back to article Linus Torvalds targeted by honeytraps, claims Eric S. Raymond

Celebrity programmer Eric S. Raymond has aired a theory that feminist activists are trying to find a way to lay false sexual assault claims against male leaders of the open source community. Raymond is best known for his seminal tract The Cathedral and the Bazaar, and remains active in the world of open source, which he has …

  1. ratfox
    Trollface

    You wish.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "do not be alone with any female, ever, at a technical conference"

      Presumably he could just leave the webcam running as insurance. If he can find a Linux driver that actually works...

      "an industry in which skilled workers are nearly always in demand"

      Quite so - these tech conferences always have a high demand for lap dancers, booth babes, cocktail waitresses, etc. I really don't understand what they are moaning about...

      1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

        I have a logitech C170 on my computer. Plugged it in, all worked instantly, even with the complete and utter shitefest that is Skype for Linux.

        I don't know why people make such patently false claims like this when they know they're going to be proven wrong. I guess some people can't help themselves.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It's not that far fetched. There is a reason why CEOs of medium to large companies work in fishbowls (offices with glass for walls), have surveillance cameras in their offices, and go to conferences surrounded by staff (witnesses).

      In Silicon Valley in the 1990's, false sexual accusations were rampant, all from girls looking for a payout. I watched one hyper-sexy young woman screw her way through all the VP's of a major Silicon Valley company, then claim she was sexually assaulted (settled out of court)

      Just because someone doesn't have an office doesn't mean they aren't targets. If they have money and/or popularity, you are a target. It's vicious out there.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        You say that as if it's not possible for those to things to possibly be mutually exclusive. Or are you just insinuating that her previous behavior meant that her claims shouldn't have been taken seriously, which is equally ignorant?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Torvalds defence has always been that his ire is directed at bad code"

    No point swearing at code, it can't hear you (fortunately it has no feelings either).

    Has he considered calling his outbursts 'banter'?

    1. bazza Silver badge

      "No point swearing at code, it can't hear you (fortunately it has no feelings either)."

      If we ever get to the point when code can hear you and does have feelings, we're doomed. Doomed I tell yee, doomed.

      Unless Lotus Notes is particularly thick skinned, I'd get sued to bits by it.

      1. TheVogon

        "Unless Lotus Notes is particularly thick skinned"

        I thought it had a six foot skin of soil years ago now. People still use Notes?!

    2. Bob H

      Actually his rants, while often caused by bad code, have also included suggestions that people kill themselves so I'd call that personal.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Actually his rants, while often caused by bad code, have also included suggestions that people kill themselves so I'd call that personal.

        While Linus' rants have certainly not ceased, I believe that this particular aspect has indeed been toned down or eliminated since Sarah Sharp's initial complaint on the subject.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Worse for women?

          I just like the fact that, while trying to combat sexism, there is still the excuse that Linus' attitude is worse for women in some way.

          The fact is that Linus, at the very least, is consistent. While some have issues with the way he addresses code and coders, he does at least treat everyone the same. As far as equal rights go, everyone is entitled to a little rant from Linus, just submit sucky code :)

          1. Fungus Bob
            Joke

            Old Vulcan Proverb

            Only Linus could say "Fuck You!" to Nvidia.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Worse for women?

            They're not claiming it's worse for women because Linus is worse toward women.

            They're claiming it's worse for women because women are too fragile to cope with such a stern talking to, and Linus needs to be nicer to women.

            They're also claiming that to be nicer to women is "benevolent sexism" and that being nicer to women is misogyny.

            And woe betide the coder who can't decode their academic pretzel-think.

            1. Steven Roper

              Re: Worse for women?

              Actually their academic pretzel-think is very simple; once you strip away the political game-playing, weaselling and manipulative bullshit, it really all just boils down to, "If you're male, you're wrong and deserve to be punished because you're to blame for every nasty thing men have ever done to women."

          3. Tom 13

            Re: Worse for women?

            Isn't it axiomatic that you aren't a real Linux coder if Linus has ranted at you at least once?

  3. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Holmes

    "Your conspiracy theory only makes my penis harder!"

    That he's essentially circulating a wild conspiracy theory makes it even harder.

    Drop the "wild", and reformulate "conspiracy theory" to "warning about trivial exploits" and we are getting there.

    We are talking US, here. This is the country that has discovered a "college rape" epidemy recently.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Your conspiracy theory only makes my penis harder!"

      "This is the country that has discovered a "college rape" epidemy recently."

      Not all that recent. A quarter century ago one definition of "rape" at Macalester College was the woman regretting her decision after the fact to engage in consensual sexual congress with a male.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Your conspiracy theory only makes my penis harder!"

        A quarter century ago one definition of "rape" at Macalester College was the woman regretting her decision after the fact to engage in consensual sexual congress with a male.

        The other typical definition of rape is where you've said "No thanks" to a female, and they decide on payback. Unfortunately very common. :(

    2. Tom 13

      Re: "Your conspiracy theory only makes my penis harder!"

      Not just the US. While we have it bad, I think it's actually worse in most European countries. In fact I pretty much put Assange's whole consulate episode down to just that issue, no NSA/CIA required.

  4. Stuart Grout

    Seems sensible for anyone with a high profile.

    As we live in a world where countless people crave their 15 minutes of social media fame and are happy to claim to be victims of some ...ism or ...phobia a cautious approach is the only sane response.

    Recent events have shown that it doesn't take much for a reputation to be destroyed. The fact that in today's world you are not allowed to question motivation or veracity of allegations doesn't help.

    Be paranoid.

    Have witnesses and record interactions.

    Even with these precautions you need to be prepared for well intended people to leap to the defence of shit stirrers without bothering to investigate facts.

    It doesn't just effect Nobel prize winning scientists, there was a recent case in the UK where a minimum wage security guard in a store was accused of assaulting a breast feeding mum, the accuser leaping for social media to attack the store and the guard. It was only video evidence that showed the whole thing was made up and led to her prosecution. People will do this shit without any rational motivation beyond fame so give them a real reason and there are no limits.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Seems sensible for anyone with a high profile.

      Amen!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Seems sensible for anyone with a high profile.

        No! No! No!

        Anyone with a half decent amount of money/property/assets is fair game for some women who see it as their ticket to a better life. viz, get pregnant and life the life of riley on the damages/maintenance payments.

        Never reveal your $$$/££££ worth to anyone lest you become a target. If the above don't get you then the online scammers will certainly have a go. Even someone on a modest IT Income is a lot better off than a life on a sink estate and benefits.

        Anon for obvious reasons and I grew up on such an estate.

        1. Tom 13

          Re: half decent amount of money/property/assets

          Doesn't even have to be real assets. It can be as simple as perceived power within an organizational structure especially in NPOs that really don't have employees.

    2. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      Re: Seems sensible for anyone with a high profile.

      As the article points out, though, it isn't just the rich, powerful or famous that are subject to these types of accusations. Nor is it just women who make them, either. I've heard several stories of children who taunt teachers by saying "I'll tell my parents you touched me".

      In the current climate, everyone has to be careful about being alone with someone.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Seems sensible for anyone with a high profile.

        " I've heard several stories of children who taunt teachers by saying "I'll tell my parents you touched me"."

        Even 15 years ago there were concerns in the teaching profession about the increasing number of false allegations against teachers by pupils.

        The "J'accuse" tactic has always been a good way to sow doubt about those you do not like. The more paranoid the culture - the more effective it can be.

        IIRC - a government minister the other day said that the nature of checks on people who might come into contact with children need to be reconsidered. It has finally been recognised that the current poisonous atmosphere has seriously affected people's willingness to do any volunteer work near children.

        1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

          @A/C Re: Seems sensible for anyone with a high profile.

          It has finally been recognised that the current poisonous atmosphere has seriously affected people's willingness to do any volunteer work near children.

          I've heard the same story from different backgrounds (Teachers, sport & club volunteers, etc): There are so few men willing to go into these areas because of the fear of being accused of being a paedo. Children are growing up with no real male role models - just the vacuous crap that is put out by the media.

          1. BasicChimpTheory

            Re: @A/C Seems sensible for anyone with a high profile.

