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Startup Founder Plays Tech Press Like a Fiddle

timothy posted about a year ago | from the plucky-entrepreneurs dept.

Advertising 135

theodp writes "Steinar Skipsnes came up with a unique way to get more women into tech. Make them up. Posing as 'Sarah Hanson,' a 19-year-old woman who claimed to have auctioned off 10% of her future income in return for $125,000 to fund her Senior Living Map startup, Skipsnes pitched the story via email to generate press coverage. It worked — VentureBeat, HuffPo, Yahoo!, AOL, GeekWire, and others took the bait. But after doubts were aired about the story, Skipsnes fessed up to concocting the too-good-to-be-true hoax about the female teen entrepreneur to appeal to the interests of the tech press. 'I started to think "what if I took the elements of what the press loves and created a story?"' Skipsnes explained. "So I did.'"

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Frosty. (0, Offtopic)

cyborg_monkey (150790) | about a year ago | (#43545383)

First post goodness.

Obvious (0, Flamebait)

benjfowler (239527) | about a year ago | (#43545435)

Media is a soft option for cultural elites, and for people close to the establishment, who aren't bright enough to do anything harder and more socially useful. A disproportionate number of people who find themselves working in 'media' or as journalists tend to be pampered rich kids who can get in, because they can afford to work for free as interns (mummy and daddy paying the bills), and gives them access to the corridors of power.

Worse yet, the Murdoch press and the tabloids attract cuntish personalities. It's just the nature of the business -- it attracts posh scumbags.

My own family's brushes with the media, has shown them to be consistently egotistical, nasty and clueless.

The flipside of this, is that it isn't hard to manipulate the media if you know what you're doing: people who are exceedingly vain and clueless are putty in the hands of clever and ruthless people.

Re:Obvious (4, Insightful)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | about a year ago | (#43545631)

If it had been a woman, posing as a man, there would be a big discussion about how it was reasonable for her to do that, because it gave her a chance to have her work judged without having to deal with peoples pro-male bias. It used to be pretty common, particularly when you're in a situation where you don't actually meet the people you're doing business with. Writers operating under a pseudonym, for example.

So, he lied, and took advantage of peoples pro-female bias. And, people react with anger, just like people of a previous generation reacted with anger. People genuinely believe that men SHOULD have to work harder to get ahead. That's why they're mad. Because their prejudice is heartfelt.

Re:Obvious (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43546565)

...to have her work judged without having to deal with peoples pro-male bias.

and

So, he lied, and took advantage of peoples pro-female bias.

I don't see how these two jibe.

Re:Obvious (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43546865)

...to have her work judged without having to deal with peoples pro-male bias.

and

So, he lied, and took advantage of peoples pro-female bias.

I don't see how these two jibe.

Because the pro-male bias doesn't exist any more except in select circles (but the media believes it exists everywhere), just as the pro-female bias doesn't exist, with an exception for select circles (primarily the media).

Re:Obvious (2, Insightful)

Wookact (2804191) | about a year ago | (#43546923)

Some people have a pro male bias, and some people have a pro female bias, and some of us don't really care.

Big Difference (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43546579)

There's a huge difference between operating under a pseudonym to avoid gender bias and manufacturing blatant lies specifically intended to defraud.

Dontcha think? Dontcha?

Re:Big Difference (2, Insightful)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | about a year ago | (#43546805)

There's a huge difference between operating under a pseudonym to avoid gender bias and manufacturing blatant lies specifically intended to defraud.

Dontcha think? Dontcha?

No, not really. The goal to mislead is the same. The lengths gone to are a matter of degree, and the degree required comes from society, not the individual. If he could have achieved the same goal with less effort, he would have.

Re:Big Difference (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43546891)

Misleading using the most attractive gender and false stories in order to generate revenue is profitable, therefore it is legal and mandatory to do so.
Failure to optimize revenue will be dealt with harshly, either by the markets, or by swarms of lawyers.

