Monday, April 30, 2007
5/2 SNR: Groovy 70's Edition
- SCO's stock tanked into the 70 cent range yesterday, hence the title. I mostly pay attention to that for schadenfreude purposes, as a sign that the company continues to wither away. So it's good when the stock goes down, unless it goes too low, and one of their mysterious backers decides to shovel more cash into the company to keep the sham going. I'm not saying that's guaranteed to happen again, just that it's happened before, so there's a precedent for it, and investors on board who might be tempted to throw bad money after bad, so to speak.
- PJ's got a new article about the delisting letter. She explains why she doesn't follow the stock angle too closely, but offers a few fun Darl quotes from back when the stock was still in full-on speculative bubble mode.
- Slashdot covered the gag order story yesterday. I was going to say "finally", but I'd meant to do this post yesterday and didn't quite find the time, what with the NHL playoffs, and sleeping, and such.
The gag order business highlights another reason I do this SNR stuff. Groklaw is a great resource, of course, but I think the SCO situation and others like it require a more distributed model. Centralizing everything at one location presents a tempting target, a single point of litigation for SCO and every other IP troll that shambles out of the mire.
- A gag-order thread on Tuxmachines, pointing to the Ars piece I linked to the other day. Incidentally, the Ars link was broken until an astute reader pointed it out. It's like an old CEO of mine said years back: Customers (readers, in this case) make the best QA, and you don't even have to pay 'em, the suckers. But seriously, if you see something broken, lemme know, or just post a correction, or whatever. Thx. Mgmt.
- SJVN on the delisting letter.
- SCO gets a quick mention in this entertaining ITJungle piece about RMS and GPL3. And Greek philosophy, too. And ventriloquism. No, really.
- A different perspective on delisting. The poster says he knows people who own SCO stock, therefore he hopes it doesn't get delisted, because his friends would lose money. To which I can only respond: You call yourself a friend, and yet you let your friends buy SCO stock?
- Coming soon to a TV near you, just what we needed: an HBO original movie about the 2000 election in Florida. I wonder who would play Boies?
- While we're on that topic, seems Boies is back in the election biz, this time working for that Sanjaya punk. Ok, no, not really. But admit it: It's not actually inconceivable.
- The very latest on Boies's gardening debacle. Nical (i.e. his side) was recently sold to another firm, although some suggest the new company is a front for the old company, to try to weasel out of the existing settlement agreement.
- And the very latest on Sun, Solaris, and the GPL. The executive summary version: No GPL'd Solaris yet, but they're still thinking about it. And thinking. And thinking.
- Meanwhile, Dell will now sell you a desktop box with Ubuntu preloaded. You probably heard about that already, and it wasn't a huge surprise after the recent PR with Michael Dell allegedly running Ubuntu at home, etc. But still, it's nice to see that they listened. If you took the trouble to go sign the petition, you are going to buy a box now, right?
I don't see anything on Dell's site where you can click a checkbox to buy a SCOSource license for a mere $699 extra. Funny, that.
- An MMORPG patent troll that didn't get the Supreme Court's memo. In the longer term I think they're a dying breed now, but not just yet.
- Study: Tech is as polluting as aviation.
- From the math software world, Maple 11 is out now, and it runs on OSX, Solaris, Linux (even Itanium), Windows thru 2k3. But Vista? Not so much.
- A BBC piece on Hollywood's heavyhanded, and failed, attempt to censor Digg re: the HD-DVD crack discovered a while ago. One curious thing is that they've already done the key revocation trick with new HD-DVD releases, so they've already "solved" this problem -- unless they have less than full confidence in the key revocation trick, that is. Hmm.
Slashdot has the story too, now.
- I can't really call something "Groovy 70's Edition" without at least one groovy retrotech item. Dumb terminals are way retro. They're still cutting-edge in the SCO universe, as SCO's antiquated per-user licensing model shows, but elsewhere they're nearly extinct. I don't even know where you'd go to buy a new ASCII dumb terminal if you needed one.
Fortunately the world's awash in old terminals from back in the day, and some of them look pretty cool in a retro sort of way. And unless they use some sort of weird proprietary interface, you might be able to cable it up to your shiny new quad Xeon box and run Emacs on it, and if you've got Emacs, what else do you need? Ok, vi users aren't out of luck either, and I expect Lynx would work too. So really, you'd be all set.
And if you're going to do that, you might as well get the absolute coolest terminal ever made, the Olivetti TCV-250. (Mouse over the photo and then click 'more' for more photos). The Museum of Modern Art in New York has one on display, so its infinite coolness has been officially recognized by the design gods. The great thing is that since it doubles as a desk, you could probably hide a small *Nix box (say, a Mac mini) in or around it, and the TCV-250 would be all that you'd see.
(Ok, fine, the terminal's actually from the 60's, not the 70's, if you want to be pedantic about it. But now that SCO stock's hit the 70 cent range I'm looking forward to it dropping back to the 60's, so that makes it ok, and besides, this is my blog, and you didn't pay a cent to read it, so why are you complaining?)
Unfortunately all the stuff I can find about the TCV-250 on the net is just other people oohing and aaahing over it. And you can't blame them, I mean, check out that round monitor. Utter awesomeness. But there aren't any tech specs that I can find, and not even any mention of what it was originally supposed to connect to. And I also don't know where you'd get one, other than robbing the museum, which is inadvisable. I don't see a termcap or terminfo entry for it, and those never get thrown away once written, so it probably wasn't used as a Unix terminal way back when. So if someone was to give me one for Christmas or whatever, hint hint, I'd be willing to have a go at it. You know, to contribute to the greater good of humanity and all that.
- GL: SCO Tried to Gag Groklaw in 2004. Yes, they really did. And not just Groklaw, either. They got it into their heads that IBM was funding a vast anti-SCO conspiracy, and PJ, Linus, Eben Moglen, and ESR were all part of it. And -- here's the key thing -- thus subject to the court's gag order.
I once said something about SCO wishing it had filed its case in an alternate universe where free speech didn't exist. Seems I got that wrong; what they really wanted was our universe, but without free speech.
Here's coverage of the latest weirdness, from Ars Technica and ZDNet.
And here's the full text of Kevin's letter, for your reading enjoyment:
February l, 2004
Todd Shaughnessy, Esq.
SNELL & WILMER, LLP
15 West South Temple Suite 1200
Gateway Tower West
Salt Lake City, Utah 84101-1004
VIA FACSIMILE: 801.257.1800
Re: SCO v. IBM
This letter follows our telephone conversations about how to best address Judge Wells' concern regarding litigation-related public statements. Our concern is that any agreement to refrain from such public statements should include not just IBM, but also affiliates and consultants that directly or indirectly receive financial support from IBM. This letter lists several persons and entities that, we are told, receive direct or indirect financial support from IBM. We would ask you to confirm if this is true.
Of principal concern is the Groklaw web site. It appears that Groklaw was conceived and launched by ibiblio.org in response to SCO's original filing against IBM. A fundamental purpose of the Groklaw website is to criticize SCO's litigation claims and evidence. Groklaw was taken to entirely unacceptable levels during the February 6 hearing before Judge Wells when a member of the gallery surreptitiously uploaded live commentary about the judicial proceedings to the Groklaw web site while the hearing was in process. This commentary included disparaging comments about participants in the hearing. We have been told that IBM is a sponsor of Groklaw and/or its parent organization ibiblio.org. If so, the Court has a right to know this in considering the scope of any order regarding litigation-related public statements in this case.
We are also concerned about the statements about SCO's litigation claims made by Linus Torvalds, who is employed by the Open Source Development Labs ("OSDL"), which is funded principally by IBM. Because of Mr. Torvalds' position in the technology world, his comments about SCO's evidence in this case are given particular weight in industry and popular press.
We are also concerned about the many litigation-related statements made by Eric Raymond, who claims to be a paid IBM consultant, and by Columbia Law Professor Eben Moglen, who also claims to be an IBM consultant. Mr. Raymond and Professor Moglen have been highly critical of SCO's litigation claims. If paid by IBM it is only fair that they, along with Mr. Torvalds, be included in the scope of any stipulation or order regarding litigation-related public statements.
