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The information on Groklaw is not intended to constitute legal advice. While Mark is a lawyer and he has asked other lawyers and law students to contribute articles, all of these articles are offered to help educate, not to provide specific legal advice. They are not your lawyers.

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Peter Quinn Exonerated
Monday, December 12 2005 @ 05:33 PM EST

The attack was front page "news" in the Boston Globe. The exoneration of Peter Quinn, whose only "sin" was wanting to use OpenDocument Format instead of Microsoft's solution, is now complete. The bogus investigation is over, and they couldn't find any dirt. All trips were, in fact, authorized by his supervisor, Eric Kriss, Kriss has confirmed. Further, Kriss told Quinn he didn't have to do the paperwork, because he thought that requirement no longer applied. Quinn is innocent.

Of course, the Boston Globe doesn't put the correction on page one. So I will. And they run it on a Saturday, which I expect means the lowest readership of the week. So this story on Groklaw will stay at the top of all other stories through Tuesday, to make sure everyone sees that this decent and honorable man was dragged through the mud for nothing.

How do you give a man back his good name?

Can you imagine if bloggers had done what the Boston Globe did to Peter Quinn? There'd be editorials and news stories and editorials pretending to be news stories all over the place. After all, the Globe printed the accusations without reaching Kriss. It was Thanksgiving, and he wasn't immediately reachable. Had they waited, they'd have known that what Quinn told the Globe was true: Kriss approved the trips. Then they'd have known there was no story, and Quinn's reputation would have remained unsullied. Attack of the Journos. With a Special Interest Group overtone.

Now, here on Groklaw, I'd never print something like that. I'd wait until I could reach Kriss. If someone else beat me to the punch, I wouldn't care. Ethics matter, because that is what you offer as a blogger or citizen journalist: that special interests can't influence you, that your voice is authentically your own, and that no one can make you do what the Boston Globe did to Peter Quinn.

The story is in the local news section, "Review backs trips by technology chief". Here's a snip:

The Romney administration's chief technology officer did not violate conflict-of-interest standards or other rules when he took 12 out-of-state trips to attend conferences during the past year without obtaining the written approval of his boss, according to a review by the governor's budget chief.

Peter J. Quinn, director of the state's Informational Technology Division and its chief information officer, received verbal authorization for all the trips from Eric A. Kriss, who then was secretary of administration and finance, Eric Fehrnstrom, director of communications for Romney, said yesterday.

Of course they don't just do the human thing and apologize. They could get sued, I supppose, if they did. Kriss's replacement, Thomas Trimarco, is sending out a memo to all that these rules are so very, very vital and need to be followed, blah blah. How funny people are. It's very hard to acknowledge an error and just say you're sorry. Someone tried to stab Quinn in the back, to try to get a leg up in the ODF battle by character assassination. Unfortunately for the Dark Side, he's an honest man, who, it turns out, paid out his own money sometimes without even seeking reimbursement. So, once again, the Dark Side merely succeeded in making itself look bad.

The Dark Side thinks that if they lift up an Open Source rock, they'll find things crawling around. But it's not that way. FOSS is built on an ethical framework, and a practical one too. It's all done in the open, so there's no way to give a home to creepy crawly things. So, they'd best find a better way to fight fair and square.

Let me stress, for the fact-challenged, that ODF is not FOSS. It's available to be used by both FOSS and proprietary software. But I am writing in a bigger frame now, about Dark Side tactics. And character assassination is what they seem to prefer to use as a weapon. The despicable attacks on Linus, on the Linux development process, on Groklaw. I see a pattern. And Linus keeps on truckin', and so does Linux, and so do I. Groklaw continues to grow. In fact, every time Groklaw is attacked, we get new members. Every time. People aren't stupid. They can smell viciousness, and they don't like it.

The Globe reporter does an honorable job of clearing the air, in that he doesn't pretend that they got it right originally, but instead tells the entire story. In that, I commend him. And it's not his fault if it's not on page one. He doesn't get to decide that.

Andy Updegrove would like some answers from The Boston Globe. He has written to the Globe's ombudsman, asking the following questions:

1. Did Mr. Kurkjian decide to look into Mr. Quinn's travel on his own, or was this suggested to him by someone?

2. If there was a source, who was that source?

3. If there was a source, was that source inside the Massachusetts government or outside?

4. If the source was inside the government, were the disclosures made to Mr. Kurkjian made in violation of any State policy?

