Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 14th Oct 2007 15:12 UTC
Legal This week's 'big' news on OSNews was about software patents. You know, those things that say you cannot stack four pixels on top of one another unless you pay money to the guy who invented four-pixel-stacks (or the guy who bought the guy who invented four-pixel-stacks). A company called IP Innovation, LLC, has sued Novell and Red Hat for infringement of the company's IP portfolio. Software patents are of course generally completely ridiculous, so I will not focus on that here. I want to focus on something else.
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Cool finnish?
by WereCatf on Sun 14th Oct 2007 15:52 UTC
WereCatf
Member since:
2006-02-15

Those two words, "cool finnish", just popped in to my eye. The author likes us finns? :O Hate to burst the bubble but there's nothing cool about Finland except the weather ;)

Reply Score: 3

Monopolist
by robinh on Sun 14th Oct 2007 16:04 UTC
robinh
Member since:
2006-12-19

MS is a convicted monopolist, which is no less powerful now than it was when convicted (insert GWB related tinfoil hat stories here). This is the reason why it's prudent to sniff out an MS connection to this, because MS's track record proves that they will go to any lengths to crush their competition.
Thom, you seem to be trying too hard to play devils advocate in this case (IMO). Assuming that Microsoft is up to no good is in fact usually correct (remember SCO?), and that's not Fanboy-ism/bias of any kind, just looking at the facts.

Reply Score: 14

RE: Monopolist
by kaiwai on Sun 14th Oct 2007 17:24 UTC in reply to "Monopolist"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

MS is a convicted monopolist, which is no less powerful now than it was when convicted (insert GWB related tinfoil hat stories here). This is the reason why it's prudent to sniff out an MS connection to this, because MS's track record proves that they will go to any lengths to crush their competition.
Thom, you seem to be trying too hard to play devils advocate in this case (IMO). Assuming that Microsoft is up to no good is in fact usually correct (remember SCO?), and that's not Fanboy-ism/bias of any kind, just looking at the facts.


I agree. When one looks at the facts its hard to avoid the link:

1) Large vendors such as HP, Toshiba, Acer, Lenovo and Dell all announce that they're either planning, testing or offering Linux beyond the server arena.

2) Microsoft can no longer do the old 'strong arm' tactics as they did years ago to OEM vendors. If you can't threaten OEM's - whats to stop Microsoft from at least sowing the seeds of doubt in the marketplace over the so-called 'legality'?

3) Suddenly an unknown patent harvesting firm, chocked to the brim with ex-Microsoft employee's appears threatening *only* *NIX vendors. If these patents were so broad, then come how they haven't attacked Microsoft, Apple or any other vendor?

4) Now don't get me wrong, I don't believe the connection with SCO and Microsoft given that Microsoft needed to licence technology for their Services for UNIX product to improve SYSV compatibility. Even with that being said, it still raises questions as to why they just simply didn't use OpenSolaris code, given it is opensource and available for them to use if they wish. stupidity on Microsofts part on a conspiracy?

Edited 2007-10-14 17:27

Reply Score: 10

RE[2]: Monopolist
by IceCubed on Sun 14th Oct 2007 17:28 UTC in reply to "RE: Monopolist"
IceCubed Member since:
2005-07-01


3) Suddenly an unknown patent harvesting firm, chocked to the brim with ex-Microsoft employee's appears threatening *only* *NIX vendors. If these patents were so broad, then come how they haven't attacked Microsoft, Apple or any other vendor?


They /DID/ sue Apple and Microsoft.
Apple's case was settled out-of-court.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Monopolist
by wirespot on Sun 14th Oct 2007 21:16 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Monopolist"
wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

Probably Microsoft's too. And you can also add that they seem to be suing Novell now, who is supposed to be playing nice with Microsoft. So how can one still suspect Microsoft is behind this, you'll ask?

Easy. It is THE perfect way of getting friendlies covered and going after the real target: Red Hat. Novell will settle out of court, like Microsoft did, whereas Red Hat will not and can not, as a matter of principle. But they (Microsoft + Novell) will get to claim having been targets, to place themselves above suspicion. Hey, if the killer shot at me too I can't possibly be in on it, right?

Red Hat is the perfect target. All other proeminent Linux-related businesses either made a deal (Novell, Linspire), or are too small to be worth the trouble (should they either pay up or be taken down), or too big to be touched (IBM).

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Monopolist
by Havin_it on Mon 15th Oct 2007 16:55 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Monopolist"
Havin_it Member since:
2006-03-10

*If* Novell settle out-of-court for a derisory sum in compensation, plus an equally piddling (or nonexistent) ongoing licensing fee*, I'll have some time for this point of view.

In the meantime, it's nothing but speculation; we can cut it away with Ockham's razor and we're left with the perfectly reasonable assumption that a greedy IP troll -- with no sinister master lurking in the shadows -- is rattling a few cages.

(* although if it's really a fix, why not go to court, have Novell "throw the fight" and demand an agreed (not too severe) sum in damages? A judgement would be a lot more useful in going after the other Linux players, irrespective of size)

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Monopolist
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 14th Oct 2007 17:31 UTC in reply to "RE: Monopolist"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Suddenly an unknown patent harvesting firm, chocked to the brim with ex-Microsoft employee's appears threatening *only* *NIX vendors. If these patents were so broad, then come how they haven't attacked Microsoft, Apple or any other vendor?


Kaiwai, did you actually read the article? This EXACT SAME COMPANY sued Apple in April 2007 over the EXACT SAME PATENT, as the article explains. In addition, they have sued Microsoft too over another patent - also mentioned in the article.

My conclusion is that you didn't read the article very well, or not at all. Please do so if you comment, it's even in our rules.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Monopolist
by kaiwai on Sun 14th Oct 2007 17:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Monopolist"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Kaiwai, did you actually read the article? This EXACT SAME COMPANY sued Apple in April 2007 over the EXACT SAME PATENT, as the article explains. In addition, they have sued Microsoft too over another patent - also mentioned in the article.

My conclusion is that you didn't read the article very well, or not at all. Please do so if you comment, it's even in our rules.


1) It is 6:32am in the morning - there is no need to be rude. Politely correct what I have said and move on. The reaction you have displayed as if I had just punched your mother in the face.

2) Now that you have corrected me, I understand where you come from in regards to it not being some grand unified conspiracy theory given I have read the article again.

3) The question remains, who is this group; and on what grounds did they acquire these so-called 'patents'?

Reply Score: 6

v RE[4]: Monopolist
by CrazyDude1 on Sun 14th Oct 2007 23:12 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Monopolist"
RE[3]: Monopolist
by porcel on Sun 14th Oct 2007 20:18 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Monopolist"
porcel Member since:
2006-01-28

Let's play the conspiracy card a little more.

It's convenient for them to sue Microsoft. Doing so allows Microsoft to give this "IP Innvation" company a ton of money while providing a perfect alibi.

I am sure they were in fact were given a good amount of money, enough to line up the pockets of the former Microsoft executives while making sure they don't run out of cash in their suits against Novell and Red Hat.

Remember, it's only paranoia if they are not really after you.

Reply Score: 7

RE[3]: Monopolist
by wirespot on Sun 14th Oct 2007 21:34 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Monopolist"
wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

Kaiwai, did you actually read the article?


I did, and it made one thing clear. If there was any doubt left whether you're a Microsoft fan and biased in their favor, it's pretty much gone now. I have no other way of explaining why, in the light of everything Microsoft is famous for, you can bury your head in the sand and ask people to just look at the obvious facts, no further, so as to give them the benefit of the doubt.

How can we do that? Microsoft has the means, the history, the strong motive. Red Hat is an obvious target. If Microsoft are half smart we'll never find their prints on the murder weapon, but asking us to not suspect them is too bloody much, to the point of questioning our intelligence.

Occam's razor, hah. It's a reasoning tool. If you apply it to a select narrow set of facts, yeah, I guess it will even point at Microsoft being innocent.

And to go to the trouble to make an "article" of it, too. Using OSNews to promote your bias is pretty low, but trying to impress it upon others is a whole new level of low.

Edited 2007-10-14 21:35

Reply Score: 8

RE[4]: Monopolist
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 14th Oct 2007 21:55 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Monopolist"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

If there was any doubt left whether you're a Microsoft fan and biased in their favor, it's pretty much gone now.


I couldn't care less what people like you think of me. I have principles, and one of them is to look at the facts. And if the facts happen to be in favour of Microsoft (at this point in time, in this specific case), then so be it.

I have no other way of explaining why, in the light of everything Microsoft is famous for, you can bury your head in the sand and ask people to just look at the obvious facts, no further, so as to give them the benefit of the doubt.


I ask them that because that is what I, raised in an empirical society, have learnt to do. I refuse to give up hundreds of years of empirical thinking just because people like you have such a deep hatred of Microsoft. To me, it's just a compny, like Apple, like Red Hat, like Google. They are here to make money, and I'm here to annoy the crap out of them as a customer and yell at them for being assholes.

That's how it works. Microsoft has no special place for me.

And to go to the trouble to make an "article" of it, too. Using OSNews to promote your bias is pretty low, but trying to impress it upon others is a whole new level of low.


That's an editorial for you. If you don't like to hear views that oppose your own, then don't live in a free society.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Monopolist
by wirespot on Sun 14th Oct 2007 22:12 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Monopolist"
wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

I couldn't care less what people like you think of me. I have principles, and one of them is to look at the facts. And if the facts happen to be in favour of Microsoft (at this point in time, in this specific case), then so be it.


