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ArtX, Hannibal and Consumer Fraud

Hemos posted more than 14 years ago | from the no-honesty-on-the-world dept.

Graphics 210

Gina writes "The guys over at Ars Technica have an interesting story regarding the schemes that marketing types try to combat bad hype. The story started last week in one of the Ars Comdex reports, when Hannibal said that ArtX's Alladin chipset didn't look too hot, and continued in an email dialog between Hannibal and Rick Calle. The story gets really weird when Mr. Calle went on Ars' forum and started posting stories discounting Hannibal's take on the situation as two different anonymous cowards. How'd Hannibal know it was Mr. Calle? The IPs of users are automatically logged (you know this before you submit your post) and both the anonymous cowards turned out to be from the same IP, which resolved to artxinc.com. Here's Mr. Calle's response to the allegations, "P.S. you're good. snagged my IP, huh?! i'm rotfl - rick." "

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Broken article? (1)

Kintanon (65528) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506259)

Did anyone else have trouble loading the second page of the story? I can only get the first page to load, the rest seem to be gone...
Anyone have a mirror or working link?

Kintanon

rotfl, eh? (3)

Skyshadow (508) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506260)

This isn't too shocking to me. You see a lot of people like this in really competetive industries -- they seem to assume that the consumer is both stupid and completely irrelevant.

My question is, how much longer will this moron be rotfl with his company completely discredited like this? I mean, to get mentions on all the gamer sites about this has got to be absolutely devestating to their chances at marketing this product (or, for that matter, any other).

This does rank as an important object lesson about believing what anonymous sources have to say, however.

----

Re:Broken article? (1)

Malacai[GDI] (48381) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506261)

Upon first attempt, same here... simply trying again got me in. keep on trying!
===

I just read the entire exchange. His actions are grounds for termination... as a MARKETING director, part of his job is to manage relationships with customers (direct or indirect) and he has just caused any consumer who reads that story to lose trust in his company's words.

my $.02

Re:Broken article? (1)

g.liche (99325) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506262)

I had trouble loading the page as well, but eventually got it to come up. Just keep at it.

... (2)

Signal 11 (7608) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506263)

Oh my god, there's stupid marketing people out there! Somebody tell the biologists, this is an AMAZING discovery!

*groan* Yes, stupid people are out there. Many of them work for a living. Suprise - you bumped into one. Now just pick yourself up, and carry on.


--

To be expected (3)

jd (1658) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506264)

But it's sad. If the product had flaws, it needed to be refined. If the company had spent it's hard-earned cash on fixes, rather than on paying some luser to spam gamer boards, they'd not only have a better product, they'd have a better image, too.

Sadly, negative advertising is seen as being more influential than positive development. It is, but it's also more corrosive. What you end up with is a cynical audience who doesn't believe anyone, because there's no-one left to trust.

Personally, I believe that a decent product will sell itself, and that advertising & promoting is an expensive delusion to cover the cracks that nobody wanted to spend the same money fixing.

We've seen this with Linux, and the *BSD's. Little or no promotion, other than the system working, and most (if not all) the effort going into making these OS' work. Linux has the highest rate of change of uptake of any OS on the market, and the BSD's have support so solid, it would make a neutron star weep.

ArtX won't be seeing any of my money (2)

flatrock (79357) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506265)

The best solution to companies like this is to not buy their products. The fact that Nintendo is using their chip in their next generation console makes this decision a little harder for some people, but I'm not much for console games anyway.

Marketing types just don't quit (2)

LocalYokel (85558) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506266)

Every successful software company has a good marketing department behind it -- Microsoft, for example, and the (undisclosed) place I work for.

We have extensive art and development departments, but they are all required to use Windoze 9X, not even NT in development (we are a Win32 shop). They have cubicles and fairly wimpy systems, but everyone in the *marketing* department gets a shiny new Mac placed on the desktop of their window office every year...

I still question whether the product would sell better if the time and money taken were spent in making it actually work well, instead of marketing a crummy product to new customers.

OTOH, the marketing approach seems to work pretty well. I'm unsurprised at the lengths those people will go to make a sale or win mindshare.

Re:Broken article? (2)

Kintanon (65528) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506267)

Thanks, I got in after the 6th reload.

I'm guessing that Mr. Marketing there is going to have his ass hung out to dry. When you alienate so many people who are potential early purchasers of your product as well as the subset of the population that makes recommendations to 80% of the consumers making purchases you have fucked up royally.

How many people are going to recommend this card/chipset to their friends/family after this incident? Not me, I'm still pimping the V3 2000 for cheap gaming and the GeForce 256 for the bad boys. After I check out the V4 and V5 maybe I'll revise my recommendations, but they definately won't go in favor of ArtX.

Kintanon
PS. Watch for my article entitled 'Devil's Advocate' to appear soon on www.dailymac.com, the site isn't open yet, but my article will be one of the first! In the meantime you can check out www.dailyimac.com for a taste of what DailyMac will be like.

Re:... (1)

taniwha (70410) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506268)

that's OK - just so long as they don't breed ..... oh wait they keep going to those trade show/mating ritual thingies ...... uurgh pretty soon the linux world will be knee deep in them :-(

Just pathetic (1)

owillis (74881) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506269)

It's so sad that this guy lives in this world of total self-denial. Wonder how many other marketing mavens out there are posting in online forums...

All too common (3)

dclydew (14163) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506270)

http://www.woz.org has an article about how the NYT tried to mask a pro-MS article as if it were written by Woz. This kind of stuff is getting silly. I can't believe posters.... Pro-MS posters may be MS employees... ArtX anonymous posers (note the spelling). Sigh, I guess it's time to remember... Don't believe anything you hear or read, and only half of what you see.

(Note: MS video evidence would fall into the other "half of what you see")

Man...news travels FAST (1)

Hard_Code (49548) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506271)

Sheesh..I JUST read this on Ars, and some guy posted that they'd submit it to slashdot. Flip my browser window and bing, there it is...second time something like this has happened

good to know Slashdot get the scoop (or 2nd scoop)...

Anonymous sources can be VERY biased (4)

Christopher B. Brown (1267) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506272)

Everyone can be biased.

Unfortunately, when they're Anonymous Cowards, it gets a bit harder to tell if you've got:

  1. Someone that is being honest, that has known biases
  2. Someone that is being dishonest, with well-known biases
  3. Someone that is being honest, but where you can only infer indirectly what their biases are, or
  4. Someone that is being downright dishonest, and perhaps trying to hide their biases.

Unfortunately, as you head down this list, there is a tendancy for honesty to diminish, as well as the usefulness of the information.

The issue isn't new; it was pretty evident in some reviews of LinuxCAD, [zip.com.au] that there were "reviewers" that may not have been at arms length from the "producers." Another review [netcom.com] notes, about the "testimonials," that:

Strangely, these testimonials used the same poor english expression as whoever wrote the LinuxCAD advertisement.

It was quite entertaining when Linux Gazette published an Official Reaction of Software Forge Inc. to "LinuxCAD Review"; [linuxgazette.com] I expressed in LG issue 42 [linuxgazette.com] that I appreciated their restraint in not using a spell-checker...

No, I haven't much use for Anonymous Cowards...

Building Credibility (4)

tomblackwell (6196) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506273)

Bravo!

This type of self-moderation is essential for online communities. Although some people get really antsy and yell "free speech, free speech!", the interests of the readership are served by precautions such as IP logging. The forum's credibility also benefits.

Ip snagging and E-trade in sweden (offt question) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1506274)

Not really related this one is.

Few weeks ago one of our local e-traders got hit with a dns-attack coming from one of their competitors.
These people claimed they had nothing to do with it.
Anyone know what happened later?

Did you read the entire exchange? (1)

festers (106163) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506275)

I agree that there are lots of stupid marketing people out there, but man, you make it sound like this article is the most boring thing ever posted. I read through all the emails and comments and found it to be rather intersting, even a little exciting. It's cool to read about someone getting busted for their lack of ethics and pure stupidity. Yes, morons abound, but how often are they caught like this?




------

Standard tactics for shady companies? (2)

Znork (31774) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506276)

These things seem to pop up fairly often by now. Companies like Microsoft even seem to put it into regular practice. Of course, it totally destroys the credibility of anyone arguing for them or their products, because you can with a fair certainty assume that anyone having any good experience with them is paid to say so.

Shouldn't be too surprising... (2)

11oh8 (115104) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506277)

This was only a product review... Stock discussion boards get even worse... company executives anonymously posting to raise their stock or lower a competitor's.... I guess if your product isn't too good and you still have to face the stockholders, some poeple will try just about anything...

