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Linux Today Founder Calls for Boycott of Linux Today 744

Posted by michael
from the doh dept.
dave writes "I founded and managed Linux Today in 1998, bringing it up from nothing into the most powerful and large Linux news website in the world, in less than a year. I am now calling on the Linux community to boycott my creation until its current owners stop accepting money from Microsoft to publish blatantly anti-Linux/pro-Microsoft ads."
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Linux Today Founder Calls for Boycott of Linux Today

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  • Ads on Slashdot (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ziondreams (760588) * <ziondreams AT gmail DOT com> on Friday June 04, 2004 @04:20PM (#9338808) Homepage

    I was shocked to find the very same ads mentioned in the article on this site a while back. I've always thought of /. as a very pro-linux community...let alone the OSDN, who, I'm assuming serves the ads.
    • Re:Ads on Slashdot (Score:5, Informative)

      by t--f-c (76987) on Friday June 04, 2004 @04:25PM (#9338889)
      agreed, I've been noticing the "informative" ads on here recently regarding TCO of MS vs Linux and all sorts of other make me gag FUD, but I was wondering just how much control the people selling the ad-space (i.e. Linux Today and /.) have in the content, vs the ad buyers who can possibly dictate which websites they get served on... I have no experience in this arena, but I imagine it isn't a terribly far stretched idea to see a request of ads on certain websites from ad time buyers..
      • Re:Ads on Slashdot (Score:5, Interesting)

        by cshark (673578) on Friday June 04, 2004 @04:32PM (#9339005)
        I agree, but let's be practical. Microsoft is one of the biggest advertisers on the internet today. They have real money. If you're going to boycott LinuxToday, you're also going to need to boycott the OSDN which runs many of the same ads.
        • by OECD (639690) on Friday June 04, 2004 @04:50PM (#9339268) Journal

          If you're going to boycott LinuxToday, you're also going to need to boycott the OSDN which runs many of the same ads.

          Hmmm. Has /. has signed on to the boycott? Notice that there's no link [linunxtoday.com] to the 'offending' site? (Remember, a couple days or so ago, a /. story helpfully provided a link to slashdot.org.)

        • Re:Ads on Slashdot (Score:3, Insightful)

          by DickBreath (207180)
          If you're going to boycott LinuxToday, you're also going to need to boycott the OSDN which runs many of the same ads.

          Not true.

          I would never point a decision maker or prospective Linux user to a slashdot link. I might have once pointed them to a Linux Today link.
        • by symbolic (11752) on Friday June 04, 2004 @05:57PM (#9340051)

          As long as sucking on Bill's teat doesn't create any issues with respect to journalistic integrity, I'm not worried, and find it rather funny that M$ is supporting the competition.
          • by cshark (673578) on Friday June 04, 2004 @06:34PM (#9340359)
            It's funny isn't it?

            I would personally take ads from Microsoft or Google, or anyone who wanted ads on any of my web sites. The more the better. It's not really an issue of integrity. It's an issue of getting paid. I like getting paid. It supports things like my smoking habit, and my patch habit, and my food and shelter habit. These things might not sound important if you're living with mom, but trust me. These are the things that matter.

            Hey wouldn't it be funny if /. or Linux Today posted the Microsoft ads, but allowed comments on them? That would be a riot. In fact, you might even be able to work out a deal with the beast where their own people can post anti Linux comments to go along with the ads. It would be funny to shoot them down, and it would support the open source community.

            It's all in good fun.

      • Re:Ads on Slashdot (Score:5, Interesting)

        by steve_l (109732) on Friday June 04, 2004 @04:43PM (#9339174) Homepage
        What irritates me is when amazon do it. On my own book. There is a sponsored link on my book pointing people at the TCO comparisons -the one we know were so unbiased.

        Can I get the links taken down? nope, they pay, they get. All I can do is make sure the next edition has no support for Windows whatsoever.
      • Re:Ads on Slashdot (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Davgeary (107810) <gearysterNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday June 04, 2004 @05:01PM (#9339412) Homepage
        I find the call for a boycott astounding. Do we not want people to try the different options available to them and decide which is superior?

        Are we so unsure of the superiority of Linux that we believe that a simple banner ad could derail that process of testing and deciding? All the banner ads in the world won't change the basic truths of how things work. I use WinXP at work, because that's what they choose. I use RedHat at home, because that's what I choose. More information is always better than less information when it comes to making decisions.

        Dave G.
        • Re:Ads on Slashdot (Score:5, Insightful)

          by bmw (115903) on Friday June 04, 2004 @05:12PM (#9339538)
          More information is always better than less information when it comes to making decisions.

          Yes but what about misinformation?
        • Re:Ads on Slashdot (Score:4, Insightful)

          by IWannaBeAnAC (653701) on Friday June 04, 2004 @05:23PM (#9339683)
          More information is always better than less information when it comes to making decisions.

          Of course. But Microsoft advertisments are the absolute bottom of the heap of crud and lies. Could you really recommend to people to base purchasing decisions on a Microsoft advert?

