EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

02.06.09

Summary: Lies, Damn Lies and Net Applications (Fake ‘Statistics’)

Posted in Apple, FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 7:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Net Applications

DEBUNKING MISCONCEPTIONS and erroneous consensuses is one of our key goals here, which is why we wrote the following posts earlier this week: 1) Microsoft and Apple Pay Net Applications (Hitslink); 2) Net Applications: the Big Lie, Boosted by IDC|IDG et al

Since these posts were initially written we’ve learned two more things; the first is that Net Applications changes its own statistics after publication, with evidence here.

Why is Net Applications (Hitslink) changing its browser stats after publishing them?

[...]

When I got back later and reloaded the page, I noticed that it had gone down to 0.5% or so the last few hours. I still left the page open, and returned a little later. To my surprise, the page was no longer showing the same numbers for the same time. It’s as if it had never shown 0.5%.

The second thing we have learned is that one of the executives at Net Applications used to work for Microsoft.

And to summarise the points that were raised before:

  1. Microsoft and Apple put money on Net Applications’ table, so rather unsurprisingly, the results satisfy both companies. GNU/Linux, on the other hand, is not able to pay Net Applications for favourable bias. Might the inclusion of logs from Apple sites (maybe even Apple.com) explain the high Hackintosh share?
  2. Net Applications uses a Microsoft stack for hosting, which is not so common
  3. Net Applications does not count actual traffic (e.g. page requests), based on its very own explanation
  4. Net Applications admits its statistics are flawed (skewed)
  5. Net Applications keeps its methods secret and the dataset likewise

When scientists who are merely “hired guns” get exposed, the validity of their output is no more. Net Applications fits this description and it absolutely must not be seen as ‘gold standard’. The output may be designed to discourage adoption of products from their clients’ competitors. IDC is doing the same thing with Microsoft (for servers) and those spreading the message even turned from journalists into Microsoft employees.

“Mind Control: To control mental output you have to control mental input. Take control of the channels by which developers receive information, then they can only think about the things you tell them. Thus, you control mindshare!”

Microsoft, internal document [PDF]

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

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

3 Comments

  1. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 7, 2009 at 9:19 am

    Gravatar

    Addendum:

    One source made a claim that we could not confirm. It said:

    When net applications was soliciting sites to be part of their counter, it gave a pretty good clue as to why the counts are a bit “off”. The wanted sites to serve up this ActiveX control that would got to user’s browsers and count the individual users, sending the stats to Net Applications’ counter via http post requests.

    This of course is a problem because most people who use other browsers use them because they don’t want Active X invading their PCs all the time.”

  2. Jose_X said,

    February 7, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    Gravatar

    I won’t accuse them of doing this without knowing, but I have almost zero doubt in my mind that active x or similar enough tricks are something of a pre-req.

    In short, I expect the 0.8% (Linux) to come from visitors to ms-friendly sites.. and not be a representative figure of the general browsing on the Internet.

    When groups hide their methodology, it’s difficult to believe their “trust me”.

    For every such “fact” put out my Microsoft or by journalists repeating those numbers we need to put out the alternative numbers.

    Roy, maybe you want to keep here a list of alternative samplings (whether scientific (preferably) or not). This way we can all point to this page each and every single time anyone mentions the 0.8% number. We can be just as honest yet unscientific about this. We can write to such authors quoting the 0.8% figure to state there is doubt about that and point to our page.

    Preferably, each entry will include the details of how the stats were accumulated. And Linux numbers don’t need to be big. People don’t need to be ashamed if some months the numbers are low. We know it’s a minority that use Linux daily.

    We may even rank the entries based on who appears to have put the most effort to be fair.

    Also, preferably the website would be of topics not related to OS or FOSS, but, given the potential to cheat with things like active x (clearly an OS requirement), I wouldn’t reject those entries (ie, I’d accept bias entries to help prove a point.. without methodology the deck might be very or even very very stacked against Linux).

    Carla (LT) and many others might be willing to do monthly tallies or something. I’ll try to bring it up at some point when I’m over there.

    Hey, I’ll bring this up on thetuxproject.com since this is marketing. We can try to get volunteers to always complain to authors posting the other number and to comment pointing to this alt page.

    We can also publish our own methodologies (unscientific most likely since we lack $$) which others may want to use. A weekend breakdown is useful since many businesses require IE use.

    You do very decent stats Roy (don’t have handy the link to your last breakdown), so perhaps BN will want to kick things off (and host it).

    You may want to also tag each entry that requires platform specific things.

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 7, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    Gravatar

    This sounds like something that would require a lot of work. Can’t writers just be told off for referencing figures that are essentially sponsored by Microsoft and are inaccurate (by admission from the ‘researchers’)?

What Else is New


  1. Patent Lawyers Move Closer to Battistelli's Rubber-stamping Office While the Appeal Boards Pushed Away as Collective Punishment Which Masks Decline in Patent Quality

    Urgently sending appeal boards away and urgently granting applicants patents without proper examination will be Battistelli's sorrow legacy at the European Patent Office



  2. Software Patents a Dying Breed, But Patent Lawyers in Denial Over it and Notorious Judge Rodney Gilstrap Ignores Alice (Supreme Court)

    A look at what law and practice are saying about software patents, contrasted or contradicted by the patent industry and trolls-friendly courts (which make business out of or together with patent aggressors)



  3. CAFC Meddling in PTAB Affairs; Unified Patents Fights a Good Fight by Invalidating Software Patents

    A look at how the AIA's Patent Trial and Appeal Board is invalidating software patents post-Alice, with or without involvement of patent courts



