Articles of Roy Schestowitz

Articles of Roy Schestowitz

Summary: From time to time, links will pop up on various Linux or open source related sites, pointing to articles written by Roy Schestowitz, mainly from techrights.org.

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TOPICS: Open Source
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From time to time, links will pop up on various Linux or open source related sites, pointing to articles written by Roy Schestowitz, mainly from techrights.org. The articles are very well written and all sources for the articles are documented. Sometimes the articles include references to highly confidential material. And so far everything I have read seems to be true with clearly documented evidence. The articles often involve controversial issues with open source, along with lawsuits and even happenings at Microsoft regarding its negative attitude towards open source. For instance, Roy has posted articles claiming to include internal memos within Microsoft that specifically state how they are targeting Linux head-on. When reading the articles and comparing to latest news, they actually coincide and make sense.

What I find more interesting though, is that there are posts and other articles written to try and defame or discredit him. And some use some very strong language. Simply doing a Google search for "Roy Schestowitz" comes up with some examples. What in the world is going on here, and why are people trying so hard to discredit him for his articles on techrights.org?

It seems to be a mystery for the most part. But on some of his articles, Roy points out that he thinks there are some "Microsoft trolls" that are making up fake IDs and posting negative feedback. Is Microsoft up to this campaign to slam Roy? When reading the negative posts about him, it is clear that he is being attacked, in my opinion. The claims against him range from person beliefs to calling him a "liar", etc. If the content of Roy's articles contained highly confidential material as they claim, then I can see that Microsoft would be worried about it getting out and exposed and might try to do anything possible to try and convince the general public otherwise.

It makes me wonder, and I can't rule out Microsoft being behind all of this. It's been rumored that Microsoft does other things like post in Linux forums pretending to be a user with an issue, and when somebody responds with a helpful answer, no followup is seen after that. Most of us with an issue in a thread would be checking the thread for a solution and posting back the outcome or a quick "thank you". There will of course be a small percentage of those that run away after the solution is confirmed to work, but apparently there has been a high number of these type of posts.

Very strange, indeed. IF Microsoft is behind these strange activities, it would demonstrate that they are clearly worried about open source and Linux. Otherwise, why would they go to such extreme measures?

Topic: Open Source

Chris Clay

About Chris Clay

After administering Linux and Windows for over 17 years in multiple environments, my focus of this blog is to document my adventures in both operating systems to compare the two against each other. Past and present experiences have shown me that Linux can replace Windows and succeed in a vast variety of environments. Linux has proven itself many times over in the datacentre and is more than capable for the desktop.

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  • Some of what Roy covers is well written and well documented. Some of it is unfounded rumour-mongering and innuendo. My personal opinion is that Roy is very lucky not to have been sued for libel.
    miked2003
  • I have read Techrights for some time and have found it a great source of collated information on the subject matter of open source software.

    @miked2003 - I dont think its a case of luck that he has not been sued. I think he has chosen his words correctly and, due to solid research, there are many truths in the matters he is discussing that can not be circumvented by the individual or company in question.
    djflunk-24734705849945462478489202274377
  • It's not rumored, it's true. Microsoft does use 'sock puppets' to try and control discussion about them online. They used to show up on my site regularly, until I screwed down the posting security heavily. Now they don't bother me anymore. But in places like ZDNet which doesn't keep the security level so high, you'll see a lot of them.

    Take @miked2003 for example. When you read his comment, you could take it several ways.

    1) Innocent user who is put off by Roy
    2) Microsoft hireling imitating innocent user put off by Roy

    I used to get a lot of this sort of comment. Since upping the security levels, I don't. My theory is that this means that this sort of comment is coming from Microsoft Sock Puppets, and the risk of exposure under the enhanced security levels makes it too risky to post. And the theory seems to bear fruit, because I'm still getting all sorts of wing nut comments on other subjects, including one which accused a local lawyer of running a bordello with the help of the Toronto Police Service, another which left instructions on how to download a specific album for a band, and another which came from the Obama birther movement. These people weren't afraid to identify themselves, so why are the pro-Microsoft people afraid to identify themselves?