        • Re:Ads on Slashdot (Score:4, Insightful)

          by coupland (160334) * <dchase@hotmaGINSBERGil.com minus poet> on Friday June 04, 2004 @06:02PM (#9340091) Journal
          Sorry, you're making a fundamental mistake if you think this boycott is wrong. Yes, people should be free to pick and choose, and compare Linux to Windows and choose Windows if they think it's better, and to say so, publicly, and in advertisements. And people should also be allowed to boycott sites companies or products that they don't like. And they should be allowed to do it even for such illogical reasons as "I love Linux, and I hate Windows". Just smile, shake your head, and go on about your day. You don't have to agree, nor does that make them wrong. Just two different, and perfectly valid, opinions.
          • Re:Ads on Slashdot (Score:5, Interesting)

            by thakadu (776967) on Friday June 04, 2004 @06:49PM (#9340529)
            Yes, two different, and perfectly valid opinions. It always seems unfair when one side appears to be more honest than the other (at least to me) and the honest side then loses the race. A friend recently commented that conservatives are always going to win because they have perfected the art of non-accountability. I think he was referring to the party designated as R on C-span but this could equally apply to dishonest ad sponsors.
        • Re:Ads on Slashdot (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Maestro4k (707634) on Friday June 04, 2004 @06:05PM (#9340113) Journal
          • Are we so unsure of the superiority of Linux that we believe that a simple banner ad could derail that process of testing and deciding?
          You're missing the point, we're not scared of the TCO studies, we know them to be FUD, and could easily explain how and why to a boss/etc. The problem is that having ads that promote Microsoft at the cost of Linux on a Linux news site gives the impression of lack of confidence in the content on that site. If you were a pointy-haired boss and your IT guys wanted you to read an article on Linux Today and you see those ads panning Linux are you going to be swayed by the article any at all? Most likely not, as the ads have given you the preconceived notion going into the article that Linux costs more than the Microsoft stuff you're already using.

          In fact most PHBs would probably see the ads and not bother reading the article.

        • Re:Ads on Slashdot (Score:4, Insightful)

          by shaitand (626655) * on Friday June 04, 2004 @06:17PM (#9340196) Journal
          One amendment which unfortunately invalidates your point... on this subject at least:

          "More information is always better than less information when it comes to making decisions."

          More ACCURATE and CORRECT information is always better than less information when it comes to making decisions.

          The problem is that these ads point to false and doctored information. When a CEO is going to linuxtoday because he's being asked to make a multi-million dollar switch and wants to have a peek at what he's buying... well there's nothing wrong with him seeing accurate information from both sides. But when he goes to linuxtoday and sees links to slander published by Microsoft... that's pretty serious. To the level it should be illegal and may well be an abuse of their monopoly.

          Microsoft isn't actually allowed to do anything to support or encourage their own status as a monopoly after all.
    • So, if (Score:4, Insightful)

      by millahtime (710421) on Friday June 04, 2004 @04:27PM (#9338907) Homepage Journal
      So, if /. has these adds too (which they do) should we boycott /. too? As I am typing this I am reading a M$ ad on the submit page.
      • Re:So, if (Score:5, Insightful)

        by slipstick (579587) on Friday June 04, 2004 @04:45PM (#9339210)
        Nope, because the similarity is only skin deep.

        While /. is primarily pro-linux, Linux is not it's entire reason for being. Information of all types for Nerds is given, including but not limited to Oracle, IBM, your rights on-line, hardware, gaming, PDA's etc.,etc.

        LinuxToday is "only" a Linux site. Accepting money
        from a biased source to provide FUD is insulting to the community that the site is directed at.

        I accept the /. presentation of the Microsoft FUD because this isn't a Linux only site.
    • Re:Ads on Slashdot (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Total_Wimp (564548) on Friday June 04, 2004 @04:31PM (#9338994)
      And this is the community with the battle cry, "Free, as in speech"?
      • Re:Ads on Slashdot (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Openstandards.net (614258) <slashdot@NoSPAM.openstandards.net> on Friday June 04, 2004 @04:48PM (#9339238) Homepage
        So, free speech now means being silent when corporate cash is used to spread FUD diluting the truth?

        Boycotting is speech and democracy combined.

        • Re:Ads on Slashdot (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Sean80 (567340) on Friday June 04, 2004 @05:11PM (#9339529)
          You could not physically be more wrong. Recently, one of the larger television stations refused to air one of MoveOn.orgs advertisements. Political reasons. As we all know, Disney also refused to distribute Fahrenheit 9/11. The list could go on and on. One person's FUD is another person's truth. You can't like free speech when it works for you, and hate it when it doesn't. It's as simple as that. Who decides what's truth here? You? What if Microsoft is actually right? And if you think that's anything other than a rhetorical question, you've missed the point entirely.

          No, you don't have to be silent about your disagreeing with one person's representation of the truth, but asking an entire community to boycott a website due to the advertisements which it runs is a dangerous, dangerous slide into the sort of polarity we see in the United States today.

          • So now free speech is "dangerous"?

            He can ask the community anything he wants. That's free speech. If the community chooses to do it, that's democracy.

            If free speech that can promote democracy is dangerous, then I want to live on the edge.

            I loved the book Fahrenheit 451, but I've been boycotting Disney for years, so would never buy the documentary. ROFL!! If you think Moore's documentary is so critical it MUST get out, then you obviously didn't read the 451 book he titles it after, or it didn't sin

          • Re:Ads on Slashdot (Score:4, Insightful)

            by bit01 (644603) on Friday June 04, 2004 @06:09PM (#9340139)

            Agreed. There is an additional factor though.

