The August 3rd, 2004 "keynote speech" Free Software and the Idiots who Buy It given by Rob Enderle at SCO Forum 2004 leaves little doubt that this man does not deserve the self anointed title of "analyst". Unless, of course, he is describing himself in the tradition of those who fueled the "irrational exuberance" of the dot com bubble and similar disasters such as the Enron implosion.
Perhaps this "analyst" would be wisely advised to stick with his target audience by writing an autobiography titled "Idiotically Irrational Investors and the Asinine Analysts who Provided Analysis To Them".
In his keynote speech, Enderle stated:
"For those that really want to understand the why behind my position on Linux as a Free software scam; let me tell you a little of my own history. Please understand, what I'm going to share is not easy, it brings up memories that I would just as soon forget, but I think it important, before you listen to any analyst or advocate, that you understand the foundation for their beliefs before you decide if they are valid or not.".
There is little confusion in this writer's mind about the foundation of this "analyst's" beliefs. As a matter of fact, this rant, masquerading as a "keynote speech", leaves little doubt about the foundation of those beliefs and they can be best described by two words: raving and lunatic.
The idiot in the title has been well defined in two previous articles, This CEO is Incompetent, with a capital I and Darlwinism: How to Destroy a Software Company. For this article, let's start off by providing definitions from dictionary.com for the two key words that best describe the ranting of Rob Enderle at SCO Forum 2004.
Keep in mind, this speech was given as a keynote address at the annual convention for a publicly traded corporation with stock holders, a board of directors, over 200 employees, investors, a large sales distribution channel, and numerous Fortune 1000 clients. I have heard rants from nutcases in the Free/Open Source crowd, but they represent no one but themselves. This "analyst" claims to have "been ranked number one in influence for most of the last decade". Of course, he fails to say who ranked him and by what methods, but that is beside the point. Most corporations desire keynote speakers who attract investors, customers, and engender credibility, not destroy it.
According to Enderle, before validating what any analyst has to say, you should understand the foundation of their beliefs. Based on this speech and other rants of his on the net, he has provided more than enough information to do so. I believe his foundation is showing some cracks, as evidenced below.
Enderle's opening statement.
HI, I'm Rob Enderle, I'm paid to hate Linux by Microsoft. I actually am Bill Gates Love slave, was fired from IBM for mooning Louis Gerstner, have a huge personal investment in SCO, and regularly steal candy from little defenseless babies. OK, there I said it, I've come clean, spilled the beans, finally told the truth and if you read some, fortunately not all, of the mail that comes in after one of my Linux focused columns you would assume that much of what I said was probably true. However while I will readily admit to a bias, it is not the bias that most seem to think and, often, to understand the why behind anyone's actions it might be helpful to understand the real cause of those actions.
Novel use of sarcasm. Too bad he seems to have forgotten that he was giving a keynote speech for a software company, not speaking at a Microsoft pep rally.
Groklaw is what this rant is really about. This man is clearly motivated by a bitter dislike or jealousy of groklaw, in spite of his claim of having "been ranked number one in influence for most of the last decade".
Now I know that some of you are rapidly writing your own "rough interpretation" of what I am saying for Groklaw and have your hands poised over the FUD keys. I find this ironic given Groklaw is an Anti-SCO FUD propaganda site but I understand the need for those that are deeply political or religious to misrepresent their opponents so that their own positions appear well founded. I also believe the practice to be stupid, primarily because eventually the truth does come out, but I still understand it.
He raves on about Groklaw eight times in his speech. Clearly the man has an obsession with groklaw.
Here he raves on about "tapes of Nuremburg experiments" and compares the behavior of hate groups to users of linux and open source software. Too bad this ace analyst is referring to the wrong study - the study he may be referring to was done at Stanford. The Nuremberg Code refers to horrible medical experiments conducted by the nazis. Obviously this man pays little attention to detail.