    Roy does a good job. In fact I often use Techrights as a resource when researching my own articles, Roy has an immense database, with links to sources all over the internet. It's invaluable when you remember something, but can't remember whether it was ZDNet or ITWorld that published the original :) He always links back to his sources, something that too few people do.

    Wayne
    http://madhatter.ca
    The Mad Hatter
  • @The Mad Hatter

    You forgot

    3) Someone who has personal experience of Roy making insinuations that he was unable to back up with any evidence whatsoever
    miked2003
  • @The Mad Hatter:
    That is quite interesting of your findings. And in fact, I've also seen feedback on some of my posts. I even had a user create an account just to post false rubbish in the feedback, only to never be heard from again. Probably because they either couldn't think of what to come back with, or it was becoming too much work. Or maybe they realized they were incorrect. Honestly I don't see what good it does for Microsoft to pop in to these and make obnoxious comments, but it is definitely amusing to say the least. Unfortunately for Microsoft, even though they try to force users to use their software, they simply cannot play that game forever. Eventually users will smart up and realize that open source offers much more flexibility, freedom, a better upgrade path, and much lower cost. Open source software is there, it works, and it can replace proprietary software. The issue is that Microsoft still controls the majority of the market, so with a higher presence they can continue to control users. But I suspect the clock is ticking, they can't do this forever, and in fact they are already losing their grip a little bit in some areas like the web browser wars.

    @miked2003 : Please provide some examples. Everything I've read on Techrights has VERY good sources documented for its evidence.
    Chris_Clay
  • Hi apexwm,

    I never comment in other people's blogs because some people forge me in them (calling other people "Nazi" and cursing myself), but I've just created an account just to thank you for a good post that I never expected (in fact, people rarely bother to defend defamed sources, so I appreciate it).

    Do not be discouraged by people who try to derail your blog and be aware of this article from Wired Magazine. It says: "The author of the email, posted on ZDNet in a Talkback forum on the Microsoft antitrust trial, claimed her name was Michelle Bradley and that she had "retired" from Microsoft last week.

    ""A verbal memo [no email allowed] was passed around the MS campus encouraging MS employee's to post to ZDNet articles like this one," the email said.

    ""The theme is 'Microsoft is responsible for all good things in computerdom.' The government has no right to prevent MS from doing anything. Period. The 'memo' suggests we use fictional names and state and to identify ourselves as students," the author claimed."

    In Techrights' wiki I have a section dedicated Microsoft PR agencies I've been researching and given concrete examples on. Microsoft is outsourcing what Gates calls "evangelisation" because this way it can blame those "rogue" companies when they get caught. It's a cultural thing and the Gates Foundation also spends over $1 per day on this "evangelisation" (planting praise in the press). Sad, but true.

    Thanks again for explaining to people not just what people associated with Microsoft (including masked employees who later on turned out to be Microsoft TEs) did to me but also what they do to people like PJ at Groklaw. See PJ's article about how Groklaw was almost driven into closure 7 years ago. It's often done through intimidation and I saw it first hand. This includes campaigns to get critics fired.

    [cont...]
    Schestowitz-c6489
  • "The articles are very well written and all sources for the articles are documented". Let's look at that.

    First, "well written". In fact they are childishly written. He plays dumb games with the names. He never talks about iPhone or iPad--they are always hypePhone and hypePad. The BBC is MSBBC. Florien Mueller is "Microsoft Florien". And so on and so on. But if anyone calls him "Spamowitz" or "Glen Schestowitz" he complains bitterly about how his enemies are attacking him.

