EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

01.27.08

HOWTO: Poison the World Against ODF

Posted in Deception, Formats, Free/Libre Software, FUD, Google, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument at 1:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Google Poisoning

When Microsoft got its claws around XenSource’s neck (a partnership) it seems to have also landed insiders around the company. That was before ‘acquiring’ it, by proxy. A reader of this Web site engaged in some conversations with us and for months he has been suggesting that a Google is absorbing too many former Microsoft employees. Schmidt has already warned about the differences in terms of corporate culture, but it hasn’t been much of a barrier in reality. Google is sometimes recruiting those who are leaving Microsoft in droves.

According to our reader, “there is the concrete problem with crapflooding Google and other search engines. Hence my complaints about Google News. Google News itself may be unimportant but letting MSFTers outside or inside Google bury topics is not appropriate.” A similar problem exists in Yahoo and MSN/Live and we will get to this at the end of this post.

Speaking for myself, luckily enough I have access to Google News, so I can add several FOSS or Linux items per day. Google has a list of sites to pick news from and the LinuxElectrons Webmaster kindly invited me some time ago. The site is on Google’s aggregator, but there appears to be some human moderation involved.

“Could it be gaming of the algorithm? Corporate secrecy paying its toll?”Another issue then arose. Our reader asked: “How does that work and is that how the ODF news search is spammed with anti-ODF material?” Whether there is an automated filtering algorithm or not it probably would be hard to tell (too much secrecy involved), but having tried a few queries in Google News, it’s clear that everything “ODF” or “OpenDocument” is ‘poisoned’. It’s biased beyond repair, in OOXML’s favour. Our reader was then wondering how they prioritise and how they tie search words to the articles. “Starting last summer, ODF-related documents stopped appearing in the search results,” he said. Could it be gaming of the algorithm? Corporate secrecy paying its toll? On the need to point that stuff out we were told: “It’s hard to. Since it takes time and work to collect data and somethings work fine for years. Google’s taken two hits. One in 2002 or 2003, I forget, and then another this summer with News.” The problem is not just search engines though.

Social News Poisoning

I later raised the issue of known Internet trolls, some of whom have done this since the OS/2 days. They admit trolling popular Web sites like Slashdot and Digg, but there are no access logs available for public viewing. There is more than sufficient evidence, however, including usernames and open admissions. In simple terms, this means that even the so-called ‘social news’ will be poisoned by corporate interests. It’s a fact. Everywhere you turn for information on this subject of document formats, money dominates [1, 2]. OOXML is all about the money whereas ODF is about leveraging healthy competition.

Our reader adds:

“My girlfriend once tracked down two astroturfers on some other forums. One had given up and decided to spill the beans. Another kept going, but laid low for a few weeks after his site of disinformation got shut down. Mostly they are easy to spot because they use the exact same phrases or “talking points” and logical fallacies.”

“My girlfriend once tracked down two astroturfers on some other forums. One had given up and decided to spill the beans. ”They have done this for many years, but how much searching can we do on Slashdot with/without a subscription? Is there an API for at least some of the raw data? Probably not. We thought about writing a script to automate a quick check, but I raised the problem that Internet trolls with corporate interests typically use Web proxies, at least based on observations made throughout a miserable experience (I get abused by anonymous people). About that particular issue I said: “I sometimes get so angry that it distracts me. The libel and stuff is actually effective. It makes me emotional. I write less rationally.” The response was interesting: “That’s their job to do so. PJ at Groklaw gets the treatment as well.” I am aware of the E-mail abuse that had her look away and make another address just a short while ago. These issues might be worth further attention in future posts.

“Honest people tend not to [use proxies]. Not that all proxies will be trolls, but that it can be a factor,” our reader says. He then throws an interesting example into the pool:

Congress Poisoning

“Also, once we use a method, and then they will adapt. For example with Microsoft paying people to write in to congress, they got caught and then paid proxies to write. Now, AFAIK, they just lobby, both over the table and under the table.

I notice that the Senate data is now available as XML, see
‘ClientName=”MICROSOFT.*’ :

http://www.senate.gov/legislative/Public_Disclosure/database_download.htm

Some years back, during DOJ vs Microsoft [Ed: see this], Microsoft bought up most DC lobbyists. Now they’re being put to use [Ed: see this].

Analyst/CIO Poisoning

Have a look at this new good piece:

Dear Microsoft,

For years, I have watched and admired you from afar, playing witness to your unshakable dominance of office productivity suites, wept when it seemed the world spoke coldly of Office 2007, and protested with great vehemence against your blisteringly unfair convictions as an evil monopolist. Why does the world misunderstand you? Why does it question your intentions?

I hope that next month, when the International Organization for Standardization reviews the 3,500 technical issues raised regarding your proposed OOXML standard, that beautiful standard it so cruelly rejected last year, justice will prevail and you will go on to succeed in yet another proprietary vendor lock-in.

