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Searching for BobbyMax

Running a technology message board is a bit like running a lunatic asylum, with one difference: The patients in an asylum are sometimes curable. [Ed. note: I believe the politically correct term is Madhouse.]

Take the furor over a regular poster on the Light Reading Message Boards who goes by the name of BobbyMax, a curmudgeonly prolific message-board participant who has become the shockjock of the Light Reading message boards

"Will everyone just please ignore BobbyMax," wrote BBoa in October 29 on the Light Reading board.

What is it that irks so many readers? It's probably BobbyMax's formulaic and machine-like posts, which, appearing nearly daily, are almost always negative and critical of every company and individual in the telecom industry. Maybe it's his flouting of spelling and grammar rules. Or perhaps that some of his posts border on hate speech?

Nah, he's just annoying.

Typically, BobbyMax posts in hit-and-run style, nailing an assailant with invective and then ducking off the boards from many hours, if not days. His negativity is pure and repetitious. He hates and is skeptical of everything. Here, for example, are the subject titles of some or his rants: Then, my personal favorite: "Mired in anger and mirage," you don't say? This "Dr. Gea" post marked the beginning of a new phase for BobbyMax, in which he lashed out at his critics. Previously, he ignored any attempts to debate or cricize his writings. Here he flings some at a reader named AAL5:

"Dear Dr. AAL5: Your hate mail campaign has not stopped. I do not mind if you express your ideas. You should be AAL2/3. Please repent your birth and existence in this world."

In researching BobbyMax's post, I've been able to find one single case of a reasonably "positive" post, in which he lauds next-generation Sonet technology: Next Generation SONET Saves Cost.. In that post he even goes as far to commend two vendors: "I think that Nortel and Alcatel have the best quality next generation Sonet nodes," writes BobbyMax.

BobbyMax was unavailable for comment, and he hasn't responded to repeated requests for comment on the Light Reading message boards.

So who is BobbyMax? Inquiring minds want to know. And one of the most persistent questions from Light Readers is: "Could you please tell us who BobbyMax is?"

It's against Light Reading's own privacy policy to divulge the identities of message-board users to the public, but I'll tell you it's 99.9% likely that BobbyMax is hiding behind a generic Hotmail address anyway, so it don't matter.

Sleuthing reveals few real secrets. Rarely responding to criticism, BobbyMax reveals little about who he (or she) is on the boards. The global disdain for emerging technologies and startups leads many to believe he is firmly ensconced at an RBOC or incumbent equipment provider.

But several, more eccentric theories abound. One is that BobbyMax is the product of an Artifical Intelligence (AI) experiment at Bell Labs, gone horribly awry. Another theory is that he is the creation of Light Reading editors, for the purpose of generating message-board traffic. Light Reading management categorically denies creating BobbyMax, and we point to the fact that his frequent postings and rantings would require the hiring of a full-time "BobbyMaxer," for which we have neither the resources nor the patience.

What is clear, however, is that BobbyMax has pissed off a lot of people.

"Dear LR readers, The 'Ignore author' feature is meant for the likes of BobbyMax," writes jim_smith (the post is here). "Use it."

Other readers prefer he stay.

"I have to say that I enjoy BobbyMax's ranting quite a bit," writes Aleksander Zawisza in an email to the editors. "I don't agree with his bitterness towards engineers from '3rd world countries,' but I find that his views embody the worst of what some of us sometimes think about the industry's downfall."

In another peculiar twist, a reader wrote in to point out that a friend of his had a "similar name" to Bobby Max. His friend is angry that some people in the industry have confused him with BobbyMax. He said his friend is considering hiring a lawyer to stop BobbyMax from posting under that pseudonym.

It's almost as if BobbyMax is some sort of Doppleganger... a spirit representing the bad Karma of an industry in the toilet. His negativity breaches that of even the darkest pessimists. In BobbyMax's world, no new technology is relevant, all executives are cynical and criminal, and the industry has little hope but to descend into an abyss of permanent bankruptcy and depression.

No, things just aren't that bad. My phone still works. And this message board is a fine tool spurred by the telecom revolution.

Beware of BobbyMax. Maybe he's sitting next to you? Or perhaps he's your CEO. Ignoring him -- yes, now that's probably the right move.