            "I've heard the same story from different backgrounds (Teachers, sport & club volunteers, etc): There are so few men willing to go into these areas because of the fear of being accused of being a paedo"

            I was studying to be a primary school teacher in the mid-nineties (I did not complete the degree). I recall the first time we went out on school placements - the few males in our cohort were told not to help any children if we saw them hurt in the playground and to leave them where they were and go get a female teacher.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @A/C Seems sensible for anyone with a high profile.

              > I recall the first time we went out on school placements - the few males in our cohort were told not to help any children if we saw them hurt in the playground and to leave them where they were and go get a female teacher.

              Which is exactly how I ended up assisting a lone kid standing in a pool of vomit in the middle of one of Heathrow's busiests concourses while everyone (and I mean everyone) steered clear of him like he was a fucking leper or something. Eventually the teacher, with all the other kids in tow, showed up with some lass.

              Regardless, I would much rather risk going to court under a false accusation than failing to assist someone in need. Not doing so is called cowardice.

              1. Known Hero

                Re: @A/C Seems sensible for anyone with a high profile.

                My son used to take a taxi to school. One day we forgot to apply sun cream, so we asked the school if they could pop some on his arms and neck.

                They first refused to do it, stating that we had to travel to the school to do it, means me taking the day off work to do so... They finally conceded to apply sunscreen, and we got forms signed with 3 witness's that our child was not touched inappropriately !!!! A little extreme I think !!!

              2. This post has been deleted by its author

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @A/C Seems sensible for anyone with a high profile.

              "I was studying to be a primary school teacher in the mid-nineties (I did not complete the degree). I recall the first time we went out on school placements - the few males in our cohort were told not to help any children if we saw them hurt in the playground and to leave them where they were and go get a female teacher."

              My aunt was a primary school teacher, in the latter years even women weren't supposed to make any sort of "excessive" contact. This was universally ignored, kid scraped their knee and was bawling their eyes out, of course they bloody well got a hug and a square of chocolate.

              My brother had the luck to sit as jury on a case where a female nurse was accused of inappropriately touching a female patient. You try turning an overweight, bed-bound patient without putting your hands in all sorts of places to get them rolled over! Apparently the sum total of the case amounted to something like 3 hours, much of which was the prosecution abusing the defendant in the dock, and the jury came to a not-guilty verdict in about 10 minutes. And we've paid for that out of our taxes - the judge, lawyers, Police time to make the arrest and interview the suspect.

          2. Heironymous Coward

            Re: @A/C Seems sensible for anyone with a high profile.

            Worse than the fact that few men are willing to go into these areas because of potential accusations of being a paedo, is that a real paedo, intent on grooming children and for possible future abuse, is not likely to be deterred by this potential accusation. Innocent & good men are taken out of the loop (so children lose good role models) but paedos are left in the loop (endangering children).

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Seems sensible for anyone with a high profile.

          > The "J'accuse" tactic

          Sorry but I had to downvote your comment for your misinformed and inappropriate reference to Zola's pamphlet--an example of courage, decency, and selflessness if there ever was one.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Seems sensible for anyone with a high profile.

            "[...] and inappropriate reference to Zola's pamphlet- [...]"

            My reference point was a story by probably one of the Sci-Fi authors. An oppressed society painted "JC" on walls - and rumours spread of a character Jacque Cuse who was responsible for many rebellious pamphlets and acts. The strategy was to generate suspicions to make members of the ruling elite turn on each other - much like the totalitarian regimes of Germany and Russia in the 1930/40s.

            IIRC that story introduced me to the word "brindled" to describe one of the leading rebel characters.

      2. Efros

        Teacher accusations

        About 1 in 5 teachers at schools and colleges in the UK have been the subject of a false allegation by a student, 1 in 7 have had false allegations levelled at them by a student's immediate family or family friend. Figures are taken from an ATL poll conducted amongst its members and reported in March 2015. The advent of social media has just made the situation worse with more avenues and sources for accusations to be thrown. With this and all the other crap that is thrown at teachers is it any wonder that UK has to be constantly on the search for new blood?

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: Teacher accusations

          This is the world that we created. Aint we proud

          1. Danny 2 Silver badge

            Re: Teacher accusations

            My pal is a male teacher, top bloke and family guy, and he never leaves the classroom door closed and always has a teaching assistant present for one-to-ones with pupils. Sad, but I think necessary given how many utterly sick men seek out these roles. But not just sick men though, that's the catch.

            On a lighter note, another pal, a total smart arse, used this to great effect in the '80s. He'd dragged me in to get tested by Scientologists (I hadn't heard of them back then) and we sat their test. He was just mocking them and me, but they obviously freaked even him so he said to make a run for it. A scientologist chased us out onto the street, weirdo, so my pal shouted at the top of his voice, "IF YOU EVER TOUCH HIM THERE AGAIN I'LL CALL THE POLICE". The entire street full of people stopped and stared, and I was almost as embarrassed as the scientologist, who fled and locked the door behind him.

          2. Tom 13

            Re: This is the world that we created. Aint we proud

            What mean 'um "we" paleface?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Teacher accusations

          > About 1 in 5 teachers at schools and colleges in the UK have been the subject of a false allegation by a student,

          So 4 out of 5 allegations were true?

          [ Sorry, my sense of humour is not working very well today. :-/ ]

          1. Robert Helpmann??
            Childcatcher

            Re: Teacher accusations

            So 4 out of 5 allegations were true?

            [ Sorry, my sense of humour is not working very well today. :-/ ]

            Well, if not written at least sarcastically, I have to say that your statistics ability is offline as well. A more complete statement might be that for every 3,000,000 teachers, on average 600,000 are falsely accused of inappropriate acts by a student, while around 2,500 are justifiably accused and an indeterminate but significant number are not accused at all even though they should be.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Teacher accusations

              > Well, if not written at least sarcastically

              Yes it was written, partly, sarcastically. Got off on the wrong foot today, as it were.

              In any event, I was half-arsedly attempting to make fun of the ambiguity in the original statement, in which the population (in the statistical sense) was not specified.

              I should stick to Irishman jokes¹, I do those rather well.

              ¹ I also tried German jokes, but they turned out to be no laughing matter.

          2. Bitbeisser
            FAIL

            Re: Teacher accusations

            >Re: Teacher accusations

            >> About 1 in 5 teachers at schools and colleges in the UK have been the subject of a false allegation by a student,

            >So 4 out of 5 allegations were true?

            >[ Sorry, my sense of humour is not working very well today. :-/ ]

            Indeed!

      3. billdehaan

        Re: Seems sensible for anyone with a high profile.

        I've not only seen it with coaches, I've seen it with PARENTS.

        About three years ago, the male coach of a girl's volleyball team stated that he wouldn't return after the season. He demurred giving a reason, but when pressed, it was because one of the girls on the team had cornered him and demanded more time on the court, and if she didn't get it, she'd accuse him of molesting her, and his career and life would be over.

        Of course, it was denied, at which point he showed the video taken by his laptop (the encounter had occurred in his office), showing exactly what he claimed. At which point, the SJW types promptly piled on, accusing him of having the camera on for some illicit purpose which was never quite clear.

        The actual facts of the matter - that a girl on the team had clearly tried to blackmail the coach - didn't seem to matter; he was an adult, white male, and she was a teenage minority female, and therefore, he had to be guilty. Of something. It didn't really matter what.

        I've also seen two cases where children have threated their parents, telling them some variation of "if you don't do what I want, I'll tell my teachers you touched me there, and they'll take me away". Fortunately, both parents were wise enough to give the "well, we hope you like your new family" response, and called their bluff.

        esr's claims may or may not be right, but his recommendations are just common sense. I know many managers at companies that have a policy that they WILL NOT meet with a female colleague in a closed office without a third person present.

        In an age where the flimsiest of accusations are treated as fact, and every man is considered a potential rapist, men are going to avoid putting themselves "he said/she said" situations.

        Or, as one comedian put it, "why don't any of these potential rapists want to be alone in a room with me?"

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Seems sensible for anyone with a high profile.

          > In an age where the flimsiest of accusations are treated as fact,

          In defence of the truth, I must say this observation of yours needs qualifying. Investigators and prosecutors will, in general, not treat "the flimsiest of accusations" as fact.

