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. Some US Patents' Quality is So Low That There's a Garden Clearance/Fire Sale

    Rather than shoot worthless patents into orbit where they belong the Allied Security Trust (AST), collector of dubious patents, will try to sell them to gullible opportunists and patent trolls (even if the said patents would likely perish in courts)



  2. When Amplifying the Message of 'Global Innovation Index 2018' IP Watch Sounds Like WIPO and IP Watchdog (Watchtroll)

    In addition to senatorial efforts and misleading debates about patents, we now contend with something called “Global Innovation Index 2018," whose purpose appears to be similar to the debunked Chamber of Commerce's rankings (quantifying everything in terms of patents)



  3. Erosion of Patent Justice in Europe With Kangaroo Courts and Low-Quality European Patents

    The problematic combination of plaintiff-friendly courts (favouring the accuser, just like in Eastern Texas) and low-quality patents that should never have been granted



  4. Mafia Tactics in Team UPC and Battistelli's Circle

    Mafia-like behaviour at the EPO and the team responsible for the Unified Patent Court (UPC); appointments of loyal friends and family members have become common (nepotism and exchange of favours), as have threats made towards critics, authorities, and the press



  5. Australia Says No to Software Patents

    Rokt is now fighting the Australian patent office over its decision to reject software patents; Shelston IP, an Australian patent law firm (originally from Melbourne), already meddles a great deal in such policies/decisions, hoping to overturn them



  6. Links 19/7/2018: Krita 4.1.1, Qt Creator 4.7.0, and Microsoft-Led Lobby Against Android in EU

    Links for the day



  7. IAM is Pushing SEPs/FRAND Agenda for Patent Trolls and Monopolists That Fund IAM

    The front group of patent trolls, IAM, sets up an echo chamber-type event, preceded by all the usual pro-FRAND propaganda



  8. “Trade Secrets” Litigation Rising in the Wake of TC Heartland, Alice, Oil States and Other Patent-Minimising Decisions

    Litigation strategies are evolving in the wake of top-level decisions that rule out software patents, restrict venue shifting, and facilitate invalidation of patents even outside the courtroom



  9. The EPO -- Like the Unified Patent Court (UPC) and Unitary Patent System -- is an Untenable Mess

    The António Campinos-led EPO, nearly three weeks under his leadership, still fails to commit to justice (court rulings not obeyed), undo union-busting efforts and assure independence of judges; this, among other factors, is why the Office/Organisation and the UPC it wants to manage appear more or less doomed



  10. Links 18/7/2018: System76's Manufacturing Facility, Microsoft-Led Lobby for Antitrust Against Android

    Links for the day



  11. What Patent Lawyers Aren't Saying: Most Patent Litigation Has Become Too Risky to be Worth It

    The lawyers' key to the castle is lost or misplaced; they can't quite find/obtain leverage in courts, but they don't want their clients to know that



  12. Software Patents Royalty (Tax) Campaign by IBM, a Serial Patent Bully, and the EPO's Participation in All This

    The agenda of US-based patent maximalists, including patent trolls and notorious bullies from the United States, is still being served by the 'European' Patent Office, which has already outsourced some of its work (e.g. translations, PR, surveillance) to the US



  13. The European Council Needs to Check Battistelli's Back Room Deals/Back Door/Backchannel With Respect to Christian Archambeau

    Worries persist that Archambeau is about to become an unworthy beneficiary (nepotism) after a Battistelli setup that put Campinos in power, supported by the Belgian delegation which is connected to Archambeau, a national/citizen of Belgium



  14. PTAB and § 101 (Section 101) Have Locked the Patent Parasites Out of the Patent System

    Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs) have contributed a great deal to patent quality and have reduced the number of frivolous patent lawsuits; this means that firms which profit from patent applications and litigation hate it with a passion and still lobby to weaken if not scuttle PTAB



  15. Patents on Computer Software and Plants in the United States Indicative of Systemic Error

    The never-ending expansion of patent scope has meant that patent law firms generally got their way at the patent office; can the courts react fast enough (before confidence in patents and/or public support for patents is altogether shattered)?



