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"Show Us the Code" Breaks Its Silence

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the getting-out-of-the-kitchen dept.

Patents 180

DigDuality writes with an explanation of the silence of the Show Us the Code initiative. The push he began — to gather influential sponsors demanding that Steve Ballmer reveal what Linux code he believed to be infringing Microsoft patents — was discussed here last February. "Show Us the Code has been silent since March 23. May came and went — the deadline allotted for calling Ballmer's bluff — but the site gave no update. I now explain the silence. After a scheduled interview with Forbes columnist Dan Lyons didn't happen, and my place of employment falsely accused me of representing that they endorsed my own political goals, I decided it was best to shut my mouth so I would be able to keep paying my bills. I'm glad to see Linus now publicly echoing the sentiments that this site espoused. Maybe someone already accustomed to the limelight will have better luck in challenging Microsoft's FUD machine."

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what does this have to do with the iPhone? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19725593)

see subject.

Of course MS won't own up (2, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#19725601)

It's not in their interest to admit anything, that would bing their very successful run of bullshit to an end requiring them to think up new bullshit

Keep paying bills (5, Interesting)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | more than 7 years ago | (#19725625)

my place of employment falsely accused me of representing that they endorsed my own political goals, I decided it was best to shut my mouth so I would be able to keep paying my bills
If that could've been properly documented I think there is federal protection for termination threats based upon political affiliation.

In the real world, though, that sort of thing is nearly impossible to document fully and, even if it is well documented, one must still retain the services of an attorney ($$$) willing to stake their reputation against what could be a multimillion dollar company, and their respective insurers and financiers, with more than enough legal backing of their own.

Not that I would know anything about how that sort of situation plays out. It would most certainly be indicative of an "OMG teh evil conspiracy!" if I were to suggest that I've been on the worse end of a similar situation.

All that said: sell-out. =P~~~~

Re:Keep paying bills (1, Funny)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 7 years ago | (#19725685)

Not that I would know anything about how that sort of situation plays out. It would most certainly be indicative of an "OMG teh evil conspiracy!" if I were to suggest that I've been on the worse end of a similar situation.
Sounds like somebody doesn't love our worshipful Great Profit, Bonuses and Dividends Be Upon Him. Why do you hate capitalism and America? Why do you hurt your parents so?

Re:Keep paying bills (0)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | more than 7 years ago | (#19725763)

Sounds like somebody doesn't love our worshipful Great Profit
I'd hate to see the color of the cotton in your ears. I love profit just as much as the next guy. Problem was that I wasn't getting enough of it and negotiating with management was like negotiating with a brick wall.

I wasn't willing to keep my mouth shut just to pay bills. If the bills are that important let someone else pay them. I'm in this, not just to pay bills, but for a nicer slice of pie.

Re:Keep paying bills (3, Informative)

muridae (966931) | more than 7 years ago | (#19725841)

If that could've been properly documented I think there is federal protection for termination threats based upon political affiliation.

If they were threatening him for that, sure. But that's not what the article said.

falsely accused me of representing that they endorsed my own political goals

The company was upset because, in their eyes, he used their name in a way that made it look like they supported him. They just threatened him with termination over misuse of the company name. The problem is, even if he never mentioned that name in his blog, he would probably have to get fired before he could turn around and sue the company for terminating him without a cause.

Re:Keep paying bills (1)

st0nes (1120305) | more than 7 years ago | (#19727511)

Reading the article it is clear that he was not threatened with termination; nor had he mentioned the company's name. His employers had not even read his blog. He should have given them a copy of what he wrote and pointed out (in writing) that he had not brought the company's name into disrepute. That would have cleared the air and allowed him to continue without fear of dismissal, because any action taken against him by his employers would be unlawful.

Re:Keep paying bills (1)

ad0gg (594412) | more than 7 years ago | (#19726179)

IANAL, there is no protection for political affliation, its not part of the Equal opportunity protection(race,gender,sex, national origin).

Re:Keep paying bills (0, Troll)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 7 years ago | (#19726397)

It would most certainly be indicative of an "OMG teh evil conspiracy!" if I were to suggest that I've been on the worse end of a similar situation.

What? You trashed some idealistic youngster's hopes and dreams on the orders of your corporate masters? How much did you get paid?

Re:Keep paying bills (5, Insightful)

DigDuality (918867) | more than 7 years ago | (#19726523)

This reply just isn't to you. It's to many in this threaded discussion. Yes i was stupid for using company machines. That i know. I knew it then. I still don't have proof of them knowing this way. I don't know one way or the other. But you have to consider, i was one man handling an irc chatroom, revamping a website that blew up far faster than expected, maintaining a blog, i have a romantic life that's important to me, chores to do, errands to run. I used up every second of every day, and losing sleep answering the 1000s of e-mails and attempting to contact many people who may help the cause. It was stupid, but there simply wasn't enough time in the day. I'm not saying i didn't have a choice, i did. I made a bad one.

As for those that'll accuse me of advertising and attempting to get attention. Find me one advertisement on that site. That site cost me money and i didn't advertise a damned thing.
 
As to my job versus what I enjoy software wise, lets get real here. This is the real world. I'm not 30. I don't write for the linux kernel. I'm not management. I'm also not a kid. I have real world bills, i live in an area where finding a job in open source is next to impossible and i go where the money goes. If i happen across a position that aligns with my passions (which i actively strive for) then all the better. But until then there's rent and car payment and electric bills, and insurance, and gas and pets to feed and a relationship i value. I put things in perspective and i'm not such a strong idealist that i'm going to destroy me life. I'm not a member of PETA and i have a bit of common sense in this regard.

Re:Keep paying bills (5, Insightful)

Afecks (899057) | more than 7 years ago | (#19726743)

If you can't continue the project, maybe you could turn it over to someone else? I think that would be keeping with the spirit of open source. (off-topic: read this [tinyurl.com] )

Re:Keep paying bills (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19727053)

If you can't continue the project, maybe you could turn it over to someone else?

Exactly! There are plenty of Slashdotters around who have no kids nor pets to feed, and might feel more emboldened to fight the good fight.

And there might even be some that have some juicy info on their CEO, protecting them from this kind of intimidation...

Re:Keep paying bills (5, Insightful)

wellingj (1030460) | more than 7 years ago | (#19726827)

I'd just like to say I appreciate what you did do.
Never mind the people who complain about what you didn't do.
They don't do much of anything. You did something and that's commendable.

Should have known about Dan Lyons. (2, Funny)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 7 years ago | (#19726913)

Perhaps you should have googled "dan lyons linux" before replying to him?

