Unknown Unknowns

“Unknown” in StatCounters’s language probably means an unrecognized User-Agent string from a browser. Usually, that’s remedied in a few weeks and life carries on. What’s “Unknown” in Russia?

By now we should have it revealed, but no, it’s still “Unknown”. Therefor, I feel entitled to speculate this is Putin’s GNU/Linux… 😉 Putin signed that proclamation back in 2010 and it had a deadline of 2015, this year, so… Russia responded to the first sanctions over Ukraine by announcing a move to GNU/Linux, FLOSS and Postgresql in the Ministry of Health back in 2014, just when “Unknown” took off… Who needs salesmen when you have tyrants? It’s a small world and one action over here gives another reaction over there. It’s all good, I hope.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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20 Responses to Unknown Unknowns

  1. oiaohm says:

    DrLoser there are computer records from the coldwar time frame in Russia that we cannot read today because the software and the keys to read them does not exist any more. Printed encrypted so the printed copies are kinda worthless.

    So ODF is better than what they used in the cold war at times.

    Bollocks, Fifi. Utter bollocks.
    Be very careful this can turn really horible it is one of My blood relations who was declared dead in Russia prisons around the same time but found alive and well provable by DNA and Diary. And its not the only one. Declared dead in Russia but in fact exiled into Germany was my families case. This becomes very confusing on the family tree having a person with 2 death certificates in two different countries. Raoul Wallenberg and my relation was in Russia prisons in the same year worse the same prison and same death method. Yes the prison that Raoul Wallenberg was in has a abnormal high hart failure rate of death because that is also what my relation so called died of but we 100 percent know was just exiled.

    KGB’s Lubyanka Prison of the time is not known for having the absolute truth in records. So its best guess how he died or if he even died at the time claimed. DrLoser you have picked a person who crosses over my family tree. Of course it does not help solve what happened. There are also prisoner reports who were only imprisoned after 1948 who claim they talked with Raoul Wallenberg. Either someone was having fun pretending to be him or his ghost was busy or they were lieing or like what happened in other cases he was not dead(2 to 3 years in prison after being declared dead before being released into exile with new identity). Due to this we are not sure what happened to Raoul Wallenberg at all.

    So all the Russia Government can do is presume the record is correct and hope no information turns up that its another fake record. So Raoul Wallenberg has 3 possible deaths 1 the record is true. 2 the record is fake and he was killed by KGB firing squad or guards. 3 the record was false and he was exiled under a new identity. There is no way to answer this without more information being found. Problem is there is no way to prove the record is true only evidence could turn up to prove it false.

    History research can hit its road blocks. The problem we will not know if the record can answer the questions until we can get our hands on it.

  2. DrLoser, not understanding counting experiments, wrote, “you’re going to tell us that you don’t trust the method of data collection, but you do trust the possibly arbitrarily filtered data that is collected, “because it’s measured?””

    Every system built to count something as nebulous as User-Agent strings will be imperfect one way or another but an increase in the measurement, if not lost in the noise, indicates an increase in the phenomenon being measured, unless you believe in magic. I don’t think StatCounter goes around deciding what random number to substitute for all the thousands of random numbers the web generates for them. Therefor it indicates what I am interested in, the prevalence of GNU/Linux desktops, regardless of how precise/accurate the measurements are. These signals are far above the noise level, even for Chrome OS, 1/sqrt(N) and all that. There are millions of counts. I got A+ grades in Honours Physics in this stuff. I know what I’m talking about. You, apparently, don’t.

    A parable: You and your family have been close friends with a neighbouring family for a decade. They are fine people. Your daughter goes on a date with an apparently fine young man of that family and upon her return from the evening she reports, “He creeps/freaks me out!”. Now, she has not measured his creepiness to within .01%, not even 10%, but are you going to ignore the data? No. You are going to do your best to keep him at a distance.

