I had no idea

Story: tux500 is a pump-and-dump scamTotal Replies: 32
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Apr 17, 2007
10:25 AM EST
> Some of you might wonder, "why do I care?" For years, these two have also been the source of at least half the bickering in the Linux community.

Gee, I really need to get with it. Little did I know devnet and helios had that kind of influence.


I didn't think it was possible to look more desperate than Rob Enderle.

Apr 17, 2007
10:31 AM EST
You'll be amazed and awed...and all it will take will be Mr. Pete responding to a thread like this. His incoherent animosity would flabbergast even Rob Enderle.

It's interesting that he posts this on Lxer.com...where Ken Starks aka helios, the person he's accusing of being a scam artist, is a contributing editor. I find that comical. http://lxer.com/team.php

Apr 17, 2007
10:32 AM EST
"It's interesting that he posts this on Lxer.com...where Ken Starks aka helios, the person he's accusing of being a scam artist, is a contributing editor. I find that comical."

And when LXer is a rich source of de-fudding. We don't take nuthin' lying down.

Apr 17, 2007
10:39 AM EST

Of course, everything I'm going to say about him, i've said already today: http://linux-blog.org/index.php?/archives/199-Penguin-Petes-...

Enjoy ;)

Apr 17, 2007
11:02 AM EST

When you say Ken Starks is a personal friend, does this mean you're friends in an offline, face-to-face way?

Just curious because I've seen a number of "blogs" where people talk about knowing someone else "personally" and it turns out that they've only met each other once, in passing, at a convention.

Not just in the Linux "world" but in the internet "universe" at large, I've noticed that more and more people talk about "knowing" icons when in reality we know very little about anybody who is "popular" in terms of the internet.

I guess I'm just getting weary of people lifting other people up as examples to be followed even when next-to-nothing is known about those so-called leaders.

Apr 17, 2007
11:12 AM EST

Editors please clarify.

Apr 17, 2007
11:35 AM EST

as in, I speak to him on the phone about once every 2-3 months for the past 2 years on the phone.

I haven't 'met' Ken Starks face-to-face, but I've been on the phone with him through the years (even spoken to his wife on the phone at bequest of Ken...she had a Samba problem and he was traveling). I've been there through his health turning south last year and even when he foolishly about killed himself off visiting congressmen about Net Neutrality. At every turn, I've been there.

No either he is the best actor on the face of the planet (for what? what does he gain by being my friend? Not much...I don't even blog much about his projects...only when I see a good one) or he's just Ken and he's one of the people I've come to enjoy speaking with and relating to on a personal level. Talking shop with him is quite entertaining...he is continually excited about Linux, Linux programs and applications, new ways of doing things with Linux, and new distros.

So, yes, I consider Ken Starks a personal friend...which is why I support him when a project he started tickles my fancy. He's done more for open source than I ever have and I've been involved with it since 1995. People could learn alot from him....because he's done all of this at times without a job and at other times without his health.

Apr 17, 2007
11:36 AM EST
OK, Pete.

First. I've shared LXer space with devnet and helios for a long time. They are NOT scammers.

Second. A dynamically generated image is hardly fake.

Third. If this project was fake, I don't think it would be on the front page of the Indianapolis 500 web site or on the Speed TV web site.

Fourth. Blog software generally shows all posts made prior to disabling them. If you closed comments after being 'spammed', then where are the previous comments?

Fifth. You're using some very, very strong language. You should be certain that you understand libel and slander laws. This is not a threat. I'm in no position to threaten on anyone's behalf. I seriously question whether you realize the possible consequences of your actions.

Sixth. There is a possibility that your misinformation may actually influence 10 or so people not to donate. Therefore, I've just made a donation on their behalf.

Apr 17, 2007
11:41 AM EST
I don't post very often, but this article bugged me. I have read LXer for a long time, am an avid Linux enthusiast, and I think that the idea of helios trying to get advertising on an Indy car is great. I personally like automotive racing, of all kinds (motorcycles too). This issue is that it is my decision if I want to support this or not. It's my money. Nobody should be tearing down someone elses ideas that may lift Linux up to the light. There may be other ways to do the same thing. More power to the person who gives it a go. I know helios has tryed other things, and that is what we need, someone to take a risk. Even if this one doesnt' fly at least it was tried and if we as a community keep trying one day we will get a hit.

Apr 17, 2007
11:49 AM EST
I've dealt with Helios/Ken since about 03, and although I might not agree with him all the time, I've never, 'never' doubted his honesty, sincerity, and dedication to the cause of Linux.

