02.16.08

Beware the OOXML AstroTurfer: “The Wraith”, “multivac1”, “hAl”, Among Other Nyms

Posted in FUD, IBM, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument at 11:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Analysts: Analysts sell out – that’s their business model But they are very concerned that they never look like they are selling out, so that makes them very prickly to work with.”

Microsoft

The previous post spoke about smears targeting individuals, not just competition in the technical sense. This post can be considered a separate followup.

We previously gave many examples of cases where Microsoft is caught paying bloggers, independent individual and even experts to promote Microsoft and attack its competition. This is far from new and Microsoft strategises on such dirty tactics, by its very own admission.

As far as OOXML goes, Microsoft does this too. It is no exception. For instance, we have already seen the company paying experts to edit Wikipedia in Microsoft’s (and OOXML’s) favour. This is more than an isolated incident. It’s very systematic and there are references that cohesively make a very compelling proof of this.

“On the Internet, these forces which he refers to are almost always anonymous (arbitrary name/pseudonym). It is a case of isomorphism (nymshifting) — and often enough they use Web proxies to cover their traces.”Smear campaigns are secretly run against individuals that make Microsoft a little bit nervous. Approximately a year ago, a journalist was accidentally sent a dossier which Microsoft had collected about him for a long time. Microsoft spies on people. It collects intelligence, by its own admission. Further, the journalist argued openly that whenever he writes about Microsoft, many forces are quietly aligned against him. On the Internet, these forces which he refers to are almost always anonymous (arbitrary name/pseudonym). It is a case of isomorphism (nymshifting) — and often enough they use Web proxies to cover their traces.

The title of this post contains a variation — in terms of names — of what seems to be one single individual who assaulted Groklaw with endless anti-ODF comments (before getting banned and then defended by Doug "OOXML is a Simple Matter of Commercial Interests!" Mahugh). That anonymous, pseudonymous character also started a blog called OoxmlHoaxes where IBM is attacked. Very mysterious. How does Doug know that person who has no public identity? Why is his/her blog being cited by anti-ODF and pro-OOXML posters in USENET? Using another new identity, “hAl”, the same person appears to be striking in other pro-ODF blogs as well, including ours. The messages are typically anti-ODF rather than defensive of OOXML, which is the issue at hand.

“How can we confirm that this is the same entity,” you ask? Based on the person’s postings, which are consistent. You can see the same message carried under different names from one site to another in a matter of minutes. All the messages appear to be the same person. Is this a “job application for OOXML evangelism”, to use a phrase that recently described the Burton Group's involvement? If so, why is it anonymous?

We have inquired to see what other ODF volunteers can make of it. Here is one response that was received promptly:


hAl has left several comments on my last post. He is a like Jeff Waugh, always wants to get the last comment in. My instinct tells me he definitely a paid shrill. When he cannot argue in favor of OOXML he attacks ODF. He also is always active on the OOXML Wiki page.

You referring to this site: http://ooxmlhoaxes.blogspot.com/ ?

I also trying to find out who is running this site: http://robweird.wordpress.com/ This one pisses me off…..


We should really put together a list of foes to standards, culture (copyrights) and programming (software patents). This is a broad and worrisome phenomenon. We already have a list of reporters with accompanying ranks of credibility.

Some people are motivated by good deeds. To some — money outdoes deeds. Speaking of which, the volunteers from Open Malaysia point out the latest work of the ODF Alliance on showing ODF’s facilitation for the disabled.

Does OOXML meet the accessibility needs of “persons with different abilities”? The ODF Alliance posted an Issue Brief, ODF’s Benchmark for Accessibility that discusses these questions.

Remember that Microsoft snubs the Muslim world with OOXML and also remember how it used accessibility lies to stifle adoption of ODF in Massachusetts and maybe elsewhere too.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2008/02/16/microsoft-ooxml-shills/

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

5 Comments

  1. Great said,

    February 17, 2008 at 9:27 am

    Gravatar

    check this out :

    http://www.gamespot.com/features/6171831/index.html

    By: James Yu and Sarju Shah – Posted on Wednesday, June 13, 2007

    It’s been more than six months since we published our first Xbox 360 versus PlayStation 3 graphics comparison feature. Games on both systems looked great, but the Xbox 360 games had more polish. We found that the Xbox 360 edged out the PlayStation 3 with higher-resolution textures and better lighting. The result of the first comparison wasn’t surprising–the Xbox 360 had been available for a year and developers were already cranking out second-generation games, while the PlayStation 3 had just arrived in retail with its first-generation games. We decided to check on a few games released in recent months to see if the PlayStation 3 has caught up to or overtaken the Xbox 360…

    http://center.spoke.com/info/p86uUAU/JamesYu

    James Yu
    Program Manager
    Microsoft Corporation
    1 Microsoft Way
    Redmond, WA 98052-8300
    http://www.microsoft.com/en/us/default.aspx

    So now we have people working for Redmond writing reviews of Xbox 2 Vs. Playstation 2

    One more example of Microsoft funds the FUD spreading….