Re:GILLIAN ANDERSON (1)

Mawbid (3993) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506278)

Hmm. It appears your cursor was in the wrong window when you started your typing exercise. You should look at the screen instead of the keyboard to prevent such mixups.
--

Should've used VMWARE (0)

D3 (31029) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506279)

At least then the IP would have been different. Of course, still the same class C resolving to the same owners.

Re:To be expected (3)

Gurlia (110988) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506280)

*sigh* it's sad, but the unfortunate truth is that most people believe marketing hype. Proof: look at the percentage of computer users out there use M$ products. I'm not saying M$ products are bad by definition, but the proportion of M$ users and other users certainly don't reflect the quality of the products involved. In a way, I've given up hope that "the masses" will ever get the "real truth" behind things. Yes, Linux is definitely a decent product that sells itself... but how many people today choose Linux because they know it's good, and how many "choose" it because it's the "hip" thing to do now, and everybody around them is switching to Linux?

Although I love Linux, I believe that one day something better would come along. The question is, when that day comes, will people stubbornly cling onto Linux the same way they are clinging to M$ now? If so, how different are they from stubborn M$ supporters of today? Or perhaps, one day something inferior to Linux comes along, but it gets super-hyped up and everyone talks about it. I suspect a majority of people will simply switch away from Linux, just because the "omniscient media" tells them so.

Or, witness the amount of media attention Y2K got. For sure, Y2K is a non-trivial problem, and things need to get fixed. But how many people really understand what Y2K all about beyond "Y2K is coming, bad, bad things are going to happen to my computer! But look! My toaster from such and such a company is Y2K-compliant! (Or so it says on the sticker!) We better replace all our toasters, refridgerators, and vacuum cleaners before the Y2K bug hits them!"

Although personally I always take (at least) several grains of salt with whatever I hear from the media/marketing people/etc., I'm afraid most people don't, and they don't really care either.

Wait a minute (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1506281)

You mean you can track my IP address? You might find out who I really am when I say "3l337 First Post petrified and naked?"

OH NOOOOO!

I'm sure they'd love to hear your reaction.. (3)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1506282)

Care to express you opinion to someone that matters? I'm sure David Orton, president of ArtX, would love to hear what you think about his marketing director. His address? deo@artxinc.com :)

Uh, I don't get it. (2)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506283)

>>Although some people get really antsy and yell "free speech, free speech!", the interests of the readership are served by precautions such as IP logging.

What? What does free speech have to do with catching someone lying?

Freedom of speech means just that, you are FREE to speak about whatever you want, BUT other people are free to catch you lying.

If someone were to say "I work at the factory and Cola X is made wht 4% goat urine" I'd hope that someone out there would be able to expose this person for the lying sock of shit that s/he is.

Freedom of speech is NOT freedom from responsibility.

LK

Why marketing types are natural B ship candidates (2)

Pac (9516) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506284)

The story is from one of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books. Pretending the planet was to be destroyed by this or that, a society managed to ship all the middle-class urban modern professionals (from phone-cleaners to hair-dressers to assistant productors to marketing people) away in a no-come-back trip to a distant planet. Naturally, they were told the A and C ships were soon to follow (but as they were the most important elements of the society, they would go first). Also naturally, their ship was fully automatic and programmed not to land, but to crash in the destination planet and destroy its flying capacity in the process (read the books, they are worth your time).

This one guy looks like a perfect choice for the B ship as soon as we manage to discover interstelar travel.

Re:GILLIAN ANDERSON (2)

Hard_Code (49548) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506285)

Man...when Segfault turned off the write-ins and comments, the loonies started flooding slashdot.

How you accumulated -35 Karma with only 13 posts I can only guess Jizmak.

Jeeze! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1506286)

I like the pic of a head of a man with the censor block over his mouth :-D

Re:Just pathetic (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506287)

> Wonder how many other marketing mavens out there are posting in online forums...

Or paying their toadies to do it for them.

--
It's October 6th. Where's W2K? Over the horizon again, eh?

Clue: Marketing == Lies (5)

sloth jr (88200) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506288)

An interesting example that I personally had the "fortune" to witness. A bit back, I was moonlightning, doing some web work for a high-end networking company. One of the pieces I was asked to convert and put on the web had an interesting graph showing performance curves for a particular product on different architectures.

Now, the product in question was a PCI network board, yet one of the performance curves was prominently labeled "SGI Indigo 2 R4400".

Ummm... the Indigo 2 doesn't have any PCI slots, it's EISA or GIO or nothin'. Thinking somebody just pasted the wrong graphic into the press-release, I read the copy - nope, mentions the Indigo 2. They were ready to run with this until I waved my hands repeatedly in front of them.

Shortly thereafter, the CEO asked if I could possibly work directly in their marketing dept, as they needed someone with a tech background (ah-yup!). I couldn't help but tell the guy that I couldn't stomach working a job where my main function was to lie to my customers. He thought that was pretty funny, and had a good laugh...

This happens all the time, might as well rofl (2)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506289)

How many fortune 500's out there are constanly getting their fingers caught in the cookie jar?

Consumers won't care as long as the product ships with a MSRP that's 5% lower than the competition or they've bought enough positive reviews with ad revenue to create a decent demand.

Lets not be naive here, in the end I'm sure this'll affect sales by 0.0 percent.

Off topic, Humor (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1506290)

>If someone were to say "I work at the factory and Cola X is made wht 4% goat urine" I'd hope that someone out there would be able to expose this person for the lying sock of shit that s/he is.

Good point. Free speech should not protect those who would lie.

Every know that Pepsi contains AT LEAST 5% goat urine. :)


Re:Man...news travels FAST (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506291)

> good to know Slashdot get the scoop

It's kind of like the 1000 pairs of eyes looking for bugs in OSS code... only here we have 1000s of pairs of eyes skimming the most nerdworthy stories off the whole net.

--
It's October 6th. Where's W2K? Over the horizon again, eh?

Tell the CEO (4)

Palin Majere (4000) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506292)

Perhaps the best thing to do, in addition to boycotting ArtX's products, is to email/snail mail the CEO directly, politely explaining why you'll not be purchasing any of their products.

People that not only lie, but misrepresent the company they work for in an attempt to bolster public opinion wind up doing more damage than good in the long run. I'm sure Mr. Calle's will be deservedly short-lived, but only if the CEO of the company hears about it. Don't let this fall by the wayside folks!

P.S. On that note, does anyone have an address for the CEO? Email/SnailMail/Phone Number # would be nice...

ARTX RULEZ (4)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1506293)

This story is a COMPLETE fabrication, D00DZ!!! ArtX is an INSANELY GREAT COMPANY!!! I saw their PRODUCTS at COMDEX and I WAS BLOWN AWAY!!! Its like having 10 REALITY ENGINES IN A BEOWULF CLUSTER!!! Nintendo was RIGHT to USE ARTX!!!

This thing isn't logging my ip is it?

- rick^H^H^H^H^H^H

How often does this happen in the /. comments? (5)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1506294)

This article makes me wonder how often this kind of thing happens in the slashdot comments...

People can be FUD'ing our ears full without we readers even knowing it. They can be FUD'ing comptetitors products. They can be FUD'ing mozilla, linux, freebsd and whatever right here on slashdot. Some posts may be moderated down but how many posts get through the moderation?

This article really opened my eyes up. I'm such a nice guy, so I guess I have to admit I may have been too naive and unaware of such unethical methods.

Wasn't there an article about Microsoft starting their own Anti linux division. Makes me wonder if those guys are participating in discussions on slashdot and spreading FUD.

I might be a little paranoid but given MS and other companies well known FUD tactics it won't surprise me. If they are, they would at least be smart enough to not have IP's that originate from inside their company.

Funny, if a little old, one-liner, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1506295)

Not quite true:

Those who do not understand Unix are condemned to reinvent it, poorly.

For the education of all Slashdot readers, the correct version is:

  • Those who do not understand Lisp are doomed to reinvent it... poorly.
C and Unix -with a lot of help from Microsoft- have plunged the computer industry into the dark ages like the Catholic Church plunged Europe into the Dark Ages.

Re:rotfl, eh? (1)

quasimoto (111111) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506296)

Too Bad! Hey, where is my copy (deadtree) of Expert Gamer (zd folks). The Nov issue, which I lost, has the Sony PS2 review. More good news for Sony and Sega. Since my work station is just that, work only, I am glad someone found this story. I have to use Sony/Sega/Nin kind of equipment when I ply games. CNBC is doing a good job on games as I write, 'Top PC Games' and the "Intellimouse Explorer" mouse, per George Jones 'Computer Gaming World'. Meaning? Live on TV it is hard to be an ass and get away with it. IP logging equals 'live' on the net when an opinion is launched. Fine By Me(tm). -d

Re:Marketing types just don't quit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1506297)

While I'm not condoning this behavior at all, at least this marketing person knew that the online forums existed! Too many marketing types are ignorant (either willfully or blissfully so) of the actual market and those pesky users.

