Sunday, December 10, 2006
No major SCO stories in the past few days, but here's a selection of SCO-related, or at least vaguely SCO-related stuff I ran across here and there:
- The recent tankage in SCO's stock price has attracted the attention of the usual penny stock crowd. Here's what a "Buy SCOX" stock pick looks like these days. The guy expresses contempt for the company, but thinks the stock will wander up a bit in the short term. And in truth, that's probably what's going to happen. It's always happened before after previous big stock drops: The volume dries up, and the stock starts creeping up with that familiar pattern of 100-share trades at the end of the day. But my advice, as always, is what the kid told his parents at the end of Time Bandits: "Dont touch it, it's evil!"
- A few fun niblets about Vista:
- Deep Sleep mode is seriously borked.
- The fancy new product activation scheme is spoofable. Now, I'm 100% against pirating software; MS is the copyright owner (presumably), and if you really want Vista that badly, you'd better be prepared to play by Billg's rules. If you don't like the rules, pick an OS with rules you like better. But still, it's funny to see all those layers upon neurotic layers of "security" fall apart this easily.
- But will all that security stuff actually matter?
- On the bright side, Vista's gonna create a whopping 100,000 jobs. Which again reminds me of a scene from a movie:
Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg: Life, which you so nobly serve, comes from destruction, disorder and chaos. Take this empty glass. Here it is, peaceful, serene and boring. But if it is...
[pushes glass off table]
Zorg: [robot cleaners move to clean broken glass] Look at all these little things. So busy now. Notice how each one is useful. What a lovely ballet ensues so full of form and color. Now, think about all those people that created them. Technicians, engineers, hundreds of people who'll be able to feed their children tonight so those children can grow up big and strong and have little teeny weeny children of their own, and so on and so forth. Thus, adding to the great chain... of life.
Zorg: [Desk prepares a glass of water and a bowl of fruit] You see, Father, by creating a little destruction, I'm actually encouraging life. In reality, you and I are in the same business. Cheers.
[drinks water with cherry, only to choke on cherry stuck in throat. Zorg frantically presses all buttons on his desk in an attempt to get something to clear his throat]
Priest Vito Cornelius: Where's the robot to pat you in the back? Or the engineer? Or their children, maybe?
[Desk brings out Zorg's pet Picasso; Zorg motions it to try and help him]
Cornelius: There, you see how all your so-called power counts for absolutely nothing? How your entire empire of destruction comes... crashing down. All because of one little... cherry.
[Slaps Zorg in the back, causing him to spit the cherry at Picasso]
- Deep Sleep mode is seriously borked.
- The MS-Novell articles keep on coming. This one dissects all the recent weird alliances and business moves in the F/OSS world. SCO gets the usual brief and dismissive mention.
- And a John Carroll post at ZDNet argues "Stop bashing the Novell / Microsoft agreement". Not sure I agree, but he makes some interesting points.
- Oh, and on the heels of Ballmer's patent FUD, questions about whether Windows also has an IP-related "undisclosed balance-sheet liability". This is a response, in part, to the previous item.
- The headlines are full of people rushing to bash Vista and Zune, but those aren't the only gobs of fresh Redmond Quality Software to hit the interwebs. Oh, no, far from it. They've got a new search engine (yes, another one) which I guess is supposed to be the anti-Google, by getting wrong everything Google gets right. I present to you Ms. Dewey, the latest tardware from Microsoft's "Live Search" initiative, whatever the hell that is. I guess the idea is to show that Bill and Steve and the gang are hip and totally down with that newfangled "Web 2.0" thingy the cool kids keep talking about. The result: Clippy with cleavage. Well, not too much cleavage. Too much for the office, not enough to get excited about. Unless you're a lonely 15-year old dweeb, which I assume is the target audience here. I haven't tried this myself, but reports have it that if you attempt to talk dirty to Ms. Dewey, you might get a mildly amusing response from her. Oh, yippee. For the record, I don't want to know anything at all about the dev team behind this botch, or what it was like developing it, or any fun anecdotes about late nights in the QA lab, nothing. Absolutely nothing.
- Over on IV, a great post full of what Wallybass calls OT links. Maybe over there they're OT, but here they're only Semi-OT at best.
