I don't think I've ever actually met a regular NBC News viewer. There must be some of them out there, though.

Re:Partisan Content? (2)

jbolden (176878) | about 2 years ago | (#40661657)

FOXnews hosts regularly engage in fundraising for candidates on air. That being said, I think most left leaning MSNBC watchers understand they are getting news from a Democratic perspective. For years FOX existed and nothing similar existed on the left. Now something similar exists.

Re:Partisan Content? (1, Insightful)

operagost (62405) | about 2 years ago | (#40662369)

For years FOX existed and nothing similar existed on the left.

Just the ABC, CBS, and NBC evening news.

Value of Brand? (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 2 years ago | (#40661561)

I would have guessed they'd have backronym'ed MSNBC due to its name recognition, but apparently the brand was so toxic as to require a rebranding as soon as the ink was dry.

This can only be good (1)

Trogre (513942) | about 2 years ago | (#40661597)

I've always been uneasy about Microsoft, I mean Microsoft, being in control of a news network.

Now it can finally be more pro Obama (1, Funny)

gelfling (6534) | about 2 years ago | (#40661683)

I was worried that MSNBC wouldn't be able to be a fully functioning arm of the White House.

Re:Now it can finally be more pro Obama (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40661795)

Its fox news for Democrats. Nothing wrong with a little balance in the media is there?

Re:Now it can finally be more pro Obama (1, Insightful)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 2 years ago | (#40661821)

Sorry.. I can't take this type of comment seriously without a second sentence about Fox News being an arm of the RNC (or the whitehouse itself during the Bush years).

To mention only one is hypocrisy.

Re:Now it can finally be more pro Obama (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40662035)

Um, you can mention Fox News, but if you do you have to add CNN, CBS, ABC, and virtually every other news outlet to the side of pro-Liberal.

Re:Now it can finally be more pro Obama (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 2 years ago | (#40662131)

Each of the networks you mention show much more pro-corporate bias than pro-liberal bias any day of the week.

Re:Now it can finally be more pro Obama (2)

operagost (62405) | about 2 years ago | (#40662383)

You act like someone can't be pro-corporate and pro-leftist (sorry, but "liberals" aren't liberal) at the same time. Al Gore and George Soros use left-wing means of enriching their business endeavors.

Re:Now it can finally be more pro Obama (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40662385)

To mention only one is hypocrisy.

Your argument is fallacious on two counts. The first one is the tu quoque fallacy [wikipedia.org] ; the reason will be obvious if you follow that link.

The second fallacy is the straw man fallacy. The parent's claim is "MSNBC is biased." You are restating his claim as "only MSNBC is biased." Fox News is relevant iff the parent were claiming that MSNBC is the sole biased news organization out there. Because he wasn't making that claim, Fox News is a non sequitur.

Will it be renamed to NBCNBC? (4, Funny)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | about 2 years ago | (#40661803)

I am still waiting for CNNBCBS, a division of ABC. That would be the worst channel ever.

Re:Will it be renamed to NBCNBC? (4, Informative)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 2 years ago | (#40661827)

They are all already the worst channels ever.

A U.S. citizen has to go to a foreign news source to get any facts about what is happening... and most won't bother as they have to keep up with the kardasians.

Re:Will it be renamed to NBCNBC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40662317)

They are all already the worst channels ever.

A U.S. citizen has to go to a foreign news source to get any facts about what is happening... and most won't bother as they have to keep up with the kardasians.

Why is this modded 'funny'? This has been true for about 20 years now.

Re:Will it be renamed to NBCNBC? (1)

operagost (62405) | about 2 years ago | (#40662395)

kardasians? Are those some kind of Chinese lower-case ripoff? Can I watch the kardasians on my Sorny or Magnetbox TV?

Partisan Content? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40661897)

Have the people at NBC not read their own pages? Could that be any more partisan? With the edited Zimmerman audio and everything else, it's a bloody joke. Idiots.

Microsoft is going it alone not giving up on TV. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40661959)

Obviously they are rebranding and are simply dumping the alliance with NBC completely. They are launching a media channel this fall and no doubt will sell to the cable companies. What they most likely have in mind is an integration with windows8. To understand what they are up to, just look at the button layout and how online centred it really is. When you go online no doubt your default search, news, and video entertainment will all launch from the IE button.

Hell they might even be able to convince comcast, or the likes, to allow access to digital broadcast content directy in MP4 through windows8 off your cable. They are out to completely dominate infotainment on tablets and the PC.

They will either succeed and finally start making real money off the entertainment industry with .net and Silverlight or it will be an historic failure that might just send Ballmer into retirement!

Re:Microsoft is going it alone not giving up on TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40661989)

If you have ever read - the road ahead - by bill gates you will see that this really ties into the plans of microsoft from a long time ago, when apple was still running around looking to stay afloat. The problem was back then it was the equipment would have been to expensive , now with throwaway equipment and people brainwashed into getting new cheap devices every two years it now makes sense.

News Entertainment (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40662125)

NBC - "We just make shit up". To call it "news" is laughable.

Who watches MSNBC anyway? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40662127)

MSNBC hasn't been a real news network since it began. That's why everyone watches Fox News instead.

Top ten reasons to watch MSNBC (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40662141)

1) Martin Bashir
2) Rachel Maddow
3) Chris Hayes
4-7) The Cycle (Krystall Ball, S E Cupp, Taure and Steve K
8 Alex Wagner
9) Lawrence O'donnel
10} Melissa Harris Perry
and also Luke Russert and Ezra Klein - regular guests and standins for some of those shows.

decoupling deep integration (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40662165)

I thought they usually just threw cold water on dogs...

the real reason? (1)

cashman73 (855518) | about 2 years ago | (#40662421)

I suspect that the real reason that MSNBC is breaking up is because Ballmer through a chair through his TV set over some news story, vowing to "destroy MSNBC."
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