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Microsoft Government Politics

OOXML Vote and the CPI Corruption Index 190

Posted by kdawson
from the voting-on-the-merits dept.
Tapani Tarvainen writes "It turns out there's an interesting correlation between Transparency International's 'corruption perceptions index' and voting behavior in ISO's OOXML decision. Countries with a lower score (more corruption) on the 2006 CPI were more likely to vote in favor of OOXML, and those with a higher score were less likely. According to the analysis, 'This statistics supports with a P value of 0.07328 the hypothesis that the corrupted countries were more likely to vote for approval (one-tailed Fisher's Exact test). In other words, simplified a bit: the likelihood that there was no positive correlation between the corruption level and probability of an approval vote, that is, this is just a random effect, is about 7%.' Of course, correlation doesn't prove causality."
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OOXML Vote and the CPI Corruption Index

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  • OpenISO.org (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jafoc (1151405) on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @09:26AM (#20478233) Homepage
    Since in so many counties the MS-OOXML "evaluation" process was a farce and the outcome shows complete incompetence because it amounts to blind approval of MS-OOXML, I believe that it is time to put some pressure of competition on ISO (which is essentially a cartel of national standardization organizations) by means of creating OpenISO.org, a new international standardization organization committed to principles of openness [openiso.org].

    I've put up a little website with some initial thoughts, and I'd appreciate feedback from the slashdot community please.

    • Re:OpenISO.org (Score:5, Insightful)

      by suv4x4 (956391) on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @09:50AM (#20478597)
      I've put up a little website with some initial thoughts

      Your cause is interesting, but I'm afraid there's a lot more to do than a barebones 'vision' page, so to create a standards body able of replacing ISO.

      ISO has created over 16500 standards, and publishes ~1250 new ones each year. Yes, that means several new ones each day. Those include food safety, environmental protection, oil and gas, ship and automobile building, basically everything.

      Computer formats comprises but a minuscule fraction of ISO's work.

      OOXML was overthrown at ISO, isn't this what you wanted after all.
      So the system works, no need for anti-establishment rebellion for anti-establishment's sake.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by StringBlade (557322)

        ISO has created over 16500 standards, and publishes ~1250 new ones each year. Yes, that means several new ones each day. Those include food safety, environmental protection, oil and gas, ship and automobile building, basically everything.

        It makes me wonder what the value of having so many standards is. Isn't a standard supposed to be a single authoritative source / guideline on how to do something? If you have 500 competing standards or an organization whose sole purpose is to churn out standards then that dilutes the standards that come out of the organization, doesn't it?

        Perhaps a simple example would be the Imperial measurement system versus the Metric system. If we had one global standard (Metric most likely) wouldn't that make lif

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by suv4x4 (956391)
          It makes me wonder what the value of having so many standards is. Isn't a standard supposed to be a single authoritative source / guideline on how to do something? If you have 500 competing standards or an organization whose sole purpose is to churn out standards then that dilutes the standards that come out of the organization, doesn't it?

          Where did I hint any of those standards *compete* with each other. Go out, look around. There's more than document formats out there. And all of this needs a standard. IS
        • by Smidge204 (605297)
          The great thing about standards is there's so many to choose from!

          (Yeah, old joke... funny 'cause it's true though)
          =Smidge=
        • It makes me wonder what the value of having so many standards is.

          You have to look at how many industries there are when you think about that 1250 number. check here [iso.org] for a listing of the ISO standards by ICS. Everything from health care to math to EE to agriculture to military engineering and back again. You are talking about standards for **everything**. This world is a pretty diverse place.
        • It makes me wonder what the value of having so many standards is

          Are there not 16500 different "things" that exist in the whole of human endeavor that could be standardized? If so, then each could be so without creating conflicting standards.

        • by Bert64 (520050)
          Are there multiple standards? I always thought ISO was against having multiple standards for the same thing...
          1250 standards a year doesnt imply overlap, there are many things which need to be standardised, lots of which seem rather petty to people outside of their own industry...
          But where would we be without standardised measurements etc?
      • Re:OpenISO.org (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jafoc (1151405) on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @10:07AM (#20478881) Homepage
        OOXML was overthrown at ISO, isn't this what you wanted after all.

