Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Revisiting the "Firefox Myths" Part 2, the Tangent

This is the ongoing saga of my responses to a Blogger using the handle "Andrew K." On September 13, 2007, I posted an article entitled "Debunking the 'Firefox Myths' page." The point of the post was to address what I saw as factual errors on firefoxmyths.com. Someone claiming to be the "Andrew K" who created Firefoxmyths.com posted a couple of replies to my original article. Since I expected the resulting thread to get rather long I've chosen to respond to his posts with separate articles on my blog.

First, a little background. One of the comments came from FreewheelinFrank who provided me some insight and a few links. Here are FreewheelinFrank's links.

The article "The myths of Firefox Myths" was written by a blogger who was convinced to try Opera by the original Firefox myths page. He then attempted to contact Andrew K about some of the holes he found on the site, specifically the fact that it fails to approach Firefox in an unbiased manner. He was rudely rebuffed and proceeded to create a page debunking the myths one by one. I recommend reading it, as he makes a lot of good points and the comment links are often hilarious, particularly the superior Firefox Myths page that takes a far more even handed approach.

Next, FreewheelinFrank links to "Internet Explorer Unsafe for 284 Days in 2006" which I wrote about in my first response to Andrew K's comments.

Finally, grantlairdjr.com/wp/2006/05/18/firefox-myths starts off with a link to firefoxmyths.com and contains a thread discussing the claims made on the site and someone claiming to be Andrew K responds.


Anonymous said...

James' useless commentary in his 'Myths of Firfox Myths' page was completely destroyed in his comments by me there and when he had no response to it, he resulted in blocking my account from replying. Typical Fanboy behavior. FreewheelinFrank is an Internet Troll and Firefox Fanboy Spammer who spreads nothing but lies and libel about my page and person.

Matthew Miller said...

I provided the link, and I recommend people read the thread for themselves. Personally, I think your "defenses" were handily refuted by the other people who commented on the article, but that's a call for people to make on their own.

Aside from disagreeing with you, what evidence is there that FreewheelinFrank is a "troll"?

What, exactly, has he said that constitutes a lie?

Be specific, quote him, show me what he said that was so dishonest, because your unsupported tirades get old fast.

Anonymous said...

Please state what point that James (Myths of Firefox Myths) made that I did not easily refute? If you follow the conversation, after I easily refuted his page which is nothing but excuses, opinions, rhetoric, conjecture and flat out lies. I proved repeatedly that he was unable to read the page and simply made idiotic assumptions. You will find he simply stops debating my points (when he lost) and changed the argument). What other people were on the article? It was just me and James! You just proved you did not even read it!

FreewheelinFrank spams every single discussion of my page for no other reason then to state lies about me.

He just lied in your other blog post that I ban evaded on Digg which is a lie because my IP address was blocked, he also lied that I posted under all those other names which is another lie ect...

Here are some examples:

"Who was it using the name poptech, banned for spamming Firefox Myths 29 times?

Who was it using the name Populartech, banned for spamming his blog over 50 times? I should say your blog of course, the very same that Danny linked to: Firefox the new religion.

Those are not my names ect... Pretty much everything he posts negative about me. Do a search online you will find him repeatedly stalking me.

Matthew Miller said...


I've never had a flamewar on my blog before. Andrew, I recommend you relax a bit. Getting bent out of shape will only cloud your thinking. A common debate tactic is to get your opponent angry so they blunder and lose the ability argue coherently. The last thing I want is for this discussion to devolve into a digital shouting match.

I'm sorry for my confusion about the "Other people" on the site. I was thinking of a different Blog. There have been a number of sites that set out to debunk your "Firefox Myths" page and they tended to blur together after a while.

You do make a number of good points on your page but the perceived bias turns a lot of people off. You're getting a LOT of flack from people which you attribute to Firefox fanboyism, when in fact people are reacting more to the hostile tone in some of your writing than it's actual content.

