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. Links 1/7/2015: OpenDaylight Lithium, OpenMandriva Lx 2014.2

    Links for the day



  2. Munich Press, Münchner Merkur, Slams the Munich-based EPO

    Pressure on Benoît Battistelli to leave (or be fired) grows as the cronies whom he filled his office with have become a huge public embarrassment to the decades-old European Patent Office



  3. The Shameless Campaign to Paint/Portray Free Software as Inherently Insecure, Using Brands, Logos, and Excessive, Selective Press Coverage

    Some more FUD from firms such as Sonatype, which hope to make money by making people scared of Free/libre software



  4. National Insecurity and Blackmail, Courtesy of Microsoft

    British members of parliament (MPs) outsourced their communication to the number one PRISM company and they are paying the price for it; The US Navy's systems continue to be unbelievably insecure (Windows XP), despite access to the world's biggest nuclear arsenal



  5. Microsoft Keeps Shrinking

    As the era of shrink-wrapped software comes to an end so does Microsoft, whose effort to become a 'cloud' company with online operations has been miserable at best



  6. They 'R' Coming: More Microsoft Money for the Linux Foundation

    The problem with having Microsoft in a Linux Foundation initiative, the R Consortium



  7. Speculations About the EPO's Possible Role in DDOS Attacks

    Readers' views on who might be behind the attacks on this site amid confirmation that it's on the 'targets' list of the EPO



  8. Links 30/6/2015: Linux Mint 17.2, OpenMandriva

    Links for the day



  9. Techrights Confirmed as a Target of EPO Surveillance, With Help From Control Risks Group (CRG)

    Unveiling the cloak of secrecy from long-term surveillance by the European Patent Office (EPO) and a London-based mercenary it hired, bypassing the law



  10. Google's Fight to Keep APIs Free is Lost, Let's Hope Google Continues Fighting

    SCOTUS refuses to rule that APIs cannot be considered copyright-'protected', despite common sense and despite Java (which the case is about) being Free/libre software



  11. Patent Trolls in the Post-Alice World

    A round-up of news about patent trolls in the United States, some of whom are are doing well and some of them not as well



  12. DDOS Attacks Against Techrights

    Information about some of the most recent DDOS attacks against this Web site and the steps to be taken next



  13. The Patent System Not What it Used to be, Large Corporations and Patent Lawyers the Principal Beneficiaries

    A look at some recent patent stories and what can be deduced from them, based on statistics and trends



  14. After Intervention by the Council of Europe Comes a Detailed Summary of the Situation in the European Patent Office (EPO)





  15. IRC Proceedings: May 31st - June 27th, 2015

    Many IRC logs



  16. Links 28/6/2015: Manjaro Linux Cinnamon 0.8.13, VectorLinux 7.1

    Links for the day



  17. Williamson v. Citrix Online (at CAFC) Reinforces Alice v. CLS Bank (at SCOTUS) in Crushing Software Patents

    More patent news from the United States, again serving to indicate that software patents over there are getting weak (harder to defend in court or acquire from the patent office)



  18. Proskauer Rose LLP is Cherry-Picking Cases to Make Software Patents Seem Eligible Despite Alice v. CLS Bank

    Naming and shaming those who are trying to reshape the consensus despite a rather consistent pattern of software patents being rejected



  19. IAM Biased: How IAM 'Magazine' Glorifies Patent Stockpiling

    A look at the bias of one of the most overzealous sites for and by patent lawyers



  20. PATENT Act No Longer in the News... and That's Just Fine

    Putting the PATENT Act aside for the time being, for it has little or no impact on the really problematic patents



  21. The Latest Lies From Microsoft's PR Apparatus/Public Face, Mr. Nadella

    Having spread the outrageous lie that “Microsoft loves Linux” (whilst obviously attacking it in many ways), Microsoft's CEO (essentially Bill Gates' right-hand man) says Microsoft is “one of the biggest contributors to Linux kernel” (because of proprietary software it tries to contaminate it with while violating the terms of the GPL)



  22. Microsoft Jack (Schofield) Promotes Microsoft's Proprietary Lock-in and Calls People Who Recommend Free/Libre Software 'Trolls'

    Jack Schofield, writing for a Bill Gates-funded paper despite claiming to have retired, promotes Microsoft Office and insults all those readers who do not agree with him



  23. The Council of Europe Slams the EPO as Political Pressure Grows for EPO Management to Obey the Law

    Battistelli et al. come under yet more fire as politicians -- many of whom from Battistelli's home country -- become better informed of the EPO's management fiasco, abuses, and scandals



  24. Operating Systems Usage Based on Technical Site Statistics

    ome numbers to show what goes on in sites that do not share information about their visitors (unlike Windows-centric sites which target non-technical audiences)



  25. Links 27/6/2015: Wine 1.7.46, SparkyLinux 4.0

    Links for the day



  26. Proprietary Software on Top of Proprietary Software (AV on Windows) Only an Illusion of Security

    Remarks on the recent revelations about code and communication interceptions targeting insecurity firms and Microsoft's claim that 'transparency' alone would be enough to assure security



  27. The EPO's Circus of Nepotism, Corporatism and Gross Abuse is Promoting the Unitary Patent

    The shameful management of the EPO, which Benoît Battistelli constructed based on his nefarious self-serving agenda, keeps pushing forth in a direction that greatly harms European citizens while mistreating the EPO's technical staff (scientists and examiners)



  28. Links 26/6/2015: Ardour 4.1, GNOME 3.17.3 Released

    Links for the day



  29. An Estimated 1,000 EPO Staff in Munich Demonstrated Against EPO Management Yesterday Afternoon

    Earliest coverage of yesterday's protest against EPO corruption and abuses



  30. Microsoft Windows So Insecure That Even Fonts Are Remotely Exploitable

    Windows userbase is once again under serious threat and high risk because something as simple as fonts (rendering of text/pixels on the screen) isn't done securely in Windows


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