          I do concede, on the other hand, that public opinion does do exactly as you describe. In my mind, a press that takes their responsibilities lightly has a lot to answer for.

          1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

            Re: Seems sensible for anyone with a high profile.

            > I do concede, on the other hand, that public opinion does do exactly as you describe. In my mind, a press that takes their responsibilities lightly has a lot to answer for.

            It's not just the press though, all it takes is the "victim" to post on Facebook or Tweet and the poor sod who did something or other to piss her off starts getting abuse. Same goes in the local community, unless she's known for making false allegations.

            If an accusation is made to the police, they will investigate it (at least going as far as a quick chat with the accused). That in itself is often seen as proof of guilt.

            Both parties should have anonymity from the second an accusation is made, with the accused's anonymity only being dropped on conviction.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Seems sensible for anyone with a high profile.

              > It's not just the press though, all it takes is the "victim" to post on Facebook or Tweet and the poor sod who did something or other to piss her off starts getting abuse

              Yup, fair point. To tell the truth, I can count on one hand the number of times I've abused someone online, with no possibility of a face to face conversation.

              Regardless of the purported reasons or how strongly you feel about whatever, I find that vice, pusillanimity, of the utmost contempt. One should not insult someone unless you are prepared, willing, and able to do so face to face, the person is of comparable standing to you, and can retort fairly.

          2. Bob Dole (tm)

            Re: Seems sensible for anyone with a high profile.

            >>In defence of the truth, I must say this observation of yours needs qualifying. Investigators and prosecutors will, in general, not treat "the flimsiest of accusations" as fact.

            You've never sat on a jury before have you? Just going by my personal experience, I think the "in general" part of your statement is way wrong.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Seems sensible for anyone with a high profile.

              > You've never sat on a jury before have you?

              No. On the other hand, I'm an expert witness.

          3. ElectricRook
            Facepalm

            Re: Seems sensible for anyone with a high profile.

            True, but the investigation and the stress incurred just might kill you. Once you get to the other side , you'll never have peace, you'll never see women in the same light again.

            They will all be suspect, your spouse , your children , your sister, your mother, let alone coworkers and strangers . . . lurking psychopaths.

      4. Tom 13

        Re: In the current climate, everyone has to be careful

        Not even that limited. I recall being told that long before things degenerated to the point they have today, Billy Graham would NOT council a woman with his office door closed and would not be alone in his office with his secretary. Given I was a teenager at the time and have now joined the ranks of the greybeards ...

    3. Stevie Silver badge

      Re: Seems sensible for anyone with a high profile.

      As far as I know, Richard Jewel never got a public apology from Leno or Letterman for the things they said on the air.

    4. Lars Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Seems sensible for anyone with a high profile.

      Note to Assange, stay away from hores in the future.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Seems sensible for anyone with a high profile.

        Note to Assange, stay away from hores in the future.

        Wouldn't he have been much better off if he'd visited whores instead?

    5. JLV

      Re: Seems sensible for anyone with a high profile.

      "do not be alone with any female, ever, at a technical conference"

      I think this may be somewhat overstating the case. Call me gullible, but I prefer to give my fellow wpman the benefit of the doubt and do not wish to become that paranoid.

      I'd be the first one to suggest that persons spreading malicious rumors about sexual assault and rape, if proven to be made up (rather than just unproven), should be held criminally liable. The nature of rape and assault makes it both very serious and often hard to disprove because it is one person's word against another. There should be serious legal consequences, not just an optional libel case, if someone is then found to be making things up on purpose.

      But blanket paranoia and general distrust towards the female half of the population? Not my thing, sorry. Bit of common sense like not going up to your hotel room with a random person unless you know what you are doing? Leaving doors open? Not being alone with kids? Sure, that makes a lot of sense. But that's not what the the above is saying.

    6. Ben Liddicott

      Re: Seems sensible for anyone with a high profile.

      "People will do this shit without any rational motivation beyond fame so give them a real reason and there are no limits."

      This. Times 1000.

  5. TeeCee Gold badge
    Meh

    Really?

    I can't help thinking that Linus' response to a blackmail threat would be something like; "Fuck off, shithead", making him a less than ideal target.

    Also, if there are any feminists thinking of adopting these tactics, they'd do well to look up the meaning of the phrase "Two-faced cow" first....

    1. Efros

      Re: Really?

      His outbursts while usually pretty colorfully abusive are pretty gender neutral IIRC.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Really?

      Anyone trying to entrap me in a honeytrap scam will forever be accused of having *very* bad taste indeed :).

      As for the child abuse thing, that's worse than you think. All an assailant needs is to make sure there are some images on hardware that someone owns via the many, many routes available (Windows hacking, virus infection, WiFi injection, "borrowing" their mobile phone) and they're in business, because UK police NEVER checks how you got it - their job is to show possession so the moment they get tipped off you're screwed. It does not matter if you're Mother Teresa herself, UK plod will get you in front of a judge and you WILL be convicted. Don't expect any help from the police finding out who did this either, they are aggressively not interested as it would prove their convictions to be unsafe.

      I have seen this happen to someone who is now not even allowed near his own children and when I looked at the evidence there was no sign that this man even knew what was hiding in the backup file of a phone he didn't own, nor was there evidence the police had put any effort in checking his statements. They had possession and thus a conviction, end of story and pretty much end of life for this family because it screws over the children too.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Really?

        > because UK police NEVER checks how you got it

        That's because kiddie porn is a strict liability thing. In this case, it is the politicians being arses (no, seriously!) because of the way they wrote the law.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Really?

          That's because kiddie porn is a strict liability thing. In this case, it is the politicians being arses (no, seriously!) because of the way they wrote the law.

          To be honest, the way this law has been written and implemented it can only ever have had entrapment as a goal exactly because of the glaring nature of the deficiencies. Even the most inept politician would have spotted the problems, so this cannot be an accident. As far as I can tell, this is merely a device to comprehensively shut people down when they get too dangerous or get too close too sensitive knowledge, because the victim will become toxic to even the most ardent freedom fighter.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Really?

            "To be honest, the way this law has been written and implemented it can only ever have had entrapment as a goal exactly because of the glaring nature of the deficiencies."

            What was to be the Sexual Offences Act 2003 (England and Wales) was published for public consultation with many clauses that appeared to have extremely low thresholds of evidence. The justification was that the police and single-issue campaigners who had guided those clauses felt that there weren't currently enough successful prosecutions.

            Some of the more egregious clauses were eventually improved after informed criticism from various quarters. However - the overall tone still remained draconian. The loose drafting - like so many criminal laws in modern times - left it to the Appeal Courts to refine the awkward details later by establishing (expensive) case law precedents.

            It is full of subjective judgements - yet the principle of English Law is that it should be clear what is illegal. This gives the police and CPS plenty of room to push the boundaries of what they purport to be illegal. The public have become understandably paranoid.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Really?

              The public have become understandably justifiably paranoid.

              FIFY

        2. Tom 13

          Re: politicians being arses (no, seriously!)

          No, it's down to the PEOPLE who put the politicians being arses. Politicians only write those kinds of laws in response to mass hysteria.

          I saw this in the persecution of Joe Paterno over here. It turned out the long time head coach of the Penn State football team was a peodo. It was convenient for the university to throw him under the bus as the NCAA was coming down hard on the uni. The history was long and convoluted. Early on there had been an accusation which was investigated by police, but the accuser withdrew the accusation. A number of years later there was another report to Paterno instead of the campus police. Paterno reported it up the chain for investigation. There doesn't seem to have been a vigorous investigation after he reported it up, and some years later an AG found sufficient evidence and prosecuted the case. My brother was vehement that in solely on the basis of a questionable report, Paterno should have been at the head of the torches and pitchforks squad because "you should do ANYTHING necessary to protect children."

          I cite this case because it shows both parts of a very real problem. There are real peodos out there and they are damn hard to find and prosecute. But zealotry to get at them throws innocent people under the bus.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Really?

        " It does not matter if you're Mother Teresa herself, UK plod will get you in front of a judge and you WILL be convicted. "

        In all fairness - the judicial system does sometimes act in the accused's interests.