It is unlikely that Judge Wells would allow IBM's indirect use or sponsorship of Groklaw, Linus Torvalds, Eric Raymond, Prof. Moglen or other consultants to publicly comment on SCO's litigation claims, while precluding a response from SCO. It is therefore necessary for us to gain more information about IBM's direct or indirect
financial support for these people and entities before we can meaningfully address any kind of stipulation related to litigation-related public statements.
I will be out of the country until February 18, 2004. I would appreciate it if you could address this matter with Mark Heise or Brent Hatch as may be necessary during that period of time. Please let us know if IBM is wiling to voluntarily provide the
information requested above as part of our continued discussions to resolve this matter to the Court's satisfaction.
Thank you very much.
(~~ KEVIN P. McBRIDE
cc: Chris Sontag
- More tasty stock option goodness for SCO's board of directors. Each gets another 15,000 options, priced at 0.89 Here are the Edgar filings for:
As noted by ElCorton on IV, the 0.89 price is kind of curious. SCO was trading in the high 0.90's for the previous week, and then dropped a dime on the day when options were being priced. Curious! So, sure, it happened concurrently with the delisting warning stuff, and SCO stock declining isn't exactly unusual, but it's still a fascinating coincidence, dontcha think?
- The US Supreme Court's finally decided that patent madness has gone too far. This doesn't affect the SCO case, since SCO doesn't have any Unix-related patents. But it's a nice step towards making the current plague of patent & other IP trolls go away.
- More fun with Unspam:
They've filed a billion-dollar lawsuit against a bunch of spammers, using info gathered by their "Project Honeypot". I'm certainly no fan of spammers, as longtime readers are well aware, but this seems like a really dodgy way to go after them. "Project Honeypot" sure sounds like a public-minded, not-for-profit endeavor, but if Unspam wins, they keep all the proceeds. The company is a curious beast indeed: Part tech startup, part crusading pseudo-nonprofit entity, and part quasi-governmental agency.
It's that last bit that's causing some trouble these days. Seems that Unspam can't afford to pay Brent Hatch, so now Utah taxpayers are on the hook for his legal bills, since Unspam's acting as an agent of the state government.
When the legislature authorized Unspam to basically be a litigation privateer on their behalf, they just saw dollar signs and never imagined there might be a downside to the adventure. Maybe they'll absorb this valuable life lesson, before they sign up for a similar escapade with Ralphie & CP80.
- In a hopeful sign, the Utah Legislature is having second thoughts about that goofy trademark law they just enacted.
- 2 OLPC items, one saying they'll soon be everywhere, another saying the project's dead.
- PC World on tweaking Ubuntu 7.04.
Friday, April 27, 2007
4/27 SNR: Delist-o-licious Edition
- Today SCO got the long-awaited delisting warning from Nasdaq. As I suspected, they waited until after the markets closed, on the very last day they could file without getting into even more regulatory trouble.
Full text of the filing:
Item 3.01 Notice of Delisting or Failure to Satisfy a Continued Listing Rule or Standard; Transfer of Listing.
On April 23, 2007, The SCO Group, Inc. (the “Company”) received a letter from The Nasdaq Stock Market (“Nasdaq”) indicating that the bid price of its common stock for the last 30 consecutive business days had closed below the minimum $1.00 per share required for continued listing under Nasdaq Marketplace Rule 4310(c)(4). Pursuant to Nasdaq Marketplace Rule 4310(c)(8)(D), the Company has been provided an initial period of 180 calendar days, or until October 22, 2007, to regain compliance. The letter states the Nasdaq staff will provide written notification that the Company has achieved compliance with Rule 4310(c)(4) if at any time before October 22, 2007, the bid price of the Company’s common stock closes at $1.00 per share or more for a minimum of 10 consecutive business days, although the letter also states that the Nasdaq staff has the discretion to require compliance for a period in excess of 10 consecutive business days, but generally no more than 20 consecutive business days, under certain circumstances.
If the Company cannot demonstrate compliance with Rule 4310(c)(4) by October 22, 2007, the Nasdaq staff will determine whether the Company meets The Nasdaq Capital Market initial listing criteria set forth in Nasdaq Marketplace Rule 4310(c), except for the bid price requirement. If the Company meets the initial listing criteria, the Nasdaq staff will notify the Company that it has been granted an additional 180 calendar day compliance period. If the Company is not eligible for an additional compliance period, the Nasdaq staff will provide written notice that the Company’s securities will be delisted. At that time, the Company may appeal the Nasdaq staff’s determination to delist its securities to a Listing Qualifications Panel
Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the registrant has duly caused this report to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned hereunto duly authorized.
Dated: April 26, 2007
THE SCO GROUP, INC.
By: /s/ Bert B. Young
Name: Bert B. Young
Title: Chief Financial Officer
Delisting: It's a beautiful thing.
- The blessed event is on Digg already. Some people say Digg is better than Slashdot, or even that it's the Slashdot of the 21st Century. I'm not sure I buy that, but it's certainly faster than Slashdot. For whatever that's worth.
- Over on the SiliconInvestor board, Scott Lemon mentioned he would be attending the shareholder shindig, and said he'd post later and say how it went. So that may be something fun to keep an eye out for.
- No doubt SCO would much prefer that people pay attention to their DT4 launch in India. And in all fairness I have mentioned it multiple times. This may be the only spot on the entire interwebs where that's happened. I may be a confirmed skeptic about SCO product news, but at least I don't ignore them like everyone else does. Really they ought to be sending me all sorts of cool schwag, but I'm not exactly holding my breath on that.
- The latest word salad from "Paul Murphy". Once again he asserts SCO has a case, but as always is unable to explain why.
- Enderle doesn't talk about SCO much these days, but here he mentions them briefly. The piece is about corporate document retention, and I think he's trying to shill for SCO's spoliation nonsense:
Most of these actions have some type of discovery requirements but the SCO vs. IBM and AMD vs. Intel cases clearly went far beyond what either defendant normally saw and in both instances missing documents have created a cloud over their actions which could result in unfavorable judgments. In the SCO instance, that case was such a mess to begin with that it doesn’t appear to create a huge problem...
- The EFF disses Ralphie's wireless proposal.
- And here's the press release for Ralphie's "Traffic Control" movie. Oddly, there's not a word about this major inematic event anywhere on IMDb, as far as I can tell.
- Vonage tries to respin their Verizon patent case as a grassroots cause. Hmm. I dunno. Sure, I think Verizon's using patent law to shut down competition, but I won't be able to sympathize with Vonage until they quit with that awful "woo-hoo woo-hoo-hoo" ad jingle.
- Text-messaging teens in Ireland are losing basic language skills, according to one report. OMG!
Thursday, April 26, 2007
- Those of us who (thankfully) don't own SCO stock and weren't eligible to attend today's big shareholder shindig can still read the proxy statement filed about it on Edgar. It was actually filed back in February but I didn't pay too much attention to it at time. They're reelecting the board, and reappointing the same accounting firm, so it sounds as though they like the deck chairs just the way they are. The director bios mention that Darcy Mott is now a part-time ThinkAtomic employee, which I hadn't heard before. My, how the mighty have fallen.
- Still no word about any deficiency letter, but the stock kind of tanked today, back down to 0.89 after almost beating the magic $1 closing bid mark for a couple of days.
- I usually put SCO product announcements at the top of SNR posts, partly out of a residual sense of fairness, and partly because they're just so rare these days. But today I think the financial stuff is bigger news, so this one only rates #3. Remember that DayTimer Me Inc. app SCO's been promising for something like a year now? Seems that the "DT4" app is finally available, but it looks like you can only get it in India for the time being. Either that, or SCO's domestic PR machine is asleep at the wheel, or they're too busy playing Freecell, or they all got downsized recently.
Toward the bottom, the PR mentions that Day-Timers will market the app in a "phased manner", which I imagine means they're not actually selling it right now, and may or may not do so in the future. So if you really want it, you'll have to get it from your friendly neighborhood SCO reseller. Yes, a few of them still exist, or so I've heard. I think a lot of them switched to Maytag repair in recent years, but maybe your neighborhood has one of the last holdouts. If you do, I'll bet he has some fascinating stories to tell about the good ol' days, and plenty of time to tell 'em, too.
