May 31, 2003

Analysts to SCO: No thanks to code review offer

By Patrick Thibodeau and Todd R. Weiss
MAY 30, 2003

Analysts are balking at The SCO Group Inc.'s offer to view its proof that there is illegal Unix code in Linux, with one calling the move a publicity stunt. Meanwhile, Linux creator Linus Torvalds today said that he has no plans to look at the code and that the battle between SCO, IBM and Novell Inc. is on par with a rancorous episode of the Jerry Springer Show.

In an effort to convince the world that the Linux operating system was created in part with its Unix code, SCO said it plans next week to begin showing analysts its evidence -- provided those parties sign a nondisclosure agreement (NDA).

But Giga Information Group Inc. analyst Stacey Quandt said she has discussed SCO's offer with her legal counsel, and if she signs an NDA, it may hinder her ability to write about it. She could get subpoenaed as well. Quandt called the offer a PR stunt.

"[SCO] should tell everybody what they have," said Quandt, who has advised clients of Cambridge, Mass.-based Giga to continue with their Linux adoption.

Other analyst firms expressed similar reservations about playing an active role in SCO's $1 billion lawsuit against IBM, which alleges misappropriation of trade secrets and other claims. SCO has warned some 1,500 businesses that they may be using Linux at their legal peril.

One person who won't sign a nondisclosure agreement is Torvalds, who created Linux in 1991. Torvalds, in an e-mail response, said there's "no way" he can sign a nondisclosure agreement with SCO to review the code. "Others have asked and haven't gotten anything, so I don't see much point. They don't want to tell; they want to sue. I'm told that it will come out in discovery during the actual suit at some point."

As for what he thinks of SCO's actions, Torvalds in an e-mail interview compared the fight between SCO, IBM and Novell Inc. to bad TV. "Quite frankly, I found it mostly interesting in a Jerry Springer kind of way. White trash battling it out in public, throwing chairs at each other. SCO crying about IBM's other women. ... Fairly entertaining," said Torvalds.

George Weiss, an analyst at Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner Inc. who recently recommended minimizing Linux in complex, mission-critical systems until the merits of SCO's claims are clear, has been talking to SCO and is also leaning against accepting the offer. Weiss said SCO is making its case based on "vague inferences" and is asking analysts to do the same. "It's stepping right into their shoes," he said.

Posted by Muddy at 08:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Analysts to SCO: No thanks to code review offer

By Patrick Thibodeau and Todd R. Weiss
MAY 30, 2003

Analysts are balking at The SCO Group Inc.'s offer to view its proof that there is illegal Unix code in Linux, with one calling the move a publicity stunt. Meanwhile, Linux creator Linus Torvalds today said that he has no plans to look at the code and that the battle between SCO, IBM and Novell Inc. is on par with a rancorous episode of the Jerry Springer Show.

In an effort to convince the world that the Linux operating system was created in part with its Unix code, SCO said it plans next week to begin showing analysts its evidence -- provided those parties sign a nondisclosure agreement (NDA).

But Giga Information Group Inc. analyst Stacey Quandt said she has discussed SCO's offer with her legal counsel, and if she signs an NDA, it may hinder her ability to write about it. She could get subpoenaed as well. Quandt called the offer a PR stunt.

"[SCO] should tell everybody what they have," said Quandt, who has advised clients of Cambridge, Mass.-based Giga to continue with their Linux adoption.

Other analyst firms expressed similar reservations about playing an active role in SCO's $1 billion lawsuit against IBM, which alleges misappropriation of trade secrets and other claims. SCO has warned some 1,500 businesses that they may be using Linux at their legal peril.

One person who won't sign a nondisclosure agreement is Torvalds, who created Linux in 1991. Torvalds, in an e-mail response, said there's "no way" he can sign a nondisclosure agreement with SCO to review the code. "Others have asked and haven't gotten anything, so I don't see much point. They don't want to tell; they want to sue. I'm told that it will come out in discovery during the actual suit at some point."

As for what he thinks of SCO's actions, Torvalds in an e-mail interview compared the fight between SCO, IBM and Novell Inc. to bad TV. "Quite frankly, I found it mostly interesting in a Jerry Springer kind of way. White trash battling it out in public, throwing chairs at each other. SCO crying about IBM's other women. ... Fairly entertaining," said Torvalds.

George Weiss, an analyst at Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner Inc. who recently recommended minimizing Linux in complex, mission-critical systems until the merits of SCO's claims are clear, has been talking to SCO and is also leaning against accepting the offer. Weiss said SCO is making its case based on "vague inferences" and is asking analysts to do the same. "It's stepping right into their shoes," he said.

What do you think? Post your opinions and see what others have to say in our discussion forum.

Framingham, Mass.-based IDC is also mulling the offer from SCO to review source code, but it has reservations. "I'm not sure that showing us the code would prove anything to me, because I don't know where it came from," said IDC analyst Dan Kusnetzky.

Despite the concerns expressed by Gartner, Giga and IDC, Darl McBride, SCO's CEO, today said that five or six analysts have expressed interest in viewing the code under NDAs. He said that some "highly recognizable" members of the open-source community have also asked about the NDA process, but he would not give their names.

Starting next week, SCO will "be happy to show the code," he said.

The value of review by analysts at Giga, IDC, Gartner or any independent source is questionable and legally risky for anyone who agrees to it, said Michael Overly, a partner at the law firm Foley & Lardner in Los Angeles. Anyone who reviews the source code can expect to be deposed in the IBM lawsuit. "Do they want to lose all that employee time and face potential adverse publicity?" asked Overly.

But if an analyst says there are copyright infringements, other Linux firms could make claims against the analyst's firm because the opinion could depress Linux earnings. Those companies could seek to find out whether the analyst was negligent in his analysis of the code, said Overly.

Even if there is similar code, that doesn't mean there is infringement, especially under copyright law "fair use" provisions, said Overly. "If I take a piece of code that someone has written, take it verbatim but expand on it and use it for a completely different work, that may or not be copyright infringement," he said.

Overly said a review of the code by anyone other than a judge "means absolutely, positively nothing" in determining the merit of SCO's claims.

Regardless of the uncertainties, legal experts said Linux users have to pay attention to the fight. "The fact that you ignored it could potentially cause your damages to increase substantially," said Brian E. Ferguson, an attorney at McDermott, Will & Emery's Washington office. "The ostrich's head-in-the-sand approach is definitely not an option."

Matthew Furton, an attorney at Gordon & Glickson LLC in Chicago, said it's premature for any company to reduce or eliminate its exposure to Linux. "The fact that someone is making allegations about proprietary technology [being] inappropriately included doesn't mean that companies should uninstall or cease deployments," he said. "It means they should remain vigilant about the case."

Full Story @ Computerworld

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May 28, 2003

Novell challenges SCO's Linux claims

By Stephen Shankland
Staff Writer, CNET News.com
May 28, 2003, 7:01 AM PT

update Novell, the second in the chain of four companies to own rights to the Unix operating system, is challenging the copyright infringement claims that the current owner of those rights, SCO Group, is making against Linux.

In a letter to SCO released Wednesday, Novell asserted that it retains Unix patents and copyrights, demanded that SCO reveal where Unix source code has been copied into Linux and raised its own threat of legal action to compensate for damage it says has been done to customers, programmers and companies using Linux.

"To Novell's knowledge, the 1995 agreement governing SCO's purchase of Unix from Novell does not convey to SCO the associated copyrights," Novell Chief Executive Jack Messman said in the letter to SCO Chief Executive Darl McBride. He said that SCO evidently realizes this because "over the last few months you have repeatedly asked Novell to transfer the copyrights to SCO, requests that Novell has rejected."

But SCO Group said the issue is beside the point because it bought full rights to the Unix intellectual property, including its copyrights, patents and the right to enforce those patents, according to Chris Sontag, head of the SCOsource effort to derive more money from the Unix intellectual property.

"We have enforcement rights to any appropriate patents that are still viable and related to Unix," Sontag said in a Tuesday interview. He did say that Novell and AT&T, the original creator of Unix, still had some Unix patents, but that SCO has "all the rights and control of all copyrights and contracts."

SCO's claims are the basis of a $1 billion lawsuit against IBM alleging that Big Blue misappropriated SCO's Unix trade secrets by building Unix intellectual property into Linux and violated its Unix contract with SCO. More recently, SCO has claimed that Unix code has been copied line-by-line into Linux, sometimes obscured to disguise its origin, an accusation that cuts to the core of the open-source philosophy that underlies Linux.

SCO recently sent threatening letters to 1,500 of the world's largest companies, saying use of Linux could make them the target of legal action based on copyrighted Unix source code allegedly copied into Linux.

Novell's move will come at nearly the same time that SCO Group reports results for its second quarter of fiscal 2003. Two weeks ago, SCO said it expected net income of $4 million for the quarter, the company's first profit.

Patents aren't a part of SCO's suit against IBM, but Sontag said SCO doesn't rule out the possibility of adding patent-based claims to its suit in the future. In any case, though, the company believes it has a stronger position with its claim that IBM's actions breached its contract with SCO Group.

"Copyrights and patents are protection against strangers. Contracts are what you use against parties you have relationships with," Sontag said. "They end up being far stronger than anything you do could do with a patent."

Unix, more than 30 years old, has a long and complicated history. Unix was initially developed by AT&T, though many extensions to the operating system were created at the University of California's Berkeley campus.

AT&T sold the rights to the operating system to Novell, which later sold them to the Santa Cruz Operation. That company renamed itself Tarantella at the same time that it sold the Unix intellectual property to Linux seller Caldera International, which in turn changed its name to SCO Group to reflect the fact that most of its revenue comes from the Unix products it acquired from the Santa Cruz Operation.

Novell and AT&T still have patents related to Unix, Sontag said, but Tarantella doesn't. "Tarantella has no leftover intellectual property from the sale of our Unix business to Caldera. There is no Unix IP ownership at Tarantella anymore," said spokeswoman Lynn Schroeder.

Linux, meanwhile, is a derivative of Unix with a completely separate and freely available code base. Linus Torvalds began the Linux project less than 12 years ago, piggybacking on Richard Stallman's GNU (Gnu's Not Unix ) project that began in 1984 to clone Unix but discard its proprietary nature in favor of an open, sharing philosophy.

Linux now has the backing of all the major server makers and many software companies. Analyst firm IDC said about 13 percent of all servers in 2002 shipped with Linux. By 2007, that number is expected to exceed 25 percent, though the fraction of money spent on Linux servers likely will be closer to 15 percent.

SCO's actions have triggered derision from many Linux advocates. And industry analysts have said SCO appears to be shifting from a company that sells software products to a company that licenses intellectual property.

SCO's actions triggered more intense scrutiny last week when it licensed Unix intellectual property to Microsoft, a Linux foe that has been trying for years to attract Unix customers to its own Windows operating system.


Full Story @ CNET News.com

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May 26, 2003

Memorial Day

I wanted to take some time to say Thank You to the Men and Women who have given their lives for my Freedom. Thank You to the Parents, Wives, Husbands and Children left behind for their sacrifice as well. Please let's all take some time this Memorial Day to remember those who paid the price for the freedoms we enjoy.

We Here @ Muddy's Mind salute our Vet's and those that have served in peace time, Skywalker and CWilli ... Semper Fi! Thanks guys for giving up part of your lives to protect this country, and even the thankless souls who don't deserve to live in this, the greatest country in the world.


I also would like to take a moment and remember my great uncle Marlie Brown who served in the great world war WWII. He served in the Army in Europe and at one time was driver for General Omar Bradley. Earned the Bronze star for shooting down a German fighter (unsure if BF-109 or FW-190) with a browning .30 caliber machine gun. Then spent the rest of his time as a prisoner of war. He didn't speak much about the war, understandably so.. but the one time he did I'll never forget.

May God bless all those who are serving today, may you come home safe and sound.

Posted by Muddy at 06:04 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

'Free' Linux movement should end (uh?)

May 21, 2003, 12:04 PM PT

In response to the May 19 Perspectives column by Bruce Perens, "The fear war against Linux":

(Ok, time for me to vent on this mindless Micro$oft drone -Muddy)

With all due respect, your fantasy world of so-called "free" software is about to end, God willing. (Wow, how much did Micro$oft pay you?, Free is always good, I suppose you'd like to pay for the air you breath? -Muddy)

This ridiculous movement (ridiculous because you don't understand it? yea... that's more like it) is nothing but a vain socialist attempt to marginalize the software industry. (Bwaaahahahahahaha... get over yourself twit) Moreover, it has been rather unpleasant to watch you and others over the past three years develop the single largest false advertising campaign in the history of commerce, knowing all along that it was pure chicanery. That is, touting that Linux is free when in fact all commercial (i.e. useable) versions are not. (LOL, I could not believe this, what planet is this dude from? I've been using Linux since 96' and have never paid for it, and have had FAR BETTER support than Micro$oft ever gave me -Muddy)

What a joke on the public it's all been. As a computer consultant for more than 21 years, (again, I ask on what planet? -Muddy) I have felt compelled to correct my customers when they attempt to inform me about Linux being "free." (you mean misinform, or as you should say, Lie to them. -Muddy) We all know that that is simply a big fat lie in the computer industry. I then proceed to tell them about Linux's hidden costs--and no technical support--and that it is essentially outdated 1960s technology. (Hidden costs?? Yea FREE is a Hidden cost I've overlooked, shame on me. No Technical Support?? Yea Man pages, and the thousands of awesome sites, mailing lists and such are of no help at all, LOL. Outdated 1960's technology? Is this guy talking about this Micro$oft windoze software that is based on Stolen 1960's technology or Linux which is NOT? Hmm... I think he's confused -Muddy)

Now I get the privilege, along with my dear friends at Microsoft, to tell my customers that code embedded within Linux was stolen or misappropriated and that they themselves can be held liable for using this rogue operating system. That's right. I will specifically emphasize to them that it a hacker-based operating system that was built with stolen intellectual property!
(LOL!!!!!! I don't know whether to be pissed off or saddened... this guy obviously has brain damage, I would suggest he seek professional help. -Muddy)

Bill Jeansonne
Bethesda, Md.

Full Letter @ News.com

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The fear war against Linux

The fear war against Linux


By Bruce Perens
May 19, 2003, 1:00 PM PT


Microsoft's connection to the anti-Linux campaign being waged by the SCO Group is becoming clear.

In the latest move, Microsoft has stepped up the battle with an announced agreement to license SCO's Unix patents and the source code, describing the deal as a reflection of its "ongoing commitment to respecting intellectual property and the IT community's healthy exchange of IP through licensing."

Nice rhetoric.

This comes after SCO just last week sent a letter to big IT customers, threatening legal action. And the reality is that Microsoft is tying SCO's allegations into its own anti-GPL campaign, a mostly unsuccessful effort to convince customers that the sharing and openness methods used in Linux development are unhealthy for the market. (SCO has gone so far as to publish "Quotations from Linux Leaders," a collection of inaccurate and out-of-context quotes of GNU Public License creator Richard Stallman and myself to paint Linux developers as nothing better than software pirates.)

Someone should tell SCO that IT customers don't like to be threatened by their vendors. In fact, the increasingly bellicose tone of SCO's communications and the refusal to show any evidence might well suggest that its claims are nothing more than grandiose ravings. To be sure, Microsoft will take advantage of those ravings while it can.

The real story here is the lack of substance to the SCO claims, and the increasingly remote chance that its lawyers will prevail. A similar case alleging plagiarism of Unix by an open-source operating system was litigated in the early '90s. AT&T sued the University of California, claiming that the BSD system infringed upon AT&T's copyrights. Eventually, the court narrowed AT&T's concerns down to only four source files, which the university simply replaced rather than argue about them. AT&T then settled the case by paying the university's court costs. SCO is not likely to do any better.

SCO's lawsuit against IBM is not a patent case. The fundamental patents on Unix would have expired long ago, while SCO's handful of patents aren't significant. The main allegation is that trade secrets of Unix have been copied into Linux. To win a trade secret case, you have to prove the information was secret. Detailed knowledge of Unix has been available in libraries for 30 years, and a full Unix specification was distributed by the U.S. government as part of its POSIX standards.

The Unix source code has been licensed to universities for the past 30 years, and most good college computer science departments made use of a copy until the publicly available Linux came along. While students were contractually restricted from committing plagiarism by directly copying code, they also were expected to use what they'd learned from the Unix internals during their entire careers. And computer science textbooks have documented every aspect of operating system internals for a long time. It is thus extremely unlikely that SCO can show that any of the claimed "trade secrets" were secret at all.

Besides the older Unix secrets, SCO claims that IBM copied newly developed SCO trade secrets that got revealed through the two companies' partnership during the Monterey project. The use of secrets is now alleged to have enabled Linux to run efficiently on the Intel Itanium processor. In fact, the lead engineers on the Linux Itanium port weren't even at IBM; they are Hewlett-Packard's David Mosberger and Stephane Eranian. Their book, "IA-64 Linux Kernel," documents the work they performed. Itanium was derived from HP's PA-RISC architecture through an HP-Intel partnership, and thus it's much more likely that any Itanium rocket science in the Linux kernel has come from HP and Intel, rather than IBM and SCO.

There's also a problem with attributing too much interest in Itanium to IBM, which makes its own CPU chips in competition with Intel. And the very notion of IBM being the Robin Hood of operating systems--stealing from SCO to give to Linux--is difficult to believe. Of the companies that could be expected to have stringent policies and training about intellectual-property issues, IBM must head the list.

Similarly, the open-source community has been careful to create its own code rather than copy others. Richard Stallman's 1984 "GNU Manifesto" deals extensively with copyright issues and ownership of software, and later documents, like my "Open Source Definition," have continued that process. Our developers are smart enough to understand the consequences of plagiarism.

Where SCO stands
And yet SCO officers allege--without any substantiating evidence--that their copyrighted code has been appropriated into Linux. If there's been any copying, it's much more likely that the publicly available GNU/Linux code has been copied into the secret SCO source. To prove otherwise, SCO would have to present evidence regarding the date its code was written. The creation dates for Linux code aren't in question because CD-ROM archives exist of all stages of its development and have been sold to thousands of witnesses.

SCO's allegations can't be proven until its lawyers produce the evidence. But no publicly disclosed evidence is forthcoming until the trial, says SCO's Darl McBride, because it would give Linux developers a chance to launder their issues.

As if they could wipe the bits off of the hundreds of thousands of Linux source-code CDs already sold. SCO says it might show the evidence to "independent experts" under a nondisclosure agreement in a few weeks. But why is an NDA necessary? By SCO's own attestation, the code in question is already available to the public. The company would not be further damaged by a public display of evidence. The no-spin answer is that by delaying the public release of evidence, SCO can continue to make unsubstantiated assertions about Linux for as long as possible.

It's interesting to look at the size of the Linux development organization. Some 440 people are listed in the Linux kernel credits--that's only a partial list. They produce 50,000-plus lines of new or modified code per month. And that's just the kernel--other sizable teams produce libraries, utilities and applications.

SCO, a small and troubled company, can't hope to match those figures. Indeed, any Unix team in history would have been hard-pressed to rival them. Why, then, would Linux or IBM need SCO's contribution?

And what of SCO's own participation in Linux, and its effect upon its lawsuit and future income? SCO shut down distribution of its own Linux system, citing "intellectual property risk." So what? The company's behavior had already driven Linux customers elsewhere. And shutting down its Linux business does not change SCO's intellectual-property risk: The company had already distributed the Linux kernel and other critical components under the GPL license as part of SCO's own products.

Who really benefits from this mess? Microsoft.
SCO had more than adequate chance to notice if it owned any of the code in question. The GPL does not have a termination date and promises royalty-free use of the licensed code to everyone. The fact is, SCO's potential to collect royalties from the Linux kernel or anything else connected with the GPL is nil.

For SCO to have been distributing the very code it contends was appropriated--under a license that assures everyone of the right to use it for free--further hurts its chances of prevailing.

SCO management also fails to grasp its liability for the harm it is causing to countless customers, developers and software projects involved in Linux. The group's actions will lead to loss of sales and jobs, delayed projects, canceled financing, and the like. The damage to others will certainly invite retribution when the frivolity of SCO's claims is revealed.

I earlier thought the suit could be a bid to force IBM to acquire SCO at a cheaper price than the cool billion dollars being demanded to settle the case. Big Blue, which isn't taking the bait, must be confident of winning.

Who really benefits from this mess? Microsoft, whose involvement in getting a defeated Unix company to take on the missionary work of spreading FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) about Linux is finally coming to light.

Microsoft hardly needs an SCO source license. Its license payment to SCO is simply a good-looking way to pass along a bribe, coupled with an announcement designed to further intimidate Linux users. It's hard to imagine former Microsoft adversaries SCO and David Boies doing Bill Gates' bidding, but Microsoft's money is green. SCO stockholders should be asking questions.

Full Story @ CNET News.com

Posted by Muddy at 12:41 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

May 23, 2003

Gulf War II Battle Danaged A-10

I found this great story about a female A-10 pilot who was able to bring her bird home after taking some heavy damage. Kudos to her and the fantastic service men and women of the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing.

Story about Battle Damaged A-10

Posted by Muddy at 11:14 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 22, 2003

Wow! New Video's out for Lock On and Their Gorgeous!

For those of you living in a bomb shelter for the past 2 months you've been missing it. Lock On - Modern Air Combat is THE most beautiful flight sim every developed. I've been downloading and drooling over the preview video's since March and I cannot wait for this gem to hit the shelves.

Lock On: Modern Air Combat

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May 19, 2003

Disney to Start Renting 'Self-Destructing' DVDs

LOS ANGELES — This disc will self-destruct in 48 hours.

That is the warning The Walt Disney Co. (DIS) will issue this August when it begins to "rent" DVDs that after two days become unplayable and do not have to be returned.

Disney home video unit Buena Vista Home Entertainment (search) will launch a pilot movie "rental" program in August that uses the self-destruction technology (search), the company said Friday.

The discs stop working when a process similar to rusting makes them unreadable. The discs start off red, but when they are taken out of the package, exposure to oxygen turns the coating black and makes it impenetrable by a DVD laser.

Buena Vista hopes the technology will let it crack a wider rental market, since it can sell the DVDs in stores or almost anywhere without setting up a system to get the discs back.

The discs work perfectly for the two-day viewing window, said Flexplay Technologies, Inc. (search) , the private company which developed the technology using material from General Electric Co. (GE).

The technology cannot be hacked by programmers who would want to view the disc longer because the mechanism which closes the viewing window is chemical and has nothing to do with computer technology.

However, the disc can be copied within 48 hours, since it works like any other DVD during that window.

Buena Vista did not disclose pricing plans but said the discs, dubbed EZ-D, would be available in August in select markets with recent releases including The Recruit, The Hot Chick and Signs.

Full Story @ FOXNews.com

Posted by Muddy at 02:12 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

May 16, 2003

RIAA apologizes for erroneous letters (via cnet.com)

By Declan McCullagh
Staff Writer, CNET News.com
May 13, 2003, 4:41 PM PT

update The music industry's antipiracy efforts took an embarrassing turn Tuesday when the Recording Industry Association of America acknowledged that it has erroneously sent dozens of copyright infringement notices.

The RIAA said Tuesday that a temporary worker was responsible for firing off legal notifications last week that invoked the Digital Millennium Copyright Act without confirming that any copyrighted files were actually being offered for download. "We have sent two dozen withdrawal notices--all appear related to this particular temp," the RIAA said in a statement. "We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused."

On Monday, as first reported by CNET News.com, the RIAA withdrew a DMCA notice to Penn State University's astronomy and astrophysics department. Sent during Penn State's final exams, it prompted the central computing office at the campus to threaten the department with having its Internet connection severed unless the infringing material was removed.


Click Here.

The problem, however, was that no infringing file existed on the department's computer. The RIAA's automated program apparently confused two separate pieces of information--a legal MP3 and a directory named "usher"--and concluded there was an illegal copy of a song by the musician Usher.

In a second incident, Speakeasy, a national broadband provider, said Tuesday that the RIAA had apologized for sending it a cease-and-desist letter alleging illegal activity on a subscriber's FTP site devoted to the Commodore Amiga computer. The RIAA's form letter sent to Speakeasy last Thursday alleged the Amigascne.org site illegally "offers approximately 0 sound files for download. Many of these files contain recordings owned by our member companies, including songs by such artists as Creed."

The errors represent a black eye for the RIAA's latest efforts against piracy, which rely on automated crawlers to scour the Internet in an attempt to find material that is being distributed in a way that violates federal copyright law. The RIAA refuses to disclose what techniques its crawlers use, but the group appears to employ companies such as MediaForce and MediaDefender. Its copyright enforcers are not required to listen to an allegedly infringing MP3 file in its entirety, the RIAA has acknowledged.

RIAA spokesman Jonathan Lamy would not say who the temporary employee worked for, whether the person had been fired or who else had received DMCA notices.

"We do not discuss employment details, other than to say, 'We are taking appropriate action against this individual,'" Lamy said. "As we said, 24 withdrawal notices have been sent, all apparently due to mistakes this temp employee made." Just as the RIAA doesn't publicize the names of whom it sends cease-and-desist notices in order to protect their privacy, Lamy said, the group will not publicize this temp's name.

While the RIAA said that only 24 faulty letters have been sent, a comparison of the tracking numbers inserted in the Penn State and Speakeasy notices shows they differ by 136 numbers. That difference implies that hundreds of additional notifications may have been fired off around the same time, though not necessarily by the same RIAA worker.

Speakeasy said Tuesday that it accepted the RIAA's apology.

"Speakeasy routinely monitors abuse allegations from outside parties and forwards notices to its subscribers when appropriate. In this particular case, our abuse department notified the subscriber of the RIAA inquiry and Speakeasy simultaneously contacted the RIAA to question the '0 files found' portion of the original letter," a spokeswoman said. "Speakeasy is satisfied with the RIAA's timely response."

Kurt Hoffman, Speakeasy's chief operating officer, said the company believed RIAA's notice to be an honest mistake and that Speakeasy will not pursue legal action.

DMCA litigation
Under section 512 of the controversial DMCA, a representative of a copyright holder can send a "takedown" notice to a university or other Internet provider requesting that copyrighted material be removed. Anyone receiving a false notice can sue for damages and attorney's fees, but only if the sender "knowingly materially misrepresents" information.

Cindy Cohn, legal director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said Monday that section 512 hands too much power to copyright holders. "If you have a good-faith belief that use of the material is not authorized by the copyright holder under copyright law, that's the only standard you have to meet," Cohn said. "You can't be liable if you're wrong unless you knowingly and materially misrepresented. I think the situations where there will be liability will be very small."

Section 512 of the DMCA is also what's at issue in the RIAA v. Verizon lawsuit, which is before a federal appeals court in Washington. The law permits a copyright owner to send a subpoena ordering a service provider to turn over information about a subscriber. The service provider must promptly comply with that order, and no judge's approval is required first, a process that Verizon says is not sufficiently privacy-protective.

While this appears to be the first time that mistakes by the RIAA have been made public, other copyright holders overreached. A site that offers the open-source OpenOffice program received such a notice from Microsoft's representatives after an automated program searching for MS Office became confused. The Church of Scientology invoked section 512 in an attempt to get Google to delete links to both the church's copyrighted work and a critic's Web site.

Disruptive effects
Erroneous takedown notices sent under section 512 can be disruptive. At Penn State, where a song by the astronomer a capella group The Chromatics about a gamma-ray satellite apparently triggered the RIAA's notification-bot, the astronomy department's system administrator spent four days dealing with the fallout. "I knew the DMCA was not the greatest law ever made, but when this came down the pike, I was caught completely off guard," said Matt Soccio, the department's network and information systems manager.

Sam Kielek, who is an administrator for the Amiga site he runs from his home with a DSL connection, said he believes Speakeasy took a clearly erroneous complaint from the RIAA too seriously. A note to Kielek from Patrick McDonald in Speakeasy's abuse department defended the RIAA, saying the group's investigators must have found something: "If the current complaint does not have any scan results, this would mean that at one point it did--otherwise, they would not have sent out an e-mail in the first place--and they are making a formal notification about it."

Kielek said: "I'm unhappy with the way Speakeasy handled this entire ordeal...I wanted Speakeasy to make more of an effort to look at an obvious error in this e-mail. The way the e-mail could have been written is to say, 'We received the e-mail from RIAA saying that there were zero files. So there was an error.'"

The Amigascne.org site is devoted to collections of "demo" files, which show off the capabilities of the Amiga computer, which had superior graphics when it was introduced in the 1980s. "There are some files with the suffix mp3 but there is nothing I could find that I could associate with any artist that I know of," Kielek said.


Article found @ cnet.com

Posted by Muddy at 05:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Daniels Hates the RIAA (via 411mania.com)

(Article used with Permission)

Now, as most of you know from my previous columns here on the site, I am extremely anti-RIAA. I think they’re a bunch of disgusting fat cats who wield the legal system as a tool to try to regain control of an industry that is slipping from their grasp, rather than trying to adapt to the new technology and going with it. They are convinced they can stop the filesharing stuff from happening, rather than just realizing it’s not going away and it’s been around for almost a decade now.

See, back in the days before Napster, what most of you may not know is there was this thing called Internet Relay Chat, or IRC. Back in the days of IRC, those in the know, swapped music and movie files back and forth, and still do to this day. Also, college networks were already starting to share music files. When MP3’s were invented, taking away the disgusting hugeness of .WAV files (which could be up to 100 MegaBytes per SONG), we rejoiced. Then the networks like Scour.net started up, which was basically a huge IRC search engine.

Then Napster came along, and the file sharing network idea became available to the public. Now, everyone knew about this… and music was a giant free for all. Full CDs were available for network downloading, and the Recording Industry panicked. Now, someone who was smart would have looked at this Napster module, bought them out, and then figured out “how can we make money off this.” Some people would have come up with the fact that this could be a huge boon that, used properly, could actually increase record sales overall. Someone could have realized that millions of eyes would be on this network every day, and millions of ears, too. Some sort of crazy advertising revenue might be possible.

But instead, somewhere along the line, the RIAA decided to go the way of the MPAA in the 80s when they sued Blockbuster video for the idea of “renting” movies. The MPAA argued that the availability of VCR tapes for rental would cut into the revenue they made from VCR tape sales. This case was, obviously, eventually ruled in Blockbuster’s favor. But the MPAA wasn’t quite happy from there. They combated it by making video releases “priced to rent,” which meant that, to get movies to rent to people, video stores would have to pay $30 to sometimes up to $100 per rental copy, a pricing structure which continues to this day. So, next time you rent a videocassette and break it, keep in mind that the replacement costs on VHS tapes can be $75 or more. (PSA from your friendly neighborhood Daniels).

It began with a lesser known website, with the RIAA vs MP3.com. An interesting case this was. Back in the beginning MP3.com’s system was as follows. The user places a CD in their hard-drive (thus PROVING they owned the CD) and mp3.com would store the fact that user owned that CD. Then, from any computer, anywhere in the world, you could access that CD without actually having the physical CD. To me, this is one of the most useful services in the world. I would much rather upload all my CDs to mp3.com at home and then be able to access them at work, without lugging a book of CDs with me everywhere I go. It’s easier not to lose them and easier not to damage them.

However, this service rubbed the RIAA the wrong way, and it was the first site they went after. They argued that the service COULD be used to facilitate the trading of pirated music files. Well, I used to be a member of AOL, and I used AOL to get to Porn. If someone uses AOL to get to Kiddie Porn, who is responsible? The user for downloading the kiddie porn, the site operater that is offering the kiddie porn, or AOL, which is just there doing it’s job.

Do you sue a gun company because the gun COULD be used to kill someone? Hell, do you sue a gun company AFTER the gun has been used to kill someone?

The answer is no. The RIAA used the courts as a pre-emptive strike against a service they didn’t like because it took some of the control out of their hands, even though there is absolutely nothing inherently illegal about the service. In the exact same way it is legal for me to make copy of a CD I buy for personal use, it is equally as legal for me to upload a copy of my CD to my computer (and MP3.com) for my personal use. So long as MP3.com could prove a secure service in which other people aren’t accessing my account, they are doing nothing wrong.

Another thing that is important to remember is: when the mp3.com lawsuit happened in 2000 (before which Scour, Napster, and mp3.com were still around), Total CD purchases actually went up even with the existence of the online services. But, this didn’t mean anything to the recording industry and in 2000, Alex Walsh then the vice president of marketing for the RIAA said: If we grew 3 percent as an industry, maybe we could have grown twice as much. There is just no way to tell how much we could have lost. There is no scientific or empirical way to determine how much more music we could have sold.

So, even at the beginning they were arguing that they were suing based on a presumed loss of sales, which means the RIAA was even trying to get these services done before they were even sure how they were going to affect the industry. Why? Control and Quality.

After the MP3.com victory, the RIAA fired off the Napster lawsuit, and it has been downhill from there. Lawsuit after lawsuit trying to, basically, stop technology in its tracks, rather than learning from it and adapting to it, they are using the courts to try and shore up a wall of sand. For every hole they plug, five more spring open. For every court battle they’re in, another two become possible. And, all the while this is going on, Recording Industry Revenue has dropped six percent.

Six percent.

Keep that figure in mind. Six percent. With broadband, CD Burners, and access to every song on the planet… global cd sales have fallen six percent. Just about anyone has access to every CD on the planet for free, and global CD sales have only fall six percent.

Amid one of the worst economies since the early 80s.

Amid $19.99 CDs for a half hour of music.

Amid one of the biggest void of talent in the music industry ever.

Amid growing DVD/VHS sales.

Amid XM/Satellite Radios.

Amid Streaming Radios.

Amid possibly the worst consumer backlash in recent memory.

CD Sales have only slumped SIX percent. Something else to keep in mind over all this:

In 1999, the last time music sales increased, there was an increase from 33,100 new releases in 1998 to 38,900 new releases in 1999. More new releases, more purchasing. Seems a simple explanation. But, something you DON’T usually hear the RIAA mention. In 2000, the number of new releases dropped to 27,000, and that number was mirrored in 2001. Which means, industry wide, there were 11,000 LESS releases. They cut their total inventory shipped by almost 25% and their total sales dropped only by SIX percent.

Now, I don’t know about all y’all, but I’m not going to buy the same CDs in 1999 that I am in 2000. If I have less selection, I’ll buy less.

Another figure the RIAA likes to tout is that almost of a quarter of the people THEY surveyed burn CDs instead of buying them these days.

Of the people THEY surveyed. Does it strike anyone else as problematic that the biggest source of data they use is surveys THEY conduct?

And remember, most of the mystical “decrease in sales due to piracy” happened AFTER they took it upon themselves to shut down Napster, Aimster, mp3.com and every other file sharing system that got in their way. But, all these details are left out when they tout their industry bulls**t about how CD piracy is costing them all their profits.

Now, if there IS one product I can give the recording industry as having died a painful, bloody death due to online piracy is the Single. Remember? Those old skool tapes that would have one song on them. The ONE song that they would charge you $3.50 to $5.50 for, with the “bonus” of another song off the album that sucked or a B-side that (usually) wasn’t good enough to make the album… and I only say “usually” because Pearl Jam had some of their best material released as B-Sides.

Now, what you’re left with is music coming out with less and less talent involved, more and more frequently, and prices of CDs that just keep going up, while the cost to produce them keep going down. It costs, on average, double to make a cassette than it does a tape, and yet CDs cost double cassettes. Why? How can something that costs five cents to make cost $20 by the time it gets to you. Well, lets see what the RIAA itself has to say.

A typical music fan who buys a CD might use that CD at home, take that CD in the car, make a tape of that CD, – or using it as part of a compilation, play that CD with friends and for friends, and keep that CD for many years. That’s probably why most consumers, when asked, describe CDs as a good value. At the same time, when asked directly whether CDs cost too much, some consumers will say yes! Why the contradiction? Because some consumers don't understand why the sales tag on a CD is so much higher than the cost of producing the actual physical disc, a cost, which in fact, has decreased over the years.

Yes, immediately lets make it the idiot consumer’s fault for not understanding.

While the RIAA does not collect information on the specific costs that make up the price of a CD

In two words… bull and s**t. You’re telling me they don’t know their costs to get a CD to market? Right, and I don’t know how many people read this column from week to week.

there are many factors that go into the overall cost of a CD -- and the plastic it's pressed on, is among the least significant. CD manufacturing costs may be lower, but it takes more money than ever before to put out a new recording.

Really? I can’t wait to hear this.

Obligatory stuff here about how artists rule edited for space

Once an artist or group has songs composed, they must then go into the studio and begin recording. The costs of recording this work, including recording studio fees, studio musicians, sound engineers, producers and others, all must be recovered by the cost of the CD.

OK, granted, I can see that.

Then come marketing and promotion costs -- perhaps the most expensive part of the music business today. They include increasingly expensive video clips, public relations, tour support, marketing campaigns, and promotion to get the songs played on the radio.

This is, in three more words: more, bull, and s**t. New artists need promotion, but how many new artists do they break each year and how many more are releasing second albums. Once an artist has “made it,” all the record company has to do is give a release date. How much promotion did you see for Meteora before it came out?

For example, when you hear a song played on the radio -- that didn’t just happen! Labels make investments in artists by paying for both the production and the promotion of the album, and promotion is very expensive. New technology such as the Internet offers new ways for artists to reach music fans, but it still requires that some entity, whether it is a traditional label or another kind of company, market and promote that artist so that fans are aware of new releases.

For every album released in a given year, a marketing strategy was developed to make that album stand out among the other releases that hit the market that year. Art must be designed for the CD box, and promotional materials (posters, store displays and music videos) developed and produced. For many artists, a costly concert tour is essential to promote their recordings.

Right, a costly tour. The same costly tour that brings in $40/seat for 15,000 people… which is $600,000 per night, before the money they will get from $20 T-Shirts.

But, enough with the groundwork.

Up until last week, the RIAA have been siccing their law monkeys on faceless corporations. AIMster, Napster, MP3.com, Verizon, etc. Last week, the RIAA Filed Suit against four college students, two of whom are students at my former college Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The lawsuit alleges that these four folks have set up Napster-like networks. Realisticly, all these guys have done is index a search engine across the campus network. Of course, as district judge Madelyn Patel proved back with the Napster lawsuit, the actualities of the technology really don’t mean anything in the grand scheme of things.