        A case a few years ago ended up with two naturists arrested over pictures found in their homes after an anonymous phone call to the police about child abuse. The allegation in the phone call was found to be false - but by then the police had spent a lot of effort on the case. The CPS prosecuted them for some of their pictures of naturist activities.

        In one case a Crown Court judge reprimanded the police's expert witness several times for not sticking to facts. The jury saw the pictures and returned a "not guilty" verdict.

        In the second case the person was finally advised by ill-informed solicitors to plead guilty to a "technical" offence. That would mean probation - but they said that losing the case with a biassed jury would mean a prison sentence. The Crown Court judge duly passed a probationary sentence - but apologised to the defendant for the minimum sentence rules. He also criticised the police in that their only piece of "evidence" was from a video. The judge said he would not have noticed the few frames that constituted the evidence if the police had not highlighted them.

    3. Tom 13

      Re: Really?

      While El Reg hasn't covered it in any great detail, this is actually the primary focus of #gamergate. The SJW types had setup effective control of the gaming press and were using it to shut out anyone who didn't agree with their agenda.

      I follow it mostly on Breitbart where the primary commentator about #gamergate happens to be a gay flamer, so the articles can be quite amusing to read.

  6. Panicnow

    History proves

    Look at Clinton, Straus Khan, Assange, and 20 other high profile people who were taken down through this mechanism. Add in the attempts and the ones that folded before its made public. No tin hat needed here, this one is true.

    Now Facebook knows your whereabouts every second and can correlate your secret second phone to you. expect Facebook to be untouchable by politicians. ( Oh they already are)

    1. SolidSquid

      Re: History proves

      Wait what? Clinton wasn't taken down through a honeytrap, he was taken down due to perjury in front of a Congressional committee ("I did not have sexual relations with that woman" and all that), and the Straus Khan case fell apart because he *did* get due process, which Raymond claims men don't get any more. Or are you claiming the later charges against him in France were part of some massive international conspiracy spanning several years?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: History proves

        The male of the species is Guilty until they can prove 1,000,000% that they are innocent. blame our ancestors for behaving like sex starved fields for a lot of that attitude.

        Unless you have very, very, very deep pockets you won't get a decent brief to argue on your behalf.

        Whereas the other person gets it all done for them for free.

        That is the sad fact of life today.

        Justice is all about how much you can afford to pay. The more you can cough up the better the class of justice you get.

        bitter? Moi? You bet.

      2. Panicnow

        Re: History proves

        You miss my point, With Clinton it was tried, and with Straus Khan it succeeded in removing him from his job. Funny how these things occur when the person "in-play" is seen as a problem, but left alone when they are toeing the line!

      3. Tim Jenkins

        ...he was taken down due to perjury...

        Not even that; Slick Willie was acquitted by the Senate (failure to reach the 2/3 vote necessary to remove an incumbent President), and served out his full two terms in office.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impeachment_and_acquittal_of_Bill_Clinton

        (he was, however, responsible for the introduction to mainstream America of the often repeated phrase 'semen-stained dress', so kudos for that...)

        1. Mephistro
          Coat

          Re: ...he was taken down due to perjury...

          "...often repeated phrase 'semen-stained dress' "

          " Hey my little intern girl

          don't you guess, better be burning that semen-stained dress

          semen-stained dress, semen-stained dress

          better be burning that semen-stained dress "

          Ho hum... Sorry.

  7. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    Bwahahahaha

    Right...

    Linus... "sexually" doing whatever to someone? I would really not like to be in his place coming back home after that. Tove Torwalds was like only 6? times Finland karate champion?

    ESR should shut up and do some code. He has not produced any code since the early days of fetchmail. And Wesnoth script is not code (if you look at his more recent contributions, you are more likely to find them in the wesnoth 10.0 data folder). He has been producing conspiracy theories by the bucket though.

    In any case, ever since Sarah quit the USB 3.0 subsystem has finally stabilized (including backports and fixes to older stable kernels used by distros). I now can finally plug a device into the USB 3.0 socket on my Linux desktop without one of the other devices deciding to stop running... just... because. She has failed in her job as a maintainer by allowing crap code to be merged in. Now, how she was made to leave was not nice, but frankly, she should have taken the hint that things are not working and left earlier.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bwahahahaha

      Unfortunately, sleeping with nunchucks under your pillow can't protect you from accusations. Maybe the 75TB of data stored on one drive was some open sourcerers using the eye of Sauron to keep a video backup of their lives, for just such an eventuality... Bwahahahaha!!!!!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bwahahahaha

      > ESR should shut up and do some code

      In the spirit of "let's tell other people what they should do", you should be more informed of what esr gets up to these days before telling him what to do (in any case, although he occasionally reads this blog, you'd be better off emailing him directly. His address is well known).

    3. Bloakey1

      Re: Bwahahahaha

      Ahhh, so he has prior history of excessive use of his chopper.

      They will bang him up and throw away the key.

      At this point may I state that the people in the picture look like right mingers [1.].

      1. Standing up for my right to be politically incorrect.

    4. Inflex

      Re: Bwahahahaha

      Well now, that finally answers a question that's been idling in the back of my mind for a long time, why plugging in my USB3 dock would drop my eSATA dock, thank you (I moved everything to eSATA after that but it was still gnawing at me).

    5. Ben Liddicott

      Re: Bwahahahaha

      I want to vote down and up. ESR does gpsd and works on the time service, and repository conversion as well.

      But well said on Linus.

    6. PaulFrederick

      Re: Bwahahahaha

      I know from following ESR on G+ that he is currently rewriting NTP. He also maintains several projects too. That is work also, you know? We discussed all of this on G+ a week ago. That was fun, It mostly consisted of shooting down one phony SJW. But I might dig up that post and link to this article there. Then ESR himself may wade in? If he has a Reg account. OK done the faithful should arrive soon.

  8. Danny 2 Silver badge
    Coat

    Sh...it happens

    [First two disclosures:

    1) I once commented nicely to ESR on his site and he threatened to shoot me - over the internet?! I knew he was a good programmer but still...

    2) I've loved two women who made false rape accusations, against other men, for no sane reason. It happens, just far less often than actual rape goes unreported. ]

    Julian Assange is still locked up in an embassy for being silly.

    Charlotte Proudman got a Guardian column for being silly.

    Celibacy and internet porn is the only sensible path for today. I'm sure you all already know that...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re ESR shooting you over the internet

      DAMN; I want that to know how to get that; does it have a standard API?

      1. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

        Re: Re ESR shooting you over the internet

        "does it have a standard API?"

        Yes. But the language support leaves something to be desired.

    2. SolidSquid

      Re: Sh...it happens

      Julian Assange is trying to avoid charges being brought against him for criminal conduct and jumped bail in the process, Charlotte Proudman made a kind of daft comment about an interaction with a colleague online, it's not exactly comparing like for like is it?

      1. Danny 2 Silver badge

        Re: Sh...it happens

        I was contrasting, not comparing, two different type of 'honeypot' type situations. Neither require any actual conspiracy, though both may have been. Both could have been avoided if the guy had been less horny, hence my lighthearted recommendation of celibacy plus porn.

        Personally in both cases my sympathies lie with the male. I'm a male so you may think I'm biased but I also consider myself a feminist. Assange should have known that if you make an enemy of the security services then you can expect a little 'zersetzung', whether or not that is the case. Carter-Silk should have known it is safer today to insult a woman's looks than to praise them. Silly boys both, but they have my sympathies.

      2. People's Poet

        Re: Sh...it happens

        As pointed out earlier the thread "Even with these precautions you need to be prepared for well intended people to leap to the defence of shit stirrers without bothering to investigate facts." Clearly you've not actually read the details behind Assange's case and how these "sexual assaults" are classified. It's more a case under Swedish law of sexual co-ercion because he slept with 2 women and didn't use protection with either and didn't tell them about each other. Amazingly both women went into police stations at the same time in Cities 200 miles apart and made reports. Now I don't know about you but to me this smacks of some sort of manipulation, originally Swedish prosecutors threw it out but then suddenly had a change of heart. There's a lot more detail but that's it in a nutshell.

