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Daniel Lyons of Forbes Admits Being Snowed by SCO 403

Posted by Zonk
from the very-glad-this-is-over dept.
certain death writes "Daniel Lyons of Forbes Magazine has admitted to being snowed by SCO, regarding their lawsuit over Linux and SCO code. He specifically mentions Groklaw's role in the case, and regrets his early articles giving the company the benefit of the doubt. 'I still thought it would be foolish to predict how this lawsuit (or any lawsuit) would play out. I even wrote an article called "Revenge of the Nerds," which poked fun at the pack of amateur sleuths who were following the case on a Web site called Groklaw and who claimed to know for sure that SCO was going to lose. Turns out those amateur sleuths were right. Now some of them are writing to me asking how I'd like my crow cooked, and where I'd like it delivered. Others in that highly partisan crowd have suggested that I wanted SCO to win, and even that I was paid off by SCO or Microsoft. Of course that's not true. I've told these folks it's not true. Hasn't stopped them. The truth, as is often the case, is far less exciting than the conspiracy theorists would like to believe. It is simply this: I got it wrong. The nerds got it right.'"
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Daniel Lyons of Forbes Admits Being Snowed by SCO

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 20, 2007 @06:03PM (#20688871)
    ...welcome our new amateur sleuth overlords!
  • by Iphtashu Fitz (263795) on Thursday September 20, 2007 @06:06PM (#20688909)
    It's nice to see at least some journalists out there in this day and age are willing to publicly admit when they are wrong.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by frup (998325)
      I think it's more like changing sides when the battle turns foul.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 20, 2007 @06:11PM (#20688985)

        I think it's more like changing sides when the battle turns foul.
        That's right, it's not ok for a man to admit he was wrong. If he does change, call him a flip flopper. Under no circumstances can people ever change. I'm sure you never incorrectly assessed a situation either or have ever been wrong.

        People like you make me fucking sick.
        • by FatSean (18753) on Thursday September 20, 2007 @06:49PM (#20689459) Homepage Journal
          If I've learned anything from recent Presidential elections, changing your opinions due to new information is a sign of weakness. One must make a choice and ride it all the way down.
          • Re:No, it's not. (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Rary (566291) on Thursday September 20, 2007 @09:49PM (#20691267)

            "If I've learned anything from recent Presidential elections, changing your opinions due to new information is a sign of weakness. One must make a choice and ride it all the way down."

            At the time of this posting, you've been modded +5, Funny. The sad part, though, is that what you say is absolutely true, and not just of American politics. It's certainly true up here in Canada, as well. If a politician sticks to his guns no matter what new information comes out, then they're seen as being decisive. If they change their minds, they're weak, wishy-washy, and clearly not leadership material.

            Voters are, by and large, stupid.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by hey! (33014)

        I think it's more like changing sides when the battle turns foul.


        Is this my cue to call you a f***tard?
        • by Achoi77 (669484) on Thursday September 20, 2007 @06:33PM (#20689277)
          looks like your 5 digit UID says you do :-)
        • by Penguinisto (415985) on Thursday September 20, 2007 @07:23PM (#20689899) Journal
          Not so sure... GP phrased it wrong, but the point is still there: most folks figured that SCO was wrong a long, long time before Lyons gave up defending them. They also refrained from belittling those who sought the truth, such as Groklaw.

          If someone changes their mind, cool - esp. if someone changes it after careful consideration. But after their pet theory/ideology/etc gets squashed like a SCO's bug on IBM's windshield, and after so vehemently defending the likes of McBride & co.? Sure, he hedged his bets after awhile - all pros do that.

          IMHO, I can understand what the guy is feeling. His call was bad, his credibility on the matter is toast, and he probably didn't enjoy having to write that. I will further give him at least the props for loyalty to his ideas and prognostications (then again, it isn't like he could magically change them and think no one would notice, either).

          That said, his behavior was quite crass, somewhat elitist, and quite frankly, he gets what he gives, y'know?

          /P

          • by chartreuse (16508) on Thursday September 20, 2007 @09:59PM (#20691381) Homepage
            Remember, this guy also wrote the Forbes cover story [forbes.com] claiming blogs were "an online lynch mob spouting liberty but spewing lies, libel and invective", then turned around and started the Fake Steve Jobs blog [nytimes.com].

            Another triumph for consistency.
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by gordo3000 (785698)
              so someone who says a number of blogs are full of crap(which they are, many are just people using the cover of being 'unbiased' to flame) compared to a blog which was admittedly a parody of certain people is somehow inconsistent?