Re:ArtX won't be seeing any of my money (1)

Alkaiser (114022) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506298)

Well...the fact that Nintendo is using it in its next generation console totally eliminates any possibility of me buying it. Look at all the crud on that system. The 64 came out years later, and couldn't even out-tech the existing systems on the market. Talk about a company that is behind the times...

Now as to why Slashdot uses an N64 controller as the "games" icon, I'll never really know...It does look cooler than the Dreamcast/Cinnabon swirl, though.

Not Just Consumer Hardware (4)

netpuppy (77874) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506299)

This kind of manipulation doesn't just happen in the consumer hardware space. Network hardware, in particular, seems to be based entirely on marketingspeak and fudged benchmarks. I haven't seen anyone go so far as to try to poison reviews in a public forum, but I have seen:

Single-processor 250Mhz Sun servers tested against Quad P3-500 Xeons

Performance numbers which assume that there are no features running on the product

Liberal use of "catchphrases" like "non-blocking switch" when technical details disagree

Benchmarks which favor vendor-specific implementations (just see how much better ASAPI does than Perl/CGI in a benchmark)

Blaming everything else around the device which seems to be having a problem (it's the router/firewall/switch/NIC/Server Proc, not my load-balancing device)

The more someone thinks they can get away with, the more they'll try. We should just crucify/boycott companies who use these tactics, as it will be impossible to trust them in the future. The free market, if properly informed, will take care of these abusers of consumer trust.

Re:Tell the CEO (5)

RedX (71326) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506300)

The email address of David Orton, ArtX's president, is deo@artxinc.com. You might also want to drop a line to Nintendo since ArtX's main claim-to-fame (before this fiasco anyways) is they'll be providing the graphics chip for the Dolphin, and shouldn't be too happy to hear about these tactics. Nintendo of America's email address is nintendo@nintendo.com.

OT: monospace (1)

tzanger (1575) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506301)

Unfortunately, when they're Anonymous Cowards, it gets a bit harder to tell if you've got:

Sorry for the OT post, but how the hell do you get monospace output on /.????

I've tried the pre, blockquote and tt tags... anyone?

Some Dirt on a Former Company (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1506302)

The only reason I see for keeping AC post is for posts like this one. Former employees.

At a game company I used to work for they had a military guy hired/paid to endorse thier arcade flight sim as the most realistic ever(you probably can guess the company from that phrase). For some time after the product shipped, this guy would post in the flightsim newgroup about how he was a military pilot and that the companie's flight sim flew just like the real thing,blah,blah,blah... People eventually caught on. It's hard to say if this really made any difference in sales. But it certainly made a lot of people on the net hate the company even more.

Another example comes from before the above mentioned flight sim shipped. They had their two sales dudes and the tech support staff constanlly calling stores asking when the companies flight sim was comming out - maybe even preordering it - to whip up preorders. This has got to be pretty common.

If it wasn't for MicroSoft, you might think these practices were pretty sleazy...

This is not very good... For him... (1)

WowTIP (112922) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506303)

*rotflol* Hoho... i haven't laughed so much in a week... How could a company employ such a loon for a that important position in the company? Isn't it better to just redesign their own homepage??? "Our product suck, We lie to you & we are not ashamed about it...".

Cheap... (1)

intensity (118733) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506304)

What ever happened to reputable business practices...? We all know what a cut-throat market the computer industry is. What gets me is that most of us choose products based on prior experience and from reading reviews and other user experiences from places like Ars... A company succeeds in this industry by providing the best technology for the price, staying on top of new developments and supporting those loyal customers that invested in their technology to begin with. I don't think I will ever purchase anything from ArtX after seeing this....

Re:OT: monospace (2)

zantispam (78764) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506305)

It is the <tt> tag. View the source and see that Mr. Brown used this tag.

As an example, I'm using them right now.

Jedi Hacker (Apprentice) and Code Poet

I've seen worse. (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506306)

The one time a few years back when I had to evaluate some UPS's for a company that was going to but 4,000 of them, I was completely disgusted at the behaviour of the sales reps.

These clowns kept calling me up to try to feed me with misinformation about the compatibility of their competitors' product and the power monitoring software I was testing.

I felt like I'd wandered into a convention of used-car salesmen.

-jcr

Contact info (5)

El Volio (40489) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506307)

Please behave responsibly with this information. IOW, express your feelings, but do so politely and professionally -- otherwise you are sinking to Calle's level.

From ArtX Press Announcements [artxinc.com] :

For Additional Press Information about ArtX, please contact:

Rick Calle, Director Marketing ArtX
650/842-8455
Rcalle@artxinc.com

For additional information about Ali or Ali products, please contact:

Nancy Hartsoch ALi 408/467-7450
nancy_hartsoch@acer.com


From Contact ArtX [artxinc.com] :

ArtX, Inc.
3400 Hillview Avenue Building 5, 2nd Floor
Palo Alto, CA 94304
650/842-8400 phone
650/842-0307 fax
info@artxinc.com

From Investor Relations [artxinc.com] :

For further information, please contact David Orton, President:

deo@artxinc.com

Hardly unique... (1)

seebs (15766) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506308)

Amazon did the same thing to news.admin.net-abuse.email a while back.

Slime does this kind of thing.

Down with Marketing! (2)

Alkaiser (114022) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506309)

Hahaha...oh the evils of marketing. When I used to work at "undisclosed" entertainment software developer, there was no end to what the marketing dept. did.

It seemed to us that all they ever had to do was go to lunch, and eat with people from other marketing departments. (They insisted it wasn't true...sometimes they had to eat dinner.) Then when problems with the games would come up, they didn't field any of the phone calls or complaints. People would complain about our translations, have questions about future games, etc, and of course, none of those calls were routed to marketing.

When we finished our big project of the year everyone who worked on the project got these nice gifts, even the receptionist, who worked for a temp agency, and was leaving fairly soon. There was a hugely upbuilding for everyone, except for the software testers, some of whom had stayed at the office 96 hours straight, who got nothing, because they couldn't order enough. When we asked if we could order more from the company that made them, we were informed that they cost too much. (It's nice to know that Marketing was really looking out for the testing department, and not letting them spend their meager paychecks frivolously.)

Also on repeated occasions, we requested soundtracks, posters, action figures, etc. of the characters from the games we were working on, but apparently, there was only enough of that stuff to hand out to the important people in marketing...and all of our vendors.

And if you ever want to see some other people really get screwed, watch for the next time Interplay (obviously not the company I used to work for.) releases something that is developed in-house. Those games are replete with bugs, because the Marketing people push for the games to be released ahead of schedule. The games come out with errors that have been documented, well before the game is released, and then when the public finds them, the company message boards are full of people flaming the testers. Do the Marketing people say, "Hey, we made a mistake, we set an unreachable deadline." Of course not. They let the testers get flamed, and forbid the testers from saying anything to the contrary of the public opinion of them.

I guess in Marketing, you've got to lie a lot. And in order to lie effectively, you have to delude yourself into thinking that what you're saying is the truth. Maybe it makes it just oh-so much easier to phase out the stupid things you're doing, as well as everything else that goes on around you, so that you think you're the center of the Universe. (Which makes you really uncomfortable when Stephen Hawking talks about whether the Universe is expanding or not. "Should I go on a diet? Am I really expanding that much?")

Or maybe they should all be rounded up and stuck in internment camps.

But it's not just me...there's a great story that I've heard (passed down through many others, of course.) about a Microsoft Marketing Drone and David Corn.

------------------------------------------

"You mean to tell me that the citizens of New York are drinking water with all the electricity taken out of it?!"
-Former Mayor of New York, while on a tour of a hydroelectric dam.

Re:Marketing types just don't quit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1506310)

Heh... this kinda reminds me of the time the guy from Micro$oft got caught trashing OS/2 on a compuserv board. I'll bet this sort fo thing happens quite a bit.

BTW - I'll never pour hot grits down my pants.

Re:To be expected (1)

nmos (25822) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506311)

"In a way, I've given up hope that "the masses" will ever get the "real truth" behind things."

