Pretty good article giving some background on the recent benchmarking fiascos. Hasn't anyone else linked to it yet?
First off, I think all the furor about application detection misses the point. If a piece of code isn't well written, why needlessly cripple the hardware? Assuming the scene is rendered as intended, I see nothing wrong with shuffling operations, compressing multiple operations into fewer steps, or performing occlusion culling at an earlier stage. Perhaps the answer is allowing the application developers a chance to approve or reject these "optimizations"?
Obviously, though, occlusion culling should not be performed so early that it happens before the application is even launched. Nvidia's use of a clip plane in 3DMark 2003 was disgusting and borderline fraudulent. People would've been screaming bloody murder if they had done the same thing in a Splinter Cell or UT timedemo.
If it's such a terrible benchmark, Nvidia could've taken the high road and used their application detection to display a disclaimer warning that they do not support it. The way they put in a blatant cheat and started badmouthing 3DMark after they'd been caught really pissed me off. I don't expect them to admit to any wrongdoing or to apologize (any more than ATi did after the quack thing). I still think they got far less flak for it than they deserved.
Another interesting but not terribly surprising tidbit from the article is that ATi has been the main source of most of the embarassing revelations about Nvidia. ATi has been seen as taking the high road lately, but judging from some of their marketing material and how they're playing the online press, it seems they have no objections to fighting dirty themselves.
Weinand made a good point that sites should disclose their sources if the source has a significant stake in the matter. An Nvidia employee may need the protection of anonymity, but ATi certainly doesn't. For that reason, I didn't care for his poor attempts at humor, using coy phrases like "a 3d chipset company that does not wish to be named".