Readers tend to have a better reaction to people who present information in an unbiased manner. The brash, "You're an idiot if you don't agree with me" approach only works in places where you control who can and can not respond. This is why Bill O'Reilly will sometimes cut off a guest's microphone on his show. The antagonistic routine falls apart in the face of actual debate.

For example, the way you addressed the "Not for Profit" Myth consisted entirely of quotes, one from Mozillazine itself. This was well handled and I agreed with your debunking of that myth from the beginning.

For comparison let's take a look at "System Requirements." A lot of people take issue with the absence of IE 7's requirements in the debunking. One line would dissolve that criticism once and for all.

Right after your note about IE6's Market share add:

"Internet Explorer 7 has the same minimum hardware requirements as Firefox 2.x, which means even if you use the latest versions instead of the most popular, Firefox still doesn't have lower requirements."

If you want to make a dig at Firefox, then link to an article where someone with some "Geek Cred" rants about IE7 being bloated. Don't editorialize on it, just link to it from the words "Internet Explorer 7."

All you need to do to debunk the myth is prove Firefox's requirement aren't lower. Adding the line I recommend also provides some future-proofing for the article, so people with a new Vista machine don't read it and get pissed at you for ignoring the ONLY IE version they can use.

In "Firefox is Bug Free" add a few extra sources for the Myth. A lot of people attack the Petlover's.com source but if you can grab a few from a resource with more "Geek Cred." If you do, people will tend to agree with your assessment of the Myth. It just needs a few more sources for the myth for it to be taken seriously.

Drop the "Notes" line from the "Faster than Mozilla" myth. It's an unnecessary dig. If you want to express the same idea, then reword the the "Reality" line to include a link to an article about how Firefox is intended to be a faster, lighter version of Mozilla. Providing a link to a Mozilla executive crowing about Firefox being the faster, leaner version of Mozilla will accomplish far more than an unsourced jab.

If you're going to keep the "Firefox 1.x is more Secure than Internet Explorer 6" myth, then you NEED to address the 2006 createTextRange() vulnerability that allowed Drive-By installs and went unpatched for so long. The fact that time dragged by where IE users could be infected with a virus by simply visiting a web site left a bad taste in people's mouths. Regardless of how many vulnerabilities were found in the respective browsers, people only remember the major ones and createTextRange() was a dozy. A lot of the perception of Firefox being more secure and offering faster patches than IE came from Microsoft's handling of that bug.

Those are just a few recommendations. I know we got off on an antagonistic foot, but I'd like to help you edit the page to make it a bit friendlier. Softening up the tone a bit without compromising the content will lead to wider acceptance of the page. As it is, a lot of people who would otherwise take you and your comments seriously are writing you off as some kind of Anti-Firefox crusader.

Anonymous said...

Andrews lies about his identity on the web are well documented now:

Firefox Myths/OptimizeXP = Mastertech
Popular Technology = Pop(ular)tech

'Spam count: 19 gratuitous links to Firefox Myths and counting.

Two quotes from poptech:

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

"my well conceived resource page."

The global warming resource page was posted by the "Andrew account", so it must have been written by Andrew K of Firefox Myths, so if what you said is true, it can be your resource at all, can it?

Caught out in a lie, poptech is proved to be Mastertech, the infamous internet troll and prolific spammer, previously banned from digg for spamming the Firefox Myths page.'


Documentation of previous lies:


He's not fooling anybody anymore:


Anonymous said...

More lies by FreewheelinFrank the Pot Head

I could not figure out what was wrong with you and why you were so delusional, now I know.

Matthew Miller said...

The best response he can come up with is an accusation that one of his opponents is a "pot head?"

The technical term for what Andrew is doing is an Ad hominem Attack.

It's been my experience that people don't resort to Ad hominem attacks unless they realize their own arguments are indefensible. It's something of a last ditch effort. It politics it's generally called "mud slinging" or a "Smear campaign."

