Monday, September 24, 2007

Revisiting the "Firefox Myths" Part 7

Please read my earlier post "Revisiting the "Firefox Myths" Part 2, the Tangent" for background information on where these quotes came from and what the heck is going on.

The following is a response to Andrew's September 21, 2007 6:18 PM comment to Revisiting the "Firefox Myths" Part 6. I was originally going to post this as another comment in the thread, but decided it had gotten a bit long and needed to be a new post instead.

Unless otherwise noted, indented text in italics are Andrew K's comments, and my responses follow the quote.
By your logic it is dishonest to Ignore IE3 and IE4. The Requirement Myth is accurate and is not changing.
Andrew,

I'm afraid I don't follow you here.

In Revisiting the "Firefox Myths" Part 6 and the resulting comments I argued that IE 7 needed to be included in the discussion because:
  • It's the fastest growing browser in history, and still growing.

  • It has 50% of IE 6's market share.

  • It's the most recent version.

  • It's the ONLY version of IE available to people running Vista, and most new PCs come with Vista pre-loaded.

  • It's Microsoft's recommend upgrade path for XP users.

  • Bug fixes for IE6 are likely to be few and far between, as most development efforts will be directed at IE7.

  • It's been about a year since the last IE 6 bug fix.

  • While I did not make this point earlier, I'd like to point out that according to most statistics IE7 has a larger market share than Firefox.
How do ANY of those points lead you to claim IE 3 and IE 4 should be included as well? I'm afraid your logic escapes me, as neither IE 3 or IE 4 meet ANY of the criteria I set fourth as arguments for including IE 7 in the "System Requirements" section of your site.
Each Myth is based on how it was heard. With requirements the version number was not mentioned specifically for IE while with performance they are.

I don't care how it looks to those who cannot understand simple logic.
Again, your open hostility is what drives the negative reaction to you and your site far more than the data you present. Running around accusing people of being stupid just because they don't think the same way you do, or because they disagree with your logic, is not constructive. I sincerely hope this attitude doesn't reflect your behavior in real life.

If you want people to understand and accept your statements, you have to take into account the objections people will raise. It's the difference between a persuasive statement that will get people to change their behavior and a rant that few will take seriously.

I don't want to attack you or your page. I want to help you change the things that are causing so many people to dismiss it as the ranting of an anti-Firefox Zealot. The first rule of writing is to think about your target market. For whom are you writing and who will be reading it? Who are the people you're trying to reach with your Firefox Myths page?
The browser news comment you are taking completely out of context. I stated:

"The Browsernews is even more biased looking at the sources as it trys to compare single domain page hits with companies who monitor web traffic across hundreds of thousands of pages."

I never said Browsernews uses thousands of pages for it's samples I said it is comparing sources that use thousands of samples to ones with a single domain.
upsdell.com is pretty straightforward about the sources used in the linked Browsernews article. The whole point was to reflect the wide range of results you get when you modify your sample set. It's one of the reasons I encourage web developers to pay more attention to the statistics from their own sites than to overall browser market estimates.

You keep claiming that the differences in the six sample sets constitutes some kind of disadvantage, something that discredits the article. Those differences, both in the sample data and the ensuing results, are the whole POINT of the article. The goal of the article is to get people to think critically about the numbers being presented to them. Isn't that, in a way, what you were trying to argue in your original article?

You're trying to discredit a few articles by linking to statistics that disagree with those statistics. You're asking readers to treat the number you use as superior to those of the original articles. Isn't it more useful to point out the difficulties involved in trying to get a "global" picture of browser usage?

People can argue the "superiority" of one set of browser statistics against another until everyone turns blue in the face. Educating people about the inherently flawed nature of browser statistics in general will be more likely to get people to look at a "firefox achieves xx.x% market share" headline with a critical eye.
I never stated the definition I used does not define IE or Opera as insecure you keep implying this. I make no such statements or implications. You keep stating it to make an excuse for Firefox being insecure.
I'm not trying to make excuses for Firefox's security issues. I'm trying to help you modify your site so that people take it more seriously. I never denied that Firefox has it's own security issues, but the fact that your site is viewed as a "hit piece" and not an objective, unbiased source means the points you raise aren't being taken seriously, defeating the purpose of the "Firefox Myths" page.

