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Comment: Re:Awesome quote (Score 1) 232

by markhb (#48159269) Attached to: Worcester Mass. City Council Votes To Keep Comcast From Entering the Area

As was said below, cable TV is a natural monopoly: in all but a few very densely-populated areas (as in, parts of Manhattan dense) there isn't enough potential profit to make it worth their while to set up a competing cable plant. Forget TW and Comcast for the moment, in how many parts of the country are there ANY localities with competing cable companies where one of them isn't government-owned, even when the franchises are specifically non-exclusive (as they are in my state)? That's not a result of illegal collusion, that's a result of the fact that competing for anything other than the initial franchise agreement is a stupid business decision.

Plus, you appear to have misrepresented what the NYT article said: the sentence "Under conventional antitrust standards, it's pretty much an open-and-shut case" is actually saying that it's an open-and-shut case that the merger would not affect competition, and would be approved. The people raising the "potential competition" issue are the opponents of the merger!

Incidentally, the "guy they got to comment for the story" is a woman named Susan, who is actually a professor of IP law, and in fact a former member of the board of directors of ICANN, so by /. standards doesn't that make her evil?

Comment: Re:"Microsoft's long love of BASIC...." (Score 2) 547

by markhb (#48104061) Attached to: Goodbye, World? 5 Languages That Might Not Be Long For This World

If the WP article is accurate, Commodore's PET BASIC was a licensed Microsoft product, and as I mentioned so was the version in the TRS-80. So other than Apple's, I would say that the parent's statement that "the BASICs for most early PCs and home computers came from Microsoft", regardless of the fact that any other OS layer may or may not have, is accurate. And as others have pointed out, the first MS BASIC was in 1975 with the Altair, but I never used one of those so I went with "at least" as old as the TRS-80.

Comment: "Microsoft's long love of BASIC...." (Score 3, Insightful) 547

by markhb (#48102911) Attached to: Goodbye, World? 5 Languages That Might Not Be Long For This World

From TFA:

Microsoft’s long love of the BASIC programming language extends all the way back to 1991, when the company purchased a pretty awesome (for its time) visual programming designer from Alan Cooper.

I'd say that MS's love of BASIC goes back at least a decade before that; they wrote the ROM BASIC for the TRS-80 (as I found when doing a PEEK scan through it).

Comment: Re:It's more than the tie (Score 1) 166

That's a distinction without a difference. The people in the private sector are wasting the investors / suppliers / customers money.

The difference is that the investors / suppliers / customers have a choice when dealing with a particular private company. We have no real choice regarding paying our taxes (assuming one doesn't want to wind up in a courtroom over it).

Comment: Re:Intel (Score 2) 236

by markhb (#47474695) Attached to: Nearly 25 Years Ago, IBM Helped Save Macintosh

Microsoft was signed up to port Windows NT and it looked like you'd be able to run Windows and MacOS (the two most popular desktop operating systems) and possibly some of the other less-popular ones (most of which were m68k-based) on the same hardware.

You left out OS/2, which Lou Gerstner hadn't given up on yet (although the nightmare of the PPC port helped him make up his mind). IBM at this point still had hopes of re-conquering the desktop market, and the CHRP (Common Hardware Reference Platform, aka PPC hardware design) was part of that. Alas, it was not to be. I have booted exactly one machine in my life - a small tower RS/6000 running AIX - that came up and proclaimed itself to be a CHRP machine.

IIRC, either Windows NT 4.0 or Windows 2000 did, in fact, ship with a PowerPC install on the CD, alongside i386, Alpha and MIPS. Whichever it was was also the last of the NT line to support multiple architectures until 64-bit came along.

Comment: In other news.... (Score 1) 239

by markhb (#47371205) Attached to: Following EU Ruling, BBC Article Excluded From Google Searches

A family is reporting that a stranger named "Stan O'Neil" has invaded their home, apparently using a key to the premises, and is claiming to be their husband and father. The woman who heads the family says she does not remember ever seeing the man before, but could not name the father of her children or the person who gave her what appeared to be wedding and engagement rings.

Comment: Re:Massive loses? (Score 1) 239

by markhb (#47371177) Attached to: Following EU Ruling, BBC Article Excluded From Google Searches

I think if they attach your name to a blockquote in a story, they apply the "you own your own words" policy and leave it as-is without so much as a smug (sic). For those portions of the story they actually write themselves, it is not required that they spell or use grammar more correctly than CmdrTaco did.

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