That's the definition of tabloid press you've stumbled upon there. Looking at facts as they are at a particular point in time and particular circumstances. At least tabloids have the excuse of trying to make headlines. I somehow doubt outward pro-Microsoft stances are very popular nowadays.

I ask them that because that is what I, raised in an empirical society, have learnt to do. I refuse to give up hundreds of years of empirical thinking just because people like you have such a deep hatred of Microsoft.


It's not hatred, it's wariness. Being impartial and taking Microsoft actions at face value is beyond me, I'll admit it. Because I'm not stupid. Their whole history is built on screwing others and very little else. I'd feel like an idiot if after all that I took their claims and hide-and-seek games and FUD as such. Empirism is nice in science, but when dealing with the real world I much prefer another school of thought: "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me."

That's an editorial for you. If you don't like to hear views that oppose your own, then don't live in a free society.


I don't think that's how it goes. No, I think I'll stick around and speak my mind instead, thank you.

BTW, "editorial" implies bias.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Monopolist
by google_ninja on Sun 14th Oct 2007 17:42 UTC in reply to "RE: Monopolist"
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

1) While that makes RH competition, that doesn't really serve as a link.

2) Here you have a point, and they have been doing that consistantly ever since the old "Get the Facts" campaign started. Again though, that doesn't prove a link. MS does anything they can nowadays to avoid anti-trust lawsuits.

3) First off, they are hardly unknown, and have been one of the leading companies that engage in this nonsense for quite awhile. Secondly, two former employees is not "Chock full", and thirdly, this company has sued both microsoft and apple before (apple over this very patent), and does not just go after *nix companies.

4) AFAIK, OpenSolaris wasn't ready back then.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Monopolist
by Flatland_Spider on Mon 15th Oct 2007 06:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Monopolist"
Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

it still raises questions as to why they just simply didn't use OpenSolaris code,


Probably because OpenSolaris wasn't available until 2005, and MS bought a licensed from SCO in 2003.

I'm sure you're right about MS needing a license to actual System V stuff. They could have used something else like *BSD code, but they have the money so why not get the real deal.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Monopolist
by CodeMonkey on Mon 15th Oct 2007 22:33 UTC in reply to "RE: Monopolist"
CodeMonkey Member since:
2005-09-22


3) Suddenly an unknown patent harvesting firm, chocked to the brim with ex-Microsoft employee's appears threatening *only* *NIX vendors. If these patents were so broad, then come how they haven't attacked Microsoft, Apple or any other vendor?


I would hardly call 3 employees "chocked to the brim". In reality they have less than a hand full of ex-Microsoft employees.

Reply Score: 1

v RE[2]: Monopolist
by tomcat on Thu 18th Oct 2007 01:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Monopolist"
RE: Monopolist
by google_ninja on Sun 14th Oct 2007 17:28 UTC in reply to "Monopolist"
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

His point was that there is no real evidence of a microsoft connection, even though it seems to almost be taken as fact by alot of people on the net, and that groklaws findings are really quite flimsy.

The way I see it is that there is a chance that MS caught wind of what the company was doing, and paid them to go after RH next. That chance isnt really based on proof, but more on the fact that MS can't really sue (as Thom pointed out), and that they do really want to (as Ballmer seems to indicate every time he opens his mouth nowadays). This would put MS in more of an opertunistic role, rather then a conspiratorial mastermind role that groklaw seems to be set on. But even that is completely based on conjecture and not on facts, and could be completely wrong. To go further then that is really going outside the realm of reason. A litigation company litigating after one of the many times in the last few years that MS has rattled the old patent sabre could very well just be coincidence.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Monopolist
by sbergman27 on Mon 15th Oct 2007 04:13 UTC in reply to "Monopolist"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""

MS is a convicted monopolist,

"""

I wish people would stop saying this. It just makes us all look silly. I dislike MS as much as anyone, and more than most. But one is not *convicted* of being a monopoly. One is declared to be a monopoly in an area and then has to be careful not to stray outside the legal bounds that their monopoly status confines them to. With riches come restrictions... with great power comes great responsibility and all that sort of thing.

Once declared a monopoly, a company may be found to have abused that monopoly status. And legal action may be taken. But we are still talking civil law. "Convicted" is just not a word that applies here.

Are they as powerful now as they were when they were declared to be a monopoly all those years ago? Yeah, probably.

The silver lining is that monopolies which are not natural monopolies... a category which fits MS like a glove... have a natural life-cycle. The problem that they have is that they have reached the limits of the revenue they can expect out of their existing customers. And yet they can't really expand their customer base... because they already have everybody. But they need to grow, and so... they have to squeeze their existing customers for more money.

This can work. But it opens up a serious vulnerability for them. Their customers, the ones being squeezed, will be increasingly prepared to jump ship.

Their dilemma doesn't get any less serious with time. It gets worse. As it gets worse, they have to get cleverer and cleverer finding ways to squeeze more without causing a stampede... and one day, they squeeze too hard and the right competitor shows up, and *bam!*, they're IBM! Not a bad place to be. But a far cry from the evil monopoly they once were.

That was the good news. The bad news is that in the absence of government intervention, the monopoly can artificially extend its own life-cycle for a disturbingly long duration. But not forever.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Monopolist
by h3rman on Mon 15th Oct 2007 07:18 UTC in reply to "RE: Monopolist"
h3rman Member since:
2006-08-09

MS is a convicted monopolist


sbergman27, this merely means that the monopolist Microsoft has been convicted of naughtiness that it could perform by *using* that very monopoly.
It does *not* mean that a judge has said to defendant, 'Thou art a monopolist! Shame be on thee!'
That would be rather silly.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Monopolist
by google_ninja on Mon 15th Oct 2007 14:25 UTC in reply to "RE: Monopolist"
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

See, this is why the DoJ should have forced MS to split up into different companies like they were talking about back in the day. Assuming MS was an OS company, then the revenue source would have stopped being enough years ago. But its not its also an office productivity company. And a gaming console company. And an mp3 player company. And a wierd table computer thingie company. The list goes on. If they keep diversifying into every tech market imaginable, even if the market where they have monopoly status is not enough to sustain the behemoth, the others can.

Reply Score: 2

Ockham's Obsession?
by h3rman on Sun 14th Oct 2007 16:13 UTC
h3rman
Member since:
2006-08-09

Thom, you seem to like Ockham's Razor a lot, and there is basically little wrong with that. However, you can't just attribute anything to that razor you like. The 'razor' does not really deal with detective research, but with science. The former needs actual evidence, whereas the application of Ockham's Razor is in itself used as evidence. This is a very real distinction.

Thus, Ockham's Razor works fine for linguistics, maths, physics, geology and chemistry, but it doesn't work that reliably in politics, business and other typically human concerns. It may, but that means very little as soon as the first complicating factor is introduced.

If married couples would apply Ockham's Razor to each other's suspicions consistently, there would be no married couples left. ;)

Then there is the complication that everyone is likely to interpret O.R. in the way that fits him/her best. Abusing Ockham's Razor to obscure circumstantial evidence in order to 'simplify' unsimplifiable events is, sadly, a very commonly observed phenomenon.

I could go on forever about this, but I'm such a kind person as to not do that. ;)

Reply Score: 11

RE: Ockham's Obsession?
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 14th Oct 2007 16:38 UTC in reply to "Ockham's Obsession?"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I could go on forever about this, but I'm such a kind person as to not do that.


Which is a good thing, since in all your eloquence, you're setting up a strawman argument. You pick on one certain bit in the final paragraph, something not at all important to the article itself, and take the article apart on that specific bit - completely disregarding my actual arguments.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Ockham's Obsession?
by miles on Sun 14th Oct 2007 16:53 UTC in reply to "RE: Ockham's Obsession?"
miles Member since:
2006-06-15

Tom, I didn't have the feeling he was taking the article apart at all - he was just pointing your use of the OR, which is kind of him to do.

I also see OR being abused everywhere. I mean, Herbert has enough behind himself to be able to use it once in all his works, but why does everybody and their mom think using it makes their prose beautiful or relevant?

Usually, the first second you see OR in a book nowadays, you just know you have to drop it because the author's just gonna waste your time (I'm not talking about your article, Tom - fortunately, the OR cliché appeared only after I had the benefit to read your article and see that it wasn't half bad ;) )

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Ockham's Obsession?
by sbergman27 on Mon 15th Oct 2007 09:49 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Ockham's Obsession?"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Actually, I've not noticed that much abuse of OR. At least not anywhere *near* as much as the term "straw man argument" gets abused these days.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Ockham's Obsession?
by miles on Tue 16th Oct 2007 03:49 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Ockham's Obsession?"
miles Member since:
2006-06-15

Maybe you don't read enough SF ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Ockham's Obsession?
by SReilly on Sun 14th Oct 2007 16:54 UTC in reply to "RE: Ockham's Obsession?"
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

You pick on one certain bit in the final paragraph, something not at all important to the article itself, and take the article apart on that specific bit - completely disregarding my actual arguments.

Considering that the whole article pretty much hinges on your usage of Ockham's Razor, I'm afraid that h3rman hit the nail on the head.

Patronizing the hell out of h3rman's post does nothing to change that, it just smells of an arrogant inability to take valid criticism.

I say major fail!

Reply Score: 17

RE[3]: Ockham's Obsession?
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 14th Oct 2007 17:01 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Ockham's Obsession?"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Considering that the whole article pretty much hinges on your usage of Ockham's Razor, I'm afraid that h3rman hit the nail on the head.


