Boynton Beach Fires Two Officials After Mural Changed to Remove Black Faces

first_imgTwo Boynton Beach officials have lost their jobs, after an art project in the city was changed to replace the images of two black former fire chiefs with white faces.City Manager Lori LaVerriere said in a statement on Saturday that she has terminated public arts manager Debby Coles-Dobay, and has also removed Matthew Petty as chief of the Boynton Beach Fire Rescue Department.A few hours later, LaVerriere added that she and Petty “agreed that it is in the best interest of the city of Boynton Beach that we mutually separate employment.”The move comes after a public mural that showed the images of two black former fire chiefs in the city was painted over with white faces.“The decision made to alter the artwork that was approved by the Public Arts Commission was wrong and disrespectful to our community,” LaVerriere wrote.She continued, “Every employee in the city of Boynton Beach works for its community. As a leader, I have been very clear that I will not tolerate any employee to be disrespectful, in any shape or form, to any members of our community.”LaVerriere also said the decisions “difficult but necessary.”last_img read more

Bulls exercise options on Portis, 4 other players

first_imgChicago Bulls guard Denzel Valentine celebrates his three-point play during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017, in Chicago. The Bulls won 91-86. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)CHICAGO — The Chicago Bulls have exercised their fourth-year option on Bobby Portis after the forward was suspended for eight games for injuring teammate Nikola Mirotic during a fight at practice.The Bulls also picked up third-year options on guards Kris Dunn and Denzel Valentine and fourth-year options on guards Jerian Grant and Cameron Payne. The moves were announced on Friday, meaning the players are under contract for the 2018-19 season.ADVERTISEMENT Portis and Mirotic got into an altercation during practice on Oct. 17. Mirotic suffered broken bones in his face as well as a concussion. He likely will need surgery.Portis publicly apologized to Mirotic last Saturday. He said at the time that he had reached out to Mirotic, but had not received a response. It’s unclear if the two will be able to play together again.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smog“I feel like I let my fans, the Bulls organization and most importantly my teammates down,” Portis said last weekend. “This is not who Bobby Portis is.”Portis, Dunn, Valentine, Grant and Payne are former first-round picks. Portis and Valentine were selected by the Bulls, while Dunn, Grant and Payne were acquired via trade. Dunn came over in the draft-night deal that moved Jimmy Butler to Minnesota. He could make his Bulls debut Saturday against Oklahoma City after he missed the start of the season to rehab a dislocated left index finger.Valentine, who turns 24 on Nov. 16, is averaging 10 points through four games this season. He was the 14th pick in last year’s draft out of Michigan State.Portis, who went No. 22 overall out of Arkansas in 2015, is averaging 6.9 points and five rebounds over 126 games with the Bulls. He is allowed to practice with the team while he is suspended.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Tiger Woods pleads guilty to reckless driving, avoids jail Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ LATEST STORIES Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set Kiss-and-tell matinee idol’s conquests: True stories or tall tales? Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set Jo Koy: My brain always wants to think funny View commentslast_img read more

Palami hopes near meltdown vs Fiji spurs Azkals

first_imgThe players may have stayed optimistic after a near disaster, but Philippine Azkals team manager Dan Palami had different sentiment after the team’s 3-2 victory over Fiji in their international friendly Thursday .Visibly irked with the dismal showing in the final third of the match, the longtime national team patron agreed that the Azkals surrendering two late goals is a legitimate cause of concern heading into the all-important match against Tajikistan on Tuesday in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.ADVERTISEMENT Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew “We had almost the same kind of result coming to Tajikistan, an 8-1 drubbing by China which is equivalent to almost like this result,” said Palami.READ: Despite late scare vs Fiji, Azkals get ‘good training session’ ahead of crucial matchThe humiliating defeat, however, spurred the Philippines to perform better and eke out the 4-3 victory over Tajikistan in Dushanbe, something that he hopes that the squad could replicate come Tuesday.“For me, it’s good that we saw our mistakes in this game. We have to assess ourselves and at least, you have four more training days to prepare for the more important game. Hopefully in that four days, the players who weren’t able to play like (Daisuke) Sato and (Javier) Patiño will get fitter, and those who did well will be given a chance to really excel on Tuesday’s match,” he said.Palami also doesn’t want the Azkals to be overwhelmed with pressure as they seek a spot in the continental showpiece, which would be a first for the country since the inception of the tournament.ADVERTISEMENT “I don’t even want the players to look at the historical significance of the game. It’s just one game,” he said. “Just get that win and the historical impact will the consequence of that game. Let’s not look at that, let’s look at the game on Tuesday and let’s get the result for that game.”However, Palami couldn’t shake off the sting of the near-scare and he hopes that it could serve as a reality check for the team ahead of the much-awaited match.“We could have played better,” he said.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Cabuyao City rising above the ashes through volunteerism Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil In Liverpool, Man United sees the pain and path to recovery Conor McGregor seeks to emerge from controversy in UFC comeback Scarlett Johansson, Sterling K. Brown among SAG Awards presenters Judy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’ READ: Azkals survive late scare, escape Fiji in friendly “Certainly. For that scoreline, for that result in the last half, it is a cause of concern,” he said.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkPalami has every reason to be disappointed, considering the difference between the two nation’s place in the world rankings. The Philippines sits at 122nd, while Fiji is ranked 168th.He even went to as far as likening the match to the Azkals’ 1-8 defeat to China in a friendly last June. LATEST STORIES Recto seeks to establish Taal rehab body to aid community, eruption victims Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Chris Gavina open to coaching UE Red Warriors MOST READ View commentslast_img read more

