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NeoWin reporter impartial? – I SUSEpect not!

A look at impartiality and OpenSUSE + other news.

Readers to my blog may remember a while back I challenged the impartiality of the NeoWin website and in particular some reporters, namely Chakkaradeep.  The site was kind enough to respond here with some comprehensive replies although if you check the article, many of my points were left unanswered (including (IMO) some fake ignorance by Chaks).  Thats fine, we’re all busy and have many things to do.  Please refer back to the article (and the replies) here: http://openbytes.wordpress.com/2009/03/10/breaking-news-10-versions-of-windows-7-on-netbooks/

The point I made at the time (and still maintain) is that someone who has used Microsoft products only is hardly in a possition to call themself (IMO) either a tech enthusiast and/or an expert.  They are Microosoft product experts in my opinion and as I recently said on another site, you wouldnt be happy taking your car to a garage that only had experience in one model of car that was different to yours, the same applies to the IT world.

I still have my doubts as to the impartiality of certain reporters from the NeoWin site.  Of course this is my opinion so let me place the evidence in front of you, the reader and you can decide for yourself.

Yesterday Chakkaradeep on Twitter announced a Linux related topic.  Great news?  No.  It came as little surprise to me that Linux related subject was in regards to openSUSE, Novells Linux effort.

He said Build my own Linux OS based on my needs is now few clicks away! http://susestudio.com #linux #susestudio #opensuse”

So we hit upon the subject of impartiality again.  For those that dont know, it is my opinion that openSUSE is about the closest thing you can get to a Microsoft approved Linux distro (since “the deal” that Novell and Microsoft signed a few years ago)  For those who are not aware of this deal you can find out more information here: http://www.novell.com/linux/microsoft/

I wont dwell on that piece of old news and now move on.  Im sure Chaks and his supporters will claim that this shows impartiality and theres nothing wrong with highlighting this great “building of a Linux OS to fit their needs” but then if Chaks is indeed genuinely impressed by this and it was written in good faith, it to me shows a level of ignorance of Linux in general since this feature has been about for a long time and certainly not exclusive to OpenSUSE.  Readers to this blog may remember a review of NimbleX some time ago, where the same feature was already being offered.  You can read that article here and its worth remembering that NimbleX is a small distro made by enthusiasts with a userbase probably at best only in the thousands.  Not such a unique openSUSE feature is it Chaks?  So then the question needs to be asked, if Chaks is not as ignorant of alternatives as his Twitter sugested, why did this NeoWin reporter mention OpenSUSE?  Could it be that this Linux distro with the Microsoft seal of approval on it (IMO) is something that is ok to be pushed?  As always, I welcome a right to reply and ask readers not only to see the Twitter entry in context, but also take a look at Chaks site, the articles which he has posted to NeoWin and the fact that no answer was made to my Twitter response.

http://www.chakkaradeep.com/

Ill let you draw your own conclusions, but before you do, take a look at Chaks articles and ask why, a reporter/writer so entrenched with Microsoft products would want to mention Linux and in particular one from a company with a relationship with Microsoft.

The site BoycottNovell better highlights the relationship and tactics of the two companies far better than I ever could, and I would suggest interested readers pay Roy a visit there (if you havent already) http://boycottnovell.com/

So we now come back to OpenSUSE again.  Please take a look at its news site and ask yourself, does this look like a distro that people are excited about?  I would suggest that the damage done by the Microsoft connection (certainly in respect of OpenSUSE) is taking a toll.  How many people do you see championing OpenSUSE? Id suggest that for a new Linux user making the break from Microsoft, the last thing they want to do is install a distro from a company that has a connection to it.  I could be wrong, and wait to be told so in the comments here.

Moving on, some good news:

Talking of Microsoft connections, you may remember we exposed the imposter using the name of a legitimate, decent, stock market education provider (Optionetics) to promote Microsoft stock for purposes that I will let you decide on.  After recieving a message from the real Optionetics that a complaint had been made to Twitter.  It now appears that the fake Optionetics account has been suspended.  Lets hope the company gets control of that Twitter account shortly, and Ill leave you to ponder why the imposter would want to promote Microsoft stock under the guise of an innocent firm.  Here is the link to my original article, including the thank you message from the real company: http://openbytes.wordpress.com/2009/03/24/optionetics-a-mystery-solved/ If anyone wants to question the value of Openbytes challenging people, I think this article says exactly why its important and also marks another exposure of unhanded and dishonest posting on the net by others.