- 2 new GL articles:
The Declaration of Kenneth Brakebill - exhibits re the 4 new Novell SJ motions
Selected Copyright Principles, as text -- Addendum A to IBM's Sur-Reply
The second one is pretty funny, actually, as IBM patiently explains what copyright law does, and doesn't do, as if they were talking to a room of reasonably bright 7th graders. They never overtly say anything insulting about SCO, but it's not hard to imagine IBM's lawyers sighing and rolling their eyes as they wrote the thing.
- A curious tale about OSR6's support for Windows Media files. According to sk43999's latest research, SCO's been distributing some Microsoft DLLs and claiming they're GPL'd, which they obviously aren't. Ahh, you've got to love SCO's typical competence and attention to detail...
- Maxthon, the Firefox killer? Apparently it's a new browser out of China. I've never used it, myself. The article says it's nice, but it's based on IE and only runs on Windows. This isn't the first attempt I've seen to build a "browser" that basically wraps a nicer skin around IE internals. I've seen this on and off ever since IE4 or so, when the browser became a jumble of COM objects awkwardly "integrated" with the operating system (Active Desktop, anyone? Channel bar?) -- and all the previous attempts went nowhere.
- While we're talking about browsers, a piece on Firefox vs Safari on the Mac.
- A somewhat relevant retrotech item, from mists of Unix history, OMU, or "One Man Unix", with source if you've got sufficiently ancient hardware lying around somewhere. Actually a lot of present-day microcontrollers are descended from Motorola's 6809... and come to think of it, I'm pretty sure my dryer has one of those. Ah, if only I had time to tinker with stuff like that...
- InformationWeek says 30% of businesses have no plans to "upgrade" to Vista. Of course, many of them will be forced to upgrade anyway after January 1, when XP is mostly withdrawn from the market.
- One reluctant upgrader is NASA. They're still planning on a Vista rollout, but it's been delayed a few months. I love this Ballmer quote: "Vista has been anything but banned from most parts of the U.S. federal government". Way to spin-doctor it, Steve.
- And The Reg compares present-day M$ to the old IBM stagnant and clueless in the late 80's and early 90's. The article says they need a Lou Gerstner of their own to straighten things out. In other words, present management has to go before anything changes. Personally I'd be quite happy to see them keep bumbling along on their current course, wasting amazing amounts of money and overextending itself by trying to have a finger in every last pie in the tech sector, from cable tv to music players, to search engines to databases and joysticks. I agree with the article in that something's gotta give eventually, but not just yet. Let 'em keep stagnating while they can, as far as I'm concerned.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
4/25 SNR: The "I'd buy THAT for a dollar" Edition
- So today was the 30th consecutive day of SCO's stock closing under $1, so Darl & Co. ought to be getting that delisting nastygram in the near future, if they haven't gotten it already. The actual criterion is the closing bid price, not the closing price, but I don't know of any site that offers historical closing bid prices, at least not for free. Keeping the closing bid over a dollar is a bit harder, and some people have speculated that it's been even longer since that number's been over $1. It appears that the deficiency notice is sent within a day or two of the 30-day deadline, and then the company's got four days to make an announcement about it, or else. So if I'm doing the math right, and I might not be, we might see something as soon as Friday, or as late as next Thursday, assuming that SCO waits to the very last moment before filing.
The title of this post honors this latest milestone, regardless of when it happened, or might happen in the future if it hasn't already. If you've seen RoboCop, you ought to get the reference. If you haven't seen RoboCop, well, I'm sure Netflix has it, so what's your excuse?
- Luckily for SCO, their annual shareholder meeting is tomorrow, so they don't need to breathe a word about any delisting notice while their remaining bagholders are still in town. Pretty convenient, huh?
- More articles on the recent Novell filings, from Computer Business Review and SJVN's LinuxWatch.
- For those with strong stomachs, here's audio of Ralphie shilling his open wireless ban.
- A new, nasty copyright litigation troll in the UK.
- Slashdot: Investment companies funding patent trolls.
- CNN on why Nintendo's Wii is crushing the competition
Monday, April 23, 2007
- Groklaw and Lamlaw on IBM's latest response to SCO's re-renewed re-reconsideration charade. You've just got to love that Alice in Wonderland reference.
- Slashdot and Ars Technica both cover Friday's flurry of PSJ motions from Novell. It also shows up on Digg too.
- Also see Lamlaw on the Braham and Amadia declarations.
- The latest piece on SCO in India, in which SCO's country manager discusses his bright hopes for the future, even giving a 5% marketshare target for Me Inc. this year. By all appearances, the guy really believes he works for a real company, not a litigation factory, the poor sap.
- Actually today's sort of a nano-bonanza for Me Inc. coverage, since there's also a new HipCheck article at IT Week. The big occasion is the impending May release of HipCheck 1.0.3. Seems SCO's adding Solaris support on the server side, but Vista support still isn't ready. On the client side, it sounds like they've got a Java (J2ME) version of the client, which will (supposedly) run on your phone, Blackberry, etc. Please note that I said your Blackberry, not mine.
If you don't have a Windows Mobile gadget, or a Java smartphone, you aren't completely out of luck. Here's a howto on running J2ME apps under Linux. Heh, heh. I mean, if HipCheck phones home and SCO sues you for running it on Linux, or sends MOG around to peek in your windows or something, don't go blaming me for it. I'm just saying it might be possible, not that there's any conceivable reason you might want to try it.
- The latest short interest numbers are out. Looks like even short sellers are losing interest in SCO. Not too surprising really; it can only go down another 98 cents per share, still not a lot of money to be made there. Still, the short interest is still at over 2M shares, which tells me I'll probably never understand the short mindset.
(I've probably said this before, but I will again just so it's perfectly clear: I don't have any position in SCO stock, short or long, never have, never will. Not even to buy a symbolic one share, suitable for framing. And if you short stock, any stock, you're wayyy more adventurous with your money than I am with mine.)
- It's happy 25th birthday to the ZX Spectrum. OT retrotech items usually end up towards the bottom of SNR posts, but this ZDNet piece about the anniversary actually mentions SCO. No, SCO hasn't sued anyone over ownership of the valuable and super-secret Spectrum IP, at least not yet. It's about Novell digging up those old Amendment 2 docs, thus demonstrating the value of open document formats and backwards compatibility.
- More Ralphie+CP80 coverage from Broadband Reports and TechBlorge
- I think I've figured out the real reason behind Ralphie's assault on open wireless networks and Utah ISPs. The primary target of the proposal seems to be XMission, a Utah ISP and wireless provider. Pete Ashdown, the company's CEO, was the one witness in opposition quoted in the media coverage of the recent hearings. As one of the posters in the IV thread notes, Ashdown's views about copyrights are about as different from Ralphie's as they could possibly be.
Oh, and in an amazing coincidence, Ashdown was also last year's Democratic challenger to Sen. Orrin Hatch, and he polled better than expected (although he still lost by a wide margin). Ralphie's been a big financial backer of Sen. Hatch in the past, and of course Brent Hatch is one of SCO's top lawyers. So if you're cynical like me, you might get to thinking it's not a total coincidence, and maybe someone's trying to suck up to influential politicians and arrange to be owed a few favors.
If I may paraphrase Clausewitz (badly), it seems that in Utah, politics is the continuation of business by other means, and vice versa.
(Since this is not a political blog, and because it is a cynical blog, I'd like to point out there are plenty of places around the country where the same basic scenario could easily occur, but with the D's and R's reversed. It's just that this particular case involves people connected to SCO.)
- I don't like having to stick "nonpolitical blog" disclaimers on two successive items, but I probably ought to. So that we're clear on this, I'm linking to this opinion piece purely because of one analogy it uses, saying of recent media coverage of Iran: "It makes Darl McBride (CEO SCO Group) look like the Oracle at Delphi." Ow! A clever analogy really; the author manages to insult both Darl and the media, by comparing them to each other.
- Yet another free speech issue: Don't discuss bar exam questions on the net, OR ELSE!!!
- From /., A piece about the Best & Worst Internet Laws.
- One of the laws on the "worst laws" list mentions the act establishing the rarely used, "child-friendly" .kids.us domain. As the list of domains shows, it hasn't had a lot of uptake so far. So there's already a way for people (parents, schools, the whole state of Utah) to voluntarily wall themselves off from the rest of the scary interwebs if they want to. I'd forgotten all about the .kids.us thing, and I note that CP80 never breathes a word about it (because they wouldn't make a cent off of it, I expect).
- The Inq: Microsoft admits Vista failure.
- Apple tangles with yet another patent troll.
- If you enjoyed the post with the bunnies I linked to a few days ago, you might also like this one with assorted baby animals.
- And here's something to give the CP80 loons fresh nightmares. Sure, they're going to protect us from the naughty, naughty interwebs. But now they've got naughty, naughty robots to worry about as well.
Sunday, April 22, 2007
- GL covers the latest SCO v. Novell filings, in four (so far) posts:
- Novell Files 4 Summary Judgment Motions
- Declaration of Allison Amadia as text - Amendment 2 Didn't Transfer Copyrights
- Declaration of Tor Braham - the lawyer for Novell who drafted the APA
- Novell's Memo in Support of SJ Motion on SCO's 1st Claim for Slander of Title, 3rd for Sp. Performance, as text
It's really not as complicated as it looks. The condensed version: Novell & SCO are fighting over who owns the Unix copyrights. In the new filings, Novell unveils what sure looks like decisive evidence that the copyrights are still theirs. Decisive, as in, they found the people who handled Novell's side of the Novell-OldSCO deal, and asked them what they meant by it. Oh, and Novell also included draft versions of the infamous Amendment 2, complete with underlining and other markup, giving some insight into what the negotiations were all about.
After reading all the stories, or just the original docs, or even a small subset of either, you'll probably conclude that SCO is royally screwed now. But then, think back to all the previous times where it sure seemed like SCO was royally screwed, and yet they're still in business, and still on the warpath. When the company ceases operations, and the court cases go away, then I'll believe it's curtains for SCO. And I'm cynical enough not to try predicting when (or if) we might see that.
One thing that works in Novell's favor is that the SCO claims they're trying to be rid of are not precisely about who owns the copyrights. SCO does a bit of handwaving, asks the court to just assume they own the copyrights, and ding Novell for a variety of injuries that SCO could only suffer as the rightful copyright owner, like "slander of title". Novell seeks to prove they're the real copyright holder, not SCO, but to prevail all they really need to do is show they sincerely believed they owned the copyrights, and thus weren't acting out of malice. That's not an argument they make explicitly, though; I think they'd rather have clear title to the copyrights than win a wishy-washy argument over intentions.
As for what happens next, I'm not sure the stock will go up on the news. It's become folk wisdom that this always happens, but that hasn't been true in the last year or two. The last two huge drops in the stock have come shortly after adverse court rulings. This is not a ruling, not yet anyway, it's just a few filings, so I doubt the stock's going to move a lot either way on the news.
I think we will see a new batch of delaying tactics, similar to the IBM case's endless Renewed Motions to Please-oh-Please Reconsider Yet Again. I'm increasingly skeptical that the September trial date is going to hold. The motion practice will somehow drag on and on until the date becomes unfeasable, and the court doesn't immediately set a new trial date. And don't be surprised if SCO tries to completely change the subject again, while claiming that was the real point of the case from day 1. That's what they're pursuing their get-PJ crusade again right now, and I doubt that's the only dirty trick they've got in store.
- Novell Files 4 Summary Judgment Motions
- Meanwhile, a highly astute reader discovered yet another Yarro tentacle, this one named "Codesquid".
Business Name: CODESQUID, INC.
Entity Number: 6238812-0142
Registration Date: 06/05/2006
Registered Agent: BRENT CHRISTENSEN
Address Line 1: 1485 E 840 N
Same addy as ThinkAtomic. Domain registration's private, via GoDaddy, and Netcraft says the site's Win2k3+IIS6.0. What, no OpenServer 6? I'm shocked, shocked!
Friday, April 20, 2007
4/20 SNR: The "What were they smoking?" Edition
The title is sort of a silly reference to today's date, and also sort of a reference to SCO being a band of incompetent fools, as you'll see below. I thought the title was sort of clever, but what do I know?
- Today was the deadline for PSJs' and other dispositive motions in the Novell case, so we've got a couple more of those, plus some action in the Novell case. As always, here's the obligatory Zen link. Some highlights of the new docs:
In Novell, items 271 and 272 are a PSJ motion & support memo by Novell regarding the copyright portions of a couple of SCO's claims. Novell tries to cover all the bases, demonstrating that SCO's claims are invalid under both Utah and California law, just in case, I guess. As has been covered before, one of the things SCO's trying to do in the Novell case is take that vague "unfair competition" law Yarro pushed through the legislature, and apply it retroactively to things Novell is alleged to have done before the law went into effect. Turns out that one of the things Yarro's Law defines as unfair competition is "cyber-terrorism". So when SCO & friends use this term, which they still do on a semi-regular basis, it's not just hyperbole, it's part of a very specific legal strategy / business plan.
Doc 273 is supposed to relate to SCO's non-compete claims, but it looks like a copy of 271 to me.
On the IBM side, doc 1034 is titled IBM’S SUR-REPLY MEMORANDUM IN FURTHER OPPOSITION TO SCO’S OBJECTIONS TO THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE’S ORDER ON IBM’S MOTION TO CONFINE AND SCO’S MOTION TO AMEND ITS DECEMBER 2005 SUBMISSION. It's the same old story: SCO wants to keep on adding claims, and badgering random people for depositions, and changing the very basis of its case every few months. And IBM's sick and tired of it, and they hope the court is as well. As always, it's a fun read. They even cite Lewis Carroll at one point. Really.
- Some reactions to Ralphie's latest CP80 blathering:
- WebProNews: Utah's Scared of the Internet
- Coverage at Salt Lake's KSL-TV
- A Forbes story, thankfully not by Lyons.
- WiFiNetNews: SCO Chair Argues for Open Wi-Fi Crackdown in Utah
- A story at Computerworld
- Techdirt: SCO Head Wants To Ban Public WiFi To Stop Porn
- SmackFoo: SCO Chairman - Ban Open Wireless Networks
- A couple of great IV posts by lurker_g and Spanishinquisition
- WebProNews: Utah's Scared of the Internet
- Here's a fun tidbit from a Linksys forum in February, where a user named "yarro" asks "How do I connect my Linksys wireless desktop card to the internet?"
- The one response asks if "yarro" was using WinXP. If he's got a Linksys, clearly he can't be using SCO OpenServer, if this page is complete. It shows exactly one wireless adapter listed as supported under OpenServer -- which is one more than I expected -- and it just so happens that said adapter is, or was, made by... IBM. Niiiiice.
- So the world's jeering at Ralphie, but at least his local business community still likes him. Once again, he's been named to vSpring Capital's kinda-sorta-prestigious v|100 list. There's a guy from Solera on there, and a few people from Omniture, and even a couple from the church, believe it or not.
- A troll on Y! linked to this review of BabelDisc, which appears to be sort of a tardware version of Ubuntu. I'll keep my real Ubuntu, but thanks for offering, guys.
- Speaking of Ubuntu, this July will see the first Ubuntu Live conference, held right here in Portland, semi-overlapping with OSCON.
- Scary money troubles at AMD. Maybe you ought to buy that multicore Opteron while you can.
- Al P. on an amusing free speech / trademark issue that's bound to make the CP80 wingnuts even crazier...
- An ugly tale of M$ vs open standards in Florida, complete with "men in black".
Thursday, April 19, 2007
- More on the CP80 hearings in Utah. Slashdot focuses on Ralphie's idiotic proposal to ban open wireless networks
- And a great rant about the current circus, by a (very reluctant) Utah resident.
- Oh, and an anti-CP80 piece by a guy who just happens to be a Harvard Law prof.
- Plus an IV post with a link to audio of the hearings, and the SL Trib's story about them.
- Meanwhile, a couple of new filings in the Novell case. Expert witness deadline extended to July 10, protective order tweaked. This probably won't impact SCO's proposed PJ deposition, unless they start calling her an expert, and I don't think they can swallow quite enough of their pride to do that.
- It's SCO v. IBM, Princess Bride style.
- Another mention of SCO's anti-GL jihad, at a local blog here in PDX. (Said blog is on my other blog's blogroll, but I've got no other connection to it. Neither of us is secretly funding the other, or donating high-end server hardware, or anything like that. In case you were wondering, or whatever.)
- On the heels of the M$-Novell deal, the Beast of Redmond has now cut a similar deal with Samsung. The fact that until recently nobody was cutting deals like this, and now they are, suggests m$ is really leaning on people now, behind closed doors. Granted, Samsung and M$ are longtime buddies, so it's more like the early SCOSource deals with a couple of Utah companies. The M$ strategy, as far as I can figure it: You cut a couple of buddy-buddy deals with your friends first, and then use that as a precedent to threaten the rest of the IT universe.
- The previous article mentions an earlier M$ deal with Fuji Xerox, which didn't get a lot of press at the time.
- Thunderbird 2.0 is out now. Although I don't see it being a viable Outlook replacement until they sort out the calendaring situation.
- Dell claims that Michael Dell uses Ubuntu at home... And OpenOffice. And Firefox.
- Dell's also selling WinXP again, back by popular demand. By which I mean, popular compared to Vista.
- Bruce Schneier on bad security tools and why they exist. One of the more depressing tech stories I've read in quite a while.
- A piece dissing the Apple Xserve. Didio pops up to deliver a few uninteresting platitudes.
- Yahoo sued over torture of Chinese dissident. Someday maybe the big web players will start to realize that ratting dissidents out to undemocratic regimes is a bad thing, no matter how profitable it looks in the short term. I'm not holding my breath on this one, mind you, but it'd be nice.
- The GL piece about MOG mentions at one point that M$ was going to feed info to either MOG or someone named John Markoff, of the NYT. His Wikipedia bio indicates he's focused on a number of high-profile cybercrime stories over the years, and had a central role in the Kevin Mitnick saga. Which gives an idea of the ugly spin M$ was hoping to put on the OSDL announcement.
- Speaking of Kevin Mitnick, I ran across this Turkish article about him. I ran across it because SCO also gets a mention in the piece, but since I don't know a word of Turkish I have no idea what the connection is.
- more tales of the Great Blackberry Out(r)age of 2007:
- San Jose Mercury News: "Blackberry outages illustrates how critical they are"
- Washington Post: "BlackBerry Addicts Twiddle Their Thumbs"
- PC World: "Was RIM's Response to BlackBerry Outage Adequate?"
- PC World: "BlackBerry Outage Upsets White House"
- ZDNet: "BlackBerry outage: RIM a victim of its own success?"
- Reuters: "A night without "CrackBerry": Curse or blessing?"
- San Jose Mercury News: "Blackberry outages illustrates how critical they are"
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
- SCO's got a new press release out. This one's about a couple of 3rd party tools that let you wrap a GUI front end around your crufty old "green screen" apps. Neither product is actually new, and they run on Windows, not OpenServer. The intent with this announcement, I figure, is to try to convince existing SCO customers they don't have to abandon the platform after all. Of course, you do need to update your apps so they emit the fancy escape sequences the GUI tools rely on, which is great if you've got the source and the time to do the update. If you want to wrap that irreplaceable 286 Xenix app from 1985, but you lost the source, well, you're out of luck.
You might've had better luck with Vultus's "Web Services Substrate" solution, which wrapped a web ui around old character-based apps. Oh, except that SCO bought them out (for around $8M, IIRC), in a nice, cozy inter-Canopy deal, and then quickly abandoned the product, and probably downsized everyone who knew anything about it. So now SCO's got to settle for third-party solutions instead. One from a direct competitor, no less.
When I first saw the name "Alpha Micro", I thought it rang a bell, vaguely. There's a Wikipedia article about the company. Seems this TrueGUI thing is just a sidelight of theirs, and their main business centers around a proprietary, non-Unix OS called "AMOS", and a line of semi-proprietary hardware to run that OS. And then I remembered: Back in the year (mumble mumble), the other high school in town had an Alpha Micro box and used it for programming classes. I recall a fair bit of jealousy about that. In any case, the company was founded in the late 70's, same as OldSCO, and existed in roughly the same SMB niche as OldSCO. Except that they continued to focus on their products instead of morphing into a lawsuit factory like SCO. And look whose bacon needs saving now, and who's doing the saving.
- An extremely entertaining and unsurprising find on GL: It appears that just a few short years ago, MOG was actively shilling for M$, participating in their anti-OSDL FUD campaign while presenting herself as just an objective journalist. The same piece also mentions her entanglement in the old Addamax vs. OSF case, which has some remarkable parallels to the SCO case and her ongoing involvement in it.
It's always fun to see blatant hypocrisy exposed like this. It was a day for a tasty, extra-thick slab of USDA Prime Grade A schadenfreude, and it was as delicious as it sounds. Although I ought to point out that none of this stuff actually releates to the SCO case, which is why this isn't the lead story. Could be she learned a valuable life lesson when dealing with M$, and has been pure as the driven snow since then, including her dealings with Darl & Co. But I suspect not. I think it's more reasonable to extrapolate from the available data, and assume that past patterns continue into the present. In other words, there was a similar PR arrangement between MOG and SCO, and someday we'll learn the details. This isn't an accusation, exactly; it's what I think is a reasonable and useful working hypothesis derived from past events. A hypothesis which could be proved (or disproved) with a small application of subpoena power.
- More gory details about CP80, in which Ralphie's described as merely "a parent volunteering his time". While we're on the topic of working hypotheses, every time I hear about a new initiative from the Yarro Bros., I'm inclined to conclude it's just another icky scam, and dismiss all proponents' arguments to the contrary as nothing but sleazy PR. This may be unfair of me... I mean, it probably isn't, but I'm trying to be fair and evenhanded here, just for a moment. Given the evidence available at the moment, we can't entirely rule out the possibility that SCO is the one aberration, and that in all other respects each of 'em is a true benefactor of humanity, a friend to all, kind to children and small animals, etcetera. But if so, I have to say the supporting evidence of it is quite cleverly concealed. Blepp's briefcase, anyone?
- hamjudo's drawn some fascinating conclusions about the apparent manipulation of SCO's stock.
- Vista sales in China thusfar have been a little on the light side. As in 244 copies sold, total, if the numbers can be believed.
- You might've heard about the big Blackberry outage. If you didn't experience it firsthand, let me tell you, it was just the most awful thing. People sent me email, and I didn't see it immediately. It was like being transported back in time to the 20th century. O! The agony!
You might think I'm just being facetious, since I often am. But I'm being at least 51% serious this time.
- Xbox 360 : still a financial debacle for M$.
- From /., what good is it to sue spammers if judges dismiss your complainst without reading them?
- Even more on the nokia n800 -- and this time it's made it to Slashdot
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
4/17 SNR II
- Lamlaw on the latest SCO filings.
- And another filing in SCO v. IBM today. Zen's got it, as always. Stipulated extension of time (to April 27th) to respond to SCO's get-PJ motion. It's too early to know exactly what this means, but I really doubt IBM would try to get an extension if they were intending to sign off on this nonsense. And why would they? SCO's trying to use this as a wedge to reset the clock and get discovery reopened, and IBM's got no incentive whatsoever to go along with that. That SCO couldn't find any evidence within the allotted time is no concern of theirs.
- Scott Lemon, our old chum (and I mean that in the shark-fishing sense), is really shilling those SCO PSJ motions. He's got 3 blogs to his name, and the same giddy babbling appears on them all. See Tablet PC Thoughts, Digital Identity Management, and the.Inevitable.org/anism, if you dare, and are morbidly curious. There's a small comment thread to the first story, in which he makes a telling comment:
...I used to work for SCO after one of my start-ups was acquired. Now I'm out ... and simply looking at SCOX as an investment opportunity.