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 17, 2008 at 10:50 am

    Gravatar

    I have seen this many time before, even recently. Watch how a recently-departing Microsoft Evangelist decided to write a hypothetical ‘review’ of Linux and then published this in many press outlets using an “analyst” hat (hiding the Microsoft ties altogether).

    http://slated.org/linux_still_doesnt_make_it_on_desktop_is_pure_fud

  3. John Drinkwater said,

    February 17, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    Gravatar

    hey, I’ve been battling hAl on Wikipedia for over a year, I know how bad he can be… constantly linking biased pages onto OOXM pageL, rewording whole sections on advice from Rick (hAI actually did most of the editing for Jeliffe so it wouldn’t look as bad! see Talk pages for the dialogue), and he constantly trolls / ass-kisses on the Microsoft blogs just like Miguel does.. shocker, huh?

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 17, 2008 at 6:06 pm

    Gravatar

    Assuming that’s a single entity and the same one under different names, it would be nice to obtain the real name/s of this thing. This sounds just like the flatfish/Gary Stewart disease that has been infecting Linux sites for over a decade, always working from proxies and using literally hundreds of different identities. This involves personal vile attacks, not just attacks on Linux using lies and fake testimonies.

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 17, 2008 at 8:42 pm

    Gravatar

    Okay, I’ve gathered some more information about this. At one stage I thought it might be Wouter Van Vugt, but he does not post anonymously. Anonymous disruption has its roots in financial agenda (typically incentives) and without the cloak of anonymity people become more careful when attacking others. So after digging for some information, here is what came up:

    He left a homepage link on some of his posts, such as:

    http://blogs.msdn.com/brian_jones/archive/2007/04/04/breaking-free-of-the-politics.aspx#2045280

    http://blogs.msdn.com/brian_jones/archive/2007/03/09/florida-house-of-reps-leveraging-openxml.aspx#1860227

    These lead back to: http://anyinternet.spaces.live.com/

    Could that be his photograph? That looks like a possibility based on the IPs.

    He is also the main ODF-critic on Wikipedia. His user page is here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:HAl

    It is interesting that he declares himself as a “beginning” XML coder”. He sure makes a lot of noise for a beginner.

    I was found someplace that his real name was “Albert”. That would make his “hAl” moniker an example of Microsoft’s variable naming conventions, where variable names are prefixed with “h” if they are a handle, like hWnd, hCursor,
    etc.

    Based on his IP address he appears to be connecting from Amsterdam. If it’s consistent enough, then no proxies are involved, I suppose.

    The anonymity remains a tad mysterious, but there you go.

    Yesterday, in USENET, the usual ODF critics and OOXML lobbyists defended Rick Jeliffe’s payment from Microsoft, which has me suspecting that they get paid/compensated in one way or another, as well.

What Else is New


  1. Protecting Freenode is Protecting the Free Software Movement

    Freenode may seem like a negligible corner of the Internet, which media never bothers mentioning at all; but Freenode, which many have come to take for granted, is core infrastructure for many Free software projects and protecting the network is essential for the Free Software Movement



  2. EPO Justice

    Justice in Europe's second-largest institution, where the law itself is a second-class citizen



  3. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, May 13, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, May 13, 2021



  4. Understanding How Freenode (IRC) Works -- or Doesn't Work -- in 2021

    There is a conflict going on behind the scenes at Freenode, but there are also sincere and well-meaning attempts to undo the damage and get back to normal



  5. [Meme] Judges the Office Cannot Control Are Just Nazis With Weapons in Their Office...