Re:Big Difference (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43547131)

Hey, stop interfering with the narrative. Slashdot's at the intersection of right-wing anti-PC bombast and pimply teen geek misogyny - you're just supposed to nod sagely and avoid thinking about the girl who turned you down for the prom.

Re:Obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43547149)

Maybe they're mad because he lied to lots of people? Do we have overcomplicate this?

Re:Obvious (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43547393)

So, he lied, and took advantage of peoples pro-female bias.

Exactly.

The only thing Skipsnes really did was use the unfair biases of the tech-press and their readers to his advantage. The fact is that the value of Skipsnes website has *absolutely* nothing to do with whether it was coded by a 19-year-old girl, or a 70-year-old grandmother, or a run-of-the-mill 30-something, white, male programmer. The site shouldn't get more press because we thought it was coded by a cute girl, but it did. So, Skipsnes turned the tables on our own, unjustified prejudices. Maybe this will erode those prejudices a little bit.

To me, this doesn't strike me as all that different from, say, a black person, on a job application, marking themselves as being white. Ideally, it shouldn't matter *what* they put as their race, but the fact it that their odds are improved if the employer thinks the guy is white (in a universe without affirmative-action and wherein employers are allowed to query about race). And, just maybe, it will cause the employer to start disregarding the "race" section on the applications once they realize that it's not reliable info. And maybe *we* will stop giving undue extra attention to startups which seem to be from cute, unmarried, doe-eyed females.

Points at Steinar Skipsnes (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43545439)

Hideki!

Re:Points at Steinar Skipsnes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43546345)

Just one question.

Why now? Chobits ended over 10 years ago. So why the sudden surge in these Chii-like comments?

Re:Points at Steinar Skipsnes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43546515)

Netflix Canada added it a few weeks ago I think.

And those one-line comments are still better than the guy with the rant about hosts files.

Re:Points at Steinar Skipsnes (2)

Wookact (2804191) | about a year ago | (#43546935)

If the worst we ever get from Canada are the Hideki comments, well I am not that bent outta shape.

Re:Points at Steinar Skipsnes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43547105)

Fucking weaboo all around.

Innovative? (0)

zitsky (303560) | about a year ago | (#43545471)

I hope the guy doesn't profit from this fraud. Most likely his startup will get acquired, if it really exists, or he will get a job in a more prestigious firm. Hey, there is no true and false anymore, right? What I really hope is that he goes back to the oblivion where he belongs.

Re:Innovative? (5, Informative)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year ago | (#43545511)

From the 1st link:

"Skipsnes went public with his confession Tuesday night, after GeekWire discovered his real identity and left him a voicemail. He has since responded to our emails but refuses to talk on the phone or meet in person to answer our questions directly.

He insists that the startup at the center of the story, Senior Living Map, is his and is real. However, we have yet to find any evidence supporting its existence in state corporations filings or anywhere else, beyond the bare-bones site that was the subject of the fake auction.

The photo of “Sarah Hanson” used for the auction bears a striking resemblance to Skipsnes’ wife at a younger age. We asked Skipsnes if he used a picture of his wife to perpetrate the hoax, and if so, how she feels about that. As of publication of this post, he has yet to respond to that question."

So, this guy's just a high-tech, low life grifter. Only when he got caught did he confess to the scam.

Lock him up, after he's made reparations to anyone he scammed money from.

Re:Innovative? (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#43546143)

Sorry, but any idiot that actually invested in this story (to the tune of $125,000) without doing more research than the press did (at least before publishing the first story) is an idiot, and deserves what they got.

Re:Innovative? (3, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year ago | (#43546967)

Sorry, but any idiot that actually invested in this story (to the tune of $125,000) without doing more research than the press did (at least before publishing the first story) is an idiot, and deserves what they got.

Did anyone invest anything? TFA says that Sarah Hanson (who doesn't exist) claims to have received an investment of $125,000, but the implication is that was a lie too. So it isn't clear that anyone actually invested or was defrauded of anything. But TFA is so poorly written that it isn't clear.