        No, MS-OOXML hasn't been "overthrown" at ISO, at least not yet. There's going to be that "ballot resolution meeting" in February 25-29, 2008 in Geneva (I've already booked my hotel room, since hotel bookings can be a bit difficult in Geneva if attempted on short notice) and then there's going to be another vote. In my opinion it'd take a miracle for MS-OOXML not to get passed then regardless of how many of the substantial comments the "ballot resolution meeting" manages to resolve.

        So the system works

        No, it doesn't. It's totally broken. And if in the end the voting result happens to be the correct one (rejection of the "fast track") after all, that won't be the case because of a trustworthy process based on legitimate, valid arguments, but rather it would be the case because of the successful application of comment-bombing and similar tactics by the opposition.

        no need for anti-establishment rebellion for anti-establishment's sake

        I have seriously tried to work within the existing system, with the only resulting success being that I have learned just how badly broken it really is.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by TFloore (27278)

          So the system works

          No, it doesn't. It's totally broken. And if in the end the voting result happens to be the correct one (rejection of the "fast track") after all, that won't be the case because of a trustworthy process based on legitimate, valid arguments, but rather it would be the case because of the successful application of comment-bombing and similar tactics by the opposition.

          So let me see if I can distill this a little.

          You said (paraphrasing) "The system only works if people of good character are

        • In my opinion it'd take a miracle for MS-OOXML not to get passed then regardless of how many of the substantial comments the "ballot resolution meeting" manages to resolve.

          Will the voting at the BRM be restricted to only those countries that participated in the first ballot, or is Microsoft free to bribe 150 more corrupt no-op countries into becoming P-level members and carrying the day with a 170 to 15 consensus? It is outrageous that a corrupt no-op like the Côte d'Ivoire can wield the same voting

          • by jmauro (32523)
            Yea then it would pass no problem since the USA is more than half of all the other voters combined on its own and it voted yes. (Plus the other yes votes, Germany, Poland, etc it would of won in a landslide then). Don't always ask for what you think you want, you may get what you didn't want at all instead.
            • Poland seems like a no-op to me. The USA and Germany do need to get their shit together. All first-world democracies need to remove the opportunity for a tiny subset of an industrial space to stuff the ballot boxes of their national institutions. Despite what Slashdoters think of corporations, a broader spectrum of industry participants would have overwhelmingly rejected MSOXML.

              My outrage of giving corrupt no-ops equal voting at ISO and the UN General Assembly still stands. Exactly how stupid are we?

      • So the system works, no need for anti-establishment rebellion for anti-establishment's sake.

        Darn stodgy ol' antidisestablishmentarianists.

      • OOXML was overthrown at ISO, isn't this what you wanted after all.
        So the system works, no need for anti-establishment rebellion for anti-establishment's sake.

        It wasn't overthrown, it was merely denied fast-track approval. And I think the level of corruption that went on with this is scandalous, and the ISO members ought to be ashamed of themselves for producing a system that can be so easily manipulated with money. As you said, these guys also deal with standards dealing with safety, so it actually makes

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by someone1234 (830754)
        No, it was not overthrown. It was delayed for a few months so M$ could bribe the remaining countries.
      • by Trogre (513942)
        But that's one of the great thing about standards; there's so many to choose from!

    • by mwvdlee (775178)
      How would OpenISO be impurvious to any and all corruption yet still be open to all stakeholders and at the same time be efficient and manageable?
    • by Chapter80 (926879) on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @10:07AM (#20478875)

      OOXML Vote and the CPI Corruption Index
      Nice Headline. Allow me expand one of the acronyms for you:

      "OOXML Vote and the Corruption Perceptions Index Corruption Index"

      OK, that's it for now - I have to run down to the ATM machine and put in my PIN number...

    • Just yesterday I announced a competing certifying body [slashdot.org]. Ain't fair, you taking my idea. I'm gonna sue.
      • by throup (325558) <chrisNO@SPAMthroup.org.uk> on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @10:47AM (#20479471) Homepage
        Thanks to what Microsoft have told me, I believe there is a place in the world for both of your competing certifying bodies. One may publish potential standards that have been created from scratch with the intention of being useful to the world, whilst the other may be better suited to represent existing standards in a more open way.