Instead of thinking "Hey, I should demand Firefox deal with the security issues in the extensions," your concerns are being written off as a rant.
I am bashing nothing, just because the majority of the Firefox Myths are overexaggerated positives does not mean that I am bashing Firefox.
Again, you're ignoring the emotional reaction people have to your tone and attitude.

You have a choice Andrew.

Option 1:

Leave the page as it is, occasionally updating it to reflect new data and myths. Continue responding to criticism with a hostile, attacking tone.

Option 2:

Rewrite the page to reflect an unbiased view of the facts. In the rewrite, address the concerns that have been raised about your site and do your best to anticipate new ones. Engage in an actual dialog with the people who criticize the site, treating their concerns with respect, even when they're hostile towards you.

The path you choose will reveal your true intentions with the site. Option 1 is the path for someone who is hard-headed and more interested in angering people than in dispensing facts.

Option 2 could very well make your site into something of a Snopes.com for Firefox, a relied upon and quoted resource that the Firefox developers could very well come to see as a list of issues they NEED to address.
Counterpoints are Excuses and excuses will never be added to the page.
Again, that arrogance, that refusal to even admit someone else might have a point is what's damaging your credibility more than anything else. Isn't your entire site noting more than an attempt to provide counterpoints to the myths and exaggerations you've seen on the Internet? You come across as dogmatically saying "If you disagree with me you're an idiot making excuses."

20 comments:

Andrew K said...

Lets get something straight. I don't need nor asked for your or anyone elses "help" in writing the page.

The requirements myth simply states IE not IE 7. Thus IE6 which has the most market share of any browser and works on the same amount of OSes as Firefox is perfectly exceptable. IE6 is also still actively supported by Microsoft:

http://support.microsoft.com/gp/lifesupsps/#Internet_Explorer

New PC's coming with Vista is irrelevant to browser market share.

I am not changing it. Stop wasting your time arguing about it.

I have no interest in people who read what is not there, jump to there own conclusions or cannot deal with the facts. Plenty of people, the overwhelming majority understand the page. It is the non-Windows users (Mac, Linux), Opensource advocates, Microsoft haters and Firefox fanboys who have a problem with the page. Everyone else "GETS IT".

I have already clearly stated what I have to say about the Browsernews link, I am not repeating myself.

The market share Myths are debunked because multiple sources show different statistics. It is not 10 to 1 or 20 to 1. It is 1 to 3, 2 to 3 ect.. It simply shows how they like to overhype cherry picked statistics to promote the browser. And you can clearly see at least 3 sources debunking each one.

My page is not biased, I simply tell it like it is with no sugar coating.

Get this straight:

I COULD CARELESS ABOUT PEOPLE'S "EMOTIONAL REACTION" TO THE PAGE. Emotion has nothing to do with facts.

This is not complicated, stating well "yes this is true Firefox is not secure but neither is IE" is an EXCUSE! Excuses will not be added to the page to make people feel better about themselves. If people cannot handle the facts that is not my problem, they can go read another page. The overwhelming majority of the 5 million plus people who have read the page come away with the truth about these Myths.

The page is to debunk Myths about Firefox not endorse or promote a browser.

Matthew said...

New PC's coming with Vista is irrelevant to browser market share.

If I read that right, you're claiming that new computers shipping with an OS that can't run IE6 is irrelevant to Browser Market Share. Are you claiming that this factor won't make a difference in the long run?

Plenty of people, the overwhelming majority understand the page.

Upon what, may I ask, do you base this conclusion? It's already been demonstrated that the "positive" comments on firefox myths are faked.

It is the non-Windows users (Mac, Linux), Opensource advocates, Microsoft haters and Firefox fanboys who have a problem with the page. Everyone else "GETS IT".

You really should learn that nobody takes statements like that seriously. Calling all your critics "fanboys" only weakens your position.

I COULD CARELESS ABOUT PEOPLE'S "EMOTIONAL REACTION" TO THE PAGE. Emotion has nothing to do with facts.