        1. Tom 13

          Re: some sort of manipulation

          Sure there was. The two women found out about each other, talked about it, and decided to file charges. The KISS principle still applies. No need for any shady conspiracy theories. Yes I know. It does also perfectly fit in the ESR's blog. So I guess where you stand on the issue depends on whether you are with #SJW or #gamergate. Sad state of affairs when the only thing that ought to matter is standing with #justthefactsma'am.

    3. Michael Strorm

      [SA]HatfulOfHollow's classic comment that keeps on giving...

      "I once commented nicely to ESR on his site and he threatened to shoot me - over the internet?!"

      Brilliant! Sounds like he was getting a little ahead of himself there, we haven't even figured out how to stab people in the face over the Internet yet. :-)

      1. Mephistro

        Re: [SA]HatfulOfHollow's classic comment that keeps on giving...

        "...we haven't even figured out how to stab people in the face over the Internet yet. "

        The hard part is convincing the potential victims to purchase the terminal. A big "IT'S FREE" neon sign may help here, a trick that many tech companies know already. ;-)

    4. nijam Silver badge

      Re: Sh...it happens

      > ... It happens, just far less often than actual rape goes unreported.

      I'm intrigued. How do you know how often it goes unreported (unless you're the one committing it, which I surmise is not the case)?

    5. Dazed and Confused
      Facepalm

      Re: Celibacy and internet porn is the only sensible path for today.

      a) Celibacy

      How's that going to protect you from false accusations?

      b) Internet porn

      Ms. May has the goods on you, you're going to see your perfectly legal life go up in flames when they publish the list of sites you've visit. You haven't broken the law of the land, but you've broken the unwritten on. Your life is at an end

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Worst among equals

    Sarah Sharp or ESR, don't make me choose :-(

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Worst among equals

      Sarah Sharp or working USB3, is that even a choice?

  10. tony2heads
    Angel

    Honeypot??

    If the female on the left of the photo is an example, I think I could resist the temptation.

    1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: Honeypot??

      Everyone has different tastes. Just because someone doesn't appeal to you doesn't mean that they don't appeal to someone else.

      Also, it's pretty shallow to judge a person just by one picture.

      </rant>

      1. Danny 2 Silver badge

        Re: Honeypot??

        I mean, look at the man on the right before criticising the woman on the left. I'll be getting my internet-bullet proof jacket...

      2. LucreLout

        Re: Honeypot??

        Also, it's pretty shallow to judge a person just by one picture.

        It is, but then, I've never seen a picture of Claudia Schiffer where I've thought "No thanks"... Since we're talking honey-trap and not deep & meaningful life long partnership, what else matters?

        I say this as a bloke who on his best day, with the right stylist, could be Johnny Vegas stunt double. My face already looks like the bus hit it. Twice.

    2. LucreLout

      Re: Honeypot??

      @tony2heads

      If the female on the left of the photo is an example, I think I could resist the temptation.

      What? Even after 6 pints? You Sir have my admiration. Beer may only kill the old and weak brain cells, but the trouble is the rest of mine go into a day of feckin' mourning, and the little head starts doing all the thinking.

      Thankfully my wife has me house trained now...

      1. tony2heads
        FAIL

        Re: Honeypot??

        Ah, you have to also consider that after 6 pints of stout it is not only the brain that becomes non-functional - there also also organs that become somewhat non-functional also.

        Sign of my age.. see icon.

    3. Bloakey1

      Re: Honeypot??

      How about a tar pit?

      Personally I thought they both looked awful we are geared as humans to take first impressions and make conclusions based on that.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Honeypot??

      > If the female on the left of the photo is an example, I think I could resist the temptation.

      That's a female????

      * takes another look *

      Jesus, you're right.

  11. MacroRodent Silver badge

    celebrity

    Not sure how much esr is a celebrity programmer, rather than just a celebrity. His fame rests largely on two literary works: editing the "Jargon File" into book form, and writing the "The Cathedral and the Bazaar" (I have bought copies of both). At one point he tried to get the Linux kernel devs to replace their build scripts with his supposedly superior build system, was miffed when they did go along, and apparently collected his marbles and went away as far as Linux kernel is concerned. His page lists various small pieces of open source software, but he does not appear to now participate in any of the larger ones.

    1. Guy Geens

      Re: celebrity

      Back when the Open Source movement was new, ESR was one of its major advocates. (CatB was written in that period.)

      Later, his focus shifted to gun rights activism and he was no longer invited to Open Source conferences. He gradually faded into obscurity.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: celebrity

        He wrote a strategy game, Battle for Wesnoth. It's pretty damn good, doubly so considering that it's open source.

        He wrote The Art of Unix Programming. Very readable, and useful, and technical in an only-a-serious-programmer-can-do-this way.

        Not a notable programmer, you say?

        1. MacroRodent Silver badge

          Re: celebrity

          "He wrote a strategy game, Battle for Wesnoth."

          The web site (www.wesnoth.org) states (currently at front page):

          "Twelve years ago, David White sat down over a weekend and created the small pet project that we know today as The Battle For Wesnoth. At the time, Dave was the game’s sole programmer, working alongside another person, Francisco Muñoz, who produced the first graphics. As more and more people began to contribute in the years that followed, the game grew from a tiny personal project into the extensive one we know today."

          The "Credits" page lists ESR as a significant contributor:

          * Eric S. Raymond (ESR) - Macro library reorganization, major UI makeover introducing lightweight transparent popups and linger mode, maintainance tools for WML, eight campaigns lifted from UMC, one all-original campaign, editor refactoring, many many code cleanups, and svn-to-git migration.

          But that does not really justify claiming he wrote the game.

          I don't deny ESR is a programmer, and a good one, but his celebrity rests really on his writings and open-source advocacy, not his software.

          1. PaulFrederick

            Re: celebrity

            That sounds like significant heavy lifting to me. More than enough to prove programming chops I'd say. How many programmers really reach anything considered celebrity status?

  12. Nick Kew
    Coat

    I'm torn ...

    ... torn between two opposing reactions ...

    1. Stop feeding the BBC/Guardian line "see, they just belittle us and make the world a hostile place".

    2. The world needs a loony to come out with things like this, so that we don't look like the loony fringe ourselves if we ever do gently question the most militant of man-eaters.

    So here's a better reaction:

    3. Why is the meeja (El Reg) giving column inches to this? ESR is just a Celebrity, not a real opensource leader like Linus.

    Hmmm, on second thoughts, that's no better. I'll get me coat.

  13. Robert Ramsay

    That photo...

    Which one's him?

    1. Peter Simpson 1

      Re: That photo...

      The one with the (more) prominent mustache, I presume.

      1. Message From A Self-Destructing Turnip

        Re: That photo...

        That's easy, the bloke is the one touching up the television.

    2. Killing Time

      Re: That photo...

      He's the effeminate one...

  14. Fitz_

    Time for OSS bodycams.

    1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      My sister is a teacher, and won't accept lifts from the parents. It seems to be a school policy -- intended to prevent a perception of impropriety. So, yeah, our society has got to the stage where bodycams, all the time is the only way.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "My sister is a teacher, and won't accept lifts from the parents."

        I am so, so glad I got out of teaching in the 1970s. (I am DBS checked, married with children and have never had a claim against me but nowadays I avoid any voluntary work with children because I'm male.)

        But the real problem was the government derestricting advertising by solicitors and allowing ambulance chasing. This has led for problems even for riding schools (parents deliberately signing children up in the hope they would fall off and the parents could sue using for-profit expert witnesses).

        I think we do need recorders in classes, running continuously but with the teacher (and the child in a 1 to 1 meeting) able to press a button that would cause the last 5 minutes to transfer to permanent store. And children would be told clearly that if they threatened to lie about teachers or made untrue allegations they would be transferred indefinitely to schools with very strict rules on teacher-pupil contact for their own protection.

        We also need a regular review of solicitors and publication of their success rate in civil suits. People trying it on might be less willing if they learned that Quill, Pen and Weed had a 90% failure rate in civil suits against the NHS or education, and that they stood to lose money rather than gain it. The truth is that judges are far more sensible than a lot of people seem to realise, and they have heard it all before. But when the system is so rigged that the parents may lose a couple of thousand pounds but the teacher may lose his entire career, the balance obviously needs redressing.

    2. DropBear
      Trollface

      Looks like a prime market for the Google Glass - maybe they missed their niche...? Hard to think of a better way to proclaim "I'm recording this shit. Go ahead, make my day, punk!".

