FOR several weeks now, over at the IRC channel, I have been complaining that someone called Yardena Arar, who never ever appears in IDG, yet suddenly she shows up with weird articles that look like commercials for Microsoft.
Realising the importance of headlines and summarising it as “A big fix for Vista,” Arar and Harry McCracken have published a joint
advertisement coverage for the next iteration of Vista, which they reviewed on their gifts from Microsoft. The disclosures portion gives some numbers.
Along with several dozen other reviewers and analysts, we got our first real look at the OS, preinstalled on loaner notebooks, over the weekend at a workshop on the eve of the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference.
There are no disclosures everywhere one goes. So, although we can never obtain the names of these dozens of people, we gradually accumulate intelligence and we make a plea to readers who can help expand it. What we have so far is:
- Wanted: List of Bloggers, Journalists, and Analysts Whom Microsoft Bribed at PDC 2008
- Microsoft Polices Coverage of Vista 7 by ‘Kicking Out’ Disobedient Journalist
- Microsoft is Bribing Bloggers Again… for Vista 7 Raves
- Praise Microsoft, Receive Bribe
- Harry McCracken, Technologizer: Bribed by Microsoft
- Tim Anderson Received Bribe for Vista 7 Review
- Jason Brooks (eWeek): Bribed by Microsoft
- Laptop Magazine: Bribed by Microsoft
- Ed Bott: Bought by Microsoft
- GeekPi/Steve Allwine: Bribed by Microsoft
- Gizmodo Possibly Bribed by Microsoft Too
The article from Arar and McCracken was spread all over the many domains of IDC/IDG (see list of Web sites here). It appears in so many sites that are owned by IDG and I could find about 10. Even TechWorld, which turns out to be theirs, has a copy of it. They even put as a permanent review page. Same in “PC Advisor”, which sounds formal and reliable to an innocent errant reader.
IDG even had this ‘exported’ (sold) to other sites (and networks) like itbusiness.ca.
Microsoft and its cronies are still seeding the Web with their gifted-for disinformation, which is based on high-specced and optimised machines, accommodated by pro-Microsoft bias. Be careful out there. █
“I’ve been thinking long and hard about this, and the only conclusion I can come to is that this is ethically indistinguishable from bribery. Even if no quid-pro-quo is formally required, the gift creates a social obligation of reciprocity. This is best explained in Cialdini’s book Influence (a summary is here). The blogger will feel some obligation to return the favor to Microsoft.”