              I didn't realize that if someone denounces the media as biased they can't go make the daily show......
    • by jgarra23 (1109651) on Thursday September 20, 2007 @06:10PM (#20688961)
      Thank goodness and yes, you are right and Mr. Lyons gets kudos for being wrong and admitting it but he brings up a good point which drives me batty- that conspiracy theorists seem to think that the truth is much more exciting than it is, I've long thought that it was silly to accuse him(Lyons) of being paid by SCO or anyone else and I really wish these "theorists" would think before they speak as their words ruin reputations and cause problems where there should be none and make them look like the jerks they (the theorists) usually are. I have a better name for them, libelous mukrakers.
      • by Em Adespoton (792954) <slashdotonly.1.adespoton@spamgourmet.com> on Thursday September 20, 2007 @06:35PM (#20689303) Homepage Journal
        I give him kudos for admitting he was wrong; I give him a tsk tsk for the way in which he did it. He labels the group at Groklaw as "amateur sleuths" which, in my book, implies that he is a professional sleuth. Why, then, did the "amateur sleuths" who are a collection of individuals, ranging from slashdot geeks in basements through to paralegals, lawyers, software architects, engineers, and probably even a few journalists and PIs, do due dilligence, while he plainly states that he did not?

        I have to admit that I stopped thinking of him as a viable journalist shortly after he started covering this case. In his article, he mentions that he based his writing on what SCO told him, and that he'd been burned once before by not bothering to cover the whole DOS lawsuit. If I had been in his shoes, I would have immediately done a search on Unix, and found out about the BSD/AT&T lawsuit, and how that turned out. At which point, I would have (had I not already known anything about the situation) thought, "Hmm. Sounds like there might be another side to this story," and, being a technical journalist for a financial rag, used my contacts at, say, IBM, or even some uninvolved third party like Red Hat or Novell to try and get a full picture before reporting.

        Corporate Feed Reporting has got so bad nowadays that unless I see evidence in the first paragraph of an article that it is either an opinion piece, or that the reporter has consulted multiple parties, not just copied and pasted some text out of some document provided to them by some other party, I just skip over the rest of the article and do a search on the topic for an article that at least clings to a shred of journalistic integrity.

        An idea I came up with after reading this yesterday:
        Why not apply a rating system to journalists similar to that being used on Wikipedia by the UCSC crew [ucsc.edu]? A journalist's rating is affected by whether they follow journalistic procedures in their writing, who they sell their article to (separate rating system for publishers based on the ratings of journalists who publish throgh them), accuracy of factual reporting, whether they include large blocks of text found to be non original, etc.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by EreIamJH (180023)
          Exactly. He says he was snowed by SCO, but it seems to me that he chose to be wilfully ignorant. The key omission from his article is any explanation as to why he chose to ignore the analysis provided at Groklaw. He's like a man at the races guessing which horse is going to win based on something superficial like the colour of the jockey's shirt.

          Seems to me he's a 'sound bite' journalist - he sees his job as merely copying down a juicy sound bite instead of actually researching a topic. That said, it cou
        • by Tatarize (682683) on Thursday September 20, 2007 @07:28PM (#20689971) Homepage
          It isn't like it took much sleuthing. We are SCO we own Linux. Buy a license from us, we own the code that made it do the stuff it did before even though it doesn't that stuff on embedded devices... buy a license on the embedded device too. --- Hm, my spidey sense is tingling... I think they are full of crap.

          That's the amount of research it took. Then we applied the fact that IBM didn't have retards for lawyers and predicted a victory for IBM. This guy is pretending it took any research at all to come to the right opinion is an insult. It took five seconds of "hey these guys are lying through their teeth" to come to that conclusion. It's like finding an argument that concludes "Therefore, Bananas can fly." -- We don't need to know anything about the argument to know that it isn't sound.

      • by Seumas (6865) on Thursday September 20, 2007 @09:16PM (#20690975)
        I don't understand how a JOURNALIST can get snowed by a company like SCO in the first place. Whatever happened to educating yourself, conducting some degree of investigation and then reporting? How is taking what the subject of your reporting says to you as gospel journalism, in any remote way? What is this guy -- Larry King?

        Also, how does a guy who writes articles in a financial magazine about lawsuits get off calling *anyone* nerds?!
    • by arth1 (260657) on Thursday September 20, 2007 @06:13PM (#20689009) Homepage Journal
      Um, why? It's not like he could deny it...

      And his rudeness in persisting to call those who were right "nerds" says a lot more.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by EvanED (569694)
        Um, why? It's not like he could deny it...

