VoIP Blogger Steals TMC Articles

Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
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VoIP Blogger Steals TMC Articles

Normally, I wouldn't spend my time complaining about someone plagiarizing my blog or any of TMC's other blogs. I've written about sploggers in the past, that take word-for-word the exact copy of your blog posts. But, I figured if I just ignore them, they'll go away or be a nuisance at worst. Wishful thinking, I know - but what can you do? But this is something different...

Today, I learned about a particular splogger (solokay @ Solomon's VoIP World) that didn't copy one of TMC's blog articles word-for-word. He instead took the entire article, reworded the article slightly - sometimes using synonyms and then posted the article as his own. In this particular case, he stole Rich Tehrani's post about SprintSecure. This isn't your every-day splogger or even legitimate online news aggregator. Sometime sploggers will at least give credit to the original source and include a link to the original site. This guy is CLAIMING the work to be his own and obviously with no link to the source (Rich).

The really funny part is how his post follows the EXACT same order as the original. So you can compare paragraph 1 against paragraph 1 and see that they follow the exact same thought process with nearly identical word choices. Here, let me show you. I'll even color code the parts that are identical or nearly identical. (I won't do them all since you'll go blind with all the colored text)

Also, apparently they both had meetings with Alcatel-Lucent. Wow, what a coincidence. I can certainly see TMC's bloggers and journalists meeting with Alcatel-Lucent - they've been to our offices and we've been to theirs. Solomon VoIP World an online VoIP blogger? Not so much...

Rich: (article link - blog.tmcnet.com/blog/rich-tehrani/security/sprintsecure-laptop-guardian.html)
In a recent meeting with executives from Alcatel-Lucent and Sprint, I was shown a technology developed by the former and sold by the latter which makes laptops more secure in a number of ways.

Scammer: (article link - http://solokay.blogspot.com/2007/11/sprintsecure-laptop-security.html)
Not too long ago, I had a meeting with some executives from Alcatel-Lucent and Sprint. During the course of the meeting, they showed me a technology that makes laptops more secure in so many ways.

Rich:
In brief, the companies have developed a broadband wireless data card named the SprintSecure Laptop Guardian which contains a battery, computer, GPS transceiver, VPN, firewall, and more. This card connects with a management console which is housed in the enterprise.

I love how he replaced "In brief" with "To cut the whole story short, what am trying to say", when Rich's original short 2 words would have sufficed!

Scammer:
To cut the whole story short
, what am trying to say is that the two companies have developed a broadband wireless data card. It is called the SprintSecure Laptop Guardian. It contains a battery, computer, GPS transceiver, VPN, firewall and even much more. The card is connected to a management console housed in the enterprise.

ok, enough color coding.. See the similarities for yourself...

Rich:
Once the card and accompanying software are installed on the laptop, all IP traffic is hijacked and all traffic is subsequently routed to the enterprise VPN. This by the way means all IP traffic whether it is wireless LAN or Ethernet traffic. As you might have guessed, remove the card and the laptop fails to function.

Scammer:
The moment the card and its software are installed on the laptop, all IP traffic i.e. wireless LAN or Ethernet traffic is hijacked. It is later routed to the enterprise VPN. Once you put away the card, the laptop will stop functioning.

Rich:
So now let’s say the laptop is stolen or lost. All you do is call your network admin and tell them. At this point the admin goes to the console and puts in the password and selects the laptop in question. The location of the laptop is then shown on a map using GPS or AFLT (Advanced Forward Link Trilateration which is triangulation based on cell phone towers).

Scammer:
This means that if your laptop is ever lost or stolen, you can call your network admin and tell them about it. All the network admin needs to do is to go to the console, which is housed in the enterprise and then type in the password to choose the required laptop. A map will now show you the location of the laptop with the help of GPS or AFLT (Advanced Forward Link Trilateration i.e. triangulation based on cell phone towers). You don't need to worry about security because the admin console is logged to reduce unauthorised use.

Rich:
Your next question is whether the card works when it is not in the laptop. The answer is absolutely. The battery in the card is about the same size as what you might find in smart phone and subsequently powers the card for about 100 hours.

