Sunday, February 04, 2007
Just Tell the Truth Already, Mr. Bill
Recall the old saying "Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we deign to deceive." It seems someone forgot to teach Bill Gates this — or if they did, he doesn't remember. Folks noticed that in some of his recent public appearances touting Windows Vista, Bill was, um, dishonest in claiming the new software is innovative (well, except in its use of draconian measures to deprive consumers of their fair use rights with digital media). He certainly isn't willing to admit its many obvious similarities to MacOS X, and he refused to concede that Apple had delivered on many of the much-touted features of Vista — years earlier. Well, as it turns out, Bill's nasty habit of lying — even under oath — was for a time a matter of public record. The anti-Microsoft consumer case in Iowa had a public website (now restricted to authorised users) where you could access trial exhibits. Of particular interest were the videotaped depositions of his testimony during the U.S. antitrust trial (in which Microsoft was convicted for being a predatory monopoly). I viewed Clip 12 and saw how Bill shifted and squirmed in his chair under questioning. At times I could even hear the exasperation in the voice of the person questioning Bill — Bill is by turns cagey, evasive, and downright mendacious. It's a pathetic display — of shameless lying. In the face of such a dismal public outing of Bill's thoroughly deceitful mentality, his otherwise praiseworthy philanthropic efforts now come across to me as brazen attempts to distract attention away from (if not atone for) his moral failings. If you're not fooled, you can take some consolation in the fact that others aren't fooled, either. It seems some of us learned a lesson from Enron. Would that more people did likewise.