Re:Keep paying bills (2, Interesting)

TheoMurpse (729043) | more than 7 years ago | (#19727577)

If that could've been properly documented I think there is federal protection for termination threats based upon political affiliation.
I think that this would not be viewed by the courts as a firing for political reasons, since "Microsoft needs to explain what patents Linux infringes upon" is not a political goal.

Instead, here's what I (as someone who spent a semester researching employee firings) think about this:
There is a common law tradition of allowing an employer to fire an employee for
  1. a good reason;
  2. a bad reason; or
  3. no reason at all.
Of course there are federal laws now for some of (2), namely civil rights legislation. However, (1) and (3) are still OK.

Now, in addition to the civil rights legislation (e.g., you can't fire someone because they're a woman), most states have a narrow exception to the general rule of allowing employers to fire employees for any reason. Typically what must happen is
  1. the employee must be required by public policy as evidenced by an existing law (typically only legislative and Constitutional law pass muster) to do a certain action (i.e., employee must be caught between the rock of "get fired" and the hard place of "go to jail for breaking the law";
  2. the employer must threaten employee with termination if the employee performs the act; and
  3. the employee must perform and then be terminated.

All three of these must be present. Had he been terminated for this, there's no way he'd be protected under what I just discussed. There is no public policy evidenced by law stating a person must challenge a corporation's assertion of patent infringement or else suffer penalties himself. Thus, his case fails (1) and therefore fails the test to see if his termination would lead to a suit for wrongful termination.

Now, because I just finished up a course on Professional Responsibility at law school, let's see if I get this right: I am not a lawyer, and I am definitely not your lawyer, and this is not legal advice.

Failure Point (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19725631)

I decided it was best to shut my mouth so I would be able to keep paying my bills.
Huh sounds like a very oppressed/restricted existence. What country did you say you were living in again? Because, that sounds like a methodical way for an institution to restrict any citizen's rights.

I was not in a position to start bucking my place of employment over a political cause.
No, you might not have been in a position to start 'bucking your employment over a political cause' but it sure sounds like you were a victim of political oppression. As long as you didn't use company resources (time, servers, contacts, etc) to run and create your site, you're ok. Hell, you're better than 'ok,' you're speaking your mind.

Twice, for a brief 10 minute period I used a work machine to upload some files I had on a USB key to the site via FTP.
See, you're not as smart as you claimed you were. That's where you fucked up. Big time. Can you say you didn't charge those 20 minutes? Can you claim it equivalent as a 'smoke break?' No, you can't because those servers are priceless and you used them. Had you not made that mistake, not only would your site still be operating and fully justified, you'd probably have a large settlement headed your way as your Fortune 1000 company had just tried to silence your political speech. You should have done everything in your own free time with your own resources.

Why'd you fuck up, man? Why'd you ruin your great idea by failing to uphold your altruistic ideas?

You're wondering why you never got your interview? Because you failed. Everything was there except for the simple realization that you don't fuck with your companies resources when you're working on something for yourself and your community.

Note to next champion: engage brain.

I know you're sorry that this didn't work out. But not as sorry as the entire community that supported you.

Re:Failure Point (2, Funny)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | more than 7 years ago | (#19725653)

Because, that sounds like a methodical way for an institution to restrict any citizen's rights.
No way! That would be a crackpot conspiracy theory! Haven't you been reading the ACs who have been griefing me relentlessly for the last six months?

Re:Failure Point (0, Offtopic)

Spazntwich (208070) | more than 7 years ago | (#19725985)

You get that too?

Sure, we're all guilty of some occasional borderline trolling, but I genuinely fail to understand the motivation of someone who ceaselessly downmods and harasses random slashdot users they decide they don't like.

Shit, I automatically +5 my foes'/freaks' comments.

Re:Failure Point (-1, Offtopic)

IgnoramusMaximus (692000) | more than 7 years ago | (#19726569)

You get that too?

I was exposed to that too, recently. Judging from the pattern of downmods, i.e. always 5 points spread on my 5 recent posts, regardless of topic and all mods occuring in bursts within some minutes from each other, I assume that is someone spending all his mod points at once on his favourite foe, who happens to be my humble persona.

What makes me wonder though, is that some other posters seem to be subject to similar recent activity, which would indicate some larger scale effort ... or the cowards have some sort of seasonal migration they all instinctively partake in. Maybe someone can attach a GPS trasmitter to one of them and we can watch their trek through sewers for our edification. There is a PhD in this for someone with selfless dedication to science...

Re:Failure Point (0, Offtopic)

Spazntwich (208070) | more than 7 years ago | (#19726685)

IMHO, Slashdot badly needs a way to metamod overrated, redundant, and other such downmods.

That and the mods need to learn the actual meaning of the word troll. But... I'll take babysteps.

Re:Failure Point (1)

toadlife (301863) | more than 7 years ago | (#19726903)

I was exposed to that too, recently. Judging from the pattern of downmods, i.e. always 5 points spread on my 5 recent posts, regardless of topic and all mods occuring in bursts within some minutes from each other, I assume that is someone spending all his mod points at once on his favourite foe, who happens to be my humble persona.
You must be doing something right. :)

Re:Failure Point (3, Insightful)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 7 years ago | (#19726601)

The loss of free speech is not acceptable just because he took a break and used his work computer to upload something to the internet. There has to be a balance and if lawyers can weasel out of denying free speech based on a one time use of a computer for 20 minutes, then the system is utterly broken and should be bulldozed over.

Re:Failure Point (5, Insightful)

gujo-odori (473191) | more than 7 years ago | (#19726757)

You must be a student.

No, you might not have been in a position to start 'bucking your employment over a political cause' but it sure sounds like you were a victim of political oppression

I'm as anti-Microsoft as anybody (well, as most people). However, being anti-Microsoft is not a political affiliation. For some, it's personal. For some, it's business. For some, it's religious. For some, it's >= 2 of those. Some people are so pro-Microsoft they bleed blue when they cut themselves. But no matter where you fall on that spectrum, Microsoft is not a political party. It's a company. A big, anti-competitive company with a big patent portfolio, but a company nonetheless (the market leader with a big patent portfolio is always anti-competitive, though; some people here are doubtless familiar with the refrain "I BM, You BM, we all BM for IBM" and the word to the wise that "Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM." When IBM was the undisputed heavyweight champion of the computer business, they were at least as anti-competitive as Microsoft, and they invented FUD).

