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Boston Globe Throws Mud at Peter Quinn -- Mud Lands on Boston Globe
Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 05:41 PM EST

The Boston Globe should be ashamed of itself. Honestly, this story is so disgustingly guttery, it's hard for me to even write about it. A little character assassination in an attempt to discredit OpenDocument Format. Here's the ridiculous and squalid "investigative" reporting by the Boston Globe, "Romney administration reviewing trips made by technology chief." They are investigating and wonder if Peter Quinn, CIO for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is a perfect form filler-outer.

No. Really. Page one of, just as if there were a real story here.

Here's the opening of the article:

The Romney administration has launched a review of several out-of-state trips that its top technology officer took to conferences sponsored in part by companies who stand to benefit from a change in computer software used by the state.

Peter J. Quinn, director of the state's Informational Technology Division and its chief information officer, has traveled to 12 out-of-state conferences in the last two years, visiting Brazil, Ottawa, San Francisco, Japan, Puerto Rico, and other locations, records show. Most of the conferences were sponsored by technology and information companies.

Let's see. If one doesn't want to use Microsoft's formats, because one thinks they are not open enough for one's legitimate needs as a government agency, what happens to one? Microsoft's goons and allies will comb through your life looking for dirt, or something that looks a little like dirt, to ruin your reputation? And so the Boston Globe decided to investigate how completely Peter Quinn dotted his I's and crossed his T's on his expense account:

Quinn filed travel authorization forms with Kriss for six trips he took in 2004. He provided the name of the conferences he was attending, but only the total amount of money that the trip cost on three of them: $1,151 paid for by the World Software and Technology Convention in Japan, $543 he spent to attend the Center for Digital Government conference in Tucson, and $221.70 he spent to speak at a conference in Chicago. On the form seeking approval to travel to Puerto Rico for five days in May 2004, to speak at an "Open Source Congress," he did not list how much the trip was expected to cost and only that the expenses were paid for by the company, Altamente, which is based in Puerto Rico.

There's plenty more just like that in the article. He got verbal authorization instead of written sometimes? Give the Globe the Pulitzer, by all means. $221.70 is at stake. There's no breakdown on how all that money was spent, and heaven only knows, there is no way a human might figure that between air fare round trip between Boston and Chicago and a hotel room and some meals, we'd reach the princely sum of $221.70, without anything left over for Peter Quinn to abscond with. All Quinn did was list the conference, who paid for it and the total amount? What a scandal! Call the cops! He paid for two of the trips out of his own pocket, by the way, which might explain an "incomplete record".

He apparently didn't also separately list for some trips each and every sponsor of the conference he spoke at. However, it's not clear if the law actually requires that (Quinn did list the conference organizers), or if the "investigators" just don't understand how conferences of this sort are arranged. Sponsors are like advertisers. That's all. If the Boston Globe sponsored an event, for example, would Quinn have to list all of the Boston Globe's advertisers as having "paid for" his trip? Quinn's then-boss Eric Kriss demonstrates to me just how mean-spirited, slanted and unfair this article is by pointing out, as quoted in Andy Oram's article, "Another desperate attempt to discredit Massachusetts OpenDocument adoption", on O'Reilly:

"Most of Quinn's trips occurred after Massachusetts made the decision to adopt OpenDocument. There is no possibility that the trips would influence the decision that had already been made."

The Globe says Kriss had no comment. "Kriss, who left state government in September, did not return phone messages left at his home yesterday and Wednesday." It's Thanksgiving, folks. He's not home. Duh. Like this story couldn't wait until Monday, so Mr. Quinn's reputation wouldn't be left in shreds by its incompleteness. It just happened that Oram was able to reach Kriss after the story broke. Any implication that the sponsors of the conferences wined and dined Quinn to get a favorable decision or that Kriss was avoiding making a statement is poppycock.

If I might point out something obvious that no one seems to be mentioning, it's this:

ODF is not a product or a software application.
No software company owns it.
It's a technical format any company can choose to use., one software suite that supports ODF, is not purchased. It's free. Just download it over the Internet. No contract. No services. No fee. So, what software company will rake in the loot if ODF is chosen and later the state chooses None. There isn't any company. Does any single software company stand to benefit from ODF adoption? Or is the field entirely open? Seriously, folks. This is silly, at best. This is fud from folks who don't get the tech. So they have fallen in their own mud.

Proprietary companies can support ODF too, and then their products are in the running for government orders, just like anyone else's. So no company sponsored an event, arranged to invite Quinn to come and speak, to push their product on him. ODF is not a product. It's a format any company in the world is free to use, including Microsoft. Massachusetts' decision to use ODF doesn't tell us whose applications it will someday buy. That is entirely open. That makes this entire "investigation" incredibly off-target.

Oram explains something else that is very pertinent:

Now someone in state government is claiming Quinn should have listed all the companies that sponsored the conferences, to allay fears that these companies were trying to gain underhanded influence. By this standard, a speaker who gets free admission to a conference such as LinuxWorld Expo or O'Reilly's Open Source conference would have to list that his trip was paid for by Intel, Sun, Dell, and any other of the one or two dozen companies listed as sponsors--even Microsoft!...

