PerformanceEng wonders: "I work as an engineer for a large technology company in the U.S., and have been privy to what I find a interesting practice. It's well known that marketing data sheets often paint the best picture of a product while leaving the devil in the details. I've come to expect this, and when I am evaluating technology, I always have a skeptic's eye for claims made by the sales and marketing folks.
However, I've also witnessed our product go into test labs (usually for the purposes of running a series of tests for a 'bake off' in a trade publication). Not uncommon is the attempt to 'tune' the configuration of the device under test to perform in the best light (not unlike tuning your car to pass emissions tests). I have seen it go as far as exploiting weaknesses in the test that, if the test operator discovered, would be considered bad faith. To the other engineers: Are you aware of this kind of practice at your company? To the IT professionals: How much faith do you put in these sorts of publications and their 'bake offs'? To everyone: When does spin doctoring cross the line and become false advertising?"