Now, if he were put under pressure for being a Republican, Democrat, Green, Libertarian, Communist, Nazi, or whatever, that would be political, and he might have a case (IANAL). However, the situation was that his employer was a direct partner of Microsoft and they felt that his running an anti-MS site cast them in a bad light with Microsoft. Did MS put pressure on them, that his site was problematic and it could have financial repercussions if he kept at it? We'll never know, but I'd be very surprised if they didn't. Does that suck? Yes. Is it fair? Maybe. Maybe not. If we look at things from management's point of view, they have a fiduciary duty to their shareholders to make money, and are answerable to the board if they fail. If an employee's anti-MS site is going to make them fail to make money, or at least as much money, they are going to request that he make a choice between running the site or working there. They pretty much have to.

Now, I could probably run an anti-MS site and even if my employer were to become aware of it, I doubt that would be a problem. However, you never know how a site might snowball out of control and become a lightning rod, or where you might want to work in the future where it might be an issue. I have a family to support, and my obligation to my wife and kids outweighs any obligation that I may or may not have (just for the record, I have none), to publicly oppose Microsoft. But, I do other things. I have a Mac. I have an iPod, not a Zune. I run Linux and FreeBSD on several machines. My kids' computers are Linux boxes. I work for a Microsoft competitor. I subscribe to a couple of Linux magazines. If people ask me for computer advice, I steer them toward Mac or Linux, whichever I think might be best for them. And not just to be anti-MS, but because I consider the Mac platform to be better than Windows at pretty much everything, and the better Linux distros to be better than Windows at most things (and gaining ground all the time; it took about five years to grind out Vista; if they take five years to grind out the successor to Vista, will anyone still want it? Apple on one side and Linux on the other will eat their desktop lunch in those five years.

So, I think you should cut the showusthecode.com guy some slack. You're not walking in his shoes and don't have his obligations. Or if you do have his obligations and would put hatred of Microsoft ahead of your family, I think now would be a good time to reassess your priorities. He did what he could, which was to call attention to the issue, and later he voted with his feet and left that employer. If he's still not in a position to run that site and others have to pick up the torch now, I have nothing to criticize him for. He's done more than me, and I'd be very, very surprised if he hasn't done more than you. You sound like you're nothing but a mouth, without even the guts to post logged in.

Re:Failure Point (5, Insightful)

mgiuca (1040724) | more than 7 years ago | (#19726905)

I think it becomes political when said company has enough power to influence governments, laws, international markets, and the majority of the developed world's population.

Quite typical (1)

Ekhymosis (949557) | more than 7 years ago | (#19725641)

This type of behavior is very typical in the business world. If someone says 'prove it' to a company, that someone usually gets some celebrity status, but also they run the risk of being crushed under the company's legal department. It's a shame this guy had to get flack in his job, even though it was 'professionally' handled. They should have read up first, and then seen how to deal with the situation, but as time == money, they couldn't be arsed.
How has this influenced MS and more importantly Ballmer's diarrhea of the mouth? Not much as far as I can tell.

Re:Quite typical (2, Funny)

Otter (3800) | more than 7 years ago | (#19725991)

...that someone usually gets some celebrity status, but also they run the risk of being crushed under the company's legal department.

This guy seems to have been crushed under the weight of being a marginal Linux celebrity. It gives you some sympathy for Paris Hilton the way he's flipping out after 248 Slashdot comments and a Forbes reporter not following through with an interview.

Face it, you open sores people are screwed. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19725669)

Microsoft, like The SCO Group, is taking their time to make sure that they have a case against the RMS worshipers that cannot be refuted. Microsoft is simply warning companies involved with Linux to be nice. This is RedHat's and Mark Shuttleworth's (and others) chance to receive the benefits of a Microsoft critical alliance. When Microsoft is done giving these illegal companies (and users) amnesty, get ready to have your asses handed to you in court! Oh, and don't forget to pay four $599 SCO fee! - Darl McBride and Steve Ballmer

P.S. Developers, developers, developers!

The captcha is "bearer."

Re:Face it, you open sores people are screwed. (2, Funny)

junglee_iitk (651040) | more than 7 years ago | (#19725755)

I am torn between funny, troll and flamebait. Guess I will let the others decide.

Re:Face it, you open sores people are screwed. (1)

said213 (72685) | more than 7 years ago | (#19726161)

decide? decide what? i see no cowboy neal option... oh. i see no cowboy neal option, you insensitive clod!

Re:Face it, you open sores people are screwed. (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#19726317)

"This is RedHat's and Mark Shuttleworth's (and others) chance to receive the benefits of a Microsoft critical RIMJOB"

fixed it up for you

Maybe not the code but... (5, Funny)

chubs730 (1095151) | more than 7 years ago | (#19725741)

I'm sure he'll show you a chair or two

What gets me.. (4, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 7 years ago | (#19725749)

...is that there wasn't a general claim "that we believe one or more patents may have been infringed upon" but rather a very specific claim that they know some 200 specific patents were violated.

If they know exactly how many were allegedly violated, then they have already done their research.

Here is the funny thing. If M$ released that list, immediately people would score the code of the Linux/GNU system to verify the claims. In the possibility that M$ has a legitimate claim, people would write new workaround-code and destroy M$'s case. If the claims are shown to be less than legitimate, it detroys M$'s case.

M$ has nothing to gain by releasing this information, and everything to lose. This is a huge scare tactic, that may work to scare large businesses away from considering what may turn out to be illegal software. And why migrate if you may be forced to migrate back?

This is a rotten tactic, but a very effective and insidious one. Luckily, I don't think this will destroy Linux, as Linus pointed out, many of the basic patents of a GUI that M$ may be referring to are likely pretty much public domain at this point. If anything, there is prior art from vast numbers of previous GUIs that M$ copied, so it is absurd to think they invented everything, let alone own exclusive rights to it.

When companies like Novell were first approached by M$, they should have gone to the Linux Foundation, or EFF. Instead they took a payday that inherently casts a doubt of suspision upon the entire Linux community. And while I was a fan of SuSe and many of the things they did, I will never again advocate the use of any Novell products, nor any major distro/vendor that strikes such a deal.

Re:What gets me.. (3, Insightful)

Surt (22457) | more than 7 years ago | (#19725881)

Rewriting the code is great for future infringement, but does nothing to protect everyone currently using linux from their past infringements, not to mention everyone who has shipped non upgradeable hardware running a fixed version of linux or uclinux.

Re:What gets me.. (2, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 7 years ago | (#19725999)

You are correct. In that regard, companies like Novell could be hit financially in a suit if it was shown they sold a product that infringed upon patents. Meanwhile, the Linux Foundation turns back to the EU who demanded MS open up their products and libraries more for interoperability with other OS'es. Linux has a stronger hold in the EU, and the EU has already proven they will rule against MS. Does MS really want to open that legal battle again?

