Monday, October 09, 2006
- Today's big story is the latest twist in the MS-Baystar-SCO debacle. Seems that MS allegedly promised to somehow "guarantee" Baystar's investment in SCO. Since, I guess, otherwise SCO looked too risky even for Baystar, which has a focus on doing PIPE deals with troubled companies. So MS promised Baystar wouldn't lose money on the deal, and then stopped returning Larry Goldfarb's phone calls after the deal was finalized. Because, I guess, backing BS up in real life would've been a recipe for antitrust trouble, or it just would've cost MS some money they didn't feel like spending. Which makes sense, in a cold self-interested way: Why spend your own money when you can get someone else to spend theirs? Why get your hands dirty when you can get somone else to do the dirty work?
- Updated: GL has Goldfarb's declaration up for the world to see. Not only did MS stop returning his calls; even Boies stopped talking once SCO had the cash in the bank. From the declaration:
Thereafter, I had meetings with David Boies and asked him to provide me the evidence supporting SCO's case against IBM, so that my consultants could analyze the strength of the claims. Mr. Boies promised to provide the evidence but never did. Eventually Mr. Boies stopped returning my calls.
Recall the Rule #1 from the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition: Once you have their money, you never give it back.
- From the same GL article, Ray Noorda has passed away at age 82.
- Plenty of trade media coverage of today's MS-BS news. Groklaw has it, of course. Other stories at The Inquirer, ZDNet, LinuxWorld, Slashdot, Ars Technica.
- Haven't yet seen any general (non-trade) media coverage of the story yet, but I'm guessing we might in the next couple of days since MS is involved. It'll be interesting to see whether this latest story has legs or not. I should probably just give up on trying to figure out which SCO stories will catch the media's fancy, but it's an interesting puzzle.
- In the "Too Much Sharing" department, we learn an unsurprising personal detail about Darl:
Eve Tahmincioglu interviewed 55 CEOs about their backgrounds for her book "From the Sandbox to the Corner Office: Lessons Learned on the Journey to the Top," on sale Monday. The book includes chapters on such things as how CEOs attacked their first jobs and how they overcame bad bosses, but Chapter One is called "Parents: Less Carrot, More Stick."
She found that most CEOs had tough disciplinarians as parents. Among those who told Tahmincioglu that they had been spanked were Time Warner CEO Richard Parsons, Shell Chemicals Executive Vice President Fran Keeth, Alliant Energy Resources former CEO Erroll Davis, SCO Group CEO Darl McBride and United Way CEO Brian Gallagher.
What I don't understand is who came up with the notion of talking to a bunch of Fortune 500 CEOs, plus Darl. Why Darl?
Now that he's shared this tidbit, I have to be curious what exactly he did to deserve being spanked as a child. Tried to swipe the other kids' toys, maybe?
- From Y! SCOX, it seems SCO has officially lost its bid for the "Unix Systems Laboratories" and "USL" trademarks. Nelson: Ha, ha!
- A recent c.u.s.m. thread explores a limitation of RAID 5 support under OpenServer 5.x. On the other hand, I hear that OSR5's punchcard support is really world class.
- Speaking of punchcards, IBM is trying to deal with the upcoming mainframe crisis: Everyone who knows how to work the damn things is close to retirement age, and nobody new is entering the field. So they're planning to spend $100M over the next few years to try to make their Big Iron easier to learn.
Yes, yes, I realize modern mainframes don't use punchcards anymore. That was a cheap shot, and I apologize. I just needed a lead-in from the previous SCO item, that's all.
- In Linux news, the maybe-upcoming $100 Linux laptop is now being touted for its security measures. Of course, that $100 doesn't take into account that $699 SCOSource license you're supposed to buy (*snort* *giggle*).
- Meanwhile, on the other end of the hardware spectrum, a piece about large Linux clusters based around the shiny new Cell chip. I mention this because it's never too early to start writing that Dear Santa letter.
- Also, here's a bit about Flash Player 9 for Linux. Is this a good thing, or a bad thing?
- Elsewhere, FreeBSD 6.2 beta 2 is out. And if that interests you, you might also be interested in this bit about FreeBSD's 64-bit x86 support.
- And this article would like to clarify some conventional wisdom: "NetBSD: Not Just for Toasters". Although it probably will run on your toaster, though. Even if you have a vintage CPU-less toaster from 1950, the NetBSD folks will eventually find a way, somehow.
- An amusing piece at CIO magazine that tries to answer the age-old tech industry question of what "open" really means. From the article (which uses "OS" as an acronym for "Open Source"):
Looking at OS products such as Nexaweb studio, Zimbra and Scalix collaboration, Open-Xchange groupware, Qlusters system management, Zenoss monitoring, Zmanda backup, Xinit storage software, Xen and Mozilla Firefox, the name of the OS game suddenly becomes clear. The important factor in open source is to have a name spelled with a Q, X or Z - which are all essential letters for getting a high score in Scrabble.