  15. Chronos
    Headmaster

    Extended Service Release

    Please don't feed the "celebrity."

  16. PassiveSmoking

    Sorry, but I just can't take anybody who uses the phrase "SJW" unironically seriously.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Wait until you're on the receiving end of their insanity and you'll be singing a different tune extremely quickly.

    2. Steven Roper

      "Sorry, but I just can't take anybody who uses the phrase "SJW" unironically seriously."

      That's most likely because you are one, in which case going by the the majority of comments and upvote/downvote ratios in this thread, not many people would take you seriously either.

  17. DavCrav Silver badge

    "That he's essentially circulating a wild conspiracy theory makes it even harder."

    Wild? Maybe it's not a conspiracy theory, in that it is not organized, but it definitely happens. Why don't you ask Tim Hunt?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Why don't you ask Tim Hunt?"

      Tim Hunt suffered because his audience, or some parts of it, didn't do irony.

      When I first started to travel on business, my boss (who was just as ironic and sarcastic as I am) told me very firmly to avoid all jokes or figures of speech in any audience that was not 100% British, even at the risk of being boring. He was right.

      (Incidentally a similar thing happened last week. The Russian women astronaut trainees were interviewed and their boss made a remark "Not only are women not worse at some tasks than men, they are better at some of them". It was immediately treated by some women journalists as being sexist, but in fact he was calling out the attitudes of some other people - it was just that the sentence construction in literal English translation did not convey the meaning clearly(Often a problem with translation from Russian or Japanese). The journalists, rather than consider that the translation might not be faithful to the meaning, just shot from the hip.)

      1. Kristian Walsh

        Re: "Why don't you ask Tim Hunt?"

        That's English students these days. Too busy learning Relativst theory to be bothered with basic grammatical constructs...

        "Not only is {X} not true, but {contrary to X} is true" is a fairly common rhetorical device to refute whatever "X" is. Sad that anyone calling themselves a journalist can't recognise this pattern.

        Even in literal translation, I cannot parse that Russian quote as anything except a refutation of sexist comments that may have arisen from elsewhere.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Why don't you ask Tim Hunt?"

        >> Incidentally a similar thing happened last week. The Russian women astronaut trainees were interviewed and their boss made a remark "Not only are women not worse at some tasks than men, they are better at some of them". It was immediately treated by some women journalists as being sexist, but in fact he was calling out the attitudes of some other people - it was just that the sentence construction in literal English translation did not convey the meaning clearly(Often a problem with translation from Russian or Japanese). The journalists, rather than consider that the translation might not be faithful to the meaning, just shot from the hip.)

        I'm not quite sure I follow:

        "Not only are women not worse at some tasks than men, they are better at some of them"

        He is saying women are better than men at some things - I.e. men are worse than women at some things. How is that not sexist? If he had said "Not only are men not worse at some tasks than women, they are better at some of them", I think most people would have considered that sexist (regardless of whether it is true).

        NB. Not that I am bothered, I'm not really interested in a journalists opinion of someone else opinion - if anyone cares about my opinion. I'm of the opinion that people should be allowed to hold, and even express, whatever opinion they like as long as there actions are not proved to be unfairly discriminatory.

  18. This post has been deleted by its author

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh, I see...

    We can't believe him becuse he once had an anti gun rant and doesn't want the police turning into milartary on the streets. Got you... he's a bad man. What do you take us for?

    1. Tom 13
      Joke

      Re: Oh, I see...

      HERETIC!!

      How can you not adhere to the sacred memes of #SJW!

      You shall be BURNED at the stake.

  20. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Unhappy

    The whole world has gone crazy

    I dimly remember reading about a guy who was threatened with arrest for sitting on a park bench eating a sandwich. Some PCO twit thought it was 'inappropriate behaviour' because there were children playing near by.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: The whole world has gone crazy

      One should never, ever eat bannas or corndogs in public either.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The whole world has gone crazy

        "One should never, ever eat bannas or corndogs in public either."

        Nor Mars bars. The foodie Nigel Slater says his father always insisted that Mars bars were cut into pieces with a knife to avoid the apparently obvious impropriety.

      2. Richard Altmann

        Re: The whole world has gone crazy

        Sausage, anyone?

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well, Linus is not a moneymaker

    Those selling goods to consumers are the main darlings of the entourage industry so Linus has to hang!

    I mean, who would buy all those satisfaction surveys that keep appearing if profits were low ?

  22. cmow

    I'm quite scared of women and/or angry at them for withholding their precious parts from my mighty man-snake, and have literally three anecdotes from similarly-minded people to prove I'm right to be so.

    1. Message From A Self-Destructing Turnip

      Fear and anger in everyday situations are usually a good indication that its time to take a deep breath, step back, and try to look at things from a different perspective. Now, lie down on the couch and tell me about your mother.

  23. naive Silver badge

    We men screwed up badly in the 20th century

    By allowing them out of the house while we were busy fighting WW1 and WW2, to let them make the bullets and grenades we needed in unheard of quantities.

    Except from the Koran, the Gor books of John Norman provide an appropriate view on the place these females should have. We should posthumously hang the men allowing women to vote and drive cars.

    Sadly the story seems to bear truth, Julian Assange can confirm this, in the uptake, ISIS and the massive muslim immigration in Europe will take care of this soon enough.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: We men screwed up badly in the 20th century

      However, the Germans didn't put women in the munitions factories; they relied on slave labour and women were not conscripted into either the armed forces or munitions (in fact, with all those maltreated slaves around, it wasn't an option.)

      Yet today Germany is more egalitarian than the US or GB.

      As for those Muslims, do you include the Kurds? The lot with all those veil-free women soldiers? You need to distinguish Islam from the Arab tribal societies that some right wing SF authors are so keen on.

      I hope your post is a troll because the argument sucks.

      1. Richard Altmann

        However, the Germans didn't put women in the munitions factories

        They did. Their husbands, sons and brothers where out there in the field and they worked their arses off to supply them and keep them alive. That´s a natural maternal reaction. Nazi or not. In the former USA, now NSA occupied territory, the wifes, daughters and sisters of the GI´s where riveting bombers and marine destroyers.

        The Nazi´s slaves sabotaged the weapons and ammo they where forced to produce. 50% or so of the V2s failed because the compasses or whatever where not spec. They are the unsung heroes in the Battle Of Britain. They knew, they would die of hunger, exstorcian or tuberculosis so they had nothing to loose and did their best to throw a spanner in the Nazi gear box.

        Tomorrow it´s the Genocide Memorial Site in Kigali for me.

        1. x 7

          Re: However, the Germans didn't put women in the munitions factories

          the Germans DID use female labour. What they didn't do, unlike Britain, was force conscription for women into either one of the armed forces, or essential war work. Unmarried British women had to sign up for one of the services, or the Land Army - unless they were employed on war work (e.g making uniforms, ship / aircraft building, armaments or similar.

          Besides that they would all be expected to take their turn at overnight firewatching duties as well - although to some extent that depended on whether they lived in city or country

      2. Kiwi

        Re: We men screwed up badly in the 20th century

        However, the Germans didn't put women in the munitions factories; they relied on slave labour

        And what happened to the women (and children) of those "slaves", hmm? Well.. they went and had a nice shower didn't they...

        [Doesn't negate your key point though - and most of the population were not Nazis]

    2. Adam Inistrator

      Re: We men screwed up badly in the 20th century

      upvote for off beat "Gor books of John Norman" reference

      1. PaulFrederick

        Re: We men screwed up badly in the 20th century

        Are you a fellow Tarnsman?

  24. Esme

    Hang on a mo, Eric

    What you appear to have only just come across is an extremist fringe group that calls itself feminist. Nope, I don't know a thing about them, never'eardovem before, but thirty going on forty years ago when I first became interested in feminism, I was shocked by some of the stuff I encountered. Not shocked as in it was opening my eyes to how bad men are capable of being, if they're so inclined, shocked as in 'I can scarce believe that anyone would push an initially interesting notion to the point of insanity' and 'I can scarce believe that anyone would think that feminism is a suitable excuse to spout this kind of fascist shit'. I nearly gave up on feminism as a bad job but luckily encountered the saner end of that particular spectrum in time.