Again, given the possibility of legal repercussions that affect every Linux distro and user, I think Novell should have consulted the Linux Foundation and EFF to consider all legal options first.

However, an easy and profitable solution presented it, and I believe they rushed to judgment.

Well Duh (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19726481)

Because the EU is a bunch of American hating communists, they will side against Microsoft and for Communist Open-Sores.

Re:What gets me.. (2, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#19726035)

M$ has nothing to gain by releasing this information, and everything to lose.

I beg to differ:

      They have EVERYTHING to gain - open source coders will alter their code so that it no longer violates MS patents.

      They have NOTHING to lose - releasing a list won't cost them anything - presumably they already HAVE it.

      Oh oh I SEE WHAT YOU MEAN - you mean they will lose potential "damages" from a "lawsuit"? Right I forgot for a second, it's about MONEY - no one CARES about the patent really - it's just a means to an end, right?

Of course (2, Insightful)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 7 years ago | (#19727159)

"Right I forgot for a second, it's about MONEY - no one CARES about the patent really - it's just a means to an end, right?"

Patents have always been about money. What did you think they were for - bragging rights?

Re:bragging rights (1)

totally bogus dude (1040246) | more than 7 years ago | (#19727695)

My patent's bigger than yours.

Re:What gets me.. (5, Informative)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 7 years ago | (#19726045)

It's probably the same ones that RMS says Linux violates: [fsfeurope.org]

Two years ago, a thorough study found that the kernel Linux infringed 283 different software patents, and that's just in the US. Of course, by now the number is probably different and might be higher.

Please mod informative (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 7 years ago | (#19726147)

Thanks for the link!

Re:What gets me.. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19726111)

M$ has nothing to gain by releasing this information, and everything to lose. This is a huge scare tactic, that may work to scare large businesses away from considering what may turn out to be illegal software. And why migrate if you may be forced to migrate back?

True to an extent. However, consider: should Microsoft, at some stage in the future, take the patent infringement to court, the judge is liable to say, "You knew that this software infringed. You did nothing to enforce your patent. Why is this?"

Selective enforcement is perfectly possible when it comes to patents - they aren't "use it or lose it" in the way that trademarks are. However, if you are aware that somebody is infringing on your patent, and you do not take reasonable steps (either to collect royalties, or to stop the infringement), a subsequent lawsuit against that particular party will be prejudiced as a result.

(How appropriate - the captcha is "lawful".)

Re:What gets me.. (3, Insightful)

mibus (26291) | more than 7 years ago | (#19726515)

Selective enforcement is perfectly possible when it comes to patents - they aren't "use it or lose it" in the way that trademarks are. However, if you are aware that somebody is infringing on your patent, and you do not take reasonable steps (either to collect royalties, or to stop the infringement), a subsequent lawsuit against that particular party will be prejudiced as a result.


I can imagine it now...

MSFT Lawyer: We have this list of patents you're violating. All your base are belong to us...
Linus: I asked for the list when you made it five years ago. You wouldn't give it to me. How am I supposed to proceed?
Judge: MSFT, F*ck off.

Re:What gets me.. (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 7 years ago | (#19726751)

It reminds me of this [conservapedia.com] . It is very important that when you lie, you lie very specifically. That way, not only do people believe you, but fanbois will have some basis to defend you later. After all, if you were so specific, you must have had some reason to believe you were telling the truth. Or, in this case, they can merely say you were misquoted. After all, why would say such a specific thing that was so easily verifiable as incorrect.

And it really is so apropos on this day of forgiving acts against the country. Is 200 so far from 205. And let us not forget that it is better to lie [washingtonpost.com] , knowing full well that the letter was phony, but also knowing that your fanbois will defend [foxnews.com] you to the end. And one can also take solace that one can just become incompetent during the presidency, and not recall any matter of importanct [sourcewatch.org] , and people will just forgive you for anything, even dooming a generation to drug addiction.

So kids, take it from your national leaders, when you lie, lie big. If Bill had said he had never taken drugs after a certain date, a lie that your current president made, he would have been off the hook. But he decided to only make little lies, which is why he got into trouble.

Re:What gets me.. (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 7 years ago | (#19727089)

but rather a very specific claim that they know some 200 specific patents were violated.

It remains equal to the claim of more than sixteen thousand weapons of mass destruction sites until an example is given. This behaviour is a very bad trend and I'm sure we will see a lot more of it.

The MS Patent Claim is Crap (0)

tjstork (137384) | more than 7 years ago | (#19727139)

Here's why MS won't say which patent it is. We as Joe Shmoes have no money, but there are plenty of people that are plenty pissed off at MS that do, and for them, a long patent lawsuit would be a nice hobby.

So, let's Microsoft publicizes their 200 patents. A well heeled enemy finds that Microsoft's claim is weak on just ONE of them, and puts up some dope (aka, one of us), to challenge that claim. A feature is added to Linux, the dope (aka, one of us), puts up our web site, calling Microsoft on and saying the claim is BS, and then saying, jeez, this is your "strongest" patent (a lie), but one that basically tells Wall Street that Microsoft's patent portfolio is questionable, and so is the company. Therefor, Microsoft must sue.

The case goes on to trial, at which point, the future of Microsoft hangs in the balance of the sentiments of a judge. Now, under normal circumstances, Microsoft being a business, one would expect that they would get a fairer hearing in a court system packed with plenty of Reagan / Bush ^ 2 appointees. But, there's a lot of reasons that this doesn't happen.

1. Culture : Microsoft has a corporate culture of overriding arrogance, not the sort of downright evil midwestern or southern old boys network sensibilities of the GOP. In short, Microsoft is a monopoly that buys all of Al Gore's books, its just a total aberration and the people are just plain goofy, a culture clash with the right is inevitable, even if the commercial interests are the same.

2. It's More Profitable to Destroy Microsoft. Microsoft has won. They've saturated the market and are like a utility - no growth. Why not smash that company, and in the wake of one falling mighty empire, there's plenty of room for growth in rising competitors. I can't make much money off of MS stock, but I can make plenty of money out of rising profits in 5 or 6 nimble competitors arising out of the wreckage. You could quitely unload your MS stock, put it into say a few smaller players like, um, Novell or Red Hat, and make a mountain of money.

In short, Microsoft really is in a situation where, yes, they have everything to lose, and nothing to gain. And really, exactly which MS customer will remain an MS customer once Microsoft sues them for using a patent infringing product? Every data center on the planet will be switching to Linux as they retire old systems.