?

I'm sorry, but that's just nonsense. I'm just giving alternative, more logical (in my eyes) explanations for the things Groklaw found. That's all.

I added Ockham's Razor at the end because the Razor happens to fit my story fairly well.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Ockham's Obsession?
by h3rman on Sun 14th Oct 2007 17:13 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Ockham's Obsession?"
h3rman Member since:
2006-08-09

I'm basically with you here.
One thing I've learned discussing 'conspiracy theories' is not to bother bringing them up unless you have very sound evidence.
Well. even if I have, many do not listen.
Which I'm learning to live with, makes me feel I'm getting older though.

Ceterum censeo...
Sorry Thom, you should have used an accusative. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Ockham's Obsession?
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 14th Oct 2007 17:18 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Ockham's Obsession?"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Sorry Thom, you should have used an accusative.


Heh, I just took Cato Maior's line regarding Carthago, and replaced "Carthago" with my own Latinisation of "software patents" - and, well, let's just say my last class in Latin at Latin/Greek school was... Seven years ago.

:)

Edited 2007-10-14 17:18 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Ockham's Obsession?
by pashar on Mon 15th Oct 2007 07:07 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Ockham's Obsession?"
pashar Member since:
2006-07-12

You should be careful with that razor, it is too easy to cut yourself. In fact, that is what you just did.

Yes, Microsoft is a big company. Yes, it is easy to find ex-microsoftian in some other company. But did IP Innovation hired some engineer or programmer? No, they hired some relatively high-ranking ex-employees.

Of course, Groklaw did not find any evidence that would be acceptable in court. But did you expect from them to hire a detective and steal some secret memo from Microsoft? They pointed out a possible connection between two companies and it doesn't look like coincidence.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Ockham's Obsession?
by SReilly on Sun 14th Oct 2007 18:24 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Ockham's Obsession?"
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

I'm sorry, but that's just nonsense. I'm just giving alternative, more logical (in my eyes) explanations for the things Groklaw found. That's all.

Nonsense? Pull the other one, it's got bells on it ;-)

Your whole article is based on the premises that the simplest explanation, i.e. yours, is naturally the most logical, ergo O.R.

Sure, you point out, and rightly so, that in most western legal systems one is innocent until proven guilty but the main gist of your article can easily be discerned as hinging on the above mentioned razor.

Besides that, it seems that I misinterpreted h3rman's comment as taking a swipe at your article. My bad!

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Ockham's Obsession?
by h3rman on Sun 14th Oct 2007 16:55 UTC in reply to "RE: Ockham's Obsession?"
h3rman Member since:
2006-08-09

take the article apart


Frankly, I was not trying or even aspiring to take apart the article as a whole, I was merely reacting to your fondness of O.R. and the way you seem to apply that here and elsewhere in your writings.

Any impression of me taking something out of context was unintentional, and I don't think I did that.

Maybe I did have to go on a bit. ;)

By the way, there is no such thing as a software patent. Code is never patented, only ideas are. There are only dumb patents (the great majority) and reasonable ones. If I'd ever had a (software) firm, I'd sure establish it outside of Patentistan.

Reply Score: 11

RE[3]: Ockham's Obsession?
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 14th Oct 2007 16:59 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Ockham's Obsession?"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Any impression of me taking something out of context was unintentional, and I don't think I did that.


My sincere apologies then, I may have overreacted a bit. Excusez-moi!

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Ockham's Obsession?
by marafaka on Mon 15th Oct 2007 09:02 UTC in reply to "RE: Ockham's Obsession?"
marafaka Member since:
2006-01-03

Me, my mother, my uncle Josip, couple of my coworkers here at McDonnalds and five of my girlfriends would like to score you down, but it doesn't work. Why not? Will this feature be available in the next version of OSNEWS?

Thanks, it is very funny to read your posts!

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Ockham's Obsession?
by kensai on Tue 16th Oct 2007 21:13 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Ockham's Obsession?"
kensai Member since:
2005-12-27

It would be so awesome if osnews permitted one to mod down an osn staff memebr like Thom Holwerda, I think his posts would be lik -30 everytime, since he always has such a bad, and biased view on the matters that are happening.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Ockham's Obsession?
by stereotype on Wed 17th Oct 2007 01:32 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Ockham's Obsession?"
stereotype Member since:
2007-04-06

I second you...

Reply Score: 1

Worth watching
by Adurbe on Sun 14th Oct 2007 16:31 UTC
Adurbe
Member since:
2005-07-06

How Microsoft play this will set the precedent for patents against linux and open source in general

Will they intervene to stop patent madness? (to which they are also susceptible)

Or will they let an 'ally' fall? crushing opensource in the process (no business will touch open software if they think it will get them sued, it would be worth paying for proprietary to avoid a direct legal battle)

the second option would also ensure their monopoly survives..

edit: crushing open source IN BUSINESS

Edited 2007-10-14 16:32

Reply Score: 2

RE: Worth watching
by google_ninja on Sun 14th Oct 2007 17:33 UTC in reply to "Worth watching"
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

I don't really think this is quite as apocolyptic as you seem to think, if RH loses all it means is that they are succeptible like every other technology company on the face of the planet.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Worth watching
by wirespot on Sun 14th Oct 2007 21:48 UTC in reply to "RE: Worth watching"
wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

There's very little chance of Red Hat losing, IMHO. Because if they do it means screwing up a lot of things that are genuinely valuable to a lot of people. This includes genuine innovation and yes, even business interests. I think there's enough combined power that doesn't want that to stop even Microsoft.

Assuming for a second RH does lose, the biggest real loser is the US and every business and software user abiding by its laws. Because at the core, this case is about software patents against FOSS. This is the catalyst that will finally prompt the US to choose.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Worth watching
by google_ninja on Mon 15th Oct 2007 02:58 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Worth watching"
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

There's very little chance of Red Hat losing, IMHO. Because if they do it means screwing up a lot of things that are genuinely valuable to a lot of people. This includes genuine innovation and yes, even business interests. I think there's enough combined power that doesn't want that to stop even Microsoft.

Assuming for a second RH does lose, the biggest real loser is the US and every business and software user abiding by its laws. Because at the core, this case is about software patents against FOSS. This is the catalyst that will finally prompt the US to choose.


This isnt about MS vs RH, this is about a really stupid system being put into practice. And sometimes they lose (remember Eolas v. Microsoft?) It isnt about screwing end users over, it doesnt have anything to do with open source or closed source, it is about the law being dumb. Apple already got sued by this, and settled out of court. If RH is smart, they will do the same. HOPEFULLY this will provoke real patent reform (which Microsoft has called for a few times now), but I doubt it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Worth watching
by wirespot on Mon 15th Oct 2007 15:17 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Worth watching"
wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

It will definitely not bring about any change if Red Hat settles out of court.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Worth watching
by wirespot on Sun 14th Oct 2007 21:41 UTC in reply to "Worth watching"
wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

Ballmer already indicated how he (and Microsoft) think software patents should be handled. That is, to pay up every time someone comes in with a claim for one at your door.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Worth watching
by wakeupneo on Mon 15th Oct 2007 07:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Worth watching"
wakeupneo Member since:
2005-07-06

Hmm....what's their address again?

Reply Score: 2

Simple logic...
by JonathanBThompson on Sun 14th Oct 2007 17:01 UTC
JonathanBThompson
Member since:
2006-05-26

That a lot of people that wish for something to be true will disregard until proven one way or another.

Thom, you hit the nail on the head: just because something sounds like you want it to sound, doesn't mean that the sound was made by that something that you want it to sound like.

If I were to automatically believe that Microsoft employees with one set of skills and experience leaving for another company to do the same sort of job or something that requires that set of skills and experience, I'd logically conclude that Microsoft is going to take over Yahoo! or is trying to kill it, because I happen to know many people that work for the local Yahoo! office that used to work for Microsoft, and pretty much everywhere I've worked since I moved into the area, someone I've worked with has also worked at Microsoft at least once. An important thing to remember is that while some companies may have a strict "no re-hire" policy, Microsoft most certainly does re-hire people, though I have no reason to expect that's a 100% policy of all past employees. For all we know, the former Microsoft employees now employed by the IP Troll Company will decide they really don't like it there, get bored, and decide to go back to Microsoft, and I suspect that as long as they didn't burn bridges by being pricks and/or doing a bad job, I expect Microsoft would take them back. After all, if they know the job and have previously done it well, why not? Those skillsets are very hard to find help for, by pure virtue of statistics that there aren't that many people, period, that have those skillsets that also want to live/work in a certain area.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Simple logic...
by miles on Sun 14th Oct 2007 19:55 UTC in reply to "Simple logic..."
miles Member since:
2006-06-15

Microsoft did try to acquire Yahoo for quite a while, so your suppositions might be true after all ;)

Reply Score: 1

v The point is that...
by erdizz on Sun 14th Oct 2007 17:54 UTC
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

"Linux doesn't connect thousands of gamers worldwide"

I'd guess that billions of gamers or more are "connected" by linux being that it's a very popular server OS and most multiplayer games now have a *nix based multiplayer server available. Has the state government made some sort of comment on game playing computer owners?

:)

I couldn't resist. I realize you meant that thousands of gamers are not running Linux for gaming on. How many have a dualboot is anyone's guess though.