        So, for example, OpenISO.org may publish something along the lines of:

        Standard process for brushing teeth
        • Hold toothbrush in left hand;
        • Hold toothpaste tube in right hand;
        • Position tube above toothbrush and squeeze the tube until a pea-sized amount of paste is on the brush;
        • Transfer brush to right hand and follow the process detailed in OpenISO.org OI22987 Standard process to brush something [openiso.org].



        Whereas SoiOpen.com may publish something along the lines of:

        Brush your teeth the right way
        • Buy a Colgate toothbrush;
        • Buy some Colgate toothpaste;
        • Use them like Steve Ballmer does*.

        * For personal reasons, Mr Ballmer will not discuss his dental hygiene routine with anyone.


        Sorted.
    • instantly i like the idea of openiso.org but i am sceptical:

      there is no way to fix capitalism. money can buy you influence. even here. if you have enough money that you can pay 40000ppl worldwide you can alos afford to pay a few more to subvert openiso.org if it ever becomes necessary. it will make it hardare but it will not make it impossible. most likely it will not become necessary since they just buy the governments and tell them to ignore openiso.org at all. see all the legislation that is in favor

      • by HeroreV (869368)
        Are you seriously claiming that it's actually good that nobody can get ahead in socialist societies, because it prevents corruption? That's absurd. When people can't get ahead by playing fair, like they can with a capitalist economy, they'll start playing dirty.

        How many times will socialism have to fail horribly before people realize that it just doesn't work? I'd rather have a working economy than a broken economy with high ideals.
    • by McGiraf (196030)
      why does openiso.org make me think of expertsexchange.com ? weird ...
  • by jkrise (535370) on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @09:28AM (#20478255) Journal
    Countries like India and China ... home to over 33% of the world's population - have voted "NO". Countires like Cote' de Ivorie and Cyprus have equal voting rights.

    This population index anomaly must be rectified, before the ISO can regain any credibility as an International standards organisation.
    • The questions which are relevant for standardization can, and therefore should, be always decided in a fact-oriented, principled manner. Otherwise the corruption problem will always remain regardless of voting weights.
      • by QuickFox (311231)
        How? Who decides which alternatives are fact-oriented and principled?

        If people could easily agree on on which alternatives are sound, people would do it that way all the time, in most fields of human endeavor. You're taking an unsolvable problem and assuming it's solved.
    • by MontyApollo (849862) on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @09:35AM (#20478363)
      I think that is kind of the point - that large countries can't dominate small countries. If China and India decided everything, then everybody would drop out and it would no longer be an international standard. It would be a Chinese-Indian standard.
      • by jkrise (535370) on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @09:42AM (#20478473) Journal
        that large countries can't dominate small countries. If China and India decided everything...

        But small countries are easily dominated by money-wielding vested interests... don't you think? The 51% "Yes" votes actually translate to less than 20% of the population of the nations that participated. That's a gross aberration, and the ISO must take note of it.

        BTW, even if India AND China supported a standard, they'd only hae 33% representation - many more nations would need to support to reach 67%.
        • I didn't say it was the best way to do it, but I do think it is better than a population-based approach. The whole point of an international standard is to facilitate interaction/trade between different *nations*. It is voluntary, and countries can use whatever they want internally.

          Anyways, a population-based approach has "circular" problems - you need a population-based voting system to successfully elect a population-based voting system. If it was population-based to begin with, most countries would not h
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by hey! (33014)
          The idea of rich countries dominating reminds me of the UN Security Council.

          The Security Council sort of acts like a world government, but in fact is the reason the UN isn't a world government. The permanent membership of the council consists, more or less, of countries with enough military or economic clout to tell the UN to go to hell. It is a recognition of the fundamental anarchy of international relations: no legal restrain can be forced upon these countries, therefore they have veto power over any
          • It therefore would make sense to scale each country's vote by the number of entities doing business in the area governed by the standard.

            I think it makes the most sense to weigh a country's vote by its PPP GDP. This is a truer measure of a country's economic activity than its population.

          • by swillden (191260) *

            The permanent membership of the council consists, more or less, of countries with enough military or economic clout to tell the UN to go to hell.