See, Napster really never did anything wrong. All Napster did was index a search engine that facilitated finding files on decentralized computers. They were a gateway, similar to AOL and Verizon. The ILLEGAL part of Napster were all the users who were trading files on it, but see, that didn’t matter to the judge. Since judges know nothing about computers (and neither do lawyers for that matter) they can’t make the differentiation… and they won’t admit that. So what you have is a bunch of technologically clueless f***s making decisions about s**t they know nothing about. Now, on the other hand, if I set up getfreecrap.com with a 20 gigabyte server with 2 million songs on it that I’m offering for free download… THAT’S illegal. However, if I set up linkstofreecrap.com and provide links getfreecrap.com, superfreecrap.com, and freemusic.com, I’m not doing anything illegal, but I’m providing a link to sites that are doing things that are illegal. But, according to people don’t know anything about domain names and ip addresses might think that I’m doing something illegal, too.

Regardless, the lawsuit goes on to claim that each of these students, on their respective websites, offered up a search engine. The lawsuit also claims damages of $150,000 per copyrighted work on the search engines for up to 700,000 files.

For those of you who don’t have a calculator handy, they are suing four college students for more than 96 BILLION dollars. And that’s just ONE of the cases.

So, what you have NOW is, not only is the RIAA shutting down corporate websites who are trying to make money… NOW they’re suing college students, who can probably barely afford their next dinner not provided by the dining hall, and who probably make about $8,000/year, much less afford a lawyer for the years that they may be stuck in legal wrangling. It’s ridiculous and it should make you sick to your stomach. See, there’s another group in the United States that use similar strong-arm tactics to intimidate their marks into submission, but we try to put the Mafia in prison all the time.

Hm… MafRIAA. That kinda works.

The backlash from colleges have already started. To this point, schools have been actively trying to shut down student-run sites when they are notified of illegal activity. This was also when the MafRIAA was willing to send them cease-and-desist letters. With this latest batch, however, no advanced noticed was sent and, instead the lawsuits were simply filed against the alleged perpetrators. Colleges are already wondering what the point of working with the MafRIAA was in the first place.

So, the lawsuits that I predicted months ago begun well ahead of schedule. The lawsuits of the enormous, multi-billion dollar MafRIAA vs the little guy. The guy who is doing nothing but writing a search engine. The guy who is trying to learn new things for the future of the computer industry. Instead… the MafRIAA is, once again, trying to stop technology. And basically, they want to ruin these kid’s lives for doing nothing inherently wrong. Nothing but writing a search engine. Well s**t, they better sue Google next. And, when the backlash from THIS lawsuit happens, and LESS people buy CDs then before… and total sales fall AGAIN… once more the MafRIAA will be completely innocent. They’ll drop their jaws and point their fingers at the Internet… all the while not laying one iota of blame on their greedy tendencies to throw around lawsuits and sue people with no money. Because, obviously, there’s not a person out there who will never pick up another MafRIAA backed CD after this latest lawsuit. Certainly not RPI, Michigan State, or Princeton Alumni, such as myself, who really has no interest in even buying the new Godsmack album tomorrow, which I’ve been waiting months for.

I mean, s**t, I already have a few tracks downloaded on my computer. F***’s the point of actually buying it when they’re going to sue me anyway?

Remember, next time you pick up a CD, where your money is going. Just remember that it’s now being used to ruin lives. Remember that it’s going to stop the advancement of technology. And remember it will only get worse the more leverage we give them.

Shutting down the sites that supposedly facilitate piracy isn’t enough anymore. Now they want to ruin people’s lives.

Maybe you’re next.

New Stuff

Godsmack tomorrow. The stuff I’ve heard from Faceless that isn’t the leadoff single is really good. Sully says it’s gonna be really good… who am I to argue?

Lisa Marie Presley… which is 10% her and 90% backup singers. Go figure.

Scarface… who I only mention because he is a PRICK in Def Jam Vendetta

And Jay-Z… who just about is always worth listening to.

New Live album has their tracklisting and cover art up for viewing at friendsoflive.com

Life of Agony will be releasing a 2-disc live set and DVD recorded at their reunion show back in January… spiffy. This band has released more material since their breakup then when they were together.

By the way, don’t buy any of these CDs.

Pearl Jam Can go F*** themselves, too

Vedder should learn to keep his mouth shut and just sing. I’m torn… since I already bought the tickets, I feel I have to go… if for no other reason than to boo him when he starts running his mouth. Hey Eddie, how about going to college for a year before you start talking smack about s*** you know nothing about… you pansy ass haven’t been good since Ten fuggin hippie. Oh wait, that’s right, Eddie is a Green Party member, which means he lives in a f***ing fantasy world where everyone loves each other and business isn’t necessary. Even though He’s already Got His.

In Other Reading

Yeah, I’ve about had it for today.

Modzelewski saw Dave & Tim… and he’s still a good guy, regardless of what he says about me.

Cody no longer pimps me. He is jealous of Claire’s and my deep devotion to one another. You may feel free to Read Him Though.

One Review this week? Are you guys serious? It’s Mitch Michaels with Hootie. Hootie with a new album…… are you guys serious?

In Closing

Yeah, that about does it for me. If you wanted a bunch of different news, check out yesterdays or tomorrows. Also, spread this story to your friends. People need to know what’s going on.


Article from 411mania.com

Posted by Muddy at 05:13 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

May 15, 2003

UPDATE 2-Microsoft aims discounts at Linux

Thu May 15, 2003 12:59 PM ET
(Recasts, adds EU, lawyer, Microsoft comment)

By Lucas van Grinsven and Siobhan Kennedy

AMSTERDAM/NEW YORK, May 15 (Reuters) - Microsoft MSFT.O is offering large discounts on its products and has dedicated funds for a battle against the licence-free Linux operating system, measures that may run afoul of European competition rules.

But the company declined to comment a newspaper report that its previous sales chief had sent a email a year ago authorising executives to offer steep discounts as a way of preventing customers from buying Linux.

The discounts cash-rich Microsoft is said to be offering may put further pressure on the world's largest software maker which is under investigation by European market regulators for abusing its market dominance.

Microsoft said it used two funds as part of its Linux strategy. One aimed at governments and the educational sector and a second was aimed at enabling its sales force to undercut competitors who sell Linux software. "The primary objective (of the government and education program) is to make technology available to customers at low prices. We believe that this programme makes good business sense," said Microsoft spokesman Jim Desler in Seattle.

"There are (also) business investment funds. We use them in the case of a major competitor -- in this case it was IBM IBM.N -- dropping prices for services consulting and Microsoft responding with a program to compete," he said.

The news that Microsoft has set up funds to compete against Linux first emerged in the International Herald Tribune newspaper which said it had obtained internal Microsoft emails.

"Under NO circumstances lose against Linux," Orlando Ayala, chief sales executive, was quoted saying by the newspaper.

Microsoft is the operating software on more than 90 percent of desktop computers around the world, while it is pushing into the market for more powerful and expensive computers. A range of Microsoft rivals are promoting Linux as a cheap alternative to Microsoft's Windows.