Openbytes wishes the real Optionetics all the best in the future and would encourage people to visit the official site on:

http://www.optionetics.com/

More examples of how an alternative view can annoy “impartial” people:

Ive left this one as long as I can.  I like people to have the right of reply, and even after the conversation between myself and the following user dried up, I decided to give them a week or so for anything else they wanted to add.  They havent, so I can only assume they are happy the conversation is terminated.

Firstly let me give you a little history.  It started as a thread on the Windows7center forums where I engaged in a conversation with a user called ConductRE who made many remarks and claims.  I challenged, I put my allegation to them that they were making up facts (and despite the post being deleted) I never got a reply to that.  Now what happened next, to me was interesting.

ConductRE did not seem to want to enter into a discussion with me (which is fine) however it seemed that other people were ready to “defend the honour” of ConductRE on his behalf.  One such user was apparently an admin (of some description) from the Windows7Center site.  Heres the first post which came out the blue to me:

“I see you can’t, or won’t, answer my questions. we have no desire to associate with someone who can not do honest and fair reporting. you are one sided and are only over here for fuel to knock windows 7. so take your splodge somewhere else. you had your chance and blew it. and another thing Sig advertisement is not allowed. don’t post them here. meaning links to your site. we are not here to advertise for you.”

Now this was strange, firstly because I recently had a conversation with a known admin of the site (a pleasant one I may add) and nothing had been mentioned about this, which led me to wonder what exactly was the role of this person.  He’s certainly opinionated, and also was unable to answer my question to him about what it was that wrong with the article I posted, since I had even posted the link so that readers could see ConductRE’s claims and comments in context.

I recieved this reply:

i was talking about what you posted on blog. you used comments out of context to spin your “story”. it was disgusting. and if you read though the posts you would have seen what i said. but as we both know, you are here for nothing more than to dig for any bit of dirt you can find. its a shame really. i was looking forward to a debate on the merits of the different operating systems. instead you did what you did. im a man of honor and i expect the same from those i associate with. you act like everyones buddy over here and then go to you site and dog on us. you could have had a great article for your blog. instead, you have been shown for what you really are.

I again challenged this, I am still waiting to have quoted to me what was wrong/exaggerated about the ConductRE post, and I would genuinely like to hear about how I could have presented “more openly”

I will move on to the “merits of an operating system” comment in a second, however at this point I was still unsure of a/ what exactly he was complaining about and b/ the questions which allegedly they had asked me which I had not answered.  I asked for the questions again and gave the offer of answering them.  I recieved nothing in relation to this.  I was also interested in the “dog on us” comment.  No Mr Bill Stelling, I only mentioned ConductRE and nothing of the other users, infact I had some good conversations with them (and recieved mail from them aswell) Im not in the habbit of “dogging” on anyone.  I would hope you would either rephrase or retract that “dogging” comment, since here in the UK I believe it to mean something vastly different to what you are trying to say.

So moving quickly on from my “dogging” with Window7Center users ;) I look at his comment of “man of honour” comment.  Very noble Im sure, however this honour does not appear to stretch to him allowing free speech.  On his user message board I posted the following message, as I didnt seem to be getting through to him via PM:

“I look forward to you showing me where these questions are that you allegedly asked me.  I also look forward to you backing up your tirade, in particular where you claim I cannot do honest and fair reporting.

But more importantly, who are you refering to when you say “we have no desire to associate…” are you talking about these forums? Strange, because Ive just replied to an adminstrator of this site, who makes no reference to what you had to say.   Like I said in my private mail you have a right to reply which I would like to include with my article in the interests of fairness.