Re:Innovative? (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#43547631)

No idea, I was just addressing the idea of a fraud charge.

Re: Innovative? (1)

iamhassi (659463) | about a year ago | (#43546421)

Tech low life? I think the sites that ignore great startups to run articles about the pretty teenage girl startup are the low lifes

Re:Innovative? (1)

OakDragon (885217) | about a year ago | (#43546977)

Interestingly enough, Senior Living Map [seniorlivingmap.org] seems to be up & doing what it's supposed to.

Fraud? (3, Insightful)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about a year ago | (#43545477)

Isn't this fraud (... deception intended to result in financial or personal gain)?

Re:Fraud? (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43545561)

No. He used a fake story to gain press, not solicit money or goods. If he maintained the story of imaginary investors while courting real ones then yes it would be fraud, but the only people he decieved were the media. If lying about your product and company to the news was a crime them every executive in the country would be in jail.

Re:Fraud? (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year ago | (#43545823)

The story states that the high bid for his startup was $125,000.

Re:Fraud? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43546169)

But it was the scammer dude that made up that "bid", to get attention. No one actually bid anything.

Re:Fraud? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43545709)

No, but the so called press shows how much work goes in to writing an article... Should we have any respect at all for online "journalism"? No.

Re:Fraud? (1)

redwraith94 (1311731) | about a year ago | (#43546003)

It is if he harms anyone...

Template (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43545497)

Just more proof that been shown again and again that if a story fits the media's narriative template that they will not fact check a story.

Re:Template (4, Insightful)

saveferrousoxide (2566033) | about a year ago | (#43545573)

if a story fits the media's narriative template that they will not fact check a story

unfortunately, that's not restricted to the media. It's just human nature to be less skeptical of something that fits your worldview. We would like to hold all journalists to a higher standard and would like them to scrutinize every story with the same level of skepticism, but alas, only a select few hold to that ideal and even fewer of those have enough clout to sway the corporation behind the news.

Re:Template (1)

Quakeulf (2650167) | about a year ago | (#43545611)

I don't trust journalism for good reasons. I wish I didn't have to but they are making it hard for me not to remain skeptical.

Re:Template (2)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#43546187)

Journalism? WTF are you talking about? This is the tech press. It's a glorified xerox machine for company PR releases.

Re:Template (1)

Quakeulf (2650167) | about a year ago | (#43546685)

Well, every niche that has article writers is that, unfortunately. Gaming press is even corrupt to the point they are being told to give good reviews to the games.

Re:Template (2)

meta-monkey (321000) | about a year ago | (#43547263)

There are people who are skeptical of things, regardless of whether they fit their world view or not. We call them "scientists."

Re:Template (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43547299)

We would like to hold all journalists to a higher standard and would like them to scrutinize every story with the same level of skepticism, but alas, only a select few hold to that ideal and even fewer of those have enough clout to sway the corporation behind the news.

That's the problem right there. Why are people holding journalists to a higher standard? Why? They hold no special powers, they have no legal obligation to hold to a higher standard, they can spit off anything and short of libel suits which they usually pay off quietly, they feel no repercussions for their incompetence.

Get it through your tick head: There's NO difference between today's "journalist" and the 14 year old who mows your lawn. They're both looking for the same thing, some way to make a buck.

Re:Template (4, Informative)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#43546035)

I keep thinking about James O'Keefe's fake video that led to the shutdown of ACORN. It's amazing how powerful this simple hoax was, it produced the intended result quickly and precisely. No fact-checking was done by anyone until well after the dust settled. Understanding the workings behind this hoax could allow individuals to wield incredible, world-changing power with nothing but common electronic gadgets and free time.

The important elements I've picked out so far are:

1. It confirmed people's fears or prejudices rather than presenting something shocking

2. It used a simple misdirection to present a false context instead of any camera trickery or hoaxed content. This helped make the video more believable.

