X vs. XP

I’ve been using Mac OS X for about six months now, and really love it. Mac OS X is built on top of Unix technology. My computer has crashed exactly once in that time. Once.

I’ve been using Mac OS X for about six months now, and really love it. Mac OS X is built on top of Unix technology. My computer has crashed exactly once in that time. Once.

Stewart Alsop questions the effectiveness of Microsoft’s ability to “innovate,” comparing Windows XP (which just shipped a few months ago) with Unix (which was developed in the ’70s):

XP really isn’t all that new or stable. XP is based on what used to be called Windows NT, which Microsoft developed over many years as a competitive response to Unix. Yet XP requires you to do things Unix doesn’t require, like restart your machine when you install a new application… This reflects the design of the core of the operating system, called the kernel. The kernel in XP is not fully protected against what application programs might do; the kernel in Unix is.

As he points out at the end of the article, when you have $40 billion in cash in the bank, you don’t have to do squat.

I like Mac OS X.

Above the Law

“Now [Bill Gates is] working every angle to evade any penalty. Microsoft will settle only for license to continue the kinds of practices that have served so well in the past. Justice, like honor, is not in this company’s vocabulary.”

Dan Gillmor has it right in explaining Microsoft’s strategy in putting Bill Gates on the witness stand:

At least Gates has finally done what seemed impossible. He admitted his company is a lawbreaker. Now, of course, he’s working every angle to evade any penalty. Microsoft will settle only for license to continue the kinds of practices that have served so well in the past. Justice, like honor, is not in this company’s vocabulary.

Bill may not think he’s above the law, but he sure thinks he can either fool or buy the law.

Developers aren’t fooled, though.


Microsoft “Justice”: The Best That Money Can Buy

A Fortune article, How Microsoft Conquered Washington, describes in detail the sophisticated — and expensive — lobbying that Microsoft does with our elected officials:

A Fortune article, How Microsoft Conquered Washington, describes in detail the sophisticated — and expensive — lobbying that Microsoft does with our elected officials:

It is getting to government officials early and stopping them from asking the questions that could eventually cause it harm. Microsoft execs say privately that they believe they could have prevented the antitrust suit had they co-opted the policy debate sooner. So their goal now is, in essence, to win silence on issues that matter to the company… And on issues from privacy to piracy, Microsoft may well be succeeding.

No wonder they’re getting the kid glove treatment from the DoJ, now that Bush is in the White House.

Better Use of Taxpayers Money

Instead of drilling for oil in Alaska, why don’t we spend a little money researching ways to use less oil, like ultra fuel-efficient cars? Doh, that’s right, because the country is run by the Big Oil team.

Instead of drilling for oil in Alaska, why don’t we spend a little money researching ways to use less oil, like this ultra fuel-efficient car?

Doh, that’s right, because the country is run by the Big Oil team.

We Need the Law of Unintended Consequences

The Street Finds its Own Use for the Law of Unintended Consequences is the single best argument I’ve read for why legislation like the DMCA or the CBDTPA isn’t just bad for consumers, it’s disastrous to a prosperous United States.

I hate to continue to beat on this theme, but I keep finding great resources to share. The Street Finds its Own Use for the Law of Unintended Consequences is the single best argument I’ve read for why legislation like the DMCA or the CBDTPA isn’t just bad for consumers, it’s disastrous to a prosperous United States.

The Law of Unintended Consequences applies in spades to new technology; telephones were invented to bring opera into people’s living rooms!

The fact of the matter is that no group of engineers in a boardroom can ever anticipate what normal people will do with their inventions. … Indeed, the measure of a product’s success is how far it diverges from its creator’s intentions.

When the coked-up Hollyweird cabal tried to ban the VCR in the mid-eighties, they thought they were fighting for their existence. They did not imagine…the pre-recorded tape market, which has become the backbone of their industry, providing revenue long after Police Academy n-1 has left the big screen.

Laws like the DMCA or the CBDTPA put incredible restraints on the use of technology, and will prevent the kinds of innovation that have put the US at the front of the technological revolution.

Read Cory’s article, and then fax it to your congressperson.

Rewriting History

It would appear that our underachieving president’s record is getting the benefit of a little after-the-fact copyediting.