    The EPO hasn’t been run by grown-ups for over ten years; Benoît Battistelli, António Campinos and their confidants cannot grasp the concept of law, just blind loyalty



  6. The EPO's War on Justice and Assault on the Law -- Part 5: Battistelli's “Swedish Chef”

    The EPO's 'courts' are controlled by the people whom they're supposed to judge on; this has been the case for at least half a decade



  7. Links 14/5/2021: KDE Plasma 5.22 Beta and GNOME 40 in Gentoo

    Links for the day



  8. Audio: “Unjust Computing Clamps Down” by Richard Stallman

    The FSF has finally uploaded the LibrePlanet talk of Richard Stallman



  9. Links 13/5/2021: KDE Gear 21.04.1 and LibreOffice 7.0.6

    Links for the day



  10. The EPO's War on Justice and Assault on the Law -- Part 4: The President of the Boards of Appeal

    A deeper look into the ‘sausage factory’ that is EPO tribunals certainly helps us understand the inherent bias of many decisions, including a recent decision on European software patents like a controversial simulation patent



  11. Judging the Judges

    Today we shall take a closer look at Carl Josefsson, a person who shall become a figure of interest if he sends EPO courts to the United States in clear violation of the EPC (looking to rubber-stamp an unlawful decision already made before this case even started)



  12. When EU Authorities Tell You to Complain to the EPO Itself About EPO Privacy Violations...

    “Kafkaesque” at the EPO; Kafka could do a whole novel about the flirtations with or affairs of ‘justice’ at the EPO



  13. The Need for Reliable Governance at Freenode

    Why the current and high-profile (albeit somewhat covert) owner of the network, who seems to care about Free software (it has made him very wealthy), should put the whole thing in reliable hands and not attempt to 'monetise' it in any way



  14. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, May 12, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, May 12, 2021



  15. Andrew Lee of Private Internet Access/London Trust Media Increasingly Owns and Controls Freenode (Updatedx2)

    The details about Freenode ownership and control are explained in a resignation letter urging users to move to another network



  16. [Meme] eBPF is Not Microsoft's, But It's Certainly Googlebombed by Microsoft

    eBPF isn't Microsoft's. But sites that work closely with Microsoft keep mentioning that term as if Microsoft created it and champions it (typical tactics).



  17. Links 13/5/2021: OpenSUSE Leap 15.3 on Finer Hardware, AMI Dabbling in Free Firmware

    Links for the day



  18. The EPO's War on Justice and Assault on the Law -- Part 3: The Current Line-up

    The composition of the Enlarged Board for case no. G 1/21



  19. System76’s First Keyboard Packs in Plenty of Surprises

    Putting the genie back in the bottle is hard, and moreover the corrective post from Joey Sneddon may cause a bit of a 'Streisand Effect'



  20. Links 12/5/2021: HAProxy Data Plane API 2.3 and Mousepad 0.5.5

    Links for the day



  21. IBM is Destroying Red Hat, Squeezing Red Hat's Work for Cash, Laying Off Staff, and Asking Staff to Resign

    Layoffs are not a new thing at IBM (hardly so in the past couple of decades or more), but they're oversensitive about the Red Hat agenda



  22. [Meme] Longing for the Original IP Kat...

    It would be nice to see more posts critical of injustice at the EPO, as we've just noted



  23. The EPO's War on Justice and Assault on the Law -- Part 2: Just Another Pro Forma Rubber-Stamping Exercise?

    Half a decade after Benoît Battistelli ‘kidnapped’ and then defamed judges (it started in 2014) António Campinos has done nothing to restore lawfulness at the EPO, as controversial referral case G 1/21 shows; in fact, they recently approved European software patents after pressure from Campinos himself



  24. Why I'm Using Just a Landline and Recalling My Richard Stallman (RMS) Interview on Working Locally or How the Signal Processor in Phones is a De Facto Back Door

    A longer-than-expected rant about what mobile phones have turned into and a look back at (or listen to) what Richard Stallman (RMS) told me way back in 2013



  25. The European Campinos Award

    The campinos (peasants) of Europe shall gather around for another ceremony championing farmers and nurses... or not



  26. Personal Thoughts About the EPO 'Kangaroo Court' Scandal

    Some unscripted and unedited thoughts about the current EPO scandal/series, which shows intervention such as stacking by António Campinos, continuing the tradition of Benoît Battistelli with his attacks on justice itself



  27. Doing Justice by Reporting Injustice

    Europe's second-largest institution, helped by Europe's largest, is engaging in a massive attack on the very concept of the Rule of Law and incredibly enough the so-called 'press' (or 'media') doesn't report on it



  28. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, May 11, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, May 11, 2021



  29. Links 12/5/2021: New Audacity and Musescore Owner Named, Microsoft May Lose "JEDI" (Trump's 'Bailout Package')

    Links for the day



  30. The EPO's War on Justice and Assault on the Law -- Part 1: Rumours of a Kangaroo Court at EPOnia

    EPO's President Benoît Battistelli viciously attacked judges and slandered judges; António Campinos adopts a more 'soft power' approach, but nevertheless the impact is the same


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

Recent Posts