If they are able to make any wins ... I'll make a lot of money. I'm a pure capitalist! :-)
No, Scott, the word you're looking for is not "capitalist". It's "parasite".
- Due to my brief mini-vacation, I neglected a couple of days of the Week of SCO Allegations. So here are Day 4, and Day 5.
So that brings us up to 6 days of a promised week. Although I think the usual convention is to do at least a full month's worth of muckraking (c.f. "month of apple bugs", "month of firefox bugs", "eternity of windows bugs", etc.), not just a mere week. Hint, hint.
- If you've ever wanted to see what it looks like when matter and antimatter collide, here's a post on comp.sys.ibm.ps2.hardware, advertising an eBay auction of an old 486-based IBM PS/2 Model 80 running SCO Unix 386. It's a 16-user license, with a 16-port serial card, but sadly you'll have to supply your own crufty ol' dumb terminals. Still, submit the high bid and you too can party like it's 1987. It looks like the Cyrix 486 badge on the box indicates an aftermarket CPU upgrade, so this isn't pristine, museum-grade vintage hardware. If you don't mind losing the MicroChannel slots (perish the thought!) you could probably swap the mobo out for something a little less useless, and lug the resulting monster to your next LAN party for a bit of hip retro-ironic l33tness. For a little perspective on just how old this machine is, here's a list of the big top 40 hits of 1987. Two words: Debbie Gibson. Truly, the 80's were a dark and primitive time.
- Of slightly more recent vintage, a thread on c.u.s.m from a guy who's in a bit of a pickle: "I have a client that abandoned SCO UNIX in 1992 and has
asked me to retrieve data from old backup tapes."
If you were thinking of popping over to Usenet to suggest that he try reading the tapes under Linux, someone's already beaten you to it. Funny how the trick to recovering SCO Unix data never seems to involve a SCO Unix box.
- On the mostly-neglected Google SCOX board, a post proposing a big delisting bash when the 30 days are up. Well, that's actually just when they get a nastygram from the SEC, and then the real delisting clock starts, and SCO has another 180 days (or so) to get the stock over a dollar and keep it there for ten days straight.
- An amusing Darl photo that turned up in a Google Image search.
(It's really not a fair comparison though. McDonald's is a real company with real products, and they make money by satisfying their customers, not suing them. )
- Here's a rare thing, a blog post about Me Inc.. Nothing new here, but if you've ever wanted to read about Me Inc. in Spanish, in bright orange and pink letters, you may not get another chance for a long, long time.
Friday, April 13, 2007
Ok, I'm back. Looks like SCO didn't implode over the weekend, so I guess it's time for another SNR post. Some of these are items I didn't get around to posting earlier, so if you've seen 'em before, apologies where appropriate.
- On GL, another batch of SCO filings in the Novell case. As the story notes, the new deadline for dispositive motions is this coming Friday, so expect more legal entertainment in the near future. Unless that's not your thing, of course -- but in that case, why are you here?
- Day 6 of the Week of SCO Evidence, in which SCO's VFS claims are shredded.
- The Inquirer on AMD's donation to GL.
- Another piece on the GL/iBiblio thing, this time from a local TV station in North Carolina.
- Scott Lemon, formerly of SCO, is once again shilling for SCO over on the SiliconInvestor board. He seems to think the MOG connection is SCO's best remaining chance to lay hands on those ever-elusive beeeeelions.
- Ralphie's latest CP80 PR rant. It's curious that CP80 supporters never mention the oft-proposed .xxx TLD when they discuss their proposal, even though both would function in basically the same way. Perhaps it's because Ralphie stands to make beeeeelions off of one, and not a cent off the other. So maybe it's not so curious after all.
Reasonable people can disagree about pr0n, of course, but I don't think CP80 is really about that. In the unlikely event it passes, it's basically a government-issued license to print money. Or more likely, if the SCO scam really goes off the rails, it can be the core of a (probably successful) Scrushy defense.
- That recent (and premature, IMHO) Slashdot story about SCO facing possible delisting. There won't be a delisting letter for a few more days in any case, and don't be surprised if the stock "mysteriously" pops up over $1 briefly, just to reset the clock. They always seem to avert regulatory calamity at the very last moment, and this will probably be no exception.
- From IV: The Hatchling, playing fast and loose with the truth? Inconceivable!
- Also from IV: The James Wilt deposition, more exciting footgun action from SCO.
- eWeek's "Spencer A. Katt" says a few words about SCO. (I always put "Paul Murphy" in quotes, so I guess it's only fair in this case too.)
- A real, live, new SCO product. Except it's from a completely different SCO. That part should be obvious; "our" SCO can't come up with anything that holds water. (insert rim_shot.wav here.)
- A new M$ vulnerability, this time involving Clippy.
- Oh, and when Word 2k7 crashes due to a malformed document, it's not a bug, it's a feature!
- Mac OS X 10.5 has been delayed a few months. I haven't seen Enderle gloating yet, but it's only a matter of time. Otherwise the checks from Redmond would stop coming.
- A bomb? nah, just a box full o' Vista. Although the confusion is understandable. The main difference is that a bomb only explodes once.
- A "Night of the Long Knives" at Vonage. I've never been a customer or used their services, so mostly what I know about them comes from their court cases, their dot-com stye balance sheet, and those atrocious commercials. Please tell me the guy who invented that jingle was fired, or possibly sent to toil in an insecticide refinery in darkest Siberia. If there's any justice left in the universe, please let that be true.
- Over on that other blog, a bit from my trip to the beach. If you don't like cute bunnies, you'll probably want to skip this one.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
- Before we get to the news, it's come to my attention that this humble blog has broken the top 250,000 sites on the interwebs. We're number 230,094! W00t!
To celebrate, I'm going to go to the beach for a few days. Before anyone asks, no, nobody's trying to subpoena me, at least not that I'm aware of. Not really a health break either, although my big toe's been bothering me for a couple of weeks now. It's just a quick mini-vacation, and I should be back early next week.
So if my usual luck holds, SCO will implode sometime in the next few days. I mean, don't make any investment decisions based on my usual luck or anything. I'm just saying it's my usual luck.
- Anywayyy, AMD just donated servers to Groklaw. Which is nice to see, and hopefully it'll cut down on the panicked "GL DOWN!?!?" messages you see on the boards every few weeks.
I wonder what SCO and friend(s) will have to say about this?
- Earlier on GL: Fun with the Kim Madsen deposition. It's kind of long, but PJ helpfully highlights the interesting parts. The longer the deposition goes on, the more damaging it gets to SCO's case, and like PJ says, it's pretty surprising that SCO chose to attach this to their PSJ filing instead of sealing it in a lead box and burying it somewhere out in the desert. D'oh!
- Day 2 of a promised week of debunking SCO's allegations, from the good Mr. Sizz. In which we learn that numerous claims are based on brief comments on a mailing list. Claim #61, for instance, asserts that SCO deserves billions of dollars because of the sentence "Similar work on PTX for Oracle had shown good TLB savings". Oops, you were just exposed to a super-secret SCO method and/or concept. Sorry about that.
- And here's Day 3. In which we discover that the idea of making the lowest page in memory non-writable is also a super-secret SCO method and/or concept, and that IBM owes SCO even more billions for it, even though Linux has done this since at least 1994. A quick search shows a non-Unix OS that did the same thing in 1995. Oh, and Windows doesn't let you touch the first page of memory either. Man, this could be really lucrative for SCO, well, um, except that the idea isn't theirs....
- Every few days, it seems, someone discovers another piece of open-source code still being distributed from SCO's website. This time it's Caldera's own NKFS filesystem.
- More fodder for nutty IP trolls in Utah, this time in the guise of the state's new "Trademark Protection Act" More stories at SL Trib and WebProNews
And unsurprisingly, the EFF opposes the new law.