5. If the source was outside the government, did the source have any affiliations that would lead him or her to have an interest in the disparagement of Mr. Quinn?

6. Why did Mr. Kurkjian not wait to run the story until he was able to reach Mr. Kriss, who Mr. Kurkjian knew could confirm or disprove the basis for the story?

7. Was this story, and the investigation behind it, in compliance with the Globe's policies?

I am particularly fascinated by questions 2, 4, and 5. Number 6 is, of course, the question I raised immediately when the Globe's attack piece first hit their front page. You can read the entire letter on Updegrove's blog.

The best way to deal with dirty tricks is to shine the light on them. The Dark Side likes to hide in the shadows. I'm not saying there were dirty tricks here, though it smells plenty funny. An investigation would be nice, to find out. Sooner or later, all the facts will leak out, you know, anyway. So the Boston Globe might as well be straightforward and forthcoming and let us know what happened in this incident, most particularly who started the ball rolling. We'll be able to figure the why of it from there.


Peter Quinn Exonerated | 387 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Corrections here thread
Authored by: chrisdj on Saturday, December 10 2005 @ 11:35 AM EST
You know you want to...

[ Reply to This | # ]

Offffff Topic Here
Authored by: pfusco on Saturday, December 10 2005 @ 11:49 AM EST
make 'em clickable

only the soul matters in the end

[ Reply to This | # ]

Peter Quinn Exonerated
Authored by: kawabago on Saturday, December 10 2005 @ 11:51 AM EST
When I was a civil servant every time I was unfairly attacked by someone I was
invariably exonerated and promoted. So this will probably end up being very
good for Peter's career. At least there is a little something good that comes
back from character assination.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Peter Quinn Exonerated
Authored by: J.F. on Saturday, December 10 2005 @ 12:15 PM EST
It's that integrity that makes Groklaw my first stop every morning. I brew up a
nice pot of coffee, and enjoy the first cup while checking what happened
overnight. Sometimes I got to be careful - I don't have one of those
coffee-proof keyboards. Sometimes the news is hilarious, and sometimes it can
turn your stomach, but I can always count on Groklaw to give it to me straight,
with all the links to back it up. The supporting links are important - even if
you think PJ is being biased in her analysis, you can always get the straight
facts and make your own opinions. Mine tend to coincide with hers.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: dahnielson on Saturday, December 10 2005 @ 12:18 PM EST
You learn something new everytime you read Groklaw. Thank you PJ! Today I learned a new word: exonerated.

And yes, my native language isn't english.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Despicable attacks on Linux
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 10 2005 @ 12:39 PM EST
The despicable attacks on the Linux development process in particular should
stop because, despite IBM telling otherwise, it is completely open. As is the
Linux contribution process once it leaves the IBM Linux Technology Center.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Peter Quinn Exonerated
Authored by: blacklight on Saturday, December 10 2005 @ 12:44 PM EST
"The Dark Side thinks that if they lift up an Open Source rock, they'll
find things crawling around."

If there really were things crawling around said Open Source rock, the Dark Side
would have lifted said rock long ago if only because it has a vested interest in
doing so. What the Dark Side has been doing is lifting every rock in sight
including the Open Source rock and insinuating that some of the crawlies are
from Open Source.

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 | # ]

Of course he's honest
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 10 2005 @ 12:45 PM EST
Unfortunately for the Dark Side, he's an honest man

Of course he's honest. If he weren't, he would have sold out to the Dark Side and mandated MS only long ago. The fact they find such action necessary absolutely proves that he's not corruptible.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Pro bono
Authored by: jasontn on Saturday, December 10 2005 @ 12:53 PM EST
Is anyone willing to assist pro bono if Peter Quinn wishes to sue Boston Globe?
Let's lay out the options.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Peter Quinn Exonerated
Authored by: blacklight on Saturday, December 10 2005 @ 12:56 PM EST
"The bogus investigation is over, and they couldn't find any dirt. All
trips were, in fact, authorized by his supervisor, Eric Kriss."

I don't think that any civil servant could take 12 daylong/multiday trips in one
year, and not have his supervisor notice his absence and demand justification
for his absence. And that especially applies if said civil servant is high up in
the hierarchy and needs to interface with a bunch of high level people on a day
to day basis.

The only exception to the rule that I can think of is that the guy is one of the
high level fraudsters who work for the Roslyn, LI school board. And Eric Quinn
certainly has nothing to do with either Long Island or the state of New York.