Attending a conference, however, does not necessarily mean one comes in contact with a company representative. Usually, to actually interact with that company, an attendee has to take the deliberate step of arranging a meeting; otherwise he's unlikely even to get a demo at a booth. A speaker at a conference is likely to come in, deliver a speech, and leave without ever seeing a company representative.

And so a man's good name is dragged through the mud. Here's Andy Updegrove's reaction:

I'm not suggesting, of course, that conflict of interest rules are not serious and necessary - they are both. However, Quinn is being faulted for not disclosing the identity of those who sponsored his trips, and the nature of any business dealings the ITD might have them. And speakers are invited, and their fees are paid, by conference organizers, and not individual sponsors, a distinction that the Globe fails to make:
Even though a galaxy of computer companies are listed as sponsors of many of the conferences, Quinn did not list any of them on his authorization forms or the business relationships any of them have with the Commonwealth.
One wonders whether anyone would have been better off if Quinn had stapled a page of logos to an authorization form and added "We buy some or all of our products from these companies." The article also notes that Quinn told them that he frequently took night flights to lessen time away from the job - hardly the way to take a junket.

The big question, of course, is whether the Globe thought to look into Quinn's travel vouchers on its own, or whether it was suggested to them that they just might want to start asking questions on such an unlikely topic.

That's a good question. As long as Governor Romney is investigating, could they also investigate whether this story was suggested to The Boston Globe by Microsoft, its PR firm, or any politicians locally that have received contributions from Microsoft?

Microsoft can support ODF. It just doesn't want to. And why not? Might it be because they like being a monopoly and wish to keep everyone tightly stuck in their monopoly grip? Here's my opinion: Microsoft has too much money, too many lobbyists, too much power, and not enough ethics. There. I've said it. God knows what they'll do to me to retaliate, but it's still true. No matter what they say or do, it's true. And while this story reflects badly on the Boston Globe, it also taints Microsoft, and that's true whether or not they directly made this character assassination happen.

ODF is a good format. It does what Massachusetts needs to do. It does things that Microsoft's competing format wouldn't, which is likely why after the decision to go with ODF was announced, Microsoft changed the license on their XML format to make it more open. That action alone ought to tell you that there was, indeed, something wrong with their license before, and Massachusetts was tech-savvy and license-aware enough to realize it. That is why they chose ODF, because it was more open. End of story.

Here's my question to the Boston Globe. If, after the investigation of Mr. Quinn's I-dotting is concluded, you find that Mr. Quinn is exonerated, will you put that story on page one too?

Attacking those that made the decision to go with ODF in what appears to be a cynical and scurrilous effort to destroy a man's good name is dirty pool.

No. It's worse than that. It's a sin and a shame.

And so it happens that The Boston Globe threw some mud on Peter Quinn, and it landed on The Boston Globe. And, in my view, on Microsoft.

Updated: I can't resist. One anonymous reader sees a silver lining here, leaving this comment about the Boston Globe article: "Well, one good thing might come out of this -- they might write all their stories in Microsoft .doc format and so they will be lost to history in ten years or so."

: )


Boston Globe Throws Mud at Peter Quinn -- Mud Lands on Boston Globe | 262 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
OT here
Authored by: dahnielson on Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 06:07 PM EST
Please post links in HTML.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Corrections here
Authored by: dahnielson on Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 06:09 PM EST
if needed.

[ Reply to This | # ]

We should hardly be surprised ...
Authored by: tanstaafl on Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 06:23 PM EST
... that honorable reporting institutions like The Globe (and, come to think of
it, Forbes Magazine) can be swayed by individuals within the organization. I'm
willing to bet that the person who vetted the story tries very hard not to let
his personal opinions through in his stories (or those he vets), but this time,
he was a little too anxious and jumped the gun. This is why journalists try so
hard (obviously, not too hard sometimes) to fact-check. Sometimes, though, not
only does personal opinion win out, that opinion becomes mainstream and is
echoed by most of the media. I'm sure Microsoft would just _love_ for
'everybody' to become convinced that they are not monopolists, that they do not
bully people, and that their products are always the best. All marketing people
strive to get their clients into this position, and although Microsoft is not a
technology leader, they are most certainly a marketing leader. I hope they get
their hand smacked good for this one.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Boston Globe broken
Authored by: kawabago on Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 06:35 PM EST
Microsoft must be running out of ammunition because this looks like a
monopolists last desperate grasps at anything to keep from plummeting off the
cliff of open competition.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: rsteinmetz70112 on Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 06:45 PM EST
Conference sponsors are in effect advertisers. They are given the title
"sponsor" usually for paying some amount of money in exchange for
which, depending on the amount, they get their logo printed in the program, have
their officials introduce speakers or get their name plastered over the entrance
to some party. To say that these companies actually paid of the travel of a
speaker is an interesting interpretation and certainly a stretch, unless they
actually bought his ticket.

It is somewhat akin to saying that its largest advertiser paid of the reporting
at the Boston Globe. If one of those advertisers happens to be Microsoft, then
Microsoft paid for this story in much the same sense.

Rsteinmetz - IANAL therefore my opinions are illegal.