        He could have just not written about it more, or tried to argue that the court came to the wrong conclusion, or something like that.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        I agree. Only nerds are entitled to call nerds nerds. Next time he has his computer devirused he might find a few key files corrupted.

        More seriously, I sent in a letter to a local newspaper a few years ago criticizing them for constantly referring to software developers as nerds, like it was some terribly witty and original joke. I asked them if it was also their practise to refer to lawyers as shysters.

        The letter never got printed. On the other hand, their use of the term "nerd" seemed to stop after
      • by complete loony (663508) <Jeremy.Lakeman@g ... om minus painter> on Thursday September 20, 2007 @07:49PM (#20690171)

        I got it wrong. The nerds got it right.
        Translation:

        And I would have gotten away with it too, if it wasn't for you meddling kids.
      • by glwtta (532858) on Thursday September 20, 2007 @07:58PM (#20690267) Homepage
        And his rudeness in persisting to call those who were right "nerds" says a lot more.

        I keep reading these comments in the thread - since when did "nerd" become and actual, serious insult? Did we have to trade it to the PC Police to get "black" back a couple of years ago, or something?

        Lighten up. Personally I prefer "geek" (mostly because it's more accurate), but anyone who has strong feelings about the technical merits of "SCO vs The World" is, by definition, a nerd.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by div_2n (525075)
          It seems to me that nerd is to geek is as jock is to athlete. While both carry similar semantical underpinnings, one sounds like and is most certainly meant as an insult and the other is merely a very descriptive adjective.

          I seriously doubt it is by accident that he used the insult instead of the adjective here. He was made to look like a tool by us geeks and clearly isn't happy about it.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by lysse (516445)
        At least he didn't call them "freetards [blogspot.com]" this time.
      • by tmk (712144)
        Have you ever heard the slogan News for nerds - stuff that matters? If he is speaking of the slashdot crowd, "nerd" is not an insult.
    • by MightyMartian (840721) on Thursday September 20, 2007 @06:15PM (#20689043) Journal
      Except that it has nothing to do with "nerds" or "amateur sleuths". It had to do with people who knew Unix, knew its history, knew how systems like Linux and Minix were developed, and laid out the facts. It was skunky little financial journalists who, whether paid shills or not, chose to believe the unsubstantiated claims of McBride and SCO's lawyers, who, from the very beginning, refused to question the fact that these guys were never willing to actually demonstrates alleged infringements, and who got capital to fund their lawsuit in mysterious ways.

      Perhaps in the future these fine financial journalists, when dealing with matters surrounding technology, should do their fucking jobs and talk to the actual fucking people who know about the fucking technology, as opposed to a pack of fucking litigous bastards whose business model amounted to extorting licensing fees.

      I don't think any better of this piece of Wallstreet crapola than I did ten minutes ago. It's impossible now for him to defend his indefensible position, so why the fuck should anyone give him the time of day on it.

      Makes you wonder just how lacking in due dilligence and basic investigative techniques this particular cadre of journalists are. Okay, they're not liars. They're just fucking retards.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Quarters (18322)
        And just what would you call someone who knows Unix and its history and knows how Linux and Minix were developed you're a nerd. If you fit in to that category you're a nerd.
        • by MightyMartian (840721) on Thursday September 20, 2007 @06:33PM (#20689279) Journal
          As I said in another post, reporters don't have to be maritime engineers to report on ships sinking. This reporter works for Forbes, so I wouldn't expect him to know anything about the history of Unix. However, when the note crosses his desk talking about SCOX suing IBM over allegations that SCO's copyrighted Unix code leaking into Linux via AIX, he should do his utmost to learn about these things called Unix, Linux and AIX. That's his job. The fact was that he, like a lot of the Wall Street crowd, don't like open source, and so, rather than being a reporter, he became nothing more than a shill. If he was too stupid to even bother getting paid by SCO, then I'd say that's even more points against him, because if you're going to be a biased prick, then at least be a corrupt biased prick.
          • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Thursday September 20, 2007 @06:47PM (#20689443)
            He made up his mind that SCO was right ... and then he actively opposed any facts contradicting him.

            He belittled Groklaw and PJ (and he is still doing so) for digging up the real facts while he kept repeating the "smoking gun" claim of SCO as a "fact".

            I could have accepted that INITIALLY, but as Groklaw collected more and more facts from the EXPERTS (the people who WROTE *nix) there is no way anyone who didn't have an agenda could have still believed that SCO had a case.

