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Microsoft

Judge Tells Microsoft To Pay Up In Bristol Case 124

downset writes: "Back in the courts again, and Microsoft are on the receiving end of another guilty verdict. Using the old tactics that we are all used to by now, Microsoft have been found guilty of using 'bait and switch' tactics in promises to divulge Windows technologies to continue developing Windows to Unix conversions. The courts announced that Unix has Microsoft running scared ... anyone surprised?"
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Judge Tells Microsoft to Pay Up in Bristol Case

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  • Oh Great!!! Then thats 70,001 applications for windows...
  • (Of course, it'll just be blamed on the article submitter, but nobody's fooled.)

    "fooled" isn't really the correct word, since the "running scared" quote was written by the submitter, not the /. editorial staff. You see, everything in italics was written by the submitter, and everything in normal type is editorial comment. Think of it more as a letter to the editor - you don't blame the Times for telling lies just because someone writes in with an untruth.

    Granted there is some bias on this site, but this particular case is not an example of it.

  • After a six-week civil trial last year, a federal jury found that Microsoft had violated Connecticut's unfair-trade practices act, but awarded Bristol damages of just $1.

    It's still a helluva lot better than what they originally got.

  • Microsoft lawyers aren't dim. They know that if they loose the first round, they gotta go to appeals. Winning outright the first time is loosing free money the lawyers could get from going to court again and again and again... Swift settlement? Ugh!

    Microsoft will likely smarten up and start to fire lawyers as soon as a guilty verdict comes down.
  • The sad part for the updstart Football League was that they filed for damages of $1B, the NFL was found guilty of monopolistic practices as well of colusion with TV networks, yet were awarded something pitiful, like $1. I hope the courts get this right this time.

    Vote [dragonswest.com] Naked 2000
  • I would....however thanks to the whole millitary security thing, i don't have access to the SMS servers (or any other part of it for that matter

  • It just seems a shame that people are throwing suit after suit at MS, when there are a lot of other organisations who have behaved in pretty much the same way. (And for some reason, I don't think that there are many companies that would behave any differently in the same position. Not that this excuses it or anything)
  • but when does the Sony/Time Warner monoply-megaplex get its day in the ass end of the legal system?

    has the (Sony)?-Aol-Time Warner group actually done anything notable (good or bad) yet?

    Just curious

  • It's not uncommon to award $1. The USFL, in it's antitrust suit against the NFL, won the case -- and was awarded $1. They promptly went out of business.

    They jury decided the amount of actual damages. What the judge has added here are punitive damages; damages to make the guilty party think twice before doing it again.

    That said, $1M means about as much to Microsoft as $1.

    thad

  • You see, everything in italics was written by the submitter, and everything in normal type is editorial comment. Think of it more as a letter to the editor - you don't blame the Times for telling lies just because someone writes in with an untruth.

    No, but I blame the Times for what their reporters write and they print. To my mind, the appropriate analogy here is: submitter == reporter, editor == editor, poster == letter to the editor. I don't blame /. when a poster says something I think is irresponsible - I do blame them when an editor turns a irresponsible statement into an article.

    ---------

  • by Slashdot Cruiser ( 227609 ) on Friday September 01, 2000 @08:10AM (#811072) Homepage
    I'll tell what I'm running scared from -- I'm running scared from funky green paint and "1m 1337" personalized plates on the Slashdot Cruiser.

    Good lord, that thing is fugly. I mean judge-judy-should-make-bill-drive-it-as-punishment fugly.
  • And the truth is, dear shill, that a federal judge found that Microsoft is "evil", or more accurately, guilty of unfair trade practices.

    How about using some of your own advice and recognizing, for a change, that your beloved company sometimes acts in a reprehensible manner? But that would be too much to ask, Zico admitting that Microsoft can err. Sorry, no can do that.
    --

  • In both cases, the court is full of it when they choose to believe FUD over Fact. And in both cases, we listen to the court when they choose to go with Fact over FUD.