            It's possible to stop free speech not only with too little message but also with too much noise.

            No person can interpret every message out there. Large corporations can and do try to crowd out alternative points of view by the sheer volume of their message. Look at Coca-Cola/McDonalds. How many Coke/McD ad's have you seen? The purpose of their ad's is not to inform you of something you already know but to crowd out the competition's viewpoint. Mindshare is everything.

            Having said that I have no problem with open source web sites taking M$ money for limited banner ad's because as long as they are not lying it presents a valid, alternative point of view.

            Not surprisingly microsoft.com doesn't allow quid pro quo for exactly that reason. Because M$ presents an unbalanced viewpoint I have no problem with sites like slashdot trying to balance that out.

            I have a big problem with the astro-turfers though - they should do jail time for fraud.

            ---

            It's wrong that an intellectual property creator should not be rewarded for their work.
            It's equally wrong that an IP creator should be rewarded too many times for the one piece of work, for exactly the same reasons.
            Reform IP law and stop the M$/RIAA abuse.

      • by Alan (347) <arcterexNO@SPAMufies.org> on Friday June 04, 2004 @04:57PM (#9339360) Homepage
        You're absolutely right. In fact, I'm offended that the people from OSDN are refusing to put up ads for date-rape drugs and the fine establishments offering ads for baby killing and the beating of old ladies. How dare they not accept money from someone claiming something about "principles" or "ethics". Don't they know that money is all that's important?
      • by djtack (545324) on Friday June 04, 2004 @05:27PM (#9339734)
        Why should they refuse ads from Microsoft? Aren't the readers smart enough to make up their own minds about the benefits of Linux? This reminds me of a recent "outrage" when The Nation [thenation.com] ran some full-page ads for Faux News [foxnews.com]. Most of their readers just laughed at Fox for throwing their money away.

        I'd rather that organizations who sell ad space have less editorial control. For instance, Adbusters [adbusters.org] and the MoveOn PAC [moveon.org] have repeatedly been denied airtime on network TV, even though they are able to pay for it, simply because the network execs don't like their message. This is a far greater injustice.
    • Re:Ads on Slashdot (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Frizzle Fry (149026) on Friday June 04, 2004 @04:35PM (#9339047) Homepage
      I've always thought of /. as a very pro-linux community

      The slashdot community is pro-linux. But this isn't about the community, this is about ads. The ads reflect the advertiser running them. They aren't necessarily endorsed and loved by the editors of the site. Dave Whitinger seems to believe that the fact that an ad is run means that the site supports or endorses it. This is ridiculous. If this were the case, it would mean that every advertisement would be paying for the editors of the site to endorse the product advertised. That's not what we want. Ads should not be a reflection of the views of the site; encouraging us to view them as such threatens the site's integrity by tying its content to the identity of its sponsors. It's better to create a clear separation between the sites editorial views and the money given by advertisers, so that we believe the views we are getting are unbiased. Telling us to treat the sites ads as paid endorsements works against that goal.
      • Re:Ads on Slashdot (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Openstandards.net (614258) <slashdot@NoSPAM.openstandards.net> on Friday June 04, 2004 @04:55PM (#9339335) Homepage
        I believe there's a difference between ads selling a product or service that is unpopular, and ads that deliberately spread fud to counter the purpose and energies put into the community the site supports.

        Would you want to support a pro-life site that had advertisements for Planned Parenthood? How about a cancer victim support site with cigarette ads?

    • If Microsoft wants to advertise on a website with a anti microsoft stance, what does it hurt for that website to take the money?

      It does no harm at all. I always laugh around election seasons when candidates start running radio ads. There is a local conservative station, and last election cycle Ellen Taucher (democrat) was running ads on that station nonstop. The radio station cannot say no to the ad, because politicians have written the law so you can't say no to their ads, and they get a cut rate too.
  • Ads? (Score:5, Funny)

    by pegr (46683) * on Friday June 04, 2004 @04:21PM (#9338810) Homepage Journal
    I thought they were satirical editorial cartoons!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 04, 2004 @04:21PM (#9338813)
    I founded and managed Slashdot from its inception to the present, bringing it up from nothing into the most powerful and large Linux news website in the world. I am now calling on the Linux community to boycott my creation until its current owners stop accepting money from Microsoft to publish blatantly anti-Linux/pro-Microsoft ads.

    --CmdrTaco
  • Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Rombuu (22914) on Friday June 04, 2004 @04:21PM (#9338815)
    Are Linux Today's readers too stupid to think for themselves?
    • Re:Why? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by millahtime (710421)
      But what about those who are just venturing into the Linux world and are just getting thier feet wet. There are a lot of those and they don't understand it all yet.
      • Re:Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) on Friday June 04, 2004 @04:44PM (#9339182) Homepage
        But what about those who are just venturing into the Linux world and are just getting thier feet wet. There are a lot of those and they don't understand it all yet.

        Oh, the poor little babies! We shall have to hold their hands and make sure the big bad Microsoft doesn't molest them! Your benevolent uncle will show you the way!

        Good Lord! This is the silliest thing I've ever heard. Those "just venturing" into Linux already have a clue and can protect themselves from M$ FUD. I love this "just venturing" crap, it's like saying when you go down to the strip and pick up hoes' and have them paddle your ass, your "just venturing" to see if you like sex. "just venturing". Good grief.