I know the feeling but as long as people are willing to buy crap there will be multitues of companies going nuts trying to fill the demand. I do think there is hope however. Over the past couple of years I noticed a huge increase in the level of dissatisfaction with the reliability of Windows based PCs. That's not to say that people recognize that Windows itself is a big part of the problem, most seem to blame the hardware first and then themselves for "breaking" it but at least it's a start.

"although I love Linux, I believe that one day something better would come along. The question is, when that day comes, will people stubbornly cling onto Linux the same way they are clinging to M$ now? If so, how different are they from stubborn M$ supporters of today?"

I think there is a difference. Of the few Linux users I know in the "real world" all can give actual reasons for their choice. Reasons might be "It's more stable" or "It's faster on my system" or just "there are just so many cool free things to play with" and every one of them has used at least a couple of different OSs in their time. When you ask Windows users why they made that choice the answers usually revolve around either "What else is there?" or "I've got to run exactly the same sofware as we use at the office" or "My kid must have exactly the same software he/she uses at school" and hardly any of these people have ever used anything but Windows.

Re:How often does this happen in the /. comments? (3)

SoftwareJanitor (15983) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506312)

Wasn't there an article about Microsoft starting their own Anti linux division. Makes me wonder if those guys are participating in discussions on slashdot and spreading FUD.

There are many admitted Microsoft employees who participate here. Some on there own time or 'misappropriated' company time I'm sure. However, I wouldn't be surprised if at least some of the Microsoft people here weren't assigned 'handlers' who read and/or post here. To a certain extent all that is to be expected, and probably something that a lot of companies do. And as long as they stick to posting stuff that is clearly labeled as opinions, or documentably factual, they really aren't doing anything wrong.

On the other hand, Microsoft has a history of 'Astroturf' campaigns. What makes this different is that the intent is to mislead people into thinking that there is a widespread outside group of people who have a certain opinion that doesn't in fact exist. And too often such 'Astroturf' campaigns cross over the line to where opinionated information becomes FUD.

Basically where things start to cross over the line is when people claim to be expressing independant opinions when in fact they have a vested (or paid) interest. Unfortunately Microsoft has even duped some groups into unintentionally supporting their PR campaigns by not being quite forthright about how they fund certain groups that are sympathetic to their interest at a given time.

Re:Hi People (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1506313)

Happy T Day to you too grits boy !!!

Re:To be expected (2)

Shadowlion (18254) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506314)

To the moderators: I mean *absolutely* no disrespect towards Linux or open source, but I wanted to post this hypothetical question:

Although I love Linux, I believe that one day something better would come along. The question is, when that day comes, will people stubbornly cling onto Linux the same way they are clinging to M$ now?

Who is to say that something better than Linux isn't out already, and the Linux community is dimissing or ignoring it?

What would the qualifications have to be for a product to be considered, "better than Linux?"



Re:Uh, I don't get it. (2)

tomblackwell (6196) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506315)

Free speech has nothing to do with someone lying. I agree with you totally.

People just seem to get a bee in their bonnet when they think that someone is "censoring" them using moderation, IP logging etc. It isn't censorship, and in fact is essential, but try telling it to them. The argument usually slides into a chest-beating, speechifying, flag-waving mess.

"Free speech" is a great thing, but sometimes people with flimsy arguments try to get a bit further by using it to (erroneously) back up their position.

Re:ArtX won't be seeing any of my money (1)

Danse (1026) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506316)

Actually, the N64 is fine tech-wise (or was when it came out). It just has mostly crap for games. That's its number one problem. The only game I'm looking forward to on N64 at the moment is Perfect Dark.

Re:Off topic, Humor (1)

taniwha (70410) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506317)

hey! - be carefull - 'goat urine' is a trademark of Coca Cola Inc :-)

Re:Broken article? (2)

slashdot-terminal (83882) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506318)

Just keep trying to access the link I think it took me about 4 tries.

However here's the text version of the article:


================================================
[newlogo9.gif (15244 bytes)] Forum.

[Image] [Maximum PC Network]

ABOUT THIS SITE ArtX: Half-truths and Misrepresentation? Recent:
by Jon "Hannibal" Stokes
FRONT PAGE Asus K7M
motherboard
ARS BeOS
We all know by now that the graphics industry is a Sun's MAJC
ASK ARS! vicious, cutthroat market where companies will do & Intel's
anything to get ahead. Tweaked benchmarks, IA-64
BUYER'S GUIDE over-inflated spec sheets, and out-of-control hype
are all part of the game, and are things that Promise
CPU & CHIPSET consumers have, sadly, come to expect. But what FastTrak66
GUIDE about something truly underhanded, like possible IDE RAID
abuse of a public forum and willful
DIARY OF misrepresentation of oneself to consumers? In an More NT
A GEEK effort to promote a product at all costs, there are Tweaks
some things that cross the line between "creating
THE FORUM good buzz" and outright disrespect. Microsoft's
IntelliEye
PRODUCT I recently had an unpleasant experience with a Mice
REVIEWS graphics company, an experience which seems to me
to be part of a trend of growing overconfidence and Transcend
SEARCH ARS underestimation of the consumer's intelligence on TS-ABX3101
the part of the computing industry. My recent motherboard
SESSE SEKO'S run-in involved a company so seemingly assured of
WANKERDESK the gullibility of the public and the media that Intel vs.
they didn't even take rudimentary precautions to AMD
TIPS FROM cover their tracks. That company is ArtX.
THE CRYPT Athlon Mobo
In Ars Technica's Wednesday Comdex write-up, I Shootout
TWEAKMEISTER'S recounted my experiences at ArtX's demo booth. I
TOME OF LOVE told about my DM battle with top-ranked Quake Transcend
champion Kornelia, and I also gave some of my TS-ABX11
WHO WE ARS impressions of the Aladdin 7 3D graphics technology motherboard
that ArtX was demonstrating. I didn't review a
LINKS product, nor did I run any benchmarks. All I did Infinite
was give brief impression of what I saw and what I Loop
ADVERTISE ON learned from the people working the booth. Here's
ARS TECHNICA what I had to say: The Onion's
"Our Dumb
Century"

[Visit The Chip Merchant] A while back, I reported on ArtX's plans to RISC vs.
integrate high-end 3D graphics on a Super7 mobo. CISC
(For those of you who don't know, ArtX is providing
[Image] the 3D mojo for Nintendo's upcoming Dolphin game Norton
console.) Anyway, I came across a booth where ArtX Speed Disk
was showing off their technology by holding a 4-way 5.0 for NT
Q3 demo deathmatch. Before I talk about the
deathmatch, I need to say a word about ArtX's Rites of
technology. The systems used were K6-based, with War
the ArtX gfx tech integrated on the north bridge.
Now, I don't know if it was the large LCD monitors Swiftech
or the early drivers, but the Q3 demo looked Peltier
absolutely awful. I'm not kidding when I say I Cooler
haven't seen graphics that bad since the Atari
days. I just couldn't believe my eyes. Q3 on my Apex ATX
old Voodoo1 blows away what I saw at the ArtX Full-Tower
booth. Not only was the image quality awful, but
turning on cg_drawfps revealed that the players Browsin' on
were getting FPS scores in the lower 20s. Ouch. I BeOS
sincerely hope that it was the monitors' or
drivers' fault that Q3 looked so bad, because if it PA-600 case
wasn't then Nintendo fans are in for a serious review
disappointment. [Note: It has since been brought to
my attention that the Aladdin 7 tech is supposedly System
different from the Dolphin tech, so things might Building
not be so bad after all. Or then again...] Guide

Buying it
Online
As a result of this small blurb, I entered into an Guide
email exchange with Rick Calle, Director of
Marketing for ArtX. In his emails, he made a Global WIN
number of claims in an effort to defend his FEP32
product. His wanting to defend his product is to
be expected, and is in fact admirable, since so 3D Market:
many companies seem to ignore the enthusiast High Stakes
population. What I did not expect was what I've
interpreted as the underhanded and duplicitous Cool the BX
methods that he chose to use. But before I get to Chipset
the deeply disturbing stuff, I'll lay out what some
of his more legitimate defenses were, and then I'll Computer
tell you what I thought of them. Understand that Architecture
the information I'm presenting isn't in
chronological order. Abit BP6

Deep C
Secrets
It's the LCD, stupid
ASUS P3B-F
In an email sent to me on the morning of 11/18/98, mobo
Mr. Calle's first protest was that the LCD monitors
that ArtX used weren't optimal for displaying the Athlon
product. As I noted in my report, at Comdex, Review
everyone was using LCDs--even those demoing video
card products. I saw UT and Q3A running on a
number of LCDs and none of them looked nearly as /etc:
bad as what I saw at ArtX. I said as much to Mr.
Calle, in an email response I sent on the 22nd, to OpenForum
which he replied:
SETI@Ars
...once we got on the show floor, we realized the
2010's were slower refresh rate. too late to change Take the
and get new ones on sunday nite. We especially saw Poll
this problem on DVD (did you see that demo?), where Technica
we elected to use our spare 21" CRT to eliminate
the "hysteresis" or "smearing" you see on the LCD FAQ:
screen due to it being a slow refresh rate and Celeron
which looks like dropped frames (but isn't). overclocking

This claim intrigued me, so I looked up the specs
for NEC's 2010 on the web. NEC lists the monitor's
max refresh rate as 75Hz @ 1280x1024. By way of
comparison, the Eizo FlexScan L66 that recently won
an Editor's Choice award from C|NET sports a
maximum refresh rate of...75Hz @ 1280x1024. Both
products also have similar horizontal scan rates.