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 | # ]

By Stephen Kurkjian, Globe Staff
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 10 2005 @ 12:58 PM EST

"[Peter J.] Quinn told the Globe that he had received the verbal authorization for all the trips from [Eric A.] Kriss, his immediate superior, but phone calls to Kriss's home seeking comment at the time were not returned.

In an interview this week, Kriss confirmed that he had verbally approved all of Quinn's requests to travel to conferences in 2005. Kriss said he relieved Quinn of the responsibility of filling out the forms for the trips this year..."

"I knew of every trip that Peter was taking, and I approved them all," Kriss said.

Me thinks Kurkjian could have been a wee more careful in his original article.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Such a Deal...
Authored by: Fogey on Saturday, December 10 2005 @ 01:22 PM EST
I was struck by just how little money was involved. For a conference to get a
sought after, high draw, speaker for a thousand bucks or less has GOT to be a
"bargain basement" price. Having traveled quite a bit on business, I'm
also pretty sure that Mr. Quinn wasn't accepting even small honoraria. Those
numbers just about have to be actual costs.

I'd say that, instead of any injury, the Commonwealth got a ton of promotion,
positive exposure, and good will, for a taxpayer cost of zero. See what open
source can do for you?<G>

Old age and treachery ALWAYS
beats Youth and enthusiasm!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Why did this take so long?
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 10 2005 @ 01:35 PM EST

Is Kriss that hard to reach?

[ Reply to This | # ]

A pox on Microsoft's "standards"!
Authored by: lifewish on Saturday, December 10 2005 @ 01:45 PM EST
I've just spent about an hour and a half trying to extract a .pst (Outlook
archive) file to some kind of Linux-based email system or a readable format.
After about half an hour of tinkering with Thunderbird, Evolution and the like,
I concluded that web browsing was needed. With a little searching, I came across
the readpst converter, and attempted to apply it. It didn't work, as they
haven't managed to reverse-engineer the Outlook 2003 formats yet.

Ah, but wait! My mother has Windows on her computer - I can open it there and
save it in a sensible file format! Um... or at least I could if Microsoft had
the slightest interest in reverse compatibility (parent only has Outlook
Express). Of course, they changed the format with Outlook 2003, and
"forgot" to provide any way to open said format in older versions of
their product.

I have absolutely no idea how I am going to extract these (fairly important,
albeit personal) emails as, to the best of my knowledge, I have absolutely no
access to a system running Outlook 2003. The only good thing about the situation
is that it gave me a beautiful retort to the aforementioned parent, who had been
complaining about the time I wasted using what she called a "nonstandard
system" (Linux, of course) - thanks to Microsoft's dollarhunt, her system
was no longer standard either.

The greed of the few trumps the need of the many

[ Reply to This | # ]

Peter Quinn Exonerated
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 10 2005 @ 02:32 PM EST
Does the boston globe have an apposing publication in the commonwealth that
would be interested in investigating this ? I am sure if they could find dirt
here it
would sell very well.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Peter Quinn Exonerated
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 10 2005 @ 02:35 PM EST
you should print that and submit it as an editorial or letter to the editor to
the globe.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Most Telling Quote
Authored by: ChefBork on Saturday, December 10 2005 @ 02:42 PM EST

To me, the most telling quote from Andy Updegrove's blog is this:

    The question that remains, is why did the Globe make these inquiries, and did it conduct the degree of investigation prior to reporting the story that is consistent with responsible journalism?

[Emphasis is mine]

His narrative continues with how little of a story there actually was and casts a light into the dark corners of the Globe's actions seeking an answer to:

    ...why the Globe felt that it needed to rush the story to print before making further efforts to learn whether it indeed had a story to report at all.

He asks good and pointed questions that the Globe should answer.

Thank You, PJ, for your practice of providing links to all sources you use in your articles. This pactice, common to all good bloggers, is what makes blogs like yours and Andy's respectable. I've found that such blogs are more educational and trustworthy than newspapers, magazines, and TV news. This may be because the bloggers I trust have more interest in getting the whole story and getting it right, from their standpoint, than normal journalists. I think this is most likely due to little to no pressures from publication deadlines, advertisers, etc.

Groklaw's standing, IMHO, is high because of this and the ability of its readers to continue the discussion and add their own "proofs" to their perspectives and interpretations. The immediacy of such comments is much better than can be achieved in letters to editors, as editorial control and publication delays add a distance between such replies and the original article.