            Yet he kept right on supporting SCO ... until they filed for bankruptcy and received a delisting letter.
            • by MightyMartian (840721) on Thursday September 20, 2007 @06:53PM (#20689535) Journal
              That's precisely my point. His apology is worthless. It's rather like saying "That guy's house is on fire" while the cleanup crew is bulldozing the smouldering ashes. It wasn't just that he took SCO's side, it's that he had an anti-open source agenda from the very beginning, and with that, never once bothered to go to some of the opposing parties and ask them. You would think, since this so heavily involved Linux, that a call to Linux Torvalds would have been a very basic bit of due dilligence. He never showed any desire to actually be a journalist. His was an editorialist, and I think it's a damning indictment of financial reporting nowadays that there seems to be no difference in their minds.
        • ...and labels in general.

          Calling someone a "nerd" because he knows *nix.
          Calling someone a "gearhead" because he knows how replace a clutch.
          Calling someone a "health nut" because he goes jogging and takes a multivitamin.

          All of these labels have something in common, they describe a single aspect of someones life (something you "do") and a judgment is made of that person as a whole. It's stupid and tiresome. Let's start making labels for people based on what they *DON'T* do.

          For example, when someone puts zer
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Quarters (18322)
            ""How the fuck can you spend all day sending and receiving emails and yet not know how to configure an imap client?"

            Ok, so explain to me in great detail, including the most miniscule operations of every machine, every vehicle, and person involved, how the US Post Office takes a letter from your mailbox and successfully delivers it to another mailbox across the company.

            Come on. You send mail How the **** can you do that and yet not know how it all works?

            Idiot (your choice of words, not mine)

  • He's only... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ackthpt (218170) * on Thursday September 20, 2007 @06:07PM (#20688917) Homepage Journal

    He's only a journo who got it wrong.

    I wonder about the investors who will now lose pretty well everything they banked on the crapshoot.

    Then there's also the poor employees who will undoubtably suffer as they seek employment elsewhere. I'm quite certain most of them don't say a lot of bad things about Darl publicly with their names attached, but they have some real feeling of betrayal all the same.

    So a journo got it wrong, not like he's Dan Rather being lead down the garden path and left there by CBS researchers and management.

    of course he doesn't have a crapshoot for $70 million either...

    • The employees? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by tkrotchko (124118) * on Thursday September 20, 2007 @06:20PM (#20689107) Homepage
      I seem to remember SCO released all its technical employees several years ago. Towards the end, they consisted of a handful of people who just handled the books and the lawyers.

      Really, there has been no SCO for a long time.
    • by hey! (33014) on Thursday September 20, 2007 @06:21PM (#20689127) Homepage Journal

      He's only a journo who got it wrong.
      *gloat*

      I wonder about the investors who will now lose pretty well everything they banked on the crapshoot.
      *gloat*gloat*

      Then there's also the poor employees who will undoubtably suffer as they seek employment elsewhere
      *glo.... Aw crud.
    • Re:He's only... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Frosty Piss (770223) on Thursday September 20, 2007 @06:27PM (#20689199)

      I wonder about the investors who will now lose pretty well everything they banked on the crapshoot.

      They knew the rules, they gambled and lost. Had they done even the weakest analysis of the SCO case, they would have passed. Such is life for those that wish to play that game.

      Then there's also the poor employees who will undoubtably suffer as they seek employment elsewhere.

      Any of their employees that didn't have a vested interest are already gone. Those that are still around have profited very well indeed by sucking the life out of SCO and shilling for Microsoft. They have been well compensated and will move on to the next scheme. Perhaps they can find employment in the Patent Troll industry.

      So a journo got it wrong, not like he's Dan Rather being lead down the garden path and left there by CBS researchers and management.

      Yes, and now he wants to redeem himself and hope everyone forgets that he trashed Groklaw and the Open Source Movement. I have no sympathy for him anymore than I will when Laura Didio admits she was wrong.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Reverend528 (585549) *

        Had they done even the weakest analysis of the SCO case, they would have passed.

        It seems to me that reading a "reputable" financial publication would fall under "the weakest analysis".
    • Investors carefully assess their investments and expect a reasonable rate of return.

      People who bought SCO during the Darl Days knew it was a long shot at getting a hefty slice of IBM. At best they were speculators. At worst they were greedy vultures. Nothing worth feeling sorry for.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sfjoe (470510)
      I wonder about the investors who will now lose pretty well everything they banked on the crapshoot.

      Don't feel too badly for the investors. Last I looked they consisted largely of insiders and speculators. This isn't an Enron that took people's retirement savings through underhanded machinations.

