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Slashback Microsoft

Slashback: MyCrowzOft, Inundation, Taxation 175

Posted by timothy
from the happy-year-of-the-monkey dept.
Tonight's Slashback brings updates on Microsoft's softened stance on MikeRoweSoft.com, good news on the thankfully exaggerated demise of Niue's wireless network, and an update on Windows 98's revised appointment with fate. Read on below for the details.

You have until April 15 ... quickenman writes "I used TurboTax for many years but used TaxCut last year (2002) after they Put C-Dilla spyware into the program. TaxCut worked well (it lacked 1 form I needed) but TurboTax seemed to be a little more user friendly. I publish several free internet newsletters, "Dr M's Computer Tip List" and also "Dr M's Computer Tips"and have told my subscribers that the link to eliminate that C-Dilla spyware is still available even though Intuit no longer lists it on their web site. Go to: support.turbotax.com/kb/ViewDocument.asp?do cumentId=491&categoryId=80068"

All publicity is probably good publicity ... for Mike Rowe. bwhaley writes "Microsoft has eased is reins after the an unexpected battle from teenager Mike Rowe in defense of his "trademark infringing" domain, mikerowesoft.com. According to a Reuters article, 'Microsoft has indicated it may have overreacted to the Web site' run by Microsoft's namesake. Thanks to this Slashdot story and lots of others like it, Mike Rowe may be able to keep his domain after all."

I doubt that Mike Rowe is Microsoft's namesake ;)

Niue free wi-fi is not gone freitasm writes "In a previous Slashdot article the author said "The world's first free national wireless grid is no longer with us, after waves from Cyclone Heta swept over Niue's thirty metre cliffs, destroying everything." This turned now not to be what actually happened there. It is now known that the The Niue Internet Users Society stored everything in water proof containers before the cyclone hit the island" "Most of the equipment survived," said IUS-N technical manager, Richard St. Clair. "That's because we stored it all in a water-tight metal shipping container before the cyclone hit." "Some WiFi antennas were lost," said Emani Lui, who originally installed and tuned the antennas for the WiFi service. "But many have now been repaired or replaced and are functioning normally." Since then Telecom New Zealand has restored communications with the island."

CosmacVIP writes "The .nu domain manager says anyone who wants to help should make donations to the New Zealand Red Cross's Pacific Cyclone Relief Fund (www.redcross.org.nz), instead of registering .nu domain names, so the aid will go directly to those who need it most."

All depends on whom you ask. Greedo writes "This article at Wired contradicts earlier news that HP was working on getting WMA support built into their branded iPod. "We're not going to be supporting WMA for now," said Muffi Ghadiali, product marketing manager for HP's digital entertainment products group. However, one analyst said that between now and summer, HP may come up with a way to convert WMA to AAC, or an equivalent technical fix. I guess we wait and see."

After that, if it breaks, you get both pieces. Ieshan writes "Microsoft has just decided to resume support for Windows 98 and apparently other product lines, as mentioned in this CNN article. Well, I guess it didn't die for long. They say customers in developing countries weren't made aware of the changes. I say they probably realized that people in developing countries couldn't afford to upgrade entire networks, and might pursue alternatives."

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Slashback: MyCrowzOft, Inundation, Taxation

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  • by Quasar1999 (520073) on Thursday January 22, 2004 @08:06PM (#8061243) Journal
    Mike Rowe gets to live? Yeah!!! :)

    Seriously, it's getting to the point where I wouldn't put it past microsoft to actually require a name change for guys like Mike in the next ten years... How blatantly wrong could they be? I'm surprised they didn't go after any website that had "Bob" in the name... cuz after all, that's a lot like their MS Bob...

    On the flipside though, how long before people start changing their names just so they can get domain names? I'm eyeing Natalie H. Gritts myself... sure I'm a guy... but the domain name, and the right to keep it would be priceless, and worth the ackwardness... :)
    • by Anonymous Coward
      On the flipside though, how long before people start changing their names just so they can get domain names? I'm eyeing Natalie H. Gritts myself... sure I'm a guy... but the domain name, and the right to keep it would be priceless, and worth the ackwardness... :)

      Who is Natalie H. Gritts? You completely lost me there.
      Sincerely,
      Emma Soffass

      Visit my on-line trading and auction site at: http://Emma'sExchange.com [emmasexchange.com] !