    I don't doubt for a minute that there are irresponsible women that will try to drop innocent men in the kaka for no good reason - neither do I doubt that some of them would try to claim it was to do a greater good for the cause of feminism. And I very much sympathise with the majority of good men men with regard to having to take care not to have false accusations made against them. Were it down to me, I'd have anyone making serious false accusations put down like a rabid dog.

    The fact that you have come across such unpleasantness though, is no reason to panic. We've been here before with terrorists, whether it be the IRA, ISIL or whatever - they are all just groups of criminals abusing a notionally good cause in order to cause the mayhem they desire for whatever twisted reasons of their own.

    Feminism is a cause that seeks equal and fair treatment for all in society; it's so named because it started at a time when women were generally regarded as goods and chattels by men,which is obviously grossly unfair (and still the situation in some countries), but its aim is NOT to reverse the situation and have men living in fear of women.

    I have yet to encounter a sizable cause, no matter how good, that didn't have a lunatic fringe, as well as simple rotten apples amongst 'em. If we give in to them, they win. Point them out and be a little wary, by all means, but the main thing to do is simply to behave well. Be a decent human being, and insist on decent behaviour from those around you. Behaviour accepting of human frailty and variance and sheer honest mistakes and accidents occasionally. That's what is mostly needed to show up the extremists for what they are - antisocial gits that society could well do without.

    1. DropBear

      Re: Hang on a mo, Eric

      Saying that 'concern about being the target of a terrorist or of baseless but serious accusations is equally misguided' is a bit disingenuous in the same way as saying "set someone on fire and you'll keep them warm for the rest of their life" is...

      1. Esme

        Re: Hang on a mo, Eric

        @Drop Bear -eh? where did I imply that?! If that's what you got from what I wrote, I can assure you that it's not what I meant! I shouldn't try reading between the lines too much with my keyboard scribblings - there isn't anything between the lines with me, I'm generally too busy focusing on shinies, cats and things that otherwise amuse me. I have to really concentrate to come up with that much reasonably coherent text! 8-}

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Pint

      Re: Hang on a mo, Eric

      Thank you for being a voice of sanity

    3. Kelly Luck

      Re: Hang on a mo, Eric

      My gosh, a thoughtful and nuanced comment on the internet. *faints*

      Seriously though, you're pretty much spot-on, there. In my experience, there is unfortunately no cause, however noble, that doesn't attract its share of people who just view it as license to unleash their inner asshole. Add to that the fact that it is very easy to let your frustrations get hold of you and send you off the deep end, and there will always be a fringe of weirdies. Which means the rest of us have to expend energy making sure they don't dominate the discourse when we could be out there fighting the good fight. It's got so people associate "feminism" with all kinds of ridiculous stuff: it's been turned into this caricature, and people engage with it as such.

      I wish I knew what could be done about it. Heaven knows we've got better things to do than fighting the fringe, but this problem has been around since there were causes to rally round, and if someone's come up with a fix, they're sure keeping it to themselves.

    4. Vic

      Re: Hang on a mo, Eric

      'I can scarce believe that anyone would think that feminism is a suitable excuse to spout this kind of fascist shit'

      Years ago, I was listening to Radio 4's Woman's Hour.

      Jenny Murray was doing an article on testicular cancer - claiming it was a feminist issue because women felt "left out".

      That was the last time I listened to Woman's Hour.

      Vic.

    5. Nick Kew

      Re: Hang on a mo, Eric

      Esme, while I can't fault what you say, you omit one crucial point. This extremist fringe has the ascendency in places where it matters in our society. Their voice is pretty dominant in our most influential media organisation (the BBC), among other places[1]. A lunatic fringe always feeds the opponents of any Cause, and when lunacy is also orthodoxy it feeds scepticism and resentment not merely amongst opponents but also neutrals. Hence the many women who, while believing in equality, want nothing to do with Feminism.

      [1] By BBC standards I'm clearly a woman. That is to say, whenever they trot out the tired old stereotypes of men and how we club together to advance ourselves and oppress women, I recoil at their portrayal of men and identify with that of the women[2]. Not surprising really: the BBC's abstract male represents us about as fairly as as Vicky Pollard does the young, or Victor Meldrew the old.

      [2] Yes, I confess to listening to far too much Radio 4.

      1. Adam Inistrator

        Re: Hang on a mo, Eric

        BBC supposedly likes diversity ... except when it comes its own views which are relentlessly monotonic. Ironic.

    6. Michael Thibault

      Re: Hang on a mo, Eric

      Those negative particles--so problematic!

      >its aim is NOT to reverse the situation...

      as compared to

      its aim is to NOT reverse the situation...

      Hard to decipher what is really meant...

  25. NanoMeter

    Programmers are party people

    Just see the photo of Eric S Raymond surrounding himself with hot chicks.

    1. The entire Radio 1 playlist commitee

      Re: Programmers are party people

      She may not be a hot chick in your eyes. But she looks like a laugh and definitely a party person. Plus she hangs around with geeks. What's not to like?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Programmers are party people?

      The question for lots of programmers must be "would they notice if a woman was trying to make a pass"

      I remember years ago a colleague telling a story after coming back from a conference. He'd been having a quiet drink in the hotel bar when a surprising attractive woman started chatting to him. After a while she asked him what he did for a living, a while later he remembered his manners and returned the question. The lady in question looked at his in surprise and replied "Honey, I'm working now"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Programmers are party people?

        Huh? You mean the waitress was chatting to him?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Programmers are party people? - Huh? You mean the waitress was chatting to him?

          Many years ago a former colleague (degree in economics) went to Hamburg for a conference. He left booking a hotel too late and eventually found one with very expensive rooms. Around 7 o'clock in the evening a nice lady came round with a clipboard and asked when he wanted to be serviced. He admitted that he looked totally blank whereupon to clarify matters she dropped her tracksuit bottom.

          My colleague remarked that if he got up to anything while away his wife would know, so he spent his time slot talking to her in the bar. He said it was absolutely fascinating and he was now something of an authority on the economics of prostitution in Hamburg. Yup, she too was an economics graduate.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't get shouty-shouty with me!!

    Or I'll cry...

    Women want to be treated equally in the workplace, but when you do they get upset.

  27. jake Silver badge

    Paraphrasing Linus:

    If you're incapable of cutting code and living within the kernel community, don't bother trying. Gender isn't actually an important factor in this scenario. If you try to make it an important factor, you have obviously lost the concept ... we don't need your angst, we have other issues to deal with.

    As a side-note, running code trumps all.

    N.B. ESR, do something useful for a change. Ta.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Paraphrasing Linus:

      "running code trumps all."

      Facebook, Google+, Win10, Systemd, Wordpress...? It runs, but it's worse than useless.

      1. jake Silver badge

        @ tnovelli (was:Re: Paraphrasing Linus:)

        "Facebook, Google+, Win10, Systemd, Wordpress...? It runs, but it's worse than useless."

        I'm not talking johnny-come-lately, fly-by-night advertising-driven industries.

        I'm talking about the tools those leaches used to build their shitty products. Namely, the BSD & Linux kernels, Apache, MySQL and Perl (PHP, Python). Throw in Sendmail, INN, KDE, Mozilla, the GCC compiler suite, vi and/or Emacs (pick one, or both) and Gimp. In no particular order, of course. Add your own .fav handful or three to round out the package.

  28. Kelly Luck

    Well, ESR has never been Mister Stable, but this is breaking bold new ground in silliness. The fact that he actually thinks this is a thing says a heck of a lot where his heads at, though, that's for sure.

    Sad, really.

  29. druck Silver badge
    Coat

    All I can say...

    ...is luckily I married a tech journalist at I met at a tech conference, before I could get myself in to trouble. She wont let me go to such things alone any more!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Joke

      Re: All I can say...

      Has she got a (single) sister? Sounds like a good arrangement!

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The feminist movement has evolved into something indistinguishable from mental illness

    After Donglegate involving the execrable Adria Richards, I think this guy's advice is very sensible.

