07.30.08

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News Reports Versus Informmecrials (Commercials Disguised as Articles)

Posted in Boycott Novell at 2:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

There was a bit of a slashvertisement [1, 2] in you-know-where yesterday. It was for Microsoft in automobiles. Given the state of SourceForge, it’s hard not to think about money trails. One of the reasons Jimmy Wales refused to accept advertising in Wikipedia (despite an estimated value of $100 million) is that trust then erodes. With SourceForge, such loss of trust has already occurred and it affects sister sites, too. There was money on the table.

Responding to this latest issue, a reader had this to say: “What we have here is a global wave of white collar crime with Microsoft as the vector, symptom and instigator.

“In regards to the car, BMW and now Ford have been experiencing failure. I don’t follow cars or have any interest so I can’t point to the right discussions, but the recent model BMW’s are considered crap by those that bought them.

“Here’s a high profile older failure.

“Apparently Ford is having similar problems. Since the “software” is sold as-is with disclaimers out the wazoo, the fault and liability lies with those who insist on using Microsoft instead of viable embedded or RTOS. Failure to do due diligence or gross negligence or even criminal mischief come to mind.”

Intel and Wind River are currently working on a Linux equivalent, but it may take some time to materialise and reach automobiles.

“Can’t people tell the difference between advertisements and actual stories/reports?”Lastly, adds our reader: “Linux and the others are ahead and, as usual, it is Microsoft that is the poor immitation. From what I gather GM and VW use linux and VW even contributes to kernel development, at least at the device driver level.”

Another example of paid-for Microsoft PR that journalists foolishly spread for free is that “Mojave” story. Can’t people tell the difference between advertisements and actual stories/reports? This sometimes boils down to interests, and the money which sits there on the table.

“The idea that Bill Gates has appeared like a knight in shining armour to lead all customers out of a mire of technological chaos neatly ignores the fact that it was he who, by peddling second-rate technology, led them into it in the first place.”

Douglas Adams

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A Single Comment

  1. mpz said,

    July 30, 2008 at 7:41 am

    Gravatar

    Of course, news-blog authors (how can you call them editors?) are not journalists, they have no ethics to uphold, and such sites have no requirements of disclosure. No offense intended of course.

    On the other hand, if they fail to keep their independence, then they will lose users and eventually money. Although they may do some damage along the way. Technology and game sites seem to be most prone to this – or maybe that is because those are the ones I tend to read.

    Unfortunately of course there are many more ms ‘fanbois’ out there than otherwise — who don’t see any problem and in fact may be attracted to such marketing on a blog roll (hell, even groklaw has been spruiking MS PR lately if not intentionally), so maybe it is just a deliberate tactic to gain users. And getting the more rabid fanbois (e.g. apple, etc) riled up never hurt a site’s traffic too much did it?

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