Feeds

Chad Wars II: Market researcher yanks BSD from Linux poll

So write-in ballots are invalid?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

3 Big data security analytics techniques

For the second time in recent US history, voters have had their ballot papers discarded as invalid. This time it's the BSD community who are mourning their hanging chads.

We were really rather delighted to see that in Evans Data survey of Linux web developers that we wrote about, yesterday, so many respondents insisted on listing BSD as their development platform of choice. Even though the question was specifically about Linux.

That suggested to us that BSD developers were effecting the kind of write-in response that sometimes happens in US elections, when voters aren't happy with the choices on the ballot paper.

(Although we can't be sure of that, not having seen the original questionnaire, which might well indeed have listed the BSDs as an option.)

But we may be guilty of giving the market researcher the benefit of the doubt. Evans Data last night removed the FreeBSD responses from the list, explaining:-

"It has been brought to our attention that FreeBSD is not a Linux distribution. The data was revised to exclude FreeBSD, and the numbers above reflect the corrections. We apologize for the mistake."

So now the BSDs have been airbrushed from the list entirely.

Tell us if we're wrong, but we suspect most BSD users would rather have seen it in the list. Even if it's a Linux list. It's a reminder that BSDs run some of the world's biggest sites such as Yahoo!.

And furthermore, isn't one of the basic duties of market researchers to report the responses accurately? If respondents decide to include the answer 'chimpanzee' to the question 'favourite fish', then so be it. That ought to be reported. Not for the first time, market researchers have been caught underestimating the intelligence of their market, and it casts a doubt over the trustworthiness of the rest of the data.

Of course if Evans Data had followed our example, and used our blanket term software libre to encompass the two in its original questionnaire (and you probably have your own catch-all term), this silliness would never have happened ®

Related Story

'Forgotten' distros stealing Linux developers' mindshare

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
OpenBSD founder wants to bin buggy OpenSSL library, launches fork
One Heartbleed vuln was too many for Theo de Raadt
Got Windows 8.1 Update yet? Get ready for YET ANOTHER ONE – rumor
Leaker claims big release due this fall as Microsoft herds us into the CLOUD
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Ubuntu 14.04 LTS: Great changes, but sssh don't mention the...
Why HELLO Amazon! You weren't here last time
Patch iOS, OS X now: PDFs, JPEGs, URLs, web pages can pwn your kit
Plus: iThings and desktops at risk of NEW SSL attack flaw
Next Windows obsolescence panic is 450 days from … NOW!
The clock is ticking louder for Windows Server 2003 R2 users
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Red Hat to ship RHEL 7 release candidate with a taste of container tech
Grab 'near-final' version of next Enterprise Linux next week
Apple inaugurates free OS X beta program for world+dog
Prerelease software now open to anyone, not just developers – as long as you keep quiet
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.