    The moral of the story is that the precision/accuracy of StatCounter does not matter at all as long as they are not deliberately leading the world astray. We have no reason to doubt their exact methods and data except that they don’t tell all. I will take the data with a grain of salt and be pleased that GNU/Linux is growing rapidly in popularity. That is consistent will all the other sources of information that I have.

  3. DrLoser says:

    With Raoul Wallenberg there was no requirements of proper records at the time on people who has been given new identities that is why we are not sure if Raoul Wallenberg is alive or dead.

    Oh, I’m pretty sure that Raoul Wallenberg is dead, Fifi.

    Yes DrLoser there is a lot of information tells us answering what happen to Raoul Wallenberg might never happen because his reported death is identical to Russia method of assigning new identity.

    Bollocks, Fifi. Utter bollocks.

    And even if not so, it has no bearing on the magnificent and completely novel purpose that you proposed for ODF, to whit: the universal securing of government data for the purpose of universal access in sixty years’ time.

    It didn’t happen with copious USSR state paperwork, written in Russian on physical paper. There’s no reason to see ODF as a Silver Bullet.

  4. DrLoser says:

    To be fair to you, Robert, Millikan (another Bob) proceeded on roughly the same level of scientific integrity, and he got a Nobel Prize for his pains. (Physics – 1921.)

    If and when they award you a similar prize for ignoring data that doesn’t actually fit your theory, accepting any old stuff that does, and coming up with something of slightly more consequence than “the Linux desktop is a boffo smash with 2% of the population of Elbonia!” then please let me know.

    I haven’t been to Stockholm in a while. I like the place. I’ll buy you a beer.

  5. DrLoser says:

    I don’t trust them but I do follow them because they actually supply data, stuff that’s measured.

    So, as a professional scientist, you’re going to tell us that you don’t trust the method of data collection, but you do trust the possibly arbitrarily filtered data that is collected, “because it’s measured?”

    I believe that grades at a (generous) D- on General Science 101, Robert.

    I think, for the most part, the changes they show are real, even though the magnitude of the changes may be way off.

    So, as a professional scientist, you’re going to tell us that you strongly suspect the discrepancy between the measurement presented, and the actual raw data, “may be way off?” And that, consequently, you are forced to re-interpret “the changes they show” by adjusting the magnitude according to a secret formula of your own, yet always in a direction that purportedly shows the popularity of Gnu/Linux in a good light rather than in a bad light?

    That’s basically an outright fail, you’re off the course, leave the Halls of Residence and never darken the doorstep of this University again, as far as I can see.

    I’m really starting to have bad feelings about Saudi Arabian nuclear reactors, Robert.

  6. Mats Hagglund wrote, “Robert should not follow and trust StatCounter at all.”

    I don’t trust them but I do follow them because they actually supply data, stuff that’s measured. I don’t trust their means of collection which is opaque and has obvious glitches, but I don’t believe they decide to lie every morning before breakfast and that there is nothing of value in their data. I think, for the most part, the changes they show are real, even though the magnitude of the changes may be way off. I don’t think the directions of the changes they show are wrong except when there is a glitch.

    What I would much prefer is Google to supply such information in a transparent way. Google doesn’t do that. I don’t know why. ISPs could also report their data gleaned from logs, but they don’t. I don’t know why. Everyone is looking for services they can add to increase their value to users. Here’s one that’s pretty easy to do, but they don’t. I don’t know why.

    He also wrote, “War in Ukraine was result of American imperialist coup”.

    That was actually a “counter-coup” after Putin’s stooge in Kiev turned the train, that was heading West, around. The people of Ukraine have been betrayed too often. It’s time they fought back and we should help them. We should admit Ukraine to NATO this weekend and set up forward military bases next week. A week from now we should destroy every artillery piece, tank and rocket in Ukraine that Putin says don’t exist.

  7. Mats Hagglund says:

    Robert should not follow and trust StatCounter at all. I have never their figures of market share as face value at all. What sales figures are telling is that some 65% of new devices with internet connection are indeed Linux-machines.