While the fact that Q3A was running on an LCD at a
resolution other than the LCD's native one most
certainly affected its image quality, the fact
still remains that the other games I saw at Comdex
looked great on LCDs, while Q3A at the ArtX booth
looked substantially worse. Nothing can change
that, and for certain, no one working the booth
made any such claims to me, nor did anyone else
reflect on the possibility of the LCDs not
faithfully representing the product. Indeed, it
was quite the contrary. The booth presenters spoke
as if what they were displaying was 100% unleashed
Aladdin 7 tech. So, that's what I wrote about.
But after his reproach and my subsequent research,
I was left with a feeling of suspicion: was this
guy making excuses?



Framerates and the TNT2

In that same Comdex report, I mentioned that a
machine that I looked at had the framerate counter
on, and it was getting FPS scores in the low 20s.
That machine was Kornelia's, and Mr. Calle claims
she was playing not on an Aladdin 7 but on a TNT2.
Actually, in his first email (11/18/99), he claimed
she was playing on at TNT, check it:

If you consider that we had the Quake 3 v1.09
(CHECK your web site....look and see how, even a
TnT is getting problems running over 20-25fps in
v1.09) AND all these were turned on in the game:
- 32-bit rendering
- 32-bit textures
- high res (MAX) textures
- HIGH geometry for smooth curves
- trilinear filtering
then you would see we get great performance out of
this chipset, and it is WAY faster than your old
VooDoo.


A TNT running Q3A @ 20-25FPS is mostly believable,
but when I told him (11/22/99) that any gfx tech
maker that's comparing itself to a TNT at this
point is not shooting for the "budget PC market" as
much as they're shooting for outright obsolescence,
he replied (11/22/99) by saying that by "TNT" he
meant "TNT2." Well, which is it? In the hour I
was there, not a single person uttered the word
"TNT." Not one. You're going to tell me that
their star on-location was playing, and not even
using their tech?

Nevertheless, I saw what I saw. One of the major
points that folks were trying to sell at the booth
is that the Aladdin 7, with on-board T&L, can
supposedly compete with more expensive cards on
more expensive machines. I told Mr. Calle that I
thought that my experienced fleshed out that the
difference between what I saw at the booth and what
I've seen elsewhere was pretty weak.

See, I have a TNT2 that runs Q3A well over 25FPS at
High Quality display settings in the thick of 4-way
DM. And it looks great. In fact, I understand
that the TNT2 is one of the Q3A cards to have. I
can't see where a TNT2 on even a K6-3 450 (the
machine that Kornelia was supposedly using) would
run Q3A substantially slower than on my machine,
considering that I've just got a Celeron 466. I
mean, not night and days of difference.
Furthermore, in my recent Transcend TSABX3101
review I ran Q2 timedemos @ 1024x768 on a TNT2 +
Celeron 400 machine and got 37FPS in Crusher and
54FPS in Massive1!! I know that Q2 runs faster
than Q3, but Massive1 is a huge DM that stresses
the CPU to the max. I'd be very surprised to learn
that Q3A is slow to the point that a 50MHz faster
CPU in a 4-person DM can see an over 50% reduction
in framerate from Q2 @ 1024x768 on Massive1. Maybe
a combination of the K6 being weak and Q3A being
slower could account for it, but does seem like a
stretch. If anyone out there has any actual Q3A
timedemo numbers on a K6-3 (or -2) 450 + TNT2
system, I'd be interested to see them.

So as you can see, I am skeptical that Kornelia was
actually playing on any sort of nVidia card,
because the TNT-branded name was not mentioned in
the hour or so I was at the booth. There were
people there with headsets on exhorting the
audience to "experience the detailed textures and
dynamic lighting of the Aladdin 7...," but I never
heard anything about a TNT-anything. But
regardless of whether or not there were any TNT or
TNT2 cards in use at that booth, I know for a fact
that I was sitting at an Aladdin 7 machine because
there was an ArtX rep standing over my shoulder and
using my screen to show an on-looking rep from
another company exactly what the Aladdin 7 is
capable of. In short, I know what I saw, and I
thought it looked lame. Once again, I did not run
benchmarks, nor did I pretend to review a product.
I came I, I sat, I played, I was thoroughly
unimpressed. End of story.

Too bad this isn't the end of the story for ArtX's
Rick Calle. I found out later on on the 22nd that
all along he'd been up to more than just trying to
"clarify" things for me via email.



Next: things get out of control


Re:Broken article? (1)

slashdot-terminal (83882) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506319)