    While I may well agree with you on DMCA, be a little honest. You listen when they choose your FUD and facts over the other FUD and facts. They are "full of it" and often accused of being bought off when they happen to make a legal decision that doesn't match your FUD, or your spin on the facts.

    Pretty common way of judging the "competence" of the courts.

    -kahuna Burger

  • Really? Wow!

    I was going to say that MainWin sucks, just based on my experiences with attempting to use Microsoft-ported products, like IE (Aieee!) on Solaris; no web browser should require kernel patches. REALLY.

    ...therefore, Wind/U must really suck. I guess if Wine ever stabilizes and tracks the Win32 API decently, (Ha ha... It's gotten a lot better, but I'll be impressed if and when they ever do catch up; by then, the dominant processors will probably have x86 compatibility built into the hardware...) it can be ported to other processors. (since a lot of it really is reimplemented in C)
    ---
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [ncsu.edu].
  • While I realize that this may come as a shock, modern commercial UNIX platforms are no more a 30-year old system than Linux, FreeBSD, or anything of the ilk is.

    The idea that UNIX hasn't evolved at all over the last thirty years isn't just wrong, it's a position dangerously close to ignorance for a computing professional to take.

    Many of the features that Linux and the *BSD's still lack are features that have been standard in commercial UNIX for years. Even with the growing number of Linux servers out there hosting web sites, most major e-commerce sites out there aren't using it. In the enterprise computing arena, the competitors are mainframes, UNIX (solaris, digital unix, hp/ux, etc), and (unfortunately) Windows NT/2000. It's a battle that Linux simply isn't mature enough to take part in yet.

    Now, this isn't to say that Linux won't get there -- far from it. Linux, with the freight train of momentum it's got these days, will probably have a comparable feature set in a few years. However, decisions aren't made on vapor -- they're made on what can be rolled in today.

    Competition in the desktop arena is also an area where Linux is ill-suited to compete. Microsoft completely dominates this market, and for most users, Windows is it. At this point, Linux can't compare to the user friendliness that Windows provides. [*]

    Now, I'm a UNIX geek -- I earn my living running enterprise UNIX servers. I've also been running Linux at home and on my workplace desktop since mid 1995. Professional decisions aren't made on personal preferences (unless the technology involved is comparable) -- they're based on usability and technical merits. Linux, at this point, is mostly suited for the technical users' desktop, or the low to low-midrange server market.

    -Jeff

    [*]: Technically - yes, stability is part of user friendliness, but for most desktop users it's not a primary concern.

  • I've posted articles on the missing features of Linux for a while. Most of them seem to be beyond the search threshold that Slashdot offers.

    Hopefully, when I get some free time, I'll get the chance to attempt an implementation of any one of these. In the meantime, however, other people may benefit from a bulletted list. :)


    • So, here goes:

    • Advanced high availability clustering.
      • Many people, when they see the word "clustering" automatically think of Beowulf, get all defensive, and miss the point completely. Clustering, in this context, is a enterprise necessity. When there are thousands of users depending on mission critical applications, clustering is the way to go. I spent a week in California recently training on
      • DEC's (gah, Compaq) TruCluster [compaq.com] product. Now, granted, DEC has had over a decade of practice on VMS clustering to implement this, but it's what clustering should be.
  • Re:"An operating system expressly designed for computers with one user, who's running one application, which is only available from one vendor, and is capable of consistently crashing and losing data so as to provide the user a safe direction in which to ventilate his frustration with his miserable life."

    And in a twisted, almost sadistic twist, just to tortue their customers just a little more, they remove all warrenty in the EULA so that the only place the frustrated windows user can vent his/her frustration is on /.

  • NOTE: I accidentally hit submit instead of preview, so a snippet of this comment was posted prematurely. Please moderate the original down into oblivion.

    I've posted articles on the missing features of Linux for a while. Most of them seem to be beyond the search threshold that Slashdot offers.

    Hopefully, when I get some free time, I'll get the chance to attempt an implementation of any one of these. In the meantime, however, other people may benefit from a bulletted list. :)


    • So, here goes: Some of the features below, when read, will obviously require special hardware to support them. However, the hardware is useless without proper operating system support. Remember that this post is addressing features that commercial UNIX has and Linux doesn't. The details for the average developer obtaining the appropriate hardware to develop for and test on is irrelevant to this discussion.

    • Advanced high availability clustering.
      • Many people, when they see the word "clustering" automatically think of Beowulf, get all defensive, and miss the point completely. Clustering, in this context, is a enterprise necessity. When there are thousands of users depending on mission critical applications, clustering is the way to go. I spent a week in California recently training on DEC's (gah, Compaq)
      • TruCluster [compaq.com] product. Now, granted, DEC has had over a decade of practice on VMS clustering to implement this, but it's what clustering should be. The filesystems are shared, and the systems can redirect network I/O internally. The filesystems are shared, but still involve a "director" of sorts, a member of the cluster to coordinate access. This is not to be confused with NFS, because the individual cluster members can write to the disk directly, rather than proxied through the "director" node.

    • An advanced, multivolume, dynamically resizable, journaled filesystem
      • IBM's JFS (which I realize is being ported -- but vapor != implementation) and DEC's AdvFS both offer dynamically resizable, journalling filesystems. I'm not sure if JFS allows multiple volumes, but AdvFS does. Basically what this accomplishes is the ability to add and remove disks from a live filesystem as it is running.
      • Most people know the benefits of a journalling filesystem, but for those who don't: When your system is writing something to disk, even though the program you're using eventually boils down to calling a write() system call to get it done, the OS actually has to perform many steps. All a disk is capable of guarenteeing is a single atomic write of a single block. Now, if you're writing out a file, this consists of many block writes for the data, but also writes for the meta-data. Meta data is the stuff associated with files, such as timestamps, permissions, links, but also stuff that the user never sees that maintains filesystem integrity. If your system crashes, loses power, etc during the middle of a meta-data write, you can lose an entire filesystem. At the very least, you'll end up with a potentially lengthy fsck(8) when you reboot. A journally filesystem essentially uses a "staging" area, where all writes to disk are queued up -- also on disk. A file and associated meta data can be guarenteed to be written or not written -- but not half way. If the operation did not complete, the operation can be completed when the system comes back up. This is called a replay, and it uses the journal to do this. Filesystem recoveries take seconds, instead of minutes or even hours on huge filesystems. Going into more detail is really beyond the scope of this post, but you get the idea.


    • Dynamic hardware reconfiguration
      • On large systems, including mainframes and high end UNIX servers, you can remove and add hardware
      • including processors and memory while the system is up and running. Solaris, for example, offers the ability to shutdown processors in mid execution so you can remove and replace them. Some Dell servers, running Windows NT or Windows 2000 also allow this, and add the ability to add and remove PCI cards on-the-fly.

    • System auditing
      • One of the major features that many sites
      • require is system auditing. This is very much more that system logging. The major difference is that, for example, I can set up auditing on my Digital UNIX servers so that any time any user calls the "socket" system call, I have a record of it, which arguments where used, when it was called, and by whom. I can restrict things even further so that I only see the record when user "joebob" called socket(), etc.

    • Others.
      • There are other features that come to mind, beyond the scalability issues that the post I'm replying to mentioned, but I'm hungry, and want my dinner. :)

      I hope this clears up some of the clouds surrounding this sort of thing. I noticed that my original post was moderated down by someone ambitious as a "troll", when in fact it was not meant to be one at all. One of the major weaknesses of the Linux/BSD/Open Source community, and this has been mentioned before by people more known to the public eye than myself, is the inablility to look at the faults. No OS, including Linux, is perfect. The ability to see the imperfections, the flaws, the faults, and the missing features is what can enable the Open Source community to improve their software even more. Turning a blind eye to real issues does nothing other than stoke the fires of corporate ignorance as well as being self-fulfilling FUD.

    Comments welcome. :)

    -Jeff
  • It isn't feasible to create a jury of one's peers for a lot of people. Think about the OJ Simpson case. Who were his peers? Rich black athletes/actors? World record holders who were told as a child that they'd never be able to run again?

    Or if you think purely in terms of income or social stata, is it actually good to have a jury of ones peers, especially if the crime you are accused of is against a "non-peer"? If (to steal a story idea from LA law) a bunch of rich guys are accused of sexually assaulting the entertainment at a drunken bachlors party, do we really want them tried by a jury full of rich guys who like drunken bachlors parties? Or to take it from the other direction, if a poor townie is accused of murder because he got in a fight with a preppy college kid slumming around the neighborhood, do you want a jury of poor young townies deciding how serious a crime it was?

    -Kahuna Burger

  • It was an award of $1, and federal law requires triple damages in antitrust cases, so the USFL got $3
    Steven E. Ehrbar
  • Now you can tell me she didn't know the coffee was hot?

    I've spilled hot coffee on myself before without burning myself. I had solid rocket fuel ignite in my hand once, and got second-degree burns from it that took a week to heal.

    Third degree burns from coffee? That's boiling oil hot. In fact, it's so hot that it's PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE for a human being to drink it without being burned. And if you sell a food product that's not safely consumable by human beings, that's against the law.

    It was so hot, in fact, that McDonald's had an entire filing cabinet of letters from individuals who had been burned.

    So when she was burned and had to go to the burn ward at the hospital to have emergency skin grafts, it seemed McDonald's could have at least said "we're sorry" and paid thre medical bills (all she asked for). But they preferred to tell her it was HER fault that their coffee was served at 180 degrees farenheit.

    In fact, it was not the victim (who asked for medical fees) but the JURY who decided that punitive damages were necessary -- they were appalled at the arrogance of McDonalds' attorneys and management during the case.

    And of course, the judge reduced the punitive damages to a measly $400,000 (about 6 hours worth of McDonalds' coffee profits) the day after the jury spoke. But I guess that didn't make the front page...

    I'm an investigator. I followed a trail there.
    Q.Tell me what the trail was.
  • but when the stockholders see that they just lost out on $1M, they will be upset. and probably the stock price will drop. costing the company a lot more money.

    The stockholders aren't stupid; they know that $1 million is nothing. If they decide to sell it can only be due to the fear of future, larger damages.

  • Wow, didn't realize dissenting opinions got you so riled up. I can just about feel you drooling for killfiles to silence anyone who disagrees with you. Afraid to hear some truth and have your little world come crashing down around you? God DAMN, what a stupid sheep you are — good for laughs, though! :)

    Cheers,

  • It's good that you are not a lawyer because then you probably would be 'AINAL'. (sorry, I couldn't resist.)
  • "The courts announced that Unix has Microsoft running scared ... anyone surprised?"

    I'm not surprised. Bait and switch? Why, just the other day, I installed Office 2000, and this paper clip came up and asked to help me out. Bait me with a word processor, switch me to a paper clip. It happens all the time.

  • Right, right, right. But that isn't the point. The point is that they were found guilty. It is minor in terms of money, but that is fine. It makes them look bad, and that is the interesting point. It is bad press, that some folks might be able tweak in the news. To let the world know how Microsoft (sometimes) operates.

    John S. Rhodes
    WebWord.com [webword.com] -- Industrial Strength Usability.
  • Could it be just a type? It must be $1M and they forgot the M... I can't believe someone would award so such a compensation.
  • Good thing the judge stepped it up to Damages Awarded v2.0

    But it doesn't really work right until version 3 or better, right :)

  • by aibrahim ( 59031 ) <<slashmail> <at> <zenera.com>> on Friday September 01, 2000 @07:33AM (#811090) Homepage Journal
    >a federal jury found that Microsoft had violated Connecticut's unfair-trade practices act, but awarded Bristol damages of just $1
    >Thats right the jury awarded just one dollar. It was the judge that set the $1 million, at a later date (after appeal?).
    >There something weird going on here, and I'm not sure I like it. What makes a jury award such a small amount of compensation that a Judge has to overule it later down the line.