  • Courage. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mr. Flibble (12943) on Thursday September 20, 2007 @06:08PM (#20688937) Homepage
    I like this guy, he is willing to admit he made a mistake, furthermore, he made it in print. Albeit online print.

    If we only had more journalists willing to do this about other things... Like Iraq, WMD etc. It takes courage to admit you were taken in, I applaud this.
  • by Captain Sarcastic (109765) * on Thursday September 20, 2007 @06:08PM (#20688945)
    Daniel Lyons thought that SCO had a case at first... or at least had enough nuisance potential that someone would eventually blink and pay them off.

    So he thought wrong. So did the people who thought the CueCat would be a tool found on every household computer.

    As far as I see it, he's taken his lumps, and he's ready to go on with life.

    Works for me... so am I.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by dbIII (701233)
      If you've read his stuff - even the fake steve jobs blog which experienced a bizzare crossover of the groklaw personal attacks, you'll see it was a lot deeper than that. They were opinion pieces driven by a clear agenda and I would be extremely suprised if there was no financial incentive to do so. PR is not journalism.
  • I hope everybody shows class and doesn't rub his nose in it. It was probably a very hard admission to make. You didn't see Maureen O'Gara admitting she screwed up, incredibly she is still holding a candle for SCO. Rob Enderle just claimed he hadn't been following the case in a long time.

    • As an aside, what of Laura DiDio?

      IMHO, Lyons is a lot like a passenger on Titanic who loudly denies to his fellows that they're any mortal danger about the whole iceberg thing...

      ...until the ship's nose goes under and he realizes that there aren't that many open seats left in the lifeboats, that is.

      I give him props for saying something about being wrong, but I still have reservations as to why he did it (to save his rep is what I'm thinking. Sucks to have that kind of prognostication on your resume'..

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Just Some Guy (3352)

      You didn't see Maureen O'Gara admitting she screwed up, incredibly she is still holding a candle for SCO.

      Of course she is: she's one of their creditors [wikipedia.org]. Unless she can direct some money their way, they probably won't be able to pay her what they owe her.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      You got fooled.
      His article is not an apology; it is an excuse.
      He does not show sincere remorse. He refuses to recognize the qualities of the other side: knowledge, expertise, analytical skills. Instead, he excuses himself as being wrong by saying that the "nerds" got lucky in thier amateurish biaised opinion.

      On top of that, it is very impolite to excuse yourself. You should (1) ask someone (2) to accept your (3) sincere apologies. If all 3 are done, then there can be forgiveness.

      I will not forgive him or fo
  • by irtza (893217) on Thursday September 20, 2007 @06:09PM (#20688957) Homepage
    Its one thing to admit your wrong. This may redeam character but not credibility. With a history of being wrong and smearing those with a different view, he sets a precedent as being an unreliable news source and despite whatever appologies are given - a liability to Forbes as a trustworthy news source. He would have to work to regain credibility with people checking the facts against what he said. It would be easier to just move to another source of information. If this is merely an attempt to regain face in the journalist world, it will fall flat with any critical thinker

    One step further, for someone writing on the technology field - it doesn't serve his purpose to put out condescending statements like "the nerds got it right".
    • by crankyspice (63953) on Thursday September 20, 2007 @06:38PM (#20689319)

      With a history of being wrong and smearing those with a different view, he sets a precedent as being an unreliable news source and despite whatever appologies are given - a liability to Forbes as a trustworthy news source. He would have to work to regain credibility with people checking the facts against what he said.

      SCO's case was at least strong enough to survive early motions to dismiss, despite IBM's high-powered team of lawyers working to debunk the SCO version as thoroughly as possible. That a judge, after years of discovery and motions, was able to finally decide authoritatively that SCO was in the wrong and the geeks/nerds/whatever had it right, doesn't mean the case didn't, at some point, appear to have at least some merit. Saying "journalist shoulda checked his facts better" misses the point, I think -- if the facts were that blatant the litigation would have been over in 3 months, not 3 years. I can forgive him for not seeing through something it took a learned and experienced jurist some time to get through.

  • by Penguinisto (415985) on Thursday September 20, 2007 @06:10PM (#20688963) Journal
    ...after all, the mountain of Pro-MSFT shilling you've done all this time certainly doesn't help your case either.

    'fessing up to being wrong? but how much of that is just to save your reputation, and how much is true 'oh, man, I messed up...' sentiment?