  4. Early Certainty That Benoît Battistelli is Dangerously Clueless and a Major Risk to the EPO

    The chaos which Team Battistelli is assured to deliver if it doesn't treat scientists like scientists, instead viewing them as a production line with rubber-stamping duties



  5. OIN Makes Claims About “Open Source Innovation”, But It Produces Nothing and Protects Virtually Nobody

    The Open Invention Network (OIN) reports growth, but in practical terms it does little or nothing to help developers of Free/Open Source software



  6. Links 27/7/2016: New CrossOver, Blackmagic for GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  7. The Death of Software Patents and Microsoft's Coup Against Yahoo! Made the Company Worthless

    A look at what happens to companies whose value is a house of software patents rather than code and a broad base of users/customers



  8. Munich Attack Mentioned by EPO But Not Ansbach

    The EPO does the usual right-wing thing (exploiting disaster/emergency for domestic crackdowns), but some bemoan the omission of the explosion at Ansbach (also in Germany)



  9. Kluwer Thinks People Are Clueless About the Unitary Patent System and Pretends It's Business as Usual

    Flogging the dead UPC horse at times of great uncertainty (enough to bring the UPC to a standstill)



  10. Almost Everything That the Government Accountability Office Says is Applicable to the EPO

    The Government Accountability Office in the United States produces reports which can serve as a timely warning sign to the European Patent Office, where patent quality is rapidly declining in order to meet 'production' goals



  11. Microsoft Says It Loves Linux, But Its Anti-Linux Patent Trolls Are Still Around and Active

    Highlighting just two of the many entities that Microsoft (and partners) use in order to induce additional costs on Free (as in freedom) software



  12. Links 26/7/2016: Microsoft Growing Desperate, Linux 4.8 Visions

    Links for the day



  13. Links 25/7/2016: Linux 4.7 Final, PostgreSQL 9.6 Beta 3

    Links for the day



  14. Leaked: Boards of Appeal Face 'Exile' or 'Extradition' in Haar After Standing up to Battistelli

    A look at some of the latest moves at the European Patent Office (EPO), following Battistelli's successful coup d’état which brought the EPO into a perpetual state of emergency that perpetuates Battistelli's totalitarian powers



  15. The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) Comes Across as Against Software Patents, Relates to the EPO as Well

    Some analysis of the input from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) with focus on the EPO and software patents



  16. In the US, Patent Trolls Engage in Patent Wars and Shakedowns, Whereas in China/Korea Large Android OEMs Sue One Another

    Highlighting some of the differences between the US patent system and other patent systems



  17. Links 24/7/2016: Elive 2.7.1 Beta, New Flatpaks and Snaps

    Links for the day



  18. Links 23/7/2016: Leo Laporte on GNU/Linux, Dolphin Emulator’s Vulkan Completion

    Links for the day



  19. Links 22/7/2016: Wine 1.9.15, KaOS 2016.07 ISO

    Links for the day



  20. Haar Mentioned as Likely Site of Appeal Boards as Their Eradication or Marginalisation Envisioned by UPC Proponent Benoît Battistelli

    Not only the Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) is under severe attack and possibly in mortal danger; the increasingly understaffed Boards of Appeal too are coming under attack and may (according to rumours) be sent to Haar, a good distance away from Munich and the airport (half an hour drive), not to mention lack of facilities for visitors from overseas



  21. EPO Attaché Albert Keyack Viewed as Somewhat of a Mole, Reporting From the US Embassy in Brazil Until Shortly Before the Temer Coup

    Public responses to the role played by Albert Keyack on behalf of the United States inside the European [sic] Patent Office



  22. EPO Insiders Explain Why the EPO's Examination Quality Rapidly Declines and Will Get Even Worse Because of Willy Minnoye

    Public comments from anonymous insiders serve to highlight a growing crisis inside the European Patent Office (EPO), where experienced/senior examiners are walking away and leaving an irreplaceable bunch of seats (due to high experience demands)



  23. Patents Roundup: BlackBerry, Huawei, PTAB, GAO, Aggressive Universities With Patents, and Software Patents in Europe

    Various bits and pieces of news regarding patents and their fast-changing nature in the United States nowadays



  24. Glimpse at Patent Systems Across the World: Better Quality Control at the USPTO Post-America Invents Act (2011), Unlike the EPO Post-Battistelli (2010)

    While the EPO reportedly strives to eliminate pendency and appeal windows altogether (rubberstamping being optimal performance as per the yardstick du jour), the USPTO introduces changes that would strengthen the system and shield innovation, not protect the business model of serial litigants



  25. Blockstream Has No Patents, But Pledges Not to Sue Using Patents

    Blockstream says that it comes in peace when it comes to software patents, which triggers speculations about coming Blockchain patent wars



  26. Links 21/7/2016: Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS, Linux Mint 18 “Sarah” Xfce Beta

    Links for the day



  27. Links 21/7/2016: An Honorary Degree for Alan Cox, Looks Back at DebConf16

    Links for the day



  28. EPO USA: Under Battistelli, the 'European' Patent Office Emulates All the Mistakes of the USPTO

    Conservative Benoît Battistelli is trying to impose on the European Patent Office various truly misguided policies and he viciously attacks anyone or anything that stands in his way, including his formal overseers



  29. Links 19/7/2016: ARM and Opera Buyout

    Links for the day



  30. Large Corporations' Software Patenting Pursuits Carry on in Spite of Patent Trolls That Threaten Small Companies the Most

    With unconvincing excuses such as OIN, large corporations including IBM continue to promote software patents in the United States, even when public officials and USPTO officials work towards ending those


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts