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. Microsoft and Nokia's Patent Trolls by Proxy: First Conversant, Now Provenance Asset Group Holdings LLC

    Microsoft's shell game with patents (passing Android-hostile patents to trolls) carries on and publishers funded by these trolls offer the details, albeit vaguely and with obvious spin



  2. Anonymous Professionals Speak of Benoît Battistelli's Destruction of the EPO, But Why Does the Media Turn a Blind Eye?

    Everyone in the circles of EPO staff and EPO stakeholders knows that dysfunction has become the norm; European media, however, remains suspiciously silent about what otherwise would be a major European scandal (bigger than FIFA or Dieselgate)



  3. The Darker Past of the Next President of the EPO - Part III: More Details About Caixa Geral de Depósitos, Former Employer of Campinos

    The side of Campinos which he prefers to conceal, or rather his association with a rather notorious Portuguese bank



  4. UPC Looks Like More of a Distant Dream (or Nightmare) as Germany Adds Another Two Months' Delay

    The likelihood that the UPC will be altogether scuttled is growing as delays keep piling up and more complaints are being filed by public interest groups (as opposed to Team UPC, which hoped to shove the UPCA down everyone's throats behind closed doors)



  5. Patent Trolls Roundup: BlackBerry, Dominion Harbor, IPNav, IP Bridge

    A quick review of recent news regarding patent trolls or entities which resemble (and sometimes feed) these



  6. Battistelli's Destruction of the EPO is Bad for Everyone, Even Patent Attorneys

    The collapse of the European patent system, owing primarily to Battistelli's totalitarian style and deemphasis on patent quality, means that "the war is lost," as one professional puts it



  7. Links 19/10/2017: Mesa 17.2.3, New Ubuntu Release, Samsung Flirts With GNU/Linux Desktops

    Links for the day



  8. Some of the USPTO's Most Ridiculous Patents Are Scrutinised by “Above the Law” While Dennis Crouch Attempts to Tarnish Alice

    Controversies over patent scope and level of novelty required for a patent; as usual, public interest groups try to restrict patent scope, whereas those who make money out of abundance of patents attempt to remove every barrier



  9. Microsoft's Software Patents Aggression in Court (Corel Again)

    Microsoft's tendency to not only abuse the competition but also to destroy it with patent lawsuits as seen in Corel's case



  10. The Spanish Supreme Court Rejects the EPO's “Problem and Solution Approach” While Quality of European Patents Nosedives

    European Patents (EPs) aren't what they used to be and their credibility is being further eroded and even detected as such



  11. Europe is Being Robbed by Team Battistelli and the UPC/PPH Would Make Things Worse

    The European Patent Office (EPO) has put litigation at the forefront, having implicitly decided to no longer bother with proper patent examination and instead issue lots of patents for judges and lawyers to argue about (at great expense to the public)



  12. Team UPC Continues to Promote Illusion of UPC Progress Where There's None

    The core members of Team UPC in the UK spread obvious falsehoods in the media, probably in an effort to attract 'business' (consultation regarding something that does not exist)



  13. António Campinos: A True EPO Reformer or More of the Same?

    More unfortunate reminders that Campinos and Battistelli don't quite diverge on the big issues, they're just more than two decades apart in age (but the same nationality)



  14. Juve Has Confirmed That António Campinos is French

    The relationship between Campinos and Battistelli has a nationality aspect to it, not even taking into account the interpersonal connection which goes a long way back



  15. The Darker Past of the Next President of the EPO - Part II: António Campinos at Banco Caixa Geral de Depósitos

    A look at the largely-hidden banking career of the next President of the EPO and the career of the person who competed with him for this position



  16. SUEPO to the Media, Regarding Campinos: “No Comment, It’s Too Dangerous”

    António Campinos, who is Benoît Battistelli's chosen successor at the EPO, as covered by German media earlier this month



  17. Staff Union of the EPO (SUEPO) Willing to Work With Campinos But Foresees Difficulties

    New message from SUEPO regarding Battistelli's successor of choice (Campinos)



  18. Links 18/10/2017: GTK+ 3.92, Microsoft Bug Doors Leaked

    Links for the day



  19. The Darker Past of the Next President of the EPO - Part I: Introduction

    Some new details about Mr. Campinos, who is Battistelli’s successor at the EPO



  20. Confessions of EPO Insiders Reveal That European Patents (EPs) Have Lost Their Legitimacy/Value Due to Battistelli's Policies

    A much-discussed topic at the EPO is now the ever-declining quality of granted patents, which make or break patent offices because quality justifies high costs (searches, applications, renewals and so on)



  21. Patent Firms From the United States Try Hard to Push the Unitary Patent (UPC), Which Would Foment Litigation Wars in Europe

    The UPC push seems to be coming from firms which not only fail to represent public interests but are not even European



  22. In the Age of Alice and PTAB There is No Reason to Pursue Software Patents in the United States (Not Anymore)

    The appeal board in the US (PTAB) combined with a key decision of the Supreme Court may mean that even at a very low cost software patents can be invalidated upon demand (petition) and, failing that, the courts will invalidate these



  23. IAM is Wrong, the Narrative Isn't Changing, Except in the Battistelli-Funded (at EPO's Expense) Financial Times

    The desperate attempts to change the narrative in the press culminate in nothing more than yet another misleading article from Rana Foroohar and some rants from Watchtroll



  24. The Federal Circuit Continues Squashing Software Patents

    Under the leadership of Sharon Prost the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) continues its war on software patents, making it very hard to remember the last time it tolerated any



  25. SUEPO Representatives Like Elizabeth Hardon Vindicated as Battistelli's Detrimental Effect on Patent Quality is Widely Confirmed

    Feedback regarding the awful refusal to acknowledge patent quality crisis at the EPO as well as the appointment of a President so close to Battistelli (who most likely assures continuation of his policies)



  26. Links 17/10/2017: KDE Frameworks 5.39.0, Safe Browsing in Epiphany

    Links for the day



  27. Judge Bryson Rules Against Allergan After It Used Native American Tribes to Dodge Scrutiny of Patents (IPRs); Senator Hatch Does Not Understand IPRs

    Having attempted to dodge inter partes reviews (IPRs) by latching onto sovereign immunity, Allergan loses a key case and Senator Hatch is meanwhile attempting to water down IPRs albeit at the same time bemoaning patent trolls (which IPRs help neutralise)



  28. Rumours That António Campinos Initially Had No Competition at All (for Battistelli's Succession) Are Confirmed

    Succession at the EPO (mostly French) shows that there's little room for optimism and Battistelli's people are too deeply entrenched in the upper echelons of the EPO



  29. EPO Stakeholders Complain That the New Chairman Does Not Grasp the Issues at the EPO (or Denies These)

    Some information from inside the EPO’s Administrative Council, whose Chairman is denying (at least to himself) some of the core issues that render the EPO less competitive in the international market



  30. Another Misleading Article Regarding Patents From Rana Foroohar at the Financial Times

    In an effort to promote the agenda of patent maximalists, many of whom are connected to the Financial Times, another deceiving report comes out


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