Since I started reading Groklaw, I find myself going online to further research subjects mentioned in normal journalistic outlets to get "the whole story". Many times I find that those outlets either misunderstand, misconstrue, or incompletely report on subjects in which I have interest.

If two heads are better than one, then why are liars two-faced and being of two minds indecisive?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Boston Globe Reporter Investigated for Plagiarism!!
Authored by: kozmcrae on Saturday, December 10 2005 @ 03:14 PM EST
It is being investigated on various Internet Blogs as to whether Pulitzer Prize
winning reporter Steve Kurkjian is under investigation for plagiarism.  His
report on Massachusetts CIO Peter Quinn looked suspicious from the start.
Attempts to contact his employer Saturday morning (1:33 am) came to no avail (I
yelled out my bedroom window).  This would be a serious allegation if there was
even a shred of truth to it.  I will continue vigorously investigate the facts.
Industry experts say this is simply the last gasps of black-finger journalism.
Expect an update soon.


Note: Black fingers are what you get when you read a newspaper.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Boston Press Coverage?
Authored by: rsteinmetz70112 on Saturday, December 10 2005 @ 03:49 PM EST
I would like to know how prominent the Media coverage of the whole ODF question
has been in Boston. It is hard to tell from a distance.

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 | # ]

"Ethics matter" Do they? Why?
Authored by: Hyrion on Saturday, December 10 2005 @ 04:00 PM EST

P.J. gives strong statements that ethics matter.

  1. Why?
  2. What are the benefits to having ethics?
  3. What are the costs?
  4. Do ethics underlie the values and freedoms that the Constitution upholds?
Ethics can be defined as: A set of moral principles or values.

So what are morals? Morals can be defined as: Modes of conduct that are taught and accepted as embodying principles of right and good.

So what does that mean? Principles of right and good. Doesn't the Constitution embody certain freedoms so that the "Principles of right and good" can be upheld? Does the Constitution itself embody certain principles of right and good?

I submit one possibility for what ethics and morals mean, and how they impact our Social structure can be found here!

What is Society and how does the Individual relate?

Question: What is more important, the Society or the individual?

That's actually a bit of a trick question. My answer is that neither the Society nor the individual are more important. Each is equally important.

Let's say you have a hermit living far from any communities. That individual has to work hard each day to provide food, shelter, security. Let's say a second hermit is living not far from the first. They eventually agree to work together for security. Well, now when each sleeps they can sleep with the knowledge the other is providing them protection for wayward predators.

Two individuals working together. I believe that's the start of a Society. An individual on his/her own can not possibly be defined as a Society. The benefits of belonging to a Society can readily be seen. Ultimately those benefits can be described as: We each have to work less in order to provide the same levels of benefits. If we wish to benefit from the efforts of another, we automatically become included in the deffinition of a Society. The only way to avoid being part of Society is to seperate ourselves and do everything on our own without anyone else.

Can a Society exist if all members leave it? Based on the definition, I'd say once no one works together with another, there is no Society. The individual benefits from the whole, the whole can not exist without more then one individual. Neither the Society, nor the Individual is more important. One can not exist as effectively without the other.

The Constitution is design to protect certain freedoms and rights of the individual. So how does the Constitution end up benefiting the Society? If the basic individual is protected, isn't it more likely the individual will be a willing part of the Society? If the individual can not benefit from being part of the Society, is the individual nothing more then a slave? Individuals, sooner or later, fight for freedom. The Society that can't protect and guard an individuals freedom will loose that individual. History is filled with examples.

There are many kinds of dreams. All can be reached if a person chooses. - RS

[ Reply to This | # ]

It must be great to be you
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 10 2005 @ 04:22 PM EST
I mean, you say over and over and over again that decent people apologise when
they are wrong, but checking the past history of Groklaw, it appears that you
consider that you have never, ever been wrong. About anything. Ever.

That's some record you have going there. An incredible record, I might even

[ Reply to This | # ]

Always ask "Why is this news?"
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 10 2005 @ 05:34 PM EST
A few thoughts:

1. The Boston Globe is owned by The New York Times, which has had its own
journalistic ethics problems over the last few years and, as a result,
instituted an "ombudsman" post -- it is possible that the Globe's
ombudsman to which a GL friend sent a letter was created at the same time.

2. One of the most important questions to ask when reading a news story is
"Why is this news?" That is, how did the journalist come up with the
story and why did the editors think, of all the events in the world that could
be described, this particular one was "fit to print" (to paraphrase
the Times' motto).