      • You know, I didn't realize why Experts Exchange [experts-exchange.com] had a hyphen between experts and exchange in their url until I accidentally typed it without the hyphen...
        • and strangely enough, www.ExpertSexChange.com doesn't seem to resolve to anything. LOL!!!!!

          • Whois says that Mr. Watkins is the Expert Sex Changer

            Registrant
            Evan Watkins
            1015 Oaklands Drive
            Round Rock, TX 78681
            US

            Registrar..: IARegistry.com (http://www.iaregistry.com)
            EXPERTSEXCHANGE.COM
            Created on..............: 12-Jun-2001
            Expires on..............: 12-Jun-2004

            Administrative Contact:
            Watkins, Evan ewatkins@austin.rr.com
            1015 Oaklands Drive
            Round Rock, TX 78681 US
            +1.512.388.0665
            Technical Contact:
            Watkins, Evan ewatkins@austin.rr.com
            1015 Oaklands Drive
            Round Rock, TX 7868

        • Being in on the original site (wow that was a while ago...), the domain was run by me, and the first version didn't have a hyphen. I cracked up and pointed out the alternative words. hence they launched with the hyphen :).
          • I am honored to have spoken (?) with such an astute proofreader. (Not being sarcastic - that's a big part of my job as a software tester, the company I work for as part of my day job has released some doozies when they didn't run stuff by anyone but our rah-rah marketing department)
        • I had something similar to that happen at work. The ECom developers/sales morons wanted to setup a general questions email account for one of their new clients. So they asked to have questions.ex@company.com created. Little did they know that Exchange doesn't allow . in an email address. Yeah. And they still work here today. And they're still morons.
          • Our marketing department goes so far as to have large volumes of stuff printed out before showing it to anyone to get input...that's why our company logo looks like a hammer and sickle (think USSR, for you really young folks).
    • i don't really think that anyone will confuse MikeRoweSoft.com with Microsoft.com when looking at them spelled out (at least I hope so). And whenever anyone says the domain name, they'll have to spell it out, and then you could tell the difference. So if you never mistake one for the other, they're shouldn't be a problem, right?
    • The funny thing is... Microsoft is such a bland name...

      Micro - micro computer, as in desktop. Rather then a mini computer that's more like a desk.

      Soft - Soft ware, as in stuff you run on a computer.

      Micro - Soft - a company who picked the most generic name possible that communicated they made software for micro computers.

      Why is it these companies pick such boring names and at the same time get granted the rights to hold them as trademarks? [old joke] They should shorten their name to MoF... at least
      • Re:Domain names? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by jhoffoss (73895) on Thursday January 22, 2004 @09:37PM (#8062009) Journal
        All you have to do is look at Gates' net worth to see that bland works in big business. And the publicity this kid has gotten is fantastic; he'll have a good chance at having name recognition at any interview he sits down in (were you that guy with the site ten years ago...)

        I'm surprised he hasn't had to sell the damn domain just to cover his hosting costs though.

      • by Ashtead (654610) on Friday January 23, 2004 @02:15AM (#8063553) Journal
        Evidently it has been a while, but according to The Register [theregister.co.uk] there has been a dispute with an Australian maker of synthetic pillows and duvets. One of their products is also called "Microsoft".
      • by XO (250276)
        Well, you know what Melissa Gates said to her mother, after her wedding night...