3. Its path to the mainstream news was well-streamlined: It was media-friendly and fact-checker-unfriendly. It was sensational and people could watch and share it much faster than anyone could have called bullshit on it. Once it went viral on the web it only took one news channel with low standards to air it, and then the other mainstream news channels were practically forced to air it to stay relevant.

Re:Template (1, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | about a year ago | (#43546323)

I keep thinking about James O'Keefe's fake video

O'Keefe engaged in highly deceptive behavior in a number of ways, apparently, including presenting the video in a false light. But "fake"? The fundamental accusation of the video, that ACORN low level officials were willing to expedite minor crimes, still appears correct though I doubt it would hold up in a court of law due to O'Keefe's shenanigans.

I think ACORN's quick end in bankruptcy is an indication of how corrupt and unstable the organization was.

Re:Template (3, Informative)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#43546665)

Nothing remotely unethical was caught in the video. The segments that apparently show the responses to the questions O'Keefe and the woman with him posed while dressed as a pimp & ho, were actually a mix of responses they received in formal wear and joking responses they received from an employee who called the police for them immediately after they left.

I know it's a comedy site but here's an overview of the hoax with good citations at #4:

http://www.cracked.com/article_20369_5-major-news-stories-that-forgot-to-tell-you-best-part.html [cracked.com]

Re:Template (4, Informative)

Wookact (2804191) | about a year ago | (#43547237)

I think you only heard one side of the story. You neglect the fact that those answers were spliced together, from different days, and dressed differently. You also neglect that on at least one occasion Acorn called the police after those two left.

You should not have been modded up. You are incorrect.

Re:Template (1)

njnnja (2833511) | about a year ago | (#43546247)

a.k.a "Too good to check"

Re:Template (1)

metrometro (1092237) | about a year ago | (#43547199)

Look at the "press" involved: VentureBeat, HuffPo, Yahoo!, AOL, GeekWire. These aren't reporters. They're press release curators, with a little commentary around the edges.

Why didn't I think of that? (0, Flamebait)

Velex (120469) | about a year ago | (#43545505)

Zomg! Why didn't I think of that. I was taking estrogen when I was 19...

er...

shoot. Apparently you have to be a womyn-born-womyn.

Re:Why didn't I think of that? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43545677)

and not some hideous trans-beast. kill yourself.

Re:Why didn't I think of that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43546275)

someone please mod the trans-beast/kill yourself comment. Do not call anyone TG a "trans-beast", ever.

Re:Why didn't I think of that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43545839)

Apparently you have to be a womyn-born-womyn.

Not if your startup is TransgenderMingle.com.

Go for it, dude, ... uhm, -ette?

Re:Why didn't I think of that? (1)

nazsco (695026) | about a year ago | (#43545957)

Not true, this worked for the guy, Adria Richard, from the dongle-gate

Re:Why didn't I think of that? (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | about a year ago | (#43546447)

Not true, this worked for the guy, Adria Richard, from the dongle-gate

Nice!

Wow.... (0)

mark-t (151149) | about a year ago | (#43545517)

10% of her after-tax income for 10 years?

So if her startup takes most of the first ten years to get off the ground, or even longer, something that's actually entirely feasible, given the average success rate of new businesses, then the investor has just lost a whole crapload of money..

Basically, the investor has taken a gamble that her startup is going to take off within the first 3 or 4 years. It's possible, certainly, but by no means something should be speculated as particularly likely.

Kudos to her for finding someone that believed in her idea enough that they were willing to take that kind of risk.

Re:Wow.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43545545)

Did you even read the summary?

Re:Wow.... (2)

mark-t (151149) | about a year ago | (#43545655)

Nope. Clicked straight on through to the first article, and then added my comment.

Yes... I'm feeling sufficiently stupid now. Thanks for asking.

Re:Wow.... (2)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year ago | (#43545923)

I've done that, was given the 'internetz of the day' award for it. I'm still waiting for the statue to arrive in the mail. Any day now.... :)

Re:Wow.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43546907)

There's no statue; you won an Internet. And here it is, right in front of you.

Re:Wow.... (3, Interesting)

Voltara (6334) | about a year ago | (#43547151)

Nope. Clicked straight on through to the first article, and then added my comment.

Allow me to explain how things work here at Slashdot.

First, you read the headline. Advanced users might also make mental note of the Slashdot editor who posted the story (this helps to frame your reactions to the story.)

Now, there are two differing schools of thought as to what to do from here. One camp jumps straight from here into commenting on the story, having already taken in sufficient information at this point to begin forming and expressing opinions. The other camp will read some or all of the summary before commenting. They claim the latter method helps them in identifying and avoiding commenting on duplicate stories.

However, at no point should you ever actually read the articles (this was where you made your critical mistake.)

It's just not done.

Re:Wow.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43545547)

Is your reading comprehension really that poor?

Re:Wow.... (1)

a_big_favor (2550262) | about a year ago | (#43545551)

Could you not be bothered to read the story?

Re:Wow.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43545653)

Could you not be bothered to read the story?

The whole point is that it doesn't matter what "Sarah Hanson" originally wrote... it was just a pack of lies from some bald guy's ass.

So, no.

Re:Wow.... (1)

mark-t (151149) | about a year ago | (#43547437)

The problem, as I remarked in this [slashdot.org] followup post to someone who asked if I had even read the summary was that I *did* read the article (or at least one of the ones linked to), unfortunately, I did so, and immediately commented upon it before I had even fully read and comprehended the points that the summary was actually making.

I could chalk it up to having just woken up at the time, but then I wouldn't be admitting responsibility for doing so. It was my bad, and I realize I probably deserve gratuitous levels of mocking from slashdot posters and AC's everywhere for it.

Re:Wow.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43545581)

I'm not sure if you can give Kudos to an imaginary person. I think you need to read the second half of the summary.

Re:Wow.... (5, Funny)

oodaloop (1229816) | about a year ago | (#43545607)

Reading is hard. Let's go shopping!

Re:Wow.... (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#43545665)

Perfect reply, I wish I had modpoints!

Make them up? (2)

atouk (1336461) | about a year ago | (#43545543)

Was I the only one thinking of mascara, some red lipstick, a 40's hairdo...

Re:Make them up? (1)

OakDragon (885217) | about a year ago | (#43547297)

I'm thinking about that now! Hubba!

What a jerk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43545549)

Nobody should ever take Steinar Skipsnes seriously again.

Otherwise you'll be the investor, or employee he'll be telling, "Yeah I did say those things but y'know I was just curious in seeing how people would react." After you've blown several months or years of your life or a chunk of your net worth.

Creepy bald dude (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43545579)

Creepy bald dude has a hot wife. I'd like to see those tits.

Well, I guess he used good bait (5, Funny)

wcrowe (94389) | about a year ago | (#43545659)

Investers: "Oooh! Pretty girl! Shut up and take my money!"

Sheesh. How could people this dumb have so much disposable income?

Re:Well, I guess he used good bait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43546007)

you'd be surprised how difficult it is for women to actual raise funding. Contrary to what you apparently believe, they're not tripping over themselves trying to give money to a pretty girl.

Re:Well, I guess he used good bait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43546081)

You just made that up.

Re:Well, I guess he used good bait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43546761)

according to the article, they are.

Re:Well, I guess he used good bait (3, Insightful)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#43546055)

Because there's no relationship between intelligence and wealth.

Re:Well, I guess he used good bait (1)

grumpyman (849537) | about a year ago | (#43546057)

Ditto. It's not regarding pretty girl and what-not but I think unless you've done the startup thing and knocking on every single investors door, people assumes getting early financing is just a matter of 'doing it'.