    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by TopShelf (92521) on Friday June 04, 2004 @04:26PM (#9338895) Homepage Journal
      Perhaps this speaks more to the founder's views of Linux Today readers than anything else. I would think tuxors would be thrilled to be siphoning some funds from MS in this manner...
    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by BlueCodeWarrior (638065) <steevk@gmail.com> on Friday June 04, 2004 @04:27PM (#9338914) Homepage
      Not neccesarily. But I can see the validity in the point of "how can we trust them to post unbiased reviews when they are funded by Microsoft"

      I don't patronize the site personally, but I could see (in theory) how M$ could say, "well, we see that you're posting this negative stuff about our product, we think we'll pull out those ads..." and if they're counting on those ad dollars for funding, well, it isn't pretty.
      • Re:Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by 1000StonedMonkeys (593519) on Friday June 04, 2004 @04:53PM (#9339308)
        Or, perhaps Microsoft said to themselves, "They're publishing negative articles about our products, let's put some adds up to negate the effect." In that case, it would be in LW's best interest to continue being negative about Microsoft products, lest Microsoft no longer have a need to place adds there.

        Or, here's another theory I think is even more plausible:

        Microsoft certainly doesn't post to /. because of all the nice things slashdotters have to say about them. If I had to guess, I'd say they place the adds because they look and they see that /. is mostly read by people that use their product. Thus, by placing adds on /. they can target potential switchers. I would imagine the same is true of LW.

        Overall, I don't think LW has any reason to be pro-microsoft, even with the adds.
      • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by dougmc (70836) <dougmc+slashdot@frenzied.us> on Friday June 04, 2004 @04:59PM (#9339384) Homepage
        But I can see the validity in the point of "how can we trust them to post unbiased reviews when they are funded by Microsoft
        Ok, let's assume that the Microsoft revenue goes away. How can you trust them to post unbiased reviews when they're funded by Redhat? Or Suse, Mandrake, Sun, IBM. LoneTar (is that thing still around?), whatever?

        This is a classic problem, one that affects every magazine that accepts advertisements and does reviews. And there's no real answer, short of what Consumer Reports does -- don't accept ads. Except that magazines like to show a profit, and ads are a good way to do that. The other ways, raising your prices or accepting donations, is iffy at best. It doesn't even work for PBS -- even PBS shows commercials (sort of) for their advertisers now.

        Ultimately, if you're actually reading `Linux Today', you can probably already see through the Microsoft FUD. So I have to respond to dave (Mr Linux Today founder) with a `No, I'm not going to boycott Linux Today just because they run Microsoft ads. Sorry.' (Of course, I haven't read Linux Today in a long while, so my lack of boycott hardly means anything.)

        So, how did dave lose control of Linux Today? Did he sell out in the height of the dot-com craze? (Like everybody else did?) If so, crawl back to your Porche, drive back to your nice, paid off already house, and stop whining.

    • Re:Why? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jellomizer (103300) *
      Well a point brought up was the fact that if you read a good article on there and you pointed your PHB to it he would see the Microsoft add and think twice about it. That is the scary issue.
    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Funny)

      by Mr. Bad Example (31092) on Friday June 04, 2004 @04:39PM (#9339107) Homepage
      > Are Linux Today's readers too stupid to think for themselves?

      I'm not really sure...what do you think?
    • Re:Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

      Do you honestly believe Microsoft would spend the money on the ads if they didn't believe it could help their goal?

      One of human nature's biggest flaws is that if we hear a lie enough times, we'll believe it. This has been proven over and over throughout history. It's like chinese torture, only with words instead of drops of water.

      It isn't intelligence that protects people. It's love for truth and the willingness to continue to resist believing lies no matter how tiring it can be. The line is easily

  • Boycott? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Skyshadow (508) * on Friday June 04, 2004 @04:21PM (#9338817) Homepage
    Wait, so this Linux advocacy site manages to get Microsoft to pay them to run ads that anyone who actually *goes* to the site will just laugh off anyhow, and we're supposed to *boycott* them?

    Jesus Christ, we should be giving these guys a medal!

    • Re:Boycott? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by BeBoxer (14448) on Friday June 04, 2004 @04:27PM (#9338908)
      Agreed. I think it's great that Microsoft likes to support pro-Linux magazines and web sites. Everytime I see one I chuckle to myself. "Suckers. No one here is going to be swayed by your ad, but thanks for spending the money anyway!" If anything, Microsoft's need to advertise in Linux channels helps legitimize Linux (as though that hasn't already been done.)
      • Re:Boycott? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by nanter (613346)
        I think you hit the nail on the head inadvertanltly as to why this is a problem. Since Linux has already been legitimized, and since Linux's reach into the world of the consumer is increasing every day, more and more non-geeks / average users will be visiting pro-Linux sites.

        When that happens, the advertising will be reaching the likes of those who are not zealots and will be susceptible from advertising from a competitor. If Microsoft is able to make its case against Linux in those ads, those are poten

        • Re:Boycott? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by westlake (615356) on Friday June 04, 2004 @05:00PM (#9339403)
          When that happens, the advertising will be reaching the likes of those who are not zealots and will be susceptible from advertising from a competitor. If Microsoft is able to make its case against Linux in those ads, those are potential converts that will be adversely swayed in their decision.

          So we have made a religion of our O/S and become cultists who must shield our new recruits like children from any subversive outside influences. Welcome to Linux as the new Scientology.

