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Dvorak Sees MS Conspiracy Against BitTorrent 373

Posted by Zonk
from the tin-foil-hats,-check dept.
kilgortrout writes "Dvorak has an interesting editorial up, where he links the recent stories of alleged 'security problems' and 'spyware problems' bittorent has been having with the recent MS announcement of research into a file sharing app called 'Avalanche'. concluding it's all part of an orchestrated MS disinformation campaign against BitTorrent." From the article: "The problem is that no big company controls it, and Microsoft, asleep at the wheel, let it slip too long to do much about it. So now I suspect Microsoft is playing dirty to discredit the thing. There is no other explanation for the recent series of coincidental stories and events." Especially interesting in light of Bram Cohen's take on the situation.
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Dvorak Sees MS Conspiracy Against BitTorrent

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  • Sheer Brilliance (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TPIRman (142895) * on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @12:58PM (#12874135)
    Apparently Dvorak developed a taste for being correct after the Mac-on-Intel news (even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while), so he has shifted from total-crackpot mode to state-the-painfully-obvious mode. Or, rather, a combination of the two.

    His main points:

    - "Avalanche" is a textbook FUD salvo against BitTorrent. (MSFT TRICK ME? NO WAY)
    - While spyware can be distributed through BitTorrent, this doesn't mean BitTorrent is spyware. (WTF R U SURE, J.D.?)
    - "Avalanche" is vaporware. (F'REALZ? OMG!!)

    The column isn't wrong, it's just a waste of bandwidth. I've read /. goatse trolls with more insight than Dvorak's piece.
    • by Golias (176380) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @01:01PM (#12874168)
      We need a "John Dvorak" category on Slashdot, so all "stories" related to his latest rants can be filtered out.
    • "So now I suspect Microsoft is playing dirty to discredit the thing."

      WTF is he talking about? Hasn't he been reading the MS press releases and blogs about how MS is settling all it's lawsuits and making friends with everyone. MS is not an evil empire anymore. They told us so.

      Yes this is supposed to be funny.

    • by OglinTatas (710589) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @01:11PM (#12874299)
      "I've read /. goatse trolls with more insight than Dvorak's piece."

      Given the nature of goatse, it is next to impossible to have more insight than that, and no one wants that much insight.
    • obvious? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Spy der Mann (805235) <spydermann.slash ... m ['ail' in gap]> on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @01:19PM (#12874388) Homepage Journal
      so he has shifted from total-crackpot mode to state-the-painfully-obvious mode.

      If you haven't noticed, the outsiders (a.k.a
      Joe-Users, common people, ignorant sheep, etc) didn't believe Microsoft was insecure - at least until the most recent exploits.

      They think that Microsoft is Good, and also that machines are just good because they have "Intel Inside".

      They do NOT know about Microsoft's monopolic practices (and I'm not talking about embedding IE inside Windows), the FUD of SCO vs Linux, the danger of software patents, etc. etc.

      But I remember one thing from my old days of computer user. My dad bought PC Magazine and used to read John C. Dvorak's columns. Who were written for common people, not for unix über-geeks.

      Sure, his statements might be obvious to us. But not for the outside world. And I'm glad that he tells this stuff so common people can find out.

      (Now if only he spoke against software patents...)
    • by Dink Paisy (823325) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @01:33PM (#12874548) Homepage
      He was wrong about the Mac-on-Intel thing. He said that Apple was going to use Itanium processors. So strike one against him.

      As for Avalanche being FUD, it's not. Microsoft didn't announce it. Someone picked it up from an academic research conference. All sorts of stuff goes on under the banner of research, and no one that I know of at Microsoft is claiming that it will make it to market. BitTorrent has well known problems, and the researchers were presenting ideas to address those problems, but there was no message of BitTorrent is bad, don't use it. So Avalanche isn't FUD of any kind.

      As for being vaporware, that's a bit premature. Since no one from Microsoft has indicated that there will be a product, it's not vaporware. I've thought about high performance web servers, but I've never announced the impending release of one, or even started developing one. Avalanche is no more vaporware than my high performance web server. Someone from Microsoft has to at least indicate an intention of releasing a product before it can be vaporware.

