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Permanent link to archive for Tuesday, August 14, 2001. Tuesday, August 14, 2001

DaveNet: Excerpt from Breaking Windows. "In this excerpt Bank tells the story of Microsoft's decision to comply with a judge's order to open up Windows to other browsers by breaking Windows, an act of self-defacement that illustrates how far Microsoft will go before bending to authority."

This afternoon I got another Seybold speaking assignment, moderating a 90-minute summit on the DMCA. We have three panelists so far, one from the AAP (pro-DMCA), one from the EFF (con) and a reporter who's been covering it. Seybold is the leading publishing-technology conference. We have room for one or two more panelists. We're going to try to get the CEO of Adobe, since they are at the center of the current controversy. I'd also like to have someone on stage who's an expert in the technology of DRM, and someone who can explain it in human terms and make it interesting. Please send suggestions. I am not an expert in this area, which is good since I'm the moderator and the advocate for the audience. I will also make it clear upfront that I am against copy protection, and find laws that trade off free speech against the economic interests of publishers as something of a contradiction.

I'm going to write a rebuttal to this piece tomorrow. Interesting point of view. No need for the open source world to throw in the towel so quickly.

New feature: "With a little setup you can post to a Blogger weblog through email from Radio or Frontier."

Paul Nakada: "Here's a screenshot of my AOL instant messenger window with a list of updated UserLand weblogs pushed out to me every 15 minutes."

Chris Langreiter: "My lil' Jabber bot is now able to blog, thanks to Blogger's recently published XML-RPC interface."

Josh Lucas: "I have implemented the Blogger XML-RPC API into a Java class."

Steve Zellers has Blogger working with AppleScript.

The transcript of the discussion at the O'Reilly conference is up. The part about patents starts on page 3. The question from the audience about patents is on page 5. Microsoft's rep said "Well, at the end of the day, if you have a patent, you enforce the patent if it's valuable to you. And so I think that Microsoft and other people who have patents will ultimately decide to enforce those patents."

After all these years, the truth comes out. "Rory J. O'Connor and Laurie Flynn were the first two columnists under the Robert X. Cringely name."

Future Positive: "There are too many of us."

WSJ: "A few dot-coms are actually making money."

Phil Wainewright: "In recent years, the granting of U.S. technology patents has become big business, fueled by the massive tide of venture capital funding. Since a central tenet of VC philosophy is that all successful technology ventures are founded on proprietary ownership of a unique and fully defensible intellectual asset, huge funds have flowed into the coffers of patent lawyers."

Clips from 1997 

Judge Jackson issued his order on 12/11/97, Microsoft responded on 12/15/97. I went through the Scripting News archives for that period, and used Google to find articles dating back to those events. Unhappily many of them were gone. News.Com, which has so far been great at maintaining archives is starting to slip. And all the links to the SJ Merc are gone, which is bad, esp considering that Dan Gillmor was quoted in the excerpt, terming Microsoft's response "Compliance with a raised middle finger." I only link to those pages that still exist. (Postscript: Dan put his column on his weblog. Thanks Dan!)

John Dvorak, 11/3/97: "Apparently, Microsoft doesn't see the Justice Department as much more than a bug that simply needs to be brushed off its arm or sprayed with DDT. At least that appears to be the case considering the way Microsoft keeps using publicity to its advantage. Unfortunately, that publicity tends to mock government bureaucrats, and that's not a good long-term strategy. Neither is the strategy of proclaiming Internet Explorer to be part of the operating system. That's just plain silly. What other part of the OS, for example, runs on a Mac?"

Dan Gillmor, 12/16/97: "The company accurately brags that it employs some of the most capable programmers on the planet. It might consider asking them to use their talents to comply with the spirit of the order, too."

ZDNet, 12/17/97: "Last week, U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson ordered Microsoft to stop requiring hardware vendors to include IE on their machines as a condition of installing Windows. Earlier this week, Microsoft appealed the preliminary injunction, while offering a plan to put the company in compliance. This plan consisted of offering OEMs the option of licensing the original release of Windows 95, which did not include integrated IE 3.0 files. Microsoft's competitors and market analysts have questioned whether such an unattractive option is within the bounds of compliance."

DaveNet, 12/17/97: "Bill Gates is more than a competitor now. What's his vision for us? What's his vision for his company and for himself?"

Business Week, 12/18/97: "In a move that flaunted the injunction, Microsoft dreamed up this 'choice'': PC makers can delete Internet Explorer files from Windows 95--not a very viable option since Microsoft warns that doing so could render the operating system useless. Or they can ship their PCs with a version of the operating system that is more than two years old and lacks the browser as well as key enhancements added to Windows since then. Or stick with the latest version of Windows with Internet Explorer, for the same price. It's not hard to figure out which option PC makers will choose. The Justice Dept. was not amused by this maneuver. On Dec. 17, it filed a contempt motion."

NY Times, 12/22/97: "Last week, after winning a court order that forces the company to unbundle the two software programs, [Joel Klein] escalated the fight when he asked a judge to hold Microsoft in contempt. He also asked the court to give him the unusual authority to review future Microsoft products to make sure that they are not attempts to corner new markets."

DaveNet, 12/22/97: "It's time for Microsoft to make a choice -- to lead, to become a great company; or continue to struggle and put off the growth."

NY Times, 12/24/97: "Microsoft's stubborn position that it cannot comply with a Federal judge's order to unbundle its World Wide Web browser software from its popular Windows 95 operating system -- at least not without damaging recent versions of Windows -- may be stirring a backlash against the company."

Jeff Veen: Ten Ways to Make Browsers Better.

1997 DaveNet quotes re Microsoft.


Last update: Tuesday, August 14, 2001 at 8:55 PM Eastern.

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