3. If a publication was serious about demonstrating to the public that it is
providing a balanced, fair, realistic, etc. view of the world (if that is one of
its purported objectives -- and I would guess it is for the BG and the NYT),
they should routinely publish information relating to the creation of an article
(consistent with protecting sources and other journalistic principles). Also of
interest are the stories that were not published.

[ Reply to This | # ]

"In fact, every time Groklaw is attacked, we get new members."
Authored by: josmith42 on Saturday, December 10 2005 @ 07:34 PM EST

Ever heard the old cliche: "There's no such thing as bad press"? This may only apply when your record is spotless, or close to it.

This comment was typed using the Dvorak keyboard layout. :-)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 10 2005 @ 09:04 PM EST
Can you imagine if bloggers had done what the Boston Globe did to Peter Quinn?

The implication here is that if bloggers had sullied his name there would have been some moral outrage? Possibly against all bloggers. Perhaps I missed the point of the paragraph but to me blogs are largely 'anonymous' opinion pieces.

I respect PJs right to have an opinion and in this case she is right to be outraged about the media surrounding these issues. My opinion is that blogs should be taken with a grain of salt though. Maybe Newspapers should be taken with salt, lemon wedges and vodka.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Bloggers - Authored by: urzumph on Saturday, December 10 2005 @ 11:52 PM EST
    • Bloggers - Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, December 11 2005 @ 06:12 PM EST
Peter Quinn Exonerated
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 10 2005 @ 09:51 PM EST
I guarantee that Microsoft has just given a big discount to the boston globe for
their software untill the year 2020.
Of course it was because they have been such good and loyal customers (wink wink
from Steve Ballmer).

I think the boston globe should switch to linux.

[ Reply to This | # ]

How to damage a reputation without really trying
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, December 11 2005 @ 12:46 AM EST
All you gotta do is publish something in the newspaper that looks bad, follow up
later quietly with the truth once the damage has been done. No lawsuits.

They did this with Al Gore, too. Remember that whole "I invented the
internet" garbage? He never said that. He said he took the initiative to
help fund the internet, but some reporters said the wrong thing, and it stuck in
the minds of the American people, so much so that they remember "I invented
the internet" even when it has been explained over and over that he never
said that. Exactly what is going on here. Cast aspersions on the OpenDocument

Dirty tactics 101.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Ethics in Journalism
Authored by: tredman on Sunday, December 11 2005 @ 12:57 AM EST

I was following a Slashdot link to Xooglers, a site for former Google employees to reflect on their time there, both the good and the bad. One of the bloggers, Doug, has a background that includes working in the newspaper industry. I was particular taken by a paragraph he posted regarding taking risks in print media:

Working at a newspaper had only reinforced this tendency. Journalists consider their efforts the “first draft of history” and most devote enormous effort to ensuring the accuracy and fairness of what they report. Newspaper staffers suffer even more paranoia on this front than their colleagues in broadcast news, because print produces a physical artifact that cannot be disputed. I found editors, reporters and publishers to be extremely conservative about taking big risks that could expose their brands to charges of unfairness, or worse, inaccuracy.

Boy, do we have some "journalists" to introduce him to.

"I drank what?" - Socrates, 399 BCE

[ Reply to This | # ]

Peter Quinn Exonerated
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, December 11 2005 @ 03:19 AM EST
Question posited to the Boston Globe's "Miss Conduct":

When a newspaper journalist, and his or her editor, have published potentially
inflammatory and libelous information about a public official on their front
page, don't they have a responsibility to publish the exoneration of that
official on the front page as well?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Letter to Boston Globe
Authored by: tanstaafl on Sunday, December 11 2005 @ 11:32 PM EST
I just submitted this letter to the Editor at The Globe:

Dear Folks:

The recent story by Stephen Kurkjian clearing Peter Quinn of traveling and
attending conferences without permission was gratifying to see, but it begs the
question: Why was Mr. Quinn's boss at the time, Eric Kriss, not consulted
before the story was published? For that matter, why was the retraction not
published on the same page the original story was (page one)?

I am conservative and sometimes find The Globe's stance to be on the left side
of issues, but I have always admired your organization for its professionalism
and honesty. I cannot fault Mr. Kurkjian for working on the story, but I do
question the judgement of the _editor_ who chose to publish the story before all
sources were consulted. A lot of people, myself included, think that the story
of ODF in Massachussetts is important and follow it closely, but I am a
techno-geek, a software engineer by trade; was this story really so important to
the average reader of the Globe that it could not wait three or four days until
Mr. Kriss could be contacted before being printed? For that matter, was the
legal department asleep at the switch? Could this not expose The Globe to a
civil action?