"I could be wrong now, but I don't think so."
Randy Newman - The Title Theme from Monk

[ Reply to This | # ]

Maybe we should send them some feedback!
Authored by: Kilz on Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 06:46 PM EST

Boston Globe Feedback Form

[ Reply to This | # ]

Boston Globe Throws Mud at Peter Quinn, But Mud Lands on Boston Globe
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 06:47 PM EST
I am sure that the Boston Globe would appreciate everyones feedback. Look for
that little link on the bottom left of their site.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Boston Globe Throws Mud at Peter Quinn, But Mud Lands on Boston Globe
Authored by: MacsEntropy on Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 06:51 PM EST
PJ, these are exciting times, and you are beautiful. Oh, I agree, you're just
one person who saw something she could do and did it, but that's just it, isn't
it? You don't have to be anything special, except for concerned, courageous,
diligent and consistent. You have no special need for persuasive style when you
can bring the facts, and when you have an army of people willing to help to make
sure it's all out there. You don't even have to be good-looking, goodness
knows, since none of us has ever even seen you.

What I mean by "exciting times" is that things are unfolding pretty
much as they always have, but they're now happening in the public eye. The
thugs are finding out that there's no place to hide. They try to push a lie and
thousands of witnesses arise to refute them.

Microsoft's arguments in this whole affair have been pitiable. Not one of them
- including the accessibility problem, the one they jumped at with such glee -
has not made their products look worse when the facts were examined objectively.
And now, when they can't make an argument that doesn't plainly show that their
only reason for opposing ODF is the threat to their monopoly that it represents,
I could almost feel sorry for them.

In fact, I do feel sorry for them, when I realize that despite their feeding of
one of the most ravenous and destructive financial scams of all time, they are
still humans, and their fortunes are going to suffer when Microsoft finally
fails, unless some serious repentance happens at the top.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Will Globe investigate Sen. Pacheco?
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 07:00 PM EST

Will the Globe look at every Massachusetts legislator who votes against ODF and
see how much Microsoft money is in their campaign accounts, including Sen.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Boston Globe Throws Mud at Peter Quinn, But Mud Lands on Boston Globe
Authored by: chaz_paw on Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 07:05 PM EST
Let me first state that I have not read the article yet. I do intend to, and if
after reading it I change my opinion, I will reply to my post.

Microsoft is obviously very, very desperate. It has attempted to give the
appearance of openess without actually doing so, reportedly had changed the
wording of an UN paper, and given the appearance of messing in MA's politics,
even if it hasn't; many people think MS has.

I wonder; if I were to be bribed, oops, influenced by anyone, I think the
company with the deeper pockets would be influencing me the most- and that is?

I feel for Mr. Quinn. As far as I can tell, the only thing he did wrong was
concerning the accessibility issue, and that appears it is being addressed even
now. He is guilty of doing his job.

Obviously, I have become very cynical when it comes to MS, and my opinions are
my own.

Proud SuSE user since 07/26/04


[ Reply to This | # ]

Manufactured by the Boston Globe
Authored by: AllanKim on Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 07:10 PM EST

From TFA:

The state launched its inquiry after the Globe began asking questions about the trips earlier this week; it is being conducted by Thomas H. Trimarco, the head of Administration and Finance.

One wonders who tipped off the Globe to this laughable excuse for a corruption scandal. I'm sure the Globe wasn't routinely scrutinizing travel vouchers for obscure state bureaucrats. No, that takes time, money and quite a bit of skullduggery. Any guesses?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Microsoft History
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 07:11 PM EST
Have we all forgotten the "e-government conferences" MS
used to sponsor - try searching "The Register" - I don't
think they were about standards rather than products.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Reporter has 3 Pulitzers
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 07:12 PM EST

Google the reporter's name, and you'll see he has three Pulitzer Prizes. Do you
think we can get him assigned to Microsoft's anti-ODF campaign?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Boston Globe Throws Mud at Peter Quinn -- Mud Lands on Boston Globe
Authored by: urzumph on Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 07:46 PM EST
[...]traveled to 12 out-of-state conferences in the last two years, visiting Brazil, Ottawa, San Francisco, Japan, Puerto Rico, and other locations, records show. Most of the conferences were sponsored by technology and information companies.

I must say, this paragraph had me laughing. Quinn is head of the Information Technology Division and a CIO... so obviously he is attending IT conferences. Who would you expect to sponsor IT conferences? IT companies, obviously.

I would be more worried if he was attending conferences not sponsored by IT companies.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Is Massachusetts going to investigate Galvins and Pachero's blatent conflict of interest?
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 08:02 PM EST
The state launched its inquiry after the Globe began asking questions about the trips earlier this week; it is being conducted by Thomas H. Trimarco, the head of Administration and Finance. Two Romney administration officials, who asked not to be identified because the inquiry was ongoing, said Trimarco will seek to determine why Quinn did not obtain written authorization for the travel and whether having trips paid for by conference sponsors would have violated the state's conflict-of-interest law.

I wonder if the State of Massachusetts will investigate the conflict of interest in Galvin and Pachero receiving huge amounts of Microsoft for their crude and blatantly obvious attempts to kill off ODF - the most suitable archive format for Massachusetts' documents, and foist a monopoly vendor format and Microsoft tax to upgrade to MS Office 12 on every Massachusetts taxpayer and every Massachusetts citizen who wants to access information that should be publicly available information in Massachusetts.

