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 18/3/2019: Solus 4, Linux 5.1 RC1, Mesa 18.3.5, OSI Individual Member Election Won by Microsoft

    Links for the day



  2. Microsoft and Its Patent Trolls Continue Their Patent War, Including the War on Linux

    Microsoft is still preying on GNU/Linux using patents, notably software patents; it wants billions of dollars served on a silver platter in spite of claims that it reached a “truce” by joining the Open Invention Network and joining the LOT Network



  3. Director Iancu Generally Viewed as a Lapdog of Patent Trolls

    As Director of the Office, Mr. Iancu, a Trump appointee, not only fails to curb patent trolls; he actively defends them and he lowers barriers in order to better equip them with bogus patents that courts would reject (if the targets of extortion could afford a day in court)



  4. Links 17/3/2019: Google Console and IBM-Red Hat Merger Delay?

    Links for the day



  5. To Team UPC the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Has Become a Joke and the European Patent Office (EPO) Never Mentions It Anymore

    The EPO's frantic rally to the very bottom of patent quality may be celebrated by obedient media and patent law firms; to people who actually produce innovative things, however, this should be a worrisome trend and thankfully courts are getting in the way of this nefarious agenda; one of these courts is the FCC in Germany



  6. Links 16/3/2019: Knoppix Release and SUSE Independence

    Links for the day



  7. Stopping António Campinos and His Software Patents Agenda (Not Legal in Europe) Would Require Independent Courts

    Software patents continue to be granted (new tricks, loopholes and buzzwords) and judges who can put an end to that are being actively assaulted by those who aren't supposed to have any authority whatsoever over them (for decisions to be impartially delivered)



  8. The Linux Foundation Needs to Speak Out Against Microsoft's Ongoing (Continued) Patent Shakedown of OEMs That Ship Linux

    Zemlin actively thanks Microsoft while taking Microsoft money; he meanwhile ignores how Microsoft viciously attacks Linux using patents, revealing the degree to which his foundation, the “Linux Foundation” (not about Linux anymore, better described as Zemlin’s PAC), has been compromised



  9. Links 15/3/2019: Linux 5.0.2, Sublime Text 3.2

    Links for the day



  10. The EPO and the USPTO Are Granting Fake Patents on Software, Knowing That Courts Would Reject These

    Office management encourages applicants to send over patent applications that are laughable while depriving examiners the freedom and the time they need to reject these; it means that loads of bogus patents are being granted, enshrined as weapons that trolls can use to extort small companies outside the courtroom



  11. CommunityBridge is a Cynical Microsoft-Funded Effort to Show Zemlin Works for 'Community', Not Microsoft

    After disbanding community participation in the Board (but there are Microsoft staff on the Board now) the "Linux Foundation" (or Zemlin PAC) continues to take Microsoft money and polishes or launders that as "community"



  12. Links 14/3/2019: GNOME 3.32 and Mesa 19.0.0 Released

    Links for the day



  13. EPO 'Results' Are, As Usual, Not Measured Correctly

    The supranational monopoly, a monopoly-granting authority, is being used by António Campinos to grant an insane amount of monopolies whose merit is dubious and whose impact on Europe will be a net negative



  14. Good News Everyone! UPC Ready to Go... in 2015!

    Benoît Battistelli is no longer in Office and his fantasy (patent lawyers' fantasy) is as elusive as ever; Team UPC is trying to associate opposition to UPC with the far right (AfD) once again



  15. Links 13/3/2019: Plasma 5.15.3,Chrome 73 and Many LF Press Releases

    Links for the day



  16. In the Age of Trumpism EFF Needs to Repeatedly Remind Director Iancu That He is Not a Judge and He Cannot Ignore the Courts

    The nonchalance and carelessness seen in Iancu's decision to just cherry-pick decisions/outcomes (basically ignoring caselaw) concerns technologists, who rightly view him as a 'mole' of the litigation 'industry' (which he came from)



  17. Links 12/3/2019: Sway 1.0 Released, Debian Feuds Carry On

    Links for the day



  18. Microsoft is Complaining About Android and Chrome OS (GNU/Linux) Vendor Not Paying for Microsoft Patents (Updated)

    Microsoft, which nowadays does the patent shakedown against GNU/Linux by proxy, is still moaning about companies that don’t pay ‘protection’ money (grounds for antitrust action or racketeering investigation)



  19. Watchtroll Has Redefined "Trolls" to Mean Those Who Oppose Software Patents (and Oppose Trolls), Not Those Who Leverage These for Blackmail Alone

    The controversial change to 35 U.S.C. § 101 guidance is being opposed by the public (US citizens who oppose American software patents), so patent maximalists like Janal Kalis (“PatentBuddy”) and extremists like Gene Quinn (Watchtroll) want us to believe that the public is just “EFF” and cannot think for itself



  20. EPO's Latest 'Results' Show That António Campinos Has Already Given Up on Patent Quality and is Just Another Battistelli

    The patent-granting machine that the EPO has become reports granting growth of unrealistic scale (unless no proper examination is actually carried out)



  21. Links 11/3/2019: Linux 5.0.1, Audacity 2.3.1, GNU Coreutils 8.31

    Links for the day



  22. US Patent Law Currently Not Changing Much and Software Patents Are Still in Limbo

    Surveying the news, as we still meticulously do (even if we don't write about it), it seems clear that American courts hardly tolerate software patents and proponents of such patents are losing their voice (or morale)



  23. EPO Examiner: “I Have Been Against Software Patents and Eventually 3/4 of My Job is Examining Software Patent Applications.”

    Overworked examiners aren't being given the time, the tools and the freedom to reject patents, based on prior art, patent scope and so on; it is beginning to resemble a rubber-stamping operation, not an examining authority



  24. Europe Will Pay a High Price for Software Patents Advocacy by António Campinos in Europe's Patent-Granting Authority

    EPO President António Campinos — like Iancu at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) — is still promoting software patents in Europe even though such patents are clearly detrimental to Europe’s interests



  25. António Campinos -- Like His Father -- Lacks Support From Colleagues, Endorsed Only From the Top

    History lessons from Wikileaks



  26. Links 10/3/2019: GNU and GNOME Releases

    Links for the day



  27. Koch Brothers' Oil Money is Poisoning Academia and Distorting Scholarly Work/Research on Patents

    Meddling in patent law by the Kochs, the oil tycoons who can be seen everywhere Conservative think tanks are, shows no signs of abatement



  28. From Patents on Chewing Gum to Toothpaste Patents: How the EPO Came to Focus on Speed and Volume, Not Quality

    There’s still no proper quality control in place for European Patents — a severe problem which will only further exacerbate the legal uncertainty associated with all European Patents



  29. European Patent Office Press Releases (Two in Two Days) Are Disguised as 'News' and Tell the Opposite of the Truth

    The Office under the 'new' and 'improved' leadership of António Campinos seems to be repeating the mistakes of Battistelli by discrediting anything it says; its press releases, characteristically dubbed "news" for some reason, bear no resemblance to reality and are detached from facts EPO insiders have long known



  30. Links 9/3/2019: International Women’s Day, QtLottie

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts