It's not a question of what they set out to measure. It was the methodology they used to measure it that was flawed.
The problem is that by calling out the first paper as BS science you're automatically labelled a conspiracy theorist. The second paper went on to do just that.
I've been reading
/. for years but this is the first time I've ever wanted to post. My vote goes to Tanenbaum's MINIX and his excellent book on OS design and implementation. Not only was it a real OS you could run on your pre-historic PC, but you could see how it was written, and hope one day to emulate it yourself.