Reply Score: 1

Why so scared of Microsoft?
by John.Gustafsson on Sun 14th Oct 2007 18:19 UTC
John.Gustafsson
Member since:
2005-08-08

Sure, they are big, sure you don't like their products, sure they are a large company and act like many other large companies, but they produce software. Software. That isn't that threatening. There are even alternatives, and their grip on the market is slowly slipping.

What you should be worrying about is companies like Blackwater, Haliburton, etc. They are far more scary than some patent lawyers.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Why so scared of Microsoft?
by wirespot on Sun 14th Oct 2007 21:50 UTC in reply to "Why so scared of Microsoft?"
wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

If their grip is slipping it's because people stood up to them. You have to do that, stand up, not sit aside and say "it seems to be going well after all" or "it's only software".

Reply Score: 3

Lorem Ipsum...
by Buck on Sun 14th Oct 2007 18:43 UTC
Buck
Member since:
2005-06-29

So if anyone's innocent until proven guilty, why do we have to defend anyone? So far there have been only empty claims made - Microsoft hinted vaguely about some IP and Groklaw similarly dug something out of thin air. The bottom line is that Microsoft's fountain of bullshit must stop - they must either put up or shut up.

Reply Score: 3

Remaining questions
by AndrewW on Sun 14th Oct 2007 19:27 UTC
AndrewW
Member since:
2006-09-13

Based on the current evidence, I'm not sure I believe that Microsoft is behind this, so here's a few comments/questions I'm left with; more about the situation than the article itself:

- Innocent until proven guilty isn't a business law ;) If Novell/RedHat/whoever collectively decide that Microsoft is to blame, they are absolutely free "retaliate" against Microsoft directly.

- An IP company funded completely on its own operations (read: not an MS pawn) will probably only go after big companies that will be able to pay for all those lawyers that work for the company. If either of the following are false, they are likely to be getting some other "incentive" to enforce their patents...
. The company is just as likely to go after Microsoft for patents in the future.
. Smaller/free Linux distros are unlikely to be affected because they aren't worth the time.

My guess is that either the patent will be invalidated or RedHat/Novell will pay a sum similar to Apple (possible less since Linux desktop uptake isn't as high) and the open source world will work around the patent.

Really though, screw patents - I'm tired of hearing about crap like this. They're not supposed to be a business model, they're supposed to increase innovation. Now it's time for me to go read more about what the patent actually IS ;)

Reply Score: 1

non-sensical article
by bandido55 on Sun 14th Oct 2007 19:43 UTC
bandido55
Member since:
2006-10-02

Thom is creating a bunch of straw men to prove his point. The last sentences give away your bias whne you bring the issue of "innocent until proven guilty" Our legal system is founded on that principle but it doesn't mean what Thom is trying to prove. In order to be proven "guilty" one must make an accusation of "guilty" and then try to prove it as such. Groklaw is taking the position that based on MS history, the Halloween documents and all the comments and threats (past and present), MS must be guilty. PJ and the volunteers are beginning to collect information to prove their case. After all, weren't they correct all along in regards to SCO case? I think they DO HAVE credibility and PJ has the intellectual honesty to do her research.

Thom you analysis of the evidence is very faulty. You took each one of Groklaw's ppoints and analized them individually. Looking at them individually and out of context might support your point of view, but that is an icorrect way of analyzing the issue. Statistically speaking the little evidence that have surfaced already is beginning to point away from your position and more towards PJ's position. e.g. Thow a coin in the air and the chances of getting tail is 50% (1/2), Each time you throw it, the chance is the same 50%. Now throw 3 coins simmultaneaously and what are the chances of getting tail on each one of them? 1/8. same concept applies to the evidence that PJ is beginning to collect. Coincidence?

Reply Score: 4

RE: non-sensical article
by dylansmrjones on Sun 14th Oct 2007 20:10 UTC in reply to "non-sensical article"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Yeah, Thom is a master of using logical fallacies.

Just because MS has 80,000 employees doesn't mean that Microsoft has 80,000 execs with special knowledge about patent and patent ligitation. The number of employees in general is irrelevant and using that number as an argument is void. And Thom knows that (or ought to).

It is also a logical fallacy to treat parts of a larger argument as if they were separate. They can only be treated as one large argument. Ripping them out of context makes any analysis void. Thom also knows that.

When several "coincidences" fit together very well, they are no longer "coincidences".

The part about Acacia having sued Microsoft is irrelevant. This happened prior to Microsoft moving employees to Acacia. Approx. four months earlier btw.

The amount of very fitting "coincidences" is so high that believing it is "coincidences" is like claiming water doesn't boil just because you are heating it.

EDIT: Ockham's Razor does not support Thom's conclusion. Rather the opposite.

Edited 2007-10-14 20:14 UTC

Reply Score: 12

RE[2]: non-sensical article
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 14th Oct 2007 20:35 UTC in reply to "RE: non-sensical article"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

When several "coincidences" fit together very well, they are no longer "coincidences".


They will only cease to be coincidences as soon as definitive, conclusive proof has been given that they are, in fact, not coincidences - before that, they are just coincidences, and people using them as conclusive proof are making up a conspiracy.

As I clearly stated in the article, Groklaw might really turn out to be right. I really, really, really do not know. I just tend to look at the world from a more scientific point of view, and if somebody makes claims or statements, presenting them as fact, THEY BETTER HAVE THE PROOF TO BACK IT UP. [excuse me for the caps, but that really needed emphasis] I am simply doing proper peer review - offering much more logical possible alternative explanations for the string of coincidences listed by Groklaw - it is up to you to, as a reader, to make up your own mind.

That is how peer review works. It's now your turn to make your case, as a supporter of the original premise. Sadly, you seem unable to, and only had to resort to personal attacks.

Which really does not help your case.

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: non-sensical article
by segedunum on Sun 14th Oct 2007 21:54 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: non-sensical article"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

They will only cease to be coincidences as soon as definitive, conclusive proof has been given that they are, in fact, not coincidences - before that, they are just coincidences, and people using them as conclusive proof are making up a conspiracy.

Thom, strong circumstantial evidence is still strong circumstantial evidence, regardless of whatever way you want to cut that. Coming along and saying "Oh, it's all a coincidence!" is simply not a counter argument, and quite frankly, the article was utterly pointless. There was no logical reasoning at all to counter what Groklaw had come up with, and you seem to have got a bee in your bonnet about conspiracy theories at Groklaw.

If I work at Microsoft and then leave, yes, the odds are pretty good that I'm going to then work for another technology related company. No surprise there. If I work at Apple, IBM, HP or another tech company and leave, then yes, I might end up working for other tech companies. No surprise there. That's not a counter argument here.

However, if several former Microsoft employees join an IP troll company at the same time that Microsoft's CEO says that Linux companies will have to cough up effectively, and then said IP troll company with former Microsoft employees then sues said Linux companies, then the chances of that being a coincidence, and a black helicopter conspiracy as you amusingly call it, are practically zero.

Oh, and these are specialists in IP litigation as well. They're not just random tech people who've left Microsoft to actually create the IP Innovation they claim they own!

Those events at different times may mean nothing and might be coincidences. Those events happening at the same time mean quite a bit.

I just tend to look at the world from a more scientific point of view...

OK. Your argument boils down to the fact that you're arguing that tech employees move around all the time, and that there is nothing unusual about a handful of Microsoft employees leaving and going to IP Innovation. Can you go and find out how many former employees of IBM, HP, Apple and others have joined IP Innovation? I doubt you'll find many, and I doubt you'll find many whose former employers are currently threatening IP litigation.

You see, going out and finding that kind of evidence would have provided a counter argument for what you're trying to say. Squealing for a smoking gun is simply not an effective response. It never has been and it never will be because it's not an effective counter argument to what has actually been observed.

That is how peer review works.

No it isn't. Peer review depends on someone having something effective you can respond to.

It's now your turn to make your case, as a supporter of the original premise.

When I see your actual response, I'll be all ears.

Sadly, you seem unable to, and only had to resort to personal attacks.

Ahhh, the old personal attacks ploy. Sadly Thom, there were absolutely no personal attacks at all in the post you replied to.

Like the original poster in this thread says, it's like claiming that water doesn't boil just because you've heated it, or protons, neutrons and electrons don't exist because you haven't seen them with your own eyes. The evidence that they exist is just a coincidence.

Reply Score: 8

RE[4]: non-sensical article
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 14th Oct 2007 22:13 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: non-sensical article"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Thom, strong circumstantial evidence is still strong circumstantial evidence, regardless of whatever way you want to cut that.


Except for the fact that the evidence in question isn't strong.

There was no logical reasoning at all to counter what Groklaw had come up with, and you seem to have got a bee in your bonnet about conspiracy theories at Groklaw.


Of course there was. They claim MS is behind it all, and had come up with a few pieces of evidence, evidence that, according to me, is extremely weak. Enough to counter, if you ask me.

However, if several former Microsoft employees join an IP troll company at the same time that Microsoft's CEO says that Linux companies will have to cough up effectively, and then said IP troll company with former Microsoft employees then sues said Linux companies, then the chances of that being a coincidence, and a black helicopter conspiracy as you amusingly call it, are practically zero.


You are leaving out a few facts here. You are making it seem as if the recent threats by MS were the first threats Microsoft has ever stated. Nonsense of course - they have been saying the same thing for years. In other words, Microsoft threatening open source companies this way is not new, it has been doing it for ages, and hence can be left out of the story.