    This is a reminder of one problem in dealing with Microsoft: They have a GOOD image. People think about what they see of MS, and they see mostly good things. Most of the features in MS products were unknown to Joe average User before MS stuck it into windows. The average user doesn't care about uptime, and doesn't know all the things Linux can do that Windows can't.


    So we have a jury of MS users who are not geeks and they say, "Yeah MS was bad, but they are getting a real bad rap...lets give them a break."

  • by fish500 ( 208702 ) on Friday September 01, 2000 @07:33AM (#811091) Homepage Journal
    Maybe he means that M$ is running an application called Scared. It's a program that tracks all M$ lawsuits and outputs the appropriate appeals for the courts, spin for the media and other misinformation for the public.

  • "Microsoft withheld the needed Windows license from Bristol "in an effort to undermine the competitive threat" of Unix, the court found. The judge likened the Unix threat..."

    Ok so i read that a bit differently to you, thats why the article is linked, so that you can read it yourself and make your OWN mind up.

    If it was meant to be a direct quote, it would have had quotation marks, it didn't because it was my interpretation.

  • oh bullshit. they are not a scapegoat, they are the fucking problem. they are not doing normal business practices, and they are using money, fame, and power of their legal team to bend the rules just like everyone else does. fuck them and their bullshit man. if everyone else needs to play fair, so do they. I don't give a flying rats ass if they made an OS that runs on every god damn device on the planet... they need to do it like everyone else does, not unfairly. CHEATERS NEVER WIN. Especially dorky little fucks like Billy boy.

    this is a sickening trend though... everyone is suing everyone. WAAAAAH, if I don't get my way, I am going to sue you (I am not talking about anti-microsoft suits, I am talking about DeCSS(omfg, is it against the law to even say it now?), Napster, etc) People need to stop being babies and get over it.

    </rambling soapbox>
  • But where's their next $1 million going to come from? The point is that a major source of their revenue was damaged by Microsoft's actions. $1 million might pay the salary of a dozen or employees for a year, but that's about it. The truth is, the $1 million award is just as symbolic as $1, in many ways, except that the shareholders might actually notice the results of that filter through to their dividend. It can't possibly have an impact on the viability of an IPO.
  • Why is it that they *always* rule against Microsoft but yet they are always ruling in favor of the MPAA and Amazon and all of these other bullshit lawsuits?

    Because they rule according to what the law is, not according to what the Slashdot audience thinks the law should be?

    ---------

  • Yeah, I know who wrote what, that's why I said it'll just be blamed on the submitter, because it wasn't a Slashdot person who actually said it. The thing is, though, that Slashdot 1) sometimes edits the submissions, and 2) doesn't automatically post the submission of someone just because he was the first to submit it. In other words, Slashdot didn't need to reprint the original's submitter's lie — they just chose to. That's what I'm talking about.


    Cheers,

  • Slow My System. At least that's what the user perspective is. All this MS crap just crawls.

    Linux installs take less than 40 minutes, mostly unatended. Oh yeah, they also fit easily in less than a gig. Compare that it IE's 500MB foot print!

    As for larger system maint, you should see a few previous articles from here on that very subject. I just timed out looking for it..

  • Namely im speaking about The DeCSS case(led primarly by the entertainment industry, Time warner, ect) and Sony charging after Napster. The point i was trying to make is that my hope for cases is roughly 2/1 against. The DeCSS case and the Napster case are both in the losing stage currently, however microsoft (who is long over due for a decent ass wupping) is losing.

    "when the president of the united states, says your name in ANGER, The shit has hit the fan"
    -Ice T.
  • What everybody really wants to know is: if you think /. is sooo biased against your beloved Microsoft why don't you either:

    • Quit reading, and specially posting to it;
    • Just filter out the MSFT stories that offend you so much, damn it;
    Because, son, unfortunately we have no way to killfile you... Yet...
    --
  • by Anonymous Coward
    HEY!