    PS. War in Ukraine was result of American imperialist coup (Clinton, Victoria Nuland, Obama, CIA and neocons who are actually co-operating with Dems).

  8. oiaohm says:

    DrLoser with me with world war II I only found out where some of my relations are 60 years latter due to document releases. I understand closure yes some were badly tortured and some were not dead but new identities.

    O ye of little faith! In sixty years’ time, you will still be able to read about the precise details of her torture, rape, and dismemberment!
    You might have thought you were making a funny. There are examples of that in my families history. At least we know where they are berried. Its worse when you are random-ally dreaming up what has happened to them.

    With Raoul Wallenberg there was no requirements of proper records at the time on people who has been given new identities that is why we are not sure if Raoul Wallenberg is alive or dead.

    Yes DrLoser there is a lot of information tells us answering what happen to Raoul Wallenberg might never happen because his reported death is identical to Russia method of assigning new identity. Yes arrested on some fake but kinda of believable charge and declared dead by heart failure has been proven as common Russia method of the time to end a old identify before giving a person a new one.

    Of course even with all the documentation kept its not going to give closure in every single case. People disappear in all countries without a trace.

    With Russia records person went before firing squad or killed by a guard the records were a lot more clear cut.

    DrLoser until we see the records we will not know how many people it will give closure to. The first option to access Russia closed access records is when they are 60 years old. DrLoser each country has classified document release policy.

    What would be worse 60 years has past you are not sure if your relation got way or got caught and you find out that the records are unreadable.

    War crimes committed in a country keeping proper records have been proven over and over again that families have been able to get closure on what happened.

  9. Linuser wrote, “Dear Robert , then try to explain the strange SIMULTANEOUS sudden changes in Greece on Linux, XP and win8.1”

    Ask StatCounter. They supply the numbers and claim they have meaning (page-views).

  10. Linuser says:

    Dear Robert , then try to explain the strange SIMULTANEOUS sudden changes in Greece on Linux, XP and win8.1 from approximately 01.10.2015 . Note that there are fixed levels before and after .

  11. DrLoser says:

    “My sister was brutally murdered by a regime that mandates ODF for all government documents.”

    O ye of little faith! In sixty years’ time, you will still be able to read about the precise details of her torture, rape, and dismemberment!

    “Kewl! I can’t wait! Would you recommend Debian Jesse or Debian Wheezy? And I’d need to see the video, too! HTML5, or something more basic like a You-Tube thing?”

    Yeah.

    Right On, Fifi.

  12. DrLoser says:

    And a sweet little contribution from the Master of Gibberish:

    DrLoser maybe their relations will if it means in 60 years time the records of why it happened are still readable due to being done in some neutral format.

    You never seem to run out of themes where I (amongst many others) know far more than you do, do you, Fifi?

    OK, that 60 years thing. As a professionally qualified historian (Oxford, First Class), I’m just going to ask you a simple question.

    What happened, sixty years ago, to Raoul Wallenberg, commemorated at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial as one of the Righteous Amongst Nations?

    Go on, tell me. And a second-hand anecdote from 1990 ain’t gonna cut it, Fifi.

    Nobody really knows, despite “the records of why it happened are still readable due to being done in some neutral format” … in this case, the Russian language.

    So much for that particularly fatuous and worthless observation.

  13. DrLoser says:

    I despise Putin, too, but at least he made the right choice with GNU/Linux.

    You fail, brutally, at irony, don’t you, Robert?

    Let me put this as simply as I can.

    I neither know nor care whether a particular world leader espouses Linux, drives a Mercedes, is kind to small furry animals, or has a chess ELO rating above 2000.

    I do care about deaths on the ground. Particularly avoidable deaths. Particularly civilian deaths.

    On the small matters of habitual deceit, outright lying, manipulating what is left of the free press and the judiciary, running a mafia state, crippling the Russian economy, and being pretty much personally responsible (as a man who keeps close tabs on the FGB) for murdering members of the opposition, whether by hired goons (Anna Politkovskaya or weirdo Polonium-Tea-U-Like (Alexander Litvinenko) or simply leaving a lawyer to rot in jail after routine sessions of torture (Sergei Magnitsky), I am particularly peeved by Putin.