            More precisely, the membership consists of countries with significant quantities of nuclear weapons.

      • by PetiePooo (606423)
        It would be a Chinese-Indian standard

        I say better little-indian that big-indian... Call me an x86 fan-boy. 8-)
    • by arivanov (12034) on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @09:41AM (#20478443) Homepage
      Welcome to the world of international organisations.

      Those of us observing the ruthless buying of pro-whaling votes by Japan over the last decade have noticed this one long ago. In that case countries that do not even have a coastline or a single ship registered in their name apply for a membership in the International Whaling Commission with Japanese money and go ahead to vote with a yes.

      Unfortunately the dead body of a standard is not sufficiently heavy and smelly so it will be difficult for GreenPeace to dump it on the Microsoft doorsteps http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4627178.st m [bbc.co.uk] . Pity actually. It would have been quite fitting.
      • by asc99c (938635) on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @09:47AM (#20478547) Homepage
        Although I don't agree with whaling, I feel I should at least point out that the IWC was a whaling industry organisation that was subverted into a conservation group. This happened as a group of big countries recruited a lot of the smaller countries (with again, no whaling interests of their own) to join the IWC and vote to ban whaling.

        So this ruthless vote buying process is hardly without precedent ...
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by kanweg (771128)
          But then, whose whales are they anyway? It is not that you have to have a whaling industry to have an opinion on whether you want those creatures to stay or not.

          There are many hunters in the US. I presume many more of them would like to kill a grizzly than there are of them. So yes, this one of those (many) times that government is GOOD.

          Bert
    • Countries like India and China ... home to over 33% of the world's population - have voted "NO". Countires like Cote' de Ivorie and Cyprus have equal voting rights.

      This population index anomaly must be rectified, before the ISO can regain any credibility as an International standards organisation.
      I propose African nations get a three-fifths of a vote.
    • by PitaBred (632671)
      Because the votes of a primarily agricultural population must be counted for more than, say, Sweden's, because there are just more people, right? Population adjustment isn't a great idea. Relative corruption adjustment is.
  • by argStyopa (232550) on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @09:34AM (#20478357) Journal
    Sorry /., but this is the sort of crap reporting that is persistent on the web and (because they're desperate to retain viewers/readers) is becoming the de facto standard in print and media journalism.

    Appending "Of course, correlation doesn't prove causality." to the end of an article strongly implying causality in every sense, doesn't absolve the reporter from the false conclusions he/she implies throughout the rest of the article.

    That the correlation was run at ALL implies that someone was 'looking for something' - suspect 1. The layer upon layer of dependent statistics leading to a very authoritative-sounding "the likelihood that this is a concidence is 7%" makes it sound very scientific and accurate - suspect 2

    Sorry, this is FUD passed off as news supported by phony statistics.

     
    • by StringBlade (557322) on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @09:53AM (#20478643) Journal

      That the correlation was run at ALL implies that someone was 'looking for something' - suspect 1.

      Are you suggesting that correlations cannot be run without someone "looking for something" to prove causality? If so, why would anyone ever use correlation in any sort of statistical analysis because it's merely a means to an end in the eye of the person running the correlation.

      Bogus statistics example: 78% of 16-18 year old children consume large amounts of carbonated soda. 93% of 16-18 year old children attend high school. It therefore follows that there is a direct correlation between 16-18 year old children who drink carbonated soda and those that attend high school.

      Please forgive my abysmal example of a correlation (because I'm really bad at doing real math and statistics) but it's there to show that anyone can create a correlation and assign it some number without having an ulterior motive. The implication of your statement above was that this correlation shouldn't have even been run except that it was to further the agenda of the author.

      I think the correlation is interesting on its face, but I'm not about to use that as evidence in an international court to point fingers and shout "corruption!"

      • by WaZiX (766733) on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @11:07AM (#20479783)
        just because 78% of the 16-18 drink large amount of soda and 93% of the 16-18 year old go to school doesn't mean there is any correlation between the two... That's not a bogus statistics example, that's just an example on how bad people (you in this case) understand what correlation is...

        Correlation would be: 85% of the kids 16-18 attending school drink large amounts of soda, whereas only 40% of those who do not attend school drink large amounts of soda. That is an example of correlation.