Galvin and Pachero and their collaboration with Microsoft is the real conflict of interest here. They are lining their own pockets rather than serving the electorate who elected them into power.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Boston Globe Throws Mud at Peter Quinn - NOT
Authored by: wyattsan on Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 08:06 PM EST
I think PJ jumped the gun on this one. I read her story, then the Boston Globe
article. I can see that the subject matter of the Globe article is a bit
troubling, in that it implies a potential problem in Quinn's travel being paid
for by interested parties in the Massachussett's outcome. However, this story
does not come up with anything, and Quinn looks clean. Yes, I'd rather see an
analysis of Sen Pacheco's campaign contributions and association with Microsoft.
It would seem much more pertinant considering his pandering to the Microsoft
point of view. But the Globe article actually did not push the Microsoft point
of view, and in the places it had the opportunity to throw barbs at
OpenDocument, it failed to do so. I suspect the article was was actually written
by a reporter sympathetic to OpenDocument, perhaps pushed into the subject by an
editor demanding an inquiry into Quinn's travels.

[ Reply to This | # ]

out of state?
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 08:19 PM EST
Considering the size of the state of Massachusetts ... it's hard for ANY meeting to not be out of state.

How many of those conferences were what the Western USA would consider "far"? I know 90 miles can get you out of Massachusetts, but it doesn't even get me out of the county here.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Microsoft's hand with the dagger?
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 08:28 PM EST

Folks, It was pretty plain at the Mass hearings that other parts of the Mass state government dislike ITD's presumption in setting IT document standards. If you look at the structure of Mass's administration then it's clear that those parts would also be in a position to informally suggest to the head of Admin and Finance that a review of Mr Quinn's paperwork take place.

Let's ask the reporter how they came to this story. There's usually a lot a reporter can say about the politics and background to a story that doesn't reveal their sources. That background story doesn't usually make it into the text of the article, but is well-known to all but the most blind of reporters (and no sane editor is going to put an article on page 1 without being told the backstory).

[ Reply to This | # ]

    This was predicted on Groklaw
    Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 09:11 PM EST
    I clearly recall a poster here on Groklaw mentioning that in the past,
    individuals opposed to the MS point of view have suffered character
    assisinations. I thought at the time that without giving examples this was
    purely the rantings of a paranoid, conspiracy theorist..... humble pie is not
    nice cold.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Boston Globe Throws Mud at Peter Quinn -- Mud Lands on Boston Globe
    Authored by: blacklight on Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 09:52 PM EST
    Microsoft and its droids do seem to have a pronounced taste for playing dirty
    pool, and this taste becomes ever more apparent as this convicted monopolist
    feels the pressure and falls back on its tried and true tactics aka previously
    successful behavior.

    Microsoft and its political stooges and its allies in the press are pulling all
    the stops to discredit the message (i.e. the process by which ODF was selected)
    and the messenger (Peter Quinn).

    Know your enemies well, because that's the only way you are going to defeat
    them. And know your friends even better, just in case they become your enemies.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Boston Globe Throws Mud at Peter Quinn -- Mud Lands on Boston Globe
    Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 10:04 PM EST
    I just don't get it. I don't know what part of MA that moron senator was from,
    perhaps the western (rural) part, so his constituents don't know what a computer
    is. Ok. But Boston Globe? Everybody and his dog hates MS in Boston. How many
    people will dump their subscriptions this Monday?

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Boston Globe Throws Mud at Peter Quinn -- Mud Lands on Boston Globe
    Authored by: jsusanka on Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 10:41 PM EST
    It doesn't surpirse me at all. I would like to see an investigation between the
    lobbyist firm that is partnered by billy's dad and see if there are any funds
    connecting the senator or secretary of state of Massachusetts and the lobbyists
    and/or microsoft.

    But of course that is all on the up and up.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    whispering campaign
    Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 12:37 AM EST
    It could get really ugly

    Re:whispering campaign....

    Lets hope MS weren’t taking notes :/

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Sorry, Journalizm in Amerika is Ded
    Authored by: jkondis on Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 01:42 AM EST
    I'm so utterly unsurprised that the Globe would do this. Have people been
    paying attention to what is called "News" anymore? Journalism, at
    least in the US, is largely a giant PR machine.

    I give an example: two days or so after the first virii were reported that
    exploited the Sony/BMG DRM program, I watched as the Yahoo Reuters
    "Technology" section reported on it. When I first saw the article it
    was #2 on their list of most popular/important. An hour later I saw it as #1.
    Another hour passed and it disappeared from their list of headlines entirely. I
    even went into their section for their articles for the last day or two and it
    wasn't there. Why was it taken out? One can only imagine. To be fair, a
    separate article appeared in AP Technology and was not removed that I saw.

    You can't tune in to CNN anymore without them hawking garbage for Corporate
    America. MSNBC and Fox News are just as bad or worse. The other day my
    roommate is watching CNN (the part where they're supposed to be reporting, i.e.
    between the numerous commercial breaks) and what "news" were they
    reporting on? No freaking kidding, it was "GM Incentives are Back"
    (that was the actual title at the bottom of the screen). For almost 10 minutes,
    the news they spoke of was all about the different discounts that GM was
    offering on their vehicles. *That*'s News? I think their investigative
    reporters just call up "corporation X" and ask politely what the news

    Lessee... Current #1 headlines on the Yahoo news summaries:

    Reuters Technology: Apple's iPod nano a holiday hit
    AP Technology: Bose Tries to Shake Up Auto Industry

    Somewhere along the line, Corporate America discovered that the news *itself*
    was a great marketing clearinghouse. The result is that a great deal of what is
    passed off as "news" is just PR campaigning for various companies.