Re:What gets me.. (1)

jb.cancer (905806) | more than 7 years ago | (#19727517)

When companies like Novell were first approached by M$, they should have gone to the Linux Foundation, or EFF. Instead they took a payday that inherently casts a doubt of suspision upon the entire Linux community. And while I was a fan of SuSe and many of the things they did, I will never again advocate the use of any Novell products, nor any major distro/vendor that strikes such a deal.
I switched... switched from SuSE to Ubuntu, and I recommend Ubuntu/Fedora to most of my friends and colleagues who want to try out Linux. I know this is not going to hurt them, but it's something..

Re:What gets me.. (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 7 years ago | (#19727533)

I had been trying to convince my wife to go back to Linux and I was suggesting SuSe because of Yast, the nifty SuSe K-menu, AppArmor, etc.

However she finally switched, and we used Kubuntu instead. I'm not 100% happy with Kubuntu, but I wouldn't use a Novell product anymore.

Voting Machines? (2, Insightful)

binaryspiral (784263) | more than 7 years ago | (#19725801)

I wish the same amount of pressure was behind the US Electronic Voting machine systems to open their code.

Until then, what's the point of holding elections?

Re:Voting Machines? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19726295)

Advertising dollars for the news stations?

Open Source Has Jumped The Shark (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19725805)

This is bullshit. Some guy with an axe to grind just wants to get touchy feely. He had an ill-thought through plan and no support. No surprise the thing failed. It's the same with all the other open source shit. Kids with an itch to scratch and an ego to stroke just wank their keyboards in a pathetic attempt to save the world. Wise up. You can't. I sit here, reading all this idiocy on Slashdot about open source chest beating against Microsoft, and I don't have to squint to wonder what the difference is between the two. Here's a clue: there is no difference between open source and Microsoft. Bill Gates is retiring. Stallman will fall of his perch sometime. The world will move on and nobody will care.

You guys are so jumping the shark it's hilarious.

Re:Open Source Has Jumped The Shark (2, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#19726009)

It's the same with all the other open source shit. Kids with an itch to scratch and an ego to stroke just wank their keyboards in a pathetic attempt to save the world.

      How many web servers use linux "open source shit"?

Re:Open Source Has Jumped The Shark (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19726141)

Captcha: populate. Is it saying the answer is "not enough"?

Re:Open Source Has Jumped The Shark (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19726107)

Here's a challenge for all Americans.

Compose a paragraph, consisting of two or more sentences which does not contain an obscure (or any) television reference, or a "catch phrase" of any sort.

Re:Open Source Has Jumped The Shark (1)

wellingj (1030460) | more than 7 years ago | (#19726897)

How about you come up with a sentence that says something good about America.
North or South. Or did you mean the United States of America?

Pussy.... (-1, Flamebait)

tjstork (137384) | more than 7 years ago | (#19725877)

This guy has no credibility whatsover. He goes out and blows out a big stink, doesn't get his advertising hits, and then blames it all on the mysterious and evil forces of dark capitalism in order to cover his ass. I'm playing my violin!

Re:Pussy.... (3, Insightful)

gweihir (88907) | more than 7 years ago | (#19725949)

This guy has no credibility whatsover. He goes out and blows out a big stink, doesn't get his advertising hits, and then blames it all on the mysterious and evil forces of dark capitalism in order to cover his ass.

Seems to me you are a fully qualified cretin. MS shill?

The site does not have any advertisements. He did get his hits.

Re:Pussy.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19726619)

Do you always accuse people you disagree with as being MS shills? Maybe you should tak Stallman's cock out of your mouth.

Re:Pussy.... (2, Insightful)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 7 years ago | (#19726175)

Were I to rewrite parent in a less flamebaitish manner, I would say that it is difficult to feel sorry for a guy who 1) Works for a company that is a direct partner with MS 2) Publicly criticises MS, and 3) Is surprised when his employer is unhappy with his actions.
Now his employer's behavior may not be fair or right or legal, but it most certainly can be expected.
It is particularly disappointing because I, like the majority on this forum, agree with his goals. I'd like to take him seriously and support him, but it is difficult to do so when he seems completely clueless about how people are going to respond.

Re:Pussy.... (1)

jgrahn (181062) | more than 7 years ago | (#19726935)

It is particularly disappointing because I, like the majority on this forum, agree with his goals. I'd like to take him seriously and support him, but it is difficult to do so when he seems completely clueless about how people are going to respond.

You cannot take him seriously because he misjudged something completely unrelated to the thing you actually want to support him for? Why? It's not as if he asks you to accept him as your Personal Company Politics Savior.

Re:Pussy.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19727025)

Jesus. Get a clue.

MS does have no honor. (1)

gweihir (88907) | more than 7 years ago | (#19725923)

Enough said. The world will be a better place when they are gone.

No surprise it didn't go anywhere (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19726007)

I've seen 12 year olds with better grammar. It's no surprise to me that he couldn't get any sponsors, he's incapable of forming a proper sentence. His mom probably told him to stop generating so much attention or she's stop driving him to his job flipping burgers at the local BK.

Re:No surprise it didn't go anywhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19727029)

I noticed a few minor grammatical errors in his blog, but... I've seen 12 year olds with better grammar. It's no surprise to me that he couldn't get any sponsors, he's incapable of forming a proper sentence. His mom probably told him to stop generating so much attention or she's stop driving him to his job flipping burgers at the local BK. Hahaha. What?

Freedom of speech... (1)

gfxguy (98788) | more than 7 years ago | (#19726027)

[blockquote]They were professional and courteous and reassured they would not attempt to violate my freedom of speech. But the underlying message was clear even if it was never stated explicitly and I was not in a position to start bucking my place of employment over a political cause.[/blockquote]

I sympathize with the guy, I really do, but in no way, shape, or form, was his freedom of speech violated, nor could they have violated even if they wanted to, even if they threatened (and followed through) with firing him. I'm getting a little sick and tired of people claiming to be the victim in what they consider "freedom of speech" issues. This is nothing of the kind.

[blockquote]Twice, for a brief 10 minute period I used a work machine to upload some files i had on a USB key to the site via FTP. Hardly enough to draw attention in a computer network littered with thousands upon thousands of computers.[/blockquote]

In other words, he used his employers computers to maintain his personal blog.

He then later says "I'm not making any accusations..."

Look, I agree with the guy, I sympathize with him, but even mentioning free speech issues and trying to brush off the fact that he used his company computers for maintaining his blog (I do it to!) is pretty annoying... that whole blog could have been 100% substance in two paragraphs.

On the important subject, I completely agree... MS is singling out Linux in this case, and if they actually put up, they'll have to explain why they're not enforcing their patents elsewhere. I know it works with trademarks - if you don't enforce it, you're liable to lose it. I don't know how it works with patents (if you're allowed to selectively enforce them).