        "Mother, now I know why he calls it.. Micro... soft."
    • by i.r.id10t (595143) on Thursday January 22, 2004 @08:50PM (#8061640)
      You think that's bad? Feel sorry for anyone with the initials S C O

    • Mike Rowe is taking down mike rowe soft because due to all the "helpful" traffic he could not pay the internet bandwidth bill. I submitted this story to slashback but the dumb editors rejected it and instead claim slashdots publicity helped the poor guy. sheesh want incredible self serving disinformation; is karl rove working for Slashdot now?
      • by MrAngryForNoReason (711935) on Thursday January 22, 2004 @09:47PM (#8062093)

        Not sure where you heard that but according to MikeRoweSoft.com [mikerowesoft.com] the site is staying up due to the kind offer of hosting from Deafening-Urge.net [deafening-urge.net]. So slashdot publicity helped the guy get new hosting after slashdot publicity caused him to lose his host. It all balances out in the end.

        Thats why they call it Karma

        • So slashdot publicity helped the guy get new hosting after slashdot publicity caused him to lose his host.

          I don't want to interrupt your narcissistic fascination with the slashdot effect, but let me break it to you gently.

          When CNN has the link twice on the front page of CNN.com, and so does every other news service, plus the followup story on c|net news.com and Wired.com, the slashdot-inspired click traffic is just an unnoticeable blip in the sea of noise.

      • Three days ago (Jan. 19) he posted on his site the news of the offer from Deafening-urge.net.
        You posted this today, the 22nd. I can't help but point the self-serving disinformation finger back at you.
    • According to the story Mike wants $10,000 for the domain. Now that there have been over 250,000 hits in such a short time, and huge publicity, he should probably ask for more if someone wants to buy it from him.
      • The $10,000 request was a "Piss off, I'm not selling it, and this should be high enough to disuade you". Problem is, he wasn't aware that the price isn't entirely unreasonable. I had one friend sell his domain for $35K and another sold his domain for $15 (admittedly, during the .com boom). $10Million would have been more along the lines of "piss of and don't bother me". Unfortunately, he's a bit young, and so $10K seemed outrageous.
    • One caveat, though. As El Reg pointed out [theregister.co.uk], Microsoft have neither acknowledged they have no claim nor apologised.

      The danger is that once the hype about this settles down, they resume the case knowing that it's now old news and won't get anything like the previous publicity.

      Noims.
  • Intuit (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Aurix (610383) on Thursday January 22, 2004 @08:08PM (#8061267)
    I don't know about everyone else, but we gave up on Intuit a long time ago, after they introduced a heap of serials/product keys just to install/upgrade. Between our numerous versions, and multiuser licences, trying to install Quickbooks/other Intuit shit was a nightmare. We'll never be supporting them again.
  • Now that MicRo is famous he could give in and change it to buttheadedsoftwarearchitect.com

  • by gooberguy (453295) <gooberguy@gmail.com> on Thursday January 22, 2004 @08:17PM (#8061344)
    Well it's great they're still going to support 98, but ME? Come on! ME is quite possibly the worst OS Microsoft put out. Sure XP sends stuff to MS without telling you, and 98 is unstable, but at least they are useable operating systems. The worst thing about ME is that you can't restart in DOS mode, no matter what. Even though it runs on top of DOS, and you can use a boot disk to get to DOS, ME won't let you restart into DOS mode. Networking support is also a pain. By "a pain" I mean would rather get shot than try and get ME working with a network card. One time, when I didn't know the evils of ME, I tried getting a Realtek card to work. Bad idea! After almost a week of screwing with the computer, I formatted it and put (what I think is the best thing to come out of Microsoft) Windows 2000 on it. The card worked great in 2000. I thought 2k and ME are supposed to have the same TCP/IP implementations, the ones from BSD. I bet MS could save a TON of time and money by solving all ME problems with a free format and XP home installation.
    • ME bad? You obviously never tried to run Windows 1.0 - or even 3.0

      The fact that it ran on DOS was the only thing going for it - you could still get lots of DOS software and run in character mode :)

    • Actually you can get MS-Dos support for ME. Try here:

      http://www.coease.com/dosfix.htm

      I've used it numerous times to get Partition Magic 5 to work with ME.
    • Win ME? well at work we never had problem with it, except, like all MS product, that it keeps on crashing.