      • Re:Boycott? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Billly Gates (198444)
        Funny it worked with the death of os/2.

        MS funded ziff davis magazines and they wanted to applease MS so they ran negative stories on os/2 and positive ones from Microsoft to keep money rolling in.

    • Re:Boycott? (Score:5, Funny)

      by KReilly (660988) on Friday June 04, 2004 @04:29PM (#9338948)
      Yea, I would prefer to look at this more as guerilla warfare tactics, where Linux gets funded by its enemy. Linux grows stronger as Windows grows weaker.
  • by johnpaul191 (240105) on Friday June 04, 2004 @04:22PM (#9338826) Homepage
    do they pick the ads or are they through a service? i am not sure if it makes it any better.... but for example if you get ads from google and are a tech related site i am sure you will be hit with M$ ads as well as whatever else.
  • by webguru4god (537138) * on Friday June 04, 2004 @04:22PM (#9338827)
    This seems like a rather harsh approach to take against LinuxWorld, and somewhat childish as well. How do we know that Microsoft is specifically paying for advertisement on LinuxToday, and not just blanket advertising on internet.com?

    And then does that mean that we should boycott /. because they often display M$ ads? Or maybe anti-Linux people should boycott Windows-centric sites when they feature advertising from RedHat or Sun.

    Seems to me like the best option to take would be to urge LinuxToday to not support M$ advertising if they are indeed given a choice on what they advertise, instead of just boycotting them out of anger.

    • by FortKnox (169099) on Friday June 04, 2004 @04:28PM (#9338923) Homepage Journal
      I agree. Its knee-jerk reactions like this that give Linux a bad name.

      Two words for you guys:
      GROW UP!

      You are taking away money from the competition, and putting ads on a page that most people ignore anyway. This isn't something to get your panties in a bunch about. Go argue about which editor or distro is the best... it'll make you feel better ;-)
      • Taking a resource away from someone only matters if they have a finite amount of it.

        So, for instance, if you at war in a desert, doing something to make a water supply unusable to the enemy would be a tactically sound move. However, if you were at war in the Canadian praries destroying some wheat really isn't going to hurt the opposing force. There is a lot of wheat up here.

        Microsoft has over 53 Billion dollars in cash and short term assets. Thats Billion with a B. Taking a couple hundred, or even thousan

      • You are taking away money from the competition, and putting ads on a page that most people ignore anyway.


        Exactly, and *IF* he were smart he'd be using Mozilla/Firefox and (*gasp*) blocking ads.

        And is linking to a site on /. the stupidest way to say "DON'T visit this site!!!111oneone".

        Sheesh.
    • by phorm (591458) on Friday June 04, 2004 @04:34PM (#9339031) Journal
      I've seen a lot of these ads. Their comparison between windows servers and linux servers is really stupid. It's the same tricks that many companies use: compare with different hardware specs, unoptimized kernels/applications, and don't take into account viruses and other related issues. It's not right and I really do get sick of seeing them on OSDN and other networks.

      That being said, I understand that OSDN and other sites do need revenue. I also think that most linux users realize the ads are bunk. Rather than a boycott, I'd like to see pro-Linux advertisement in the same way (with real stats) that shows the advantages of linux over windows.

      How about graphs comparing: Infection rate, loss due to downtime, webpage serving stats with optimized machines on the same hardware, etc?
  • by tcopeland (32225) * <<tom> <at> <thomasleecopeland.com>> on Friday June 04, 2004 @04:22PM (#9338829) Homepage
    ...here [linuxtoday.com].

    I sympathize with his points, and it's not just LinuxToday. I received the July 2004 (odd enough, that) copy of Dr. Dobbs Journal and thought "wow, it's really getting to be pretty thick". Then I realized that the middle 40% of the magazine was a long Microsoft advertisement. After ripping that out, there wasn't much left - except for 4 different articles on Java-to-COM-and-ActiveX bridges. Crikey.
  • Doesn't bother me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dananderson (1880) on Friday June 04, 2004 @04:23PM (#9338835) Homepage
    I suspect the ads are served through some third party or link exchange.

    In any case, it doesn't bother me if Microsoft throws money at a Linux-oriented website. I can ignore or read a Microsoft add and I won't melt in anycase.

    • by Trailer Trash (60756) on Friday June 04, 2004 @04:29PM (#9338945) Homepage

      I can ignore or read a Microsoft add and I won't melt in anycase.

      Personally, I enjoy seeing a Microsoft ad. Why? Because they just paid for something that was completely and utterly wasted. Seriously. Bring it on. Gives me something to laugh at and costs Microsoft money, it doesn't get much better than that.

    • The problem though isn't when geeks come to Linux sites, but when curious corporate IT managers visit.

      Managers used to say, "no one ever got fired by choosing IBM." Today they say, "no one ever got fired by choosing Microsoft."

      They don't need truth as much as they need to be able to justify choosing Microsoft or Linux, and the ads give them the justification to continue to take a "safe" position that will be hard to blame problems on.

      Both Microsoft and Linux based corporate projects will fail, for ca

  • whatever (Score:5, Insightful)

    by blackmonday (607916) on Friday June 04, 2004 @04:23PM (#9338840) Homepage
    Sounds like a bunch of hot air to me. If MS wants to run an ad with their (biased) study of TCO vs Linux, let them. Trust the readers to be smarter than that. Linux represents choice and freedom, not censorship or religion.

