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ISO Miscounted Cuban OOXML Vote 100

Posted by kdawson
from the no-means-no dept.
An anonymous reader notes Groklaw's coverage of the apparent mix-up ISO made with Cuba's vote in the matter of recommending OOXML as a standard. Cuba apparently voted against OOXML in September, but ISO recorded their vote as a "yes" — which is odd on its face, as Microsoft is forbidden to sell any products in Cuba. The Cuban NB head has apparently now officially responded to the BRM, but Groklaw's PJ notes that verification remains problematical, and "...the bottom line to me is that a process that worked perfectly well when folks all trusted each other falls into chaos when there are allegations of dirty tricks or undue pressure."
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ISO Miscounted Cuban OOXML Vote

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  • obligatory (Score:3, Insightful)

    by shentino (1139071) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @01:32PM (#22859944)
    "the bottom line to me is that a process that worked perfectly well when folks all trusted each other falls into chaos when there are allegations of dirty tricks or undue pressure" ...well DUH...
    • No, NOT "Duh." (Score:5, Insightful)

      by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary@nOSpam.yahoo.com> on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @01:47PM (#22860176) Journal
      Dealing with unfairness and undue pressure is a central theme in building societies and groups that work. If everyone were good and played fair, any system would work. We need social systems precisely because some people do not play fair. Thus, we have checks and balances in our American political system. Where are the checks and balances here?

      The author is basically saying, the system is flawed because it does not take into account certain facts about human nature, and fails at one of the most basic tasks any socio-political system should strive to accomplish, namely limiting the ability of participants to put undue pressure on each other and use dirty tricks.
      • Re:No, NOT "Duh." (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Chris Burke (6130) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @02:18PM (#22860650) Homepage
        If everyone were good and played fair, any system would work.

        With the corollary that if nobody had any reason to cheat, then everyone would play fair, and the system would work.

        I think this is part of why "communism" only seems to work on the scale of the "commune", where ultimately even the most corrupt person could, what, lord over the persons and crops of fifty people? Have the most sweet potato of any villager? Scale that up to the level of a nation-state, and suddenly taking control and abusing the system provides a lot more gains in wealth and power.

        Similarly with ISO, in the past the system worked because, by and large, nobody had any significant reason to game the system entirely. Sure different companies had their reasons to promote their standard, but ultimately it was still about cooperation and interoperability. While I may be missing some cases, I feel confident stating that this is the first time a standard presented to ISO has the potential to make or break a multi-billion dollar monopoly.

        So of course when that kind of cash is on the line, a system that before survived because there wasn't much incentive to abuse it is found to be completely vulnerable. Kind of like if that commune suddenly found itself sitting on a gold mine.
      • by microbox (704317) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @02:20PM (#22860662)
        The author is basically saying, the system is flawed because it does not take into account certain facts about human nature,

        I'd argue that it's impossible to build a system that will work when people don't respect it. For example - the third-party payola loophole [wikipedia.org] farce. Another example - democracy might work when people respect it, but the rules mean nothing to "I have a PhD in violence" Mugabe.

        In essenence, the rules themselves are only useful if they are followed in spirit. When they are not followed in spirit, then we need more clarifying rules until we come down to some basic rules that are followed in spirit. That's why are law books are so large - and it's still not large enough for people like Darl McBride... proof that the more we disrespect each other, the bigger the rule book needs to become.

        The traditional solution is to turn your back to people fail to follow the spirit of the rules. You just tell them that they can go bother someone else. You can't force other people to learn ethics, and there'll always be that fuzzy area where the amorale can do horrible but legal things like deliberately spread disinformation about global warming [alternet.org]. These people should be charged with treason, because they are subverting the public good.

        When an untrustworthy entity enters a situation where a certain level of trust is already assumed (M$ and ISO), then the rulebook needs to catch up *a lot*.

        • The Chavez people's front supports Microsoft. Venezuela was totally stuffed and voted approval in September!

          The open question is why Cuba was recorded as approval. Did Microsoft pass a Dollar to them? Uhmm, what about the trade sanctions imposed by the US. Just curious...
    • ...well DUH...