      I thought 2k and ME are supposed to have the same TCP/IP implementations

      even if they have the same protocol stack implementation, its the drivers that are the ones that's totally toast. most probably its not a stack problem its a driver problem.
    • I have a friend who was working at MS at the time ME came out. He didn't work on any OS stuff but he entered one of their computer rooms to work on some server stuff one late night. There were two guys from the ME team working on a computer trying to get it to install ME. This was about a week before the ME launch. Out of curiosity he asked them: "Oh, you work on the ME development team, how does ME compare to the other OS?" Without a blink, they respond: "It's a piece of crap. Don't bother installin
    • Let's not forget that ME was released with one and only one purpose: convince the Home and Home Office user to drop "Personal" Windows and install "Business" Windows.
      Part of an overall plan to get all Windows installations on the same kernel.
      Main problem was that Win2K wasn't ready soon enough to allow the pissed-off ME users to make the switch. Hence, XP...

    • Y'know, you see over and over "XP sends stuff to Microsoft without telling you" - but I've never seen conclusive evidence of just *what* stuff it's sending without your knowledge. Have any details, or are you just perpetuating a meme?

      Not a troll, I'm looking for a well-thought, sensible answer with PROOF.

      Thanks!!
    • I run ME on my game machine (it is the OS it came with - and I am not going to pay the Microsloth tax twice - so I stick with it).

      The key to getting performance out of ME is to disable everything you don't need - which means - basically just run systray at startup - and thats it. Once I did that it was stable as a rock (apparently one of the many 'support' applications was the source of my memory leak - and here I was thinking it was Windoze all along).

      Additionally, I decided several years ago to standar
  • Hello (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 22, 2004 @08:26PM (#8061428)
    why don't they sue this [mycrosoft.com]. It took me one whois to find it.
  • by styrotech (136124) on Thursday January 22, 2004 @08:31PM (#8061466)
    Possible trouble with the government owned monopoly telco according to the NBR [nbr.co.nz] magazine.
  • According to this [nbr.co.nz] article in the (New Zealand) National Business Review [nbr.co.nz] the Niue Government doesn't like the competition from the Niue Internet Users Society and is using strongarm tactics to protect it's phone monopoly.
  • by OldSchoolNapster (744443) <oldschoolnapster ... m ['mai' in gap]> on Thursday January 22, 2004 @08:37PM (#8061517)
    This seems as good a time as any to introduce my new screename. Im not worried about being sued because old-school Napster never cared about copyrights.
  • by kaizenfury7 (322351) on Thursday January 22, 2004 @08:37PM (#8061528)
    If I registered the site called MyGrowsSoft.com and used it to sell Viagra?
  • by hndrcks (39873) on Thursday January 22, 2004 @08:47PM (#8061615) Homepage
    ...spake 'nevermore'.

    (apologies to Edgar)

  • Smart and Bigger (Score:2, Interesting)

    Was I the only one to get a chuckle from the name of Microsoft's lawyers going after Mike Rowe? "Smart and Biggar" is so appropriate, though they lacked commonsense in this case.
  • by HrothgarReborn (740385) on Thursday January 22, 2004 @09:02PM (#8061726)
    ...Have something in common.
    I saw on a PBS special a few years back that the original Colonel Sanders, after selling off Kentucky Fried Chicken, opened a restuarant called the Colonel's Lady and was sued by KFC for using his name and his face to which they held the trademarks. The Colonel won eventually.

    Just thought someone might think that was an interesting precedent.
  • by OneIsNotPrime (609963) on Thursday January 22, 2004 @09:11PM (#8061782)
    "Dr M's Computer Tip List" and also "Dr M's Computer Tips"

    Wait a sec... DRM's Computer Tip List? DRM's Computer Tips?

    Don't fall for it! IT'S A COOKBOOK! IT'S A COOKBOOK!