      So I think you're dead wrong. JD isn't nailing the obvious. He's seen the broad side of the barn and thrown the basketball, but he sure didn't hit it.

    • by InfiniteWisdom (530090) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @01:43PM (#12874645) Homepage
      It's an academic research paper that was published at IEEE Infocom, a very prominent academic conference. Look at the URL:
      http://research.microsoft.com/~pablo/avalanche.htm [microsoft.com]

      See the "research."? See the ~pablo? This is one of MSR's researchers publishing a piece of academic research. Of course, it's not a product, because it's not intended to be. Researchers often will build a prototype, but don't have the time or the inclination to produce production-quality code. Do you think Microsoft would be openly publishing the design details if it were intended to be a product?

      There is no FUD and no vaporware and no conspiracy. This whole storm in a teacup over Avalanche is probably a good example of why publishing research papers openly on the web for other people (i.e. people who don't understand research) to see can be a bad idea.
    • by corporatemutantninja (533295) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @01:56PM (#12874795)
      I decided to check up on the Micrsoft's guy's research and discovered that BitTorrent isn't nearly as culpable as HTTP and SMTP. Yes, that's right, a vast majority of todays viruses, trojans, phishing, pharming, adware, spyware, malware, and herpes are all acquired through HTTP and SMTP. Thus, those protocols must actually be to blame and we should stop using them immediately.
    • Re:Sheer Brilliance (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Catbeller (118204) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @03:18PM (#12875568) Homepage
      What he wrote is called "research" and "journalism". He talked to the principals, traced the FUD campaign to its source, and connected the dots.

      His second major point after the main story was that NO ONE ELSE bothered to do the work to investigate the bittorrent-is-infected meme and where it came from. Who benefits, indeed.

      It's a breakdown in all levels of news accuracy since the destruction of the old network news organizations and the rise of for-profit tabloid schlock. Fun to read is not the same as "real".

      It's called journalism. You don't agree with the conclusion, state your reasons and sources. Is Dvorak wrong about the source of the Bittorrent smear? Is it outrageous, considering 24 years of MS underhanded attacks on competitors, that they are now launching a long-term smear-and-envelop campaign against a protocol that doesn't have a meter built-in to pump money into MS?

      Attack-the-man isn't an interesting comment. It's Fox News.
  • Seriously, does anyone really care anymore what Dvorak's newest 'theories' are?
  • by PenguinBoyDave (806137) <david.davidmeyer@org> on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @12:59PM (#12874147)
    Dvorak finding something negative with Microsoft? It is truly the end of times.
    • All he did was read Bram's responce to MS's research theories and decided to play captian obvious. He's feeding off the work of others. While most people would be modded -5 Redundant in the real world and laughed off stage or camera, he's made a thing about it online - where people pretend to be something and fooling the "masses" of drones who call themselves smart and want to be kept "informed".

      He's just quick with the masses in guesswork, and riding off an unpopular "nerd" who programs "illegal" softwar
  • Ummm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DeathFlame (839265) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @01:00PM (#12874152)
    "...There is no other explanation for the recent series of coincidental stories and events."

    Unless they were a... *gasp* coincidence.

    Why would bittorrent be the P2P app that scares MS? What about Napster, or Kazza? Those were around years ago. This makes no sense to me.

    • Re:Ummm (Score:5, Insightful)

      by LiquidCoooled (634315) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @01:04PM (#12874206) Homepage Journal
      Because napster and kazaa are locked in the network.

      Bittorrent is anywhere, I can post a torrent link here and have 1000s of people all getting the latest and greatest(!?) version of Windows.

      Also, don't forget, its now becoming routine for people to download nice cd/dvd sized ISO files :)

      They didn't care when it took hundreds of hours per disk.
      • Re:Ummm (Score:3, Interesting)

        Or more concerning to Microsoft, hosting via BT means not having to spend money on big file servers and not being locked into a single OS for said serviecs. Given their recent focus on attempting to hobble Samba as well, I'm guessing that they may be realizing that a core part of their business model has the potential to implode very quickly if alternatives like these gain momentum in the corporate arena.
        • BT is not a very good intranet solution. I.e. conventional DFS trees (say, running OpenAFS) are better at meeting this need. For internet file distribution, they are good but somewhat limited.