Deepest affections,

The Burton Group

Ok, so the recent report issued by Burton Group, a research firm specializing network and applications infrastructure technologies, doesn’t come right out and profess its love to the Redmond-based software company, but it might as well.

The report reads more like a love letter than a critical study aimed at taking a hard look at whether the Open Document Format realistically stands a chance against Microsoft’s everpresent Office Open XML file format. Had it done that, it could’ve been incredibly interesting.

Instead, the lengthy report, when boiled down, not only disses the long-term relevance of the Open Document Format, but then goes and blames Sun Microsystems for the format’s downfall (if and when a downfall is to occur).

We previously discussed and showed how the Microsoft-partnered Burton Group hypnotises the press, shaking up careless news outlets for attention.

Press and Pundit Poisoning

Then there are the pundits, on which Penguin Pete has had something very new to say:

By co-incidence, Ziff-Davis (aka ZD-NET) is the company behind something like 50% of what the media has to say about computers, through various tentacles. CNET was the Pepsi to ZD-NET’s Coke (or Coke to Pepsi?), but now they merged. But of course this list applies to the bloggage of corporate A-listers, no matter who they work for.

Sadly enough, Ziff-Davis owns eWeek, which spits out a lot of the FUD against Linux and against ODF. CNET is apparently owned by Paul Allen, the co-foudner of Microsoft. So there you have it. Fair coverage, eh?

Yahoo/Live Poisoning

We previously discussed irregularities in search results, Microsoft’s spamming against against search engines and other bizarre exclusions of pro-ODF stories. And a few days ago there was this from the Microsoft Blog:

Is Microsoft tinkering with Live Search results?

Is Microsoft filtering out from its Live Search results those it considers “undesirable” for the company?

Similar types of concerns or accusations were raised by the BadVista writers several months ago. It seems as though self-promotional censorship is more than likely. This isn’t the same as political censorship in China because herein it’s all just a matter of money and corporate interests. Mind Yahoo’s possible role that we covered and explored further in the past.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

2 Comments

  1. twitter said,

    July 24, 2008 at 9:37 am

    Gravatar

    Astroturf at Slashdot is really bad now. Members of the Baton Rouge LUG quit reading the comments years ago. Lately, it has become more brazenly abusive and there is way more of it. The favorite technique is to crapflood a first comment with name calling and spin. I can’t imagine a normal person taking the time to read through it, much less join the conversation. That, of course, is their goal.

    Over the years, I’ve tracked and identified a few of the more obvious ones. I recently collected that work into a Slashdot journal article, the url link above. The M$ people give themselves away when they talk about microsoft, so Google searches for the user name and things like “XP”, “Vista” “Office” turn up the Steve Barkto pattern. The classic troll also has plenty of venom for Slashdot itself as well as everything related to free software and M$ competitors. It is not as easy to pull the M$ people out of the crowd as you might think because they use hundreds of accounts and many hundreds of others are genuinely deceived by M$’s marketing.

    Scripts would be nice for proving sockpuppets. Once again, Google is your friend for dredging up comments by username.

    The problem is sustainability. Mistakes and inconveniences push away people who’s cooperation you need to build the site. Trolls using TOR and botnets can sign themselves up for an infinite number of user accounts, so elimination of false positives will eventually eliminate all of your legitimate users.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    July 24, 2008 at 11:19 am

    Gravatar

    I’m aware Slashdot accounts that are used for Linux bashing and/or Microsoft marketing (in other sites and USENET too). I even have it confirmed by them.

    If you search this site, you’ll find more evidence and analysis of Slashdot. The editorial team is a problem also.

    I personally got attacked there in the comments before, even just for having articles of mine in the front page. Those who attacked are Munchkins and stalkers.

    The site is, in general, being poisoned.

What Else is New


  1. Links 22/5/2019: Mesa 19.0.5, Huawei and GNU/Linux, Curl 7.65.0, End of Antergos, Tails 3.14, ownCloud Server 10.2, Firefox 67.0

    Links for the day



  2. Quality of Patents is Going Down the Drain and Courts Have Certainly Noticed

    Uncertainty or lack of confidence in the patent system has reached appalling levels because heads of patent offices are just striving to grant as many patents as possible, irrespective of the underlying law



  3. EUIPO and EPO Abuses Growingly Inseparable

    'Musical chairs' at CEIPI and the EPO/EUIPO (Battistelli, Archambeau, Campinos) as well as joint reports never fail to reveal the extent to which EPO abuses are spreading



  4. Links 21/5/2019: China's GAFAM Exit, DragonFlyBSD 5.4.3

    Links for the day



  5. Links 20/5/2019: Linux 5.2 RC1, LibreOffice 6.3 Alpha, DXVK 1.2.1, Bison 3.4 Released

    Links for the day



  6. South Korea's Government Will Show If Microsoft Loves Linux or Just Attacks It Very Viciously Like It Did in Munich

    Microsoft's hatred of all things GNU/Linux is always put to the test when someone 'dares' use it outside Microsoft's control and cash cows (e.g. Azure and Vista 10/WSL); will Microsoft combat its longstanding urge to corrupt or oust officials with the courage to say "no" to Microsoft?