    1. Donkey Molestor X

      Re: The feminist movement has evolved into something indistinguishable from mental illness

      The treatment that Adria Richards received was completely disproportionate to the unnamed donglejoker. Her personal information and her father's personal information was posted on 4chan and she was deluged with death threats and bullshit. It is incredibly vile how the mostly male abusers play the victim but the mostly male commenters of El Reg eat it right up. This thread is just one huge circlejerky testament to that fact.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The feminist movement has evolved into something indistinguishable from mental illness

        @ Donkey Molestor X

        If it makes even a single feminazi c*nt think twice about repeating what Adria did, then it will all have been worth it.

        So the SJW got dealt some brutal social justice of her own? My heart bleeds!

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why is the term feminism even used? if it really means 'equal & fair treatment for all' then surely what you mean isnt feminism which would be the reverse situation to the current percieved partriarchy but would instead be equality or egalitarianism both of which are gender neutral words which have existed for quite some time (right back to the french revolution at least if not before) which would be much better if what was really cared about was creating a movement which catered for everyone

    1. Donkey Molestor X

      Man has a full glass of water. Woman has an empty glass of water.

      Waiter comes along and pours water in the woman's empty glass.

      Man who deliberately and disingenously misunderstands the purpose of feminism says "hey I want you to pour as much water into my glass as you poured into her glass".

      After the poor man fusses and moans long enough the waiter just relents and pours water into the man's already full glass which instantly overflows and spills all over the table.

      Am I getting through to you?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Am I getting through to you?"

        Wait ... is the waiter a man or a woman?

        1. Donkey Molestor X

          Wait ... is the waiter a man or a woman?

          That depends. Are you anonymous or are you a coward?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "That depends. Are you anonymous or are you a coward?"

            Yes

      2. Michael Thibault

        Now reverse the roles.

        No. Not quite the same, is it? Curious contrast. Can't make anything of it, yet, but it's definitely curious.

    2. Esme

      AC, history, which I explained in my earlier post. In a world where men had all the power, women demanded that they be treated as human beings, not chattels, and to be paid fairly for their labour. And so the Feminist movement was born. in the UK, where I live, things have improved enormously since my grandmother's generation, but there are still problems, and they're some of the more intractable ones.

      But there are parts of the world where women are still treated as greatly inferior to men, even as chattels. This is inhumane, and it must end. For most of history, women have been disregarded and not taken seriously, simply because of their gender, worldwide. This is unacceptable.

      So, us feminists want to try to help get the world to a point where no-one is regarded as someone else's chattel; where their views stand on merit and will not be disregarded out of hand simply because of the gender of the person holding those views.

      If you'd like to point out just where men, in general, are the worse treated by society, I'll listen. I am aware of one, and that is, as has been pointed out earlier in this thread, the fear of malicious accusations of rape or paedophilia being made against them simply because they are men. For all I know, there may be others - not being a man, I don't know. But if you do, then tell me; I'll listen, and I'll do my best to try to help fight that wrong.

      I am a feminist and proud to be so.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        But why call it feminism?? Why not simply call it what it what it actually is, which is equality & egalitarianism

        which doesnt require any kind of gender-ization at all & accurately describes what you what, which is a fair world for everyone regardless of sex. Why re-brand existing ideas? it isnt needed & makes things unnecessarily antagonistic just for the hell of it.

        I like that people have assumed that I am against fairness, I'm not, I would enjoy a world where it was fair for everyone, regardless of sex/age/skin colour/disability. Which would be an egalitarian society & much enjoyed, no need for re-branding

        1. h4rm0ny

          >>"But why call it feminism?? Why not simply call it what it what it actually is, which is equality & egalitarianism"

          Same reason you call oranges oranges and apples apples, rather than just call both food. Specificity is often very useful and efficient.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Still not addressing the point, you are acting as though the ideas of feminism as they are espoused at the moment are somehow different to those of equality or egalitarianism. They arent, unless there is an undercurrent that isnt publically acknowledged, so a new brand, that of 'feminism' isnt really needed, you could just use what already exists & is well understood & isnt antagonisitc or 'gender-ising' the word in a manner that clearly excludes males (incidentally as a purely comical aside - making 'feminists' guilty of ignoring 50% of the worlds population, isnt irony entertaining)

  32. toughluck

    I'm confused

    Womens groups retort that a culture that permits such abuse is not welcoming to anyone, and especially hostile to women.

    I don't understand this. On the one hand, womens groups insist on equality, and on the other hand they say that abuse is especially hostile to women? Note that nobody said "misogyny", only "abuse" in general.

    Could someone explain this to me in plain simple English, please?

    1. Michael Thibault

      Re: I'm confused

      >Could someone explain this to me in plain simple English, please?

      I don't think anyone could.

    2. Tom 13

      Re: Could someone explain this to me in plain simple English, please?

      Nope.

      It can only be explained in feminazi speak. If you translate it to plain simple English (UK or 'Merkin doesn't matter) it immediately becomes obvious where they are dividing by zero.

    3. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

      Re: I'm confused

      Especially equal is not a new concept.

      "All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others."

  33. Bucky 2

    Well Documented

    I saw the accusation+hysteria principle depicted on a well-known documentary called Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

    It seems a demon took the form of a pair of children (Hansel & Gretel), to whip up anti-witch sentiment, which of course negatively affected Willow.

  34. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Smoke... but not mirrors

    This is more about the 15 minutes of fame thing we all know about. It's about what the media will lock onto and make into headlines. People generally love to read the dirt about others because the reader has a quiet life and wants to know that they are better than the people being reported about

    It's pretty sad state of affairs but a look at any of the social media sites and the more headline shouty sites* points this out.

    *Case in point.. Huffington Post. They don't let go any "trend" story until the reader count drops. But it's not just them... basically all including El Reg. A quick glance that the photo at the top of this article makes that point... it's clickbait

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Smoke... - They don't let go any "trend" story until the reader count drops.

      This is how newspapers have always worked, except that technically it's they don't let a story go until a bigger one comes along. Hence days for burying bad news.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/pkdouyk/241484893

  36. herman Silver badge

    Left or right?

    Got to wonder which dude in that pic was Raymond?

  37. x 7

    who cares?

    Campaigning women. Who cares?

    Fuck'em

    Keep you hands safe on your keyboard and your zip uptight and you've no problem. No forensics, no assault

  38. Ray Foulkes

    ESR bashing.

    ESR is an easy target for Internet commentards because of, how shall we say, his propensity to be a little more paranoid than the majority of Internauts and his consequential focus on weaponry and martial arts. That being said, his strong leadership of GPSD over the years has led to this important package to be a high quality, stable development, especially in the face of the chaos that exists in the gps receiver market. His position as technical architect on http://www.ntpsec.org means he has had to reduce his involvement in GPSD somewhat. It seems to me he is neither idle nor retired from producing code. He might not be working on the Linux kernel but there are other subjects which are important - time being one of them.

    Before accusing ESR of not coding and not contributing, do a little research into what he is doing now - it is not too hard.

    PS I have never met the guy...

  39. Tom 13

    Truth is a 3-edged sword

    For another perspective on this story see:

    http://www.breitbart.com/tech/2015/11/04/feminists-are-trying-to-frame-linus-torvalds-for-sexual-assault-claims-open-source-industry-veteran/

    As for three of the items this Reg author (SJW?) seems to think damn ESR I think demilitarizing the police, criticizing the fascist tendencies of modern feminism, and opposing the idiocy that is gun confiscation (not gun control which instead their code phrase) are sane ideas. And on that first one, I'm a Law and Order kind of guy.

  40. jelabarre59 Silver badge

    > Eric S. Raymond at a party in 2006 ...

    Gee, that looked more like Lunacon (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunacon) than some random party (I'm sure I've seen the lady in the picture at the con before).

  41. bonedagger

    Standard stuff.

    False accusations of rape, abuse and misogyny against men are standard fare. We're currently enduring a fierce upswing of gynocentrism in every facet of work and social life whereby any man can be taken down by a group of dedicated Social Justice Warriors who will lie about anything to get their way. Tim Hunt, Rolf Harris, Julian Assage...all innocent, harmless men. The courts lap it up, as crime is low (sex crime committed by men at its lowest level in known history), meaning more money for them and more tawdry stories for the media to hawk. Until there are prison sentences handed out to false accusers, this is going to get worse.

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