- R. Scott Raynovich, US Editor, Light Reading
www.lightreading.com
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beowulf888 12/4/2012 | 9:20:25 PM
re: Searching for BobbyMax flanker wrote:
"Have you seen how many posts this guy has made on LR? It's like 500 or 600."

When I search for "BobbyMax" I get 16 URL pages with 25 links to his postings per page. That means he's posted almost 400 times to the LR lists since May 7 2002!

He must also be unemployed to have all this time on his hands.

BTW: I notice that he's only made the achieved the rank of Light Dragoon. Poor guy. He must be frustrated.

--Beo
sigint 12/4/2012 | 9:20:27 PM
re: Searching for BobbyMax He could well be Indian. Older generations of educated Indians often speak bookish and archaic British English, you can almost "hear" the "inclusive R" between two successive vowels in text!

Bobby does make attempts at such Anglicisms, but messes up grammar and spelling. I tend to do the same, post half a bottle of whiskey ..

Anyone know an elderly gentleman of Indian origin, PhD, a social recluse and probably alcoholic ..

As for bad mouthing Indian H1-B's - that's quite natural. I have often heard older generations of Indians that had migrated to the West complain of how the new breed of immigrants is no good, and that they have spoiled the good name earned by the older generation that migrated out of India.


Beo:
India. Definitely not China. The following quote's syntax reminds me of the way many of the Indian engineers I know speak. Also, Chinese ESL speakers often drop articles (since Chinese doesn't have a word for "the"). But Booby doesn't drop his articles. I hear an educated Indian in my mind when I read his postings...


Flanker:
Not India. He bashes "too many Indian H1Bs" in one of his posts. Have you seen how many posts this guy has made on LR? It's like 500 or 600. He says China steals US technology, but he never basehes Chinese engineers, their domestic politics or Chinese immigration.
flanker 12/4/2012 | 9:20:29 PM
re: Searching for BobbyMax India. Definitely not China. The following quote's syntax reminds me of the way many of the Indian engineers I know speak. Also, Chinese ESL speakers often drop articles (since Chinese doesn't have a word for "the"). But Booby doesn't drop his articles. I hear an educated Indian in my mind when I read his postings...

Not India. He bashes "too many Indian H1Bs" in one of his posts. Have you seen how many posts this guy has made on LR? It's like 500 or 600. He says China steals US technology, but he never basehes Chinese engineers, their domestic politics or Chinese immigration.


beowulf888 12/4/2012 | 9:20:32 PM
re: Searching for BobbyMax Nah -- I think Booby is a 'bot. Light Reading contracted with some demented programmer in Bangalore to write a program that would randomly spew inanities on to the LR lists. Thus the poor syntax and rants against China.

But it's starting to get out of control. People are taking the BoobyBot seriously. So LR is trying to do some damage control with this "Searching for BobbyMax" article.

But the big RBOCs smell blood. If they can implant the BoobyBot in the FCC computers, they realize that can gain regulatory control of Telecommunications in the US and nuke China too!

Wait! Maybe the Boobybot has taken control of the RBOCs. What else can account for their bizarre and stupid behavior?

Sigh. I think I need some sleep. Dreaming up conspiracy theories is hard work...

--Beo
photon_mon 12/4/2012 | 9:20:33 PM
re: Searching for BobbyMax Great deductions so far. Beowulf, you now have
me most convinced of his origin. There goes my
"Bin Laden operative seeking to destroy faith in
our humble telecom industry via cynicism and disinformation" argument. Back to the drawing
board (conspiracies thrive the most when we stop
looking for them!).
beowulf888 12/4/2012 | 9:20:33 PM
re: Searching for BobbyMax Thank heavens! Booby is still posting...

http://www.lightreading.com/bo...
beowulf888 12/4/2012 | 9:20:34 PM
re: Searching for BobbyMax Litewave speculated:
>I came to the conclusion that heb's...
>- North American west coast based
I think he works at Lucent.
Booby Quote: "All the companies robbed Lucent of its wealth."
...and...
"Lucent has the capability to make any equipment in ay short period of time. The Lucent management is responsible for its current sad situation."

Even though he has expressed a lot of vitriol towards West Coast VCs (which is why I think a lot people assume he's a Left Coaster), I think he's a Right Coaster -- probably at Lucent in NJ. I think he blames West Coast VCs and VC-spawned companies for creating the bubble.