(crappy display) Just keep trying to access the link I think it took me about 4 tries. However here's the text version of the article: ================================================ [newlogo9.gif (15244 bytes)] Forum. [Image] [Maximum PC Network] ABOUT THIS SITE ArtX: Half-truths and Misrepresentation? Recent: by Jon "Hannibal" Stokes FRONT PAGE Asus K7M motherboard ARS BeOS We all know by now that the graphics industry is a Sun's MAJC ASK ARS! vicious, cutthroat market where companies will do & Intel's anything to get ahead. Tweaked benchmarks, IA-64 BUYER'S GUIDE over-inflated spec sheets, and out-of-control hype are all part of the game, and are things that Promise CPU & CHIPSET consumers have, sadly, come to expect. But what FastTrak66 GUIDE about something truly underhanded, like possible IDE RAID abuse of a public forum and willful DIARY OF misrepresentation of oneself to consumers? In an More NT A GEEK effort to promote a product at all costs, there are Tweaks some things that cross the line between "creating THE FORUM good buzz" and outright disrespect. Microsoft's IntelliEye PRODUCT I recently had an unpleasant experience with a Mice REVIEWS graphics company, an experience which seems to me to be part of a trend of growing overconfidence and Transcend SEARCH ARS underestimation of the consumer's intelligence on TS-ABX3101 the part of the computing industry. My recent motherboard SESSE SEKO'S run-in involved a company so seemingly assured of WANKERDESK the gullibility of the public and the media that Intel vs. they didn't even take rudimentary precautions to AMD TIPS FROM cover their tracks. That company is ArtX. THE CRYPT Athlon Mobo In Ars Technica's Wednesday Comdex write-up, I Shootout TWEAKMEISTER'S recounted my experiences at ArtX's demo booth. I TOME OF LOVE told about my DM battle with top-ranked Quake Transcend champion Kornelia, and I also gave some of my TS-ABX11 WHO WE ARS impressions of the Aladdin 7 3D graphics technology motherboard that ArtX was demonstrating. I didn't review a LINKS product, nor did I run any benchmarks. All I did Infinite was give brief impression of what I saw and what I Loop ADVERTISE ON learned from the people working the booth. Here's ARS TECHNICA what I had to say: The Onion's "Our Dumb Century" [Visit The Chip Merchant] A while back, I reported on ArtX's plans to RISC vs. integrate high-end 3D graphics on a Super7 mobo. CISC (For those of you who don't know, ArtX is providing [Image] the 3D mojo for Nintendo's upcoming Dolphin game Norton console.) Anyway, I came across a booth where ArtX Speed Disk was showing off their technology by holding a 4-way 5.0 for NT Q3 demo deathmatch. Before I talk about the deathmatch, I need to say a word about ArtX's Rites of technology. The systems used were K6-based, with War the ArtX gfx tech integrated on the north bridge. Now, I don't know if it was the large LCD monitors Swiftech or the early drivers, but the Q3 demo looked Peltier absolutely awful. I'm not kidding when I say I Cooler haven't seen graphics that bad since the Atari days. I just couldn't believe my eyes. Q3 on my Apex ATX old Voodoo1 blows away what I saw at the ArtX Full-Tower booth. Not only was the image quality awful, but turning on cg_drawfps revealed that the players Browsin' on were getting FPS scores in the lower 20s. Ouch. I BeOS sincerely hope that it was the monitors' or drivers' fault that Q3 looked so bad, because if it PA-600 case wasn't then Nintendo fans are in for a serious review disappointment. [Note: It has since been brought to my attention that the Aladdin 7 tech is supposedly System different from the Dolphin tech, so things might Building not be so bad after all. Or then again...] Guide Buying it Online As a result of this small blurb, I entered into an Guide email exchange with Rick Calle, Director of Marketing for ArtX. In his emails, he made a Global WIN number of claims in an effort to defend his FEP32 product. His wanting to defend his product is to be expected, and is in fact admirable, since so 3D Market: many companies seem to ignore the enthusiast High Stakes population. What I did not expect was what I've interpreted as the underhanded and duplicitous Cool the BX methods that he chose to use. But before I get to Chipset the deeply disturbing stuff, I'll lay out what some of his more legitimate defenses were, and then I'll Computer tell you what I thought of them. Understand that Architecture the information I'm presenting isn't in chronological order. Abit BP6 Deep C Secrets It's the LCD, stupid ASUS P3B-F In an email sent to me on the morning of 11/18/98, mobo Mr. Calle's first protest was that the LCD monitors that ArtX used weren't optimal for displaying the Athlon product. As I noted in my report, at Comdex, Review everyone was using LCDs--even those demoing video card products. I saw UT and Q3A running on a number of LCDs and none of them looked nearly as /etc: bad as what I saw at ArtX. I said as much to Mr. Calle, in an email response I sent on the 22nd, to OpenForum which he replied: SETI@Ars ...once we got on the show floor, we realized the 2010's were slower refresh rate. too late to change Take the and get new ones on sunday nite. We especially saw Poll this problem on DVD (did you see that demo?), where Technica we elected to use our spare 21" CRT to eliminate the "hysteresis" or "smearing" you see on the LCD FAQ: screen due to it being a slow refresh rate and Celeron which looks like dropped frames (but isn't). overclocking This claim intrigued me, so I looked up the specs for NEC's 2010 on the web. NEC lists the monitor's max refresh rate as 75Hz @ 1280x1024. By way of comparison, the Eizo FlexScan L66 that recently won an Editor's Choice award from C|NET sports a maximum refresh rate of...75Hz @ 1280x1024. Both products also have similar horizontal scan rates. While the fact that Q3A was running on an LCD at a resolution other than the LCD's native one most certainly affected its image quality, the fact still remains that the other games I saw at Comdex looked great on LCDs, while Q3A at the ArtX booth looked substantially worse. Nothing can change that, and for certain, no one working the booth made any such claims to me, nor did anyone else reflect on the possibility of the LCDs not faithfully representing the product. Indeed, it was quite the contrary. The booth presenters spoke as if what they were displaying was 100% unleashed Aladdin 7 tech. So, that's what I wrote about. But after his reproach and my subsequent research, I was left with a feeling of suspicion: was this guy making excuses? Framerates and the TNT2 In that same Comdex report, I mentioned that a machine that I looked at had the framerate counter on, and it was getting FPS scores in the low 20s. That machine was Kornelia's, and Mr. Calle claims she was playing not on an Aladdin 7 but on a TNT2. Actually, in his first email (11/18/99), he claimed she was playing on at TNT, check it: If you consider that we had the Quake 3 v1.09 (CHECK your web site....look and see how, even a TnT is getting problems running over 20-25fps in v1.09) AND all these were turned on in the game: - 32-bit rendering - 32-bit textures - high res (MAX) textures - HIGH geometry for smooth curves - trilinear filtering then you would see we get great performance out of this chipset, and it is WAY faster than your old VooDoo. A TNT running Q3A @ 20-25FPS is mostly believable, but when I told him (11/22/99) that any gfx tech maker that's comparing itself to a TNT at this point is not shooting for the "budget PC market" as much as they're shooting for outright obsolescence, he replied (11/22/99) by saying that by "TNT" he meant "TNT2." Well, which is it? In the hour I was there, not a single person uttered the word "TNT." Not one. You're going to tell me that their star on-location was playing, and not even using their tech? Nevertheless, I saw what I saw. One of the major points that folks were trying to sell at the booth is that the Aladdin 7, with on-board T&L, can supposedly compete with more expensive cards on more expensive machines. I told Mr. Calle that I thought that my experienced fleshed out that the difference between what I saw at the booth and what I've seen elsewhere was pretty weak. See, I have a TNT2 that runs Q3A well over 25FPS at High Quality display settings in the thick of 4-way DM. And it looks great. In fact, I understand that the TNT2 is one of the Q3A cards to have. I can't see where a TNT2 on even a K6-3 450 (the machine that Kornelia was supposedly using) would run Q3A substantially slower than on my machine, considering that I've just got a Celeron 466. I mean, not night and days of difference. Furthermore, in my recent Transcend TSABX3101 review I ran Q2 timedemos @ 1024x768 on a TNT2 + Celeron 400 machine and got 37FPS in Crusher and 54FPS in Massive1!! I know that Q2 runs faster than Q3, but Massive1 is a huge DM that stresses the CPU to the max. I'd be very surprised to learn that Q3A is slow to the point that a 50MHz faster CPU in a 4-person DM can see an over 50% reduction in framerate from Q2 @ 1024x768 on Massive1. Maybe a combination of the K6 being weak and Q3A being slower could account for it, but does seem like a stretch. If anyone out there has any actual Q3A timedemo numbers on a K6-3 (or -2) 450 + TNT2 system, I'd be interested to see them. So as you can see, I am skeptical that Kornelia was actually playing on any sort of nVidia card, because the TNT-branded name was not mentioned in the hour or so I was at the booth. There were people there with headsets on exhorting the audience to "experience the detailed textures and dynamic lighting of the Aladdin 7...," but I never heard anything about a TNT-anything. But regardless of whether or not there were any TNT or TNT2 cards in use at that booth, I know for a fact that I was sitting at an Aladdin 7 machine because there was an ArtX rep standing over my shoulder and using my screen to show an on-looking rep from another company exactly what the Aladdin 7 is capable of. In short, I know what I saw, and I thought it looked lame. Once again, I did not run benchmarks, nor did I pretend to review a product. I came I, I sat, I played, I was thoroughly unimpressed. End of story. Too bad this isn't the end of the story for ArtX's Rick Calle. I found out later on on the 22nd that all along he'd been up to more than just trying to "clarify" things for me via email. Next: things get out of control

M$ (1)

jrs (27486) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506320)

This make's me wonder how many times people from m$ do that. Especially on here :)

Re:Funny, if a little old, one-liner, but... (1)

slashdot-terminal (83882) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506321)

Well I don't really believe that. And if you want you actually can develop C++ and Java and almost any other new fashionable language on unix/Linux as well. Ever heard of g++ or the gjc (the gnu java compiler). Personally I think that unix is quite good. And for the disabled nothing beats systems that rely on text based technology and the like. I assume that you think macs are the solution correct? Well if that is the case then are there any good tools for say blind people? The more things change the more they stay the same. Until speech technology and intelligent AI are actually created (basically a problem that innovation and cheap hardware can fix) we will be at a disadvantage.

One guy? (1)

Colossus11 (16269) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506322)

Sounds to me like this isn't a case of the "evil corporation, it's just one guy.

Real big corporations would rather ignore negative Web sites or bury them some other way, not resort to these amateurish tactics.

Making assumptions based on IP address. (1)

GrimJack (3496) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506323)

Althought I read the article and see that the accused basicly owned up to faking both posts (At least that's my take on the response) assuming that multiple messages from the same ip are by the same person is problematic.
At my company we use a firewall with masqing which makes it appear that we are all coming from one ip address, so in the theoretical case that we were to defend our product in a forum like this (Although I wouldn't advocate doing it anonymously) it would look like one person is doing all the posting when it could be multiple people from different departments.

ROTFL, eh? (1)

Pariah (88204) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506324)

"P.S. you're good. snagged my IP, huh?! i'm rotfl - rick." "

To quote Lord John Worfin (John Lithgow in Buckaroo Banzai): 'Laugh-a while you can, Monkey Boy."

I wonder if he'll still be laughing when his company gets Slashdotted with email complaining about him.

Incidentally, his boss is the President of ArtX, David Orton. Mr. Orton's email address is deo@artxinc.com, if you'd care to express your thoughts on this type of behavior to him.

Re:Why marketing types are natural B ship candidat (2)

blazer1024 (72405) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506325)

Don't forget that those left on the planet eventually all died from a disease contracted from a dirty telephone... and also don't forget that the B ship ended up on Earth and is where the human race started :)

But seriously, I am getting really sick of these marketing people. You can't really go anywhere and get a reliable objective review. Usually someone's posting anonymously or has been paid to give good reviews. Sigh.