    Second, "documents". To be documented they need to cite verifiable THIRD PARTY sources. His articles do have an impressive number of links in them. Most link back to earlier articles of his own. Try following those, and the links in those articles. It is like winning the lottery when you actually end up at a third party source and it supports what Schestowitz says it says.

    Here's a good example. In this article, http://techrights.org/2010/03/17/rich-uncle-bill-explored/, he writes about Bill Gates and Bill Clinton. They both testified before Congress on the same day urging an increase in US spending on global health. He also notes that there are photos of Bill Gates and Bill Clinton sitting next to each other.

    Then, about nine months later, he writes this article: http://techrights.org/2011/01/02/vietnam-with-proprietary-software/. In that article, he cites the first article as showing "the special relationship between Clinton and Gates". Testifying on the same day in Congress and being seen sitting next to each other is a special relationship?

    Next time he writes about Clinton and Gates and their "special relationship", he'll cite the second article, so you'll have to click through twice to see original sources and find out his claim is not supported.
    randomprogrammer
  • [continued]

    Here's another good example of poor research: http://techrights.org/2011/01/12/kinect-vs-move-and-truth/. He praises Sony for selling 4.1 million Moves in 2 months, and says it is beating Kinect. I invite you to do the research that Roy either didn't do, or purposefully ignored. You'll find Kinect did 4 million in ONE MONTH, and by two months was at something like 8 million. (Oh, Sony's numbers were "sell in", and Microsoft's were "sell through". The former is how many have been pushed into the sales channel, the latter is how many have sold to consumers. I.e., Sony's numbers included stock sitting on shelves).

    A final example: http://techrights.org/2010/08/26/aviation-and-windows-2/. He claims the crash of a Spanair plane was caused by malware. This is an outright lie. The crash was caused by the flaps being in an incorrect position at takeoff, because the pilots did not go through the preflight checklist. There was a warning system that should have warned them of this--but it was not a computerized warning system.

    There was (possibly) malware on a computer owned by Spanair. That computer was at headquarters, hundreds of miles from the plane and crash, and was used to file maintenance reports. Its connection to the crashed flight was that if all had gone well, a day or two *AFTER* the crash, a maintenance report on that plane was due to be filed, and the computer was supposed to then notice that the plane had had the same problem three times in a short period (a problem unrelated to the crash), and flag for further investigation. There is speculation that this flagging would have perhaps failed due to the malware.

    I'll stop with the examples now, although I have dozens more (some hilarious, like a fairly recent one claiming that the iPad--excuse me, hypePad--has been a big failure commercially).

    I challenge you to actually SERIOUSLY read Techrights for a couple of weeks. By "seriously" I mean read each article and do a good fact checking on it. Follow the links until you get to original sources. Check those sources and see if (1) they actually support what Schestowitz is citing them for, and (2) if they seem to be legitimate sources.

    I guarantee that if you do this, you'll be posting another blog entry, retracting this one.
    randomprogrammer
  • Hi Roy:

    Thanks for joining in as that was a nice surprise, and thanks for the interesting article on this subject. URLs are stripped from comments but I believe this is the URL that you mentioned:

    http://www.wired.com/techbiz/media/news/1999/02/17745

    Very interesting read.

    I posted this blog article because I noticed the strange behaviour going on all around on various forums, blogs, your site, and even here on ZDNet, particularly dealing with Linux and open source, and it got me curious. I find Techrights a very good source for information and I feel others should know about it, as well as all of the games that Microsoft plays to try and undermine open source and Linux, rather than simply coming out with a better product to market. Consumers of Microsoft software use it without realizing what all goes on behind the scenes. I realized years ago that open source and Linux is superior to proprietary software like Windows, and seeing the types of activities that Microsoft is involved in further increases my disgust with the company and their products, and makes me glad I made the decision to stop using their products years ago.