So who's behind this thing? Well, here's a "guest blog" post promoting the law on the Utah Senate's website. The byline on the article describes the author as "Matthew Prince, Adjunct Professor of Law, John Marshall Law School". But as the SL Trib article notes, that's not his current occupation:
The Trademark Protection Act is the creation of Unspam's Prince, father of the controversial child-protection registry. That law, which is being challenged in court by a pornography trade group, requires companies that sell adult-oriented products and services to submit their e-mail lists to Unspam to be "scrubbed" of e-mail addresses to which minors have access. The cost is half a cent for every address they submit.
Likewise, Prince has positioned himself to benefit from the new law. If the state decides to hire an outside company to manage the database of registered trademarks, and if the deal is financially attractive, Prince said he might create a company and bid on the contract.
The entrepreneur insisted that wasn't his primary motivation in pushing the bill. The idea, he said, came out of a class he taught two years ago at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago
You remember UnSpam, right? They're the company behind Utah's "Child Protection Registry", and they made the news last October after failing to conceal kids' email addresses. Note that their high-powered attorney is Brent O. Hatch, who you may recognize from his work for SCO. Apparently the guy specializes in hopeless damage control jobs.
- A breather in the courts yesterday; only action was Boies himself being admitted pro hac vice in both cases, so now there's a nonzero possibility he might show up in person on SCO's behalf. If he does, probably there'll be an alert to local news media beforehand, in the hope there'll be a gaggle of TV cameras watching him walk into court in his usual sneakers and thrift-store suit.
- More SCO hypocrisy: In the IBM case, some of their allegations concern System V IPC, but they themselves are still distributing SysV IPC code for Linux.
IMHO they can keep SysV IPC. It's evil, and they can keep it as far as I'm concerned.
- The next PalmOS: Linux. They've been dithering about it for years, following an earlier misbegotten attempt to create a BeOS-derived PalmOS. Looks like they finally made up their minds.
How this will affect your 100% totally mission-critical Treo-based Me Inc. apps remains TBD.
- Speaking of Linux (which I've been known to do on occasion), here's a review of Cedega 6.0, the gaming app I mentioned the other day. They seem to like it: More supported games, and performance about par with XP, and wayyy better than Vista. Nice.
- Yet another IBM chip breakthrough. They've figured out how to run vertical wires thru chips to create layered 3D chip modules. Okay. Wake me up when they come up with 4D chip modules.
- SJVN tries to clear up the FreeType/SuSE controversy, pointing out that it's not a result of the M$-Novell deal. Which is good to know, certainly.
- Sony's dropping the low-end PS3, because nobody's buying it. So now if you want to
- By year's end, you won't be able to buy a new PC with WinXP preinstalled. Why? Because M$ said so. Vista Is The Future. Resistance Is Futile.
- I always say this is not a political blog, and it isn't, so I'll just pass this item along without further comment: "Cheney is target of rare protest at Brigham Young"
- A proposal to sponsor a Linux car at the Indy 500. Hmm. I dunno. It might be cheaper to just hand out Ubuntu CDs to each race fan at the gate.
- I'd just like to point out that I got through this whole post without mentioning any pro-SCO "journalists" by name, not even once. I'm not sure I'll be able to manage that every day, but today it felt really good.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
- New on GL, the "supporting" docs for SCO's new PSJ motions. The little mocking quote marks are there for a reason; one of SCO's key pieces of evidence they offer as proof they really do own the Unix copyrights is the deposition by the one and only Maureen O'Gara. SCO would have us believe that the ownership of all of Unix hinges on things a controversial tech-paparazzi journalist assumed an interviewee ( Novell's Chris Stone) meant, but didn't actually say.
Folks, this is precisely why copyright law wants you to have an explicit instrument of conveyance, so the courts don't have to split hairs and try to parse various parties' vague recollections of intent years after the fact.
- Our lil' buddy Daniel Wallace has finally made it big, sort of: A mention on the front page of Slashdot. Seems that an M$ astroturfin' front group is now shilling the same antitrust angle that got Wallace absolutely nowhere.
Now, if I recall correctly, the OS he said he was writing was called "SciBSD" (not a very impressive website, huh?), so presumably it was (will be?) derived from one of the other existing BSDs. All of which contain that compat_svr4/fake-STREAMS stuff SCO's started spreading FUD about lately. SCO vs. Wallace, anyone? There's an old conundrum asking who would win in a fight between red-shirted Enterprise security guards, who drop like flies at the mere suggestion of trouble, and imperial stormtroopers, who can't hit the side of a barn when they're standing inside of it. SCO vs. Wallace would be something like that.
- Panglozz on a weird Vista.com-related PIPE deal. SCO used to be an investor in Vista.com, and the murky relationship between the two has never been adequately explained.
- Treehugger suggests thin clients will save the world. I'm skeptical, as are most of the comments to the story.
- CRN says Vista sucks (performance). Well, we knew that already. If Vista was any faster than WinXP, even on unrealistic benchmarks, M$ would be shouting it from the rooftops. But no, they're keeping vewwy vewwwy quiet about performance numbers. This isn't all that surprising. Well before Vista came out I was telling people the next release would be called Windows NP. In place of the the cute hound dog in the search dialog, WinNP would feature a friendly travelling salesman. And the tired old hourglass cursor would be replaced by an animated galaxy, slowly rotating as WinNP mulled over your latest request at its leisure.
Well, I thought it was funny at the time, anyway.
- A Cosmic Variance piece on gravitational lensing. You know, the fun effect that happens when a foreground object (say, a gigantic black hole) is so dense and massive that it distorts light coming from a background object (say, a distant galaxy). This is somewhat on topic because the story links to a fun lensing simulator that lets you apply a lensing effect to an image file of your choice. Such as this photo of a Vista Ultimate box, to pick a random example. Or more precisely, this is the effect you get when you have shelves of unsold copies of Vista -- a common occurrence, I'm told -- and the first box on the shelf lenses the ones behind it.
- An alarming new Xerox patent on figuring out your demographics from your surfing habits. Yikes!
- A new toy for hardcore overclockers: chilled oil.
- A PR bit about something called Cedega, which is supposed to let you run a lot of PC games under Linux. Sounds intriguing, although I try not to ever make up my mind about anything based on a press release. Plus, as I've said before, I'm perhaps the world's most incompetent and unmotivated gamer. I started playing the old Colossal Cave Adventure game back in the late 70's or early 80's on an old Data General minicomputer, and I still haven't finished the damn thing. So this Cedega thing is probably not for me.
- Palm's latest numbers, along with more of the never-ending speculation about the company's future. A new Blankenhorn column asks Can Linux save Palm?
- A court rules that the First Amendment does apply on MySpace.
- K5 on the Kathy Sierra situation. Although it wanders off topic and discusses ESR at length, thus reminding me why I usually don't bother reading K5 anymore.
It probably won't ever come up, since I generally don't get a lot of user comments here, but I have a firm policy on threatening or intimidating comments: They will be cheerfully and unapologetically deleted. Period. And I mean threatening or intimidating directed at anyone. Me, other users, random celebrities, even those scumbags at SCO. That kind of talk isn't welcome here. But like I said, it probably won't ever come up.
- Computerworld's Top 10 Firefox extensions to avoid.
- Photo of the day: Bill Gates with the Hooters Girls. Safe for work (depending on where you work), but for the love of God, don't let Melinda see it.
Monday, April 09, 2007
- Another batch of new filings in both the Novell & IBM cases. No story on GL yet, but there's sure to be one soon. SCO's asking for a PSJ on a few of the claims in the case, claiming that the "plain language" of the infamous Novell-OldSCO Asset Purchase Agreement ("APA") transfers all copyrights, even though it says precisely the opposite thing, and SCO's failed to find any other document that does explicitly transfer copyrights, and when they started their anti-Linux jihad they went to Novell, hat in hand, begging, pleading that the copyrights be transferred. And while dismissing one of the earlier round of PSJs in the IBM case, Kimball made it very clear that he was only doing so because SCO might still locate a Section 204 document -- that's a legal copyright transfer document -- some time in the discovery phase. It doesn't look like they found one.