Then we move on the suing part. You are forgetting that this company used the exact same patent against Apple in April this year, settling it out of court, so it only makes sense they are going after other operating system vendors too. Red Hat and Novell are the big two desktop Linux vendors - the only two where money is to be found. So, it makes sense that after a succesfull attempt against Apple, they bare now gunning for more vendors.

So, that's two of your "conincidences" easily refuted as being *logical*, following events of the past.

That makes the employee bit stand on its own, refuted in the article. Coincidence? Could be, like I said, I really don't know. All I'm saying is that the "evidence" presented by Groklaw is so easily explained in simpler ways that it is hard to take it as evidence at all.

Ahhh, the old personal attacks ploy. Sadly Thom, there were absolutely no personal attacks at all in the post you replied to.


"Yeah, Thom is a master of using logical fallacies."
"Thom also knows that."

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: non-sensical article
by SReilly on Sun 14th Oct 2007 22:26 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: non-sensical article"
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

You are leaving out a few facts here. You are making it seem as if the recent threats by MS were the first threats Microsoft has ever stated.

I'm afraid you're leaving out facts in this case.

I think it's safe to say that anyone who is arguing for MS being the culprit know what MS has been threatening for years. What you have left out is that, for the first time, and barely a week before this court case was filled, Balmer stated that other companies would start looking for damages concerning Linux's supposed patent infringements.

Now, taken on it's own, that statement means nothing. But if I take the whole chain of events and add them up, I'm more inclined to listen to what PJ says, even if I'm still not 100% behind her.

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: non-sensical article
by segedunum on Sun 14th Oct 2007 22:26 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: non-sensical article"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Except for the fact that the evidence in question isn't strong....Of course there was. They claim MS is behind it all, and had come up with a few pieces of evidence, evidence that, according to me, is extremely weak.

Is this a competition to get the word 'evidence' into a post the most times?

Enough to counter, if you ask me.

You can't counter things just by saying that there is no evidence.

Nonsense of course - they have been saying the same thing for years. In other words, Microsoft threatening open source companies this way is not new, it has been doing it for ages, and hence can be left out of the story.

Again, you're viewing this as an individual event here. What Groklaw and everyone else is doing is taking all of those events together. Yes, Microsoft have been threatening Linux for years, but public statements about it have been more carefully selected - and it wasn't a simply a 'Linux has our IP in it' threat either, it was a specific "Cough up!" threat.

Then we move on the suing part. You are forgetting that this company used the exact same patent against Apple in April this year...

So what? The Microsoft employees joined after that, and it was at that point that Ballmer made a specific cough up threat against Linux vendors, and IP Innovation then went after those same Linux vendors after specalists in IP law from Microsoft had left and joined IP Innovation.

That makes the employee bit stand on its own

Can you tell me how many IBM, HP, Apple, Sun and other employees have been recruited by IP Innovation, and how many are specialists in IP law?

I mean, it follows that if this is merely a coincidence then we should have seen former employees of other companies joining IP Innovation during that period.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: non-sensical article
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 14th Oct 2007 22:45 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: non-sensical article"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

You can't counter things just by saying that there is no evidence.


That's not what I did. I just offered several, more logical explanations for the three events listed by Groklaw. Events that require a lot less assumptions to be made.

Again, you're viewing this as an individual event here.


Now you are not making any sense. You are accusing me of viewing this as an individual event, but when I bring other events into account (IP suing Apple, IP suing MS), you dismiss them with a "so what"? That's not very consistent.

Can you tell me how many IBM, HP, Apple, Sun and other employees have been recruited by IP Innovation, and how many are specialists in IP law?


I have absolutely not even the slightest idea. At all. But that is not important here - I am not defending someone's innocent-ness, so the load ain't on me.

I don't know if I'm right on this one, but you seem to think that I believe Groklaw is wrong. Like I clearly stated a few times already - I really do not know if Groklaw is wrong or right. All I am saying is that the presented evidence is weak, and by no means conclusive - when viewed alone, or when put together.

It might turn out that Groklaw will be 100% spot on, and that Microsoft really is orchestrating all this. I never claimed otherwise.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: non-sensical article
by segedunum on Mon 15th Oct 2007 10:20 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: non-sensical article"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

That's not what I did. I just offered several, more logical explanations for the three events listed by Groklaw.

You basically said that Microsoft has 80,000 employees and that it isn't unusual that some specialists in IP law from Microsoft joined an IP troll company at the same time as their former CEO starts threatening people.

These are not random ordinary employees, so your your alternative explanation fails there.

Now you are not making any sense. You are accusing me of viewing this as an individual event, but when I bring other events into account (IP suing Apple, IP suing MS), you dismiss them with a "so what"?

Because they're not related. The suing of Apple happened before this whole Microsoft thing kicked off, and it isn't really evidence of anything to counter what Groklaw is saying.

I have absolutely not even the slightest idea. At all. But that is not important here - I am not defending someone's innocent-ness, so the load ain't on me.

Well, no. If you're happy to give us the logical fallacy that 80,000 employees work at Microsoft, so it isn't unusual for a couple of IP specialists from Microsoft to join an IP troll company, then it should follow that it isn't unusual for such employees from IBM, HP, Sun and others to be joining the same company.

IBM has more employees than Microsoft, following your logical fallacy to its inevitable conclusion, so they must be in the same boat.

If you don't understand this, then quite frankly, you're not a terribly logical person.

I don't know if I'm right on this one, but you seem to think that I believe Groklaw is wrong.

No. What you're doing is trying to say that the evidence is weak, and coming up with some pretty weak arguments to counter it.

Like I clearly stated a few times already - I really do not know if Groklaw is wrong or right.

Well, it's circumstantial evidence at the moment, yes, but circumstantial evidence like this cannot just be explained away with coincidences in any case.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: non-sensical article
by archiesteel on Mon 15th Oct 2007 19:55 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: non-sensical article"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

They claim MS is behind it all, and had come up with a few pieces of evidence, evidence that, according to me, is extremely weak. Enough to counter, if you ask me.


To be fair, they do not *claim* that MS is behind it, they suspect it is, and raise some good questions about the whole thing.

Therefore, they don't produce evidence, but rather elements that raise serious questions about the whole thing - and while you're ready to give MS the benefit of the doubt, many others aren't ready to dismiss it off-hand. To me, the questions still remain, and possible links should be investigated.

However, one thing neither me, you or Groklaw can do, is positvely affirm that MS in involved, no more than we can say that it's *not* involved. Right now we're still in the realm of possibilities, and we're likely to remain there for many months on this issue. We might in fact never know.

In other words, as of now all possibilities are there, and the only thing we can disagree on are their respective probabilities of being true...

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: non-sensical article
by DrillSgt on Sun 14th Oct 2007 22:49 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: non-sensical article"
DrillSgt Member since:
2005-12-02

"Can you go and find out how many former employees of IBM, HP, Apple and others have joined IP Innovation?"

Well, there are 2 from IBM and one that used to work for both IBM and Intel. No former Apple Employees. There are 4 from Microsoft, and the rest scattered from different companies, the biggest proportion being law firms that handled these types of things prior to them joining IP Innovations. This is not a new industry, just one where we hear more about it these days.

As for the time frame, Ballmer has been making these claims about IP and patents for years, since about 2003 or so, maybe even before, not just recently. This is well before the first person left MS to join this company, which was in 2005 if I read the history correctly. Ballmer's comments are not new, nor are they at the same time when "...several former Microsoft employees join an IP troll company...".

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: non-sensical article
by SReilly on Sun 14th Oct 2007 23:16 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: non-sensical article"
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

Ballmer's comments are not new, nor are they at the same time when "...several former Microsoft employees join an IP troll company...".

Ballmer making comments on Linux supposedly violating patents is certainly not new, but stating that other companies would start looking for blood in regards to patents is. Couple that with IP Innovations filling suit not even a week later and you have to admit it suddenly starts to smell a bit more.

Granted, it's not rock solid proof but it does lend more weighter to PJ's argument.

Reply Score: 4

RE: non-sensical article
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 14th Oct 2007 20:17 UTC in reply to "non-sensical article"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

In order to be proven "guilty" one must make an accusation of "guilty" and then try to prove it as such. Groklaw is taking the position that based on MS history, the Halloween documents and all the comments and threats (past and present), MS must be guilty. PJ and the volunteers are beginning to collect information to prove their case.


Yeah... And the evidence Groklaw has collected (so far!) to prove their accusations are extremely weak, as I have explained in the article.

After all, weren't they correct all along in regards to SCO case?


Completely and utterly irrelevant. Just because they were right on the SCO issue does not mean they are necessarily right on this issue as well. I'm sorry, logic doesn't work that way.

I think they DO HAVE credibility and PJ has the intellectual honesty to do her research.


PJ is an advocate of open source software, which is noble, and I really appreciate her work. However, she is NOT an impartial source, and hence, her words are ALWAYS to be questioned.

You took each one of Groklaw's ppoints and analized them individually. Looking at them individually and out of context might support your point of view, but that is an icorrect way of analyzing the issue.


Five pieces of weak circumstantial evidence put together still isn't a strong piece of evidence.

Thow a coin in the air and the chances of getting tail is 50% (1/2), Each time you throw it, the chance is the same 50%. Now throw 3 coins simmultaneaously and what are the chances of getting tail on each one of them? 1/8. same concept applies to the evidence that PJ is beginning to collect. Coincidence?


