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IDG Uses Fake 'Panel' to Create Linux-hostile Bias


Summary: The anatomy of biased-by-design article or a deconstruction of IDG's hostility towards Linux

IT IS NO secret that we distrust IDG, which recently ran a 30-day troll-athlon against Ubuntu. It's just one recent example among many and it is hard to decide whether to ignore them or rebut them because regardless, Google, for instance, syndicates that as 'news', failing to distinguish between news and blogs (opinion). The same problem exists in ZDNet and to a lesser degree in CNET.

I was recently invited for an interview over at, which is a new site bold enough to challenge the corporate press. This interview might be published here at a later date. The site also asked me for comments on a one-sided IDG piece which spreads FUD against Android, using software patents of course (Microsoft loves those as a form of FUD these days). Separately, wrote that site, the court suggests that Oracle won't be getting its way in the case against Google. While Groklaw continues showing this with its sound analysis, the pro-Microsoft press conveniently ignores. It pays attention only to gloom-and-doom predictions, which pro-Microsoft lobbyists are constantly amplifying. To quote:

Software patent troll Microsoft's PR machine is pumping as much mis-information as it can, oracling Oracle's victory in Android court case. The reality is, Oracle is facing one after other set-backs in the case. After USPTO's rejection of a majority of Oracle's patents, the court refused to buy Iain Cockburn's report and asked both parties (Google and Oracle) to name two experts to verify damanges.

My comments regarding the FUD from IDG's Nancy are posted below in full (sorry if they are crude, short, and full of typos, I am still catching up after spending all day yesterday in London).

The author of the article is a Microsoft proponent, but I would not use personal angle to counter the hypothesis of the article, which is good for Microsoft. The story about Oracle's demands has been exaggerated. Just because Oracle, the plaintiff, asks for X, does not mean that Oracle will get X, even if it wins. Based on what we know, one by one Oracle's (formerly Sun's) patents fall into the can following re-examination. At Sun, proponent staff admitted they played a bit of a game trying to see who manages to get the most ridiculous patent application past the USPTO (i,.e. accepted as a monopoly). Nancy writes, "If Oracle wins the lawsuit that it brought against the software giant, the consequences for Google and the entire Android market could be dire, analysts say." But which analysts did she ask? Has she asked those who are unfitting to her headline? Has she contacted Mark Webbink or Pamela Jones from Groklaw? The first person she mentions is a patent lawyer. Patent lawyers would love to see patents upheld and commissions paid to them. This is a case of self-fulfilling prophecies. The analyst with Deutsche Bank mentions Oracle's desires, which are merely desires. SCO too had desires and all it got was bankruptcy

"Oracle declined comment on whether it is asking handset makers to license its technology and did not comment further for this story. Google did not reply to requests for comment."

Nancy could not get those involved to comment. Instead, she relies on mere spectators

"That licensing cost would make using Android comparable to the cost of licensing Windows Phone 7, Goldberg said."

Has Goldberg actually tried the platform? It's not competitive, some would call it a joke. It did not even support cut and paste until recently. The number of sales of this platform (licences really) is just a few millions. Google activates that many in about a week. While making gloomy predications for Android and hailing Windows as the Only Other Choice {tm}, Nancy quotes just a couple of people, one of whom clearly has a patent agenda. There seems to be a missing side -- one that has not been includes in the panel, so to speak. That same one-sided piece also closes with such a conclusion/quote which leads mysticism that cannot alleviate FUD

She quotes: "So the perception would be that Google lost. Oracle will probably insist on [confidentiality] to be able to keep this posture, whether it's justified or not."


The real dilemma here. Is not whether it's secret or not. It's whether Google will win the case or not. They present a false choice. And then at the end, this writer who covered Microsoft for years gives the impression that she only covers phones.

"Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News"

She ought to tell readers what company she covered for a long time beforehand. Based in Seattle (near Microsoft), I also notice that her latest two tweets are messages to pro-Microsoft lobbyist, Mr Müller, who enjoys attacking all of Microsoft's competition, esp. Android as of late.

If she is getting her information from lobbyists, then no wonder the reporting is so poor.

This whole article (link omitted on purpose, although one can find it based on quoted text) is not unusual, it's characteristics of IDG's spin zone. We need to continue pressuring IDG, which we previously called the Fox News of IT. IDG's business model is attracting advertisers and clients for 'reports' (Linux does neither); it is not in the business of actually reporting accurately and the objective of articles ('content') is merely to attract crowds into the ads and make clients of IDC happy(ier).


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