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06.25.07

The Laura DiDio Shill Spreads the Anti-Linux IP FUD

Posted in Deception, FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 8:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Surprise, surprise. One familiar face, same old agenda. A couple of recent jabs lead us to this rant.

Miss DiDio, who has earned her reputation as a a shill whose income comes from Microsoft, strikes again. This represents just one poisonous statement among many others which you might find in the news. These usually come from so-called ‘analysts’ that are close to Microsoft. In case you wonder about the latest FUD, have a quick look:

“It can impact enterprise users if somebody decides to sue for patent infringement … and they don’t have any protection in place,” DiDio said. “That is always a danger.”

There has been a lot more coming from the mouth recently. Pamela Jones highlighted one such incident and observation last week:

Obviously, the journalist doesn’t realize that Shuttleworth was talking about free as in speech, not free as in beer. In fact, he used the word freedom, not free. But it whizzed right over her head. That is so basic, I will opine, with my feet up on the desk, that she hasn’t a clue what FOSS is about and did not a minute’s research on what freedom means in this quotation.

There are several others therein. For example:

Here’s what DiDio said:

     “If you look at the success of Linux you have to ask how it got so good so fast,” Didio said. “Well there’s a reason. A lot of people will maintain that Linux is ripped-off Unix code — and certainly there is a lot of Unix in Linux.”

It doesn’t take long to do a background check and realise there is dangerous bias therein.

Laura Didio

[...]

An example of her opinion on how Open Source Software is handled shows in this remark (quoted from a phone interview from her home in Massachusetts): “The thing about Linux is, you can talk about a free, open operating system all you want, but you can’t take that idea of free and open and put it into a capitalist system and maintain it as though it is some kind of hippie commune or ashram, because if you can do it like that, at that point I’m like, ‘Pass the hookah please!’” [1]

Even recently, after admitting that a SCO victory in their case against IBM seemed like an extreme longshot, Didio said, “There is a larger issue, though: Even if the SCO case gets dismissed entirely, it does not remove the copyright cloud hanging over Linux and open source.” [2]

[...]

Unsurprisingly, Linux advocates have in response heavily criticised DiDio. Typical criticisms are a lack of formal Computer Science qualifications and promoting studies funded by Microsoft; frequently this has resulted in questioning of her integrity and her being characterised as “a Microsoft shill”.

Why do serious publications keep polluting the news with disinformation? Not so long ago, the founder of the Yankee Group attacked Linux as well, calling the ‘movement’ an actual “religion”. Bear in mind that the Yankee Group has done studies for Microsoft, notably ones that claim high Linux TCO. As long as the news deceives, we should continue to rebut.

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8 Comments

  1. mcintosh said,

    June 25, 2007 at 12:05 pm

    Gravatar

    >>Not so long ago, the founder of the Yankee Group attacked Linux as >>well, calling the ‘movement’ an actual “religion”.

    I’m sure that a lot of us come across as if we have a religious fervor, particularly out of frustration with seeing people that we care about paying for a cheesburger when they could eat lobster for free. Let’s say you give a damn about, oh, your mother. Would you want her using a computer that has a guaranteed lack of security through a monolithic design with a welded-in browser or a computer with a modular, intrinsically more secure operating system (of course, this could also appeal to your self-interest, since an insecure operating system could help crackers rob her of what otherwise could someday be your inheritance)? Would you rather that she had to continually pay to upgrade hardware when the monopoly forces her to use the latest bloatware?

    Yeah, it’s hard to not come across as foaming at the mouth when we see the zombies all around us. However, we need to occasionally take a deep breath (or three) to calm down and remember how Linux got to the point where it is. While fans helped get the word out, performance is what clinched the deal. I did not convert because of anyone’s enthusiasm. I converted because XP had unacceptably poor performance, reliability, and configurability. I converted because I figured that, even with no training, trying Linux out would be a relief from the frustration I’d experienced with a year of XP. Within a day or so, Fedora had me working less to keep my PC going and keep it going faster than XP.

    Performance got us here, and performance will keep us going. As long as we have that, and a commitment to keep the GPL strong and clean, MS is hopelessly outgunned.

    Regards.

  2. MattD said,

    June 25, 2007 at 12:12 pm

    Gravatar

    Laura DiDio has a long history with Linux users that isn’t very good. Her name is one of the few that I remember because of a flurry of articles sometime back (2005) trying to beat down linux-users as malicious, dangerous lunatic stalkers.

    It’s clear that any objectivity she professes to have for the Yankee Group (supposedly an objective consulting firm) was lost a long-time ago because her own objectivity was called into question.

    Her feelings have been hurt with a nickname labelling her as “DiDiot” and one can only surmise that her emotions play a major role in the performance of her job. It’s a shame and a crime that the integrity of people like DiDio continue to be an issue (and a hurdle) when it comes to Open Source Software Technologies aimed at improving the lives of so many.

  3. Shane Coyle said,

    June 25, 2007 at 3:02 pm

    Gravatar

    Once or Twice, Ms. DiDio has been quoted here in a positive sense.

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    June 25, 2007 at 7:18 pm

    Gravatar

    Shane, there are other such examples, but the prejudice and insults prove this to be an attempt to show balance.

  5. kripken said,

    June 26, 2007 at 3:54 am

    Gravatar

    “It can impact enterprise users if somebody decides to sue for patent infringement … and they don’t have any protection in place,” DiDio said. “That is always a danger.”

    Well, actually that is 100% accurate. There is a need for SOME form of protection, because of the extremely unhealthy US patent system. Ignoring the danger (for the enterprise, at least) is reckless.

    Which is exactly why Red Hat (and Oracle, and others) provides indemnification for their Linux users (and Microsoft does the same for Windows). Patent indemnification is in fact the correct form of protection; unfounded and detrimental ‘patent covenants’ like the recent Microsoft-Linux distro deals are very wrong.

    We should fight the Microsoft-Novell (and other) deals all we can, but we shouldn’t claim that there isn’t a need for protection from patents.

  6. Roy Schestowitz said,

    June 26, 2007 at 4:03 am

    Gravatar

    I beg to differ, kripken. Let’s not forget OIN, the LF, and the DoJ, for example. Additionally, patents need to be tested in court. So far, judging by two cases that we saw a couple of months ago, junk patents don’t get so far. In fact, they dissolve.

  7. kripken said,

    June 27, 2007 at 12:18 am

    Gravatar

    Roy,

    I agree 100% that OIN is a powerful tool in protecting from patent threats, as well as other factors you mentioned. Still, if I were running a business (in the US), I would want the assurance of formal patent indemnification from my vendor. Sure, some patent cases have dissolved, but others have gone through – e.g., the recent billion-dollar verdict against Microsoft for MP3 patents. The problems with the patent system are too great to be ignored, sadly.

    But anyhow, as I said, patent indemnification is already offered by the major commercial Linux vendors (Red Hat, etc.), so this isn’t a problem in practice.

  8. Roy Schestowitz said,

    June 27, 2007 at 1:12 am

    Gravatar

    Good point, kripken. You opened up my eyes to the importance of indemnification, even if it’s all about perception that serves the customer’s mind.

    If only a bogus perceived risk was not part of this. It was ‘shoved’ into the equation to fuel FUD. SCO’s case ought to have taught us that apathy is a cure to an unnecessarily worried mind.

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