From The Washington Post:

At a speech in Bridgeport, Conn., President Bush declared that he wanted each American to volunteer for “4,000 years,” a variation of his usual call for “4,000 hours” that produced guffaws in the audience. Later, at a fundraiser, Bush bestowed a new name on Connecticut’s lieutenant governor, Jodi Rell. “I appreciate Lieutenant Governor Judi Kell for being here,” he said. “Great to see you again, Judi.”

Whatever, says Cathleen Hinsch, a spokeswoman for Rell. “You don’t correct the president.”

But the White House does. Both goofs, and accompanying laughter, were stricken from the record — deus ex machina — in the official White House transcripts.

DigitalConsumer.org

DigitalConsumer.org is a new organization whose purpose is to promote a Consumer Technology Bill of Rights, to “positively assert a consumer’s rights to fair use, […] and guarantee [the] ability to use digital media in the way that you choose.”

DigitalConsumer.org is a new organization whose purpose is to promote a Consumer Technology Bill of Rights, to “positively assert a consumer’s rights to fair use, […] and guarantee [the] ability to use digital media in the way that you choose.”

So what does this mean for you? It means it’s now extremely easy for you to let the politicians in Washington know that you don’t want to lose the ability to download music you’ve purchased on CD to your MP3 player, or the ability to play CDs on your computer, etc. DigitalConsumer.org can fax your letter of support for the Bill of Rights to your elected representatives, simply by entering your name and address on a web form.

Do it today!

Go Mo Fo!

MoFo is suing a spammer for sending their employees lots of spam, and is likely to cost the spammer a lot of money. If nothing else, seeing one of their own get sued by a world-class law firm has got to put a little fear of god into those slimy spammers.

How often do you think kind thoughts about lawyers? Well, if you get as much spam as I do, you’ve got to think well of Morrison & Foerster, fondly known as “MoFo” by those in the know — or those who look at their URL.

The reason is simple: MoFo is suing a spammer, for UCE sent to MoFo itself, and is likely to cost them a lot of money. If nothing else, seeing one of their own get sued by a world-class law firm has got to put a little fear of god into those slimy spammers.

Go, go, go MoFo!

Consensus at Lawyerpoint

A new EFF weblog with the aim of being a true account of the undertakings of the Broadcast Protection Discussion Group. If you care about technology, this blog is virtually guaranteed to make you angry.

Consensus at Lawyerpoint is a new weblog by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which aims to give ordinary people access to information and visibility into the process of decision-making and deal-brokering by the Broadcast Protection Discussion Group.

In other words, this blog aims to give you a day-by-day, blow-by-blow description of how Big Entertainment really is trying to take away our digital rights. If you care about the future of technology, this blog is virtually guaranteed to make you angry.

Which is why you should read it. Get angry now, while you can still do something about it!

Microsoft’s Whining Competitors

“The whole point of the [Microsoft antitrust] case is that Microsoft’s abuses of its market power have damaged competitors, and any remedies the court imposes should be designed to correct that situation.”

Microsoft has repeatedly asserted that the trial is really about their competitors whining about losing, and that those trying to add restrictions to the proposed settlement are just competitors trying to gain extra advantage.

Duh.

As Henry Norr writes, “The whole point of the case is that Microsoft’s abuses of its market power have damaged competitors, and any remedies the court imposes should be designed to correct that situation.”

Since the proposed settlement won’t correct the situation, the damaged parties continue to try to create a settlement that will. Which is exactly what they should do, and what the law should help them in doing.

Pets Warehouse Sues Hobbyists

Why Salon.com is great: covering little stories like Pets Warehouse Sues Hobbyists.

I’m grateful to Salon.com for running this story, about how the people behind Pets Warehouse sued a bunch of hobbiests. From reading the article, it sounds like a classic case of someone using the legal system to intimidate and outspend an opponent into submission. I doubt very much if Salon.com will roll over and play dead in quite the same way, and so they’re making sure the story of the little guy is heard.

Salon.com is a great online publication. They have outstanding political coverage, and do a great job of covering technology in a way that no one else really does, with thoughtful, in-depth writing of the highest quality.

Recommended.