  • Same ads here... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Otto (17870) on Friday June 04, 2004 @04:23PM (#9338844) Homepage Journal
    These same ads are often the ones in the top bar of slashdot.. Occasionally there's a vertical one on the main page that's pretty much the same thing.
  • by vlad_petric (94134) on Friday June 04, 2004 @04:23PM (#9338845) Homepage
    bringing it up from nothing into the most powerful and large Linux news website in the world
    ...
    Sure ... And this is published on /. LOL.

    I'm just wondering ... how effective are Windoze adds on MS-bashing sites ? IMHO it's more of a problem with the advertising company, not linuxtoday.

  • by squiggleslash (241428) on Friday June 04, 2004 @04:23PM (#9338846) Homepage Journal
    ...then more fool them. As long as "Linux Today" does not allow advertisers to interfere with its content, either directly or indirectly, I don't see an issue.

    I read nothing in the complaint to suggest that Linux Today's content has been compromised by these adverts. Instead, the entire complaint seems to be purely that Microsoft advertises, and the advertising itself is Linux-hostile.

    That's fine. And I expect most readers will ignore what Microsoft has to say, but be delighted they're funding Linux.

  • by Edmund Blackadder (559735) on Friday June 04, 2004 @04:24PM (#9338854)
    You found a good place to complain. Slashdot runs Microsoft adds about how "mainframe Linux" is so much more expensive than Windows. The adds even site a study that was thouroughly discredited in slashdot news stories.

  • The problem is (Score:5, Informative)

    by dtfinch (661405) * on Friday June 04, 2004 @04:24PM (#9338866) Journal
    Slashdot has the same exact anti-Linux, pro-Microsoft ads. I've tried bringing this up, but was rejected.

    Imagine if it read like this:
    "I'm now calling on the Linux community to boycott Slashdot until its current owners stop accepting money from Microsoft to publish blatantly anti-Linux/pro-Microsoft ads."

    I personally would call upon the community to click every Microsoft ad they see. They get cheap advertising if nobody clicks on them. And they're not going away if you don't. Microsoft is definitely the high bidder on most of our sites.
  • Quitcher bitchin' (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Randolpho (628485) on Friday June 04, 2004 @04:24PM (#9338868) Homepage Journal
    It's money for your rag.

    Seriously, so what of Microsoft is anti-Linux. The Linux crowd has been anti-Microsoft for a hell of a lot longer. MS is just trying to catch up, and surprise: they're throwing money your way while they do it.
  • Ads? (Score:5, Funny)

    by peeping_Thomist (66678) * on Friday June 04, 2004 @04:26PM (#9338890)
    People still see ads in their web browsers? How 1997!
  • by CanSpice (300894) on Friday June 04, 2004 @04:27PM (#9338906) Homepage
    I want to know if this guy has even got in touch with Linux Today in regards to this "controversy." He doesn't mention anything about talking to them, asking them rationally to do something about the Windows ads. It just looks like he's flying off the handle irrationally, and that really detracts from the point he's trying to make.
  • by nunofgs (636910) on Friday June 04, 2004 @04:27PM (#9338912)
    Why, post it on slashdot of course!
  • And will you... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Richard_at_work (517087) * <richardprice@nOSPam.gmail.com> on Friday June 04, 2004 @04:27PM (#9338918)
    replace their lost ad revenue yourself? At least offer them an alternative before you start deriding them for doing something. Oh, and where the hell do YOU get off selling your creation and then acting as if you have a say in it after that, you dont, you gave it up for money so dont preach to me.
    • Re:And will you... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Rahga (13479)
      To be honest, I wouldn't be surprised if this "boycott" is breaking an agreement between the founder and the buyers, much less a handful of laws out there to protect buyers from a sell-and-smash job.
  • by ChiralSoftware (743411) <info@chiralsoftware.net> on Friday June 04, 2004 @04:28PM (#9338925) Homepage
    I appreciate this guy's point, but:
    • The publishing business is rough. You have to do what you have to do. I read Maxim magazine. They have a huge circulation, are very popular, they get plenty of advertisers, and yet they have to run cigarette ads because they buy some of the most expensive ad slots. What can you do? Ads ultimately are just offering consumers a choice. And these aren't tobacco ads; MS just uses some very agressive/slightly illegal marketing tactics. This isn't selling a product which is known to be addictive and cause cancer.
    • What's wrong with Microsoft? They make some truly great software (Office) which runs fine on Linux [codeweavers.com]. I'm a 100% Linux desktop user, and guess what, I buy Microsoft software to run on my Linux box! I don't have a Windows partition either.
    • We're all techies here, right? We all believe that technology products should be evaluated on their merits. Does that somehow not apply to Microsoft products? If Microsoft ____ is the best solution for a given application, shouldn't we acknowledge that? Again, this is from a 100% Linux desktop user, who has been a 100% Linux desktop user for years, even back in the old painful days when the best browser was Netscape 4.something. Now I have Mozilla, IE and Konqueror to choose from, all on one desktop, and I chose based on their merits.