    Thanks again for the comment and for the hard work. I look forward to reading future articles that continue to put this information out there so that people can make educated decisions on the software they use.
    Chris_Clay
  • @randomprogrammer:
    As a test I did a Google search on the Spanair event you mentioned. And I selected 5 random articles from the search that all mention the cause of the crash to be a trojan-infected PC. "El Pais online newspaper reports that the ground computer responsible for triggering an alarm after three failures are reported in a plane failed to do so. The computer was infected with trojans", taken from:

    http://tech.slashdot.org/story/10/08/20/126225/Trojan-Infected-Computer-Linked-To-2008-Spanair-Crash

    which references the original article in Spanish:

    http://www.elpais.com/articulo/espana/ordenador/Spanair/anotaba/fallos/aviones/tenia/virus/elpepuesp/20100820elpepinac_11/Tes

    A trojan is a form of malware, so Roy's article seems correct to me.
    Chris_Clay
  • randomprogrammer,

    [quote]
    "The articles are very well written and all sources for the articles are documented". Let's look at that.

    First, "well written". In fact they are childishly written. He plays dumb games with the names. He never talks about iPhone or iPad--they are always hypePhone and hypePad. The BBC is MSBBC. Florien Mueller is "Microsoft Florien". And so on and so on. But if anyone calls him "Spamowitz" or "Glen Schestowitz" he complains bitterly about how his enemies are attacking him.
    [/quote]

    Can you provide an example of me actually attacking these names? Like "Glen Schestowitz"? The childish comparison involving Beck was actually /amusing/ to me because I loathe Beck's opinions and even Fox 'News' had to let him go. I'm a liberal, not a Republican.

    When I choose names like hypePhone and hypePad I try to make them funny, not insulting, and also a reflecting of reality. The FSF does the same thing (e.g. iBad, Swindle, Windows 7 Sins).

    [quote]
    Second, "documents". To be documented they need to cite verifiable THIRD PARTY sources.
    [/quote]

    Like the Comes vs Microsoft class action site? Done that. It has thousands of exhibits. Microsoft paid Conlin to have the site nuked, but many people had already grabbed copies and made identical mirrors with download logs which help verify authenticity.

    [/quote]
    His articles do have an impressive number of links in them. Most link back to earlier articles of his own. Try following those, and the links in those articles. It is like winning the lottery when you actually end up at a third party source and it supports what Schestowitz says it says.
    [/quote]

    I link to over 100 external articles per day.
    Schestowitz-c6489
  • @apewxm;

    Here's an article that goes over what the Spanair accident report said, with cites to the cockpit voice transcript and specific sections of the accident report:

    http://news.electricalchemy.net/2010/08/malware-in-spanair-fatal-air-crash-case.html

    The article you cite says in the first paragraph that the computer that had malware was at the airline's headquarters, and its function was to alert when a plane had three failures of the same component. The plane suffered a failure shortly before takeoff, the mechanics fixed it, and the plane took off. Then it crashed due to improper slats and flaps configuration, as is shown on the accident report.

    The malware infected system wasn't even involved until about a day later. The maintenance reports get sent to headquarters and entered into the computer. That happens about a day after the work is done. It was at that point that an alert would have been sounded. There is *speculation* that malware would have prevented it.

    However, that's irrelevant to the crash since the failure that should have been alerted was not the cause of the crash, and the crash occurred a day before the alert would have happened.

    This is easy to find out if you ACTUALLY research, instead of just doing one Google search and taking a few random articles that all ultimately draw from the same speculative sources or mistranslations. Roy doesn't do actual research, so misses this, and continues to claim that malware caused the crash.
    randomprogrammer
  • @randomprogrammer

    You are grasping at straws and moving the goalposts now. The malware did *play a role* in the incident. Give it up...
    Schestowitz-c6489
  • Typo correction: where I said $1 I meant $1m (in first comment). Big difference, some people may be able to mentally correct it based on context.
    Schestowitz-c6489
  • @schestowitz: you said malware *caused* the crash. You have yet to explain how the possible failure of an alarm to go off hundreds of miles from the plane a day after the crash caused the crash.
    randomprogrammer
  • You need to read the link you cited, http://techrights.org/2010/08/26/aviation-and-windows-2/ , more carefully, as well as consider the external sources. Put the burden of proof on the right sources as your allegation is misplaced.
    Schestowitz-c6489
  • @Schestowitz

    Why does the Wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanair_Flight_5022 make no mention of Microsoft or Windows? If you believe what you say, why haven't you corrected it? Won't you now give everyone the benefit of your expertise as an air-traffic investigator?