    Forgiveness? Heh. Please. Any fool with two neurons would've figured out that SCO was shoveling manure a long, long time ago... and wouldn't have waited until their buddy was on the gallows platform before shouting long and loud about how he'd deceived you.

    You've made your bed, Mr. Lyons. Now lie in it. /P

    • by khasim (1285)
      Congratulations!
      Indeed when his buddy was standing upon the gallows, only then did he cry (and loudly) about how evil his buddy had been for deceiving him and abusing his naive trust.

      It shows his true character.

      If Microsoft ever files a patent suit against Linux, do you believe that Lyons will not be the first and one of the loudest proclaiming the righteousness of Microsoft's claim?
  • Next Up... (Score:3, Funny)

    by corby (56462) on Thursday September 20, 2007 @06:11PM (#20688983)
    Apology accepted, Daniel.

    Laura DiDio, it's your turn.
  • Idiot (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Creamsickle (792801) on Thursday September 20, 2007 @06:11PM (#20688993)
    It was bafoons like this fellow that ever gave this ridiculous case any kind of credibility in the mainstream media. Even in admitting he was wrong he feels the need to disparage those who got it right. "The nerds got it right"? Anyone with half a brain got it right, Lyons. It wasn't about "amateur sleuths" or "nerds" or whatever other nonsense you feel you have to spout to make yourself look better. At least one part of what he said is true:

    The truth, as is often the case, is far less exciting than the conspiracy theorists would like to believe
    The truth was, simply, that some people (like Lyons) were idiots with their heads up their asses, and some people actually knew what they were talking about. End of story.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by hey! (33014)

      It was bafoons like this fellow that ever gave this ridiculous case any kind of credibility in the mainstream media.

      my irony sense is tingling...
  • AKA: Fake Steve Jobs (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Teese (89081) <beezel@@@gmail...com> on Thursday September 20, 2007 @06:14PM (#20689019)
    just so you know
  • by Picass0 (147474) on Thursday September 20, 2007 @06:14PM (#20689029) Homepage Journal
    Sorry Dan. Too little too late. The most you can hope for is the SEC overlooks your pumping of this stock.
  • Perhaps we oughta come up with an equally stupid name for those who like using the word "nerd" in a derogatory way.
  • by MikeRT (947531) on Thursday September 20, 2007 @06:16PM (#20689063) Homepage
    If he felt this way from the beginning, he should have been clearer. He should have made it clear that he thought SCO was little more than a sophisticated shakedown artist--the Jesse Jackson of software companies if you will. I remember there being a distinct gloating tone to the articles when I read them back then. He seemed happy that OSS developers were going to possibly get their comeuppance. He struck me as one of those stereotype dumb businessmen who cannot tell the difference between the professionals who make real OSS work like the people behind the Apache projects, and the rabid zealots, most of whom are inconsequential morons.

    No one except SCO should have been rooting for SCO, or even saying nice things about them. They are a parasite on capitalism. Regardless of his feelings about OSS development, he should have been honest about SCO, and admitted that they were just trying to extort their way into profitability.
  • is that SCO filing for bankruptcy was necessary for him to admit his mistake.
    That's not being mistaken, that's being IRRATIONAL and STUBBORN. We can afford that, we're hobbyists - but he's a journalist. Now I'm starting to wonder if he has committed OTHER mistakes.
  • For four years, I've been covering a lawsuit for Forbes.com, and my early predictions on this case have turned out to be so profoundly wrong that I am writing this mea culpa. What can I say? I grew up Roman Catholic. The habit stays with you........In June 2003, a few months after SCO Group sued IBM over the Linux operating system, I wrote an article that bore the headline: "What SCO Wants, SCO Gets." The article contained some critical stuff about SCO but also warned that SCO stood a chance of winning the

  • RTFA (Score:5, Informative)

    by steveha (103154) on Thursday September 20, 2007 @06:18PM (#20689095) Homepage
    I know it's pretty common to skip reading the fine article, but in this case, don't miss it.

    He explains why he was fooled by SCO; for example, how Caldera won a settlement against Microsoft, which led him to believe that the SCO Group (successor of Caldera) might actually win. But he doesn't try to dodge the blame; he takes on the blame due him and apologizes.

    With only about seven posts up so far on Slashdot I've already seen a couple that snipe at him for IMHO unfair reasons. He's a reporter, not a computer expert, and he was fooled by some slick con artists. Don't hold him to an unreasonable standard, unless you have never ever been wrong about anything yourself.