Really mate, you don't want to get into a statistical discussion with me. Seriously, you don't. And no, you cannot apply flipping a coin a few times to 5 pieces of circumstantial evidence. That has to be the silliest thing I have ever heard - and actually, a classical example of a strawman argument, that thing you (wrongfully, I might add) accused me of doing.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: non-sensical article
by miles on Sun 14th Oct 2007 20:35 UTC in reply to "RE: non-sensical article"
miles Member since:
2006-06-15

"Really mate, you don't want to get into a statistical discussion with me. Seriously, you don't."

That made my day. Seriously, even if you were John Nash, that would still sound horrible. That and having to impose us the teenager's favorite (0ckh4m's R4Z0r, man!). Even if the article was ok, please let's all have a little sleep.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: non-sensical article
by segedunum on Sun 14th Oct 2007 22:07 UTC in reply to "RE: non-sensical article"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

And the evidence Groklaw has collected (so far!) to prove their accusations are extremely weak, as I have explained in the article.

Where? Everyone here has pretty much taken your article apart, and your argument boils down to "There is no smoking gun!"

However, she is NOT an impartial source, and hence, her words are ALWAYS to be questioned.

I take things on a case-by-case basis. Can you explain why Groklaw is wrong in this case, rather than making generalisations which you actually accused the poster of doing when you said that just because Groklaw was right about SCO, they're not right here?

Five pieces of weak circumstantial evidence put together still isn't a strong piece of evidence.

You haven't explained why. That would be considered very strong circumstantial evidence in any case.

Really mate, you don't want to get into a statistical discussion with me.

When you have a counter argument, give us all a call mate. Telling us that you're a statistical master is not a counter argument.

And no, you cannot apply flipping a coin a few times to 5 pieces of circumstantial evidence. That has to be the silliest thing I have ever heard - and actually, a classical example of a strawman argument

Which basically proves you have no clue whatsoever about statistics or probability. You're taking all of those events that Groklaw listed and are viewing them as separate, individual events that could have happened at any time, in any order, with any group of employees at any company.

Yer, I could flip a coin at any time and get heads. However, if I flip it five times and I get heads every time then the odds are pretty good that something is skewing the flip - and we're only talking about two possibilities each time there.

Basic probability dictates that you multiply the individual probabilities together to get the effective chance of it happening.

Edited 2007-10-14 22:12

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: non-sensical article
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 14th Oct 2007 22:53 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: non-sensical article"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Where? Everyone here has pretty much taken your article apart, and your argument boils down to "There is no smoking gun!"


You are making a mistake here. You are assuming I am defending Microsoft, while in fact, I am not. In a nutshell, my article boils down to:

"Groklaw claims that Microsoft orchestrates IP Innovation's lawsuit against Red Hat/Novell, and they present evidence A, B, and C. These pieces of evidence can easily be explained by other, more logical things. Therefore, Groklaw might in fact be 100% correct on their assumptions, but the evidence presented to date is not conclusive."

Which basically pr [...] at you multiply the individual probabilities together to get the effective chance of it happening.


Except for the fact that real-life cannot be explained by means of flipping a coin, which is why I was accusing the OP of a straw man argument. Reducing life to coin tosses is extremely silly.

Reply Score: 2

RE: non-sensical article
by Obscurus on Mon 15th Oct 2007 06:16 UTC in reply to "non-sensical article"
Obscurus Member since:
2006-04-20

To use your coin toss example, it could very well be a coincidence. A 1/8 chance of something happening is by no means improbable. A lot of people have very funny ideas about statistics that don't add up in the final analysis. Because the probability of one coin toss does not predict or affect the outcome of another coin toss, some seemingly very improbable things are actually not as improbable as they seem. For example, I could toss three coins and have them all land heads up three times in a row. That would not be terribly amazing. Now, if I tossed those coins two hundred times and they consistently landed heads up more than chance predicts, then you might say there was something odd about those coins or the person tossing them, but even then, unless you had evidence that there was something fishy going on, the laws of probability allow for random chance to produce the same coin toss results ad infinitum, because one coin toss is unrelated to another.

You cannot aggregate the probabilities of isolated events unless there is a causal relationship between them. A whole bunch of improbable things can occur by chance, and it is only when there is a common thread binding them together that you can make a linkage between them, and say it is more than just chance.

Probability alone is not sufficient to rule something out (or in). Winning the lotto jackpot is very improbable for any given ticket buyer (usually something like 1/50,000,000), yet enough people buy enough tickets that it is a near certainty that one or more of them will win lotto.

Now, in the case at hand, there is insufficient evidence to draw linkages between the isolated points and to start saying there is something sinister and underhanded going on. Thom has analysed the issue correctly IMO.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: non-sensical article
by autocrat on Mon 15th Oct 2007 09:05 UTC in reply to "RE: non-sensical article"
autocrat Member since:
2007-10-14

"Now, in the case at hand, there is insufficient evidence to draw linkages between the isolated points and to start saying there is something sinister and underhanded going on."

We're not talking inanimate, non-sentient objects being cast in such a manner to generate randomness - we're talking complex autonomous conscious entities/agents operating within an environment that strongly fosters self-interest via profit-motive.

Applying coin-flipping probability to such human/corporate behavior is... absurd.

There are no 'isolated points' in the situation under scrutiny, any more than the economy could be said to merely be a large aggregation of isolated events operating within a vacuum.


"Thom has analysed the issue correctly IMO."

In my opinion, he has analysed and framed the issue very poorly on every account aside from the single obvious fact that the connections and circumstantial evidence do not amount to sufficient empirical proof for MS to be held guilty of (...something) - in a court of law. Well, (to use his words) _no_shit_!

However it seems he's going so far as to actually belittle all the elements involved, as though the situation isn't even vaguely questionable - let alone suspicious in its own right. If one were to take his arguments at face value, there would never be reason to ever even _suspect_ anybody of anything without ample, pre-existing, self-evident, overwhelming evidence -- clear motive is insufficient to be suspicious, debateably plausible circumstantial evidence is insufficient to be suspicious, and past antisocial behavior/history is insufficient to be suspicious; even the combination of all three is... insufficient... to. be. suspicious. Wow, talk about a criminal _paradise_!

Edited 2007-10-15 09:08

Reply Score: 1

Friendly advice
by stereotype on Sun 14th Oct 2007 21:58 UTC
stereotype
Member since:
2007-04-06

Thom I think you do a good job linking news and keeping this site up to date etc, but please stop writing articles... (to your own good)
This one came out as nothing but a naive piece of text and it makes you look stupid... It was also poorly argumented and your logic doesn't flow well... what makes for a pretty bad reading
I am not a good writer myself, but at least I know that...
It might sound harsh, but good advice is never easy...

Edited 2007-10-14 22:02

Reply Score: 4

Career stickiness
by SteveNordquist on Sun 14th Oct 2007 22:07 UTC
SteveNordquist
Member since:
2007-05-04

You pulled the punchline:
When people who worked for Mycosoft or Lawsuits in Motion and such change jobs, their kids -also- may produce billions in good standards work and industry bonhomie, or shill lawsuits. And when you have a funded army of raging newsie minions, they too will report on shill lawsuit families.

Or perhaps just; Children whose parents took venture from M'Soft to astroturf shallow and uncompelling malcontents, and foment assent to streaming licenses are somewhat likely to grow up repeat those behaviors themselves.

Stop the cycle of prurience:
Crack the legal eggshells where before Hearst only dabbled and the Washington Post ran with a Chinese-Wall thing.
Pose compelling and creative dialectical malcontents.
Offer positive, rewarding outlets for the stress of having another $80k from M'Soft.
Lather, rinse, subvert. ISO9001...

Reply Score: 1

Northern Marianas?
by bosco_bearbank on Sun 14th Oct 2007 23:18 UTC
bosco_bearbank
Member since:
2005-10-12

Just because they're a "commonwealth in political union with the United States" don't expect most of us living between Canada and Mexico to know anything about the Northern Mariana Islands.
Disclaimer: Closest I've been is Guam

Reply Score: 1

hrmf...
by hobgoblin on Sun 14th Oct 2007 23:23 UTC
hobgoblin
Member since:
2005-07-06

to me the most damning circumstance is that one of the people that moved over from microsoft did so to become the CEO of the now suing corp.

if it was anything else, i would not blink. but CEO?

still, this yet again shows that patents are the WMD's of the tech world. the only think keeping the holders from using them is the threat of MAD...

Edited 2007-10-14 23:25

Reply Score: 3

Patent protection
by acobar on Sun 14th Oct 2007 23:41 UTC
acobar
Member since:
2005-11-15

Thorn, can you explain why do you think that the "outcome of the lawsuit could declare Novell safe from infringement, proving to the world the patent protection given by Microsoft to Novell actually makes sense." is in any way related to your points as, in theory, the IP trolls are not related to Microsoft?

Also, lets not forget that only in "Right Theory" someone is "innocent until proven the opposite" as there are many instances where, depending on the type of the crime, restrictions can be applied, even if only for limited time (by your accounting it should never happen).

Yes, Microsoft can be behind this "pawn action", they have the "motives" and the "personality" but by now it is just a suspicion, even if a very strong one. Fact is, until proves surface, everybody here is justing emitting their opinions, and as we know, there are opinions and there is knowledge, and they are not the same thing.

Reply Score: 2

.........
by islander on Sun 14th Oct 2007 23:49 UTC
islander
Member since:
2007-04-11

The article was reasonable with a sense of logic to it.I pretty much liked it but would some articulate soul please write a rebuttal?