Sexual Offences, Child Abuse Registry being tested

first_imgAlthough the much-anticipated Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Registries were launched back in September, sources have indicated that they were yet to be officially opened to the public.An officer attached to the Child Care and Protection Agency (CCPA) said that the software has been set up and was being tested to ensure all aspects were intact.Back in August, CCPA Director Ann Greene revealed the Agency’s plans to haveCCPA Director Ann Greenethe Registries launched during Child Protection Week.The Child Abuse Registry will be helpful in providing information in relation to a person’s biography. Greene pointed out that the perpetrators of sexual abuse would be publicised and exposed to the public, who would be able to access the requisite information on the Internet.“People were clamouring for that, and so I gave a commitment to launch the Child Abuse Registry. It is really to put online the persons who would have committed offences against children. If anybody wants to employ anybody, you could run the Child Abuse Registry,” she explained.Greene did not reveal the cost of the programme, but only said it was budgeted for and it was a rather technical database.“A lot of information will be made available through the Registry; (like) the type of abuse, the person’s age, their name, where they’re from, and so on. Because when we set up this database, we can do drafts and look and see where the abusers are. We can pull up the map and see where they are,” she revealed.The perpetrators’ pictures, she said, will also likely be available through the Registry, since the department is cognisant of the fact that some people have identical names.It was on this note that the Director reiterated the importance of such a database in combating child abuse nationally.The Social Protection Ministry first announced plans to establish this type of registry back in 2016. The then Government Information Agency (GINA) had reported that the Ministry would be embarking on a series of community outreaches countrywide to develop a registry to ensure that all vulnerable individuals and families were accounted for.last_img read more