Re:Freedom of speech... (1)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 7 years ago | (#19726239)

I don't see why you're so "up in arms" over his (IMHO quite valid) point about "freedom of speech"??

Sure, they're not blocking him from speaking out in a strict sense, but he explains pretty clearly why they're making it highly impractical to continue.

At the end of the day, are we content to define "free speech" as simply "You won't get thrown in prison or killed over saying this!", or do we want to strive for truly being able to speak out without harassment, loss of employment, or other repercussions?

I think his bringing up the fact that he briefly ftp'd a few files from a USB key while at work was important to his story, too. I didn't find it "annoying" in the least. He's simply acknowledging that he can't 100% prove that the editor from Forbes "ratted him out" to his employer, but the *only* other alternative he can fathom is a pretty far-fetched scenario. (If he neglected to explain this - it would be all to easy for nay-sayers to make a false assumption that he was constantly working on his blog during business hours, and that was likely the *real* reason he got called in the office about the whole thing. I agree with him on this one. A grand total of 2 incidents of simple ftp of files off a USB key to a remote site is not even a "blip" on the radar of systems administrators of a medium to large-sized corporation. )

Re:Freedom of speech... (1)

Torvaun (1040898) | more than 7 years ago | (#19726771)

Because it isn't actually valid. The government is the only group constrained by the Bill of Rights. You want some examples?
1. You do not have freedom of speech in a theater. You have freedom of shutting the hell up. Theaters can remove you for talking, and they don't even have to give you a refund.
2. You do not have the right to keep and bear arms in many businesses. Try exercising your 2nd Amendment in a bank sometime, see how that works out for you.
3. Ok, this one is narrowly defined enough not to have a ready example.
4-8. These are all covered separately under other laws. Like murder, kidnapping, and theft.
9-10. Quite obviously and narrowly referring to the government.

You can get fired for saying bad things about your boss, even if they're true. You can get fired for playing Solitaire on a company machine during your coffee or smoke break. If you're an hourly wage slave instead of a salaried one, and you happen to live in an at-will employment state, you can be fired for looking a little too long at the boss' wife when she stops by, or even for no reason at all. There is a strict set of things that you can't be fired for. Everything else is fair game, and freedom of speech doesn't enter into it.

Re:Freedom of speech... (1)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 7 years ago | (#19726291)

It's pathetic. He admits he freely stopped the site himself, he admits he obtained little or no support, he admits he received little direct media contact regarding the issue and then tries to make out there was some nebulous conspiracy to silence him which he was unable to fight. Personally I felt he was extremely lucky not to have been fired for using his employers computers for uploading to the site during work hours.

Re:Freedom of speech... (1)

Roger W Moore (538166) | more than 7 years ago | (#19726907)

I sympathize with the guy, I really do, but in no way, shape, or form, was his freedom of speech violated, nor could they have violated even if they wanted to, even if they threatened (and followed through) with firing him. I'm getting a little sick and tired of people claiming to be the victim in what they consider "freedom of speech" issues. This is nothing of the kind.

Sorry, but are you really saying that you are happy with people being fired because of their reasonable and legal political beliefs? I can understand the case if they went after him for use of the office computers or if he were trying to pass himself off as representing the company but for expressing his personal views on a website where he makes no mention of his company at all?

What i would like to know is why they did not look at the website first and then have specific complaints to ask him? What it sounded like was more of a gentle threat: shut up or we will fire you. How can you claim to have freedom of speech if a company can do that at will? It would be like claiming that China has freedom of speech as long as you don't mind being locked up if you criticize the government. True being fired is not as bad as going to prison but it is still a severe enough penalty that people will not risk it to express a reasonable political view....and hence you no longer have freedom of speech.

While I agree with your point that freedom of speech does not mean that you are free to say anything without consequence. Expressing a reasonable, non-violent, legal political view point should be protected otherwise how can you ever have a free and meaningful political debate and without that how can you claim to have a democracy?

Re:Freedom of speech... (1)

pavera (320634) | more than 7 years ago | (#19726955)

As to selectively enforcing patents, yes you can. Look at NTP vs RIMM. They didn't sue everyone at once, they left Nokia and Palm to go implement wireless email while they fought with RIMM, now that they won against them, now they are going after the others.

Also, the companies he mentions probably (read definitely) have patent cross license deals with MS. Sun does for sure (a result of the whole java settlement), and MS owns something like 15% of Apple, bailed them out in the 90s. I'm sure they both have cross license deals.

Re: De Minimis Fringe Benefits being ignored? (2, Insightful)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 7 years ago | (#19727345)

This might be a good thing to ask Mr. Beckerman if he's around.

In my one business law class, I seem to recall a series of cases describing something called a "De Minimis Fringe", whereupon an exployee uses a company resource, but the pure cost of that usage is so small that it results in laughable fianncial effect.
"Ten Minutes of time plus whatever CPU power plus electricity" is right in that category. (Some of the original cases dealt with machines like copiers & faxes.)

Everyone take a crisp look at your working lives. De Minimis Fringe effects exist because people DO have lives, and corporate management carried to absurdity eventually crosses the line of oppression. So we know that this guy DIDN'T get slammed for the "costs" of his minimal use; he got slammed because of the semi-fallacies of employmer endorsement blown to political extremes.

Thanks for that (5, Insightful)

Satanboy (253169) | more than 7 years ago | (#19726043)

Thank you for putting up an explanation on what happened.
Thank you for trying to help the community.
Thank you for putting your ass on the line and going as far as you could before you were silenced.

I'm sorry you were put in such a position.
Keep up the good work, and keep your chin up.

It was brave to explain what happened, and it was the right choice you made.
The open source community is important, but keeping a roof over your head should always be your top priority.

Re:Thanks for that (1)

mctk (840035) | more than 7 years ago | (#19726531)

You feeling alright Satan?

But it has to be FUD (3, Interesting)

Bellum Aeternus (891584) | more than 7 years ago | (#19726071)

If we knew what the patents were it wouldn't be FUD, it'd just be something to work around. Fear is power, remember that.

itneresting (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19726157)

open source is for fucking faggots. dick smoking faggots. you are a fag if you like open source and should just go far away from civilization now.
 
hopefully you have aids and will die a dirty faggots death.

in7ormative fuckerfucker (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19726215)

I don't want to Shouts To the that *BSD is Propaganda and a.nd enjoy all the raise or lower the IS DYING LIKE THE

Dan Lyons (5, Interesting)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 7 years ago | (#19726229)

After a scheduled interview with Forbes columnist Dan Lyons didn't happen,
That's probably the best endorsement Show Me the Code could get - if Dan Lyons - notorious anti-Free Software disinformation specialist - can't figure out a way to spin the situation to make MS look good and Linux developers look like a bunch of hippie commies criminals, then no one can.