I sincerely hope that somebody in the editorial ranks is held to task for this
mistake. It would also be nice if the retraction were to be given the same
prominence as the original attack. Mr. Quinn is, so far as anybody has been
able to discern, doing his job, but his good name has been smeared. What are
you going to do about it?

Phil Long

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Argh - Authored by: lifewish on Monday, December 12 2005 @ 05:43 AM EST
    • Argh - Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, December 12 2005 @ 08:28 AM EST
  • Letter to Boston Globe - Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, December 12 2005 @ 05:57 PM EST
Peter Quinn Exonerated
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, December 12 2005 @ 07:50 PM EST
I have been following the story of Mr. Quinn story with great interest and after
reading the information on this page decided to find the Boston Globe's website
and leave them a short messaging congratulating them on there shoddy journalism,
encourage them to keep up there low standards of journalism as it will help
there competitors put them out of existence or at least into chapter 11.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Who singled out Quinn?
Authored by: afeldspar on Monday, December 12 2005 @ 08:42 PM EST
OK, here's an interesting train of thought:

We now know, from Kriss' testimony, that Quinn asked for verbal permission for
all trips he took, and that as far as Kriss believed, that was standard
procedure. Quinn and Kriss both believed that this all that was necessary:
verbal authorization as long as the amount isn't very high.

So we can imagine that everyone who worked for Kriss had pretty much the same
understanding of what was required. And unless we believe that Quinn was the
only person who worked for Kriss who ever travelled as part of their work, we
can expect that pretty much everyone who worked for Kriss would have similar
"irregularities" in their records.

Who singled out Peter Quinn as the one who should be investigated?

Now that we know that Quinn must have been one of a much larger number who
looked just as "bad" on paper (at least to a suspicious mind) the idea
that it was someone without an ulterior motive who prompted the investigation is
even more preposterous.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Another "Open Document Format" - LaTeX
Authored by: clark_kent on Tuesday, December 13 2005 @ 11:56 AM EST

This is one that Bill Gates wishes would go away. It is the defacto standard for publishing University level research papers to Research Journals. Some journals have migrated to the Gates system.

The website claims... LaTeX is a high-quality typesetting system, with features designed for the production of technical and scientific documentation. LaTeX is the de facto standard for the communication and publication of scientific documents.

Anybody own the software patent on this concept? If not, why? Prior art? Grandfather clause? Why can't Microsoft shut this down? Why can't this also be submitted as an open standard to the Massachusetts Open Document cause? One uses a simple text editor to set it up, such as Notepad, Emacs, or vi. Or you can use some GUI LaTeX programs available on Linux. (Oh, but were we just migrating to another office format, not the complete OS migration too? Oh, that would just kill Microsoft now would it? Gotta protect those special interests and follow up on those political favors that are not suppose to exist due to conflict-of-interest policies, right?)

For those that remain faithful, here is

[ Reply to This | # ]

Peter Quinn Exonerated
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, December 15 2005 @ 02:17 PM EST
This site has amazing information and is incredibly insightful, thoughtful, dedicated, irreplacable, and very necessary. Having said that, I'm worried that superficially, some news on the site reads like sensationalism at a rough glance, in the same way as The Register's writing style (just an observation, I have no comment on The Register). For example:

The attack was front page "news" in the Boston Globe. The exoneration of Peter Quinn, whose only "sin" was wanting to use OpenDocument Format instead of Microsoft's solution, is now complete.
Couldn't this be written differently? Such as:

The allegation made the front page of the Boston Globe. The exoneration of Peter Quinn, who was recently focused on standardizing on the OpenDocument Format instead of Microsoft's proposed solution, is now complete.
By using the word "sin" in quotes it makes it look like you're scoffing at the idea that it would be a sin to standardize on something other than MS, I get that, but it is a less tactful way of stating the same fact. Using the word "sin" so loosely could be likened to religious zealots who do the same. I would just like to see this site distanced from any criticism that doesn't focus on the facts and information at hand.

It would be great to avoid any possible negative noise caused by language that does not focus immediately on the facts and throws in something superficial just because it was written in the heat of the moment (like using the word attack, a strong word that could be used by martyrs, by which outsiders may confuse OSS users with fanatics, when a more relevant yet still factually correct term could be used).

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