I just want to know who this 'Penguin Pete'(aka Sneaky Pete?)'is. All I know right now is that he claims to be 'roadkill off the Information Superhighway since 1995!'. Seems like he's putting a whole lot of time and effort into his spite. I have whole bunch of questions about anyone who lights off a horrific round of character assassination, appearently, just cause he got a bug up his @$$.


Apr 17, 2007
12:01 PM EST
>...aka Sneaky Pete...<

I believe that the character from Toy Story II was "Stinky Pete."

Apr 17, 2007
12:14 PM EST
Quoting:Cannot post comment, please correct these errors:

* Penguin Pete has had to disable all posting temporarily. devnet of linux-blog.org is spamming my website faster than my PHP script can delete it. We will resume shortly as soon as we take emergency measures.

Apparently devnet is spamming penguin pete

Apr 17, 2007
12:23 PM EST
heh. I made it onto his hitlist. I do find it amusing that he lists my home hosted site instead of the real domain one... Apparently I'm now helios or devnet...

And apparently he didn't bother to look at anything identifying..like..my resume posted right there...

Apr 17, 2007
12:28 PM EST
tracyanne:>Apparently devnet is spamming penguin pete<

?...in response to...?

NoDough:>Fourth. Blog software generally shows all posts made prior to disabling them. If you closed comments after being 'spammed', then where are the previous comments?<

My point was that the comments portion of Pete's blog post had no entries. Therefore, either he deleted all the comments, or disabled comments at the time of his original blog post.

Am I to believe that Pete deleted "valid" comments along with the spam? Why would he do that?

Alternatively, he disabled comments before anyone was able to post. Why would he do that?

He is calling into question the honesty of devnet and helios. As an informed reader, and after and honest evaluation, it's Pete's honesty that I have to question.

Apr 17, 2007
12:42 PM EST
I've exchanged messages with both Helios and Devnet here on LXer and received email from Helios several times over the past two years or so. In that time, I've seen no reason to doubt their honesty. I don't know Penguin Pete from a hole in the wall. Guess which one I'm going to trust.

I have no idea why this project is generating so much negativity. It's a simple Linux promotion donation. Yes, it's for a larger amount than normal. So what? Helios simply dreams bigger than most of us.

Apr 17, 2007
12:45 PM EST
The ironic part of that nasty article is that he just gave exposure to a whole bunch of sites about the project.

I'm with jdixon here. I'm absolutely amazed/appalled at the amount of negativity (and fairly nasty negativity like personal attacks) that I've seen.

Apr 17, 2007
12:46 PM EST
Nodough: Second. A dynamically generated image is hardly fake.

He is referring to the image as "static" - as if a dynamically-generated thermometer would somehow make it a legitimate image.

I'll have to refrain from further comment though.

Apr 17, 2007
12:54 PM EST
> I'll have to refrain from further comment though.

You're talking about disposition of that thermometer, and a secret plan to make it 3D dynamic I suppose :D

Apr 17, 2007
12:56 PM EST
No no. They're gonna ship a super special electric thermometer to us all that is satellite linked to the account!

Apr 17, 2007
1:07 PM EST
Ya know, something just occurred to me...

To quote techiem2: "The ironic part of that nasty article is that he just gave exposure to a whole bunch of sites about the project."

This brings to mind something interesting, particularly the best method of spreading information: make a big deal about it... There was a fictional book at one time that got a TON of publicity (No, I can't remember the title) because it portrayed very graphical sexual violence. And everyone talked about how controversial it was, the book ended up on the Best Seller's lists for several weeks as people bought the book and read it to make up their own mind about whether it was controversial or not.

Even Kevin Smith jumped on this at the opening of Dogma, there were a bunch of protestors in front of the theater arguing that it was blasphemy, and Kevin Smith was spotted protesting with them until he was recognized and ran off.

Bottom line: You can't BUY this kind of publicity, but it CAN be created.

Finally I'll say this, with all that in mind, I am not going to say that these two know each other, or that these postings were planned; however, I think we can make good use of this publicity to support Tux500.

Also Mr. Parris, how about adding a comment to Pete's article with a link to http://www.indy500.com/news/story.php?story_id=8602

That should verify that the project is real, and completely de-bunk Pete's article.

Apr 17, 2007
1:17 PM EST
Maybe I should clarify the last comments... I receive the News through RSS feeds, and on some of them I see the notes from Mr. Parris and others (e.g.: "DriveSavers Rescue New..." from 12:35pm EST today). I was thinking that a comment with the link, when sent across the RSS feeds should help the readers understand that the project is not a scam.

Apr 17, 2007
1:49 PM EST
Quoting:Alternatively, he disabled comments before anyone was able to post.

It certainly looks like that is the case.