I've always had a sense for bullshit and bullies and have never cared for either. In college, both graduate and undergraduate, I was fascinated with human behavior. I watched the tapes of the Nuremburg experiments that showcased how people put in positions of authority could be ordered to torture and kill other people and that the majority of those tested in the study failed the "humanity" test. Groups of people can do really bad things and not failing the humanity test became a personal goal.
How does the "attack force" differ? For one thing, there is no "attack force" outside of SCO lawyers filing frivolous lawsuits and SCO executives/mouthpieces making loud, public, fantastical claims that have no bearing in truth, testimony, or law. Oh, and groups of linux users don't hang, beat, or shoot other people. They are geeks.
Now for some "Wildly or giddily foolish" statements by Enderle.
They are attacking because they disagree with the legal rights of these companies, they are handing out punishments designed to destroy livelihoods, and often making physical threats. Their motivation is crimes that are believed, but generally not proven. They appear to lack confidence in the legal systems that hold their own countries together and, even though some of them are themselves behaving criminally, they often refuse to address their own failings or even admit they have them.
For one thing, who is "they", what legal rights are "they" disagreeing with, what punishments are "they" handing out, and who is "often making physical threats"? What does any of the above paragraph have to do with reality? Show us a police report, a threatening email, anything Rob. I am beginning to wonder if this man is fueled by extreme paranoia. The kind generally associated with having smoked way too much crack. If you believe in karma, this man has a rather interesting knack for being in the wrong place, at the wrong time.
I've been at the wrong end of a weapon and it shouldn't take us long to realize the some folks who make threats, whether it be in school or against governments or against companies, do, in fact, intend to carry them out.
I traveled armed for 4 years under constant threat of death, fortunately it turned out just to be that, a threat and nothing more, but none of us knew that at the time. This was the result of a business gone south and I was simply missioned to protect the assets of the folks that had backed that business.
I then changed my career path because of a husband with a shotgun, an abused spouse, and the manager who abused her. I'd come to the Silicon Valley to take over as head of HR for a manufacturing site, the husband had shown up at his wife's work with a shotgun to teach her manager the error of his ways, the manager was on vacation, so he figured the head of HR would do, he was my predecessor. I decided there were better ways to spend my life.
I have a serious problem with people who are abusive, particularly those who use any excuse to cross the line into physical, emotional or verbal abuse. In my view this is uncalled for and the people who utilize this practice, this is a direct quote for Groklaw, aren't worth the air they breathe.
You would think that after 911, Columbine, the east coast sniper, the people who have gone to work, their law offices, government offices, and killed others we would have all lost our tolerance for those that resort to physical threats. But while I'm sure that people would see that threatening a person's spouse or children is bad, I'm surprised more don't see that threatening their careers and reputations simply because you disagree with them to be equally so.
I've seen up close and personal what can happen if you have massive layoffs, seen the result of miss-management and self dealing, and watched people lose their lives needlessly for the wrong causes. There is more to life than this. Simply said, focusing on attacking the people you disagree with is a bad thing, because you could be wrong. Certainly you can disagree but not to a degree where you eliminate the other view by force or threat. Look at the countries where disagreement is unlawful, would any of us want to live there?
Here he attempts to elicit one's patriotism and "support the troops" mentality and somehow equate that with the litigation fight SCO has initiated, but failed miserably at.
That is why I stood up for SCO; they were being attacked because they were vulnerable. Those that attacked them did so because they could in a clear effort to deny the employees, the stockholders, and the customers of SCO their rights and, as a number of veterans have reminded me from time to time, heroes died for those rights and I believe it is our, No my, obligation to uphold them.
Now I hear from the Linux folks that it is SCO that is the bad guy here taking away the rights of those that worked hard to contribute to Linux and to that I say Bull Shit. SCO, unlike the RIAA which is targeting kids, is going after large well funded companies who are perfectly able to take care of themselves. In all cases the firms being challenged have more resources and are larger than SCO. If there is one thing firms like Daimler Chrysler don't need is a bunch of "hang'em high" bigots who think of themselves as judge, jury, and executioner.