The statement above revels the crux of your problem and the real source of the negative reactions to your site. You flat out refuse to actually COMMUNICATE and instead lecture dogmatically, like a teacher dealing with uncooperative students.

Since most of your readers are adults who expect to be treated like adults, being lectured to like children rubs them the wrong way, generating the hostile and negative reactions your site is receiving.

You can continue to delude yourself that straw man "fanboys" are the source of your problems, but that won't help you in the long run. The worst enemy you face is your own lack of communication skills.

I recommend "How to Win Friends & Influence People" by Dale Carnegie. It's an invaluable book on effective communication and one I reread every few years. It will teach you a lot about how to engage people, get their attention and how to KEEP their attention and interest.

Like it or not, effective communication requires human interaction, even when you're communicating on a web page.

FreewheelinFrank said...

"You have a choice Andrew.

Option 1:

Leave the page as it is, occasionally updating it to reflect new data and myths. Continue responding to criticism with a hostile, attacking tone.

Option 2:

Rewrite the page to reflect an unbiased view of the facts. In the rewrite, address the concerns that have been raised about your site and do your best to anticipate new ones. Engage in an actual dialog with the people who criticize the site, treating their concerns with respect, even when they're hostile towards you.

The path you choose will reveal your true intentions with the site. Option 1 is the path for someone who is hard-headed and more interested in angering people than in dispensing facts."

Fine words Matthew, but Andrew has already made his choice. Firefox Myths is dishonest, deceitful and wilfully wrong in places. This has been pointed out repeatedly on many occasions to no avail.

Not about everything, of course, but about some important things. Here's one example: security.

Firefox Myths now claims that IE6 was more secure than Firefox 1.x. At the time Firefox Myths boldly stated 'Anyone who claims Internet Explorer cannot be secured from Auto-installing Spyware either doesn't know how or is lying.'

I said dishonest before and this is why: the blog that Firefox Myths uses as a source for the claim that IE6 was more secure than Firefox 1.x is Andrew's own blog on Popular Technology.

I said deceitful and this is why: comments posted to this blog pointing out the error of the argument were deleted. In fact the first comment (posted by a rather astute 13 year old) says all that needs to be said:

"However, if I may point out, you have to not only consider the vunerability count, but also how well the patch was made, how many flaws are critical, and where the flaws are."

http://tinyurl.com/ytvwu

I recall about 30 comments were posted, most of which repeated the same point. All but two favourable comments have been deleted.

I said willfully wrong before and here is why: at the time, Andrew continued to make the claim that IE6 could be secured against the automatic installation of malware, and that there was no security advantage to using Firefox despite a rash of exploits affecting IE6 which allowed the auto installation of malware by simply visiting an infected site, and without any user interaction, ie, without clicking 'yes' to anything.

These exploits remained unpatched by Microsoft for days, even weeks, and were found by security companies such as McAfee, Sophos, SANS: even microsoft admitted seeing 'limited attacks'.

Andrew K ignored these security warnings. He went further: he denied the attacks were happening. He apparently told the clients for whom he provides IT support that Microsoft had not observed any attacks happening and that there was no need to worry. (Microsoft was in fact urging caution in sites visited.)

Dishonest, deceitful and wilfully wrong.

http://tinyurl.com/y4qnyt
http://tinyurl.com/2ftmce

I compare the situation to bank security. Imagine there are two banks and you ask 'which is more secure'. Somebody tells you that 30 security weaknesses were reported in bank A: cracked windows, broken skylights, insecure locks etc., but only 20 in bank B. Then bank B must be more secure, right?

What if I told you that bank A was never robbed, because security weaknesses identified were fixed in a timely fashion, but that bank B was robbed half a dozen times because of tardiness in fixing security problems?

Imagine someone told bank B their locks could be picked but they didn't change the locks for weeks and in the mean time the local villains found out and emptied the bank. Imagine this happened several times. Would you still claim bank B was more secure because bank A had more cracked windows and broken skylights in the same period, even though they were fixed before anyone noticed them or got in through them?

This was a crucial security issue at the time. IE6 users could get infected by visiting the wrong site. Using an alternative browser was a common recommendation in security warnings.