    It's become much the way it is in politics. You give money regularly to
    political candidates, and they do your bidding. The corporate sponsors of our
    representatives (and president) know that the payee is influenced by not wanting
    to jeapordize their funding. It's not because the contributors
    "believe" in the payee's politics. If that were the case, why do
    companies typically fund *multiple* candidates in a single race? They just want
    to make sure whoever wins is in their pocket.

    No wonder independent blogs are the envy of the journalism industry. The news
    industry has gone the way of the movie industry and its "product
    placement" tactics. That's in virtually every big Hollywood production
    now. It's just another means to fill our "eyeballs" with corporate
    logos so we drive to teh store or go online and buy their products.

    It even seems that lately, consumer frenzies at Walmart and Target, and reports
    of Xbox 360's running out at our favorite retailer are what the news is. That
    and the occasional casual mention of the "local peace officer shot by

    And when (a small minority of!) our leaders do right by us by steering us into
    open formats so we're not beholden to Megacorporate Megamerica to access our own
    government documents ("that we paid for, with our money, that we
    earned"[thanks Rob Corddry]), how shocking is it that Megacorporate
    Megamerica then turns our journalism institutions into smear machines?

    I suppose that's what we deserve. By-and-large we're simply too ignorant or too
    apathetic to deserve good government, journalism, and corporate ethics. We
    don't think and we don't care; ergo we don't deserve. If we did care, we
    wouldn't further patronize these institutions when they pull stuff like this.

    Don't steal. Microsoft hates competition.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Boston Globe is a New York Times company...
    Authored by: jacks4u on Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 02:00 AM EST
    I thought it funny that all the pages had a 'copyright Ney York Times' statement at the bottom of the page.

    So, i did some looking (SEC, etc...) and thru their most recent 10Q, I can say with some certainty that the Boston Globe is deffinatelly a New York Times subsidiary.

    I'm not quite sure that has any significance, but hey, it's a start

    I'm not a Lawyer, this is my opinion only. I may be wrong, but I don't think so!

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Boston Globe Throws Mud at Peter Quinn -- Mud Lands on Boston Globe
    Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 02:05 AM EST
    The Globe made the inquiries that prompted the adminstration to investigate.
    Not much to investigate really, but who may be overreacting, but the Globe.

    Maybe some comparisions between Mr.Quinns conference attendance and any other IT
    person attending similar events should have been done. Someone might of noticed
    that Mr.Quinn may have been lagging way behind what is normal for the industry.

    It seems to be right out in the open to anyone with knowledge that
    "investigative reporting" isn't really what they have done at the

    Investigative reporting would be finding out why Massachusetts state senators
    are so dead set against odf and who is really behind all the opposition. The
    senator sponsored a bill that has cost the state a lot of money and want
    everything to flow through something that he has more control of. Why is that?

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Consider: "Microsoft's new PR blitz uses press like sock puppets"
    Authored by: grouch on Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 02:05 AM EST
    This has the smell of Microsoft: innuendo and implications surrounded by numbers, reported by someone credible, but which add up to nothing except a designed, transmitted impression.

    The title of this comment is taken from a recent story in the UK's The Inquirer. The story has this, which seems to apply equally to the current Boston Globe story:

    It works like this. If a Microsoft spokesman says it, great, it tends to get laughed off. If a credible reporter says it, more importantly if they 'discovered' it, it tends to have the credibility of a reporter. Now if an Open Source "enemy of all things good and capitalistic" raises the alarm bells, then it just has to be true, right?

    Now you might be skeptical if a convicted predatory monopoly implied something was wrong in Massachusetts, and you would probably dismiss any tale coming from someone who doctors evidence presented in Federal court. But if some normally credible reporter can be guided, coaxed or goaded into spinning the message, more people will believe.

    -- grouch

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    It Goes Deeper
    Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 02:33 AM EST
    Apparently Quinn forgot to mention since the entire universe is created by God,
    He also is a sponsor of these trips. And, unlike the other sponsors, there is a
    significant chance there was a direct communication there.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    • It Goes Deeper - Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 05:58 PM EST
    Authored by: wHo on Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 02:54 AM EST
    PJ, I think that this article by you is an overreaction. I read your article and
    started to respond - including the suggestion by one poster for feedback to be
    sent to Due to that suggestion, I read the
    article you referenced and changed my mind - whether or not MS is behind this
    (and I do think its more than likely their PR people are) the article, to me,
    was not an 'overthetop' one - eg perhaps as its only him that is targeted there
    is room to ask about certain other figures in the area's reporting and
    disclosure, partivvvvularly those whom are asking the questions.

    IAAL but not in the USA - My comments here are not legal advice and maybe only
    worth what you paid me for them.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Boston Globe had thrown mud at someone else...
    Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 04:02 AM EST
    A "Boston newspaper" doing a hit piece that come out of nowhere.

    That rang a bell and a little searching got me this.

    The Boston Globe reference is about halfway down the article.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 04:56 AM EST
    In most firms and organizations, expenses are calculated and then a fee is
    given. If for some reason you don't spend all the money, the remainder is
    yours. If for some reason you go over it and can't explain it, you pay for it.