FreewheelinFrank's earlier accusations of dishonestly on Andrew's part were not Ad hominem attacks. The accusations were relevant to the issues being debated. If Andrew had a similar set of links demonstrating duplicity on Frank's part, then that too would have been relevant. This is because both arguments would have addressed the truthfulnesses and reliability of the statements being made about Firefox. In political terms, it's similar to pointing out what lobbyists and corporations donate heavily to a politician's campaigns.

What Andrew did with this "Pot Head" accusation is tantamount to admitting Frank is telling the truth.

Anonymous said...

Matthew if you are going to accept the delusional lies of a fanatic pothead as not an ad hominem attack then I am done here.

No nothing Frank has stated negatively about me nor will continue to is true. And yes learning that he is a pothead is very relevant because it explains his schizophrenia.

You realize Frank used to link to my Optimize Guides pages until the Firefox Myths page came out and he went hysterical. I can tell now it was from smoking too much of the funny stuff.

Matthew Miller said...

Andrew, Pot doesn't cause Schizophrenia. The clinical effects of pot smoking are well documented, but despite the imaginative diatribes of 1950's and 1960's propaganda films, hallucinations and Schizophrenia are not among them.

It does however make it difficult to maintain focus, which is why I never partake. The occasional Scotch, Martini or Gin and Tonic is more than enough mind altering substances for my taste.

You're losing focus and appear to be easily distracted. If you think so little of Frank's opinions then respond to the comment I made just above Frank's.

Focus Andrew, Focus.

Anonymous said...


much as I enjoy seeing Andrew make a fool of himself, I have to point out that the Freewheelinfrank Andrew thinks is me is 'getting down to grass roots' in Northern California.

Andrew should know by now that I live in the UK.

I used to link to SecureXP: it still contains useful information, but Firefox Myths in my opinion is just misleading propaganda, and nothing I want to link to, and even SecureXP makes reference to it, such is Andrew's obsession that everybody take note of the page.

Anonymous said...

Pot does cause schizophrenia:

Cannabis 'raises psychosis risk'

Now Frank is in denial as I called him out on his Pot Smoking habit. I made sure to note it on the page.

Matthew Miller said...

Well, since the Freewheelinfrank from the Pot forum lives in California, and the Freewheelinfrank from this technology debate lives in the UK, it's hardly relevant.

Oh wait, I just re-read Andrew's comment. He seems to think that the UK and California are the same place, as he still claims the FreewheelinFrank from this discussion is the same FreewheelinFrank from the Pot board.

The article's headline is a bit sensationalist, seeing as the actual study found a correlation, but not causation.

However, they said they could not rule out the possibility that people at a higher risk of mental illness were more likely to use the drug.

So it could be that people with schizophrenia are more likely to use Pot, or it could be that Pot could contribute to schizophrenia.

Either way, the actual article is a far cry form Andrew's dogmatic "Pot does cause schizophrenia"

Anonymous said...

Shock horror! Freewheelin' Frank is a terrorist:

Mad bomber/Anarchy

Anonymous said...

"Pot does cause schizophrenia"

Speaking from experience Andrew?

Or should I say Doctor!

Andrew K lashes out after drug conviction

Sound like anyone we know?

Anonymous said...

You guys are bigger fools then I thought if you do not think people can lie about where they live online or use proxy accounts to fake their IP. Freewheelinfrank has been exposed for the pot head delusional loser he is. Pot Heads always cover their tracks. Why does Frank not give us his full name and address in the UK? I thought so, fools.

Anonymous said...

And it looks like you're his supplier.

ALREADY facing possible charges of contempt of court, a Sydney doctor who grew almost 50,000 cannabis plants has verbally attacked police, the courts and his conviction.

Dr Andrew John Katelaris was convicted on March 8 this year of one count of cultivating not less than a large commercial quantity of cannabis.

Who knew firefoxmyths.com was produced by a hot headed pot growing Ausie Doctor?