    Your post, linked to above, says:

    > Now there is compelling proof that Windows can cause flights to crash (or
    > fail to prevent crashes due to malware). For those who don’t know, Spanair
    > is a Microsoft shop (their Web site, actual operations, among more things)
    > and their crash was caused by malware, which impeded the regular procedures
    > that would otherwise have aborted or delayed takeoff [1, 2, 3, 4].

    I've tried looking through your usual obfuscated set of meaningless self-referencing links, and I still can't see any indication that there is any truth at all in your assertion. Could you provide a link to an authoritative source, please? Perhaps the one that you will be adding to Wikipeida?

    By "authoritative source" I mean something that is independent, well researched, fact-based and preferably official. I would not be shocked to discover that there are cranks, conspiracy theorities and anti-Microsoft bigots who speculate about such things on their hate-sites. However, there are also plenty of birthers, flat-earthers and various other screwballs who sincerely believe what they say, even though they are completely Cadbury's. The fact that you believe something does not make it true, especially not when it's provably wrong.

    You don't have to comment: a link will do me just fine, thanks. You don't need to libel or attempt to smear me again.

    Of course, I'm really sure that you would not make statements such as "compelling proof that Windows can cause flights to crash" unless you could prove it. Considering the number of people killed, it would be a truly despicable thing to make up. I'm sure we agree that no decent person would attempt to exploit such tragic deaths solely for the purpose of scoring trivial points in a juvenile operating system war.

    Please note that this comment is part of my quest for truth. It does not recommend the use of any operating system, or any company's operating system, for any purpose.
    Jack Schofield
  • That was easy, Jack. Google "malware spainair". First result is from MSNBC (which is partly owned by you-know-who):

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38790670/ns/technology_and_science-security/

    "Authorities investigating the 2008 crash of Spanair flight 5022 have discovered a central computer system used to monitor technical problems in the aircraft was infected with malware.

    "An internal report issued by the airline revealed the infected computer failed to detect three technical problems with the aircraft, which if detected, may have prevented the plane from taking off, according to reports in the Spanish newspaper, El Pais."

    Have a good day.
    Schestowitz-c6489
  • > Why does the Wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanair_Flight_5022 make no
    > mention of Microsoft or Windows? If you believe what you say, why haven't you corrected it?

    Come on, Jack! That's plainly ridiculous! If it's so easy for someone to add such a reference, why would it be any more difficult for anyone else to remove it again? Someone (say) who wouldn't want such a reference to exist, for example...
    Zogg
  • Upon closer inspection, this gets even more interesting. I see that the said twitter account follows 33 people and also an account called "(http://twitter.com/)/ZDNetUK_Win7". I notice that alongside menu items at the top of *all* pages in ZDNet UK there is an oddly out-of-place section called "Windows 7" (and again, it's the only brand mentioned). I clicked on and it's purely promotional therein. It says: "ZDNet UK's special report covers a range of content, including reviews, articles and videos, to help you discover the key features in Microsoft's latest operating system, as well as the pitfalls you should be looking out for."

    Paid endorsement from Microsoft, right? And if so, what can one deduce? I don't mean to heckle, but I think this issue need to be addressed because some months ago I was confronted by a man who had run an online "Vista" magazine (he hid this) and then proceeded to attacking Linux in IDG-owned Web sites. Disclosures are something people value.
    Schestowitz-c6489