Reply Score: 2

common sense
by autocrat on Mon 15th Oct 2007 01:25 UTC
autocrat
Member since:
2007-10-14

Thom, I think your editorial fails to be persuasive, for a number of
reasons.

The many elements of sarcasm and exaggeration was unnecessary, irrelevant
and childish.

Even with Microsoft being an extremely large company, your position that
there is a "relatively" big chance of 2 Microsoft employees coming into
IP Innovation (in key positions, within weeks of Ballmer's foreshadowing
of patent-related legislation against linux), is not convincing of pure
random chance (i.e. "coincidence"). A ~0.00x% chance of something, even if
it is (arguably) a '_relatively_ big chance' - is _still_ highly improbable.

The fact that two other companies were _previously_ sued does not
provide enough reason to lessen the overall facts of the situation as it
stands - the suits against Apple and Microsoft occurred _before_ two of the
MS employees somehow both got strategic positions within IP Innovation just
before a lawsuit occurred against two MS competitors.

But where you _really_ went wrong, is that nowhere in the groklaw article to
which you directed your editorial, is it _actually_ 'claimed' anywhere that
it was "trying to find actual evidence to support the premise of Microsoft
being a puppet master" or that "that Microsoft is actually orchestrating this
whole thing". After carefully reading and re-reading the groklaw article in
question, it is quite clear that what it _did_ in fact claim to do was simply
to show how a connection could be found between IP Innovation and MS. Three
former MS employees now working at IP Innovation, certainly presents a very
real connection to MS.

From the article: "And now let's play, where's Microsoft?"

And what do you know, she found Microsoft. She hardly would have had any
reason whatsoever to even conceive of the thought to play "where's MS", if
not DIRECTLY DUE TO MICROSOFT'S MANY PAST AND PRESENT
TRANSGRESSIONS IN THE INDUSTRY, IN ADDITION TO A VERY
REAL AND OBVIOUS MOTIVE.

The groklaw editorial, unlike yours, was successful in its purpose. It found
a connection. Then it left the interpretation of that connection to the reader,
some of whom no doubt took the connection as evidence that Microsoft is to some
extent or another involved in the direction of IP Innovation's suit against
Novell and Redhat, and it is perfectly 'logical' that Microsoft would have
reason to do such a thing, as you very well indicated in the beginnings of your
article.

Additionally, despite your assertions, not only is justice _not_ actually blind;
but motive, circumstantial evidence, and past behavior is _certainly_ enough to warrant suspicion.

What I am convinced of, however, is that one would really have to be sticking
one's head in the sand in order to continue thinking that MS deserves the benefit
of the doubt, and to disregard past behavior in lieu of existing behavior. They lost
that privilege long ago.

You would have people forget the sense, logic and motive for MS to be involved
in the IP Innovation litigation against Novell and Redhat, and you would have
people forget MS's many past and current behaviors, and you would have people
disregard and/or belittle the cumulative facts which add to quite a bit of
circumstantial evidence.

It's like that scene in Monty Python's Search For the Holy Grail, when Lancelot
is running like a mad-man toward the castle, maniacally brandishing a sword, and the
two guards just stand there, watching idly. Just because he's running towards us
in armor with sword in hand, doesn't mean he's going to attack us and that we
should suspect his motives and take defensive positions - he's innocent right up
until that specific moment when he runs us through and hacks us to pieces and invades the castle!

"...heeeyy!"

You conclude with:

"If Microsoft really is playing the puppet master game here, a smoking gun will sooner or later be found."

The _fact_ is, regardless of whatever system of law is involved - it is entirely possible for an entity to be wholly guilty despite a 'smoking gun' never having been found. A successful criminal is one who gets away with the crime.

Edited 2007-10-15 01:42

Reply Score: 6

RE: common sense
by ssa2204 on Mon 15th Oct 2007 02:24 UTC in reply to "common sense"
ssa2204 Member since:
2006-04-22

Something that makes absolutely no sense, personally, are how worked up people can be over this topic when you consider how many other issues exist in the world that truly are of much more importance.

Ok, let us play devil's advocate and say this is a secret cabal of Microsoft behind this. In the end, who really f***king cares? So Apple, Red Hat, and Novell happen to pay out a few million dollars. And this is different how from any OTHER business? More importantly, truly how does this even effect you? I can understand this level if we are discussing Global Warming, which by the way DOES affect you.

My point is I am just sick if the constant whining and crying over spilled milk when there are so many other serious issues in this world. I do not care or like Ford or GM, yet I could give a rat's @ss about them. Since I do not like, do not use, I move in with my life. If the only thing that can get you motivated in life is if Microsoft is or is not behind some grand conspiracy...then some need to seriously examine their life and priorities. Linux is not going to disappear tonight, tomorrow, or next week. Microsoft is going to in the end have nothing to do with whether Linux ever succeeds or not, for in the end it will be up to OSS to develop a product that can compete. Too many people seem to sadly have the viewpoint that all you need is for the software to be free and thus it should be blindly superior. This attitude, which way too many take is immensely more of a threat than anything Microsoft could ever do. Maybe it is just me, but I find fanboyism just to be so freakin immature and idiotic.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: common sense
by autocrat on Mon 15th Oct 2007 02:41 UTC in reply to "RE: common sense"
autocrat Member since:
2007-10-14

You're making some massive generalized assumptions.

People are able to be concerned and active regarding a great number of things, often all at once. Life is full of concurrency and parallelism, in case you haven't noticed.

Why did you waste time posting a response when you could have been busy abolishing the Fed or tearing down the military-industrial complex? You should have used that time to engage in some direct democracy to get the electric car back onto the market. Why aren't you out on a cop watch mission attempting to video tape and expose police brutality? Shouldn't you be organizing a Food Not Bombs action right now? Which of those issues "truly are of much more importance?"

I don't know what you do for a living, as a career - but it would be strange if you were to sit by unresponsively were you ever to be confronted by a situation where you feel your interests as a professional in your field were being jeopardized in some manner.

Being a professional programmer and system administrator specializing in open source software and linux in general, I take a huge interest in the goings-on in my industry.

That doesn't mean you won't see me engaging in other causes.

And if you were to tell me which issues should take priority in my life, and how/when/where I should act, I'd feel very much obliged to tell _you_ to STFU.


"Maybe it is just me, but I find fanboyism just to be so freakin immature and idiotic."

Maybe it's just me, but I found your post just to be so freakin immature and idiotic.

Edited 2007-10-15 02:55

Reply Score: 6

Thom is the only expert...
by bandido55 on Mon 15th Oct 2007 02:42 UTC
bandido55
Member since:
2006-10-02

Thoms seems to dismiss all arguments without providing any evidence to support his point of views. So all evidence is weak, why?, well because he says so. Oh and he knows more statistics than I do? Why? because he says so, even though he doesn't have an idea of what my background is, which is irrlevant because he did not counter my argument about probability of independent events happening together. he preferes to keep all even as independent and unrelated even thought they all point (coicidentally, as thoms puts it) in the same direction.

He brought the issue of MS employees moving all the time to different tech companies but yet he did not in his so called "scientific" and statistical analysis did not consider talking about IBM or Apple or oracle or whatever other tech company there is shedding employees and "coincidentally" moving to the patent troll. Oh and he seems to dismiss the jumping monkey, i mean Mr Ballmer "prediction" about other paptent companies suing Red Hat. Boom BOOM, and there you have that two days later it happened. Coincidence? or maybe his old "pals" from MS who had joined the patent trolls a few weeks before sounded him off about what was coming. His speech was delivered with a degree of certainty as if Mr. Ballmer KNEW about the pending lawsuit. Coincidence? yeah yeah, the moon is made out cheese!

As I said, groklaw got it right when all the "pundits" and MS followers asserted how right they were in their lawsuit against IBM/Novell. Is PJ biased? Sure she is butdoes that make her dishonest in her assessment? No it doesn't.

Oh and Thom, i think you have to withdraw your comment about Innocent until proven guilty. obviously you don't understand it. our legal systems is premised on adversarial encounters, therefore, in order to prove someone as guilty, someone has to accuse and work to prove it. that is what Groklaw is doing. I can't wait for prior art reports starting flowing into Groklaw.

Reply Score: 3

Yada yada yada...
by StychoKiller on Mon 15th Oct 2007 02:44 UTC
StychoKiller
Member since:
2005-09-20

In my movie, this patent will be found to be invalid because of prior art and the nebulousness of the patent itself. Furthermore, in my movie, the entire notion of software patents will be declared null and void and ALL software patents will be thrown out. Microsoft will be forced to shut up about this entire notion of I.P. (whatever that is!), and maybe, just maybe, start actually producing software that actually improves with each release. In the mean time, I will continue to use Linux, or whatever other OS suits my wants and needs, even if software patents are violated, raped and thrown to the side of the road and left for dead! Come on people! These aren't patents on software - they're patents on vague ideas of POTENTIAL software that could be written and might be of use to someone somewhere. Greed knows no bounds! In my movie, the Hero shoots all patent lawyers and leaves them moaning in heaps, strewn around the corporate conference table. Most people will of course violently disagree with this movie, but no one is forcing them to buy tickets to see it.