Jagdeo elected new PPP General Secretary

first_img… youth leaders disappointed with Rohee’s media commentsBY DEVINA SAMAROOOpposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo was on Saturday voted in as the new General Secretary of the country’s longest standing political force, the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) – replacing Clement Rohee who held the position for the last five years.Bharrat Jagdeo speaking to media operatives following his election as the new PPP General SecretaryJagdeo was nominated by Dr Roger Luncheon and his nomination was supported by Irfaan Ali.His contender was Dr Frank Anthony, who was nominated by Rohee and supported by former President Donald Ramotar.In accordance with the Party’s Constitution, the PPP held its first post-Congress Central Committee meeting during which an election held by secret ballot to determine a new General Secretary.ChallengingJagdeo was positive that his role as both Leader of the Opposition and General Secretary would not be too challenging since being a President for 12 years was much more demanding.Nonetheless, he did not undermine the work cut out for him, noting that the PPP will have to work hard towards a resounding victory in 2020.“The task ahead of us is to prepare this Party to win the next elections and I’ve made it clear about what this Party will focus on over the next few years. We want to reiterate the message that this Party is open to people of every race. That was our founding principle and we remain faithful to that,” he expressed.Jagdeo noted too that the Party will continue to work robustly in its stronghold areas and will intensify its outreach to those in the strongholds of the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) communities.Clement Rohee sharing his thoughts on the new PPP General Secretary“We have a progressive message to take to those communities. This is not a Party for 50 per cent of the people, of 49 per cent who they claim voted for us. We are the Opposition for everyone in Guyana,” he emphasised.In further outlining his vision for the PPP, with the new General Secretary explaining that the Party will have to give priority to the creation and development of young leaders.“You will see young leaders being given more responsibilities in the managing of our Party,” he stated.On another note, Jagdeo lauded Rohee for his “valuable contributions” to the PPP during his tenure as General Secretary.Speaking on the possibility of him emerging as the next presidential candidate of the PPP, the Opposition Leader said the matter will be decided when the time is right.DisappointedHowever Rohee, in an interview with media operatives, who were staking out Freedom House for hours, expressed some comments as to the outcome of the election, contending that a youthful face should have been given the opportunity to take the lead of the PPP.Rohee explained nonetheless that this is all the “vagaries of politics”.Asked if he will support Jagdeo unconditionally as the new General Secretary of the Party, Rohee stated “We’re all in the PPP, we work as a collective. That’s the most I can say to that. Rohee expects Jagdeo to uphold the tradition of the PPP as a working class Party that supports the struggle of the working people.SupportHowever, a young member of the Party’s Executive, who was at Saturday’s election, on Saturday evening expressed disappointment that Rohee would go to the media to discuss an issue that was discussed at the Party’s highest level.According to the source, during Saturday’s proceedings, Rohee dropped out of the race knowing fully well that he is not magnanimous and as such, did not have and as would not receive enough youth support. As such, he threw his support behind Dr Anthony.On the issue of youthful faces, the source pointed out that both Jagdeo and Dr Anthony are of the same age group – with Jagdeo being 52 and Anthony, 51, and as such, could not comprehend why a party stalwart would make such a public statement.The source disclosed that of the 11 votes received by Dr Anthony for the General Secretary position, most were from the older party stalwarts in their 60’s and early 70’s. Jagdeo received 24 votes.The young Executive Member also pointed out that at the recently concluded 31st Congress of the Party, the youth party members threw their support behind Jagdeo.New ExecutiveMeanwhile, the PPP also elected some new faces to the Party’s 15-seat Executive Committee – the highest decision-making forum of the PPP.The new Executive Committee comprises Anil Nandlall (28 votes), Clement Rohee (26 votes), Irfaan Ali (25 votes), Dr Roger Luncheon (25 votes), Gail Teixeira (25 votes), Zulfikar Mustapha (24 votes), Donald Ramotar (23 votes), Frank Anthony (22 votes), Neil Kumar (22 votes), Shyam Nokta (22 votes), Clinton Collymore (21 votes), Collin Croal (21 votes), Dharamkumar Seeraj (21 votes), Pauline Sukhai (21 votes) and Bheri Ramsaran (20 votes).The Executive Committee also comprises of three candidate members who are void of voting powers. These persons are Nigel Dharamlall, Vickram Bharat and Fizal Jaffarally.Additionally, the Central Committee also elected the following Secretaries: Zulfikar Mustapha – Executive Secretary; Irfaan Ali – Finance Secretary; Anil Nandlall – Public Relations; Hydar Ally – Education; Bheri Ramsarran – International Relations; Gail Teixeira – Mass Organisation; Rick Ramraj – Organising Secretary; and Nigel Dharamlall – Trade Union.last_img read more