[quote]Why would he do that?{/quote]

Good question

Apr 17, 2007
1:58 PM EST
>I have no idea why this project is generating so much negativity.

Generally when I see this kind of thing, I wonder whose ox is being gored.

I suppose there could be some "genuine" Linux types who take offense at people doing things they wouldn't do.

There could be "genuine" Linux types who revel in their geekdom and don't want to extend the benefits of free software far and wide. Needless to say, these are people who understand what free software is about.

There could also be other folks who know where their bread is buttered and have reason to see Linux kept in a small box.

There could also be a bunch of mean-spirited morons posing as any or all of the first three.

Apr 17, 2007
2:08 PM EST
Well, since PenguinPete has taken down his 'comments' section, I'll post my response here. This is what I had attempted to post on his blog:

"Perhaps I'm confused by your article. Is your intention to uncover a scam or to rant against Devnet and Helios? Are you implying that they are involved directly in this scam and if so, what proof do you offer? If not, you appear to be a bit childish with your personal attack.

I too question whether this Tux500 fund appeal is real or a scam. Frankly, I think that the money would be far better spent assisting the developers to fine tune their distros and perhaps develop the codecs necessary to make linux a bit more appealing to the masses.

However, I do know Devnet and Helios from their work and their posts and do not find them to be controversial. Rather, I find them to have dedicated a great deal of time working with projects designed to improve linux and to have assisted many with their system problems. Therefore, I deeply regret the way you characterize them here."


Apr 17, 2007
2:08 PM EST
Dino, I vote for the last one. Cousins to the poor oppressed billionaires who keep trashing OLPC. Only they're not wealthy, which puts them in a permanently bad mood.


Apr 17, 2007
2:24 PM EST
grymtooth: You'll have to direct your comments to Scott Ruecker - our Senior US Editor. As an external auditor of the Tux500 campaign, I have recused myself from reporting and exerting any editorial control over the Tux500 stories. Otherwise, I stand in conflict and risk damaging the integrity of both, LXer and Tux500.

Apr 17, 2007
2:33 PM EST
Ah, well then if Mr. Ruecker happens to be reading this discussion, would it be possible to do the above-mentioned item?

Apr 17, 2007
3:08 PM EST
grymtooth: I am sorry for not getting here sooner to answer you. I have just added my comment to the article lead.

It should have hit the news-wire with my comment already on it, to be honest it was hard to come up with something I could print in good taste. I am sorry. I will not let silence be construed as approval of what an article says, ever.

grymtooth, your idea got me over the "hump", an editorial comment that won't get me fired..


Apr 17, 2007
3:25 PM EST
I am going to state some facts:

Ken Starks is not a "scammer".

LXer is not a "scam" nor is Don Parris helping a "scammer".

To intimate that Ken or Don are taking part in willful illegal activities better watch what he says, because if he doesn't have any proof, what he just said is a crime. To Intimate that Don and/or LXer in general might be complicant won't help either.

I have been a colleague of theirs for almost two years now and if you think my writing is any good at all, it is because of the help I have received from Ken, Don and everyone else here at LXer. You are only as good as who you surround yourself with and I am surrounded by Eagles.

Ken Starks is My Friend..


yeah, I'm kinda pissed..

Apr 17, 2007
3:55 PM EST
> I am not going to say that these two know each other, or that these postings were planned; however,...

Good. Saying so would be a very bad idea, almost on par with the statements Pete's been making.

Having seen equivalent things in the past, I will grant that such actions are possible. However, I'm certain Helios would have nothing to do with it; and while I don't know Devnet as well, I don't have any reason to think he would either. As already noted, I don't know anything about Pete, so I can't speak as to his motivations.

I will say this. If Pete's acting, he's doing a very good job of it.

Apr 17, 2007
4:22 PM EST
I wasn't trying to imply anything by my earlier posts.

I was just suggesting two possibilities: #1 That it is just mis-information/FUD/mud-slinging; or #2 that this could be used to the advantage of the project just like the publicity created from the controversy regarding (now that I found the book title) "American Psycho".

I don't know who would remember when the book was released, but just to use that as an example, the publicity created kept the book at the #1 spot for a long time.

Apr 17, 2007
6:14 PM EST
> I wasn't trying to imply anything by my earlier posts.

And I didn't say you were. My comment was very carefully just as ambiguous as yours. :)

Apr 17, 2007
7:19 PM EST
So those were a couple of ambiguously stray comments...a duo if you will :) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ambiguously_Gay_Duo#See_als...

lol...ok, we digress. :)

I think he re-enabled comments...I haven't tried because I'm pretty sure I'm IP blocked.

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