Re:Well, I guess he used good bait (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year ago | (#43546399)

Startup Founder Plays Tech Press Like a Fiddle

Doesn't everybody? It's not that hard...

How could people this dumb have so much disposable income?

They lifted it off other dumb people.

Re:Well, I guess he used good bait (1)

atouk (1336461) | about a year ago | (#43546519)

Sheesh. How could people this dumb have so much disposable income?

Because investors never invest their own money, just other peoples's money.

from the blog post: (4, Insightful)

nimbius (983462) | about a year ago | (#43545671)

Why did I do this? I want to grow and build a business more than anyone can understand. When you want something bad enough, youâ(TM)re forced to create a path or quit. Am I proud of this path? In hindsight, I would have preferred promoting the site differently, but it is what it is at this point. My last startup up was destroyed by Craigslist.

forced to create a path or quit? perhaps, but what you did was intentionally lie to investors about your personal identity. Its something the SEC and to an equal extent the FBI tend to frown upon (try doing it at a bank sometime.) The attorneys you'll likely deal with with wont care about how much you wanted to grow a business or create a path, or what your fucking hindsight was. They will have cause to insist on a legal fact-finding period, during which every "business" youve ever been a part of will be torn open and shaken out onto the floor. the wording of every email and correspondance they can find will be used to build a case against you in an effort to reclaim far greater amounts of money than the original investment which was made in your company. Legal inquiries into your personal finances, criminal history, travel, residency, and credit standing will be made, against which you will have very little standing to protest. Once your willful intent to defraud investors is proven, you'll not find the resources to start up so much as a tupperware party.

Re:from the blog post: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43546181)

As far as I can tell, this man didn't lie to investors. He made a fake story about people investing in a young woman's (actually his) startup through astounding means. He lied to journalists in order to generate awareness of his startup, not to generate money. The journalists didn't investigate his lies, ended up publishing his fake story as fact, and are now upset they were tricked. Lying to journalists is not a crime. Hell, politicians do it all the time.

Re:from the blog post: (3, Insightful)

mjr167 (2477430) | about a year ago | (#43546203)

And yet if he liked to cross dress in his free time and instead was claiming to be transgendered or something, everyone would be clapping and cooing about how wonderful he is for pretending to be a woman...

I'm actually having trouble differentiating this from 'marketing'? Companies create spokespeople and fictional stories about themselves all the time. Unless he is not planning on actually paying his investors, should it matter if you are going into business with a real 19 year old girl or a middle aged man using the face of a 19 year old girl? The non-existent girl could not have signed any contracts or anything, so I find it hard to believe that real investors didn't know who they were dealing with.

Re:from the blog post: (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about a year ago | (#43546443)

My last startup up was destroyed by Craigslist.

What, the guy was charging for want ads?

Steinar Skipsnes? (4, Funny)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#43545673)

So, his name is Steinar Nintendo64?

Re:Steinar Skipsnes? (2)

Jiro (131519) | about a year ago | (#43545971)

Lying to media isn't the same as lying to investors.

Re:Steinar Skipsnes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43546331)

I think they are tied in terms of braincell count.

Re:Steinar Skipsnes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43546887)

Steinar ship-promontory, I think.

Search and replace clarification (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43545799)

"I started to think 'what if I took the elements of what an investor loves and created a story?'" "So I did."

debunked (1)

nazsco (695026) | about a year ago | (#43545915)

This pretty much debunked the myth that being a woman in tech is difficult and that is kjust because women opt to do other things that we don't see them around. And that the whole issue is around only for a few individuals special interests.

What i really want to see is someone pull that coverage by being a 50-60 yr old male white developer. The only group that really is absent in tech despite trying.

What? Nothing was debunked. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43546233)

The auction was fake, no one bid any real money on it. The whole "story" was made up by 1 guy. The only thing that was proved is that that 1 guy is a complete dumbass.

Re:What? Nothing was debunked. (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#43546285)

And that if he had made his lies a little better/more thorough, he would have gotten even more press.