This message stayed on Bill Stellings board for approximately 10 minutes, before they deleted it and I recieved the following reply via PM entitled “funny boy”

“and then you take a private pm and talk about it on my visitor message center. your a piece of work…”

Eh? He make an allegation towards me and implies what I can and cant do.  You make suggestions which are wholly untrue and refuse to back them up?  What part of my message on your board was private?  If, as you say you are a “man of honour” whats the problem here?

and now heres his final comment to me, as I say Ive given him long enough to add anything else to his posts, he hasnt so unless he responds on the comments here, thats his right of reply:

He quoted part of my message to him which was:

“For the record, I dont need to get a few cheap hits from highlighting users like ConductRE. I can do that with far more convincing “linux coders” over on Microsoft Watch.

and responded with:

thats exactly what you did. you took the comments of one member and used it to represent all of us. instead of doing and honest and balanced story. on top of that you only showed select peices of what he said. all to get you shot in over at you blog. you didnt wait for the the thread to mature. what was it, about 10 minutes before you ran off to do your story. honor? what honor.
oh and my wife calls me “billy”, you trying to tell me something…

So Bill Stelling left me even more baffled as to the purpose of his tirade.  I urge readers to look at the ConductRE post here and see if they can relate any of it to whatever it is Bill is trying to say.  10 minutes before I ran off with the story?  Er Billy check the times, I think you’ll find it was considerably longer than 10 minutes and I dont even need to justify that because anyone who can read dates can check for themselves.  Man of honour?  As well as free speech, that honour doesnt seem to stretch to reporting facts properly and funnily enough the “honest and fair” reporting allegation that you levelled at me seems, IMO more relevant to you.  Select pieces of what ConductRE said?  True, thats why I include the link so people can read it themselves.

For the record, Mr Stelling was not in a position to ban me from the site (my account still functions) nor was he able to prevent me from having my Twitter or site link in my sig.  Nobody has wanted to step forward and say what his role is, which led me to visit his site and see exactly what sort of “man of honour” we were dealing with.

The answer was a disapointing one for me (if indeed this is his home page).  A gamer.

I have no issue with anyone interested in games, but just as I could strike up an interesting conversation on the best ways to “frag” someone on COD, I dont think his original comment of i was looking forward to a debate on the merits of the different operating systems.” would be of much interest to me since I approach the subject from an angle of functionality is relation to computing tasks, not playing games.  For the record though thats not a bad thing, each to their own.

If Billy would like to visit this site and explain himself better, or indeed justify what he alleged towards me, I would welcome it.  Somehow I doubt we will get a response.  Please Billy, prove me wrong.

In conclusion:

Whatever your opinions on the above news, I hope it responds to an allegation often posted towards me in regards to challenging people.  If Openbytes hadnt challenged one particular imposter, they would probably still be promoting Microsoft stock under the guise of a legitimate innocent firm.  If Openbytes didnt challenge silly and incorrect remarks in relation to Linux, people (with no experience of it) may walk away with incorrect facts and miss out on a platform which, IMO is far superior to Windows.  If Openbytes hadnt challenged one particular user we would not be aware of the allegations of a free £6000 gift sent by Microsoft to them.

Want to challenge my methods or motives?  Fine.  I stand by everything I say and present it in an open way.  Unlike sites that require a comment to be moderated before publish, everything posted here is presented immediately, the only thing I ask is that no vulgar language is used.

I make it clear when posts are allegations or my opinion.  I present nothing here as fact, rather highlight sources, ask questions and hope for a right to reply.  I hope anyone with issue to anything said here excercises that right to reply and engages in discussion.

On a closing note, thanks to the emails of support I recieved from some Windows7center users.  Its nice to hear that the message about alternatives is not being “fudged” by silly posters stating incorrect facts about Linux.

Goblin – bytes4free@googlemail.com

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About openbytes

Online tech writer, novelist/author of sci-fi literature and co-host of the TechBytes Show! I believe in multi-culturalism & diversity. Luton Town FC supporter.

Discussion

7 thoughts on “NeoWin reporter impartial? – I SUSEpect not!

  1. *UPDATE*
    “Chaks” has finally answered my challenge, unfortunately though (IMO) with more questions left unanswered. I feel to avoid being accused of one sided posting I should not quote anything he has said directly and refer you to his twitter where you can read the exchange yourself and make your own mind up.

    http://twitter.com/chakkaradeep

    In the meantime, Im left wondering what the unique feature is that OpenSUSE offers that hasnt/isnt already offered by the plethora of distros already out there. I am left wondering why it was that Chaks has chosen OpenSUSE to express his interest in the Linux platform and Im also interested why, I get what I interpret to be a hostile response when I merely challenged his twits. If “Chaks” doesnt want interest generated from them why post in the first place?