Re:Some Dirt on a Former Company (2)

SoftwareJanitor (15983) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506326)

In the book and record industries some companies will actually buy their own books/CDs/tapes at retail outlets (generally ones that they have identified as being ones that are participating in rating services or which are believed to be influential in determining ordering for the chain) in order to make them 'bestsellers' or to drive further stock orders.

One particular book publisher who has been accused of this is Bridge Publications which is a Scientology front company and primary publisher of the pulp sci-fi writings of the late L. Ron Hubbard (Scientology founder). Employees of one of the major bookstore chains have said that books shipped to them by Bridge often come pre-labeled with the bookstore chain's own price stickers and occasionally with price stickers from other stores).

There have been rumors that Microsoft has used the same tactic in promotion of Bill Gate's books ("The Road Ahead" and more recently "Business @ the Speed of Thought"), although I haven't heard any damning evidence like the price stickers to substantiate them.

Re:Broken article? (1)

AugstWest (79042) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506327)

Well, it's not geeks like us that make the huge difference in video card sales. Unfortunately, they may be able to strike a deal with, say, Dell and sell a couple bazillion units.

I mean, everyone I know who is looking for new hardware asks me about what 3d card to buy, and that's still only like 10 or 12 people.

The subset of consumers who read Ars and Slashdot really isn't enough to make or break a company. And if you ask me, it shouldn't be. One schmuck in marketing shouldn't kill off the parent company.

Maybe he could go work for Alex St. John :]

Re:To be expected (1)

nmos (25822) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506328)

"Who is to say that something better than Linux isn't out already, and the Linux
community is dimissing or ignoring it? "

Define "better". For some people and some tasks I think you could argue that Free BSD or Be is "better" than Linux right now. Without more details though it's like argueing that a fork is better than a spoon. The one thing I think we can all agree on is that sporks (Windows) suck.

Quotes are Quotes, Whether Claims are True or Not (2)

Christopher B. Brown (1267) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506329)

Those who do not understand Unix are condemned to reinvent it, poorly.

It's what Henry Spencer [lysator.liu.se] said.

It's widely known.

There may be merit to your contention that not understanding Lisp results in reinventing it badly; Erik Naggum [naggum.no] commonly makes that contention about Scheme, [mit.edu] and I have no problem with the assertion that anyone building new systems that ignores the Common Lisp HyperSpec [harlequin.com] is likely doomed to reinvent parts of it less well than CLTL2.

That may mean that a more valid claim would be more like

Those who do not understand both Lisp and UNIX are doomed to reinvent parts of both, badly.

That still does not deny that what is in my .signature is what Henry Spencer said.

I've got a "cookie file" that populates email and news .signatures with random quotes; not all of them are true, at all. Some represent downright falsehoods; the Spencer quote isn't one of those.

If you are feeling so much feeling towards Lisp, then I'm wondering why you're not running Ocelot [sonic.net] or SilkOS [intellimarket.com] or NASOS [demon.co.uk] or the rendition of DrScheme [rice.edu] atop FluxOS, [utah.edu] or, if you're a Common Lisp [elwoodcorp.com] partisan, perhaps Genera. [elwoodcorp.com]

Quotes are Quotes, Whether Claims are True or Not (2)

Christopher B. Brown (1267) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506330)

Those who do not understand Unix are condemned to reinvent it, poorly.

It's what Henry Spencer [lysator.liu.se] said.

It's widely known.

There may be merit to your contention that not understanding Lisp results in reinventing it badly; Erik Naggum [naggum.no] commonly makes that contention about Scheme, [mit.edu] and I have no problem with the assertion that anyone building new systems that ignores the Common Lisp HyperSpec [harlequin.com] is likely doomed to reinvent parts of it less well than CLTL2.

That may mean that a more valid claim would be more like

Those who do not understand both Lisp and UNIX are doomed to reinvent parts of both, badly.

That still does not deny the historical fact that what is in my .signature is what Henry Spencer said.

I've got a "cookie file" that populates email and news .signatures with random quotes; not all of them are true, at all. Some represent downright falsehoods; the Spencer quote isn't one of those.

If you are feeling so much feeling towards Lisp, then I'm wondering why you're not running Ocelot [sonic.net] or SilkOS [intellimarket.com] or NASOS [demon.co.uk] or the rendition of DrScheme [rice.edu] atop FluxOS, [utah.edu] or, if you're a Common Lisp [elwoodcorp.com] partisan, perhaps Genera. [elwoodcorp.com]

Re:Broken article? (2)

Kintanon (65528) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506331)

I mean, everyone I know who is looking for new hardware asks me about what 3d card to buy, and that's still only like 10 or 12 people.

The subset of consumers who read Ars and Slashdot really isn't enough to make or break a company. And if you ask me, it shouldn't be. One schmuck in marketing shouldn't kill off the parent company.



It may not make more break the company, but it's still alienating a big chunk of consumers. Which is ALWAYS bad for a new company looking to make it big.I mean, say there are 100K people who read Technica and slashdot combined, and each of those people gives advice to 10 people to steer clear of that company. That's 1 million sales right there. Heck, Sega is exstatic because they just hit 1 million sales with the Dreamcast, 1 million sales could make or break most companies. Of course that deal with nintendo goes a long way towards assuring immunity to market pressure.

Kintanon

Re:Uh, I don't get it. (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506332)

>>People just seem to get a bee in their bonnet when they think that someone is "censoring" them using moderation, IP logging etc. It isn't censorship, and in fact is essential, but try telling it to them. The argument usually slides into a chest-beating, speechifying, flag-waving mess.

I'm FAR more concerned with people abusing the legal system or simple threats to shut down legitimate sites.

Like what the Scientologists did to xenu.net or what the FBI did to that y2k hype site recently or what planned parenthood did to the Nuremberg Files website.

LK

Re:Off topic, Humor (1)

InThane (2300) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506333)

Damn, and I thought that they both were just malted battery acid.

Re:Off topic, Humor (1)

WNight (23683) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506334)

Duh, don't you know the difference? They *patented* goat urine as an additive, they've trademarked the phrase "Got Goat?"

:)

Re:Tell the CEO (1)

Mong0 (105116) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506335)

To elaborate on the contact info this was pulled form the site also. ArtX, Inc. 3400 Hillview Avenue Building 5, 2nd Floor Palo Alto, CA 94304 650/842-8400 phone 650/842-0307 fax

It wasn't a product review. (3)

Otto (17870) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506336)

Several people mentioned that this guy was just defending a product review... Actually, not.

Basically, the original post said that the guy had seen the product (video chipset i think) at a trade show (comdex?) and that it looked pretty crappy there, but that it could be for reasons other than the product itself.

Then this guy from the company concerned starts an email conversation with the poster of the article, saying why it didn't look as good as it could.

It gets pretty involved from here, but basically the marketing guy lied in his emails, then posted two messages using anon accounts to discredit the original poster. ("I saw that, he's full of shit!" type of thing) He used the tactic of making the first post look like it was written by an idiot, agreeing with the article, then the second post (a reply) looks more intelligent, and backs the company and the product.

Original article poster checks IP's on the posts, sees they're the same, and posts a note saying to be warned as both these posts were made by the same guy.

Then the marketing guy sends another e-mail to the article poster and says "found my IP's out, eh? pretty smart" or something to that effect.

Naturally, this is pretty appalling to the original article poster.

I mean here's a marketing guy trying to defend his product. A noble cause, nothing wrong with that, but the tactics used are nothing short of disgusting. Admittedly, used right they WORK, but still...

I think this is a case of someone just being caught in the act. Obviously, the marketing guy is a bit clueless, since he admitted his guilt via e-mail, and didn't realize how disturbing this was to the internet user psyche.

Marketing tactics have done stuff like this for decades. The "rumor mill" and "word of mouth" is a well-known phenomenon. Commercials and advertising will notify an audience your product exists. Product reviews will get a select few to buy. Word of mouth can get the entire population to go for it.

Just look at the movies, for example. How many of you have seen a movie because a friend recommended it? Hell, usually that's the only reason I'll see a movie. Reviews often just don't have that much impact.

But many years ago on the Usenet, someone discovered the secret to easy word of mouth on the 'net. Anonymity.

Bit sad, really. I think a product will sell itself, if it's a good product.


---

Look to law enforcement. (1)

slashdot-terminal (83882) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506337)

Law enforcement makes it a matter of pride that they catch "stupid people" commiting crimes. And before that artists and free thinkers were considered morons. It's all about what the intellectual climate is in the place that you live.