Re:Dan Lyons (1)

slughead (592713) | more than 7 years ago | (#19726585)

Dan Lyons - notorious anti-Free Software disinformation specialist


I would not say that's a fair description. His most famous article is the prescient 1999 Red Hat [forbes.com] article in which he states that Red Hat is a great business venture and M$ is on the slow, declining power curve.

Forbes is a great magazine and usually tends to think outside the box about things. That's not always good, but in this case, it certainly was. 1999 was not the smartest year to call M$ a loser.

DUDE stick with it (1)

gekoscan (1001678) | more than 7 years ago | (#19726247)

Seriously, jobs come along day after day... it's just a place to go and code or do whatever...
Stick with what you started, you did something cause you believed in it.

If your company can't do the research to figure out that you have done this with professionalism and heart than I just
wouldn't work there. It's not like you did it on works time... I really don't get what their issue is.

As if.. It's not like it hurts your resume..

Re:DUDE stick with it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19726303)

Seriously, jobs come along day after day... it's just a place to go and code or do whatever...

Are you for real? Jobs come along day after day? You live with your mother, flip burgers during the day and do "web development" at night, or something? Jesus. Get a grip.

Where is his employer mentioned? (3, Interesting)

RoadWarriorX (522317) | more than 7 years ago | (#19726335)

I have a hard time finding any references to this guy's employer anywhere in his blog. So, what asshat translated the mere existence of this blog into "representing the company"? With respect to his need to pay the bills and all, maybe he should have stood up for himself.

Who snitched (3, Interesting)

wrook (134116) | more than 7 years ago | (#19726389)

TFA makes reference to the possibility that a certain author may have tipped off his company that he was hosting an "anti-Microsoft" website. I think this is unlikely. As he mentions himself, his website garnered a lot of attention not least of all on Slashdot. I think it is much more likely that Microsoft themselves contacted his employer. They must have known what was going on and this would be a relatively simple way to shut down the site. As his employer was a Microsoft partner, the result was predictable.

Which leads me to some advice. Aligning your profession with personal ideals is generally a good idea. But if you are planning on being any kind of activist at all, it's imperative. You can pretend all you want that it shouldn't matter what you do in your spare time. But when push comes to shove, your livelihood is a powerful piece of leverage in a political spat.

After 20 years in the proprietary software industry I'm finally waking up and smelling the coffee. As of Friday I'm retiring and going to work on something unrelated to computers. This will leave me unfettered to do the things I believe in in my spare time. It's funny, I've always valued freedom, but I've spent the majority of my career voluntarily chained to something I fundamentally disagree with. Life is strange...

Re:Who snitched (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 7 years ago | (#19726473)

TFA makes reference to the possibility that a certain author may have tipped off his company that he was hosting an "anti-Microsoft" website. I think this is unlikely. As he mentions himself, his website garnered a lot of attention not least of all on Slashdot. I think it is much more likely that Microsoft themselves contacted his employer. They must have known what was going on and this would be a relatively simple way to shut down the site. As his employer was a Microsoft partner, the result was predictable.

Another possibility is that they did detect his FTP use. It's well known that "Fortune Whatever" companies are paranoid about "industrial espionage. It's very possible that they are set up to automatically check outgoing FTP against a list of authorized targets, and they check up on those that don't match the list. It's a valid question to wonder who in you company and why are FTPing outside the walls...

Re:Who snitched (1)

NickFortune (613926) | more than 7 years ago | (#19727707)

Another possibility is that they did detect his FTP use. It's well known that "Fortune Whatever" companies are paranoid about "industrial espionage. It's very possible that they are set up to automatically check outgoing FTP against a list of authorized targets, and they check up on those that don't match the list.

So it's purely co-incidence that they day after DigDuality gives Dan Lyons his contact details, a routine log trawl at his employers highlights 2 ten second uploads to a blogspot IP hosting a site blog they clearly had not looked at, but which they nevertheless felt secure in mis-characterising as a political site which abused the company name?

I suppose it might be possible. It just doesn't strike me as likely.

And what about the FSF's FUD machine? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19726499)

The FSF has been roundly implying that the iPhone might contain GPLed software, and might violate the GPLv3 [fsf.org] .

Are they going to be held accountable for their coy accusations? Or are the FSF to be allowed to shamelessly impugn the underpinnings of other peoples' popular new products, for the sake of free publicity, without being told to "put up or shut up"?

This Behavior is Dirt-Common (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19726605)

I work for a Microsoft partner, and I own and use a Macbook Pro - at work. I bought it because the company refused to replace my (very under-spec) company laptop when it died, and I wanted to run Unix, OS X, and Windows on the same machine at the same time. (Think universal debugging - I can use any browser on any platform simultaneously.) I took the machine to the IT head to have him clear it into the office, and he they expressed some concern over the non-removable camera, he and his manager came to the conclusion that it and I presented a very low leak risk. (I have worked for the company for almost a decade.)
The next day I was called into a surprise meeting with the CIO and the head of sales, and I was told to bring the Mac with me. We had a discussion revolving around my "unfortunate" choice of vendor. Someone had mentioned the machine to someone who told someone and so on until somehow our contact at Microsoft was involved. By the time it got to MS they were told the company had bought the machine for me, and several other employees, and wanted to buy an unspecified "apple server". Understandably he was concerned. He called our sales head and asked that the "situation" be "taken care of".

We determined that nothing of the sort had happened, that I had paid for the machine with my own money, that I was taking it with me at such time that my employment ended. All well and good. Then a few more conditions on my use of the machine came up:

1) I am to call it a laptop or PC. I cannot use the words "Apple", "Mac", or "Macintosh", not even with other employees.
2) When entering or leaving the building, or where customers might see it, I am to hold the logo side of the case against me so the logo cannot be seen.
3) If our area is being exhibited to customers/press or pictures are being taken, the computer is not allowed on the premises.
4) When on company property I must be running Windows. I cannot boot OS X unless absolutely necessary. (A fullscreen Parallels session, however, was deemed acceptable.) The OS X interface cannot be displayed.
5) When I leave the company, I have to submit the entire computer to a third-party security consultant who will check the machine to ensure I am not leaving with any company intellectual property. I must reimburse the company for the costs involved in this.