Ashley puts Newcastle up for sale

first_imgNewcastle have been relegated from the Premier League twice in the Ashley era, with the 53-year-old angering Magpies fans with his failed managerial appointments and his decision to sell naming rights to the club’s historic stadium.Ashley has frustrated current Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez by failing to back the Spaniard in the transfer market.Benitez has publicly complained about Newcastle’s spending on several occasions since leading them to promotion from the Championship last season, with Ashley responding that he doesn’t have the cash to compete with superpowers like Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United.Now Ashley, who paid £134 million ($178 million, 150 million euros) for Newcastle, reportedly hopes to find a new owner by the end of the year following the formal announcement of his sale plan.“As one of the Premier League’s oldest and best supported football clubs – and for the benefit of its many fans and supporters in the UK and across the world – Newcastle United requires a clear direction and a path to a bright and successful future,” a Newcastle statement read.“To give the club the best possible opportunity of securing the positioning and investment necessary to take it to the next level, at what is an important time in its history, its present ownership has determined that it is in the best interests of Newcastle United and its fans for the club to be put up for sale.”– Sour atmosphere –Speculation over Newcastle’s future was ramped up after the appearance of financier Amanda Staveley at their match against Liverpool earlier this month.After initially trying to win over Newcastle fans by sitting with them at away matches — the Londoner was often pictured in a Newcastle shirt drinking beer with supporters — Ashley spent far less time at the north-east club once the atmosphere soured in recent years.He unsuccessfully cycled through a host of managers in a bid to transform Newcastle’s fortunes, with Kevin Keegan, Joe Kinnear, Alan Pardew and Steve McClaren among his hires.Newcastle are currently ninth in the Premier League after Sunday’s 2-2 draw at Southampton, but Ashley looks to have realised more investment is needed and he is willing to let a new buyer defer part of the payments to allow funds to be used on improving Benitez’s squad.“To give an incoming owner the maximum possible flexibility to make meaningful investment in the club, including in its playing squad, the sale process will give interested parties the opportunity of deferring substantial payments,” the statement added.“A process will now commence of identifying new ownership for the club that will be capable of delivering the sustained investment in and dedication to the club that is necessary for it to achieve its ambitions.”Ashley’s impending exit was greeted with glee by two former Newcastle stars Alan Shearer and Rob Lee, who both tweeted celebratory messages.Shearer’s post, showing the cast of American sitcom Seinfeld dancing, was accompanied by the phrase “Just heard…..”, while Lee’s was captioned “at last”.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Newcastle have been relegated from the Premier League twice in the era of owner Mike Ashley, with the 53-year-old angering Magpies fans with his failed managerial appointments and his decision to sell naming rights to the club’s historic stadium © AFP/File / CHRIS J RATCLIFFELondon, United Kingdom, Oct 16 – Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley is ready to end his controversial reign after putting the Premier League club up for sale on Monday.Ashley has been a polarising figure at Newcastle since taking over at St James’ Park in 2007 and the sports retail tycoon has decided now is the time to step down.last_img read more

Thousands still without power

first_img 165Let’s talk business.Catch up on the business news closest to you with our daily newsletter. Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Weary crews are working double shifts today to restore power to thousands of customers who lost electricity during the heat wave. Among the hardest hit cities include Diamond Bar, Hacienda Heights and Whittier. According to the latest count, nearly 13,000 customers in and around Los Angeles served by Southern California Edison are reported to be without electricity. last_img

Odds reveal favourites to replace Jose Mourinho as Man United manager

first_img Is this the end of the line for Mourinho at Man United? Could Simeone finally be tempted to leave Atleti if Man United come calling? Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? Sky Sports presenter apologises for remarks made during Neville’s racism discussion Liverpool news live: Klopp reveals when Minamino will play and issues injury update latest Man United have reportedly already held talks with Zidane gameday cracker SORRY Green reveals how he confronted Sarri after Chelsea’s 6-0 defeat at Man City tense *Odds correct as of October 6, 2018 Last Saturday’s 3-1 reverse at West Ham was arguably the worse defeat of the lot, coming at the end of a seven-day spell in which the Red Devils were also held by Wolves and beaten by Derby in the Carabao Cup.Disagreements with key players such as Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford and Eric Bailly have made this a real crisis week, and reports suggest Mourinho will be axed in the coming days. How Everton could look in January under Ancelotti with new signings changes The average first-team salaries at every Premier League club in 2019 Guardiola-inspired tactics: Is this how Arsenal will line up under Arteta? predicted 4 Is a Premier League return on the cards for Martinez? 4 Reports have emerged suggesting Jose Mourinho will be SACKED by Manchester United this weekend – regardless of the club’s result in their Premier League clash against Newcastle.Mourinho, the Portuguese, is living on the brink after guiding United to just three victories in their first seven Premier League matches, leaving the Old Trafford club 10th in the table. 4 REVEALED whoops The Mirror say United will sack Mourinho this weekend even if three points are picked up against Newcastle – a game which is LIVE on talkSPORT – but senior club chiefs have denied these reports.Zinedine Zidane, the former Real Madrid manager, has been linked with succeeding Mourinho for a number of weeks, but who is the favourite to take the job should the Portuguese be axed? take a look at the 15 favourites to become Man United manager, according to odds from SkyBet…=13. Max Allegri (Juventus) – 25/1=13. Laurent Blanc (Unattached) – 25/1=13. Leonardo Jardim (Monaco) – 25/1=11. Roberto Martinez (Belgium) – 20/1 4 revealed silverware Did Mahrez just accidentally reveal Fernandinho is leaving Man City this summer? England’s most successful clubs of the past decade, according to trophies won Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT =7. Carlo Ancelotti (Napoli) – 16/1=5. Ryan Giggs (Wales) – 14/1=5. Brendan Rodgers (Celtic) – 14/1Must-listen Manchester United rant: Tony Cascarino blasts Red Devils and Jose Mourinho in six-minute talkSPORT tirade while revealing Zinedine Zidane talks4. Michael Carrick (Manchester United assistant) – 12/13. Mauricio Pochettino (Tottenham) – 10/12. Antonio Conte (Unattached) – 6/11. Zinedine Zidane (Unattached) – 4/7 Most read in Premier League =11. Arsene Wenger (Unattached) – 20/1=9. Luis Enrique (Spain) – 18/1=9. Didier Deschamps (France) – 18/1=7. Diego Simeone (Atletico Madrid) – 16/1last_img read more

