08.15.08

Sabotaging Big and Wonderful Announcements

Posted in FUD, Microsoft, Standard at 8:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Several readers have independently pointed out that Slashdot took the good news about the release of OpenGL 3.0 and put a spin on it so as to attack OpenGL and promote Microsoft DirectX. Regular readers probably know that trust in Slashdot is gradually being lost as the site gets gamed and trustworthy long-time posters reportedly get cornered and attacked by groups of disruptors. There’s a new type of ‘mob’, a corporate subculture perhaps. So, the old Slashdot is replaced with glorification of an ‘open source’ Microsoft. They ‘sell’ Microsoft to geeks.

There have been numerous coverages of OpenGL 3.0′s release (not too many to keep track of). They were all moderate, positive, and they delivered the news. They did not attempt to stir things up or to present a controversy, even a confrontation.

Fortunately, not only have professionals noticed what Slashdot had done, but there are detailed rebuttals to it too.

So, it was with some interest to read on TheRegister and Slashdot that the release of OpenGL 3.0 was met with heavy resistance by existing developers. Strangely, Wikipedia user Paeator Alpha’s post seemed to be the most balanced immediate report on OpenGL 3.0, and lets face it, Wikipedia isn’t known for being accurate.

It was even stranger to read then from one of the developers actually attending SIGGRAPH that the backlash reported by Slashdot and TheReg, just wasn’t happening.

The OpenGL BoF went really well, I think. Nobody showed up with torches or pitchforks. Of course, the free beer may have helped. The most useful part of it for me was the mingling period after all the presentations. I talked with quite a few people and, contrary to the /. reports, nobody was furious. Whew!

[...]

So, Khronos has run into the exact same problem KDE ran into. A lot of people are simply armchair analysts with no actual graphics experience. That’s why the actual developers at SIGGRAPH responded so differently than the reports from TheReg and SlashDot would have people believe.

Why would Slashdot support the skewing of public perception against open standards and open source? Remember that Slashdot is now indirectly being paid by Microsoft. With money on the table, trust is simply lost.

If Slashdot chooses to depress readers and draw them in on an emotional basis, then it’s simply begging to undo itself.

Here is the press release and here are balanced and objective coverages of the latest OpenGL 3.0 news:

The few sources which highlight friction directly link to Slashdot for ‘support’ of the claim that developers were “furious”. The picking on Slashdot is a response to a pattern, not an isolated incident.

Some time ago it emerged (and was also noticed) the people who never write for The Register suddenly appear out of nowhere and ‘plant’ an article that’s favourable to Microsoft (this was pointed out in the IRC channel the other day). Remember how Maureen O’Gara and Microsoft agents were scheming to sabotage a big OSDL announcement [1, 2]. There are ‘smoking guns’ (court-verifiable E-mails) to show very clearly.

To Microsoft, OpenGL is a big threat. Rivals like Sony (with PlayStation) and even Macs and GNU/Linux rely on it for adoption. How far would people go?

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3 Comments

  1. mpz said,

    August 16, 2008 at 1:48 am

    Gravatar

    I stopped reading slashdot about a month ago – I can’t remember which specific story did it (or even if it was one), but I finally got sick of their crap and spin and smarmy-know-it-all-commentary. I stopped reading kotaku much earlier for much the same reason – even if it wasn’t paid-for-spin, they are just arseholes whose opinion I got sick of having to read past.

    Which is about as much of a ‘protest’ any individual can do against this sort of thing. However, even if everyone who is unhappy with their spin did it, it probably wouldn’t make much difference – they’ll attract plenty who are happy with that sort of spin to replace them. After all, such biased reporting doesn’t really hurt the ‘mainstream specialist press’, since people tend to read sites which re-enforce their own viewpoint, and lets face it, the pro-ms ‘geek set’ outweighs the gnu one somewhat.

    The reg is just a laugh – they tend to bag almost everything at one point or another, and I don’t think even they take themselves particularly seriously most of the time. It is pretty easy to put a bullshit filter on their stuff.

    BTW this ‘system gaming’ and mob-influence is making me quite uneasy with Wikipedia as well. It basically means any controversial topic cannot be trusted. And since people can get upset about just about anything — so you cannot always tell what they consider controversial — you’re left wondering if you can trust anything but the most mundane articles.

  2. Jose_X said,

    September 18, 2008 at 8:19 pm

    Gravatar

    >> BTW this ’system gaming’ and mob-influence is making me quite uneasy with Wikipedia as well. It basically means any controversial topic cannot be trusted. And since people can get upset about just about anything — so you cannot always tell what they consider controversial — you’re left wondering if you can trust anything but the most mundane articles.

    I hope that over time sense wins out.. after passions and free-flowing money and interests have died down.

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 19, 2008 at 2:23 am

    Gravatar

    Just for the record, I later found some more articles praising OpenGL 3.0.

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