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Quote of the Day: Why Not Slashdot

Posted in Deception, Microsoft, Quote at 8:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Teveral people refused to understood why we had given up on Slashdot. I found the following new comment from Pamela Jones very quote-worthy. Perhaps so will you.

MS shill blogs— Groklaw unfair

Authored by: PJ on Tuesday, April 01 2008 @ 03:59 AM EDT
boo hoo

I don’t do that. It’s not well known. It’s SCO
that used to claim that, if you remember. I loved
the moment when Darl said he liked Slashdot, because
it was really free discussions. Hahahaha.
Doug said that not because it is true but because
Microsoft can’t compete with decency, so they have
to slime the other side. He did the same thing
to Yoon-Kit, if you recall. Slime, slime, slime.
It’s what they do.

I saw what Microsoft did to Slashdot. Any time
you have moderation by the community, you open
yourself up to hordes of Microsoft shills showing
up and eventually taking over. Microsoft has
too much money, and they can throw more and more
troops into battle. That’s the impression I formed,

I don’t want Groklaw ruined, so when I find
what I believe are astroturfers
and shills pretending to be FOSS people, I do
throw their fannies over the fence. I give
them every chance to cut it out and stay, but
if they persist, they are outahere. It’s in
our comments policy, so it shouldn’t be a

I didn’t know Doug was one of them, until now.

That doesn’t mean they can’t read and comment
but they can’t do it as members, because Groklaw
is for group work, and I really don’t want
people who are only here to disrupt to be

I could tell you some stories. We even had a
lawyer who had done work for Microsoft show up,
pretending to be a community person.

He didn’t say he was a lawyer or that he was
connected to Microsoft in any way, but I knew
his name. So we had a private
little discussion. I told him that he could
express himself freely but only if he told
all of you who he was here representing.

Not one comment after that. I didn’t expel
him, but I was disgusted.

We had a guy from CompTIA also. He pretended he
was just expressing his personal views, not
the company. So I mentioned that I doubted that,
since he was posting from CompTIA. Again, no
further comments were ever posted. With him too
I didn’t expel him or remove his comments, but
I let him know that I expected him to be honest.
That’s what Groklaw is about. I don’t think
anyone has the right to come to someone’s web
site and play underhanded games.

We have other Microsoft names you’d know who are
members. I doubt they are here to participate
in what we do. I don’t out them, of course, as
long as they stay within the guidelines for
behavior here.

We don’t censor comments here, but the frequency of abusive comments has fortunately remained low. For our views on Slashdot see:

There are several more items which are cited there. One of our readers also ran a somewhat scientific experiment to demonstrate bias. You can find it all in our previous postings

For recent examples of Microsoft AstroTurfing, start here. it’s real, and this tradition is very much alive. It includes smears for OOXML and anonymous voices, sometimes from Microsoft employees.

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  1. CoolGuy said,

    April 1, 2008 at 9:45 am


    Dell has outsource support center in India where they send weekly reports on HP/IBM/Acer on what are they selling. They have asp.net coders who have written automated scripts to get such data from their websites.

    M$ also must be doing this. Their India partners (Infosys/Wipro) must be having cheap Indian call center people posting such things on the internet.

    Although on the outside it appears that Infosys/Wipro is a reputed brand..my ass…the day people come to know what kind of work goes on inside their offices …they will be put to shame. These big corporates have no ethics or standard. Profit is all that they are interested in.

    Only decent company I know is Redhat for open source policy. Google is another eyewash. Only reason they support FOSS is they want to destroy microsoft. Most of google code is still not open source.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    April 1, 2008 at 10:51 am


    I agree with what you say about Google. See the following new post:

    Google blocking AGPL in Google Code

    So, first AGPL was not good enough for Google because it was not OSI-approved. That limited its popularity… Now it is OSI-approved. Still, it is not popular enough to be accepted in the Google closed open source hosting site?

    And, by the way, why should people put their open source code in the hands of someone who likes open source only when it does good to its business (ehm, that could include me, but we are not talking about me, are we ;-) ?

    C’mon Chris [DiBona], give developers the ability of using AGPL for their own projects in Google Code. Your fight for no proliferation of licenses is something I subscribe to, but AGPL is the license of the future, no matter if Google likes it or not. And I can guarantee you it will become even more popular if it is accepted in Google Code…

    The following are slightly older but very relevant:

    GPL author: Google must share code

    Companies like Google that build their business on software such as Linux have a moral imperative to contribute back to the free software community, a prominent open source advocate said Tuesday.

    Funambol Helps New AGPLv3 Open Source License Gain Formal OSI Approval

    March 13, 2008 – Funambol, the leading provider of Mobile 2.0 messaging software powered by open source, today announced that the AGPLv3 has received formal approval by the Open Source Initiative (OSI). Funambol led the process of the license’s approval by the OSI after adopting AGPLv3 in November. It was the first company to adopt the license, which closes the “ASP loophole”.