          Now, their recent attack against Samba was quite simply an attempt to maintain the status quo. Samba *has been* widely adopted in the corporate arena. So it is not as much of an attack as much as it is a competitive compliment ("We know you don't really need this and we know you will kick our a?? if we give it to you so reverse engineer it yourself").

          However Microsoft has a problem, and it is a big one. See, upgrade cycles are getting longer, the growth of the computing industry is slowing, and piracy is still rampant in the developing world. At the same time, Microsoft shareholders want returns. So Microsoft has to be looking for new markets. They spend a lot of time looking for emerging markets so that they can get a foot in the door, but they are so big that even if a new market sees 100% growth the first year, that won't translate into any real growth for their company. However, they still have to try.
    • Agreed - there are negative reports about BT all the time. If Microsoft had happened to put up their research paper after the next attack on BT by the RIAA, would we have had similar conspiracy theories then ?
  • by CyricZ (887944) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @01:00PM (#12874155)
    If you can't get videos of boobies and cocks and vaginas and poontangs and sluts and bondagery using Avalanche, then it will never be used. End of story!
    • If small to medium size companies can see a measurable decrease in bandwidth used then it will get used.

      They wouldn't even have to put it on top of HTTP to get a large savings. Just have a Microsoft Windows Large File WebServer Edition to host all large files say over 256K. Have the Large File WebServer grab the files automatically from the site and replace the links automatically with links to the Avalanch Server.

      This isn't a big deal. This isn't hard task, and it isn't a hard to roll out.
  • A conspiracy involving Microsoft? No way!
  • by TedTschopp (244839) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @01:02PM (#12874178) Homepage
    It's actually rather easy.

    Step 1. Include support in IIS (via Patch)
    Step 2. Include support for it in IE (via Patch)
    Step 3. DONE!

    • Indeed, control over the server and browser is powerful, but the same can be done in the open source world. As long as it's done as an extension that's done in a way that allows incompatible browsers to work in a degreded mode (e.g. <img src="img.png" btsrc="img.torrent" />), then you're all set.
      • by TedTschopp (244839) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @01:16PM (#12874352) Homepage
        OS/Apache + Firefox should do this already. Beat Microsoft to the punch. Heck you could even include a spot for plugging and playing DRM (or not).

        The process would be to automatically replace all links to files which are larger than say 256K with a Torrent-ish link. This could be done on pagebuild as it the file is served up.

        You would want to build the Torrent capabilities into the browser as well, so then you would goto Firefox and build them in there as well.
        • by hab136 (30884) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @01:25PM (#12874460) Journal
          OS/Apache + Firefox should do this already. Beat Microsoft to the punch. Heck you could even include a spot for plugging and playing DRM (or not).

          The process would be to automatically replace all links to files which are larger than say 256K with a Torrent-ish link. This could be done on pagebuild as it the file is served up.

          You would want to build the Torrent capabilities into the browser as well, so then you would goto Firefox and build them in there as well.

          Here's the Apache half of it: mod-torrent [sourceforge.net]

    • Spyware and virii (Score:3, Insightful)

      by PotatoHead (12771) *
      are two of the very best things to happen to Microsoft in this regard.

      If you are running a win32 variant, you basically need patches on almost a daily basis. The closed nature of the software demands you get these patches from Microsoft. (Which must have one hell of a bandwidth bill and could actually use a BT like technology for cost reasons alone.)

      There is nothing like having a distribution channel your customers (read cattle) must make use of. Works just like our own government does. Attach somethi
      • I personally don't think they can screw this up. They have decent developers and decent marketers. All they need to do is show a business case where you can save money on bandwidth and small to medium size companies would jump at this.