      I don't see it as that big of an oversight. A lot of things only work in proportion to the willingness of people to work together for the greater good, including churches, co-ops, even society as a whole (which is what the mafia exploits in their work -- even then, it's a group of people working for the greater good of the organization which is set against the society). The majority of people are willing to play fair, so they naturally assume that everyone else will until they've been burned by their tend

  • I knew it (Score:5, Funny)

    by MyLongNickName (822545) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @01:32PM (#22859954) Journal
    As soon as they bought the Diebold voting system, I knew we were screwed.
  • by gelfling (6534) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @01:39PM (#22860058) Homepage Journal
    The Red Revolution People's First October Socialist Workers Computing Platform. Which is either a Linux distro or pirated Windows anyway. Communists don't care about code you have to buy from the running dog lackeys of Capitalist Colonialist Aggression.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      You didn't know? Its called "Red Flag" Linux.
      • by gelfling (6534)
        I have a copy of that around here. That's Chinese - pretty good for DBCS support.
      • by rts008 (812749)
        Does this mean I should always pick the blue teams in 'BZ Flag'?...or red? I'm confused now.
    • by pjt33 (739471)
      I seem to recall reading back in 2000 that Cuba boasts of having the best software reverse engineering industry in the world, precisely to be able to pirate all the software which the US developers couldn't export to it.
  • by Urger (817972) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @01:39PM (#22860070) Homepage
    These Cuban scum! They are trying to ruin our American way of life with their instance on "open standards." Their dangerous ideas of "freedom" and "choice" are directly opposed to our system of allowing us to choose whatever option we are told to choose. Damn Commies! If we don't stop them now, they will want to monitor our machine controlled elections! We have to stop these anti-Americans now, while we still have the chance!
    • by zappepcs (820751)
      Know what? If something changes Cuba's mind about OOXML and very shortly after the US embargo of Cuba is ended... fuck, I just don't have words for that.
      • by rvw (755107) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @02:17PM (#22860626)

        Know what? If something changes Cuba's mind about OOXML and very shortly after the US embargo of Cuba is ended... fuck, I just don't have words for that.
        I think those Cuban cigars come in handy when Hillary is in "Office". It could open her up, you know! ;-)
        • by rts008 (812749)
          But, like her hubby, she wn't inhale. *cough-cough*

          Blunt thang, you make my eyes sting!
          Blunt thang, you make everything groovy.
          Blunt thang, I think I love you!

          *to the tune of 'Wildthing'*
    • They ruin the US by wanting Disapproval but voting Approval. This will bring capitalism to its end. Mind Fucko!

      Chavez' Venezuela on the other hand is not that cunning. [noooxml.org] They sell their standard snake oil to Microsoft and voted approval in the september ballot. I wonder what decision they will take this time...
  • Pirate XP version, readily available and used in Cuba, and the price is right
  • by wiredog (43288) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @01:53PM (#22860280) Journal
    the bottom line to me is that a process that worked perfectly well when folks all trusted each other falls into chaos when there are allegations of dirty tricks or undue pressure

    Like we haven't learned that from the spammers abusing e-mail, the various hacks to slashcode to prevent carpflooding, etc. etc. etc.?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by makapuf (412290)
      [OT]Sir, I'm not a native speaker, but would you explain what carpflooding means and how it relates to slashdot/code ? Google returned three incomprehensible references (incl this citation). well, four, now that I posted this.[/OT]
  • Does this mean the entire island runs on Linux?
    • by Guy Harris (3803)

      Does this mean the entire island runs on Linux?

      The Communist Party's newspaper's Web site doesn't appear to run on Linux, unless there's an IIS port to Linux:

      $ telnet www.granma.cu 80
      Trying 216.162.229.52...
      Connected to www.granma.cu.
      Escape character is '^]'.
      HEAD / HTTP/1.1
      Host: www.granma.cu

      HTTP/1.1 200 OK
      Content-Length: 78431
      Content-Type: text/html
      Content-Location: http://www.granma.cu/index.html
      Last-Modified: Tue, 25 Mar 2008 19:57:54 GMT
      Accept-Ranges: bytes
      ETag: W/"16a39e83b28ec81:2b4"
      Server: Microso

  • Orly? (Score:3, Informative)

    by DaveV1.0 (203135) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @02:05PM (#22860458) Journal

    which is odd on its face, as Microsoft is forbidden to sell any products in Cuba.

    It is only odd if MS had a hand in it. However, if it was just a dumbass doing the counting, then it is not odd at all.
    • by kellyb9 (954229)

      It is only odd if MS had a hand in it. However, if it was just a dumbass doing the counting, then it is not odd at all.
      Actually if MS had its hand in it, it's not odd. It actually sounds like business as usual
  • What does ISO have to do with Microsoft?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Mister Whirly (964219)
      You know you are on Slashdot, right?

      ANY problem can be tied back to Microsoft, no matter what it is.

      Cancer? Microsoft
      War? Microsoft
      Famine? Microsoft
      Bryan Adams? Microsoft
      Disease? Microsoft
      • I'm intrigued by your ideas and would like to subscribe to your newsletter, as long as you agree to review the following aspects in further issues:
        • Election fraud? Microsoft
        • Global warming? Microsoft
        • Creationism? Microsoft
        • Bush? Microsoft
        • Hitler? Microsoft
      • by Abreu (173023)
        That's unfair, Microsoft has apologized in numerous occasions for Bryan Adams!
    • by SoulRider (148285)
      Actually there is quite a history between ISO and MS. MS has been trying their hardest to get their locked-in products standardized by the ISO committee through-out their entire existence (Gates has some perverse dream of owning all of the computer industries standards). The ISO committee has repeatedly rejected MS's attempts on the grounds that standards and product lock-in are two contradictory goals. It really seemed to come to a head when Gates basically got laughed out of the committee when MS tried
  • Groklaw is among the sites currently being blocked from Europe along with related sites. If you're in Europe, you might need to go through a proxy [google.com] to reach Groklaw articles.

    It's hard to say whether all the Pro-Open Standards material and damning data on DIS 29500 is the cause or if it's the Iowa case evidence about MS' decade long jihad against 'non-believers' [groklaw.net]

    • Really, since when you need a proxy to reach Groklaw?
      • It's because of the disputes between two of the internet providers who aren't allowing traffic from each other's networks. It was on slashdot a couple of days ago and specifically mentioned Groklaw.
      • by Björn (4836) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @03:03PM (#22861226)
        He is probably referring to the peering conflict between TeliaSonera and Cogent. See this Slashdot story [slashdot.org]. I have Telia as an ISP and can't reach Groklaw. This probably mostly effects Scandinavia.
        • by weicco (645927)

          Yep. I live in Finland and use TeliaSonera (or Surina (noise/buzz is english) as we call it) ADSL and can't reach Groklaw. Unfortunately I live in an area where TS is the only choice as ISP.

          But luckily I live in an area where TS isn't disconnecting their phone lines! Couple of kilometers north from here and you can't get ADSL there anymore.

    • http://groklaw.net/ [groklaw.net] in general and the article in particular are accessible from Germany via my local ISP. No need for any proxy!
    • by Shuntros (1059306)
      WTF? Is it bollocks.

      Perhaps you're confusing Europe with China?
  • by Ungrounded Lightning (62228) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @03:12PM (#22861346) Journal
    PJ says: "...the bottom line to me is that a process that worked perfectly well when folks all trusted each other falls into chaos when there are allegations of dirty tricks or undue pressure."

    But standards operations have ALWAYS been about cutthroat politics and dirty tricks to gain competitive advantage. (For instance: There's stuff in an international protocol standard from the '70s or so that was transparently-crufty weirdness a US delegation proposed to get the French to back down from something they didn't like - but the French instead embraced the cruft wholeheartedly and the US negotiators couldn't admit it was just a bluff...)

    The ideal is to standardize exactly what you're already marketing (or are about to release), so you continue to sell it and become (or become more) the dominant and entrenched market player while everybody else is delayed while they make changes - and become incompatible with their previous prototypes or products. This is a massive advantage even if you DO have to give up your patent locks on the technology to make it into a standard.

    What's different about this is just the scale and the ability of the multibillion-dollar gorilla to afford tactics that weren't cost-effective enough to be common.
  • Ummm .... as the subject indicates, if the ISO has trouble counting pieces of paper, shouldn't they create an ISO to count votes? It might come in handy in the future and save some embarrassment at the same time!!
  • "...the bottom line to me is that a process that worked perfectly well when folks all trusted each other falls into chaos when there are allegations of dirty tricks or undue pressure."
    ie - when microsoft gets involved in something. the quote above basically explains the characteristics of everything microsoft gets involved in.
  • Is the ISO a joke? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by walterbyrd (182728) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @09:41PM (#22865224)
    There is also an article on groklaw titled: A Delegate from Brazil Challenges "Law of Silence"

    A delegate from Brazil is challenging the "Law of Silence," The ad-hoc restrictions on revealing details of the BRM meeting. He alleges that he believes Microsoft has itself violated it. It relates to Microsoft's claim that 98% of issues were resolved at the meeting, which he says is inaccurate, but his question relates to why Microsoft can talk about the BRM and no one else can.

    The ISO seems to make "rules" ad-hoc, according to what Microsoft dictates, then they don't even follow their own bogus rules.

    The ISO has lost all credibility with me. Unless the ISO completely reforms their processes, I will consider them about credibilitily as an Enderle article.

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