When Linux gets cited as a matter of course, it's truly gone mainstream

When Linux gets cited as a matter of course, it's truly gone mainstream

Summary: Casual, unwitting, endorsements based on actual use are, I think, the best kind of advertising Linux can get - and this went to millions of readers via the pyjamasmedia empire.

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I was feeding my political addiction just now when I ran across this - on a hugely popular right wing site after a long, and very nasty, quotation from a site rejoicing in the name sarahpalingayrights.com:

There's nothing else on the page. This sure looks like the work of the dastardly right-wing anti-gay attack machine, doesn't it?

But look who's really behind this.

In the Linux console, if you enter the following commands, you can learn the secrets of a political dirty trick. First, look up the host of "sarahpalingayrights.com" to get the site's IP address.

host sarahpalingayrights.com
sarahpalingayrights.com has address 74.208.74.232

Then use the same command to look up the domain name pointer of that IP address.

host 74.208.74.232
232.74.208.74.in-addr.arpa domain name pointer obamadefense.com

Well, well. "Obamadefense.com," eh?

And what happens if you enter obamadefense.com on your browser's address line?

Why, you're redirected to none other than FightTheSmears.com, the official Barack Obama site that's supposed to be defending him against smears.

Casual, unwitting, endorsements based on actual use are, I think, the best kind of advertising - and this went to millions of readers via the pyjamasmedia empire. So thank you Mr. Johnson!


Paul Murphy wrote and published The Unix Guide to Defenestration. Murphy is a 25-year veteran of the I.T. consulting industry, specializing in Unix and Unix-related management issues.

Topics: Operating Systems, Browser, Linux, Open Source, Software

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22 comments
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  • You mean palinteendaughterpreg.com, correct?

    NT
    MisterMiester
    • No the comment is about Linux, not politics (NT)

      :)
      murph_z
      • How disingenuous are you?

        A hugely popular right wing site - yeah right.

        Just a very lame attempt to put your strange right wing views across again. Or perhaps you're lusting for a gun toting, anti-abortion, anti-gay kinda lady.

        And no, it had nothing to do with Linux. If more than 0.0000001% of the readership recognized the word I'd be really surprised.

        Obama is really starting to worry you Rudy, isn't he?
        tonymcs1
        • You're part of the reason...

          ...why I've never been seriously tempted to return to the Democratic Party I left in 1989 (I'm an independent). Seems there isn't room any longer for moderate, morally conservative, anti-abortion Democrats (back in the '70s and even in the '80s there was).

          And no, your extreme pro-MS rhetoric hasn't made me rethink my long-standing boycott of MS either.

          You don't win people over by classifying them as extremists, or otherwise insulting them (hint: you have to reason with them).
          John L. Ries
          • Careful - being independent means

            you can think for yourself.
            tonymcs can't do that sort of thing.
            deaf_e_kate
  • Wow.

    One person uses Linux for a simple lookup, and that makes Linux mainstream?
    Hallowed are the Ori
    • The point would be...

      ...that the blogger casually admitted to doing his research under Linux.
      John L. Ries
      • Apparently without thinking about it

        and while knowing that a million plus readers would see it.

        Remember: these people are political junkies, not geeks.
        murph_z
        • Dream On

          It's still one person using it and quoting it.

          Linux is still in the low single digits for use and will be there for the foreseeable future.

          I do think this is the year of Linux though, wait or was that last year or the year before that or the year before that or the year before that.
          rkuhn0401729
          • However...

            ...it's getting easier and easier to tell MS where to go, and that's what really matters, *not* the percentages.
            John L. Ries
  • The site no longer exists

    It's in Google cache, though, at least for now. Tuesday
    morning you should expect a bunch of people accusing
    you of spreading anti-Obama lies.

    The funny thing is the site would have actually made Palin
    appeal more of Obama supporters, because it separated
    her from the extreme religious right.

    Maybe Obama's new strategy will be to try to get Huckabee
    or someone similar to run as an independent. It would be
    unfortunate, but amusing.
    Erik Engbrecht
    • Getting Huckabee to run

      <cynicism>My reading of the Lichtman criteria says Obama doesn't need to (he's favored anyway), though it certainly wouldn't hurt him (third party and independent candidates always help the challenging party, no matter where they stand ideologically). The same effect could be achieved by playing up Bob Barr's campaign.</cynicism>
      John L. Ries
  • Absolutely right!

    Same thing I did years ago to ID spammers (works from your Windows command prompt too, as long as you have whois installed).

    I figure if politicians get slapped down enough for pulling the sorts of tricks you describe, they'll eventually stop. Hopefully, there are more than hard core partisans tracking them, as the poor despised swing voters who actually decide elections aren't likely to frequent partisan blogs.
    John L. Ries
  • RE: When Linux gets cited as a matter of course, it's truly gone mainstream

    Well you have obviously made your political leanings clear in the last few posts, but is the not-so-subtle Republican tilt really called for in this context? And you might have also pointed out that Mr. Johnson has already recanted - the site in question has nothing to do with the Obama campaign. Disingenuous on your part.
    network-interface
    • Paul's never made any secret of his politics

      He's a Canadian Tory, so it should be no surprise that he favors Republicans in US elections, or that he reads Republican blogs.
      John L. Ries
      • I had no idea ..

        that the zdnet blogs were supposed to be used like that - sorry.
        network-interface
        • There's even a tech angle in politics

          So the subject does come up. Feel free to disagree with Paul, many of us do.
          John L. Ries
  • American Politics Makes No Sense Whatsoever

    I appreciate the implied support for Linux by the "Little Green Footballs" people, and agree it is a good sign for Linux.

    I'm sorry to be so naive, and I don't want to turn this into a political discussion, but I don't get the political part of this at all.

    The referenced "Sarah Palin Supports Gay Rights" site implies Palin supports gay rights (which, BTW, she does NOT). So, I guess the right-wing "Little Green Footballs" people regard that as an "Anti-Palin Smear Site," since they don't want their candidate being painted falsely as pro-gay. The LGF people then complain "This sure looks like the work of the dasdardly anti-gay attack machine, doesn't it?" Why do they think an "anti-gay attack machine" would try to harm Palin by impying she is gay-friendly, when she's on their side? Would not an "anti-gay attack machine" be quick to point out Palin's anti-gay sentiments, rather than try to present their own candidate as friendly to the opposition?

    The LGF people then present evidence that supporters of Barack Obama might be behind the "Anti-Palin" site, which also makes no sense. Why would Palin's opposition try to present her as friendly to their own cause, when she isn't? Are they trying to get their own supporters to vote for the opposition?

    Can anyone explain this nonsense to me?
    trentreviso
    • what we know

      Back during the Vietnam there was a story that said, "The bomb was planted by the Viet Cong so they could blame the government for planting a bomb to try to discredit the Viet Cong."

      Or the Peter Ustinov bit in an old movie:

      countryA to Ustinov: "We know."

      Ustinov to countryB: "They know."

      countryB to Ustinov: "We know they know."

      Ustinov to countryA: "They know you know."

      country A to Ustinov: "We know they know we know."

      ...and on and on...

      Most sane people just look at the big picture. Do you want more of the last eight years or not?

      LGF was better when they just wrote Atari software.
      viztor
    • If people were honest

      It doesn't make much sense to most Americans either. It boils down to a lot of playground finger pointing.
      zclayton2