    Census started for enterprise open source use

    Intended as a pluggable architecture for organizations to provide their own fingerprint rules and identify open source packages, OSS Discovery is licensed under the new Affero GPLv3 (AGPLv3) for open source SaaS.

    Funambol Is First Major Commercial OpenSource Company To Support AGPLv3

    Funambol, the leading provider of mobile 2.0 messaging software powered by open source, today announced it has adopted GNU AGPLv3. This makes Funambol the first major commercial open source software company to adopt the license that was just released by the Free Software Foundation. Funambol adopted AGPLv3 because the company views it as a major open source license of the future.

    Bear in mind that Funambol and Google collaborate as far as Android is concerned (big assignment) and Chris DiBona et al at Google could and should take a lesson from their small partner.

  3. Dark Phoenix said,

    April 1, 2008 at 12:56 pm


    You know very well that Google doesn’t like AGPL mainly because it forces them to reveal their own code in situations where the regular GPL would not…

  4. Rui Miguel Silva Seabra said,

    April 1, 2008 at 1:39 pm


    Now you can easily spot the Astroturfers on my Free Software blog (in portuguese, but google translator usually does a good job converting to english):


    I used the word press plugin “douch bag” and further altered it. Of course it’s not very practical on hudreds or thousands of comments like in Slashdot, but it’s easy on lesser ammounts of comments.

    Just edit a comment and add a special flag to it :)

  5. CoolGuy said,

    April 1, 2008 at 1:42 pm


    Redhat has a huge credibility and ethics in the market. It a huge asset. They are growing at tremendous rates – and that’s the only commercial company i know of with some ethics. Kudos to redhat to being so strong to their ethics.

    Companies make mistake and also correct them – but deliberate lying and cheating and double standards are shun upon.

    Products might be bad or buggy – these things can be fixed over time – but not lack of ethics to win the race.

  6. Roy Schestowitz said,

    April 1, 2008 at 6:51 pm



    There was only one trouble-making person to whom (and whose comments) we needed to append a flag. And he no longer comes here. When Novell employees of SUSE developers come here to vent, that’s not AstroTurfing though. That’s a different type of issue though, but we don’t delete comments.

  7. Victor Soliz said,

    April 1, 2008 at 6:54 pm


    I think slashdot’s issue is not much of people paid by MS as it is of people that are Novell or openSUSE fanboys and ignore the facts, I consider them to be victims rather than victimators.

    I think that, the problems in slashdot are more of a reason to be there more often and mine some karma and vote in the firehose/etc to counter the efforts from the other side.

  8. Roy Schestowitz said,

    April 1, 2008 at 7:00 pm



    Any meta-moderation you do, while well intended, might actually be helping the very same people who turn a blind eye to the issue. I got very bitter with Digg, for example, and almost stopped commenting there because the founders refused to intervene where there was coordinated, systematic abuse and slander against members. At times, it was almost as though threads were hijacked by corporations involved (topic dependent). It’s appalling. As for promoted stories, people just cheat nowadays. The stories which make it in are simply gamed for.

  9. Victor Soliz said,

    April 4, 2008 at 3:46 pm


    Afaik digg actually is owned by MS

    A quick example case about slashdot abuse:

    http://tech.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/04/04/1758203 (See, the summary then the comments, don’t forget the one in which windows server is the ultimate world marvel)

    I don’t get it, meta-moderating declaring a shill’s comment is definitely not insightful, might not have any effect, I know that, but I am not sure how it would help them.

  10. Roy Schestowitz said,

    April 4, 2008 at 5:29 pm


    A friend of mine who has been on Slashdot for ages calls these “Microsoft boosters”. That’s just why I don’t read Slashdot anymore. As for Digg, things have changed since Microsoft became the advertiser. Mind the footer of that site.

    Microsoft will throw away (or “expend”, to put it more nicely) a lot of money in attempts to stay relevant. As always, it spends a lot of money just to ensure the competition cannot make any and then runs out of business. At the moment, Microsoft’s #1 rival is Linux (and the GPL). You can probably think of many other examples (a recent one being ISO) where Microsoft uses money simply to combat threat rather than develop products.

  11. CoolGuy said,

    April 5, 2008 at 12:20 am


    Microsoft is very afraid of negative press (truth) about it products. They will do anything to stop /censor that – emperor is naked syndrome.

    As far as people *perceive* their products are good – it sells – no matter how shitty they are. Then they will engage is mud slugging of competitors products – FUD tactics.

  12. Roy Schestowitz said,

    April 5, 2008 at 12:23 am


    As far as people *perceive* their products are good – it sells – no matter how shitty they are.

    “If you can’t make it good, at least make it look good.”

    Bill Gates

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