The company was TERRIFIED that Microsoft might somehow take some offense to ONE EMPLOYEE out of hundreds having a competing product, and was scared to the extent of considering disciplinary action against a senior employee.

THAT is power, kids.

Re:This Behavior is Dirt-Common (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 7 years ago | (#19726655)

Interesting. Even Microsoft owns racks of Apple boxes for "testing" and such....

Re:This Behavior is Dirt-Common (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19726855)

Microsoft didn't come up with these rules - the company did because they're scared of what Microsoft might do if they DID get offended somehow. Microsoft training accounts for well over 90% of our business. Losing our partner status would seriously cripple our ability to do business competitively, if not put us out of business directly. They're terrified of that possibility.

Re:This Behavior is Dirt-Common (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 7 years ago | (#19727069)

You could have thrown it back at your employer "If you had bought me an adequate laptop, I wouldn't have needed this Apple..."

Re:This Behavior is Dirt-Common (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19727269)

Partners work with each other, not scare each other half to death. Your senior management is OK with this 'partnership'? Sounds like they're in over their heads.

Re:This Behavior is Dirt-Common (4, Insightful)

Grail (18233) | more than 7 years ago | (#19727305)

5) When I leave the company, I have to submit the entire computer to a third-party security consultant who will check the machine to ensure I am not leaving with any company intellectual property. I must reimburse the company for the costs involved in this.

ROFLMAO!

Do they ask you to submit the computer to a third party security consultant every day you leave the office? Or just that last time when you've already sanitised the machine by loading Mac OS X onto it fresh? And conveniently hidden your 2GB thumb drive with the Death Star plans in the crevice of some robot's carapace?

You will, of course, be taking steps to blatantly and flagrantly violate these stupid rules, won't you? If it was a company laptop they wouldn't have all these nasty Microsoft bogeymen terrifying them in their sleep...

Re:This Behavior is Dirt-Common (1)

PietjeJantje (917584) | more than 7 years ago | (#19727309)

Yeah, but by snitching on little guys and pushing their managers, Bill earns a lot of money, which he then spends partly on charity, so everything is OK. What a great guy!

Re:This Behavior is Dirt-Common (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19727353)

I think you are stretching things a bit. I worked at MSFT for 9 years and there are plenty of folks that get apple laptops if they want them. Mostly ID and UX folks, but anyone could order one if they wanted to. It wasn't a standard issue, but there was always a way to get whatever laptop you wanted. I had a japanese laptop for a year (panasonic) because I liked the size. The company really didn't care at all.

Re:This Behavior is Dirt-Common (1)

Power_Pentode (1123285) | more than 7 years ago | (#19727509)

caveat: I'm basing this reply on my knowledge of current common laptop hard drive prices. I have no idea what drives cost for Macbooks. When you terminate your employment, remove your hard drive and give it to the company. Tell them to shred it or recycle it or whatever they want. It's got to be less expensive than paying for a security consultant, yes?

Re:This Behavior is Dirt-Common (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19727607)

I have an extremely hard time believing this story.

I've worked for various companies as a Microsoft Partner for over 10 years, and this just doesn't ring true. I think many MS haters like to believe this type of fiction. Every MS Partner company I've been a part of or even visited has had Macs. Hell, I've been to various Microsoft facilities in the US, including the Redmond campus, and outside of the US and seen Macs. Microsoft doesn't care about unimportant things like this, they realize that MS Partners absolutely have to support multiple platforms, and that certain user communities like designers, multimedia, and audio production, are dominated by Mac users.

IF this is true, I believe it is much more likely that he ruffled some feathers at his company by:

1) purchasing his own laptop and expecting to use it for company purposes
2) going against his companies approved hardware policy
3) showing up one day with said computer and using it without prior permission

Many companies are very tight with their hardware/software policies. Approved platforms help limit IT support issues, reduce required spare parts, increase buying power with vendors, and help with software license compliance.

Words of advice: next time you want to outcool your fellow employees by getting a new laptop for work, get your boss to approve it first. Oh, and don't blame Microsoft when you don't know how to handle office politics.

"Show Us Your Code!!" (5, Funny)

jomama717 (779243) | more than 7 years ago | (#19726639)

Slashdotters on Mardi Gras?

you fAItL it (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19726761)

charnel 4ouse. [goat.cx]

T-Shirts? (2, Insightful)

mgiuca (1040724) | more than 7 years ago | (#19726919)

You must be having some effect. I saw on the Australian satirical show The Chaser's War on Everything, they went around making fun of people's "joke T-shirts".

One fellow they interviewed had a shirt which read, "Talk is cheap. Show me the code."

They didn't get it. :p

What I don't get is (0, Troll)

Moe1975 (885721) | more than 7 years ago | (#19727119)

how the fellow:

- used his employer's equipment for his personal project
- did not stand up to them when confronted with utter BS
- ended up working elsewhere anyway

Should have thought about whether or not he did indeed have the guts for it beforehand . . . that kind of reaction from the suits was to be ANTICIPATED.

1489 "brave" souls have challenged MSFT publicly (2, Informative)

christian.einfeldt (874074) | more than 7 years ago | (#19727217)

I can understand the concern for keeping one's job. But there are 1,489 people who have publicly challenged Microsoft to sue them based on Microsoft's questionable Microsoft patent claims:

http://digitaltippingpoint.com/wiki/index.php?titl e=SMFM_list_page_12 [digitaltippingpoint.com]

Included on that list is none other than Eric S. Raymond, who has this to say:

130. Eric S. Raymond. Yes, Microsoft, the guy who's been harshing your mellow since I wrote The Cathedral and the Bazaar in 1997. Linux user since 1993, so I've been violating your nonexistent patents for fourteen years. Sue me first. Please, oh please! Because I don't think I've kicked your sorry asses enough yet, and I'd love another round with you chumps.
And this from someone who is supplying the Aussie Defence Forces with "patent infringing" software:

Steve O'Connor (Adelaide, Australia) BAD ME - I am using a pirated copy of Gentoo Linux that I illegally downloaded off the internet, and have installed on a whole rack of servers that I use to make money by providing information services to the Australian Defence Forces. I skipped out on paying any licence fees by doing it this way, and I have (illegal ?) access to all the source code, so I can hack my application around however I see fit. I have also ripped off a copy of PCLinuxOS from the internet (Which is like a HaXoRed version of Vista), without giving out my credit card, and used that same single copy to install on dozens of other computers. The recipients of these PCLinuxOS machines are way happy too ...

Put your money where your mouth is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19727561)

...otherwise you're just a hypocrite!

The 'nineties' software business model is claimed to be outdated and the next thing you know this guy folds because he has to pay the bills. Loser!
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