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Insane Blogger Fools Reporter, Gets Fired

In Friday's Short Takes, I included the following blurb:

Stupid People Writing Stupid Stories About Stupid Non-issues
Surveying my so-called peers in the tech press can be depressing. This week is a typical example, with IDG News Computerworld running a complete non-story FUD episode examining a so-called "Windows 7 issue," in which the new OS "maxes out" RAM usage at 86 percent—much higher than previous Windows versions. Attention, Joe Clueless. That's not a problem, it's a feature, and it's been around since Windows Vista. To speed performance, modern Windows versions preload applications you use frequently into memory. So, contrary to the claims in this article, the memory usage actually improves performance, not the reverse. And as for that "free" memory monitor in Resource Manager, that figure has nothing to do with "available" memory, and it doesn't mean that Windows 7 will be constantly paging to disk, as claimed. Put simply, this is a complete non-story. I'm tired of this kind of thing, and I don't understand how certain people can write about technical topics they very clearly don't understand. Consider me pushed over the edge. This kind of reporting is ridiculous and inexcusable, and the people writing about this nonsense are serial transgressors.

Now, this is obviously pretty aggressive language, though I didn't name names.

Allow me to do so now. And tone down things in the process.

First of all, the obviously untrue story I'm referring to here was written by Gregg Keizer, from IDG News Computerworld. His article about the supposed Windows 7 memory utilization "issue" was beautiful, and absolutely BS as I point out above. But what makes this delicious is that the "source" for this information was egotistical evil maniac Randall Kennedy, and I want to be clear about this description here, because calling him this makes other egoists, evil people, and maniacs look bad by comparison. Put simply, Kennedy is one of the craziest guys I've ever met and I state that with no sense of humor at all; the guy is nuts. Like, actually crazy. In fact, I previously complained about Kennedy to Infoworld's Eric Knorr during the "Save XP" baloney that they both championed, and Knorr told me he loved Kennedy at the time because he brought hits to the site.

Well, look at what Knorr's writing about Kennedy now.

On Friday, Feb. 19, we discovered that one of our contributors, Randall C. Kennedy, had been misrepresenting himself to other media organizations as Craig Barth, CTO of Devil Mountain Software (aka, in interviews for a number of stories regarding Windows and other Microsoft software topics. Devil Mountain Software is a business Kennedy established that specializes in the analysis of Windows performance data. There is no Craig Barth, and Kennedy has stated that this fabrication was a misguided effort to separate himself (or more accurately, his InfoWorld blogger persona) from his Devil Mountain Software business.

Here's the thing. Infoworld didn't "discover" anything. Instead, it was ZDNet that discovered the lies and informed InfoWorld. Rather than wait on the ZDNet post, however, Knorr pulled the trigger early and announced the divorce.

Heading back to my original point, I don't know Gregg Keizer, and I'm sure he's a good guy, etc. etc. The issue I have here isn't that he was  fooled by Randall Kennedy. That could happen to anyone. My issue is that he wrote a story about something that was clearly not true. And I wasn't the only one that called him on this.

An aside: Anytime I write something about someone else, I look in the mirror first. And I wonder, in this case: Have I ever fallen for this kind of thing? Is there an egg-on-my-face moment coming? I hope not. I did look. Oddly, as recently as this month, I do mention a Devil Mountain Software statistic about IE usage in the enterprise, but that was in a Short Takes blurb, not in an actual article. (Short Takes is where I collect minor news stories that don't warrant much attention.) That's all I could find. I suppose there could be more. I've been doing this for a long time, and as you probably know, I write a lot. How can you always be sure who you're talking to? (Let's ask The New York Times.)

Another aside: Kennedy himself emailed me some time ago to point me to his own BS data about Vista SP1, which I refuted to him personally, so he backed off. This criticism of Vista SP1 is still in Wikipedia, by the way, which says everything you need to know about what I think about that particular piece of c#$% too. (OK, I'll spell it out. Wikipedia is everything that's wrong with the Internet: People love it, and it makes them lazy. It's the McDonalds of knowledge, good intentions with bad end results that, somehow, no one ever saw coming.)

Anyway, no one is perfect. We all make mistakes. And we can all be fooled. I'm glad Randall Kennedy got what he deserved, because he's a bad guy who has been writing inaccurate and bad things about Windows as a career ploy for far too long, all while maintaining a side business and alter ego that he used to grease his Batman villain-like blogger persona. He's scary bad. But Gregg Keizer? I don't know the guy, but he's clearly not evil, as Kennedy is. And as I said, anyone could be fooled by this kind of thing. And while I hope someone is looking into this, I do give Keizer some credit for simply doing the right thing and apologizing.

Part of a reporter's job is to evaluate the veracity of a source. I did that, but failed, for which I'm sorry.

His post about Kennedy's dual (dueling?) personalities is interesting but doesn't even touch the top of the Crazy Mountain that is Kennedy. I feel weird criticizing Keizer because, as I noted, I really don't know the guy. But Kennedy? Oh, that guy is plain bat@#$% crazy, pure and simple. I have no problem telling you that at all.

In fact, this isn't the first time I've had to explain what this guy is all about.

Big surprise, that.

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