There are no more Journalists in this country (3, Interesting)

Slashdot Parent (995749) | about a year ago | (#43545981)

This country has no journalists left. All we have now are highly-paid stenographers.

I'm having a very "get off my lawn!" moment right now, but I remember a time when journalism had standards and articles were researched.

Sigh.

Re:There are no more Journalists in this country (1)

samkass (174571) | about a year ago | (#43546197)

Stenographers make more than journalists, on average. You get what you pay for. Now go read some more free internet news with adblocker enabled...

Re:There are no more Journalists in this country (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43547661)

I've got news for you, this has been happening since long before free news was available on the inter-webs. What's lacking is not money, but the desire to be a good journalist. Basically you have two choices:

1. Be a good, ethical journalist who strives to report news as it is without bias. If you do this you'll find out some pretty nasty things about people/parties/ideologies that you like, and be forced to print some complimentary things about those you don't like.

2. Use your position as a bully-pulpit, and manufacture/skew the news to fit you personal beliefs.

Number 2 sounds really good to someone without ethics, they can propangada-ize the news under the guise of "journalism".

Re:There are no more Journalists in this country (3, Funny)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#43546219)

I prefer to call those particular events "Pepperidge Farms" moments.

Remember a time when newscasters actually told you shit that matters, after they verified the information and made sure their facts were straight? Pepperidge Farms remembers...

Re:There are no more Journalists in this country (1)

Bigby (659157) | about a year ago | (#43547557)

That was back when newspapers made money...oh wait, you mean we get what we pay for?

Re:There are no more Journalists in this country (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43546261)

Journalism still has standards. It's just that the standards are different. They don't standardize on proven stories, but on profitable ones.

Re:There are no more Journalists in this country (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about a year ago | (#43546461)

No, you're right. The mainstream is just copying press releases from other outlets. Its rediculous. And CBS is wondering why CBS News is not getting those ratings of old... its not the CBS News of old. Just the other day I read the New York Post back peddling on some tech article. Whatever.

Re:There are no more Journalists in this country (1)

Slashdot Parent (995749) | about a year ago | (#43546491)

I'm on the Japanese porn star diet: I only eat paper. But I can eat all the paper I want.

Japanese porn stars eat paper? I'd google, but I'm at the office right now.

It would be a real coup if... (1)

mypalmike (454265) | about a year ago | (#43546213)

It would be a real coup if he managed to get his stupid site linked to on the front page of slashdot.

Ah, yes, there it is.

If he will lie about that... (1)

StuartHankins (1020819) | about a year ago | (#43546645)

If he will lie about something as silly as that, who in their right mind will trust him in business? He sold his integrity for a ridiculously low price and doesn't even understand why that matters.

Re:If he will lie about that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43546997)

Isn't that just like a woman... maybe he really is female after all!

Another one unmasked ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43546931)

... by "Tits or GTFO".

Binders Full of Women (1)

Baby Duck (176251) | about a year ago | (#43546947)

Making up a single fake woman is still small potatoes compared to Mitt Romney. Or Wilt Chamberlain.

Government contracting (1)

slew (2918) | about a year ago | (#43547527)

Sadly, this isn't any different than a scam that some government contractors play.

In many government contracts, there are set-asides for women and/or minority owned businesses. Sometimes less than scrupulous goverment contractors set up shell companies that name a women and/or a minority as a principal owner (more often than not a wife of the owners of the original contractors) and bid on those contracts with set-asides to avoid competition and make more profit. Inevitably, some of the work come the way of the shell company, and these shell companies simply subcontract the actual work to the original shady governnment contractors at a non-competitive price and kick-back a finders fee of sorts to the principals of the shell company.

Government (and eventually the taxpayers) lose every day to these types of scams and you don't hear about them. The wake of the Sarah Hanson / Manti teo / Dora Ratjen style of scams is generally much smaller (although potentially more media tickling)

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