        This, BTW, will be Microsoft Extending and embracing HTTP.
  • by sczimme (603413) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @01:03PM (#12874182)

    From The Fine Article:


    by early 2005 it was perhaps the dominant protocol on the Net, second only to TCP/IP itself

    Wow - TCP/IP, then P2P, and then all those small niche protocols like http, smtp, ftp...
  • There is no other explanation for the recent series of coincidental stories and events...except coincidence.
  • by TooMuchEspressoGuy (763203) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @01:04PM (#12874194)
    "Dvorak Shuts Up."
  • How could anybody accuse Microsoft, who has been known for years as an above-board protector of digital copyright, freedom of innovation, and the American way...
    <Irony = 0%>
    Oh, crap, did I forget to set the Irony to 100% on that? I hate it when that happens!
  • A Dvorak flood? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by FunWithHeadlines (644929) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @01:04PM (#12874207) Homepage
    OK, what is this, Dvorak month? We used to get Jon Katz articles, but that made sense as he was part of /. for a while. More recently we get Cringley articles, and that's OK as he sometimes writes quite well and makes interesting suggestions. But are we now in for a slew of Dvorak articles?

    I hope not. I read Dvorak from 1984 onward when he was in his PC Magazine glory. Fun times, stupid boldfacing of seemingly random characters and all. But man, has this guy gone downhill. Now he seems to be throwing darts at a board labled, "Insult Apple," "Insult Linux," "Insult Random Somebody," and then sit back and wait for the hits. Posting links to /. is to just fall into his lazy scheme.

    Let's not make this a regular feature, that's all I'm asking. I know where to find Mr. Dvorak's words, and I know enough not to wander there.

  • by Dark Paladin (116525) * <jhummel@NosPam.johnhummel.net> on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @01:04PM (#12874209) Homepage
    Microsoft would never announce a product that wasn't in existence, promote it through marketing to the point that a competitor's product dropped in sales as people waited for Microsoft's uber-cool dingy-bopper thingy - then when it's released with half of the functionality promise that the next version will really be better than its competitors while supporting themselves with their monopoly!

    I mean, they've never done that before, right?
  • by kfg (145172) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @01:05PM (#12874223)
    but, this is actually the very first thing that popped into my head. It's the standard MS modus operandi to publish something like this when they can't directly control something they perceive as a threat.

    Imply it's something the boys at R&D have been working on, and either the customers wait for the MS product (which as often as not never actually arrives) or the other developer throws up his hands and abandons.

    In fact, I have no idea what MS's R&D division actually does other than supply statements and papers as necessary to effect this. The commercial software comes from the commercial development teams, not the research teams.

    KFG
  • by KamaDragon (819925) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @01:06PM (#12874226) Homepage
    I got my license in 2001, and then gas prices skyrocketed. US oil companies were waiting for me to start driving to raise gas prices. There is no other explanation.
  • by dirk (87083) <dirk@one.net> on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @01:06PM (#12874233) Homepage
    There is no other explanation for the recent series of coincidental stories and events.
    Except that maybe it is all just coincidence, just like he says. Not everything is a conspiracy, sometimes things just happen.
  • Why does MS care? They never cared about napter or Kazaa. Why Bittorrent? They were all super popular in their time. I just don't see how this is crushing any existing or potential markets for them. Anyone care to explain?
    • They never cared about napter or Kazaa. Were Napster or Kazaa used for distributing Linux distros?
    • WoW is using BT, not Kazaa, as a distribution channel. MS can *charge* for a BT like distribution channel, compete with Akami, etc. A MS Kazaa would be a nightmare for them. A distribution channel that can be controlled, pckaged and sold is a potential money maker / saver. I remember looking for the XP SP2 over BT as MS's servers were bogged down. For the speed complaints - even a slow torrent is better then no download at all.

      BT functionality (esp sharing bandwith) in commercial applications is one such u
    • by scottsk (781208)
      They are very smart. They do not want to control content (songs, movies, etc), because that's a race to the bottom on price, they want to control the DRM lock-in technology (which is licensed for a flat fee). They have almost cornered the market for DRM-controlled online 99-cent songs through WMP. They're adding DRM to Office and Windows to control files. So why not put DRM locks on P2P files? This seems like a very natural next step, providing a way for content owners lock all their files with MS's DRM loc
    • No doubt MS hopes to profit from distribution of content. BT, however, operates without centralized control. If they have realized that large-volume content-distribution can easily happen without involvement from MS, they'll start a campaign to secure their interests, won't they?
  • That can't be Dvorak (Score:2, Interesting)

    by harrypelles (872287)
    From the article:

    The only defenders of BitTorrent I saw regarding this issue were buried here and there on Slashdot.