    • Damn, dude, that is seriously funny. Great reference. I don't know who modded you "insightful," but I think that's a masterfully funny post. And moreover, I think anyone who doesn't agree probably didn't get it.
  • by angle_slam (623817) on Thursday January 22, 2004 @09:22PM (#8061858)
    I don't know why it's such a big deal with TurboTax. After I filed it, I deleted the program, and removed the spyware. You can't use TurboTax 2002 this year, so why keep it. And since TurboTax 2003 is not copy protected, might as well use TurboTax this tax year.
  • Seriously, people (Score:3, Flamebait)

    by Wrexen (151642) on Thursday January 22, 2004 @09:43PM (#8062063) Homepage
    If Microsoft enforcing its trademark against MikeRoweSoft is an evil-empire action, what kind of precedent are we setting for other companies? I'm just going to start companies called Banc ov Amerika, Koka-Kola, Jonsen and Jonsen, Redd Hat Linucks, and Appul.

    This guy said himself that he intentionally made a homophone of Microsoft just to mess with them. It's a clear-cut case of trademark infringement. I don't see the problem here.
    • let me get this straight... your name is Kola Banc Linucks Hat Koka Redd Appul Jonsen?
    • ...as my real name is Vishu Al-Bazik...
    • by Malcontent (40834) on Thursday January 22, 2004 @10:08PM (#8062238)
      Chances are this is not infringement. There have been numerous cases where people who used their own names as their business names have been found not to infringe.

      Of course ICANN is not a fair organization and they would have probably taken the domain from the guy but in court Mike would have prevailed.

      BTW there are thousands of companies called delta, washington, montana or whatever. It's OK for two businesses to have the exact same name. The issue is whether a reasonable person would confuse the two businesses. Maybe you would confuse the MikeRoweSoft company and Microsoft but a reasonable person would not.
      • He does web design. Should I be able to make a Jiffy-Lube type store called Ford? I think any "reasonable" person would assume in both cases that the same company is at work, especially since Microsoft has its hand in pretty much any software-related market.

        As an aside, for made-up words like Microsoft, the trademark dilution rules are much stricter - I can't make a Verizon dish soap.
        • by Anonymous Coward
          If you can possibly confuse MikeRoweSoft web design with Microsoft Corporation, you shouldn't be sucking oxygen.
        • 'Should I be able to make a Jiffy-Lube type store called Ford?'

          Of course you should. You don't think there is a ford's jiffy lube in the US? As long as you don't use the ford logo they you are OK. Especially if your name is ford.

          " I think any "reasonable" person would assume in both cases that the same company is at work, especially since Microsoft has its hand in pretty much any software-related market."

          On what planet? Certainly not this one. Certainly not any judge.
          • "You don't think there is a ford's jiffy lube in the US?"

            That's not what I said, or at least what I meant. I can't open a store called "Ford Oil Change" and expect to not get sued for TM infringement. It's intentionally exploiting another brand's identity.
    • Re:Seriously, people (Score:5, Informative)

      by psykocrime (61037) <mindcrimeNO@SPAMcpphacker.co.uk> on Thursday January 22, 2004 @10:24PM (#8062337) Homepage Journal
      If Microsoft enforcing its trademark against MikeRoweSoft is an evil-empire action, what kind of precedent are we setting for other companies? I'm just going to start companies called Banc ov Amerika, Koka-Kola, Jonsen and Jonsen, Redd Hat Linucks, and Appul.

      This guy said himself that he intentionally made a homophone of Microsoft just to mess with them. It's a clear-cut case of trademark infringement. I don't see the problem here.


      <IANAL>

      If you started a company called Appul that sold microcomputers and related software, then Apple might have a case.. but if your Appul company sold fertilizer or hand-tools, they'd have nothing. Likewise for Jonsen and Jonsen... do that and sell barbed-wire or plastic soda bottles, and you're not infringing anything.

      In Mike Rowe's case, he's not selling personal computer operating systems and productivity software, and it's just weird that his name, said real fast, sounds like half of Microsoft.

      In the case of your fictional Banc of Amerika, or Redd Hat Linucks, I think you might get in trouble, because they're still the exact same words as the name of the "real" company, just spelled different... and the made up versions don't have any real meaning, unlike "Mike Rowe" which is somebody's name.
      </IANAL>
  • Analyst my ass (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rmull (26174) on Thursday January 22, 2004 @09:48PM (#8062103) Homepage
    However, one analyst said that between now and summer, HP may come up with a way to convert WMA to AAC, or an equivalent technical fix. I guess we wait and see.

