Just a Little Common Sense Please?!?
I’m going to start out by telling you right away, this post has very little to do with Linux. Virtually nothing in fact. There is a little bit of Linux in this one by way of Android, but it’s not specifically about Android or Linux.
OK, now that we’ve got that out of the way, we can move on.
This is something that’s been bothering me for a while now, and I’d just like to get it out in the open.
Can we PLEASE use a little bit of common sense when we’re reading things on the Internet?? PLEASE??
I’ve just been appalled at some of the crap I’ve been seeing lately where people just don’t check their sources. They just believe some random person on the Internet. I wouldn’t believe some random person on the street if they just walked up and told me something outlandish. Why should I believe someone on the Internet without at least verifying what they’re saying??
Steve Jobs is Dead.** First of all. No, he isn’t. «This post was written before Steve Jobs actually passed away on October 5, 2011. Even then the news came from a reputable source.>> That simple fact didn’t stop Twitter from overflowing with people talking about it. It all traces back to a CBS news show called What’s Trending (@WhatsTrending). They later apologized for starting this rumor saying (this is a direct quote here), “Apologies- reports of Steve Job’s death completely unconfirmed. Live on.” WELL THEN WHY DID YOU SAY THAT HE WAS DEAD?!? You’ve got no proof, no legitimate reason for believing that Steve Jobs is dead, yet you broadcast to the world this statement anyway??? What the hell are you thinking?
Ground Zero Attacked.** No, it wasn’t. I checked my Twitter feed today only to see #groundzeroattacked trending all over the place. Oh my god planes down others not responding end of the world dogs and cats living together! It all traces back to a couple tweets from NBC News (@NBCNews). Sure enough, it says that Ground Zero was attacked right there. But it doesn’t say anything about it at http://msnbc.com. Hm, odd. If you look at the rest of NBC News’ tweets, if they’re talking about a news story, they always have a link to an actual article. These don’t. The first one even starts out with the line “This is not a joke”. Who the hell would think that was a joke?!? No one except the assholes who hacked the Twitter account and posted it under NBCs account. A legitimate news source actually reporting news of a huge catastrophe for the American people does not start out the notification with the line “This is not a joke”! That should have been the first sign that something was wrong. Instead, it spread like wild fire all over the Internet. Thankfully, cooler heads eventually prevailed and it was squashed, but DAMN people. Research first, talk later!
And now for something almost completely different. Actually, not really, but there’s a little bit of Android/Linux in this part.
Florian Müller.** Just because his highness says something, DOES NOT MAKE IT TRUE. I can’t seem to find a single stinking source who legitimately questions what this man says. I saw an article over on The Droid Guy (http://thedroidguy.com/) calling Florian Müller’s site ”one of the most trusted websites when it comes to researching patent issues going on in the world of technology today”. Why?!? I even commented saying “I’m still trying to figure out why anybody cares what Florian Mueller says. He’s just some guy with a blog with not even a laughable claim to impartiality who is often just flat out wrong in his claims.” I got a response back via Twitter from @thedroidguy himself saying “25 years in patents hes more than a blogger.” HE DOESN’T HAVE 25 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE IN PATENTS! The man is 41 years old! He did NOT starting working in patents as a 16 year old! When I pointed that out, I get a curt response pointing to Müller’s Wikipedia page saying that “this suggests he’s more than just a blogger”. I was honestly surprised that @thedroidguy was DEFENDING Florian Müller (I have the feeling he regretted it later). Ok, so let’s go look at the page. Blah blah blah, wrote articles in 1985, book in 1986 on programming the Commodore 64 when he was 16. Good for him. “From 1987 to 1998, he specialized on publishing and distribution cooperations between US and European software companies.” OK. Worked for Blizzard as “a consultant to and representative” involved in marketing campaigns. OK. Good for him. Co-founded an online gaming service which got bought out by another company. Advised the CEO of MySQL AB. How did he advise? Don’t know, doesn’t say. The reference link is broken so I had to look it up myself, and all it says is “Florian Müller, entrepreneur” under “Advisors”. Not especially informative. After that he campaigns against EU software patents, and fails. After that, he got into Soccer. Soccer as in the game that is. Fun. Next, he gets involved with Linux and Google and Oracle and such. Hm, in all that the only time he did anything patent related he failed, and that was in 2004. After that he played soccer (he didn’t really play). So where does this vast understanding of the Patent System come from? Certainly not from his college education. He doesn’t have one.
So, maybe the man doesn’t have the greatest credentials. His history doesn’t seem to point to any great successes that would warrant all this trust in his words. Maybe he’s just that good? Let’s look at what he says.
The article that finally got @thedroidguy all pissed was a recent publication where Müller claimed that he found proof that Google would favor Motorola. The “proof” that he would use is the image to the right. Müller highlighted the section that he found particularly damning. Wow, sure enough, it says give early access to the software to partners who build and distribute devices to “our” specification (ie. Motorola and Verizon). Ya, that looks pretty bad for Google doesn’t it. But wait, when was this document written? It was submitted in August, but there’s no date on the document. There’s no context either. What about the document itself? It’s obviously not been proof read. In the first stinking bullet point the author misspells “sheppards” (should be shepherds). In the last paragraph the author uses “ie” instead of “eg”, obviously failing to recognize that one means “essentially” and the other “for example”. Kind of a big distinction. Wait a minute, doesn’t that section Müller highlighted have an “ie” in it? Looks to me that when Google mentioned Motorola and Verizon, it was as an example. Google has given Motorola and Verizon special access in the past for the Nexus line of phones. It’s pretty damn apparent that this is what the document is referencing, not anything to do with the Motorola purchase by Google. Müller’s claims are flat out wrong. Painfully wrong. Obviously wrong.
So why the holy hell does this crap ass story spread all over the Internet like God himself came down from heaven to bless his sinning flock with his words of wisdom?!? Didn’t anybody bother to read the damn thing? Not from what I can tell. Everybody just said, “Hey, Florian Müller said something, let’s repost it!”
People, we need to check our sources. Just because some asshole in a suit says it doesn’t make it true. Just because NBC News or What’s Trending tweets it, doesn’t make it fact.
This frustrates me to no end.
OK, end rant. Maybe. Hopefully.
Looking for comments? There are no comments. It's not that I don't care what you think, it's just that I don't want to manage a comments section.
If you want to comment, there's a really good chance I at least mentioned this post on Fosstodon, and you can reply to me there. If you don't have a Mastodon account, I'd suggest giving it a try.
If you don't want to join Mastodon, and you still want to comment, feel free to use my contact information.