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

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

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

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

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!


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 in reply to "common sense"
ssa2204 Member since:

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 Parent Score: 1

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

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 Parent Score: 6