    Huh?
  • by InfiniteWisdom (530090) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @01:07PM (#12874246) Homepage
    Yes, Microsoft research is funded by the rest of Microsoft Corp. but people who work for MSR are primarily academic researchers and have a wide latitude in their work. MSR is to Microsoft what Bell Labs was to AT&T, PARC was to Xerox and TJ Watson Research Center is to IBM.

    MSR researchers publish in all the same conferences as academics at Universities and National Labs, go through the same peer-review process as everyone else, and have too much reputation at stake to publish junk papers or overtly push an agenda.

    Yes, their research may be nudged in directions that MS wants to go, but it is real research and not a part of a conspiracy.
  • It's not like gnutella had a big corporation in charge of it. In fact, it's even less under anyone's control than bittorrent. (which has its protocol near-completely controlled by Bram, and as far as I can see only his and Azureus as really popular clients).
  • WTF? I find myself agreeing with Dvorak... and what is more (from TFA):

    The only defenders of BitTorrent I saw regarding this issue were buried here and there on Slashdot. They sure were not in the newsrooms--or the blogs for that matter. All the stories I saw were disgraceful.

    Hell hath frozen over... Agreeing with Dvorak... Dvorak lauding Slashdot...
  • by Danathar (267989)
    What security? What spyware? Just because the press SAYS there are security and spyware problems does not mean there are...
  • by argoff (142580) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @01:13PM (#12874323)
    I don't think it's a conspiracy, but I do think that there is a HUGE ammount of pressure to corall the IT industry to use a DRM model vs a free flow of information model for the future of the information age. These two models are completely incompatable.

    Of course, on the same note, it's in our best interest to put a large amount of effort into relying on free information and non proprietary technology as much as possible.
  • Dvorcrack any more. He's just irrelevant.

    Just because Microsoft is out to borg peer-to-peer technology, that doesn't mean that every related event is the result of a Gatesian plot.

    Spyware on Bittorrent was almost as unsurprising as a wiki editorial site getting graffitied to death.
  • Protocols (Score:3, Informative)

    by RonnyJ (651856) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @01:15PM (#12874337)
    Continuous improvements led to its (BitTorrent) emergence as a force in 2003; by early 2005 it was perhaps the dominant protocol on the Net, second only to TCP/IP itself.

    I'm sorry, but this guy doesn't know what he's talking about - you can't make a meaningful statement comparing the usage of the BT protocol to the 'TCP/IP protocol'. If he's going to make such statements, at least he should compare it to something relevant, like HTTP or FTP.

  • Do we hate Dvorak on Tuesdays, or was that only Thursdays?
    • we hate his guts Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and mock and despise him Tuesday and Thursday. On weekends we try not to think about him at all unless we happen to step in manure.
  • Did anyone at microsoft actually say they were developing this into a product? Not that I'm aware of. People are calling it vapourware but was there ever any claim made stating it will be developed?

    Some guy at Microsoft's UK research branch (iirc) got interested in file distribution and wrote a paper on how it could potentially be improved upon. Bram even said that this was one of the better papers, despite a few major flaws. Now the poor guy's being accused of being a part of a microsoft conspiracy to tak
  • he's still trying to get hits on his column to drive up his salary from all us on /.

    First MSFT tries to "replace" BitTorrent with a "safe" version (read revenue-enhanced). Then they help sponsor the Canadian legislation so they can sell it in both the US and Canada. Then they push the EU to actually permit software patents (which don't exist there yet).

    Embrace. Extend.

    But just because Dvorak is right doesn't mean he's always right - he's usually wrong.
  • by Psionicist (561330) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @01:29PM (#12874513)
    ... I think this is a good article. It describes what everyone here think is "painfully obvious" in an interesting way (everone loves a conspiracy!) regular computer users will understand, the crowd that reads CNET, IDG etc.