    The man is a swine.

    Do you advocate progess through murder, torture, and summary execution, on more or less the direct orders of unaccountable swine, Robert?

    Genug mit der Antshuldikn already, Robert.

    Do you, or don’t you?

  14. Nelson Corona Junior wrote, “What is the meaning of that sudden change in the values ​​associated with the “unknown”?”

    It looks to me that StatCounter dropped Android/Linux but renamed its share as Unknown. Strange. Did Android get a new User-Agent string? Otherwise, how could this switch so quickly?

    Could be the same thing in Russia… and at the same instant. Weird StatCounter. I suppose we now have confirmation “Unknown” in Russia and Mexico is some kind of */Linux. How did they file it as Android? Why do they call it “Unknown” at this late date?

    Looks like a World Wide phenomenon… They whacked down “Android” in 2013, too, but then it just disappeared from “desktop”. Why now put it into “Unknown”?

    I guess this squashes my thesis about Putin’s GNU/Linux but what is this? Android on big screens? It’s clearly not “mobile” then. Does StatCounter not want to show it’s Android/Linux for some reason? It’s getting too big to hide.

  15. Nelson Corona Junior says:

    Robert, please look at the numbers of Mexico from the beginning of 2014. What is the meaning of that sudden change in the values ​​associated with the “unknown”?

  16. oiaohm says:

    lucius.cornelius ROSA Linux is one of the Linux Distributions out of Russia you find with OS identity information missing from its browsers.

    This is why I am not surprised by Russia. Russians using home growing Linux Distributions are highly likely to appear as Unknown with no information for stats counter or anyone else using web methods to identify what they are using.

    Russia is one of the locations where in time we could end up with web stats being absolutely useless.

  17. lucius.cornelius says:

    Who needs salesmen when you have tyrants?

    And which tyrant would that be then?
    I presume you mean the one in the White House because there is no other to compare when it comes to tyranny.
    Or is the IT world also to now regurgitate US State Department lies about the monster Putin trying to outwit we brave soldiers of light in the West?
    The entire situation in Ukraine is a direct consequence of the US’s arrogant meddling.
    And we in the West are not on the side of the light nor have we been for a long time. If you’re on the side of the White House then you’re on the side of lies, murder, extra-judicial killings, tax evasion, globalisation, unemployment and lowered life expectancy for all.
    It is a good job that Mr Putin has as much character and wisdom as he does. Had the tables been reversed and it was Russia fabricating accusations against the US, we’d be in a hot war by now.

    As for Russian Linux – ROSA Linux is a lovely distro. My only complaint is that it makes use of systemd cuckooware rather than other less controversial, more reliable init systems.

  18. DrLoser wrote, “I’m sure 5,000 dead civilians in eastern Ukraine will truly appreciate Putin’s efforts to “free the desktop,” Robert.”

    I despise Putin, too, but at least he made the right choice with GNU/Linux. It’s interesting that folks are reporting that NSA was planting malware in the firmware of hard drives for the last decade or so. I would bet some went to Russia and Putin will be looking for a way to filter that junk out. Putin may be a crazy/evil/lying bastard but he’s not stupid. I recommended admitting Ukraine to NATO and hosing those “non-existant” tanks, rockets and artillery pieces that Putin says aren’t there killing Ukrainians.

  19. oiaohm says:

    DrLoser maybe their relations will if it means in 60 years time the records of why it happened are still readable due to being done in some neutral format.

    Neither you or I have a means to telling the future. Basically stop being a smart ass.

    You have to remember in the cold war Russia made their own OS’s because they could not import. Russia made OS missing all identifying markers is nothing strange.

  20. DrLoser says:

    I’m sure 5,000 dead civilians in eastern Ukraine will truly appreciate Putin’s efforts to “free the desktop,” Robert. Glad to know that you have your priorities straight, as always.

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