  16. Yesterday's Misleading News From Team UPC and Its Aspiring Management of the Unified Patent Court (UPC)

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) enthusiasts — i.e. those looking to financially gain from it — continue to wrestle with logic, manipulate words and misrepresent the law; yesterday we saw many law firms trying to make it sound as though the UPC is coming to the UK even though this isn’t possible and UPC as a whole is likely already dead



  17. Time for the European Commission to Investigate EPO Corruption Because It May be Partly or Indirectly Connected to EU-IPO, an EU Agency

    The passage of the top role at the EU-IPO from António Campinos to Christian Archambeau would damage confidence in the moral integrity of the European Council; back room deals are alleged to have occurred, implicating corrupt Battistelli



  18. Links 17/7/2018: Catfish 1.4.6 Released, ReactOS 0.4.9, Red Hat's GPL Compliance Group Grows

    Links for the day



  19. Links 16/7/2018: Linux 4.18 RC5, Latte Dock v0.8, Windows Back Doors Resurface

    Links for the day



  20. Alliance for US Startups and Inventors for Jobs (USIJ) Misleads the US Government, Pretending to Speak for Startups While Spreading Lies for the Patent Microcosm

    In the United States, which nowadays strives to raise the patent bar, the House Small Business Committee heard from technology firms but it also heard from some questionable front groups which claim to support "startups" and "jobs" (but in reality support just patents on the face of it)



  21. 'Blockchain', 'Cloud' and Whatever Else Gets Exploited to Work Around 35 U.S.C. § 101 (or the EPC) and Patent Algorithms/Software

    Looking for a quick buck or some low-quality patents (which courts would almost certainly reject), opportunists carry on with their gold rush, aided by buzzwords and hype over pretty meaningless things



  22. PTAB Defended by the EFF, the R Street Institute and CCIA as the Number of Petitions (IPRs) Continues to Grow

    Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs) come to the rescue when patently-bogus patents are used, covering totally abstract concepts (like software patents do); IPRs continue to increase in number and opponents of PTAB, who conveniently cherry-pick Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decisions, can't quite stop that



  23. IAM/Joff Wild May Have Become a de Facto Media Partner of the Patent Troll iPEL

    Invitation to trolls in China, courtesy of the patent trolls' lobby called "IAM"; this shows no signs of stopping and has become rather blatant



  24. Cautionary Tale: ILO Administrative Tribunal Cases (Appeals) 'Intercepted' Under António Campinos

    The ILO Administrative Tribunal (ILO-AT) is advertised by the EPO's management as access to justice, but it's still being undermined quite severely to the detriment of aggrieved staff



  25. Asking the USPTO to Comply With 35 U.S.C. § 101 is Like Asking Pentagon Officials to Pursue Real, Persistent Peace

    Some profit from selling weapons, whereas others profit from patent grants and litigation; what's really needed right now is patent sanity and adherence to the public interest as well as the law itself, e.g. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decisions



  26. BT and Sonos Are Still Patent Bullies, Seeing Patents as a Backup Plan

    The companies seeking to complement their business (or make up for their demise) using patents are still suing rivals while calling that litigation "research and development" (the same old euphemism)



  27. Jim Skippen, a Longtime Patent Troll, Admits That the Trolling Sector is Collapsing

    Canada's biggest patent troll (WiLAN) bar BlackBerry doesn't seem to be doing too well as its CEO leaves the domain altogether



  28. From East Asia to the Eastern District of Texas: XYZ Printing, Maxell, and X2Y Attenuators

    The patent aggression, which relies on improper litigation venues, harms innocent parties a great deal; only their lawyers benefit from all this mess



  29. Links 14/7/2018: Mesa 18.1.4, Elisa 0.2.1, More on Python's Guido van Rossum

    Links for the day



  30. Number of Oppositions to Grants/Awards of European Patents at the EPO Has Skyrocketed, Based on Internal Data

    The number of challenged patents continues to soar and staff of the EPO (examiners already over-encumbered by far too much work, due to unrealistic targets) would struggle to cope or simply be compelled to not properly deal with oppositions


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