- Also from the boards, seems Kevin's law firm's website has gone down.
- And Canopy tentacle MTIC has gotten its 2nd delisting notice.
- We haven't had a good Baystar item here for a while, and the latest isn't quite a Baystar item, but one of their close colleagues in the PIPE community has just been nailed for some serious naughtiness. The scheme worked like this: First, take out a short position in some random stock, let's call it FOO. Someone loans you a billion shares at a dollar each. You sell these and hope the stock goes down so that when it's time to replace the shares, you can buy back at a lower price and pocket the difference. Normally that can be kind of risky, to put it mildly. If the stock goes up instead of down, you have to buy back at the higher price, no matter how high it is. So the nice folks at Gryphon figured out a neat trick: Go to the poor saps who run FOO and offer them a PIPE deal, where they give you a boatload of stock for cash, usually just pennies on the dollar. (Note: It's best not to mention that you're shorting their stock when you do this.) Then you use those shares to replace the ones you borrowed, and pocket the difference between the discounted PIPE price and fair market value. It seems like a reasonably clever scheme, as far as these things go. But as the complaint mentions, this practice is, ahem, specifically prohibited under securities law. Which tells us that someone else thought of this before, tried it, and got caught.
- On IP-Wars, speculation about why Caldera really bought all those crufty old Unixes from OldSCO.
- The War on Christmas Beer continues. This time, the state of Maine has banned a beverage called "Santa's Butt", as usual in the name of "protecting the children". Now, the recent New York case attracted the attention of BS&F, who took time out of their busy schedule (i.e. working night and day on SCO's behalf, 24/7) to make some threatening noises and get the state to back down. No word on whether they'll get involved here, too, but I kind of doubt it, just because it's Maine this time and not New York.
- The "big" SCOoffice Server 4.2 announcement shows up again on the interwebs. I've covered the announcement before, but I'm not sure I'd actually seen the official PR or not, until now. I like the bit where they advertise the product's antivirus and antispam features. I wonder if the latter feature filters out Me Inc. spam or not.
- I don't usually venture into religion or politics here. People in the anti-SCO community come from all walks of life, which I think is great, most of the time, except when political threads get in the way of real news. But I couldn't resist this one, because it also deals with buggy and truly dire grade-Z software, in this case the new "Left Behind" shoot-em-up game. A droll tidbit from the review:
Units can be set on an auto-proselytizing mode where they can be ordered to recruit on demand, but the artificial intelligence isn't as committed to Christ as you might expect. If you set units on autopilot, they respond by just standing around, which forces you to do a lot of hands-on conversions to keep up with the Antichrist. Even if this function did work, you would still have to take over units on occasion because they regularly get stuck behind lampposts and parked cars.
- The Register only now noticed the bit about the New York Times parting ways with Enderle, and in large part they take Enderle's side and argue he's being singled out and treated unfairly.
Couple points about that. First, ElReg itself is part of the trade press. They don't see the problem, because they're part of the problem. Everyone's known for decades that analysts are often nothing more than PR flacks for hire. The viability of the analyst industry hinges on having compliant media outfits who happily turn a blind eye to the practice and refuse to tell their readers what's what.
And point #2, sure Enderle's being singled out, but he's not being treated unfairly. Your average garden-variety analyst merely rattles off an inoffensive and pointless HappyQuote(tm) or two about, say, the latest SQL Server release, takes the check to the bank, and leaves it at that. When it comes to competitors, the usual analyst sounds a note of caution and concern, letting you know their client is the safe choice. But they generally leave it at that. Calling people terrorists for merely using the "wrong" computer program is not typical. Well, not unless you're Enderle, but for him it's pretty much his stock in trade. Keep that act up long enough and you're not likely to have huge reserves of public goodwill out there when things go badly for you.
Oh, and there's a point #3, a very simple one. He worked for SCO, and kept working for them long after everyone knew their Linux jihad was nothing but a scam. Surely he had to have known, but he kept touting the company anyway. He seems to have stopped now, or mostly stopped. I assume that's just because Darl & friends can't afford Enderle's services anymore.
- Oh, and finally, here's the very latest Darl McBride sighting, taken on Friday shortly after the stock markets closed.