Scammer:
Does the card work when it is not in the laptop? Off course, it does. The card also has a battery which is almost the same size as the one you might see in a smart phone. It can actually power the card for roughly 100 hours.

Rich:
Patch management. If your company took weeks or months to roll out patches to your employees, imagine you can now have the patches download overnight and be installed when the laptop turns on. How you may ask? Well simple – the card has a great deal of memory on it and is expandable meaning it helps make the job up upgrading laptops much easier.

Scammer:
Another solution with this technology is in Patch management. If initially it took a company weeks or even months to roll out patches to its employees, downloading it now can be done immediately and even installed once the laptop is powered on. It works this way, since the card has a lot of memory on it and is expandable; it makes the job of upgrading laptops much easier.

Rich:
The card can even do backups through a relationship with EMC. As you might imagine if the card can backup it can also restore making it that much more useful. This also means the card can facilitate a backup just before it wipes the data clean so nothing is lost.

Scammer:
You can even use the card to do backups through a relationship with EMC. With this feature i.e. as a backup, it means it can also be used for restoration, which makes it much more useful. With the backup feature, the card can facilitate a backup just before it wipes the data clean so that nothing will be lost.

Rich: This is the funniest part - even Rich's glowing remarks summarizing his opinion was copied...
My feeling on the solution? It is fantastic. It is a tremendous differentiator for Sprint and Alcatel-Lucent has done a marvelous job of making a wireless solution that is much more useful than the competition. One day soon other service providers will have this sort of capability as well but until then you will need to purchase Sprint’s wireless data service to get access to what I consider to be perhaps the world’s best integrated wireless/security solution for laptops.

Scammer:
You want to know what I think about this new discovery, it is wonderful. It is indeed a tremendous differentiator for Sprint. Alcatel-Lucent has also done a wonderful job of making a wireless solution which is more useful than the competition. I know that a time is coming when other service providers will be able to do the same thing too. But before this happens you have to get Sprint's wireless data service. This is so you can use what I believe is almost the world's best integrated wireless or security solution for laptops.

[end comparison]

Ok, so maybe solokay got a little carried away copying TMC's article -- even if it was a half-assed attempt at hiding the fact he was stealing the content. Surely, we can forgive him right? After all, it wasn't my hard work - it was my boss's. Oh wait, upon further review the SOB also stole some of my articles!

Check out this comparison - nearly identical titles to start with:
My article: uPhoneBlog enables Email to Blog Posts
Scammer: Email to Blog Posts enabled, thanks to uPhoneBlog
(link is here: http://solokay.blogspot.com/2007/10/email-to-blog-posts-enabled-thanks-to.html)

Me:
uPhoneBlog (www.uphoneblog.com) is a free project that allow users send photos and videos from their mobile phones to any blog or website in real time. It works with all cell phones and providers simply by using MMS (multimedia message service) to email a uPhoneBlog email account. Apparently you can even submit stories to Digg using email. Works on many websites and blogs including MySpace, Blogger, Xanga, Twitter, Piczo, DiggDel.icio.us, Blinklist, Furl, Y!MyWeb, Simpy, Google.

Scammer:
At last, a free project that will enable people send photos and videos from their cell phones to any blog or website in real time has been launched. The name of this project is uPhoneBlog. You can easily check it under the website www.uphoneblog.com
Service Providers and cell phones can easily use this service. All that is required is just to use MMS that is, multimedia message service, to email an uPhoneBlog email account. From all indications, one can also submit stories to Digg through email. It is applicable to many websites and blogs such as, MySpace, Blogger, Xanga, Twitter, Piczo, DiggDel.icio.us, Blinklist, Furl, Y!MyWeb, Simpy and Google.

Me:
It appears this service hosts the multimedia content themselves and then provides an easy method of authenticating onto your own blog to create a new post containing the HTML code to point to this newly uploaded content. They appear to be using the Gigya widgets for performing this authentication task.