        A good bogus example would be: People who wear suits to work have on average a higher income then people who wear work clothes, there is therefore a correlation between how nicely you dress to go to work and your salary. Therefore the way you dress to work has an impact on your salary.

        Please note that the correlation in itself is not the bogus part of the example, the bogus part is the conclusion made by myself. Statistic themselves are rarely bogus, and if they are they can clearly be shown to be bogus, the conclusions drawn are the problematic part.
        • by epee1221 (873140)

          Therefore the way you dress to work has an impact on your salary.
          Or your salary has an impact on how you dress. Or both are affected by some unnamed third factor.
          Let's not jump from correlation to causation.
        • What we really need is a car analogy!

          A disproportionate number of speeding tickers are issued to red cars(*) (correlation).
          It therefore follows that painting your red car will make it go faster (bogus cause-effect).
          In reality, hoons tend to buy red cars, and hoons tend to speed.

          (*) I actually saw an article about this in the local paper. Damn pity I didn't keep it.....
      • You'd better not try to give any more examples until you study up a little. Your example had nothing to do with collation. Your point might have been to say the author's reasoning was no better than your. But no. Yours was flawed his was not. Using your non-logic I could write "50% of 16 year olds are shorter than 5 foot 5 inches and 50% are taller. The numbers exactly match therefore shortness is related to tallness." What the author did in the article was valid but his method was over the heads of
    • by LarsWestergren (9033) on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @10:08AM (#20478895) Homepage Journal
      Appending "Of course, correlation doesn't prove causality." to the end of an article strongly implying causality in every sense [...]

      It wasn't the article that said that, it was the Slashdot summary. A bit of a weasel word though, it should be clarified as "correlation doesn't always prove causality, but in this case we believe based on evidence A, B, C that..." or removed.

      [...]doesn't absolve the reporter from the false conclusions he/she implies throughout the rest of the article.

      Speaking of weasel words... What conclusions do you believe are false then, and why?

      That the correlation was run at ALL implies that someone was 'looking for something' - suspect 1.

      We HAVE to look for SOMETHING, both in statistics and other science. It is pretty much impossible to do as Shelock Holmes said - "It is a capital mistake to theorize before you have all the evidence. It biases the judgment." How do you know that you have all the evidence if you don't even know what you are looking for?

      Sorry, this is FUD passed off as news supported by phony statistics.

      You may not agree with the conclusions, but how are the statistics phony?
      • >>but how are the statistics phony? .07 does not indicate correlation. Stating a correlation value has lead many reading the article to believe that there is a correlation, but statistically there is not. That's pretty deceiving. It is a phony correlation.

        Also, others more knowledgeable in statistics have posted in this discussion saying they have misapplied the statistics to begin with.
    • by PPH (736903)

      That the correlation was run at ALL implies that someone was 'looking for something' - suspect 1.
      Nothing to see here. Move along.
  • First off, it just goes to show you how beholden the US government is to Microsoft money. Second of all, it shows you why the US branch [usjaycees.org] of a certain worldwide NGO based in the US [www.jci.cc] has been so slow in adopting the methods of its parent...because, oddly enough, International has seen fit to partner with Transparency International. Your average USian knows nothing of TI, and those that do tend to poo-poo them as being insignificant.
  • Strange (Score:3, Informative)

    by protomala (551662) on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @09:38AM (#20478411) Homepage
    Brazil voted no, and we are a curruption paradise :) Actually there was a strong fight in ABNT (brazilian standards regulation group) as happens in the government. The brazilian agencies and federal govern always used windows in a large scale from desktop to servers, while universities used most Unix and Linux. Current federal govern supports Linux, but there is a big resistance in sectors that always used windows and often there are problems with licitations (govern auctions) imposing a specific type of software. For example, you can auction for "Microsoft Office" or "a Office Suite". Most states already fobid the first option in law, but at federal level it's not forbidden, even that there is a recommendation to avoid this kind of situation. But even with laws, often happens situations where the auction is so specific that it could only have a winner, when police does some investigation finds that someone got a "deal" to make sure company X wins. Recently in my state they found a guy stealing mail stamps! Millions of them. He bought and kept the money for him, because the legislative house had a deal with the mail company to send letters. When found he buried the stamps in his house garden. Can you belive it?
    • I'm kind of surprised that Canada voted 'no'. Though I haven't heard any reports of ballot stuffing in SCC, it seems to me that the Canadian government is even further up Bill Gates' butt than the American government.

      • by PitaBred (632671)
        "Please sir, I like your dick in my ass... could you make it larger, perchance?" I don't think Canada is that stupid, eh?
  • by pbooktebo (699003) on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @09:38AM (#20478417)
    Most research in the social sciences considers the threshold for statistical significance below .05. Since this is above, few would have confidence that this result is not random chance. So, reporting this result, while informative if you are trained in statistics, is likely misleading to the average reader...
    • by wembley fraggle (78346) on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @09:47AM (#20478549) Homepage
      Not only is 0.07 not significant, they used a 1-tailed test, rather than a 2-tailed test. If they had used the 2-tailed test, the p-value would have been 0.14, which is REALLY not significant. You're only ever justified in choosing the 1-tailed test over the 2-tailed one if you know for certain which way the influence is pushing. If, for example, one could make the case that the OOXML vote would have gone the other direction, with the more corrupt countries voting against it (a case we have no a priori reason to discard), then the use of a 1-tailed test is inappropriate here.

      Actually, having read TFA, I'm pretty sure that correlation isn't appropriate at all here. The corruption scores are discrete, categorical values, rather than continuous values. This calls for nonparametric methods. Start with chi-square and move on from there. You can't do correlation with a straight face if your variables are discrete, since there's no guarantee that the "distance" in corruption between 2 and 3 is the same as the distance between 4 and 5.
      • by Fnkmaster (89084)
        If, for example, one could make the case that the OOXML vote would have gone the other direction, with the more corrupt countries voting against it (a case we have no a priori reason to discard), then the use of a 1-tailed test is inappropriate here.

        Oh come on now. We don't have any a priori reason to discard that case?

        And who would have the resources and interest to pay people off to vote against it?
    • Most research in the social sciences considers the threshold for statistical significance below .05. Since this is above, few would have confidence that this result is not random chance.

      That is true. However, statistical significance is not the only justification for a result, although it is perhaps the primary criterion for academic publication and discussion. Here, however, the context is slightly different: in academic publication you want very high certainty (you don't want false theories published!),

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by timeOday (582209)
      And do you know where the 5% threshold for "significance" came from? Nowhere. It was picked out of the air by a researcher at some point and caught on.

      7% is 7%. Labeling that "signficant" or "insignificant" doesn't change anything.

  • Of course... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Otter (3800) on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @09:43AM (#20478489) Journal
    Of course, correlation doesn't prove causality.

    Given the inappropriate use of the Fisher's test, questionable use of a one-tailed model and p > 0.05, I'd start with worrying about having proven correlation.

  • by thetan (725014) on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @09:43AM (#20478493) Homepage

    Come on people, we've been over this already [slashdot.org]!

    If you look at the scientific studies, correlation is so closely correlated with causation that it's safe to say that one causes the other.

    Check the stats [netspace.net.au] for yourself.

  • If I don't completely understand the methodology in collecting the data and what they are doing to generate the final number, then I don't trust the article. This article had me knee deep in statistics that seemed overly complicated for what they were trying to say. This puts me in the high yellow on the BS meter.
  • by supersnail (106701) on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @09:49AM (#20478591)
    Another intersting point coming out of all this the role of ECMA International
    formerly European Computer Manufactureres Association - dont see many of them around these days).

    ECMA is fully accredited by ISO and in ists search for a new role as a standards body did
    a nice job producing a standard for the orphaned Javascript ( except for changing the name
    to the disease like ECMAscript).

    However since then other "standards" developed by ECMA have been:-
    -- the programming language C# ( C "sharp")
    -- a Common Language Infrastructure (CLI)
    -- a CLI binding for C++
    -- Office Open XMLOffice

    Anyone spot a pattern here?
    The other problem is that ECMAInternational is essentialy a club of computer software and
    hardware manufacturers and unlike national standards organisations (ASA, BS, DN etc.)
    does not have any public interest mandate; it exists only to serve its members and
    to join you need to be a large software or hardware manufacturer.

    I have no problem with any industry forming a club to standardise things among themselves
    but for an industry association to be the main sponser of an ISO standard seems plain
    wrong.

    Microsoft for one seems to have spotted an ideal vehicle for turning proprietary products into standards.

  • ...those with Linux bumper stickers were three times more likely to believe their choice in operating system should be defended with religious fervor. How curious! Of course, correlation doesn't prove causality.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Of course, it is statistically a proven fact that the safest place to stand is in the exact middle of the road. The data doesn't lie. The people analyzing it do!
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by arehnius (1071476)
        Another proven fact is that the safest place to stand in the universe, for a human being, is on the surface of the Sun (or else give me the name of someone who died or was injured there). The data doesn't lie. The sample used does.
  • by glwtta (532858)
    This statistics supports with a P value of 0.07328 the hypothesis that the corrupted countries were more likely to vote for approval

    Since when does a p-value of 0.07 reject the null hypothesis?

    Also, I love preaching the correlation/causality mantra as much as anyone, but it seems a little superfluous here - does anyone really think that Transparency International's CPI actually caused those countries to vote in a certain way?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by cnettel (836611)
      Of course it did! MS looked at the CPI ratings and then targeted their corruption attempts in the seemingly most suitable direction, so different ratings would have affected the outcome directly!
    • by PitaBred (632671)
      No, we're taking CPI's numbers to be true. So it's the country's relative amount corruption that's correlated to the voting, not the fact that their numbers caused anything. Way to understand the numbers, but miss the point.
  • Lets make it clear that it is a corruption perception index. Not an actual corruption index. An exemple of the difference is that fighting corruption usualy increases the index at short time.

    Also, lets make it clear that the index isn't that precise, and its data isn't that reliable. Transparency International used to have a disclaimer at their FAQ that basicaly said that, unless you completely comprehend the methodology, if you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane. Comparations b

  • You know who is missing in action very conspicuously here? The Corporations. They are, by far, the largest class of customers for MSFT. If there is a true level playing field and multiple vendors are competing for their business, it is the corporate world that will benefit most. But they are absent!! Why? If the Fortune 500 companies chip in 100K each per year, that will found a Institution with about 50 million dollars. Worldwide, 100m$ per year is not unreasonable budget. You can hire a very good committe
  • by scruffy (29773) on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @10:43AM (#20479417)
    The International Herald Tribune [iht.com] has an interesting quote from Microsoft.

    [Tom] Robertson, [Microsoft's general manager for interoperability and standards], defended the Office Open XML format and predicted its eventual adoption by standards organizations.

    "Open XML is already widely available and is being used by Apple and Novell," he said. "It is in the Palm operating system, and in the Java and Linux operating environments. Not only is it easy to work with, there are no intellectual property concerns to do so."
    Is this stuff true? I suppose an essential part of corruption is to justify your decisions with lies.
  • 1) Ask your friends (people that think like you) what they think (call this process a diverse survey of experts)
    2) Obscure the fact that it was a Popularity-Contest by using an official sounding acroynym like CPI (Contest Popularity Index)
    3) Now compare CPI numbers to other numbers, and produce percentage numbers (percentages also sound very official)
    4) Profit!!! as you have now created Real-Proof(TM) to support your preconceived beliefs (I knew it all along, and feel so superior)

    Some people use stati
  • "Correlation does not imply causation" is the phrase you're looking for. Causality is the belief that world state derives from repeatable, understandable rules and prior state. Make note: causality is a belief, not the description of physical law; it was the stance taken in ancient times as opposed to the idea that various things (for example, lightning) were holy. This was a significant stance at the time, and from it evolved beliefs like Determinism. Causality was a position held by certain Greek and
  • haha
  • This article should be viewed in the context of Microsoft's press release [cnn.com] which trumpeted how 75% of the countries voting wanted OOXML to pass the fast-track process.

    Thing is that most of those 53 countries that voted for OOXML rarely vote at all, and -- as this article points out -- many of those who suddenly decided to join the conversation and vote yes have a high perceived corruption index.

    As a number of people have pointed out, 7% is above the 5% normally needed to consider the correlation "proven"

  • When looking at that graph, remember to group "Approval with comments" with "Approval", since their effect is the same.

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