Today, it is still and issue for those who have not or cannot update to IE7, especially anybody using an unsupported Microsoft OS. Alternative browsers have a better security record than IE6, and unsupported and outdated versions of IE6 are full of security holes and are a risk. (Older versions of Firefox and Opera are also insecure, which is why it's crucial to update browsers and other software.)

It's always dangerous to put dogma over the evidence, but this is what Firefox Myths does.

The ultimate foolishness of the site was confirmed when MS issued IE7 with much improved security: they knew full well that they need to improve the security of their browser, and did so. They didn't deny the problems and make false claims about the security of IE6.

Unfortunately, this is an episode Andrew hasn't learnt from. His only response to somebody pointing out his errors is still to repeat them:

"And reposting the same assertions, without taking into account any of the information presented to you, only makes you a troll, it doesn't make you right"

http://tinyurl.com/2244hy

Or to become abusive:

"..dirty rotten LIAR!"

http://tinyurl.com/2yq6ed

Why do I point out Andrew's latest posting, which have nothing to do with Firefox?

Because Firefox Myths has nothing to do with Firefox. It's just another topic chosen in order to seek out angry confrontations.

Be it 'Firefox Fanboys' or even worse, liberals and environmentalists, all fair game for a troll.

FreewheelinFrank said...

How do you go about trolling? Find a group of people you don't like, turn what they believe to be true on its head and throw it back at them. Some of them will patiently point out the errors in your argument; others will take the bait, get angry, jump up and down and insult you. You can then insult them back and feel all righteous about it.

Danny Carlton did this with Firefox and Adblock. Danny doesn't like Firefox because he see the users as a bunch of communists and idolaters, or some other such nonsense. Adblock users block ads because they're fed up of being annoyed or ripped off by intrusive of dishonest ads. Danny turns this round and accuses Firefox users of stealing from webmasters. (Never mind that other browsers and firewalls block ads as well.)

If anybody points out inconsistencies in his argument, they're ignored. If anybody takes the bait and gets angry, they're 'morons' and 'idiots'.

http://jacklewis.net/weblog/archives/2007/09/wladimer_palant.php

Here's another classic:

http://jacklewis.net/weblog/archives/2005/12/the_religion_of.php

So evolution is religion and intelligent design is science: truth on its head- nice try Danny!

No surprise that Danny cites Andrew's blog on whyfirefoxisblocked.com:

http://tinyurl.com/27gllr

(Personal attack will be removed = mention the fact that I'm the author of Firefox Myths and your comment will be removed.)

Andrew doesn't like Firefox users, that's clear from his blogs:

http://tinyurl.com/2zuea4

The errors in Firefox Myths are not there because nobody has pointed them out, they are there because they are essential to the purpose of the site, to troll Firefox users.

Firefox users believe their browser is more secure, so Andrew turns truth on it's head and throws it back at them. No, IE6 is more secure than Firefox. Black is white. It doesn't work if you argue that Firefox is not infallibly secure: black is grey doesn't work.

While Andrew K relishes a good confrontation, he'll never take on board what anybody says.

The same with the 'Anti Man-Made Global Warming Resource', his latest project. Scientists are still arguing about the extent and consequences of man-made global warming doesn't work. Global warming is a myth will stir up some controversy.

When that topic has been done to death, no doubt Andrew will find another one, but there's about as much point in trying to rationally debate with him as in trying to talk to a brick wall.

Oh, and if Andrew denies being the Andrew on Poptech, here's the proof:

http://nanobox.chipx86.com/caches/andrew_is_andrewk/

Matthew said...

Frank,

Based on what I've seen so far, I'm not surprised Andrew found someone using the same user name elsewhere to slander you.

I'm not quite sure why I bothered with engaging him. It was clear from his other responses to criticism that he was either a troll, or had a pathological fear of being "wrong" about anything.