    What??? That makes about as much sense as converting ogg to mp3. It can be done easily, but it'll be lossy as hell - they're different formats, damnit. Maybe I could an analyst and then they could pay me to be dumb. Or better yet - a pundit. Bah.
    • forget about that, i'm not sure how they're so uncertain with HP's ability to reencode.. WMA->WAV->AAC, in fact *->WAV->*

      but i guess we'll "wait and see" what their crack team comes up with... either that's a joke or HP is run by preschool students.
    • What??? That makes about as much sense as converting ogg to mp3. It can be done easily, but it'll be lossy as hell - they're different formats, damnit. Maybe I could an analyst and then they could pay me to be dumb.

      Check out this business plan. We make a player. We sell tunes online. You can use someone elses inferiour tunes with our player. Try it. Compare. See how much better our tunes are?

      Am I missing anything, or is my tinfoil hat on too tight?
    • WMA->MP3->OGG->JPG->AAC

      Ok boss! We have the conversion software ready!

      -
    • However, one analyst said that between now and summer, HP may come up with a way to convert WMA to AAC, or an equivalent technical fix. I guess we wait and see.

      Moreover, one security consultant said that farmers may come up with a way to convert manure into milk, or an equilavent agricultural fix. I guess we wait and see.
  • by schmaltz (70977) on Thursday January 22, 2004 @10:35PM (#8062396)
    www.mightgrowsoft.com/ [mightgrowsoft.com]

    This domain's been around since 1997, and their site layout is strangely familiar. Not to bring any heat on them- this must be protected parody, or IP law is seriously broken.

    Or I am crazy. Help me figure this one out.
    • I find it quite funny that the ad at the bottom is advertising pre-paid legal advice... But I think it might have to do with the notices near the bottom that the page isn't affiliated with Microsoft and the disclaimer page saying it's a parody. But then again IANAL.
  • Today, the lawfirm Luvim & Burnim, who represents both Microsoft and RIAA, plan to publicly apologize for the mixup involving MikeRoweSoft.com. The mixup was made when a secretary inadvertently swapped Microsoft files with RIAA files. Lawyers had then reported to Microsoft, not knowing they had RIAA paperwork in their briefcases instead of Microsoft paperwork. "This was totally unexpected. We didn't think it was usual for Microsoft to accuse a website of copyright violations," said Seymour Skinner. "I
  • TaxCut vs. TurboTax (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Xthlc (20317) on Thursday January 22, 2004 @11:59PM (#8062865)
    I had a pretty horrible experience with TaxCut last year. There was a bug (triggered by my combination of being self-employed and renting my home) that refused to complete my taxes unless I filled out some fields that were non-applicable with values that satisfied TaxCut's constraints. Basically, it wouldn't let me file my taxes unless I filled them out with false and confusing information.

    I call technical support, which of course is in India. All they could help me with were monkey steps involving turning on my computer, logging into Windows, etc. There was no process for escalating actual bugs to people that can help you work around or solve them. Classic horror story of outsourced tech support.

    I wound up throwing TaxCut in the trash and filling out my forms by hand. I'm going to give TurboTax a shot this year -- hopefully I can work around the spyware.
  • by Xthlc (20317) on Friday January 23, 2004 @12:12AM (#8062910)
    So says this PC World article [pcworld.com]

    Which is good, because (as I whinged in another comment) I had a horrible experience with TaxCut last year.
  • I say they probably realized that people in developing countries couldn't afford to upgrade entire networks, and might pursue alternatives

    No, I would say they are continuing to listen to their customers, just like they always do. There are SO many cases where they announced they were doing something, and they decided not to due to customers saying otherwise.

    There was the retirement of the NT 4.0 MCSE, their decision to only use adaptive tests, the retirement of NT 4.0, etc etc.

    The company listens to it

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