    So I don't see how failing to account for 200+ dollars should merit an

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    • expenses - Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 10:02 AM EST
    Loathesome but effective
    Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 05:34 AM EST
    I think the message is clear; if you even *think* about switching away from Microsoft, they will come after you. You, personally. Screw the technical or even business debate. Disloyalty means punishment.

    It's vile, it's underhand, but you can't fault the reasoning. While we try to debate legislation and patent law in a grown up fashion, Microsoft just switches to playing roshambo (South Park version).

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Boston Globe Throws Mud at Peter Quinn -- Mud Lands on Boston Globe
    Authored by: luvr on Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 05:36 AM EST
    Microsoft has too much money, too many lobbyists, too much power, and not enough ethics.

    "Not enough ethics"? That's putting it mildly... "No ethics at all, none whatsoever" sounds more like it to me.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Boston Globe Throws Mud at Peter Quinn -- Mud Lands on Boston Globe
    Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 08:47 AM EST
    I suggest headline:
    A person, who tries to save hundreds of millions tax-payer's dollars is
    critisized by opposition for incomplete record of spending 200$ during his
    actions toward saving millions. Should we spend additional hundreds of millions
    to satisfy that opposition ?

    P.S. I don't understand why nobody sues goverment for using closed formats in
    communicating with citizens. This forces some citizens to buy certain software,
    they don't need. Doesn't that happen ? Isn't that unlawful ?

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Personal Funds
    Authored by: overshoot on Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 09:09 AM EST

    PJ, the fact that Mr. Quinn spent personal funds to meet with anti-Microsoft
    radicals proves just how biased he really is. This just goes to prove that the
    whole sordid affair in Massachusetts was rigged against MS from the beginning.


    [ Reply to This | # ]

    • Is that you sis? - Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 12:29 PM EST
    • Personal Funds - Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 12:58 PM EST
    • Humour alert?? - Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 03:30 PM EST
    • Personal Funds - Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 05:56 PM EST
    Mud Lands on Boston Globe?
    Authored by: jplatt39 on Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 09:15 AM EST
    I'm sorry, PJ and everyone, but now that I've read the article I can't be angry
    with them. We know what Open Source and Open Document are. Despite their
    proximity to MIT, most of their readership doesn't. Whether they were wrong to
    leave out that side of the story is arguable. Of course even I want them to
    tell it, and especially in a story like this one. I don't have to deal with the
    community they serve, though, except on the street.

    Once again I am reminded of the comment made by the guy who replaced Alexander
    Cockburn on the Village Voice's Press Clips column: "A prosecutor's brief
    is truthful. It is never objective." He was referring to the controversy
    which had just led the Voice to fire his predecessor. Cockburn's thesis was and
    is that everyone distorts the news. Everyone. Himself included. The New York
    Times, which owns the Globe, objected very strongly to his openly partisan
    discussion of their coverage of various issues and finally made things hot
    enough so Cockburn moved to the Nation.

    If the story had discussed the large number of Industry Professionals who want
    to hear Mr. Quinn or the importance to Brazil of Open Source right now, it would
    have been a different story. It would also have not been one most readers would
    have been as interested in as they are in a story about an investigation which
    could possibly mean he's covering up more serious ethical lapses (you aren't
    there). This was their judgement call.

    I don't think they're right but I do think we all are overreacting. While my
    response to your calls to be objective and try to avoid politics is "I'll
    try to be polite" I can't resist pointing out that this is a self-selected
    group who are interested in the other side of the story.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    On the Bright Side....
    Authored by: darkonc on Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 11:46 AM EST
    This is the best (worst?) they could do, and they tried to use it anyways. I smell desperation. This may actually be a good thing.

    Powerful, committed communication. Touching the jewel within each person and bringing it to life..

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Over-reaction ?
    Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 12:07 PM EST
    An over-reaction maybe but ask the question, "is this news worthy"?
    and should it have been on page 1 ? If the answer is no to either then something
    is afoot

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Payment - or Paid off
    Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 01:17 PM EST
    I work for a state agency in another state. There, it is permissible to go to
    certain conferences - but only if there is no reward to be gained. I am
    permitted to go to free conferences, as long as I do not get anything for it,
    even on agency time, if it could help my job.

    There are potential issues if I get a reward for being there (monetary mostly),
    or get products at cheaper than cost etc.

    The conference generally is required to be within the state. Travel time may or
    may not be reimbursed, and if the conference costs any money, it may be
    questioned - it recently was for an award ceremony that many went to - for an
    award no less. Yet, we gave significant amounts of money / time to a contractor
    already hired for a project that should have not been implemented.

    My question is - is this a catch 22?
    Any of the following could apply.
    1) The conference is free, therefore you must not get any rewards.
    2) The conference costs money, therefore you are not allowed to be there.
    3) Travel is being reimbursed, therefore you are not permitted to go to the
    4) If you are speaking at the conference, and travel is required, are you
    permitted to get a fee?
    5) If you are speaking at the conference, and travel is required, is the agency
    required to pay the travel fees?
    6) Is the employee allowed to go to a conference where views may be influenced?
    7) Is the employee allowed to go to a conference where views may be given by the

    So I guess the statement ends up being : If it ends up in the press or
    investigated, do not go to any conferences, and do not go to any training. It is
    only the (politically) smart thing to do...