    -----------
    WAP news [chiralsoftware.net]

  • by rjdohnert (772699) on Friday June 04, 2004 @04:28PM (#9338940) Homepage
    Why in the bluest blazes of hell would we stop reading Linux today? Why is eveything so, "Linux or bust" I personally use them both and I like them both. Linux has its uses as does Windows and for some things I like using Windows more. Get a life its advertising as the previous readers have said the readers will decide for themselves what they want to use.
  • OT manybe (Score:3, Informative)

    by frodo from middle ea (602941) on Friday June 04, 2004 @04:33PM (#9339029) Homepage
    I have boycotted Linux Today, a long time ago. For every artile , you see a brief clipping , then a link.

    You click on the link and it takes you to another linux Today page, with slightly more clipping (WTF) . Only when you click the second link, do you get to see the actual article.

    Two clicks to visit a External Article, No thanks.

  • by pz (113803) on Friday June 04, 2004 @04:34PM (#9339039) Journal
    Way back in the 90s, my brother banded together a bunch of his friends to start a company and put up a web site. It eventually became one of the leaders in it's field with millions of hits per day (it's a sports site that is now run by one of the big television networks). My brother's a big proponent of open source, he's got an ultra-low Slashdot ID (less than 100), the web sites he's built have all been done under Linux and Perl, and has contributed to various open source projects pretty extensively (eg, xemacs, mysql). When the web site was just big enough to attract advertising, they made a $2000 booking from Microsoft, and I admonished him for doing business with the devil. He replied, "yeah, but the money's flowing in the right direction."

    Who among us wouldn't rather money flow from Microsoft rather than to them, especially when the recipient is an open-source advocate?
    • by transient (232842) on Friday June 04, 2004 @05:00PM (#9339402)
      Microsoft (theoretically) makes more than $2000 from that advertisement. A well-run company will always try to do two things: lower expenses and raise revenue. When a company decides to spend money, it (again, theoretically) only does so if it expects to make more money back as a result. ROI isn't just a TLA.

      That being said, it's impossible to tell how much money Microsoft made from your brother's site. But just because Microsoft is spending money doesn't mean they're losing money.

      • Microsoft (theoretically) makes more than $2000 from that advertisement.

        Are you sure? Advertizing bathing suits to Eskimos doesn't necessarily guarentee a return on that money.

        The website for Linux Today is very blatantly about Linux. Linux users have a high probability of being anti microsoft.

        While I think the chance of pissing off Linux readers is very high and thus losing readership, thus losing hits, thus losing money, I also think such an add has a very small possibility of dragging people away f
  • ignore them (Score:3, Insightful)

    by scharkalvin (72228) on Friday June 04, 2004 @04:39PM (#9339099) Homepage
    I really don't get upset by the M$ ads in Linux Magazine or on Linux Today. (GWB's negative tv ad's for his re-election irk me more).
    Let Bill bankroll Linux web sites and magazines with ad's that Linux people will just laugh at. If they are foolish to take out a centerfold magazine ad, use it to wrap fish!
  • Sorry, pal. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by lukewarmfusion (726141) on Friday June 04, 2004 @04:42PM (#9339164) Homepage Journal
    Boycott a site because it runs ads (likely served by an outside provider) that you don't like?

    I realize it's a sore subject when you bring up capitalism within a community that shouts FREE from the top of its lungs, but your request bothers me. Are you afraid that LinuxToday users are going to convert to Windows because of a banner ad? Or that Microsoft is going to influence those masses of Linux users?
  • by Zenin (266666) on Friday June 04, 2004 @04:43PM (#9339176) Homepage
    I thought the "Free" in "Free Software" was meant as "Free Speech"? Now there's a boycott effort in the free software community to try and limit MS's freedom of speech?

    Ok, so I'm no big fan of MS either, but I must conclude that anyone who takes part in such an effort has lost any moral argument about "free software" being at all about "free speech".
  • No link? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by michael path (94586) * on Friday June 04, 2004 @04:43PM (#9339178) Homepage Journal
    Should I worry that there's a "Anti-Microsoft bias" since there was no linuxtoday [linuxtoday.com] link in the story?

    Not that I care, but Linuxtoday hasn't been slashdotted yet. :)
  • I call busllshit! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Luscious868 (679143) on Friday June 04, 2004 @04:59PM (#9339392)
    I'm calling bullshit here. This guy sells his site to someone else to generate a profit. He then proceeds to bitch and moans when the current owners sell add space, also for a profit, and an add apears that the he doesn't agree with. It's complete and total bullshit.

    If he really cared about that site he wouldn't have sold it. Instead, he sells out to some corporate whore and then has the audicity to bitch and moan when said corporate whore, acting as all corporate whores do, sells out by selling add space to some other corporate whore who spreads FUD. Newsflash buddy, you sold out just the same as the current owners are selling out.

    I have no problem with people who start something and then sell it. It's called capitalism baby, but don't bitch and moan when whoever buys it does something you don't like. You sold the thing, if it was that important you shouldn't have sold it, but you did, so shut up and move on.

    Flame me all you want, but things like this tick me off. Oh and don't give me this "but the spirit of the site is being violated" crap. If he cared so much about the spirit of the site, as I've said over and over again, he wouldn't have sold it.
  • by Henrik S. Hansen (775975) <hsh@member.fsf.org> on Friday June 04, 2004 @04:59PM (#9339394) Homepage
    Linux Today, I am your father!

    I knew this day would come. Emperor Gates has foreseen it. Together we can rule the empire, father and son.