    He apologizes very nicely and pokes fun at himself (the article is very entertaingly written). So, read it and enjoy. And please, reserve your vitriol for the actual villains of the piece, the SCO Group itself.

    steveha
    • Re:RTFA (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MightyMartian (840721) on Thursday September 20, 2007 @06:28PM (#20689211) Journal

      With only about seven posts up so far on Slashdot I've already seen a couple that snipe at him for IMHO unfair reasons. He's a reporter, not a computer expert, and he was fooled by some slick con artists. Don't hold him to an unreasonable standard, unless you have never ever been wrong about anything yourself.


      That's right. He's a reporter. And a reporter doesn't have to be a goddamn expert on aeronautics to report on a jet crash, or an expert on maritime engineering to report on a ship sinking. Neither does a reporter have to be a kernel programmer to report on a company claiming they were ripped off by Linus Torvalds and other Linux kernel developers. In all causes, a journalist is supposed to check his sources, supposed to talk to both sides, supposed to, through the process of investigation, become something of an expert. He doesn't need to know jack-shit about fork(), but he should know something about the history of Unix. With that kind of knowledge, he would have soon enough realized that there was a con going on. SCO wasn't slick. They weren't clever at all. If some "amateur sleuths" could recognize right from the word "go" that this was a scam, then that suggests that he's just an idiot, and the question becomes what is Forbes doing paying idiots?

      The apology comes to late. If this guy, and his fellow SCO-whores had been doing their jobs, investor money might have been saved and a stock scam might have been prevented. All it would have required was making some phone calls to guys like Linus to get the scoop.

      This guy, and all his cohorts, are shameful embarassments. They should be fired, not given kudos because, after the fucking company they were giving editorial blowjobs to has crashed and burned, they're shamed into admitting how stupid they were.
    • Will you feel the same way about Laura Didio when she admits she was wrong? He's "only" a reporter, but if he can't manage to make even the weakest analysis of the SCO case, he would not have been bad-mouthing Groklaw, Open Source, and IBM's case. He deserves no sympathy.
    • What Apology? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by HaeMaker (221642) on Thursday September 20, 2007 @06:39PM (#20689331) Homepage
      Funny, I don't see an apology. Just complaining about the pile of....feedback he is receiving from the community.
  • Still sarcastic (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Roadmaster (96317) <roadmr.tomechangosubanana@com> on Thursday September 20, 2007 @06:19PM (#20689101) Homepage Journal
    Does anyone else read " It is simply this: I got it wrong. The nerds got it right" like a high-school jock saying "damn nerd beat me again"?

    Mr. Lyons, let's rephrase it to say "I fucked up big time; and everyone else with half a brain COULD see the facts but I couldn't".

    Also, downplaying the fact that the journalist made a huge mistake by saying "I got it wrong, big deal", is in itself a tremendous blunder; as someone whose most valuable skill is his reliability, knowing that he fucked up big time in something so obvious should ring sirens for anyone currently paying this guy money to write.

    I bet you work for CMP! LOL!
    • News for nerds (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Xtifr (1323)
      Since a lot of people who criticised him came from a site which bills itself as "News for nerds, stuff that matters [slashdot.org]", I hardly think it's out of line for him to refer to them as nerds. :)

      On the other hand, this seems like a fairly weak apology overall, considering the amount of vitriol he's heaped upon Linux developers, advocates, supporters and fans in the past. I think he owes a few people (especially PJ) a more personal apology. On the gripping hand, this move clearly shows that he's a hell of a lot mo
  • We appreciate that you are man enough to apologize.

    BTW: We're having 1,000 humble pies delivered to your house.
  • by st1d (218383) on Thursday September 20, 2007 @06:25PM (#20689177) Homepage
    Not entirely sure I buy the bit about it being a mistake, but perhaps he could have avoided the whole deal if he wasn't so eager to paint F/OSS advocates as amateurs. As a journalist, commentator, analyst, or whatever he's supposed to be, he lives on his reputation. Maybe next time, he might value his reputation (i.e., paycheck) enough to check BOTH SIDES of the argument in an unbiased manner. Maybe spend some time with a psychologist, examining why he has an innate desire to see the little guy lose, a community of volunteers destroyed by a failing corporate interest, and puppies being tortured.

    Either way, he'd like it all to go away? After insulting millions of F/OSS users? I don't think that's going to happen anytime soon Daniel, sorry. The apology is a nice start, the roman catholic rosary is another option, and a whole lot of honest stories about how this community has built itself up from what many have said was a shaky foundation, to become a force even mighty MS has found itself bending to. Maybe some NICE ARTICLES about the people who have worked so hard to make sure that the code is clean, and so on.