A great Booby Quote: "In fact, a public corporation of the size of Cisco rarely behaves in this pension." He hates Cisco, and just about any other upstart startup company (i.e. any company without a long history of being a Telco vender).

But if BobbyMax is one and the same person as HarveyMudd, then he studied engineering at Harvey Mudd college in Southern California.

>- A non-native english speaker
Yes. His grammatical errors are that of foreign ESL speaker.

For instance in this Booby Quote: "This transaction has presented considerable difficulties. Ciena may not recover from the Cyras transaction."

The phrasing is just so forced, that one has to think he's working hard to express himself clearly.

>- Most likely of oriental origin
India. Definitely not China. The following quote's syntax reminds me of the way many of the Indian engineers I know speak. Also, Chinese ESL speakers often drop articles (since Chinese doesn't have a word for "the"). But Booby doesn't drop his articles. I hear an educated Indian in my mind when I read his postings...

Booby Quote: "I do not know Lucent was unable to evaluate these shaky companies ( Ascend, Octel, Springtide, Yurie Network, Chromatis, Nexabit)."

Also, Booby hates China. India has had tense relations with China since they took some Himalayan territory from India a few decades back. Also China (along with the US) has supported Pakistan, which also is a cause of tension with India.

Notice the reference to India in the following Booby quote...
"China's unethical business practices are threat to the rest of the world. They copy and steal technology from all parts of the world. For example, they stole satellite technology from the US. China stole nuclear technology from the Soviet Union. They have now targeted the USA and India with their nuclear weapons."

>- With less than 5 years of being in the US
If BobbyMax = HarveyMudd, then I think he's been in the country longer. As I said he probably went to school at Harvey Mudd College and has been working at a low-level engineering job since he graduated. I say 7 to 10 years.

>- Probably working for one of the larger >networking vendors

Yes, Lucent. See above.

>- In a support role or staff function
I agree. An engineer. SONET. But of one with out a lot of technical breadth.

>- Quite possibly a test engineer...
I agree. Probably very frustrated, too. Poor little guy.

On the other hand I think it's just as likely Booby could be a 'bot written by an Indian programmer on the Light Reading staff.

cheers!
--Beo(not a 'bot)wulf
flanker 12/4/2012 | 9:20:35 PM
re: Searching for BobbyMax I came to the conclusion that hes...

-North American west coast based
Possible. but can't say for certain.
Why west coast? I'll guess he's not located in China because in one post he concedes the Chinese steal US intellectual property.

- A non-native english speaker
Agreed. yes

- Most likely of oriental origin
Possible, but i wouldnt rule out Eastern European
or middle eastern.

- With less than 5 years of being in the US I'm willing to bet he's been in the U.S. for quite some time now. His English sucks, he could not have been here much more than 5 or 6 years unless he has no social life.


- Probably working for one of the larger networking vendors
Lucent is probably the obvious choice. But is he still employed? What about Agere?

- In a support role or staff function
Technical Support was my guess. janitor perhaps

- Quite possibly a test engineer...
Not sure how you came up with this one.
BoobyMin 12/4/2012 | 9:20:38 PM
re: Searching for BobbyMax I came to the conclusion that hes...
- North American west coast based
Disagree, I beleive from NJ
- A non-native english speaker
Agree
- Most likely of oriental origin
Agree
- With less than 5 years of being in the US
Longer
- Probably working for one of the larger networking vendors
Lucent
- In a support role or staff function
System Engineer who's product ideas kept getting shut down due to Lucent buyng a company with the technology rather than funding his project idea.
- Quite possibly a test engineer...

networking_legend 12/4/2012 | 9:20:39 PM
re: Searching for BobbyMax I'm certain given all the information thats available, if 20 of us posted our profiles of this guy, and we picked the common points, we could narrow down his identity to a couple of individuals in some specific location/company.

O.K....I'll bite:

I came to the conclusion that hes...

-North American west coast based
Possible. but can't say for certain.

- A non-native english speaker
Agreed

- Most likely of oriental origin
Possible, but i wouldnt rule out Eastern European

- With less than 5 years of being in the US
I'm willing to bet he's been in the U.S. for quite some time now

- Probably working for one of the larger networking vendors
Lucent is probably the obvious choice. But is he still employed?

- In a support role or staff function
Technical Support was my guess.

- Quite possibly a test engineer...
Not sure how you came up with this one.

<<   <   Page 2 / 11   >   >>
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