In the end, I guess I just enjoyed the novelty of having a flame war on my normally quiet blog. :)

I'm tempted to create my own version of the Firefoxmyths page so the good points Andrew made can be presented without the bias and outright fabrications. Of course, since I lack the, er, moral flexibility needed to Spam the URL over all creation, and I'd be interested in accuracy over drama, I'd probably never achieve the popularity of his controversy generating site.

chobits said...

release the trolls!!!! YARGH! :P
u missed talk like a pirate day.

both my blogs are always quiet. :P
plus i someties end up copy and pasting. and i only 2 people who read my blogs. :)

FreewheelinFrank said...

Have you seen David Hammond's version of Firefox Myths?

http://www.webdevout.net/firefox-myths

Pretty reasonable, I reckon.

Andrew said...

I am claiming that OS Market Share is irrelevant to Browser market share. Stating that a certain OS has X amount of market share is meaningless to what the actual Browser Market Share is.

I base my conclusion on actual emails I receive about it. The overwhelming majority support it and understand it. The Satire section is just that Satire.

All my critics are fanboys or are Mac users, Linux users or anti-Microsoft. I get the emails I know.

The hostile and negative reaction my site is receiving is from the Fanboys who are emotionally attached to their browser of choice. It has nothing to do with logic because what I debunk does not mean you cannot still use the browser or that their are still legitimate reasons to use it, only that they can no longer exaggerate and lie about it in an attempt to convert people.

I honestly do not care about emotional people who do not think logically, sorry but I really don't and never will.

Frank, my site is unbiased and it is updated, it is simply brutally honest and nothing is changing.

Nothing is dishonest or deceitful about my page.

Brian Krebbs is not a security expert, he is a journalist and the only one who you can find to agree with your ridiculous views.

Frank you are a flat out liar, I do not have a blog and the PopularTechnology site is not my personal blog!

The Grand Bastard said...

"I am claiming that OS Market Share is irrelevant to Browser market share. Stating that a certain OS has X amount of market share is meaningless to what the actual Browser Market Share is."

So, you don't think the fact that Vista CAN'T run IE 6 will have any impact on IE7's adoption rate?

Are you 12 and flunked Math?

You're too young to remember this, but gas in the US used to be sold with lead in it. Over time, people realized this was causing health problems, like mental retardation (Something you seem to be familiar with). Because of this the US Government mandated that the oil companies had to get the Lead out.

Cars started coming out that ONLY used Unleaded Gas.

Over time leaded gas got harder and harder to find. There were fewer and fewer cars that could run it. The fact that most cars that used leaded gasoline could also run on unleaded gasoline only made the process happen faster.

The same thing is happening with web browsers.

New computers are coming out that can't run Windows XP because there are no XP drivers for their hardware. This means they can't run Internet Explorer 6. IE 6 is the leaded gasoline of the computer age.

XP users can also install Internet Explorer 7 and Windows Update offers you IE 7 when running XP. This is something else that makes IE6 a lot like leaded gasoline.

Only Windows 2000, and the handful of Windows 98, 95 and ME users are unable to upgrade to IE7. They're the only folks left who can't run on unleaded gas.

You see, IE6 is dying. Microsoft wants you to upgrade to IE 7, web developers want folks to upgrade to IE7 and time is set against that old bastard.

You're just too dumb and too pathetic to see it. I pity you. It must HURT to be as dumb as you.

"All my critics are fanboys or are Mac users, Linux users or anti-Microsoft. I get the emails I know."

Boy, I run Windows XP, and I use Internet Explorer 7. I am a BIG Microsoft fan and even own some of their stock.

Even I think you're a hate filled asshole with a bee in your bonnet over Firefox. I don't know why you hate it so but you clearly do. Your ranting on this web site makes that clear.

And stop with the bullshit about that being a "Satire" piece on your page. That's a load of bull and a sleazy trick for a no-account lying bastard to try and weasel his way out of a libel suit. No one's buying the line so give the Hell up little boy.

FreewheelinFrank said...

"Frank you are a flat out liar, I do not have a blog and the PopularTechnology site is not my personal blog!"

Andrew K = Mastertech = Andrew = Pop(ular)Tech

OptimizeXP = Firefox Myths = Popular Technology

I've provided plenty of evidence in previous comments- see Matthew's original entry, and also part 3.

English Teacher said...