    You wanna win your respect back? The apology is a pleasant change, now get to work earning respect!
  • I got it wrong. The nerds got it right.

    Well then, maybe Forbes should hire some actual nerds to write about technology than leaving it to bozos like him that usually "got it wrong". There are journalists out there with a much better track record who probably write just as well. There may even be one or two who will listen to all sides of a technology story and not just go with whatever corporate spin say.

    Oh, I forgot. This is Forbes. The business "PRess". They are so objective and truth-seeking. You'

  • by HaeMaker (221642) on Thursday September 20, 2007 @06:42PM (#20689357) Homepage
    ...I thought this turkey could fly.
    • Mod parent funny (Score:3, Informative)

      by KwKSilver (857599)
      I caught the reference, if no one else did. Arthur Carlson (WKRP in Cincinnati): "As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly!" Said after dumping scores of turkeys from a small plane. or was it a chopper. Hilarious.
  • by huckda (398277) on Thursday September 20, 2007 @06:58PM (#20689591) Journal
    when the subject matter is Nerdy...listen to the Nerds, NOT the businessman's PR representatives who took you out to lunch to give you the "scoop".
  • by walterbyrd (182728) on Thursday September 20, 2007 @07:36PM (#20690055)
    Sleuth? WTF? Any idiot could see scox was lying. All the events below happend in 2003:

    * Remember scoforum 2003? That is when scox did the great unvailing of the infringing code. It was proven bogus within one hour.

    * Why did scox require journalists to sign an NDA to see the code?

    * Scox claimed they could, and would, stop IBM from selling AIX - an outright lie.

    * Scox claimed they would audit all AIX customers, they didn't.

    * Scox told the court -twice- that scox would provide evidence of UNIX being dumped into Linux. We're still waiting.

    * Scox claimed to own UNIX, even though the trademark was clearly owned by the open group.

    * What about the odd funding? Remember the halloween memo?

    There is probably a lot of stuff I'm forgetting, but those shameless stunts were just in 2003. Scox was proven a liar over, and over, and over. It didn't take any sluething.
  • BAD (Score:4, Insightful)

    by steveoc (2661) on Thursday September 20, 2007 @09:40PM (#20691189)
    Oh, for goodness sakes Daniel .. you are making it sound like it was a wild 50:50 guestimate of who was going to win the next Melbourne Cup or something. You make it sound like this time (by pure good luck) the nerds got it right for once.

    Sure, you got it wrong and the nerds got it right .. but then again blind freddy got it right as well. Every man and his dog actually got it right. Every man and his dog that is, except for yourself and a small handful of (surprise surprise) 'Professional Tech Journalists'.

    You didnt just 'get it wrong', you got ALL of the facts completely and blatantly ass up. Lets not pretend it was just an unlucky guess on your part - like putting a dollar on the wrong horse. What you did is akin to turning up in court to provide a character reference for Al Capone, and lavishing the most extreme praise upon most honest self when you barely know the guy.

    OF COURSE anyone with half a brain knows why you did it. Nobody thinks you are incompetant or stupid - we just think you are greedy and unethical.

  • by Antaeus Feldspar (118374) on Thursday September 20, 2007 @10:05PM (#20691433) Homepage
    I'm sorry, but Lyons' portrayal of himself as an ordinary Joe who made a reasonable evaluation of the case which just happened to be wrong because SCO was keeping its deception so well-hidden is just plain wrong. There was at least one red flag which Lyons has no excuse for not catching.

    That red flag was when SCO presented their excuse for not showing anyone (except under draconian NDAs) what the alleged copyright infringement actually consisted of. They didn't want that information getting to the Linux crew, they said, because that would allow them to remove the offending code.

    That there is all you need to know to call "BS". It is your obligation to notify someone you suspect of infringing your copyright of just how you think they are infringing your copyright so that they can remedy the wrong. You cannot say "I would rather let them continue to infringe my copyright so I can soak them for more damages"; despite what SCO might have you believe, that is not the purpose of copyright law. As for the idea that the offending code would be scrubbed from the record in order to hide the evidence of past infringement, again, that's BS. If there was copied code in the kernel, as SCO assured us there was, SCO could have downloaded copies of the kernel twice a day to have a historical record of the violation.

    Lyons still refers to "amateur sleuths" as though he's some kind of professional. What sort of "professional" doesn't investigate the most glaring contradiction between what someone claims they want and what they're actually trying to arrange?

Computers are unreliable, but humans are even more unreliable. Any system which depends on human reliability is unreliable. -- Gilb

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