    Maybe these questions will be answered, and as always a right of reply is welcome here.

    Posted by openbytes | April 8, 2009, 11:43 pm
  2. *UPDATE 2*
    There has been an exchange between two NeoWin “reporters” which has left me disheartened. Why is it I can have healthy discussion with the WindowsObserver site but when NeoWin is questions Im met with a hostile response and a label.

    I will be doing a complete article on this (screen dumps taken to prevent deleting of comments) however its too late here to start it now.

    From now on I will be bringing up questions to NeoWin staff on other mainstream sites. I will not accept nor tollerate libelous comments made towards me nor the intentions of this site and for that reason I think this whole issue deserves an article of its own.

    I will expect an apology from the NeoWin staff members who made untrue allegations towards me, and I still expect my question of “What is the option unique to OpenSUSE that Chaks was implying?”

    Do I like a fight? No, however if people are going to post untrue suggestions about me then I certainly will.

    I appologize to readers for my slightly cross tone, but have we really reached a point in free speech on the Net, where if people dont conform to the “norm” the finger gets pointed and “witch burn them!” is shouted at them?

    Posted by openbytes | April 9, 2009, 12:18 am
  3. wah wah wah,

    will the rebels-in-search-of-a-cause please get over themselves with regards to perception that opensuse is tainted by novell/microsoft.

    best regards

    Posted by Dimble | April 9, 2009, 8:34 am
  4. LOL
    Hello Dimble.

    I dont know any rebels in search of a cause, if I hear any Ill pass on your message.

    You see Dimble its not just users who think OpenSUSE is tainted is it? Look at the comment Redhat made recently to the press when they stressed that there was “Nothing Novellish” in the agreement they had with Microsoft.

    If Redhat is making comments like that Id say even other firms are believing that OpenSUSE is tainted.

    Why has Canonicals offering become far more popular than OpenSUSE? Having used OpenSUSE myself for a considerable time I can say that the product itself is sound. Why would OpenSUSE slip behind Ubuntu? Could it be because of its Microsoft parent connection and the numerous allegations against said parent on the net?

    Theres nothing to get over here Dimble. At the end of the day take a deep breath and remind yourself that we are talking about IT, not world peace or famine. There are far more important things in the world.

    Just because Dimble, someone does not share your apparent love of the soiled (IMO) OpenSUSE does not mean they need to get over themselves.

    I put it to you you need to get over yourself and realize there is more important things in life. If you dont agree with peoples opinion, fine give yours, youre more than welcome, but dont try to throw insults and baseless counter arguments, where you dont even have the courtesy to even attempt to justify what you are saying.

    Best regards
    Goblin.

    Posted by openbytes | April 9, 2009, 8:02 pm
  5. As you can see Dimble is another “one post wonder”

    They wont come back because they have no grounds (or knowledge) for a debate.

    This is what happens when you challenge FUD, the poster slithers back under their rock (to appear as another handle later on)

    I standby what I say. Dimble doesnt, and I even gave them the benefit of the doubt when they started off with their “wah wah” sillyness, which is a sign immediately to me they have no argument.

    Will Dimble return? Dont think so. They will either think that this post is here to bait them or they will be too frightened.

    We will see Dimble again, just not with the same handle. These dubious posters need to be careful, with all the name changing they do theyll soon run out of names…oh no hang on, they often like to impersonate aswell, so it doesnt really matter.

    Posted by openbytes | April 10, 2009, 1:11 am

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: The NEOWIN Dynamic Duo - The usual SUSEpects « OPEN BYTES - Championing FOSS, exposing FUD! - April 9, 2009

  2. Pingback: Did Novell Hijack a Linux Foundation Panel? | Boycott Novell - April 10, 2009

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about.me

Tim Wilson

Tim Wilson

Writer/Novelist of many facets both in the world of technology and fantasy/sci-fi. Co-host of the TechBytes audiocast and writer for both OpenBytes and Goblin's Domain. Supporter of free and open source software.

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