Reply Score: 2

Looks like others think like me...
by StychoKiller on Mon 15th Oct 2007 02:56 UTC
StychoKiller
Member since:
2005-09-20

From a related article on the Linux Today website, found in a comment:

SCO II - The Rematch...
The movie opened up last week in blogs and newsgroups around the web. It features Ballmer playing the role of McBride - the mouth that roared! Thrill as Ballmer repeatedly makes IP claims in public. Be awed as Ballmer reports more trunk fulls of source code proving that Linux contains MS IP. Be shocked at Ballmer reports the results of work done by two MIT rocket scientists, showing line item examples of MS IP in Linux. Didio will play herself as she does yet another sales video for MS VISTA and adds comments about how "Linux has violated Acacia's IP for years." Enderle will enthrall you with his point-by-point analysis of Linux's infringements, claiming he knew about them all along. Daniel Lyons will also play himself, reporting on all the financial damage done to Acacia by depriving it of revenues lost when Linux was used without paying IP license fees, which resulted in not allowing Acacia to recoup its investments in the necessary technical research and experimentation required before bringing such a complex system to market. Lyons will also read a small part which explains why Acacia hasn't filed a patent suit against Microsoft, obscuring the fact that about everyone at Acacia except the janitors are "former" Microsoft employees or lawyers.

Be extremely bored as the remake drones on for four or five years, becomes discounted by the press, public and markets, and ends with a whimper as the case is thrown out of court just the way SCO-I was.
---
GreyGeek

Reply Score: 1

Another hilarious comment...
by StychoKiller on Mon 15th Oct 2007 03:05 UTC
StychoKiller
Member since:
2005-09-20

Found at:
http://www.linuxtoday.com/news_story.php3?ltsn=2007-10-13-002-26-OS...

Here's what I really worry about...
I'm concerned that Linux is causing cancer, probably through its effects on accelerating global warming. It's turning children against their parents, and soon we'll have a completely anarchistic society, where crowds of poor, wretched, open source software engineers carry torches in the dark of night, beating down the doors of all the fun-loving monopolistic proprietary billionaire software makers, making tatters of the world that they, out of their own god-like goodness have created for all of mankind. Can't a billionaire just live in peace?!

Reply Score: 2

The irony
by Soulbender on Mon 15th Oct 2007 03:36 UTC
Soulbender
Member since:
2005-08-18

IP Innovation.

The irony is so thick you can cut it with a butter knife.

Reply Score: 3

On smoking guns and the tooth fairy
by sbergman27 on Mon 15th Oct 2007 04:44 UTC
sbergman27
Member since:
2005-07-24

"""

If Microsoft really is playing the puppet master game here, a smoking gun will sooner or later be found.

"""

No doubt delivered by the "smoking gun fairy". I think they would be pretty careful to do such things in such a way that the gun would likely not be found. Or to have stopped smoking by the time it *was* found.

And I think that they would have learned, from the 1998 court proceedings, to handle these things in a way which wouldn't be exposed by a subpoena of their email records.

Say what one will about Microsoft... they do learn from mistakes. It would not surprise me to discover, in an unprovable way, that the smoking gun fairy was currently bound and gagged in the basement of an abandoned warehouse somewhere.

Reply Score: 4

useless artcle
by trenchsol on Mon 15th Oct 2007 09:13 UTC
trenchsol
Member since:
2006-12-07

It is completely irrelevant whether the patents are good or bad, or which company is behind it. The patents are the part of the legal system in USA, Japan, and some other countries.

If the Linux vendors don't deal with it, then Linux users will have to.

If the patents are valid, vendors will have to pay. All the money they have got may come from their customers only.

What will that mean to Linux ?

Will the vendors charge paying customers more, or will they charge all users ?

There could be more patent issues tomorrow, how to deal with them ?

Boycott this and that, signing vain petitions, and bitching on public forums, those are not the answers.

Those are the relevant questions.

Reply Score: 2

What if they win?
by mat69 on Mon 15th Oct 2007 10:28 UTC
mat69
Member since:
2006-03-29

What should happen if IP Innovation wins?

I think distributors should make different versions of their applications for different markets. One patent free (completly borked down by that) version for the US market and markets that have software patents and another for the rest.

Otherwise you'd be Sisyphus, you could allways be attacked.

In fact this would only make sense if they couldn't be sued then.

Reply Score: 1

I get Thom's reasoning
by kosmonaut on Mon 15th Oct 2007 12:29 UTC
kosmonaut
Member since:
2005-09-27

Thom: I commend you for your reasoning and I agree with you that Microsoft cannot be considered automatically "guilty" on the sole basis of the links that appeared at Groklaw.
But we certainly should condider Microsoft as "suspect" just by asking ourselves "Quo bono?", also considering its past record as a competition "serial-killer" corporation, without even taking into account the issue of the former Microsoft employees now working for Acacia.
Moreover, given the circumstances, the more you look at it, the more the pieces are fitting: You have the infamous Microsoft-Novell protection racket, the big OEMs are starting to timidly break the desktop stranglehold Microsoft has over them thanks to Gnu/Linux, and Dell is not choosing to pay the Dane Geld by going Ubuntu, Vista is being a failure (and it is the OEMs sales the only thing that is contributing to improve Vista's market share),then there is the failure of the SCO case, and the EU legal blow against Microsoft, also take into account that Ballmer has been willing to see such a lawsuit like this since many years ago...
Microsoft is scared to death of Gnu/Linux repeating Firefox's success and we all can expected to play their cards (and play them hard), now with the latest saber-rattling words by Ballmer specifically threatening Red Hat, while we cannot automatically consider Microsoft as "guilty" I think it is more than reasonable to consider it the main "suspect" and is worth to insist in looking further in this line of investigation (without neglecting other possibilities, of course):
I think that is not by any means being a "conspirecy theorist", it is just plain common sense.
Anyway your words are welcome in order to avoid loosing perspective and not to neglect other possible suspects.

Edited 2007-10-15 12:38

Reply Score: 2

Re[5]: Worth watching
by kosmonaut on Mon 15th Oct 2007 15:38 UTC
kosmonaut
Member since:
2005-09-27

It will definitely not bring about any change if Red Hat settles out of court.

Yest, it will make a difference because Red Hat would be validating software patents by paying Dane Geld (=bogus IP money) and this will open the floodgates for other patent trolls to attack other distributors and also for Microsoft & friends spreading more FUD worldwide and doubling their efforts to export the corrupt US patent
legal regime elsewhere in the world.
This would also wipe out of the market smaller distros that cannot pay the Dane Geld as well as the community-driven distros.

Reply Score: 1

pointless and irrelevant
by autocrat on Mon 15th Oct 2007 17:35 UTC
autocrat
Member since:
2007-10-14

"I wrote this article from the perspective of our justice system, and I can tell you, no one will be sentenced to anything based on this "circumstantial evidence" - exactly what I set out to prove in the first place."

Could you explain how and why you thought it was prudent and relevant to write the article from the perspective of a justice system?

No wonder people are confused.

MICROSOFT IS NOT ON TRIAL IN A COURT OF LAW FOR ITS CONNECTION TO IP INNOVATION IN RELATION TO THE SUIT AGAINST NOVELL AND REDHAT.

Your op-ed is totally moot.

You managed to have completely conflated what "Many claim" and what groklaw claim.

Could you provide direct reference where the groklaw article states that MS is legally guilty of a criminal offense? You can't, because there is no such reference. In fact, you would be hard-pressed to provide a single quote from that article which claims anything other than that there is a _connection_ between Microsoft and IP Innovation via 3 recently former MS employees - the groklaw article does nothing further aside from asserting that it is up to the reader to decide to what extent this connection is more than mere coincidence.

Again, your ridiculous op-ed piece is totally moot.


Even were you to not have utterly botched and misrepresented the groklaw article; and instead focused purely on whatever vague number of people who you feel were unjustly accusing MS of conspiracy or anti-competitive practice in regards to the IP Innovation suit - then your opinion piece would have _still_ been irrelevant, as what in the world does a smattering of popular/public opinion in regards to some current event apply to the particular mechanics, protocol and implementation of a legal system as practiced within a court of law?

Public opinion IS NOT JURISPRUDENCE, sheesh.

Your incoherent article could have boiled down to a simple: "I have seen how some people think that MS is certainly guilty of conspiracy/whatever, but the circumstantial evidence involved would not be sufficient to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law in the US."

WHoah, that is one seriously EARTH SHATTERING revelation there. The mind reels.

Microsoft are not on trial in regards to this. There's no case. No judge, no jury. No court. And yet somehow you feel that it was relevant to prove that "no one will be sentenced to anything based on this 'circumstantial evidence'".

To use your own phrase yet again: no shit

Edited 2007-10-15 17:43

Reply Score: 4

So the point...
by angryrobot on Mon 15th Oct 2007 19:19 UTC
angryrobot
Member since:
2006-04-26

So the point of your article is that you don't like how some people take PJ's opinion as fact? I'm glad we have you here to put a stop to that, because otherwise Microsoft might get the undeserved reputation as a company that uses underhanded tactics ;)

I think we need to put MS under a big ass magnifying glass throughout this whole affair (not that GL isn't already doing that...). After all, GL did point out the tenuous connection between MS and Baystar, and that turned out to be true, right? I don't really think it would surprise anyone if this turned out to be true as well.

I think MS can defend themselves...they're big boys ;)

Reply Score: 2

More yada yada yada
by StychoKiller on Tue 16th Oct 2007 06:29 UTC
StychoKiller
Member since:
2005-09-20

All of this speculation is quite of irrelevant anyway --
Windows days are numbered:

http://www.splashtop.com/index.php

If Microsoft tries to do anything at all about this, their prior determination of being a monopoly has slammed the doors are their collective fingers.

Reply Score: 1