Scammer:
From what I can see, it looks like uPhoneBlog hosts the multimedia content themselves and then provides an easy method one can use to authenticate into one's blog so as to create a new post that contains the HTML code. This code can now point to the newly uploaded content. It also looks like they use Gigya widgets for carrying out the authentication task.

Now it gets hilarious. I almost fell off my chair when I read this part of his post. Apparently both the scammer and I had a Vulcan mind-meld and developed the identical Perl script for posting blogs via email. Gee, that's funny, I didn't think his hoster (blogspot.com) lets you run Perl scripts.  Not to mention BlogSpot isn't a MovableType blogging platform! Bastard even made my same YouTube analogy.

Me:
I still like my Perl script that I developed that allows me to have email-to-blog functionality on my Movable Type blog. It leverages XMLRPC to post the article content and the script can even upload email attachments (videos, pictures, etc.) directly to my own web server so I host all of my own content. uPhoneBlog seems like a YouTube clone but with some easy email-to-blog posting capabilities. I don't see why YouTube couldn't easily add this functionality themselves, which would make uPhoneBlog redundant. But if you can't wait, uPhoneBlog offers you that functionality today.

Scammer:
With all the features in uPhoneBlog, I still prefer the Perl script, I developed. This one allows me to have email-to-blog functionality on my Movable Type blog. It can influence XMLRPC to post the article content. With it, the script can also email attachments like videos, pictures and so on, straight to my web server so I can host all of my own personal content.
uPhoneBlog looks almost like a YouTube clone but with a little easy email-to-blog posting capabilities. Why YouTube doesn't want to add the functions in their own service is what I don't understand. Adding it will actually make uPhoneBlog unnecessary. Anyway, you don't have to wait for them anymore because uPhoneBlog now gives you all that you need.

[end comparison]

I also had a scoop about AOL Call Out before its official launch, and yep, you guess it, that was copied too - only slightly reworded. I have a few other examples of him copying TMC blog posts, but I think I made my point.

Solomon's VoIP World certainly seem to make itself out to be a legitimate VoIP blogger. He's even included in an email discussions between heavy-weight VoIP bloggers that include myself, Om Malik, Andy Abramson, Skype Journal, Mark Evan, Jon Arnold, and more. Looking at his site now there is content there that is mostly regurgitated press releases along with Adsense ads, Chitika ads, and buttload of other ads. I don't visit the site, so perhaps he does post an occasional good, insightful article. But you lose all credibility with me once you start trying to cheat other bloggers.

Oh, I just remembered that solokay (real name Solomon Ige) emailed me last year and asked me for a link.

Dear Tom,
I am a regular reader of your blog, other blogs in the TMC network and i am subscriber to Internet telephony maganize. I must say that you guys are doing a great job.Your blog is one of the best blogs on voip technology. I am a voip blogger myself and your blog was really an inspiration to me at the begining. Thanks for the great blog and keep up the good work.

My name is solomon ige, i am presently studying towards my PhD in electrical engineering at university of siegen, germany. Somewhere along the line i fell in love with voip technology and i started to improve my knowlegde about this amazing technology. By june last year i started my blog solomon's voip world at www.solokay.blogspot.com . Despite the fact that my phd studies is really taking much of my time i still manage to find the time to blog about voip because of my interest in it. The blog has grown considerably now with links from jajah, skype blog, voip watch etc.

I have a link to your blog on my blog (Left sidebar und blogroll and i would be grateful and honoured if you can reciprocate by linking to me too so that our readers can be exposed to more quality content. If you agree to link to me, you can use the details below:

Ancor text: VoIP World
URL: http://www.solokay.blogspot.com

He asked for a link and I was kind enough to give him one on my blogroll, which as you may notice has a Google Pagerank of 7. In fact, it's still there listed as "VoIP World". Way to stab your blogroll friends in the back! I will be removing the link soon! I really don't enjoy calling someone out. I honestly take no pleasure in it. But I have no patience for thieves or backstabbers.

I'm not sure which is worse - your traditional splogger/scammer that steals your work verbatim or a blogger that tries to be 'credible' by slightly rewording existing content.

What do you think?


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