Re:ArtX won't be seeing any of my money (1)

Alkaiser (114022) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506338)

I've seen it 2 years running at E3. Here's a tip from me to you. Don't look forward to it.

link for the lazy (2)

Ender Ryan (79406) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506339)

deo@artxinc.com [mailto]

Re:To be expected (1)

slashdot-terminal (83882) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506340)

It's a cost issue with me as well. I find it hard to believe that something could even if it was better actually do so and still be able to grow like linux does. If anything will replace linux it must be open source to allow for open development of applications and elimination of bugs. If it's closed source people will not really feel that it's easy to develop for the platform than developing for windows. Say I write a game for windows I spend maybe 80% of the budged that I had allocated for the project. That leaves about 20% for the linux and other ports. If I wanted to develop for the other platform it would have to be easier to develop on than the windows version was. Therefore something must be streamlined so the use of linux is a good idea.

Re:Some Dirt on a Former Company (1)

swordgeek (112599) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506341)

Here's a sad state of affairs.

Despite being a (moderately) avid flight sim fan, I have no idea what company you're talking about. Why? Because just about every sim I can remember in recent history has been hyped as 'just like flying a plane' etc. etc., and as someone who has flown a plane, none of 'em are even close.[1]

So much noise that the message gets ignored? Marketing types, in general, don't seem to understand that concept.

[1] Oh, except maybe the original Flight Unlimited. Damned fine sim! Even there, you don't bank in your computer chair, though.

Re:How often does this happen in the /. comments? (1)

embobo (1520) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506342)

There are quite a few Microsoft zombies posting on /.. The common form of their posts is:

Linux rules. I really hate M$ myself and would never use it.

However, I run IIS on my NT machine. It takes 10^23 hits a day and has never crashed.

That is, they will start with some meaningless claim about Linux being good and MS being bad thinking that will give them credibilty and then go on to say how great MS really is.

1999 - The Year We Got Hyped (2)

Randy Rathbun (18851) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506343)

I was sitting here thinking about all this. Just yesterday we got to see the story about the book seller reading everyone's email to find out what they were saying to Amazon.com. Today it is this. Hell, it has not even been a whole year since all the DIVX sites started popping up all over the place.

It is for these reasons I am grateful that Slashdot exists. It is the net.community's way of keeping the bullshit level from the money grubbers to a minimum.

Keep it up folks. I think we all appreciate it.

Re:Standard tactics for shady companies? (1)

fleagal (99431) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506344)

I just can't agree with you statement that you can, with a fair certainty, assume that anyone having good experiences with MS software is paid to do so. All you are doing is assuming the worst, which is fine to do and something I do often, but it's just like saying, "Anyone who says that they've had a good experience with Linux obviously has sour grapes because of the market dominance of MS." While both statements are possible. Neither is very likely. There are a lot of people who have great experiences with [insert whatever company here]'s software even if you don't. I have no connection to MS other that the company I work for writes Win32 software. (And Unix stuff, too, mind you, but no Linux as of yet)

Is boycotting appropriate? (1)

B!! (116441) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506345)

Is boycotting thier products neccessary, and appropriate? You'd hate to see a company destroyed because they hired some bumbling idiot to do their marketing. Regardless of how childish Mr. Calle acted, if their product is superior (not that it sounds like it is) to what is on the market, then people should/will buy it. I'm sure Mr. Calle will be dealt with shortly anyways.

Re:Why marketing types are natural B ship candidat (1)

stuntpope (19736) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506346)

This scenario was replayed in Futurama recently. I'd forgotten it came from the Hitchhiker's Guide while watching...I should re-read the series (again).

Re:Funny, if a little old, one-liner, but... (2)

hawk (1151) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506347)

>C and Unix -with a lot of help from Microsoft-
>have plunged the computer industry into the
>dark ages like the Catholic Church plunged Europe
>into the Dark Ages.

intriguing, I don't see how to parse this. Is this supposed to mean that C, unix, and MS are all horrible, by the analogy that the Catholic Church actually plunged Europe into the dark ages?

Or is it using the falsity of the latter statement to claim that C, unix, and ms are all free of guilt, and that there is no dark age?

Re:Hi People (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1506348)

Uv crbcyr. V'ir whfg cbherq ubg tevgf qbja zl cnagf !!!

Unccl Gunaxftvivat sebz gur tevgf obl !!!

Re:It wasn't a product review. (1)

Some Strange Guy (106728) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506349)

>Bit sad, really. I think a product will sell
>itself, if it's a good product.

Ahh, if only this were true. Time and time again, though, it's simply not the case; having a good product is important, but it's neither critical nor is it the MOST important aspect of surviving in the marketplace.

Some quick examples we should all know about:

  • 95 vs (OS/2|Be|etc)
  • x86 vs (Alpha|Sparc|Mips|etc)
  • NT vs (Unix|Linux|VMS|etc)
And these are areas in which paid IT professionals are often doing the purchasing! It's those areas wherein people without experience, much less expertise, do the purchasing that marketing REALLY reigns supreme. Consumer electronics is just ripe for the picking of marketers.

A friend taking a business class at a university once told me about a survey which asked for an agree/disagree on this:

The first obligation of a company is to the stockholders. Any action which increases profits is always ethical and justified.

Well over half the class agreed wholeheartedly.

This culture of greed, more than anything else, is what bothers me about our future.

Wasn't the Mrktng dept of Sirius Cybernetics (2)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506350)

Corporation to be the first one's up against the wall when the revolution comes ? :))

Chuck

Its about logging IPs (1)

seyed (33396) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506351)

I think the guy meant that some people get all up in arms when people log there IP, because their anonymity isn't preserved.

That is still an issue in my book...

A part of the "self regulating internet" (1)

sfmarco (113003) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506352)

Quite interesting to see how a self regulating society (i.e. internet) keep up finding solutions for unwanted behaviour.

People are aware of the IP logging and I think (IMHO) people should post honnest opinions, or make clear with what intent the message is written.

The anonymous post is more avoiding SPAM etc, and gives a certain degree of privacy. It should not be an excuse for misbehaviour.

The level on the internet has gone down quite a bit since it left the university/scientific world. So let's go back and share information. Not just misleading "well hard so say" information

Boycotting is a effective tool (1)

GoofyBoy (44399) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506353)

Yes boycotting is appropriate.

The only voice a consumer has is with his/her wallet. If everyone did buy their product regardless of the actions of the employees wouldn't that RE-ENFORCE their behavour?

"How did you company get to be so successful?"
"Well the key is to get the consumer to buy, not matter what the quality of your product. Crush any bad-word of mouth and critics, by any means, including lying. "
"Isn't that wrong?"
"Hey, it got me rich!"

Winning by any means is not acceptable.

By not speaking out, you are still sending a message.

I just wish that Artx would respond to this either here or on Ars.

Re:Funny, if a little old, one-liner, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1506354)

Why would you assume the guy likes Macs? What do Macs and Lisp have to do with each other?

Re:Uh, I don't get it. (3)

bjk4 (885) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506355)


Freedom of speech is NOT freedom from responsibility.
The corollary to this is that freedom of speech gives you the right to speak, but not the right to be heard.

-B

Re:Funny, if a little old, one-liner, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1506356)

intriguing, I don't see how to parse this. Is this supposed to mean that C, unix, and MS are all horrible, by the analogy that the Catholic Church actually plunged Europe into the dark ages?

Yes.

Re:first post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1506357)

Svefg Cbfg!!!

Re:How often does this happen in the /. comments? (2)

Stonehand (71085) | more than 14 years ago | (#1506358)

I don't know whether there's any coordinated attempts by MS to thusly "infiltrate" public discussion forums; when I was there [intern only], I was purely on the software development side, and never involved with dealing with the Outside. It's very possible to work there for quite some time without being involved with company policy, marketing, any form of PR, and so forth...

I do know, however, that:

* They were concerned with their public image, and have more reason to keep that concern nowadays.

* They do not operate in ignorance of potential competition; for instance, Unix experience does not appear to be a negative when hiring, and their are employees that experiment with other operating systems such as Linux in their free time.

* They do have an extensive marketing department. Chances are, there's at least a few of 'em who are no-holds-barred when promoting their products, just as there are employees who don't evangelize about every MS product as the solution to all problems.

* While one might *think* that they'd have some limits, the repeated violations of the implicit rule "Don't EVER piss off the Judge" (remember the "dramatized" videotaped demos?) suggest strongly that at least somebody there makes seriously bad judgement calls.
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