A cool controversy has broken out on the world wide interwibble. As stories relating to the bizarrely named BAPCO Sysmark benchmark broke on the top news sites last week.
With accusations of plagiarism running riot, KitGuru decided to tap into its own supply of special sauces to see what’s what. Has someone been sticking their un-welcome arrows in Charlie’s bullseye? We had a chat with a top source in the Inquirer today.
Ask 100 IT people in the street what BAPCO is and they are more likely to reply, “Some kind of bakery?” than “a company who develop a Trusted benchmark known, loved and used by everyone in the industry”.
Here at KitGuru, we vaguely remember Sysmark from the 1990s, but – until AMD’s top spinner Nigel Dessau mentioned it in his blog – we assumed that it had gone the way of the Sinclair ZX/Dodo/Dido.
Google needed a reminder. When we checked, this is the listing we got.
We’ll get to the subject of the controversy in a second, but first shall we take a quick look at how Amazon-owned Alexa rates BAPCO’s traffic? Frankly, site extolling the virtues of Zimbabwean goat farmers probably get more traffic than BAPCO’s website.
Not only that, it also got a huge surge from Canada. Why? Well, one possibility is that AMD super-spinner Nigel went to the site once or twice to check something and, as a result, BAPCO’s Alexa score for the North American zone, shot through the roof.
Anyway, all of that preamble brings us to the root of the story. Kitguru ran with an editorial, but it was based on an AMD press release. This time we had no ‘insider’ info, although a reader told us that Charlie had the scoop, so we linked to him later. Sauces close to The Inquirer claim that there was a multi-person conference call, with a senior AMD official, where the fact that nVidia and Via had left alongside AMD, was brought up.
Anyway without that conference call, Charlie’s follow up piece would be extremely serious.
On the other hand, The Inquirer is claiming independent sauces. If there was a conference call with AMD, prior to Charlie hitting go, then it would be true that Inq-hack Lawrence Latif had correctly/independently sourced his story – and he would indeed be declared an upright man.
Man, we love this intrigue stuff – but how will this story pan out?
Truth is, no one knows – but here are some possibilities:-
- The Inquirer’s owners (Incisive) decide to defend the honour of their writer and editor in the most energetic way possible, and choose to go legal. We’d be guaranteed (99.45%) that the letters sent would all end up being published on Semi Accurate and the story would continue to be played out in public. Might not give an immediate happy-happy solution for everyone, but it would be certain to sell a ton of (virtual) news ink
- Incisive could say that they had copied huge chunks of Semi Accurate facts, published the same and lied about it – apologise and file new copy complete with links to Charlie’s site
- Charlie could independently decide that the story was less black and white than it originally appeared and write a huge front page retraction
- AMD could confirm that there was a phone call, that they had mentioned the ‘Via and nVidia leaving’ aspects of the story before anyone else had written the story – and assure Charlie of the same, which would allow the story to die quietly in the corner
KitGuru says: Whichever way the sauce spills, we’re assured of the most interesting Inq intrigue seen for the best part of 2 years. The re-discovery of BAPCO and Sysmark is akin to Carter and Carnarvon stumbling upon Tutankhamen’s tomb in 1922. From what we can tell, Charlie lives for the disclosure and explanation. The spirit of Magee will no doubt be watching [Whiskey? – Ed] and them that Hales from the Holy Land will also be following closely. The key question here isn’t really “Will we discover the truth about the BAPCO story”, it’s actually, “Will Incisive wise men discover the secret of real internet traffic”.
Comment below or in the KitGuru forums.