Bonum Certa Men Certa

Bruce Byfield Misattributes Quotes (Updatedx4)

I am shocked. Totally shocked.

In a new blog post Bruce Byfield points to another page where he attributes the following quote to me:

"Bruce is a Micro$oft/Novell shill. Don't listen to him, he spreads nothing but lies."

I never wrote this thing and following the link even proves this. Bruce, you must correct this. You're putting fake words right in my mouth. I have always loved your articles, cited them and respected them a lot. How can you get something like this wrong? I am sure it's not a deliberate mistake.

This is almost as bad as people who forged identities to publicly post 'on my behalf' that I am a transsexual, that I castrate parts of my body, and all sort of other hateful messages which they used my name to add credibility to.

I suggest that you post an apology and clarify this.

I'm not too keen on this whole "Microsoft doesn't matter saga" either, but here are some other new writeups on this:

1. Free software, free speech

If you win, your ego is boosted and when you lose you have at least learned something. But there are a few tale-tell signs that indicate you've reached the end of the line. When your opponent tells you to shut up, he's in fact waving the white flag. When the name-calling starts it means he is out for a final, berserk attack. It's not about the issue anymore, it's about you, the messenger.

I can understand that a teenage, underprivileged geek reacts like that, but not mature people who are blessed with the gift of words and the privilege of a good education. Regular visitors of my blog know that nothing outrages me more than people who apply these guerrilla tactics. Whether it is Ian Ferguson who said that "the flaming Linux bigots should take a backseat", Mohit Joshi, who equaled GNU to communism or the more recently Bruce Byfield, who obviously couldn't take the heat anymore and decided to proclaim unilaterally that all bloggers who don't agree with him are automatically "conspiracy theorists".

[...]

Every single blogger - whether professional or amateur - has to face the music. If you write, you get flamed. Swallow your professional pride and listen; you might learn something. And if you do, there is no shame in admitting you were wrong. It's a humbling experience, but also a valuable life lesson. If you do not win a discussion you may be defeated but that doesn't mean you have to be a loser.


2. Opinion: FOSS Supporters Need to Think for Themselves.

So Bruce. Why broach the subject in the first place if you are not going to offer information to support your claim. I would certainly like to know who has been wild eyed lately, so that I can potentially learn from their mistakes. However, you have opted not to do so. You lit a fire and walked away. This is but a blog, but I myself tend to link to plenty of other resources that support what I am saying. Those resources also link to yet more resources that may have views that I do not agree with. That is fine with me.


Update: I must confess that I wrote the above very quickly and at the heat of the moment, so I apologise if it seems impolite and impulsive. I did some thinking, looked at the quote again and contacted Bruce. I don't know if someone is trying to fuel hostility between Bruce and I, but the fake quote makes me suspicious. Bruce had trust in the linux.com CMS where comments are posted anonymously. Someone put my name next to a message and there's no digital signature to verify or falsify one's identity. This is nothing new.

People post stuff 'on my behalf' which is fake and there have been many incidents in Digg, for example, where people 'hijacked' my identity and posted abusive stuff to create backlash against me. In some forums it seems like long-time Internet trolls try to stir things up as well. They even mention Bruce Byfield. At risk of being called a 'conspiracy theory', it's very possible that some people out there try to create 'civil wars'. Without intention of making any comparisons, just look at the Tanenbaum story. Microsoft tried to incite him against Linus Torvalds. It used proxies to achieve this, essentially by increasing friction. Do bear in mind that Bruce and I are colleagues in the sense that we both write articles for Datamation.

Update #2: To give some examples of identity-jacking in Digg, here are some screenshots:



There are many more examples. Additionally, there are still about 4 users in Digg who have spent the past few months modding down all my comments and burying all my stories systematically. They also add slander to the mix (libel that I haven't the capacity to keep track of). That makes several thousands of comments and posts (I'm quite prolific there) for 4 people to handle consistently. Every day, once every several hours. That's how bad it is.

Update #3: Bruce has corrected the page. He truly deserves some apologies because he trusted the comment's validity. It's easy to fall for such scams.

Update #4: To illustrate better what is happening at Digg I have just grabbed a screenshot of my comments' ratings from the past 8 hours. Apart from the personal attacks from those usual suspects (users who are always defending Microsoft at Digg), look at the consistent modding down by 4 people just hours after these comments were posted. It's always the same four people hawking my comments.

Say No to Novell



This is not an unusual observation. It has gone on for months. What would people spend so many hours mocking and making someone else's comments invisible? Why the obsession?

While we're at it, the following was said to me just 2 days ago in an E-mail:

"Yeah. I've noticed the explosion [of FUD and attacks on FODD]. Richard Stallman seems to be under a more or less constant denial of service attack (using e-mail). It's pretty much a constant stream of Ballmeresque name calling and slurs, which he's handling remarkably well.

There's some clever playing of the *BSD (esp. FreeBSD) off against Linux, GPL and FSF. Some of the nastier e-mails seem to originate from networks /businesses in the Seattle area."

Another reliable source which I cannot name said several months ago that Theo de Raadt might be used by Microsoft to attack the GPL and Linu[s|x]. Whether people have tried to create tension between me and a colleague, Bruce Byfield, it's impossible to tell. They posted fake comments under my name. I know at least one other person with an experience just like this. That person no longer makes comments in public as a result. It has become a matter of policy.

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