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02.24.08

Latest Reality Check for Slashdot et al: Who Runs the Show?

Posted in Deception, FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Open XML, Security, Windows at 2:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Several days ago we explored this mysterious phenomenon of OOXML fans working anonymously in various Web sites to promote the format. A reader whom we were in touch with had more insights to share, particularly with respect to the increased activity ahead of the BRM in Geneva [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].

“You mention hA1,” he said. He proceeded to arguing that “this username, maybe the same person, has been causing problems at Wikipedia regarding MOOX and ODF. It was whittling away at the ODF articles: dilute, remove redundant parts, repeat until small, request delete or merge.”

Even though we may have identified the person in question, our reader suggests that it won’t do much. “However, without getting to the real names, just going after the handles will cause them to get better at hiding,” he says. But here comes the more interesting bit about disruptive activities at Slashdot. Some friends believe that it ceased to properly focus on topics that it originally used to cover (the same goes for Digg.com).

Here is what our reader tells us about a phenomenon which we already know exists (with plenty of hard proof): AstroTurfing. Here is what he told us:


“I see that in the deluge of slashvertisements (aka gratuitous Microsoft articles) as well as that I have been getting modded down into oblivion like never, ever before.”This week, the astroturfers seem to have returned to Slashdot or at least become highly active again after biding their time. I see that in the deluge of slashvertisements (aka gratuitous Microsoft articles) as well as that I have been getting modded down into oblivion like never, ever before.

The deluges often distract from something. The timing suggests it could be the ISO BRM and/or the replacement of the Yahoo board.

Things that I observe from my posts and from other people’s posts is the following things really drive the astroturfers nuts:

  • Critique of Gates’ dressed-as-charity political activities e.g. Gendarme announcement about Linux and Gates rushes in after
  • Critique of media spin on Windows malware as affecting all systems and brands. It’s not an ‘e-mail’ virus, it’s an Microsoft Outlook worm. It’s not a computer worm, but a Windows worm etc.
  • Microsoft often posts separate advisories for their ‘latest’ version regarding malware. That allows them to imply (or others to apply wishful thinking) that the latest version is some how secure. Days later, the advisory for those system is brought out quietly and ignored
  • Microsoft nearly always compares the performance and features of competitor’s existing products to their own future plans and vaporware. We got column-meters of articles daily about $CODENAME will do this, that or solve this or that. What was actually delivered? Not much, and the press is already going on about $NEXTVERSION instead of pointing out that Microsoft failed to deliver what the competition already has.
  • Along those lines, WinFS was a widely touted feature of W95 – Vista.
  • Critique of the cult-like or political nature of Microsoft as outlined in http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20071023002351958 (hey, if it looks like a duck… )
  • Critique of the really dangerous components like DirectX, Silverlight, .NET, C#, etc. Silverlight distracts people away from AJAX while .NET strives to eliminate Java, JBoss, Ruby on Rails, etc.
  • Mention of the standards that the dangerous components are intended to replace, like OpenGL, AJAX, Java, etc. More examples include:
    1. OOXML -> ODF
    2. WMA-WMV -> MPEG, MP3, AAC, Ogg Vorbis, Ogg Theora
    3. IIS -> Apache, Lighttpd
    4. Microsoft SQL Server -> MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle
    5. Microsoft’s IE -> Firefox, Opera
    6. Microsoft Outlook -> Thunderbird, Eudora, Alpine
    7. Microsoft Exchange -> Citadel, Zimbra, Kolab
    8. Windows -> Linux, Solaris, BSD
    9. Gnome -> KDE, Fluxbox
  • Fact checking: Google’s not making a version of Photoshop that runs on Linux, it’s making a version of WINE that runs Photoshop
  • Fact checking: Google’s not making aversion of Picasa that runs on linux with opengl, it’s making a version of WINE that runs Directx and Picasa. DirectX gives the control of video and photo rendering to Microsoft.
  • Lackluster sales and market share across the board much of the ‘revenue’ is probably buying and selling its own stock
  • Lackluster sales of consoles and games. Microsoft has the hype, but if the reviews ever were to include PS2, then Xbox would be fourth place
  • Mention of DRM and data formats, I speculate that Microsoft is working on spreading DirectX and other DRM so that the backlash will be manageable when they get a few camera makers to drop JPEG for their proprietary HDPhoto.
  • Fact checking: Microsoft has not released old office format specs for competitors’ use: AFAIK it’s non-commercial use only, which rules out FOSS projects.
  • Pointing out that much of the productivity gained in the 1980′s from using computers appears now to be lost by problems attributable and exclusive to Microsoft products
  • Pointing out that Microsoft malware alone has caused more economic damage, and perhaps indirectly, real human suffering than Bush’s family friend Osama bin Laden could ever dream of.
  • Same for the economic damage caused by anti-competitive tactics and broken interoperability (even within Microsoft products) e.g. PlaysForSure, various versions of office formats, etc.
  • Opinion: Yahoo should release Zimbra as GPL
  • Opinion: Yahoo should market its heavy contributions to FOSS, especially to BSD, to its advantage. These are the jobs that Microsoft wants to keep during the take over. See Borland, but grab the article before it disappears forever.
  • Suggestion: find a library with paper copies of BYTE. Persue issues from the late 90′s, 80′s and 70′s

All the above were merely thoughts from a reader, which you may or may not consider sensitive points that someone is trying hard to hide.

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4 Comments

  1. Max Stirner said,

    April 1, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    Gravatar

    funny you should say that, I saw that hA1 or whatever making weird comments on various shill blogs, weird in the sense that no sane person would utter such nonsense, hence I assume must be mad or paid for

    WMA-WMV: cant share your concerns there, the format is so RUBBISH that noone uses it, not even the windozed idiots – just check around any filesharing network, WMV is deader than LP records :D

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    April 1, 2008 at 6:54 pm

    Gravatar

    Regarding OOXML shills, including hAl, see:

    http://boycottnovell.com/2008/02/16/microsoft-ooxml-shills/

    Some more here:

    http://boycottnovell.com/2008/02/22/ooxml-anonymous-lobbyists/

    As for WMV, some reckon that Mono-isation of Linux, SIlverlight and other factors will try to give it momentum.

  3. Tomari-chan said,

    April 2, 2008 at 7:53 am

    Gravatar

    Ha! How can 1% Linux desktop users give WMV a boost?

    Not that it needed any boost as it comes preinstalled on about 90% of all desktops in the world.

  4. CoolGuy said,

    April 2, 2008 at 11:09 am

    Gravatar

    Yeah few years back firefox/mozilla was around teh same 1%

    See them pwn IE now…Same thing is going to happen with Windows.

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