    Why is this important? This article will now be referenced on all the major news sites, and will work as counter-FUD. That's the good thing with sensationalist guys like Dvorak. He writes interesting and scandalous things (from a journalist point of view) and sometimes he actually get it right.
  • by WhiteWolf666 (145211) <(sherwin) (at) (amiran.us)> on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @01:37PM (#12874598) Homepage Journal
    Why would MS seek to undermine BitTorrent?

    Why would MS be interested in BitTorrent?

    Because they are pretty good at seeing where the market is going.

    BitTorrent is *not* a niche protocol. BitTorrent is the *dominant* form of net-traffic.
    http://www.cachelogic.com/research/slide3.php [cachelogic.com]

    Ask anyone who works at a major ISP.

    BitTorrent is currently the *dominant* protocol on the net, in terms of bits transfered. Yes, bigger than HTTP, FTP, all the normal protocols, and all the other P2P protocols.

    In addition to *ALL THAT TRAFFIC*, BitTorrent is starting to see siginifcant corporate legitimacy. Blizzard uses BitTorrent in a customized downloader to distribute patches.

    Valve uses a BitTorrent-like (read, licensed from Bram Cohen (infact developed by him, http://www.ferrago.com/story/2963 [ferrago.com]) protocol for distributing their software.

    One can imagine that the legitimate electronic channels of distribution in the future will uses BitTorrent or BitTorrent-like schemes. The cost savings on bandwidth alone will set companies that use it apart from the competition.

    And right now, MS has no technology that comes close. This is from a company that once dreamed of making MSN synonmous with 'The Net'.

    More likely than not, MS currently sees BitTorrent as a massive threat to their having a position in the content distribution networks of tomorrow. Why use a Microsoft solution if you can either write your own in-house OSS solution, or hire another company with a pre-developed, pre-test solution (steam), that crushes the MS solution in bandwidth efficiency.

    In the realm of content distribution (which is a big, big place, and a place where 'visionaries' see a lot of growth (perhaps real, perhaps imaginary), BitTorrent is the 'big fish'. And Bram Cohen occupies a similar spot to Linus Torvald's position in the 'Linux World'.
  • by zoomba (227393) <mfc131.gmail@com> on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @01:38PM (#12874604) Homepage
    Evil, vile, lieing Dvorak! He'd sell his own mother into slavery to get an article published! He never gets his facts straight, and is owned by corporations! He is a blight upon the technology journalism landscape!

    *Someone taps Mr. Joe Slashdot on the shoulder and whispers in his ear*

    What?... Uh-huh.... really.... ah.... oh....

    Wait, he said something I AGREE with? He's bashing Microsoft?

    Dvorak is a prime example of how tech journalists should be! We should lift him up on our shoulders and parade him around the square! Never have I seen a more fair, balanced and well-researched article in my life!
  • No explanation? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jayhawk88 (160512) <jayhawk88@gmail.com> on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @01:55PM (#12874782)
    There is no other explanation for the recent series of coincidental stories and events.

    Except for "coincidence".
  • bittorent? (Score:4, Funny)

    by HTH NE1 (675604) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @01:56PM (#12874800)
    Who would want to rent bits?
  • by aiken_d (127097) <brooks AT tangentry DOT com> on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @02:51PM (#12875335) Homepage

    There is no other explanation for the recent series of coincidental stories and events

    Pshaw. He may or may not be right about the MS conspiracy, but this kind of blantant intellecutal dishonesty makes me take his point with a huge grain of salt, since right there he demonstrates that he either doesn't understand things as much as he pretends, or that he's chosen not to relate as much as he understands. Either way, minus points.

    There are plenty of other explanations for the "recent series of coincidental stories and events":

    1. It could be a coincidence. Duh.
    2. The press has occaisionally been known (this may come as a surprise to you) to follow itself around and get sucked into "trendy" stories, even if they're not at all newsworthy. School shootings, mothers killing kids, celebrity whatever. You'd have to live under a rock not to notice this phenomenon.
    3. There could be a conspiracy by someone other than Microsoft. If I were looking around for a villain who was covertly planting stories to disparage a major P2P application, I can think of some more likely candidates. Two of 'em, in fact, and they share a couple letters of their acronym.

    There you go. Three easy, plausible alternatives. "No other explanation," indeed.

    Cheers

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