ABUSE?

"If it's true the discounts would constitute an abuse. It would a be an infringement of case law involving article 82: no discounting by a dominant company that excludes competition," said Thomas Vinje, a competition law attorney at Morrison & Foerster in Brussels who is involved in cases against Microsoft.

Microsoft said it believed its programmes complied with all existing laws and regulations.

A spokeswoman for European Union competition commissioner Mario Monti declined comment.

Monti said in June 2001 after fining French tyre maker Michelin MICP.PA for keeping competitors out of the French tyre market that "dominant companies must be careful not to engage in practices that exclude other players from the market".

Governments and organisations in many countries are interested to use Linux on desktop computers, which is already a successful rival to Unix and Windows in server computers, used to power Web sites and corporate software.

Linux software runs 15 percent of all servers sold in Western Europe in 2002, compared with 56 percent of servers running on Windows, according to research group IDC.

LINUX CHANGES GAME

But just as Microsoft changed the computer industry 25 years ago when it started selling operating software as a separate product, Linux is changing the game again, analysts said.

"Linux software is owned by the software community. For Microsoft that's a very hard fight. If it says it doesn't want to lose against Linux, that's a statement against the community," said analyst Martin Hingley at IDC.

Linux is being distributed by hundreds of companies, which are not allowed to charge for the core software, but which do charge for modifications, services and maintenance. (Additional reporting by Tom Miles in Brussels)


Full Story @ Reuters.com

Posted by Muddy at 01:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 13, 2003

Question about Micahel Moore

While Michael Moore is a disgrace to the nation for his tantrums and some of his obvious expose work that he calls a documentary I am curious to know what people on this site think about comments such as...

"I can't believe that the police have not arrested Michael Moore yet for subverting the Bush Administration and speaking out against it?"

or

"The word is spreading fast. Emails, faxes, chat rooms, message boards, letters, talk shows, radio. It's starting to roll. The media has been informed. For Disney to fund Michael Moore's next film is the single most anti-American act ever done by a US corporation. It demands action and it will sink Disney!"

Is a business funding a project like Moore's new "documentary" really an anti-American act?

I don't agree with Mr. Moore in the least. I think he is a moron...I always have. That being said I am concerned that with two movements (PC and FAR RIGHT) so ignorant of what we as Americans actually have the right to say, so and believe that it is only a matter of time until one of the two wins and the other side is subjected to a McCarthy like lynching by the other based on their ideals.

Read more in this article on CBS
MarketWatch

Posted by at 11:25 AM | Comments (42) | TrackBack

May 02, 2003

Enron, MCI seek tax refunds

Report: Scandal-tainted firms to claim IRS overpayments

Reuters
NEW YORK, May 2 — Some major U.S. firms, under investigation for overstating profits, are preparing to collect or file for refunds in overpaid taxes tied to the same earnings they are accused of manipulating, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

Full Story @ MSNBC.com

Posted by Muddy at 09:09 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Cynics and the USS Abraham Lincoln

The pundits are so sophisticated that they see the Abraham Lincoln speech as nothing more than a campaign stump.
by David Brooks
05/02/2003 5:00:00 AM


David Brooks, senior editor

BOY AM I in a terrible mood. I watched and listened to the punditry on President Bush's speech on the USS Lincoln. The people he was standing before have been away from their families for ten months. That's mothers away from their kids, fathers away from their kids, men an women away from their spouses, their mothers, fathers, and siblings. One hundred and fifty fathers on the Abraham Lincoln missed the birth of their child.

That's called sacrifice. Most of us are basket cases if we're on a business trip away from our families for four days. These people were gone nearly a year. And they did it to defend the country. They did it to liberate the people of Iraq, so that 25 million Iraqis would be emancipated from a sadistic regime, the greatest victory for human rights since the defeat of the Soviet Union.

And what do my fellow pundits say? They sit in the studios and point out sagely that the speech was a tremendous photo-op, and then they go home to the safety of their beds and the comfort of their families.

Somehow the sacrifice of those men and women never registers. It's not worth commenting on. The only thing that matters is that this was a campaign event and it's to be judged as just another rally on the way to the convention. The ship, the soldiers, the ocean--all of it is treated as mere bunting, as a Deaveresque device to provide pretty pictures. This is what passes for wisdom.

Now I'm not denying that this was in part a political event or that President Bush is a politician. But this was first an American event, a recognition of the noble deed this country is accomplishing. And it was an act of recognition for those soldiers, and through them all the soldiers who fought, including those who were injured and died.

And much of punditry treated those soldiers as mere props, as not even human. I understand that most pundits don't know too many of the people on that ship, but it doesn't take a huge act of imagination to feel what they have been through and to at least register their idealism and what they have suffered for it.

Somehow the cynicism and the churlishness of the savvy campaign commentator makes that impossible.

As I say, I'm in a terrible mood. Maybe I'll feel better tomorrow.

David Brooks is a senior editor at The Weekly Standard.


Full Story @ weeklystandard.com

Posted by Muddy at 07:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 01, 2003

Microsoft admits older software insecure and unreliable

(Muddy says, Swtich now to Linux or BSD if you know what's good for you.. unless you enjoy poor quality software)

10 weeks turns into a year

By Staff at the Newsdesk: Thursday 01 May 2003, 14:43

THE CONSTANT COMPLAINT from the Microsoft's detractors is that its software is full of bugs. And it's pretty hard to ignore the almost daily security warnings. So it's quite nice to hear the Vole of Redmond finally start admitting that its software is insecure and unreliable.

According to a story on CNN, Microsoft vice president S. Somasegar said Windows Server 2003 "took a much longer time because we did the right thing on security and reliability."
(Muddy says, *cough, cough* oh riiiiggghhhtttt... wait 4 or 5 years and you'll be saying.. server 2003 sucked and we knew it) That seems like a tacit admission that previous Microsoft operating systems were duff if ever there was one. That operating system was held back by a year because of bug fixing and security improvements. It's nice to know that Microsoft finally admits that the rest of its operating systems could have done with that extra year too.

It all came about because of the Vole's "Trustworthy Computing" scheme. It's not quite certain who is supposed to be trusted in the scheme but we're fairly certain it's not the customer. As part of the scheme, Microsoft spent 10 weeks last year teaching its employees all about planning and thinking about "quality."

Microsoft hopes that its customers will see a "huge improvement" with Windows Server 2003. It's early days yet. Anyone want to start a sweepstake on when the first major bugs focus points and security issues appear? µ

Full Story @ theinquirer.net

Posted by Muddy at 09:05 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack