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"This is not the first time [COMPANY] has been caught using dubious practices.
January 9, 2002 12:13 PM   Subscribe

"This is not the first time [COMPANY] has been caught using dubious practices. Last August, lobbyists acting for [COMPANY] went beyond the grave and dispatched letters to US states' attorneys general from two deceased people as part of a campaign to persuade government prosecutors to lay off the company in the [COMPANY] case."
posted by holloway (23 comments total)

 
Shame on you, [COMPANY].
posted by iceberg273 at 12:24 PM on January 9, 2002


This reminds me of Microsoft's Munchkin invasion, when they attacked BBS', trashing OS/2 and promoting Win95.

And Passport scares the hell out of me. A friend of mine was a sysadmin for WebTV, and they stored all their credit card data on Unix servers without any encryption at all. They were also storing Passport data on Unix in the same way. Passport is the worst possible implementation of a good idea, and .NET is just another reason for me to ditch Windows, since Microsoft will just be using their OS to leverage all their new "services" that I won't want.
posted by insomnyuk at 12:27 PM on January 9, 2002


Choices, choices, choices... do I let M$ control my desktop, or do I want to buy an Apple I-Lamp? hmmm...

I know, I can install Linux and have no idea why my PC is not working, but it won't matter, cause I have no software to use with it.
posted by Hugh2d2 at 12:40 PM on January 9, 2002


Coming from within the Microsoft domain seems a bit too obvious, and blunt, and it makes me wonder whether they were framed (not that they're not that stupid - but I'm hoping for humanity here).
posted by holloway at 12:50 PM on January 9, 2002


Hugh2d2: What does that have to do with Microsoft's business practices?
posted by jpoulos at 12:56 PM on January 9, 2002


Framed? Giggle.

In fact what you're seeing *is* evidence of humanity. It's not like the dark lord ruling from on high with an iron fist demanded Microserfs to vote--it's just that someone circulated an email petition.

What this demonstrates is that people at Microsoft care about their company.

(And before you flame, I'm hardly a Microsoft fan, so don't whinge, at least not to cry "M$ sucks".)
posted by jdc at 12:59 PM on January 9, 2002


OT

I just noticed that this thread has been up for an hour and there are only a handful of comments. I just wanted to point out that because holloway used [COMPANY] instead of "Microsoft" or M$, everyone breezed right over a thread that would otherwise be into the 20-30 comment range at the right now. Not a criticism of the poster, certainly, I just find it interesting.
posted by eyeballkid at 1:16 PM on January 9, 2002


is this an example of unscrupulous business practices, or poor online polling practices?
posted by rebeccablood at 1:18 PM on January 9, 2002


Anyone know the significance of the subject line of an email message including a url ending up in the logs of the site serving the link? That seems like a really bad idea.

(e.g. "check out my wife's horrible web page")
posted by Wood at 1:26 PM on January 9, 2002


is this an example of unscrupulous business practices, or poor online polling practices?

According to ZDNet, the script did block the majority of double- and triple- (and, in one case, 228) votes. It also blocked several automated scripts. There's only so much you can do, when setting up a online voting script, to block abuse without preventing real users from being denied their "right" to vote.
There are no hanging chads on the Internet, though.
posted by Danelope at 1:31 PM on January 9, 2002


is this an example of unscrupulous business practices, or poor online polling practices?

Both. There don't really exist any good online polling practices - the sample is easily skewed, and it's virtually impossible to guarantee that each vote represents a unique voter.

As jdc pointed out, the rigging of the poll almost definitely wasn't a management decision, but that doesn't make it any less insidious. To all those who doubt that Microsoft abuses it's monopoly position, just look at how the employees self-organized to deceive the public.
posted by Llama-Lime at 1:34 PM on January 9, 2002


"There are no hanging chads on the Internet, though"

Yes, there are.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 1:35 PM on January 9, 2002


jpoulos, I was just pointing out the futility of trying to fight M$. What they want, they get.
posted by Hugh2d2 at 1:38 PM on January 9, 2002


is this an example of unscrupulous business practices, or poor online polling practices?

I think it's pretty clearly the latter. This doesn't seem any different than the Linux zealots who lobbied for the penguin to be the new animal cracker, or those of us who voted for Wil Wheaton over at EW. Online polls are unscientific, and anyone with a preference (especially those who are paid to create/promote a product) is going to try to see it come out on top.
posted by anildash at 2:07 PM on January 9, 2002


--it's just that someone circulated an email petition.


Yep, funny how this is also on slashdot, a site that has regularly encourages its members to do the same. I guess when a company or its employees does it its wrong, but when a group of zealots does it its suddenly OK. I don't even know why people continue to put in non-cookie or non-IP-logging polls. Its not like the technology is complex or anything.

I'm looking forward to all web polls either ending up with a flavor of the month type (Wil Wheaton) or old mainstays like Ayn Rand, L.Ron Hubbard, Linux, and Microsoft.
posted by skallas at 2:19 PM on January 9, 2002


If you were an employee of the [company], and it had perched your career on the success of a new idea [.NET], then wouldn't you do any thing to make the idea a success.

I dont think it was an official effort by the [company]. It's employees have used a bunch of coffee breaks.
posted by adnanbwp at 2:24 PM on January 9, 2002


[opinion].
posted by fuq at 2:28 PM on January 9, 2002


I don't think that this is really a Microsoft-specific thing here. I am on a Macintosh-specific mailing list and every once in a while there is a post about some poll somewhere pitting macs agains PCs or something along that line telling us all to go vote in it. Thus holloway's use of the [company] is as much a statement about that as anything, in my view.
posted by donkeymon at 2:31 PM on January 9, 2002


donkeymon: There's a difference (albeit minimal when it involves slashdotters and other zealots) between [PRODUCT] afficianados voting and a marketing-driven, corporate-sanctioned abuse of the system to try to drum up false consumer confidence. Especially when the manufacturer of [PRODUCT] repeatedly insists that their business practices are perfectly legal and never acted in an anti-competative manner.

Polls along OS lines, however, are always going to incite this sort of abuse, as there are zealots in every corner.
posted by Danelope at 3:24 PM on January 9, 2002


what they don't tell you is the vast majority of respondents chose neither java or .net. the real winners were hank the angry drunken dwarf, and wil wheaton.
posted by quonsar at 3:30 PM on January 9, 2002


[CURSE] straight!
posted by SilentSalamander at 6:40 PM on January 9, 2002


corporate-sanctioned

it was?
posted by tolkhan at 9:27 AM on January 10, 2002


this doesn't seem any different than the Linux zealots who lobbied for the penguin to be the new animal cracker

The difference is that the Linux zealots (most of them, anyway) will not use a penguin-shaped animal cracker as proof that Linux is better/faster/tastier/whatever. [Company] and/or its henchmen would almost certainly begin using any favorable poll results to puff their product.
posted by joaquim at 11:43 AM on January 11, 2002


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