How to Scale Code Deployment Like Twitter Does

first_imgSo how did Twitter accomplish this?Murder is built on top of BitTornado, a version of BitTorrent modified to include advanced functionality. Gadea says they have tweaked the app to better function in the unique environment that exists in a datacenter, including “low-latency access to servers, high bandwidth, no NAT/Firewall issues, no ISP traffic shaping, only trusted peers, etc.” By integrating this tool with their existing deployment app, Capistrano, Twitter was able to shorten code deployments by 99.5%. Anyone can checkout Murder on GitHub right now and start thinking of ways to use it with their servers. It is important for young companies – not just those with several servers – to think about scalability before it becomes an issue. Projects like Murder are making that process much easier for first time entrepreneurs and system administrators.Photo by Flickr user rebeccakoconnor. There is a fundamental problem that Internet startups face when they begin to grow: scalability. It is imperative to be able to not only handle large flows of data from usage, but also to deploy changes and upgrades to your software across multiple servers as fast as possible. Twitter faces this challenge every day as its farm of servers grows, and today the San Francisco-based company is open sourcing its solution to the deployment problem for all to use.Named “Murder” after the collective noun used to describe a group of crows (I guess “Gaggle,” “Flock” or any other bird plural didn’t sound as nice), this part-Python, part-Ruby tool allows lighting fast code deployments across large groups of servers. Twitter engineer Larry Gadea says it took what once was a 40 minute deploy and shortened it just 12 seconds – an impressive feat, no doubt. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting chris cameron A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#start#tips last_img read more