    It is your destiny *breathes heavily*

  • by los furtive (232491) <ChrisLamothe AT gmail DOT com> on Friday June 04, 2004 @05:00PM (#9339404) Homepage
    You also have to tell them that you're boycotting their product, and why. The best link I could find was to contribute a news story to their site [linuxtoday.com].
  • Oh god... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Transcendent (204992) on Friday June 04, 2004 @05:01PM (#9339414)
    Pro microsoft doesn't mean anti-linux. It just means ant-everythingelse. Same with being pro-linux... you're anti-everything_that_isn't_linux.
  • i don't get it (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pizza_milkshake (580452) on Friday June 04, 2004 @05:02PM (#9339433)
    if the ads "work" then LinuxToday's readership will stop using Linux and thus stop reading LinuxToday.

    if the ads "don't work" then no one agrees with them and the advertisers are wasting their money. either way, what's the problem?

  • The truth will out! (Score:4, Informative)

    by timothy (36799) on Friday June 04, 2004 @05:18PM (#9339609) Homepage Journal
    OK, I work for Slashdot, but am not writing in any official capacity :)

    - Slashdot takes advertising.

    - Some of the advertising Slashdot takes is from Microsoft.

    - Microsoft advertising is paid for in U.S. dollars.

    - The editorial side neither sells the ads nor chooses the advertisers; whether the ad at the top is for Microsoft, Red Hat, or The Estate of Jonas Savimbi, I'm just as surprised as anyone else by the particular banner that appears.

    Above is just to point out that the ad-choice decision is not one I make ;)

    However (But! Nevertheless!), I don't think it's all that important anyhow. So long as ads are respectful of your browser (I hate Flash ads, and it goes without saying that no one is friends with popup ads or other eye-pokers), their content doesn't concern me a whole lot. (Could there be exceptions? Yes. But the MS ads I've seen on Slashdot, for example, have been tame as a churchmouse. Most of them don't even rise to the level of puffery, more straight 'product exists' notification.)

    Ads for Microsoft Visual Studio appear on Slashdot; a lot of readers use that or similar products in their work. Ignoring the possibility that readers use source-secret software would be dumb on the part of the advertisers; they would be ignoring a rationally valuable resource. I'd prefer that people use more free, Free software --and they will. But I'm confident enough that people will choose open source stuff on their own for their own reasons that I don't think advertisements for The Other Kind are a huge concern. What would it say if they were? (Solar and wind power is great; there are still ads for gasoline generators in the back of Mother Earth News.)

    I like seeing IBM and other companies push their open-source agendas (parallel and connected to their other agendas) in ads and other forums, but here, too, I don't think advertisements matter except as an input; people will still make up their own minds based on multiple, sometimes ineffable factors.

    As at least one other poster has commented, wouldn't you rather the money flowed this direction than the other?

    timothy

  • by Schnapple (262314) <tomkidd@via[ ]as.com ['tex' in gap]> on Friday June 04, 2004 @05:19PM (#9339626) Homepage
    1. Guy creates website
    2. Guy raises website
    3. Guy sells website/leaves/whatever
    4. Website runs into trouble staying afloat
    5. Website turns desperate and runs ads counter-intuitive to what it promotes
    6. Guy who is opposed to ads on formerly his website asks people to boycott website until they stop running the ads which aim to hurt their own cause
    What's next, boycott leading to lost revenue from unsold ads and then website closes? Does he really want the website to go out of business rather than serve offensive ads?

    And what does it say that Microsoft are the only ones willing to run Linux related ads? By boycotting Linux Today and ensuring it closes (which it probably will since thanks to less readers no one else will want to advertise there) won't people just be hurting the cause they aim to achieve?

    And doesn't this guy realize that by this kind of outburst he's just promoting the "Linux Terrorist/Zealot" image?

  • Get A Life (Score:4, Funny)

    by Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) on Friday June 04, 2004 @05:20PM (#9339646) Homepage
    "I founded and managed Linux Today in 1998, bringing it up from nothing into the most powerful and large Linux news website in the world, in less than a year."

    Let me continue this silly thought...

    "...I then sold Linux Today to internet.com for shitload of cash. I am told that they no longer lube the server transitors with tofu. I promise to donate the shitload of cash internet.com paid me for Linux Today to starving programmer / gamers in the inner-city."

  • huh? ads? (Score:3, Informative)

    by flacco (324089) on Friday June 04, 2004 @05:25PM (#9339712)
    ads? what ads? [privoxy.org]
  • by autopr0n (534291) on Friday June 04, 2004 @06:38PM (#9340413) Homepage Journal
    DAMN MICROSOFT, DAMN THEM TO HELL.

    The audacity to pay you to express their opinions, and not only that, but opinions that say mean things about your favorite operating system!!

    When will the madness end.

    Seriously, you don't have a right not to be offended, and being offended about the OS wars is about the lamest thing evar. As long as the ads are clearly labeled, they should be accepted. Rather then calling for a boycott, write articles explaining why the ads are misleading. M$ will probably pull them themselves if you do. If there's editorial pressure to change the content to better suit the advertisers, then there's a problem. And that should be the problem discussed.

    Slashdot runs Microsoft ads, there are lots of people who like working on both windows and Linux (shock, horror!)

    Oh well, whatever. I have a suspicion that this boycott will fail miserably.

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