Over the years, SCO execs have occasionally described their legal strategy with card-playing metaphors, like the time Darl(?) said they had no intention of showing all their cards just yet. The new filings suggest they still think of the case as a big poker game, and are trying to bluff and look confident while playing a losing hand. It's a real shame for them that the courts don't work quite like a poker game. At least in principle, all your cards are on the table, face up, and a losing hand is a losing hand, period. But still, I'm feeling generous this morning, so I'll award them a tiny lil' gold star for effort. That plus $4 will get you a cup of coffee down at the corner Starbucks.
- Updated: The GL story is up now: SCO Moves for Summary Judgment on Slander of Title in Novell Case. MOG figures prominently in the new filing, so there's plenty more in the article about her, and Lyons too. If you aren't already sick of hearing about SCO's dynamic duo, I mean.
Then there's this alarming tidbit from the piece:
Someone placed a threatening comment on Groklaw the other day, saying someday the "darkness" behind PJ would be revealed, and to "sleep well", and because of the threatening tone, I checked the logs and the comment appears to have come from an ad agency that does a lot of work for Microsoft. So I am wondering about things I didn't think about before. I remember what happened to an innocent man's reputation in the Massachusetts ODF affair.
Is there anything these dirtbags won't stoop to?
- sk43999 is on a roll right now. The latest: "SCO Relies on gnu.org and redhat.com To Provide ELF Support for UnixWare Customers". Now, from SCO's perspective they're perfectly entitled to do that, since they claim to own everything related to ELF. But still, the fact that they make a claim like that, and then don't have any software tools of their own to do the job, that ought to be a little embarrassing, shouldn't it? Well, I mean, it would if the bigwigs at SCO were capable of feeling embarrassment, and all the evidence suggests otherwise.
- Jonathan_Sizz has updated his table of SCO's allegations and what's become of them. And then he digs in to allegation #166 (already tossed out by Wells) and explains just how bozotic that claim really was.
- If you've been following the ongoing Dan Lyons thing at all, you'll want to check out Simon G. Best's new blog, Sinking Point, and Tim Ransom's Flailing Point. Snort. Giggle.
- Tim O'Reilly & Jimbo on bringing "civility" to the world-o-blogs, with a proposed code of conduct for bloggers. A take on that from a prominent local blogger here in Oregon.
As I see it, civility is nice when you can get it, but I wouldn't call it vital. If I think SCO is a pack of sleazy third-rate grifters, and I do, I'm going to say so, and I wholeheartedly agree that it's uncivil and just not very nice to say that about someone.
And as for getting rid of anonymity, well, I don't want to get all melodramatic about it and speculate about what SCO and its allies might try to pull if they knew who all their critics were. But I'd say the current PJ situation shows they clearly have ill intentions on that point. My feeling is that the free flow of information often requires anonymity. So no, you won't ever see a policy of requiring all real names here. I turned off anonymous posting temporarily when I was having blogspammer issues, but that's back on again. Actually I'd forgotten I'd turned it off until I saw this code-of-conduct thing, and I just turned it back on. So there.
- Dvorak insists that pr0n doesn't drive the tech industry. It sounds like this is kind of a sore point with him.
- CRM News on migrating to Macs. One of the companies profiled is named "Sustainable Harvest Coffee", so, I mean, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with the company, or with migrating to Macs generally, but I think it's fair to say this isn't exactly a representative sample of the larger business community.
- SGI has a new CEO, FWIW. In related news, Francisco Franco and IRIX are both still dead.
- Speaking of dead stuff, here's a link to Paul Graham's "Microsoft is Dead" piece. A more accurate description might be "Microsoft is Boring and Somewhat Less Scary Than Before", but I doubt that would generate quite so many page views.
- The icky Big Media corps want to be exempted from a proposed California law banning pretexting. Because nothing, nothing is more important than tracking down those dastardly music & movie pirates. If it takes a little identity theft and curtailment of basic civil liberties to do that, hey, that's the price we've all got to pay to keep Big Media profitable.
I don't condone piracy, of course, but if the only way to guarantee it never, ever occurs is a sort of digital police state, the price is far too high.
- Remember the HD-DVD + Blu-Ray key crack from a while ago? The cat-and-mouse game commences, with the Big Media guys now revoking those keys for new disc releases.
- Debian 4 is out, complete with its suite of rebadged Mozilla apps. "Iceweasel"? You gotta be kidding me.
- Here's SJVN's take on Debian 4. I have to agree with him here. The Debian guys have jumped the shark. I'm not a pundit, a tech analyst, or a professional prognosticator of any kind, and I don't claim to know precisely what is most needed today in the F/OSS world. But I put it to you that an extra helping of licensing fundamentalism is not it.
I have a longtime friend who serves as a sort of barometer of geekish l33tness. He was right about Google, and he was right (at the time) about Slashdot and K5, and more other things than I can list right now. He used to be a huge Debian fan, but he switched to Gentoo a year or so ago and hasn't looked back. Debian just isn't cool anymore.
Naturally he's not always right. Even now, after all these years, he still hasn't seen the light and realized that Emacs beats up puny little vi and takes its lunch money. But hey.
- On IV, a follow-up to my earlier research on the BSD svr4/streams thing SCO's started whining about. Seems it's wayyy old, as in 1993 old, and OpenBSD's got it too.
- Here's a funny thing. A while back I linked to the membership list for iXorg, SCO's worldwide user group with exactly 30 total members. Well, the page lists web addresses for most of the members, so I took the liberty of running 'em through Netcraft to see which OS each member uses for a webserver. You know, just to see whether they like the taste of their own dog food or not.
11 Linux (definite or probable)
6 SCO Unix (definite or probable)
5 no website, or website down
All of the SCO Unix sites with sufficently old Netcraft data have been on the OS since the pre-Darl era. The lawsuits apparently didn't motivate anyone to switch to it. A couple of sites have migrated away in recent years, though. One to Linux, and one to FreeBSD. And one Linux site moved to Win2k3.
Oh, and iXorg itself? Linux. Used to be SCO Unix, but not anymore.
- Some ugly fallout from the M$-Novell deal, this time concerning FreeType and alleged M$ patents on sub-pixel font rendering.
- Purely because of the funny name, here's some info & photos about the XKL TOAD-1, a recent (mid-90's) continuation of the old DEC PDP-10 architecture.
It turns out that over the weekend, Lyons went on a posting binge on his blog and then turned right around and deleted 'em all. Some people have speculated he did this after he realized the posts were really meanspirited and unprofessional. I doubt that, myself, because he left all his other posts up.
I missed out on this circus at the time, since it was a weekend and all that, and I had better things to do. But someone mentioned that Google's blogsearch cache still had brief excerpts of the vanished posts available, so here they are for posterity. One of them was apparently a rant about "fair use", as in Lyons' fair use of GL posters' comments, so I trust he's not going to give me any lip about posting these.
- On journalists and sources
7 Apr 2007 by Dan Lyons
Well PJ now attempts to deflect attention from her own issues by reporting here that journalists always get documents and other information from parties to lawsuits. Very true. She also reports that I’ve been given information by SCO. ...
- It’s called “fair use,” you can look it up
6 Apr 2007 by Dan Lyons
I’m getting some notes from folks who claim I’ve violated the copyrights of a Groklaw poster by publishing a copy of his very silly comment for the amusement of my readers. See my post here. Let me direct you to this page on the Web ...
- Update: OSDL and Groklaw
6 Apr 2007 by Dan Lyons
I’m getting some mail from people who say they’d rather not believe my recent item about OSDL making payments to Groklaw. A suggestion: Instead of bugging me, write to the folks at OSDL, which is now called the Linux Foundation. ...
- Head-in-the-sand award
5 Apr 2007 by Dan Lyons
Overnight I received a long email from a PJ defender who says he doesn’t believe that PJ sought and received payment from OSDL, as I reported. The reader says he’d like me to produce the canceled “cheque.” (I guess he’s British.) ...
- Groklaw comment of the day
4 Apr 2007 by Dan Lyons
PS, we love you. Authored by: Aladdin Sane on Wednesday, April 04 2007 @ 03:38 AM EDT. OK, I have to say it, without sexual intent or feeling, I love you, PJ. I have to say this. Please forgive me. This is not the first time I’ve spoken ...