"Lets get something straight. I don't need nor asked for your or anyone elses "help" in writing the page."

The people who need the most help are never the ones who ask for it.

Learn to proofread Andrew. You used a double negative, "elses" isn't even a word and the overall sentence structure is a mess.

I should spell check your entire site. You need all the help you can get. I hop your High School English classes will help now that you're back at school. Enjoy your Freshman Year.

Anonymous said...

I honestly do not care about emotional people who do not think logically, sorry but I really don't and never will.

You don't care about yourself?

All that self hate would go a long way in explaining your problems.

Andrew said...

I repeat all that matters is the browser market share, OS market share is irrelevant since nothing is stopping Vista users from using Firefox, Opera or Safari. Currently IE6 has the most market share period. That is just reality and something you will have to deal with.

Unleaded gas has nothing to do with Firefox.

I never claimed IE6 would be around forever only that it has the largest market share. This is the reality.

Again this isn't complicated the requirement myth came out in 2005! It has nothing to do with IE7. It is not a current Myth but still relevant since people who did not believe it then still do not believe it now. It is worded how it was stated then and will not be changed. Just because it is two years later does not make it a non-myth now.

If you think I am "hate filled" then that is because you are a moron.

The Fanboys Quote section is calle FANBOYS because it is Satire. If it was meant to be anything else it would be labeled differently. I could careless if you believe it or not but this is the truth and it is the funniest damn thing on the page. Idiots like Frank ect... obsessed about it for months. Nothing was funnier to watch morons like him waste his time running around trying to disprove something that was satire. It is so easy to play with weak minded people like this.

Deal with reality and the facts. 5.5 million + people have learned the truth and it grows by thousands every day and there is nothing you fanboys can do about it.

The Grand Bastard said...

The thing is Andy, when I see the word "Fanboys" and a list of quotes, I tend to think they're actual quotes. What is it about that part of your site that magically makes it "satire"?

You're lucky none of the folks on that site care about you or your page, because if they did they'd have a cast iron clad libel lawsuit against you. Your miserable little excuse that it's satire wouldn't stand up in court.

FreewheelinFrank said...

"Learn to proofread Andrew. You used a double negative, "elses" isn't even a word and the overall sentence structure is a mess."

I suspect that Andrew is a non-native speaker of English- the grammatical errors sometimes go beyond what could be explained by mere 'typos':

"Andrew K's use the Andrew account in the forums."

Digg

"There are alot of misinformation about Firefox out there. Get the facts:"

Viewable With Any Browser

"You're lucky none of the folks on that site care about you or your page, because if they did they'd have a cast iron clad libel lawsuit against you."

All of Andrew's sites are anonymous. His ISP compelled him to move the misquotes to a separate section and indicate missing words with dots after complaints.

At least now it's pretty obvious what he's doing.

FreewheelinFrank said...

Andrew K, full name Andrew Khan.

(He typed his full name by mistake in a comment here.)

Origin: central Asia?

Grammatical errors made during lapses of concentration but an otherwise native-speaker level of English indicate immigration to the US during early childhood.

Can't be easy to live in the land of immigrants and yet never entirely fit in because the colour of your skin is a little too dark, or your surname stands out.

Does this explain some of the anger?

Can anybody complete the biography?

The Grand Bastard said...

Andrew Khan, 20, Murder and Attempted Murder.

Andrew K said...

The "FANBOY" quote section was called that from day one. The ... were added after an email from David Hammond mentioning it. It is still Satire and even David Hammond understood that.

The name was a typo get over it. Oh and I could careless about proof reading pointless blog comments.

Fanboys are fools.

FreewheelinFrank said...

Andrew (Drew) Kahn
Age: 40's
Born: ?
Place of residence: US, New Jersey?
Occupation: IT (Helpdesk Support, Technician, Technical Service Manager and OEM Branch Manager)
Qualifications: A+ and Dell certified
Known aliases: Mastertech (MT), Pop(ular)tech, GeneralAres, NewsHound, Realist, TheHardTruth
Hobbies: Trolling and Spamming

Can anybody add to the biography?

FreewheelinFrank said...

Sorry, that should've been 'khan'.