    [ Reply to This | # ]

      My letter to the Globe ombudsman
      Authored by: blang on Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 03:32 PM EST
      I find this article to be poor journalism and I would
      like the ombudsman to look into this.

      As a background information to the ombudsman:
      Massachusetts has recently gone through a process of
      deciding on a standard for document formats. The
      standard that has been adopted is ODF.

      This choice has stirred some controversy, because
      Microsoft, who makes Word, and has near monopoly in
      this market is strongly opposed to ODF. ODF does not
      require a particular vendor's software, but allows
      independent software makers to save documents in a
      format that can be used by other software makers.
      The process that lead to the choice of ODF was open,
      and MS had full access. In fact, it would have been an
      easy task for MS to modify their software and adopt
      this standard. The reason they were against it, is
      that a standard would underminbe Microsoft's monopoly
      position. Micrsoft wold have preffered a standard
      that wold work with Microdsoft's software and nothing
      else, rendering the purpuse of such a standard null
      and void.

      We have seen a rather ugly game going on after
      Microsft failed to thwarth ODF. A state senate
      proposal tried to bury it by stating that the state
      CIO did not have authority to determine standards.

      And apparently, a game of hardball has started, by
      opening up a witch hunt on the State's CIO.

      This is a big deal for Microsft, and when they feel
      they are threatend they don't hesitate to play dirty.
      As you might be aware, Microsft was santioned by the
      US government for extensive antitrust violations, and
      they are still toeing that thin line.

      What makes this article interesting, is that
      1)The globe starts digging into Quinn's travel.
      2)The Globe finds nothing of substance, but causes the
      governor to make a review as well.
      3)That the governor looks into it, is reported as
      (So, in essence, this piece of news is not reported,
      but manufactured)
      4)The Globe writer obviously has no idea what
      conferences are.
      5)It is reported as news that Quinn did not report
      sponsors for these conferences. If the reporters knew
      how trade shows and conferences were sponsored, this
      would not have been news. To cover cost for exhibition
      hall, materials, etc. conferences are usually financed
      -rental fee for vendor booth's
      -Sponsorship (the sponsor's logo printed on conference
      -Visitor fees.
      To report this as news, is stretching it very far. A
      sober editor would have immediately dismissed such an
      article as not newsworthy and void of substance.

      The purpose of this article apparently was to reveal
      Quinn's conflict of interest. Unfortunately, all it
      managed to show is that the Globe apparently is
      dancing after Microsoft's pipe, and reveal a sad lack
      of journalistic integrity and poor sense of judgement.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      The barrel was scraped pretty thoroughly
      Authored by: sjgibbs on Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 07:44 PM EST
      On the form seeking approval to travel to Puerto Rico for five days in May 2004, to speak at an "Open Source Congress," he did not list how much the trip was expected to cost and only that the expenses were paid for by the company, Altamente, which is based in Puerto Rico.

      So, this guy went to an open source conference i.e. a gathering of people wishing to discuss open source not open formats. Open source and ODF are of the same origin. Many of the same companies were involved, and I understand the that format is an evolution of the format used by Open Office. So despite the fact they are different things (a layout of bits and a development method) they are related socially.

      Let me get to the point: despite obvious relationships between the communities involved Quinn went to an open source conference, spoke, and said absolutely nothing that would prove any bias at all in favour of Microsoft's competitors.

      That the journalist obviously knew about the conference and didn't find any evidence of bias in what was said and done there demonstrates the paucity of evidence better than anything else.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Boston Globe Throws Mud at Peter Quinn -- Mud Lands on Boston Globe
      Authored by: webster on Monday, November 28 2005 @ 01:50 AM EST
      1. After skimming the article and comments, I finally had to go back to the
      original article itself and join the fun.

      2. Note the "investigation" was instigated by inquiries from the
      Globe. They have created their own headline story out of nothing! Where was
      this in the print edition, first page? Who decided to go with the story until
      all parties were heard from? Who decided it was such a prominent story? A
      picture even!

      2.(a) He ought to sue right now. then the Globe will retract to an extent.
      then when he is not fired, indicted, or disciplined, he can get another
      retraction. The Globe will do this to minimize damages. They are making a
      clear implication of unprofessionalism and undue influence. Sue tomorrow.

      (b) Will the Globe reporters claim immunity when asked who put them up to
      this story? Will they risk contempt? If they risk contempt, will they
      volunteer for jail? We are overdue for another Holloween memo.

      3. ODF has to be killed ASAP. The Monopoly can not survive with something like
      this out there. If it gets traction, M$ Office will have to adopt it. M$
      Office will then have to lower its price or innovate implementation features to
      justify its hefty price compared with ---gasp --FREE OO.o!!! If they can kill
      it in MA, maybe no one else will dare try such a thing. This is a battle that
      must be won. The nastier the win the better so as to deter other
      "heroes." So any government official or politician better realize
      that one way or another they will go down. In order to preserve a Monopoly that
      profits around 30 million dollars a day ---30 million dollars a day, ---no price
      is too high to defend this Monopoly franchise. If it were not for a few
      governmental antitrust nuisance suits [here and Europe], we would have
      controlled all computerdom, hard and soft by now.

      4. All is fair in a good game of Monopoly. You can pass money under the table.
      You can forget to collect from allies. You can pick your trading partner and
      gang up on others. You can sell a partner a bunch of hotels just before the
      leader passes. Everyone usually realizes that if they don't get the top dog, He
      will get all of them. The Monopoly saw an opportunity to snuff out an opponent
      in Mr. Quinn. Who knows? What if something turns up like a trip to Hong Kong
      and a second beach house? I'm taking the bait. What lies beneath these
      suddenly suspicious incomplete travel vouchers? The reputation of a goverrnment
      employee is a small price to pay in the power game of life. Politicians need
      cash and the press needs advertising dollars. There are also salesmen, PR
      people, and even lawyers to do the giant's bidding. The Open and Free folks
      don't stand a chance.

      4.(a) You would think that some politician that understood all this would make
      some public plea to M$ to adopt ODF. He could explain it, educate the public,
      and make great headway for archives and interoperability. But no one will. Who
      needs extra enemies, and ones so powerful. Well maybe a lame duck could do it,
      or a retiring officeholder.

      5. It is manifest that there is no god but M$ and BG is the prophet. He has
      been to the mountaintop where he plays king of the hill by his tactics. To
      fight fair or with ethics will just give his opponents a chance. Power
      maintains power. There are still technological fields to dominate. Any
      thoughts of restraint are blasphemous.

      >>>>>>> LN 3.0 >>>>>>>>>

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Shills, oh - and the extent to which M$ will go
      Authored by: clueless on Monday, November 28 2005 @ 02:52 AM EST
      In India, it is aggressively trying to win over State governments by donating
      monetarily and technologically (if it's any different) to campaigns for computer
      education in state-run schools, invitations for partnerships, etc. Their aim is
      to catch them young, get them hooked, and locked in.

      Perhaps I shouldn't be saying this, but the anti-AIDS campaign that the Gates
      foundation so famously donates to may also serve as an obligations on the
      Governments. Perhaps I am looking at everything with a jaundiced eye.

      However, M$ is all over the media. Accolades everywhere, but hardly a passing
      reference to the patent debates, its wars with OSS etc. in even the financial
      dailies. Skewed references any day, though. It's advertising money, dear
      folks. RedHat or Novell cannot afford to have half-a-page colour ads every
      other day of the week, and to sponsor mega events to boot.

      But that's just me talking. I'm clueless.

      A farewell to silly .sigs

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Boston Globe Throws Mud at Peter Quinn -- Mud Lands on Boston Globe
      Authored by: ruskie on Monday, November 28 2005 @ 07:05 AM EST
      Here's a little something from an anecdote book about Napoleon that nicely
      describes the Media:
      Not this isn't a 1:1 copy... Sorry for the spelling
      When napolen came back from Elba isl. the following headlines were in
      papers(from landfall till he got to Paris)
      "Monster escaped from hell."
      "The corzikan canibal."
      "Tiger, beast, murdorer came to Gap"
      "The canibal who eats all is in Grenoble"
      "Lyon opens doors to tyrant"
      "Ney steps to the usurpers side"
      "Bonapate pushes onward towards Paris, but he will never come to
      "omorrow Napoleaon will be at the gates of our city""
      "The cesar came to Fontainebleau"
      "Loyal Paris happily awaits his royal higness"

      So this should be interesting to watch on :)

      I'm just a nobody IRL...
      But I'm sombody in the virtual world...

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Boston Globe Throws Mud at Peter Quinn -- Mud Lands on Boston Globe
      Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, November 28 2005 @ 08:05 AM EST
      For some reason I was convinced I read 'open competition' somewhere in the
      article - but it wasn't there.

      The word 'open' is getting a little overused these days but I would love to see
      articles that had headings like 'Microsoft Fights "Open Competition"

      Just a thought.


      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Boston Globe Throws Mud at Peter Quinn -- Mud Lands on Boston Globe
      Authored by: enigma_foundry on Monday, November 28 2005 @ 01:29 PM EST
      I would strongly urge that we start a petition to the Boston Globe, decry this
      blatent attack and the staging of such a one-sided story, and asking for a
      retraction of the article, or at very least, equal space for a reply.

      It is clear that Microsoft has decided the gloves are off, and they will stick
      at nothing to defeat .odf.

      Clearly Bill Gates is a very evil man.


      Ask the right questions.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Boston Globe Throws Mud at Peter Quinn -- Mud Lands on Boston Globe
      Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, November 28 2005 @ 02:52 PM EST
      What tech conference -- pro Windows, con or in
      between -- isn't sponsored by SOME company or
      another involved in tech?

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Surprised? Urr, No!
      Authored by: Superbiskit on Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 10:44 AM EST
      I'm greatly dissapointed by the Globe. Along with being the only real game in town, their being owned by the NY Times should have made their reporting less sleazy. They have been a good "second-rank" paper in the past.

      But none of us should pretend to be shocked. We know we're dealing here with folk who haven't the slightest notion of the concept of "business ethics." In fact, I suspect, if one questioned S.Balmer or W.Gates on the topic, they would laugh and say the only "ethic" is to make as much money as possible.

      I imagine Peter Quinn is way up their on S.B.'s people to "*@#!!!n bury."

      I won't say the money-pot always wins, but it wins damn often.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

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