Google’s FTC Settlement Is An Epic Fail For Microsoft

first_imgTags:#FTC#Google#Mark Penn#Microsoft#search dan lyons 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostingcenter_img Microsoft had a pretty lousy year in 2012, putting out a string of big products – Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and the Surface tablet – that all turned out to be be disappointing.But those pale in comparison to what may be the biggest disappointment in Microsoft’s history — its failure to convince antitrust regulators to take action against Google.After a 19-month investigation and despite much prodding from Microsoft, the Federal Trade Commission has reached a settlement with Google that basically amounts to a slap on the wrist.This is a crushing blow to Microsoft, which has spent millions of dollars on lobbyists and phony grassroots groups over the past several years hoping to land Google in hot water.Indeed, Microsoft’s obsession with Google doesn’t just border on crazy. It is crazy, and not just a little tiny bit crazy but full-blown, bunny-boiling, Ahab-versus-the-whale nutso.The Shadow WarFor years Microsoft has devoted massive resources and energy to waging a sneaky shadow war against Google, fielding an army of lobbyists and front groups that exist almost completely to spread anti-Google propaganda, including, the Association for Competitive Technology, FairSearch and SafeGov. They call themselves “industry groups,” and they have lots of members, but they’re basically Microsoft fronts devoted to hating on Google. Take a glance through ICOMP’s “newsroom” and “Voices” section and white papers and “ICOMP in the News” section. It’s pretty much all Google, all the time — and all negative. It’s a whole website devoted to bashing Google, and frankly it’s kind of incredible, in a twisted way.FairSearch does much the same. Its site is loaded with Google bashing. FairSearch’s spokesman is Ben Hammer, who works for the Glover Park Group, a lobbying and PR firm in Washington, D.C., that used to lobby for Microsoft. Before taking on his role at FairSearch, Hammer worked on the Microsoft account for Glover Park.FairSearch also hired Patrick Lynch, the former attorney general in Rhode Island, as a consultant —  and then Lynch began lobbying states to investigate Google and publishing op-ed pieces in newspapers bashing Google for “abusing its power,” among other things.Microsoft even hired Randall Long, a former FTC attorney who had worked on investigations into Google during his time at the commission. A watchdog group protested and called the hire “suspicious.”In 2009 Microsoft spent millions of dollars to kill a proposed deal between Google and Yahoo. Read this Wired story about what Microsoft did, and you’ll be flabbergasted.That battle was fought by an internal SWAT team that is devoted to hobbling Google. The team is led by a lawyer, John Kelly. (See his LinkedIn bio here.) Also on the team is Kate O’Sullivan, a former exec at Burson-Marsteller, a top Microsoft PR agency that has a hand in running ICOMP.The SafeGov ‘Grassroots’ CampaignMore recently, as Google started trying to sell Google Apps to government agencies – competing against Microsoft Office by offering much lower prices – Microsoft helped create a new group called, another so-called “grassroots” organization whose mission supposedly is to discuss issues around government computing policies, but really ends up being just another front for bashing Google.SafeGov’s “experts” include Doug Miller of Milltech Consulting, who used to work at Microsoft doing “competitive strategy,” and earlier this year disclosed a consulting relationship with Microsoft. There’s also Jeff Gould of Peerstone Research, another SafeGov expert who has disclosed his consulting connection to Microsoft in the Washington Post and on a site called The Open Enterprise, but not in his SafeGov bio. Finally there’s Bryan Cunningham of Cunningham Partners who co-founded a company called Polaris Consulting whose lobbying clients included Microsoft —  though again this connection is not mentioned in his SafeGov bio.SafeGov’s other experts include four people from the Chertoff Group — a lobbying organization run by former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff. They’ve done their part to bash Google. Chertoff criticized Google in the Wall Street Journal in July 2012. Richard Falkenrath, a principal at Chertoff and a SafeGov expert, criticized Google in the Financial Times in February 2012. Yet another SafeGov expert, Andrew Weis of Civitas, warned about Google and privacy in the Chronicle of Higher Education in February 2012.All For NothingAnd now all Microsoft’s plotting and scheming has come to nothing. Or almost nothing.The FTC has settled with Google on the allegations of search engine manipulation. As FTC Chairman Jon Liebowitz has stated, the investigation is closed and the FTC is satisfied that Google was not acting in anti-competitive fashion. “On balance, we didn’t believe that the evidence supported an FTC challenge to this aspect of Google’s business under American law,” Leibowitz said in a press conference on Thursday. There won’t be any protracted (and distracting) legal battle. There won’t be any embarrassing depositions. Google will just make a few little changes that it has already agreed to and the Feds will back off.Of course FairSearch is howling about the settlement and claiming the FTC “failed in its mission to protect American consumers.” Microsoft is still holding out hope that European regulators will do something to hobble Google. And that may happen.But here in the States, the whole campaign is starting to look not just evil but also ridiculous and even pathetic, a failed crusade that smacks of revenge and failure and sad psychodrama.Why Not Just Make Better Products?Microsoft has spent the past 10 years missing out on every big new trend — search, social, mobile. Instead of looking inward and trying to fix its own problems, Microsoft has become ever more obsessed with Google.The crusade extends to PR as well. Last year Microsoft hired Mark Penn, the pollster and PR guy who led Hillary Clinton’s 2008 train wreck of a campaign.Penn’s mission is to create smear campaigns about Google. One of his big brainstorms was the “Scroogled” campaign which tried to persuade people that Google’s search results are tainted by advertising. Microsoft ran full-page ads in newspapers and spots on Monday Night Football. It even created a site,, and urged people to complain about Google on Facebook.Then came the “Droid Rage” ploy, where Microsoft used its Windows Phone account on Twitter to ask Android users to send in Android malware stories to win a prize. The campaign backfired when Android fans used the hashtag to mock Microsoft.Going negative might work in politics, but when you’re selling products it’s probably wiser to tout the virtues of your own product. The risk Microsoft is taking is that by howling about Google, Microsoft starts to look like a company that can no longer compete, a desperate dinosaur that has toppled into the tar pit.Worse, Microsoft starts to seem a little unhinged. Nevertheless, don’t expect this freak show to end anytime soon. Supposedly Penn has been going around Washington trying to recruit consultants, telling them that Microsoft has armed him with a $50 million budget to go after Google.Imagine the kind of cool product that a team of great engineers could dream up with $50 million. Instead, we’ll get more negative ads and ineffective lobbying, while the Surface continues to post disappointing sales figures, and Windows Phone languishes in the cellar of the smartphone market, and while Android continues to gain market share in smartphones and tablets and the FTC can’t find a way, despite all of Microsoft’s finagling and pleading, to make a case against Google. Keep up the great work, Microsoft.See also: Google Escapes Unscathed From From FTC Settlement and Microsoft’s Fight Against Google Continues With YouTube App Complaint.Image by ReadWrite. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…last_img read more