  7. Links 19/5/2019: KDE Applications 19.04.1 in FlatHub and GNU/Linux Adoption

    Links for the day



  8. The War on Patent Quality

    A look at the EPO's reluctance to admit errors and resistance to the EPC, which is its very founding document



  9. Watchtroll, Composed by Patent Trolls, Calls the American Patent System “Corrupt”

    Another very fine piece from Watchtroll comes from very fine patent trolls who cheer for Donald Trump as if he's the one who tackles corruption rather than spreading it



  10. Unified Patent Court Won't Happen Just Because the Litigation Microcosm Wants It

    Unified Patent Court (UPC) hopefuls are quote-mining and cherry-picking to manufacture the false impression that the UPC is just around the corner when in reality the UPC is pretty much dead (but not buried yet)



  11. Links 17/5/2019: South Korea's GNU/Linux Pivot, Linux 5.1.3

    Links for the day



  12. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 4: Happy Birthday to the Kötter Group?

    This year the Kötter Group commemorates the 85th anniversary of its existence. But is it really a cause for celebration or would a less self-congratulatory approach be more fitting? And does it create the risk that a routine tendering exercise at the EPO will turn into Operation Charlie Foxtrot?



  13. Links 16/5/2019: Cockpit 194, VMware Acquires Bitnami, Another Wine Announcement and Krita 4.2.0 Beta

    Links for the day



  14. The EPO's Key Function -- Like the UPC's Vision -- Has Virtually Collapsed

    The EPO no longer issues good patents and staff is extremely unhappy; but the Office tries to create an alternate (false) reality and issues intentionally misleading statements



  15. Stanford's NPE Litigation Database Makes a Nice Addition in the Fight Against Software Patent Trolls

    As the United States of America becomes less trolls- and software patents-friendly (often conflated with plaintiff (un)friendliness) it's important to have accurate data which documents the numbers and motivates better policy; The NPE (troll) Litigation Database is a move towards that and it's free to access/use



  16. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 3: “Ein kritikwürdiges Unternehmen”

    A brief account of some further controversies in which the Kötter Group has been involved and its strained relations with German trade unions such as Verdi



  17. EPO Had a Leakage Problem and Privacy of Stakeholders Was Compromised, Affecting at Least 100 Cases

    The confidentiality principle was compromised at the EPO and stakeholders weren't told about it (there was a coverup)



  18. Links 15/5/2019: More Linux Patches and More Known Intel Bugs

    Links for the day



  19. False Hope for Patent Maximalists and Litigation Zealots

    Patent litigation predators in the United States, along with Team UPC in Europe, are trying to manufacture optimistic predictions; a quick and rather shallow critical analysis reveals their lies and distortions



  20. The Race to the Bottom of Patent Quality at the EPO

    The EPO has become more like a rubber-stamper than a patent office — a fact that worries senior staff who witnessed this gradual and troublesome transition (from quality to raw quantity)



  21. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 2: Meet the Kötters

    An introduction to the Kötter Group, the private security conglomerate which is lined up for the award of a juicy EUR 30 million contract for the provision of security services at the EPO



  22. Links 14/5/2019: Red Hat Satellite 6.5, NVIDIA 430.14 Linux Driver and New Security Bug (MDS)

    Links for the day



  23. Links 14/5/2019: GNU/Linux in Kerala, DXVK 1.2, KDE Frameworks 5.58.0 Released

    Links for the day



  24. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 1: Urgent Shitstorm Alert

    Experts at the European Patent Office's (EPO) weather observation station have just issued an urgent alert warning about a major shitstorm looming on the horizon



  25. Patents That Were Gleefully Granted by the EPO Continue to Perish in Courts

    The decreasing quality of granted European Patents already becomes a growing problem if not a crisis of uncertainty



  26. Links 13/5/2019: ExTiX 19.5 and GNU Radio Conference 2019

    Links for the day



  27. The Microsoft Guide to the Open Source Galaxy

    Thou shalt not...



  28. Microsoft Would Kill the Goose for Money

    Microsoft is just 'monetising' Open Source by using it as 'bait' for Microsoft's proprietary software; those who we might expect to antagonise this have effectively been bribed by Microsoft



  29. Links 13/5/2019: Nanonote 1.2.0, OpenMandriva Lx 4.0 RC, and GNUnet 0.11.4

    Links for the day



  30. Professionally Incompetent EPO Management

    The EPO remains an awful employer, with top-level management largely responsible for the loss of talent and even money


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts