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ArtX, Hannibal and Consumer Fraud 210

Posted by Hemos
from the no-honesty-on-the-world dept.
Gina writes "The guys over at Ars Technica have an interesting story regarding the schemes that marketing types try to combat bad hype. The story started last week in one of the Ars Comdex reports, when Hannibal said that ArtX's Alladin chipset didn't look too hot, and continued in an email dialog between Hannibal and Rick Calle. The story gets really weird when Mr. Calle went on Ars' forum and started posting stories discounting Hannibal's take on the situation as two different anonymous cowards. How'd Hannibal know it was Mr. Calle? The IPs of users are automatically logged (you know this before you submit your post) and both the anonymous cowards turned out to be from the same IP, which resolved to artxinc.com. Here's Mr. Calle's response to the allegations, "P.S. you're good. snagged my IP, huh?! i'm rotfl - rick." "
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ArtX, Hannibal and Consumer Fraud

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  • Did anyone else have trouble loading the second page of the story? I can only get the first page to load, the rest seem to be gone...
    Anyone have a mirror or working link?

    Kintanon
  • by Skyshadow (508) on Wednesday November 24, 1999 @07:28AM (#1506260) Homepage
    This isn't too shocking to me. You see a lot of people like this in really competetive industries -- they seem to assume that the consumer is both stupid and completely irrelevant.

    My question is, how much longer will this moron be rotfl with his company completely discredited like this? I mean, to get mentions on all the gamer sites about this has got to be absolutely devestating to their chances at marketing this product (or, for that matter, any other).

    This does rank as an important object lesson about believing what anonymous sources have to say, however.

    ----

  • Upon first attempt, same here... simply trying again got me in. keep on trying!
    ===

    I just read the entire exchange. His actions are grounds for termination... as a MARKETING director, part of his job is to manage relationships with customers (direct or indirect) and he has just caused any consumer who reads that story to lose trust in his company's words.

    my $.02

  • I had trouble loading the page as well, but eventually got it to come up. Just keep at it.
  • by Signal 11 (7608)
    Oh my god, there's stupid marketing people out there! Somebody tell the biologists, this is an AMAZING discovery!

    *groan* Yes, stupid people are out there. Many of them work for a living. Suprise - you bumped into one. Now just pick yourself up, and carry on.


    --
  • by jd (1658) <imipak&yahoo,com> on Wednesday November 24, 1999 @07:36AM (#1506264) Homepage Journal
    But it's sad. If the product had flaws, it needed to be refined. If the company had spent it's hard-earned cash on fixes, rather than on paying some luser to spam gamer boards, they'd not only have a better product, they'd have a better image, too.

    Sadly, negative advertising is seen as being more influential than positive development. It is, but it's also more corrosive. What you end up with is a cynical audience who doesn't believe anyone, because there's no-one left to trust.

    Personally, I believe that a decent product will sell itself, and that advertising & promoting is an expensive delusion to cover the cracks that nobody wanted to spend the same money fixing.

    We've seen this with Linux, and the *BSD's. Little or no promotion, other than the system working, and most (if not all) the effort going into making these OS' work. Linux has the highest rate of change of uptake of any OS on the market, and the BSD's have support so solid, it would make a neutron star weep.

  • The best solution to companies like this is to not buy their products. The fact that Nintendo is using their chip in their next generation console makes this decision a little harder for some people, but I'm not much for console games anyway.
  • Every successful software company has a good marketing department behind it -- Microsoft, for example, and the (undisclosed) place I work for.

    We have extensive art and development departments, but they are all required to use Windoze 9X, not even NT in development (we are a Win32 shop). They have cubicles and fairly wimpy systems, but everyone in the *marketing* department gets a shiny new Mac placed on the desktop of their window office every year...

    I still question whether the product would sell better if the time and money taken were spent in making it actually work well, instead of marketing a crummy product to new customers.

    OTOH, the marketing approach seems to work pretty well. I'm unsurprised at the lengths those people will go to make a sale or win mindshare.
  • Thanks, I got in after the 6th reload.

    I'm guessing that Mr. Marketing there is going to have his ass hung out to dry. When you alienate so many people who are potential early purchasers of your product as well as the subset of the population that makes recommendations to 80% of the consumers making purchases you have fucked up royally.

    How many people are going to recommend this card/chipset to their friends/family after this incident? Not me, I'm still pimping the V3 2000 for cheap gaming and the GeForce 256 for the bad boys. After I check out the V4 and V5 maybe I'll revise my recommendations, but they definately won't go in favor of ArtX.

    Kintanon
    PS. Watch for my article entitled 'Devil's Advocate' to appear soon on www.dailymac.com, the site isn't open yet, but my article will be one of the first! In the meantime you can check out www.dailyimac.com for a taste of what DailyMac will be like.
  • by taniwha (70410)
    that's OK - just so long as they don't breed ..... oh wait they keep going to those trade show/mating ritual thingies ...... uurgh pretty soon the linux world will be knee deep in them :-(
  • It's so sad that this guy lives in this world of total self-denial. Wonder how many other marketing mavens out there are posting in online forums...
  • by dclydew (14163) <dclydew@gmail.com> on Wednesday November 24, 1999 @07:48AM (#1506270)
    http://www.woz.org has an article about how the NYT tried to mask a pro-MS article as if it were written by Woz. This kind of stuff is getting silly. I can't believe posters.... Pro-MS posters may be MS employees... ArtX anonymous posers (note the spelling). Sigh, I guess it's time to remember... Don't believe anything you hear or read, and only half of what you see.

    (Note: MS video evidence would fall into the other "half of what you see")
  • Sheesh..I JUST read this on Ars, and some guy posted that they'd submit it to slashdot. Flip my browser window and bing, there it is...second time something like this has happened

    good to know Slashdot get the scoop (or 2nd scoop)...
  • Everyone can be biased.

    Unfortunately, when they're Anonymous Cowards, it gets a bit harder to tell if you've got:

    1. Someone that is being honest, that has known biases
    2. Someone that is being dishonest, with well-known biases
    3. Someone that is being honest, but where you can only infer indirectly what their biases are, or
    4. Someone that is being downright dishonest, and perhaps trying to hide their biases.

    Unfortunately, as you head down this list, there is a tendancy for honesty to diminish, as well as the usefulness of the information.

    The issue isn't new; it was pretty evident in some reviews of LinuxCAD, [zip.com.au] that there were "reviewers" that may not have been at arms length from the "producers." Another review [netcom.com] notes, about the "testimonials," that:

    Strangely, these testimonials used the same poor english expression as whoever wrote the LinuxCAD advertisement.

    It was quite entertaining when Linux Gazette published an Official Reaction of Software Forge Inc. to "LinuxCAD Review"; [linuxgazette.com] I expressed in LG issue 42 [linuxgazette.com] that I appreciated their restraint in not using a spell-checker...

    No, I haven't much use for Anonymous Cowards...

  • by tomblackwell (6196) on Wednesday November 24, 1999 @07:50AM (#1506273) Homepage
    Bravo!

    This type of self-moderation is essential for online communities. Although some people get really antsy and yell "free speech, free speech!", the interests of the readership are served by precautions such as IP logging. The forum's credibility also benefits.
  • I agree that there are lots of stupid marketing people out there, but man, you make it sound like this article is the most boring thing ever posted. I read through all the emails and comments and found it to be rather intersting, even a little exciting. It's cool to read about someone getting busted for their lack of ethics and pure stupidity. Yes, morons abound, but how often are they caught like this?




    ------
  • These things seem to pop up fairly often by now. Companies like Microsoft even seem to put it into regular practice. Of course, it totally destroys the credibility of anyone arguing for them or their products, because you can with a fair certainty assume that anyone having any good experience with them is paid to say so.
  • This was only a product review... Stock discussion boards get even worse... company executives anonymously posting to raise their stock or lower a competitor's.... I guess if your product isn't too good and you still have to face the stockholders, some poeple will try just about anything...
  • Hmm. It appears your cursor was in the wrong window when you started your typing exercise. You should look at the screen instead of the keyboard to prevent such mixups.
    --
  • by Gurlia (110988) on Wednesday November 24, 1999 @07:59AM (#1506280)

    *sigh* it's sad, but the unfortunate truth is that most people believe marketing hype. Proof: look at the percentage of computer users out there use M$ products. I'm not saying M$ products are bad by definition, but the proportion of M$ users and other users certainly don't reflect the quality of the products involved. In a way, I've given up hope that "the masses" will ever get the "real truth" behind things. Yes, Linux is definitely a decent product that sells itself... but how many people today choose Linux because they know it's good, and how many "choose" it because it's the "hip" thing to do now, and everybody around them is switching to Linux?

    Although I love Linux, I believe that one day something better would come along. The question is, when that day comes, will people stubbornly cling onto Linux the same way they are clinging to M$ now? If so, how different are they from stubborn M$ supporters of today? Or perhaps, one day something inferior to Linux comes along, but it gets super-hyped up and everyone talks about it. I suspect a majority of people will simply switch away from Linux, just because the "omniscient media" tells them so.

    Or, witness the amount of media attention Y2K got. For sure, Y2K is a non-trivial problem, and things need to get fixed. But how many people really understand what Y2K all about beyond "Y2K is coming, bad, bad things are going to happen to my computer! But look! My toaster from such and such a company is Y2K-compliant! (Or so it says on the sticker!) We better replace all our toasters, refridgerators, and vacuum cleaners before the Y2K bug hits them!"

    Although personally I always take (at least) several grains of salt with whatever I hear from the media/marketing people/etc., I'm afraid most people don't, and they don't really care either.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    You mean you can track my IP address? You might find out who I really am when I say "3l337 First Post petrified and naked?"

    OH NOOOOO!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 24, 1999 @08:04AM (#1506282)
    Care to express you opinion to someone that matters? I'm sure David Orton, president of ArtX, would love to hear what you think about his marketing director. His address? deo@artxinc.com :)
  • >>Although some people get really antsy and yell "free speech, free speech!", the interests of the readership are served by precautions such as IP logging.

    What? What does free speech have to do with catching someone lying?

    Freedom of speech means just that, you are FREE to speak about whatever you want, BUT other people are free to catch you lying.

    If someone were to say "I work at the factory and Cola X is made wht 4% goat urine" I'd hope that someone out there would be able to expose this person for the lying sock of shit that s/he is.

    Freedom of speech is NOT freedom from responsibility.

    LK
  • The story is from one of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books. Pretending the planet was to be destroyed by this or that, a society managed to ship all the middle-class urban modern professionals (from phone-cleaners to hair-dressers to assistant productors to marketing people) away in a no-come-back trip to a distant planet. Naturally, they were told the A and C ships were soon to follow (but as they were the most important elements of the society, they would go first). Also naturally, their ship was fully automatic and programmed not to land, but to crash in the destination planet and destroy its flying capacity in the process (read the books, they are worth your time).

    This one guy looks like a perfect choice for the B ship as soon as we manage to discover interstelar travel.
  • Man...when Segfault turned off the write-ins and comments, the loonies started flooding slashdot.

    How you accumulated -35 Karma with only 13 posts I can only guess Jizmak.
  • > Wonder how many other marketing mavens out there are posting in online forums...

    Or paying their toadies to do it for them.

    --
    It's October 6th. Where's W2K? Over the horizon again, eh?
  • by sloth jr (88200) on Wednesday November 24, 1999 @08:22AM (#1506288)
    An interesting example that I personally had the "fortune" to witness. A bit back, I was moonlightning, doing some web work for a high-end networking company. One of the pieces I was asked to convert and put on the web had an interesting graph showing performance curves for a particular product on different architectures.

    Now, the product in question was a PCI network board, yet one of the performance curves was prominently labeled "SGI Indigo 2 R4400".

    Ummm... the Indigo 2 doesn't have any PCI slots, it's EISA or GIO or nothin'. Thinking somebody just pasted the wrong graphic into the press-release, I read the copy - nope, mentions the Indigo 2. They were ready to run with this until I waved my hands repeatedly in front of them.

    Shortly thereafter, the CEO asked if I could possibly work directly in their marketing dept, as they needed someone with a tech background (ah-yup!). I couldn't help but tell the guy that I couldn't stomach working a job where my main function was to lie to my customers. He thought that was pretty funny, and had a good laugh...

  • How many fortune 500's out there are constanly getting their fingers caught in the cookie jar?

    Consumers won't care as long as the product ships with a MSRP that's 5% lower than the competition or they've bought enough positive reviews with ad revenue to create a decent demand.

    Lets not be naive here, in the end I'm sure this'll affect sales by 0.0 percent.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    >If someone were to say "I work at the factory and Cola X is made wht 4% goat urine" I'd hope that someone out there would be able to expose this person for the lying sock of shit that s/he is.

    Good point. Free speech should not protect those who would lie.

    Every know that Pepsi contains AT LEAST 5% goat urine. :)


  • > good to know Slashdot get the scoop

    It's kind of like the 1000 pairs of eyes looking for bugs in OSS code... only here we have 1000s of pairs of eyes skimming the most nerdworthy stories off the whole net.

    --
    It's October 6th. Where's W2K? Over the horizon again, eh?
  • by Palin Majere (4000) on Wednesday November 24, 1999 @08:29AM (#1506292)
    Perhaps the best thing to do, in addition to boycotting ArtX's products, is to email/snail mail the CEO directly, politely explaining why you'll not be purchasing any of their products.

    People that not only lie, but misrepresent the company they work for in an attempt to bolster public opinion wind up doing more damage than good in the long run. I'm sure Mr. Calle's will be deservedly short-lived, but only if the CEO of the company hears about it. Don't let this fall by the wayside folks!

    P.S. On that note, does anyone have an address for the CEO? Email/SnailMail/Phone Number # would be nice...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 24, 1999 @08:30AM (#1506293)
    This story is a COMPLETE fabrication, D00DZ!!! ArtX is an INSANELY GREAT COMPANY!!! I saw their PRODUCTS at COMDEX and I WAS BLOWN AWAY!!! Its like having 10 REALITY ENGINES IN A BEOWULF CLUSTER!!! Nintendo was RIGHT to USE ARTX!!!

    This thing isn't logging my ip is it?

    - rick^H^H^H^H^H^H

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 24, 1999 @08:30AM (#1506294)
    This article makes me wonder how often this kind of thing happens in the slashdot comments...

    People can be FUD'ing our ears full without we readers even knowing it. They can be FUD'ing comptetitors products. They can be FUD'ing mozilla, linux, freebsd and whatever right here on slashdot. Some posts may be moderated down but how many posts get through the moderation?

    This article really opened my eyes up. I'm such a nice guy, so I guess I have to admit I may have been too naive and unaware of such unethical methods.

    Wasn't there an article about Microsoft starting their own Anti linux division. Makes me wonder if those guys are participating in discussions on slashdot and spreading FUD.

    I might be a little paranoid but given MS and other companies well known FUD tactics it won't surprise me. If they are, they would at least be smart enough to not have IP's that originate from inside their company.
  • Too Bad! Hey, where is my copy (deadtree) of Expert Gamer (zd folks). The Nov issue, which I lost, has the Sony PS2 review. More good news for Sony and Sega. Since my work station is just that, work only, I am glad someone found this story. I have to use Sony/Sega/Nin kind of equipment when I ply games. CNBC is doing a good job on games as I write, 'Top PC Games' and the "Intellimouse Explorer" mouse, per George Jones 'Computer Gaming World'. Meaning? Live on TV it is hard to be an ass and get away with it. IP logging equals 'live' on the net when an opinion is launched. Fine By Me(tm). -d
  • Well...the fact that Nintendo is using it in its next generation console totally eliminates any possibility of me buying it. Look at all the crud on that system. The 64 came out years later, and couldn't even out-tech the existing systems on the market. Talk about a company that is behind the times...

    Now as to why Slashdot uses an N64 controller as the "games" icon, I'll never really know...It does look cooler than the Dreamcast/Cinnabon swirl, though.
  • by netpuppy (77874) on Wednesday November 24, 1999 @08:49AM (#1506299) Homepage
    This kind of manipulation doesn't just happen in the consumer hardware space. Network hardware, in particular, seems to be based entirely on marketingspeak and fudged benchmarks. I haven't seen anyone go so far as to try to poison reviews in a public forum, but I have seen:

    Single-processor 250Mhz Sun servers tested against Quad P3-500 Xeons

    Performance numbers which assume that there are no features running on the product

    Liberal use of "catchphrases" like "non-blocking switch" when technical details disagree

    Benchmarks which favor vendor-specific implementations (just see how much better ASAPI does than Perl/CGI in a benchmark)

    Blaming everything else around the device which seems to be having a problem (it's the router/firewall/switch/NIC/Server Proc, not my load-balancing device)

    The more someone thinks they can get away with, the more they'll try. We should just crucify/boycott companies who use these tactics, as it will be impossible to trust them in the future. The free market, if properly informed, will take care of these abusers of consumer trust.

  • by RedX (71326) <redx@wi d e o penwest.com> on Wednesday November 24, 1999 @08:52AM (#1506300)
    The email address of David Orton, ArtX's president, is deo@artxinc.com. You might also want to drop a line to Nintendo since ArtX's main claim-to-fame (before this fiasco anyways) is they'll be providing the graphics chip for the Dolphin, and shouldn't be too happy to hear about these tactics. Nintendo of America's email address is nintendo@nintendo.com.
  • Unfortunately, when they're Anonymous Cowards, it gets a bit harder to tell if you've got:

    Sorry for the OT post, but how the hell do you get monospace output on /.????

    I've tried the pre, blockquote and tt tags... anyone?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The only reason I see for keeping AC post is for posts like this one. Former employees.

    At a game company I used to work for they had a military guy hired/paid to endorse thier arcade flight sim as the most realistic ever(you probably can guess the company from that phrase). For some time after the product shipped, this guy would post in the flightsim newgroup about how he was a military pilot and that the companie's flight sim flew just like the real thing,blah,blah,blah... People eventually caught on. It's hard to say if this really made any difference in sales. But it certainly made a lot of people on the net hate the company even more.

    Another example comes from before the above mentioned flight sim shipped. They had their two sales dudes and the tech support staff constanlly calling stores asking when the companies flight sim was comming out - maybe even preordering it - to whip up preorders. This has got to be pretty common.

    If it wasn't for MicroSoft, you might think these practices were pretty sleazy...
  • *rotflol* Hoho... i haven't laughed so much in a week... How could a company employ such a loon for a that important position in the company? Isn't it better to just redesign their own homepage??? "Our product suck, We lie to you & we are not ashamed about it...".
  • What ever happened to reputable business practices...? We all know what a cut-throat market the computer industry is. What gets me is that most of us choose products based on prior experience and from reading reviews and other user experiences from places like Ars... A company succeeds in this industry by providing the best technology for the price, staying on top of new developments and supporting those loyal customers that invested in their technology to begin with. I don't think I will ever purchase anything from ArtX after seeing this....
  • It is the <tt> tag. View the source and see that Mr. Brown used this tag.

    As an example, I'm using them right now.

    Jedi Hacker (Apprentice) and Code Poet
  • The one time a few years back when I had to evaluate some UPS's for a company that was going to but 4,000 of them, I was completely disgusted at the behaviour of the sales reps.

    These clowns kept calling me up to try to feed me with misinformation about the compatibility of their competitors' product and the power monitoring software I was testing.

    I felt like I'd wandered into a convention of used-car salesmen.

    -jcr
  • by El Volio (40489) on Wednesday November 24, 1999 @09:05AM (#1506307) Homepage
    Please behave responsibly with this information. IOW, express your feelings, but do so politely and professionally -- otherwise you are sinking to Calle's level.

    From ArtX Press Announcements [artxinc.com]:

    For Additional Press Information about ArtX, please contact:

    Rick Calle, Director Marketing ArtX
    650/842-8455
    Rcalle@artxinc.com

    For additional information about Ali or Ali products, please contact:

    Nancy Hartsoch ALi 408/467-7450
    nancy_hartsoch@acer.com


    From Contact ArtX [artxinc.com]:

    ArtX, Inc.
    3400 Hillview Avenue Building 5, 2nd Floor
    Palo Alto, CA 94304
    650/842-8400 phone
    650/842-0307 fax
    info@artxinc.com

    From Investor Relations [artxinc.com]:

    For further information, please contact David Orton, President:

    deo@artxinc.com
  • Amazon did the same thing to news.admin.net-abuse.email a while back.

    Slime does this kind of thing.
  • Hahaha...oh the evils of marketing. When I used to work at "undisclosed" entertainment software developer, there was no end to what the marketing dept. did.

    It seemed to us that all they ever had to do was go to lunch, and eat with people from other marketing departments. (They insisted it wasn't true...sometimes they had to eat dinner.) Then when problems with the games would come up, they didn't field any of the phone calls or complaints. People would complain about our translations, have questions about future games, etc, and of course, none of those calls were routed to marketing.

    When we finished our big project of the year everyone who worked on the project got these nice gifts, even the receptionist, who worked for a temp agency, and was leaving fairly soon. There was a hugely upbuilding for everyone, except for the software testers, some of whom had stayed at the office 96 hours straight, who got nothing, because they couldn't order enough. When we asked if we could order more from the company that made them, we were informed that they cost too much. (It's nice to know that Marketing was really looking out for the testing department, and not letting them spend their meager paychecks frivolously.)

    Also on repeated occasions, we requested soundtracks, posters, action figures, etc. of the characters from the games we were working on, but apparently, there was only enough of that stuff to hand out to the important people in marketing...and all of our vendors.

    And if you ever want to see some other people really get screwed, watch for the next time Interplay (obviously not the company I used to work for.) releases something that is developed in-house. Those games are replete with bugs, because the Marketing people push for the games to be released ahead of schedule. The games come out with errors that have been documented, well before the game is released, and then when the public finds them, the company message boards are full of people flaming the testers. Do the Marketing people say, "Hey, we made a mistake, we set an unreachable deadline." Of course not. They let the testers get flamed, and forbid the testers from saying anything to the contrary of the public opinion of them.

    I guess in Marketing, you've got to lie a lot. And in order to lie effectively, you have to delude yourself into thinking that what you're saying is the truth. Maybe it makes it just oh-so much easier to phase out the stupid things you're doing, as well as everything else that goes on around you, so that you think you're the center of the Universe. (Which makes you really uncomfortable when Stephen Hawking talks about whether the Universe is expanding or not. "Should I go on a diet? Am I really expanding that much?")

    Or maybe they should all be rounded up and stuck in internment camps.

    But it's not just me...there's a great story that I've heard (passed down through many others, of course.) about a Microsoft Marketing Drone and David Corn.

    ------------------------------------------

    "You mean to tell me that the citizens of New York are drinking water with all the electricity taken out of it?!"
    -Former Mayor of New York, while on a tour of a hydroelectric dam.
  • "In a way, I've given up hope that "the masses" will ever get the "real truth" behind things."

    I know the feeling but as long as people are willing to buy crap there will be multitues of companies going nuts trying to fill the demand. I do think there is hope however. Over the past couple of years I noticed a huge increase in the level of dissatisfaction with the reliability of Windows based PCs. That's not to say that people recognize that Windows itself is a big part of the problem, most seem to blame the hardware first and then themselves for "breaking" it but at least it's a start.

    "although I love Linux, I believe that one day something better would come along. The question is, when that day comes, will people stubbornly cling onto Linux the same way they are clinging to M$ now? If so, how different are they from stubborn M$ supporters of today?"

    I think there is a difference. Of the few Linux users I know in the "real world" all can give actual reasons for their choice. Reasons might be "It's more stable" or "It's faster on my system" or just "there are just so many cool free things to play with" and every one of them has used at least a couple of different OSs in their time. When you ask Windows users why they made that choice the answers usually revolve around either "What else is there?" or "I've got to run exactly the same sofware as we use at the office" or "My kid must have exactly the same software he/she uses at school" and hardly any of these people have ever used anything but Windows.
  • by SoftwareJanitor (15983) on Wednesday November 24, 1999 @09:10AM (#1506312)
    Wasn't there an article about Microsoft starting their own Anti linux division. Makes me wonder if those guys are participating in discussions on slashdot and spreading FUD.

    There are many admitted Microsoft employees who participate here. Some on there own time or 'misappropriated' company time I'm sure. However, I wouldn't be surprised if at least some of the Microsoft people here weren't assigned 'handlers' who read and/or post here. To a certain extent all that is to be expected, and probably something that a lot of companies do. And as long as they stick to posting stuff that is clearly labeled as opinions, or documentably factual, they really aren't doing anything wrong.

    On the other hand, Microsoft has a history of 'Astroturf' campaigns. What makes this different is that the intent is to mislead people into thinking that there is a widespread outside group of people who have a certain opinion that doesn't in fact exist. And too often such 'Astroturf' campaigns cross over the line to where opinionated information becomes FUD.

    Basically where things start to cross over the line is when people claim to be expressing independant opinions when in fact they have a vested (or paid) interest. Unfortunately Microsoft has even duped some groups into unintentionally supporting their PR campaigns by not being quite forthright about how they fund certain groups that are sympathetic to their interest at a given time.

  • To the moderators: I mean *absolutely* no disrespect towards Linux or open source, but I wanted to post this hypothetical question:

    Although I love Linux, I believe that one day something better would come along. The question is, when that day comes, will people stubbornly cling onto Linux the same way they are clinging to M$ now?

    Who is to say that something better than Linux isn't out already, and the Linux community is dimissing or ignoring it?

    What would the qualifications have to be for a product to be considered, "better than Linux?"



  • Free speech has nothing to do with someone lying. I agree with you totally.

    People just seem to get a bee in their bonnet when they think that someone is "censoring" them using moderation, IP logging etc. It isn't censorship, and in fact is essential, but try telling it to them. The argument usually slides into a chest-beating, speechifying, flag-waving mess.

    "Free speech" is a great thing, but sometimes people with flimsy arguments try to get a bit further by using it to (erroneously) back up their position.
  • Actually, the N64 is fine tech-wise (or was when it came out). It just has mostly crap for games. That's its number one problem. The only game I'm looking forward to on N64 at the moment is Perfect Dark.

  • hey! - be carefull - 'goat urine' is a trademark of Coca Cola Inc :-)
  • Just keep trying to access the link I think it took me about 4 tries.

    However here's the text version of the article:


    ================================================
    [newlogo9.gif (15244 bytes)] Forum.

    [Image] [Maximum PC Network]

    ABOUT THIS SITE ArtX: Half-truths and Misrepresentation? Recent:
    by Jon "Hannibal" Stokes
    FRONT PAGE Asus K7M
    motherboard
    ARS BeOS
    We all know by now that the graphics industry is a Sun's MAJC
    ASK ARS! vicious, cutthroat market where companies will do & Intel's
    anything to get ahead. Tweaked benchmarks, IA-64
    BUYER'S GUIDE over-inflated spec sheets, and out-of-control hype
    are all part of the game, and are things that Promise
    CPU & CHIPSET consumers have, sadly, come to expect. But what FastTrak66
    GUIDE about something truly underhanded, like possible IDE RAID
    abuse of a public forum and willful
    DIARY OF misrepresentation of oneself to consumers? In an More NT
    A GEEK effort to promote a product at all costs, there are Tweaks
    some things that cross the line between "creating
    THE FORUM good buzz" and outright disrespect. Microsoft's
    IntelliEye
    PRODUCT I recently had an unpleasant experience with a Mice
    REVIEWS graphics company, an experience which seems to me
    to be part of a trend of growing overconfidence and Transcend
    SEARCH ARS underestimation of the consumer's intelligence on TS-ABX3101
    the part of the computing industry. My recent motherboard
    SESSE SEKO'S run-in involved a company so seemingly assured of
    WANKERDESK the gullibility of the public and the media that Intel vs.
    they didn't even take rudimentary precautions to AMD
    TIPS FROM cover their tracks. That company is ArtX.
    THE CRYPT Athlon Mobo
    In Ars Technica's Wednesday Comdex write-up, I Shootout
    TWEAKMEISTER'S recounted my experiences at ArtX's demo booth. I
    TOME OF LOVE told about my DM battle with top-ranked Quake Transcend
    champion Kornelia, and I also gave some of my TS-ABX11
    WHO WE ARS impressions of the Aladdin 7 3D graphics technology motherboard
    that ArtX was demonstrating. I didn't review a
    LINKS product, nor did I run any benchmarks. All I did Infinite
    was give brief impression of what I saw and what I Loop
    ADVERTISE ON learned from the people working the booth. Here's
    ARS TECHNICA what I had to say: The Onion's
    "Our Dumb
    Century"

    [Visit The Chip Merchant] A while back, I reported on ArtX's plans to RISC vs.
    integrate high-end 3D graphics on a Super7 mobo. CISC
    (For those of you who don't know, ArtX is providing
    [Image] the 3D mojo for Nintendo's upcoming Dolphin game Norton
    console.) Anyway, I came across a booth where ArtX Speed Disk
    was showing off their technology by holding a 4-way 5.0 for NT
    Q3 demo deathmatch. Before I talk about the
    deathmatch, I need to say a word about ArtX's Rites of
    technology. The systems used were K6-based, with War
    the ArtX gfx tech integrated on the north bridge.
    Now, I don't know if it was the large LCD monitors Swiftech
    or the early drivers, but the Q3 demo looked Peltier
    absolutely awful. I'm not kidding when I say I Cooler
    haven't seen graphics that bad since the Atari
    days. I just couldn't believe my eyes. Q3 on my Apex ATX
    old Voodoo1 blows away what I saw at the ArtX Full-Tower
    booth. Not only was the image quality awful, but
    turning on cg_drawfps revealed that the players Browsin' on
    were getting FPS scores in the lower 20s. Ouch. I BeOS
    sincerely hope that it was the monitors' or
    drivers' fault that Q3 looked so bad, because if it PA-600 case
    wasn't then Nintendo fans are in for a serious review
    disappointment. [Note: It has since been brought to
    my attention that the Aladdin 7 tech is supposedly System
    different from the Dolphin tech, so things might Building
    not be so bad after all. Or then again...] Guide

    Buying it
    Online
    As a result of this small blurb, I entered into an Guide
    email exchange with Rick Calle, Director of
    Marketing for ArtX. In his emails, he made a Global WIN
    number of claims in an effort to defend his FEP32
    product. His wanting to defend his product is to
    be expected, and is in fact admirable, since so 3D Market:
    many companies seem to ignore the enthusiast High Stakes
    population. What I did not expect was what I've
    interpreted as the underhanded and duplicitous Cool the BX
    methods that he chose to use. But before I get to Chipset
    the deeply disturbing stuff, I'll lay out what some
    of his more legitimate defenses were, and then I'll Computer
    tell you what I thought of them. Understand that Architecture
    the information I'm presenting isn't in
    chronological order. Abit BP6

    Deep C
    Secrets
    It's the LCD, stupid
    ASUS P3B-F
    In an email sent to me on the morning of 11/18/98, mobo
    Mr. Calle's first protest was that the LCD monitors
    that ArtX used weren't optimal for displaying the Athlon
    product. As I noted in my report, at Comdex, Review
    everyone was using LCDs--even those demoing video
    card products. I saw UT and Q3A running on a
    number of LCDs and none of them looked nearly as /etc:
    bad as what I saw at ArtX. I said as much to Mr.
    Calle, in an email response I sent on the 22nd, to OpenForum
    which he replied:
    SETI@Ars
    ...once we got on the show floor, we realized the
    2010's were slower refresh rate. too late to change Take the
    and get new ones on sunday nite. We especially saw Poll
    this problem on DVD (did you see that demo?), where Technica
    we elected to use our spare 21" CRT to eliminate
    the "hysteresis" or "smearing" you see on the LCD FAQ:
    screen due to it being a slow refresh rate and Celeron
    which looks like dropped frames (but isn't). overclocking

    This claim intrigued me, so I looked up the specs
    for NEC's 2010 on the web. NEC lists the monitor's
    max refresh rate as 75Hz @ 1280x1024. By way of
    comparison, the Eizo FlexScan L66 that recently won
    an Editor's Choice award from C|NET sports a
    maximum refresh rate of...75Hz @ 1280x1024. Both
    products also have similar horizontal scan rates.

    While the fact that Q3A was running on an LCD at a
    resolution other than the LCD's native one most
    certainly affected its image quality, the fact
    still remains that the other games I saw at Comdex
    looked great on LCDs, while Q3A at the ArtX booth
    looked substantially worse. Nothing can change
    that, and for certain, no one working the booth
    made any such claims to me, nor did anyone else
    reflect on the possibility of the LCDs not
    faithfully representing the product. Indeed, it
    was quite the contrary. The booth presenters spoke
    as if what they were displaying was 100% unleashed
    Aladdin 7 tech. So, that's what I wrote about.
    But after his reproach and my subsequent research,
    I was left with a feeling of suspicion: was this
    guy making excuses?



    Framerates and the TNT2

    In that same Comdex report, I mentioned that a
    machine that I looked at had the framerate counter
    on, and it was getting FPS scores in the low 20s.
    That machine was Kornelia's, and Mr. Calle claims
    she was playing not on an Aladdin 7 but on a TNT2.
    Actually, in his first email (11/18/99), he claimed
    she was playing on at TNT, check it:

    If you consider that we had the Quake 3 v1.09
    (CHECK your web site....look and see how, even a
    TnT is getting problems running over 20-25fps in
    v1.09) AND all these were turned on in the game:
    - 32-bit rendering
    - 32-bit textures
    - high res (MAX) textures
    - HIGH geometry for smooth curves
    - trilinear filtering
    then you would see we get great performance out of
    this chipset, and it is WAY faster than your old
    VooDoo.


    A TNT running Q3A @ 20-25FPS is mostly believable,
    but when I told him (11/22/99) that any gfx tech
    maker that's comparing itself to a TNT at this
    point is not shooting for the "budget PC market" as
    much as they're shooting for outright obsolescence,
    he replied (11/22/99) by saying that by "TNT" he
    meant "TNT2." Well, which is it? In the hour I
    was there, not a single person uttered the word
    "TNT." Not one. You're going to tell me that
    their star on-location was playing, and not even
    using their tech?

    Nevertheless, I saw what I saw. One of the major
    points that folks were trying to sell at the booth
    is that the Aladdin 7, with on-board T&L, can
    supposedly compete with more expensive cards on
    more expensive machines. I told Mr. Calle that I
    thought that my experienced fleshed out that the
    difference between what I saw at the booth and what
    I've seen elsewhere was pretty weak.

    See, I have a TNT2 that runs Q3A well over 25FPS at
    High Quality display settings in the thick of 4-way
    DM. And it looks great. In fact, I understand
    that the TNT2 is one of the Q3A cards to have. I
    can't see where a TNT2 on even a K6-3 450 (the
    machine that Kornelia was supposedly using) would
    run Q3A substantially slower than on my machine,
    considering that I've just got a Celeron 466. I
    mean, not night and days of difference.
    Furthermore, in my recent Transcend TSABX3101
    review I ran Q2 timedemos @ 1024x768 on a TNT2 +
    Celeron 400 machine and got 37FPS in Crusher and
    54FPS in Massive1!! I know that Q2 runs faster
    than Q3, but Massive1 is a huge DM that stresses
    the CPU to the max. I'd be very surprised to learn
    that Q3A is slow to the point that a 50MHz faster
    CPU in a 4-person DM can see an over 50% reduction
    in framerate from Q2 @ 1024x768 on Massive1. Maybe
    a combination of the K6 being weak and Q3A being
    slower could account for it, but does seem like a
    stretch. If anyone out there has any actual Q3A
    timedemo numbers on a K6-3 (or -2) 450 + TNT2
    system, I'd be interested to see them.

    So as you can see, I am skeptical that Kornelia was
    actually playing on any sort of nVidia card,
    because the TNT-branded name was not mentioned in
    the hour or so I was at the booth. There were
    people there with headsets on exhorting the
    audience to "experience the detailed textures and
    dynamic lighting of the Aladdin 7...," but I never
    heard anything about a TNT-anything. But
    regardless of whether or not there were any TNT or
    TNT2 cards in use at that booth, I know for a fact
    that I was sitting at an Aladdin 7 machine because
    there was an ArtX rep standing over my shoulder and
    using my screen to show an on-looking rep from
    another company exactly what the Aladdin 7 is
    capable of. In short, I know what I saw, and I
    thought it looked lame. Once again, I did not run
    benchmarks, nor did I pretend to review a product.
    I came I, I sat, I played, I was thoroughly
    unimpressed. End of story.

    Too bad this isn't the end of the story for ArtX's
    Rick Calle. I found out later on on the 22nd that
    all along he'd been up to more than just trying to
    "clarify" things for me via email.



    Next: things get out of control


  • (crappy display) Just keep trying to access the link I think it took me about 4 tries. However here's the text version of the article: ================================================ [newlogo9.gif (15244 bytes)] Forum. [Image] [Maximum PC Network] ABOUT THIS SITE ArtX: Half-truths and Misrepresentation? Recent: by Jon "Hannibal" Stokes FRONT PAGE Asus K7M motherboard ARS BeOS We all know by now that the graphics industry is a Sun's MAJC ASK ARS! vicious, cutthroat market where companies will do & Intel's anything to get ahead. Tweaked benchmarks, IA-64 BUYER'S GUIDE over-inflated spec sheets, and out-of-control hype are all part of the game, and are things that Promise CPU & CHIPSET consumers have, sadly, come to expect. But what FastTrak66 GUIDE about something truly underhanded, like possible IDE RAID abuse of a public forum and willful DIARY OF misrepresentation of oneself to consumers? In an More NT A GEEK effort to promote a product at all costs, there are Tweaks some things that cross the line between "creating THE FORUM good buzz" and outright disrespect. Microsoft's IntelliEye PRODUCT I recently had an unpleasant experience with a Mice REVIEWS graphics company, an experience which seems to me to be part of a trend of growing overconfidence and Transcend SEARCH ARS underestimation of the consumer's intelligence on TS-ABX3101 the part of the computing industry. My recent motherboard SESSE SEKO'S run-in involved a company so seemingly assured of WANKERDESK the gullibility of the public and the media that Intel vs. they didn't even take rudimentary precautions to AMD TIPS FROM cover their tracks. That company is ArtX. THE CRYPT Athlon Mobo In Ars Technica's Wednesday Comdex write-up, I Shootout TWEAKMEISTER'S recounted my experiences at ArtX's demo booth. I TOME OF LOVE told about my DM battle with top-ranked Quake Transcend champion Kornelia, and I also gave some of my TS-ABX11 WHO WE ARS impressions of the Aladdin 7 3D graphics technology motherboard that ArtX was demonstrating. I didn't review a LINKS product, nor did I run any benchmarks. All I did Infinite was give brief impression of what I saw and what I Loop ADVERTISE ON learned from the people working the booth. Here's ARS TECHNICA what I had to say: The Onion's "Our Dumb Century" [Visit The Chip Merchant] A while back, I reported on ArtX's plans to RISC vs. integrate high-end 3D graphics on a Super7 mobo. CISC (For those of you who don't know, ArtX is providing [Image] the 3D mojo for Nintendo's upcoming Dolphin game Norton console.) Anyway, I came across a booth where ArtX Speed Disk was showing off their technology by holding a 4-way 5.0 for NT Q3 demo deathmatch. Before I talk about the deathmatch, I need to say a word about ArtX's Rites of technology. The systems used were K6-based, with War the ArtX gfx tech integrated on the north bridge. Now, I don't know if it was the large LCD monitors Swiftech or the early drivers, but the Q3 demo looked Peltier absolutely awful. I'm not kidding when I say I Cooler haven't seen graphics that bad since the Atari days. I just couldn't believe my eyes. Q3 on my Apex ATX old Voodoo1 blows away what I saw at the ArtX Full-Tower booth. Not only was the image quality awful, but turning on cg_drawfps revealed that the players Browsin' on were getting FPS scores in the lower 20s. Ouch. I BeOS sincerely hope that it was the monitors' or drivers' fault that Q3 looked so bad, because if it PA-600 case wasn't then Nintendo fans are in for a serious review disappointment. [Note: It has since been brought to my attention that the Aladdin 7 tech is supposedly System different from the Dolphin tech, so things might Building not be so bad after all. Or then again...] Guide Buying it Online As a result of this small blurb, I entered into an Guide email exchange with Rick Calle, Director of Marketing for ArtX. In his emails, he made a Global WIN number of claims in an effort to defend his FEP32 product. His wanting to defend his product is to be expected, and is in fact admirable, since so 3D Market: many companies seem to ignore the enthusiast High Stakes population. What I did not expect was what I've interpreted as the underhanded and duplicitous Cool the BX methods that he chose to use. But before I get to Chipset the deeply disturbing stuff, I'll lay out what some of his more legitimate defenses were, and then I'll Computer tell you what I thought of them. Understand that Architecture the information I'm presenting isn't in chronological order. Abit BP6 Deep C Secrets It's the LCD, stupid ASUS P3B-F In an email sent to me on the morning of 11/18/98, mobo Mr. Calle's first protest was that the LCD monitors that ArtX used weren't optimal for displaying the Athlon product. As I noted in my report, at Comdex, Review everyone was using LCDs--even those demoing video card products. I saw UT and Q3A running on a number of LCDs and none of them looked nearly as /etc: bad as what I saw at ArtX. I said as much to Mr. Calle, in an email response I sent on the 22nd, to OpenForum which he replied: SETI@Ars ...once we got on the show floor, we realized the 2010's were slower refresh rate. too late to change Take the and get new ones on sunday nite. We especially saw Poll this problem on DVD (did you see that demo?), where Technica we elected to use our spare 21" CRT to eliminate the "hysteresis" or "smearing" you see on the LCD FAQ: screen due to it being a slow refresh rate and Celeron which looks like dropped frames (but isn't). overclocking This claim intrigued me, so I looked up the specs for NEC's 2010 on the web. NEC lists the monitor's max refresh rate as 75Hz @ 1280x1024. By way of comparison, the Eizo FlexScan L66 that recently won an Editor's Choice award from C|NET sports a maximum refresh rate of...75Hz @ 1280x1024. Both products also have similar horizontal scan rates. While the fact that Q3A was running on an LCD at a resolution other than the LCD's native one most certainly affected its image quality, the fact still remains that the other games I saw at Comdex looked great on LCDs, while Q3A at the ArtX booth looked substantially worse. Nothing can change that, and for certain, no one working the booth made any such claims to me, nor did anyone else reflect on the possibility of the LCDs not faithfully representing the product. Indeed, it was quite the contrary. The booth presenters spoke as if what they were displaying was 100% unleashed Aladdin 7 tech. So, that's what I wrote about. But after his reproach and my subsequent research, I was left with a feeling of suspicion: was this guy making excuses? Framerates and the TNT2 In that same Comdex report, I mentioned that a machine that I looked at had the framerate counter on, and it was getting FPS scores in the low 20s. That machine was Kornelia's, and Mr. Calle claims she was playing not on an Aladdin 7 but on a TNT2. Actually, in his first email (11/18/99), he claimed she was playing on at TNT, check it: If you consider that we had the Quake 3 v1.09 (CHECK your web site....look and see how, even a TnT is getting problems running over 20-25fps in v1.09) AND all these were turned on in the game: - 32-bit rendering - 32-bit textures - high res (MAX) textures - HIGH geometry for smooth curves - trilinear filtering then you would see we get great performance out of this chipset, and it is WAY faster than your old VooDoo. A TNT running Q3A @ 20-25FPS is mostly believable, but when I told him (11/22/99) that any gfx tech maker that's comparing itself to a TNT at this point is not shooting for the "budget PC market" as much as they're shooting for outright obsolescence, he replied (11/22/99) by saying that by "TNT" he meant "TNT2." Well, which is it? In the hour I was there, not a single person uttered the word "TNT." Not one. You're going to tell me that their star on-location was playing, and not even using their tech? Nevertheless, I saw what I saw. One of the major points that folks were trying to sell at the booth is that the Aladdin 7, with on-board T&L, can supposedly compete with more expensive cards on more expensive machines. I told Mr. Calle that I thought that my experienced fleshed out that the difference between what I saw at the booth and what I've seen elsewhere was pretty weak. See, I have a TNT2 that runs Q3A well over 25FPS at High Quality display settings in the thick of 4-way DM. And it looks great. In fact, I understand that the TNT2 is one of the Q3A cards to have. I can't see where a TNT2 on even a K6-3 450 (the machine that Kornelia was supposedly using) would run Q3A substantially slower than on my machine, considering that I've just got a Celeron 466. I mean, not night and days of difference. Furthermore, in my recent Transcend TSABX3101 review I ran Q2 timedemos @ 1024x768 on a TNT2 + Celeron 400 machine and got 37FPS in Crusher and 54FPS in Massive1!! I know that Q2 runs faster than Q3, but Massive1 is a huge DM that stresses the CPU to the max. I'd be very surprised to learn that Q3A is slow to the point that a 50MHz faster CPU in a 4-person DM can see an over 50% reduction in framerate from Q2 @ 1024x768 on Massive1. Maybe a combination of the K6 being weak and Q3A being slower could account for it, but does seem like a stretch. If anyone out there has any actual Q3A timedemo numbers on a K6-3 (or -2) 450 + TNT2 system, I'd be interested to see them. So as you can see, I am skeptical that Kornelia was actually playing on any sort of nVidia card, because the TNT-branded name was not mentioned in the hour or so I was at the booth. There were people there with headsets on exhorting the audience to "experience the detailed textures and dynamic lighting of the Aladdin 7...," but I never heard anything about a TNT-anything. But regardless of whether or not there were any TNT or TNT2 cards in use at that booth, I know for a fact that I was sitting at an Aladdin 7 machine because there was an ArtX rep standing over my shoulder and using my screen to show an on-looking rep from another company exactly what the Aladdin 7 is capable of. In short, I know what I saw, and I thought it looked lame. Once again, I did not run benchmarks, nor did I pretend to review a product. I came I, I sat, I played, I was thoroughly unimpressed. End of story. Too bad this isn't the end of the story for ArtX's Rick Calle. I found out later on on the 22nd that all along he'd been up to more than just trying to "clarify" things for me via email. Next: things get out of control
  • by jrs (27486)
    This make's me wonder how many times people from m$ do that. Especially on here :)
  • Well I don't really believe that. And if you want you actually can develop C++ and Java and almost any other new fashionable language on unix/Linux as well. Ever heard of g++ or the gjc (the gnu java compiler). Personally I think that unix is quite good. And for the disabled nothing beats systems that rely on text based technology and the like. I assume that you think macs are the solution correct? Well if that is the case then are there any good tools for say blind people? The more things change the more they stay the same. Until speech technology and intelligent AI are actually created (basically a problem that innovation and cheap hardware can fix) we will be at a disadvantage.
  • Sounds to me like this isn't a case of the "evil corporation, it's just one guy.

    Real big corporations would rather ignore negative Web sites or bury them some other way, not resort to these amateurish tactics.
  • Althought I read the article and see that the accused basicly owned up to faking both posts (At least that's my take on the response) assuming that multiple messages from the same ip are by the same person is problematic.
    At my company we use a firewall with masqing which makes it appear that we are all coming from one ip address, so in the theoretical case that we were to defend our product in a forum like this (Although I wouldn't advocate doing it anonymously) it would look like one person is doing all the posting when it could be multiple people from different departments.
  • "P.S. you're good. snagged my IP, huh?! i'm rotfl - rick." "

    To quote Lord John Worfin (John Lithgow in Buckaroo Banzai): 'Laugh-a while you can, Monkey Boy."

    I wonder if he'll still be laughing when his company gets Slashdotted with email complaining about him.

    Incidentally, his boss is the President of ArtX, David Orton. Mr. Orton's email address is deo@artxinc.com, if you'd care to express your thoughts on this type of behavior to him.
  • Don't forget that those left on the planet eventually all died from a disease contracted from a dirty telephone... and also don't forget that the B ship ended up on Earth and is where the human race started :)

    But seriously, I am getting really sick of these marketing people. You can't really go anywhere and get a reliable objective review. Usually someone's posting anonymously or has been paid to give good reviews. Sigh.
  • In the book and record industries some companies will actually buy their own books/CDs/tapes at retail outlets (generally ones that they have identified as being ones that are participating in rating services or which are believed to be influential in determining ordering for the chain) in order to make them 'bestsellers' or to drive further stock orders.

    One particular book publisher who has been accused of this is Bridge Publications which is a Scientology front company and primary publisher of the pulp sci-fi writings of the late L. Ron Hubbard (Scientology founder). Employees of one of the major bookstore chains have said that books shipped to them by Bridge often come pre-labeled with the bookstore chain's own price stickers and occasionally with price stickers from other stores).

    There have been rumors that Microsoft has used the same tactic in promotion of Bill Gate's books ("The Road Ahead" and more recently "Business @ the Speed of Thought"), although I haven't heard any damning evidence like the price stickers to substantiate them.

  • Well, it's not geeks like us that make the huge difference in video card sales. Unfortunately, they may be able to strike a deal with, say, Dell and sell a couple bazillion units.

    I mean, everyone I know who is looking for new hardware asks me about what 3d card to buy, and that's still only like 10 or 12 people.

    The subset of consumers who read Ars and Slashdot really isn't enough to make or break a company. And if you ask me, it shouldn't be. One schmuck in marketing shouldn't kill off the parent company.

    Maybe he could go work for Alex St. John :]
  • "Who is to say that something better than Linux isn't out already, and the Linux
    community is dimissing or ignoring it? "

    Define "better". For some people and some tasks I think you could argue that Free BSD or Be is "better" than Linux right now. Without more details though it's like argueing that a fork is better than a spoon. The one thing I think we can all agree on is that sporks (Windows) suck.
  • Those who do not understand Unix are condemned to reinvent it, poorly.

    It's what Henry Spencer [lysator.liu.se] said.

    It's widely known.

    There may be merit to your contention that not understanding Lisp results in reinventing it badly; Erik Naggum [naggum.no] commonly makes that contention about Scheme, [mit.edu] and I have no problem with the assertion that anyone building new systems that ignores the Common Lisp HyperSpec [harlequin.com] is likely doomed to reinvent parts of it less well than CLTL2.

    That may mean that a more valid claim would be more like

    Those who do not understand both Lisp and UNIX are doomed to reinvent parts of both, badly.

    That still does not deny that what is in my .signature is what Henry Spencer said.

    I've got a "cookie file" that populates email and news .signatures with random quotes; not all of them are true, at all. Some represent downright falsehoods; the Spencer quote isn't one of those.

    If you are feeling so much feeling towards Lisp, then I'm wondering why you're not running Ocelot [sonic.net] or SilkOS [intellimarket.com] or NASOS [demon.co.uk] or the rendition of DrScheme [rice.edu] atop FluxOS, [utah.edu] or, if you're a Common Lisp [elwoodcorp.com] partisan, perhaps Genera. [elwoodcorp.com]

  • Those who do not understand Unix are condemned to reinvent it, poorly.

    It's what Henry Spencer [lysator.liu.se] said.

    It's widely known.

    There may be merit to your contention that not understanding Lisp results in reinventing it badly; Erik Naggum [naggum.no] commonly makes that contention about Scheme, [mit.edu] and I have no problem with the assertion that anyone building new systems that ignores the Common Lisp HyperSpec [harlequin.com] is likely doomed to reinvent parts of it less well than CLTL2.

    That may mean that a more valid claim would be more like

    Those who do not understand both Lisp and UNIX are doomed to reinvent parts of both, badly.

    That still does not deny the historical fact that what is in my .signature is what Henry Spencer said.

    I've got a "cookie file" that populates email and news .signatures with random quotes; not all of them are true, at all. Some represent downright falsehoods; the Spencer quote isn't one of those.

    If you are feeling so much feeling towards Lisp, then I'm wondering why you're not running Ocelot [sonic.net] or SilkOS [intellimarket.com] or NASOS [demon.co.uk] or the rendition of DrScheme [rice.edu] atop FluxOS, [utah.edu] or, if you're a Common Lisp [elwoodcorp.com] partisan, perhaps Genera. [elwoodcorp.com]

  • I mean, everyone I know who is looking for new hardware asks me about what 3d card to buy, and that's still only like 10 or 12 people.

    The subset of consumers who read Ars and Slashdot really isn't enough to make or break a company. And if you ask me, it shouldn't be. One schmuck in marketing shouldn't kill off the parent company.



    It may not make more break the company, but it's still alienating a big chunk of consumers. Which is ALWAYS bad for a new company looking to make it big.I mean, say there are 100K people who read Technica and slashdot combined, and each of those people gives advice to 10 people to steer clear of that company. That's 1 million sales right there. Heck, Sega is exstatic because they just hit 1 million sales with the Dreamcast, 1 million sales could make or break most companies. Of course that deal with nintendo goes a long way towards assuring immunity to market pressure.

    Kintanon
  • >>People just seem to get a bee in their bonnet when they think that someone is "censoring" them using moderation, IP logging etc. It isn't censorship, and in fact is essential, but try telling it to them. The argument usually slides into a chest-beating, speechifying, flag-waving mess.

    I'm FAR more concerned with people abusing the legal system or simple threats to shut down legitimate sites.

    Like what the Scientologists did to xenu.net or what the FBI did to that y2k hype site recently or what planned parenthood did to the Nuremberg Files website.

    LK
  • Damn, and I thought that they both were just malted battery acid.
  • Duh, don't you know the difference? They *patented* goat urine as an additive, they've trademarked the phrase "Got Goat?"

    :)
  • To elaborate on the contact info this was pulled form the site also. ArtX, Inc. 3400 Hillview Avenue Building 5, 2nd Floor Palo Alto, CA 94304 650/842-8400 phone 650/842-0307 fax
  • by Otto (17870) on Wednesday November 24, 1999 @09:51AM (#1506336) Homepage Journal
    Several people mentioned that this guy was just defending a product review... Actually, not.

    Basically, the original post said that the guy had seen the product (video chipset i think) at a trade show (comdex?) and that it looked pretty crappy there, but that it could be for reasons other than the product itself.

    Then this guy from the company concerned starts an email conversation with the poster of the article, saying why it didn't look as good as it could.

    It gets pretty involved from here, but basically the marketing guy lied in his emails, then posted two messages using anon accounts to discredit the original poster. ("I saw that, he's full of shit!" type of thing) He used the tactic of making the first post look like it was written by an idiot, agreeing with the article, then the second post (a reply) looks more intelligent, and backs the company and the product.

    Original article poster checks IP's on the posts, sees they're the same, and posts a note saying to be warned as both these posts were made by the same guy.

    Then the marketing guy sends another e-mail to the article poster and says "found my IP's out, eh? pretty smart" or something to that effect.

    Naturally, this is pretty appalling to the original article poster.

    I mean here's a marketing guy trying to defend his product. A noble cause, nothing wrong with that, but the tactics used are nothing short of disgusting. Admittedly, used right they WORK, but still...

    I think this is a case of someone just being caught in the act. Obviously, the marketing guy is a bit clueless, since he admitted his guilt via e-mail, and didn't realize how disturbing this was to the internet user psyche.

    Marketing tactics have done stuff like this for decades. The "rumor mill" and "word of mouth" is a well-known phenomenon. Commercials and advertising will notify an audience your product exists. Product reviews will get a select few to buy. Word of mouth can get the entire population to go for it.

    Just look at the movies, for example. How many of you have seen a movie because a friend recommended it? Hell, usually that's the only reason I'll see a movie. Reviews often just don't have that much impact.

    But many years ago on the Usenet, someone discovered the secret to easy word of mouth on the 'net. Anonymity.

    Bit sad, really. I think a product will sell itself, if it's a good product.


    ---
  • Law enforcement makes it a matter of pride that they catch "stupid people" commiting crimes. And before that artists and free thinkers were considered morons. It's all about what the intellectual climate is in the place that you live.
  • I've seen it 2 years running at E3. Here's a tip from me to you. Don't look forward to it.
  • It's a cost issue with me as well. I find it hard to believe that something could even if it was better actually do so and still be able to grow like linux does. If anything will replace linux it must be open source to allow for open development of applications and elimination of bugs. If it's closed source people will not really feel that it's easy to develop for the platform than developing for windows. Say I write a game for windows I spend maybe 80% of the budged that I had allocated for the project. That leaves about 20% for the linux and other ports. If I wanted to develop for the other platform it would have to be easier to develop on than the windows version was. Therefore something must be streamlined so the use of linux is a good idea.
  • Here's a sad state of affairs.

    Despite being a (moderately) avid flight sim fan, I have no idea what company you're talking about. Why? Because just about every sim I can remember in recent history has been hyped as 'just like flying a plane' etc. etc., and as someone who has flown a plane, none of 'em are even close.[1]

    So much noise that the message gets ignored? Marketing types, in general, don't seem to understand that concept.

    [1] Oh, except maybe the original Flight Unlimited. Damned fine sim! Even there, you don't bank in your computer chair, though.

  • I was sitting here thinking about all this. Just yesterday we got to see the story about the book seller reading everyone's email to find out what they were saying to Amazon.com. Today it is this. Hell, it has not even been a whole year since all the DIVX sites started popping up all over the place.

    It is for these reasons I am grateful that Slashdot exists. It is the net.community's way of keeping the bullshit level from the money grubbers to a minimum.

    Keep it up folks. I think we all appreciate it.
  • >C and Unix -with a lot of help from Microsoft-
    >have plunged the computer industry into the
    >dark ages like the Catholic Church plunged Europe
    >into the Dark Ages.

    intriguing, I don't see how to parse this. Is this supposed to mean that C, unix, and MS are all horrible, by the analogy that the Catholic Church actually plunged Europe into the dark ages?

    Or is it using the falsity of the latter statement to claim that C, unix, and ms are all free of guilt, and that there is no dark age?
  • Corporation to be the first one's up against the wall when the revolution comes ? :))

    Chuck
  • by bjk4 (885) on Wednesday November 24, 1999 @10:36AM (#1506355) Homepage

    Freedom of speech is NOT freedom from responsibility.
    The corollary to this is that freedom of speech gives you the right to speak, but not the right to be heard.

    -B
  • I don't know whether there's any coordinated attempts by MS to thusly "infiltrate" public discussion forums; when I was there [intern only], I was purely on the software development side, and never involved with dealing with the Outside. It's very possible to work there for quite some time without being involved with company policy, marketing, any form of PR, and so forth...

    I do know, however, that:

    * They were concerned with their public image, and have more reason to keep that concern nowadays.

    * They do not operate in ignorance of potential competition; for instance, Unix experience does not appear to be a negative when hiring, and their are employees that experiment with other operating systems such as Linux in their free time.

    * They do have an extensive marketing department. Chances are, there's at least a few of 'em who are no-holds-barred when promoting their products, just as there are employees who don't evangelize about every MS product as the solution to all problems.

    * While one might *think* that they'd have some limits, the repeated violations of the implicit rule "Don't EVER piss off the Judge" (remember the "dramatized" videotaped demos?) suggest strongly that at least somebody there makes seriously bad judgement calls.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    ya know slashdot needs to record the lowest karma and the highest karma on a page somewhere cuz that would be kewl. It would be fun to read the most important idiotic posts ever too. Like the first "First Post". Or a Meept collection or the lignux guy. I loved him, I wish he would come back.
  • by coffeedreg (86096) on Wednesday November 24, 1999 @10:50AM (#1506363)
    I word for a somewhat large ad agency -- we do work for a soda company, a major European car company, a baby food company and a major watch company. Anyway, an encouraged and smiled-upon practice here is what they call "guerilla marketing," which is not limited to: spraypainting/chaulking walls and sidewalks with a client's product name in an attempt to fake "grass roots" support and buzz; engaging in "viral emailing" wherein an account executive or project director emails 10 - 20 people they know with product hype in the hope that those people will email 10 - 20 people, etc.; by camping in newsgroups that may contain our audience's demographic and posting about their "experiences" with a product, and, as seen recently, by posting in forums on enthusiast Web sites. Such practices are often done with the client's express consent and I can guarantee that other agencies do these things as well.

    Anyway, the point is that ArtX is not the only company that is seeding "interest" in their products or services by posing as outsiders. At least at the firm I work at, it is actively encouraged.
  • C and Unix - with a lot of help from Microsoft - have plunged the computer industry into the dark ages like the Catholic Church plunged Europe into the Dark Ages.
    Oh, it's nice to find someone else who doesn't like C!

    My attitude for quite a while has simply been that it was devised as a portable asembler for writing operating systems. All well and good, and a purpose it fulfils admirably, I'm sure. But I don't write operating systems - I natter on about them lots with KOSH, but I'm not an OS coder. So why should I have to use that level of control? I'd much rather use Delphi (or an equivalent uprated Pascal) which gives me power when I need it, simplicity the rest of the time. That way writing the code becomes second nature so quickly it's silly, whereas there's a lot more language to learn with C, for little or no benefit to most programmers IMO.

    BTW, this isn't me saying that I would fight the use of C within KOSH to anyone who knows what I'm talking about, merely that I don't choose it for my own coding.

    Greg
  • Yesterday, in the story about John Carmack there was someone pretending to be John Carmack & getting moderated up.

    The otherday, (The sourceforge story) someone said something bad about Chris DiBone (sp?) from VA, and someone called Chris DiBone replied in a very inflamatory manner, and got moderated up.

    I do blame the moderators for this, but there is not way of checking if these people are for real - maybe IP addresses should be posted with logged in users, unless they check a box that says "Do not post IP address"....

    --Donate food by clicking: www.thehungersite.com [thehungersite.com]

  • Yes, that probably is a useful form of "Anonymous Coward."

    If you look at one of the threads that my comments spawned, there's some opportunity for such... One AC commented on the Henry Spencer quote that I use as .signature, suggesting essentially that "Using UNIX, not Lisp" has set computing back ten years. I can play both sides of that one, to some extent, as I'm involved with writing Lisp code for GnuCash, [gnucash.org] and my "contribution of the week" has been to figure out how to make Guile hash tables Generally Useful. (Guile doesn't have a (hash-for-each FUNCTION TABLE) function; I wrote one that runs in reasonably-close-to-linear time, which probably ought to wander both to GnuCash as well as to the Guile developers...)

    It surely would be difficult to contribute usefully to a discussion when playing multiple roles.

  • In politics the equivalent strategy is called "Astroturf" - because it's creating phony grass-roots comments.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    This is in no way an official response, but I felt I better speak up before things get really out of hand.

    I'm really disappointed in the responses with the readers of Slashdot. Though I can understand where everyone may be coming from, as an employee of ArtX, this disappoints me tremendously.

    Fact of the matter is, the ArtX chip is really good for what it's supposed to be. The ALi booth at COMDEX had both the ArtX product as well as the Aladdin TNT2 product. I'm not sure what Hannibal saw at the booth but, IMHO, the ArtX part looked better than the TNT2 part, both in terms of video quality and in terms of frame rate on Quake III Arena (I was at COMDEX on Friday so I can also comment on this though you may not believe me due to my obvious bias).

    Though the Aladdin 7 part is not as good as the GeForce 256 or the other latest-generation add-in card products, it is still extremely good for an integrated solution. The goal for this part is to get good gaming performance to low-cost (sub-$1000, even sub-$600) machines. I believe we've succeeded.

    As for the Nintendo console product, Nintendo picked ArtX because of the proven track-record of its engineers. All of us at ArtX and Nintendo think this will be a kick-ass console system.

    Like a few people have said in earlier threads, sales of the ArtX part will probably not be hurt by the comments on /., but I still want to make sure I clear up any misconceptions. It hurts me tremendously to see this negative response on a site that I've come to count on for good news over the past few years and I really hope everyone at /. gives ArtX more of a chance.

    -anand (Anand Mandapati) anand@artxinc.com [mailto]

  • The readers at /. are not angry because of your product, so there's no need to defend it. These people are p*ssed because of the behaviour of your marketing department (or at least one person of it).

    While it's nice that you come here to post a message, it would have been nice to actually hear *your view* on the *actual matter*.

    So thanks for coming by, but now, let's talk about the original subject.

    ------------------
  • by es (118843) on Wednesday November 24, 1999 @02:42PM (#1506408)
    These are also found in another message burried inside of a thread. In case you don't see them there I'm repeating them.

    ALI press release on their comdex booth [ali.com.tw]

    ALI/Artx press release on the Aladdin 7 [ali.com.tw]

    ALI/nVidia press release on the Aladdin TNT [ali.com.tw]

    If you take the time to look at them, you'll see that ALI was showing both the Artx chip and a TNT2 based chip in the same booth. This is precisely what has been denied by the person giving his thoughts on the booth. In fact he states that he was at the booth for an *hour* and the word TNT was never mentioned. Seeing as one of the 3 products there was called the 'Aladdin TNT,' I find this hard to believe.

    There is no denying that Rick Calle screwed up. He should have posted a note to the discussion list pointing out the facts of what was actually shown at the booth and provided proof(such as the URLs above). He should have posted this and put his name and email address at the bottom. He didn't, and that was a mistake. Unfortunately he seemed in a rush to counter some potentially incorrect information that was out there about his company and it's product.

    I think we all need to ask ourselves what would happen if we had just released something and someone started talking about in a negative way, *and* it appears that the person may not have even been looking at the product in question? What if I were talking about some new Linux distribution that looked remarkably like Windows98, and performed just as poorly? (And it turned out to actually have been Windows98, but I was *mistaken* in believing that it was Linux?)

  • Unless you already know their PGP signature, what is the use of them posting one?

    --Donate food by clicking: www.thehungersite.com [thehungersite.com]

  • The xenu case and the Y2k case are linked form Slashdot.

    See

    http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=99/11/24/0132 32&mode=thread

    and

    http://slashdot.org/yro/99/11/19/0219227.shtml

    The Nuremberg Files incident can be found with a simple yahoo, google, or metacrawler search look for "Nuremberg files" and you'll get tons of hits about the situation.

    LK
  • by es (118843) on Wednesday November 24, 1999 @03:37PM (#1506417)
    *my view* (and mine alone) is that Rick handled the situation poorly. A well worded forum post giving details on the setup at Comdex in the ALI booth, and signed by him, would have gone very far in clearing up the misconceptions about what was there. 2 of the 4 machines hooked up for deathmatch were running with the integrated Aladdin TNT2 chipset. 2 were running with the Aladdin 7.

    The fact that Hannibal failed to even notice the existence of the TNT2's bothers me as well. As does his refusal to believe that TNT2's were there, or do any checking into the matter with another source. 2/3 of the article talks about the email exchange (noone has bitched about him taking private email and publicizing it yet).

    It is far too easy to pick on a marketing person trying to discuss technical details. 2 paragraphs about the LCD information. So in his email Rick mixed up refresh with persistence. That was an unfortunate mistake. You should try watching a DVD movie on one of those screens and you will see the persistence problem.

    Fast forward to another couple paragraphs discussing the performance of a TNT2 AIB, which is, of course, completely irrelevant when discussing an integrated chipset. (which is what the other 2 machines had, the Aladdin TNT)

    This is followed up by a couple paragraphs discussing whether or not someone was fragged. This really could've been an honest mistake.

    In the end, I think that intentionally posting the anonymous messages to the forum was wrong. Nothing said in the email exchange was wrong however. I also think that Hannibal's refusal to accept the possibility of his own mistake was wrong, as was the lack of any attempt to find out what was really shown at Comdex. (Is a trip to the ALI web site so hard?) If you are going to write about something and publish it, you should at least expend some effort to make sure that what you are writing about is the truth.

    And yes, I do work at ArtX, though this email is not at all an official company position. I prefer my non-work-related email at home(eric@ericscott.net [mailto]).

  • by Kris_J (10111) on Wednesday November 24, 1999 @07:52PM (#1506433) Journal
    If one person posts a message (anonymously or not) stating a fact, but 25 people post messages contradicting it, then I can safely discredit the original poster.
    Why 25? What if M$ has a team of 20 people, each with several accounts on each relevant forum and can easily come up with 60+ pro-M$ comments on /., on important issues.

    This is the problem, unless you know who the person really is, you don't know when they have a vested interest, or bias on a particular issue. Heck, even when you do know who the person is, you don't always know of background deals - just search for "Cash for Comments" in Australian news feeds (Quick summary; Oz's most popular Radio personality, and others, presented a range of Editorial-style comments that were basically paid adverts, without disclosing relationships and payments)

    I've been saying that ACs should be banned, but perhaps /. should provide a way for us to flag with a colour specific posters as being reliable, or unreliable. I know karma attempts this, but it needs to be more obvious - maybe low karma = red postings, high karma = green postings...?

  • This is exactly why this "open source community" cannot be trusted.

    Open your system to linux, mozilla or free-whatever and you will immediatly open your system to virus makers, illegal mp3, and perhaps even command-line interfaces (shudder)

    The proper way to deal ewith these threats is to use a single, well-known, reliable provider (such as Microsoft (TM))
    That way every poster will be logged, and any ill intent will be catched by the new MS Echelon 2000 (TM) system

    Now if we just substitute the peer moderation system for the much more reliable marketing/lawyer-moderation the quality of /. will improve hugely.

    You all know that our freedom to innovate (TM) always has depended on the use of proprietary closed code. Preferably in the hands of a big benevolent company.

  • Snagged my IP, eh?

    Set your proxy to nrl.onion-router.net:9200.

    Read about AT&T Crowds [att.com], about TAZ-WWW [berkeley.edu], see the Proxy Mate [lpwa.com], see the COTSE [cotse.com] anonymizer or look what fravia [instinct.org] has to say about anonymity.
    © Copyright 1999 Kristian Köhntopp

  • I find the charity you're prepared to extend to Mr Calle pins my implausibility meter. There's little room for doubt that Calle's actions were deliberate dishonesty rather than accidental omission. I'd also note that you've posted to this forum four times, it's the only time you've posted to /. and you give no contact details.
    --
  • > Hanno asked to hear *my view* on
    > the *actual matter*. And you've
    > heard it.

    Yip. And I'd like to thank you for the straightforward answer. Kudos.

    ------------------
  • That doesn't really follow; the US Constitution's protection of free speech already excludes malicious speech (lying, libelling, cheating, yelling fire in a crowded theatre). In other words, you have the right to speak, but you can easily move beyond the limits of that right.

    What we should consider is that there is no right to anonymity. While US courts have ruled in favour of a right to privacy in that there is a part of our lives which is not part of the public sphere, and it is incorrect to place it in the public sphere. Anonymity is another matter entirely.

    That said, anonymity may be the only way to protect free speech of unpopular opinions in certain situations. Consider the McCarthy era: communists had hypothetical free speech, but many of those who exercised it had their careers ruined by the voluntary organizations to which they belonged.

    Free speech should not be protected only by the state and its agents, although perhaps that's the only way it can be effectively be protected. When it comes to one's private life, it becomes not a matter of speech but of taste.

    Consider your example: someone says that Pepsi contains 5% goat urine. It may be protected speech, since goat urine's no doubt expensive and nobody could reasonably think that the cheapasses in Pepsi corporate management would fork over that much dough for pee. However, if you are identified as the formerly anonymouse goat urine man, don't count on advancing too far in your career at PepsiCo.

    --
  • Perhaps Slashdot should include small icons depicting the karmic state of a poster in his post. Those with high karma will be glowing self-actualized visages in nirvana. Those with low karma will be undesirables, or some form of disgusting bug...you could then tell which posts to not waste your time reading by the icon.

Never test for an error condition you don't know how to handle. -- Steinbach

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