Again, who are these mysterious "linux folks" that you are hearing from? Are they flying in black helicopters over your house? I say this statement is foolish and stupid because it is well known who is funding the legal attacks by SCO, a convicted monopolist (microsoft), and a wannabe monopolist (SUN).
Here is where it gets really, really strange. X-Files strange. Like X-Files, the reader is left wondering what in the heck he was talking about.
With Microsoft my relationship goes deeper. A few years back, when I was first starting out as an analyst, I got myself into a lot of hot water by doing something I knew was wrong to prevent a crime from being committed. I am both an ex-auditor and an ex-sheriff and took the related vows very seriously and still, for the most part, live by them.
What in God's name was this man talking about? The only thing I can figure is that this man will stop at nothing to brown-nose those who impress him, and that Steve Ballmer gave him money for a failed venture. If any reader out there has a clue what Enderle was talking about here, please fill us in. There is one observation, however, that is crystal clear. This man worships the ground Microsoft walks on, convicted monopolist or not.
More lunacy and paranoia
Remember that the one thing that put me on SCO's side was that when I went to try to find out if SCO had a case and incredibly large number of resources was put in play to block me. After I was done and concluded they had a case I was ordered to never talk about this again. This was at a major firm, Forrester, who had been threatened to a level unheard of in that industry.
Wait a minute, I thought he was working at IBM when all of this started. No, it was Forrester, no, Giga, no, he was running his own consulting business, no, it was ROLM. Just where was this guy working at the time? Oh, and I am sure he quit on principle after sticking his nose where it did not belong. Why do I have a feeling Enderle was not at all liked by those who employed him? Such a man of principle and all. I am beginning to wonder if perhaps Rob does not like shill for SCO out of a love for SCO, but out of a hatred for IBM. Perhaps his personal experiences did give him a foundation for his bias?
Some more foolish statements
One of the most attractive looking programs was barter. Basically you bypassed cash, you provided your products and services and, according to some screwy scale, you could purchase with "barter bucks" someone else's product or services. No sales tax, no income tax, no mark-up, only problem was it wasn't legal either.
The problem with this statement is that, well, it is legal. More of that ace analysis. Try google some time, in spite of the fact that linux makes it possible. Here is a report that even quotes a Forrester Research report on bartering: Basics of the Barter System in North America.
This is the big problem with "Free" it doesn't contribute to anything, not even the salaries of the people who create it. Often people are valued according to the value of the products they provide. Doctors make more than Police Officers even though I could argue that the existence of Police Officers probably prevents more actual deaths than doctors. Defense attorneys make more than public defenders and they have similar educations, sometimes they even went to the same schools and earned the same grades, because defense attorneys that aren't public defenders charge for their services. The kids of these more lucrative professionals, if treated well, have access to better food, better education, and more opportunities then the same kids of the folks who work for "free".
How is it, Rob, that entire industries have popped up around the use of linux? Does Red Hat not provide tax revenue or jobs? IBM? HP? The company that made your TiVo? How about the 1000's of other companies that use open source to sell products or services? Why is it that I get paid rather handsomely (by my standards at least) because of my linux skills? Funny, I paid enough taxes last year to buy a 2004 Honda Civic. What about the fact that 2/3'rd of the web servers run on apache? None of the companies selling products via apache pay taxes? What an incredibly foolish thing to say.
Last but not least, Rob shows an astonishing attempt to have us believe he does not understand the difference between "free", and "Free".
With software there are several kinds of "free". There are free products that come with ads and increasingly with Spyware, there are "free trials" which time out at unfortunate periods of time (time bombs), and there are free enterprise products that cost 1,000s of dollars. Guess which one Linux is?
None of the above, idiot. Linux is of the type "Free". As in free to alter, customize, modify, and use in any way you wish, as long as you contribute back. Funny you did not mention the Free/Open Source packages that SCO itself touts as selling points for its next iteration of UnixWare. Apache and Samba. These happen to be the only value of UnixWare, that it can run Apache and Samba. A few more Freedoms associated with Free/Open Source that you fail to mention.
I'm Mikey, and that, is my considerably better informed opinion.
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