    Get it straight..

    Bill Gates is God, not just an amazing imitation.

  • CDC claims that BO2000 does everything that SMS does, and then some. Plus it's not detectable by any users, so they won't even know of a reason to complain. Just send on an 'all points bulletin' email to them with a word .doc attatched that runs a macro and installs BO from the company server, and you've got complete set of remotely controllable clients....

    :)
  • Okay, then can you give a few pointers on how to keep the two SMS client apps from locking up a Win98 SE system on a regular basis ? We decided we were better off manually installing software than in dealing with a mob of angry villagers.
  • Freedom of Speech is all well and good... if done honestly. But if you start lying for the purpose of destroying someone (or something), then there are moral issues to be considered (not to mention the fact that is slander).

    One more thing... it's obvious you don't like MSFT. Do you really want to "stoop down to their level" by lying they way you (and the judge) say they do? If you want to win this battle, stick to the higher moral ground.

  • You gotta wonder what juries are thinking - they'll award $1 in damages for anticompetive business practices, but millions and millions in cases like the (yes, overused) McDonald's Hot Coffee incident.

    Maybe the difference is that MS has never actually given an old lady third degree burns that left her bedridden. And been proven that they knew all along it was happening and did nothing about it...

    I'm an investigator. I followed a trail there.
    Q.Tell me what the trail was.
  • Unfortunately, some popular commercial software depends on Wind/U, namely ColdFusion for Solaris. Wind/U is the singlemost reason that CF sucks so much under Solaris.

    Of course, CF sucks a lot on its own merits, but that's a whole different story
    --

  • Maybe the difference is that MS has never actually given an old lady third degree burns that left her bedridden. And been proven that they knew all along it was happening and did nothing about it...

    Ok I have to comment on this. First off the lady took the lid off the cup and put it between her legs. Now you can tell me she didn't know the coffee was hot? Also state laws require food to be certain temperatures, for coffee it's a minimum of 140 degrees F.

    1) if your final comment was true, they would not have recieved warnings already on burns.

    2) If I'm going to be putting something in my mouth, no I don't expect it to be litterally scalding (capable of causing burns that need skin graphs in a matter of seconds)

    3) you miss the overall point, which is that in mc'd case there was a measurable injury with measurable costs. The lady could say "I paid this much money in medical bills, spend this much time in pain most people never imagine and was disabled for this long." What the jury in this MS case seemed to hear was "well, if they hadn't interfered, we might have had a glorious IPO and all be multimillionares now.... or I guess we might have also flopped on our own..." Compensating for an actual injury is much easier than guessing the loss of potential revenues.

    On that note, lets not forget that the "potential revenues" line is exactly what is being brought against Napster. If you mock the RIAA for talking about what their sales figures could have been, there is no reason to assume that MS owes these people anything except an apology, cause they might have sucked anyway.

    -Kahuna Burger

  • The money is nothing to M$. Losing, thus establishing the pattern of behavior, is everything. As Microsoft loses case after case, for their temerity, they build the antitrust case against them. Megabusinesses (AOL/TW, BofA, etc.) need pay attention to their business manners. Clearly the early days of personal computing and the internet were exciting times, with a lot of inexperienced, aggressive people growing empires. The value of experience is in knowing when you are about to step on someone's toes, so you can avoid or tread no harder than you need to.

    Bill Gates isn't the only one who scrambled to the top of the heap with hobnail boots on, crushing tender feet along the way. He's just very visible because of his success. It would be good to take M$ down a few notches, perhaps with a more intelligent breakup than that proposed by US District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson. It would be bad to destroy M$, because something as bad would probably take their place. (Such a lucrative market!)

    Vote [dragonswest.com] Naked 2000
  • That can happen, but it's dependent on certain technological breakthroughs. Currently, the avenues for getting publicity for artwork are controlled by the industry- if you want to be in record stores you need to stick to maybe a couple local ones just so you can say you have a record bin with your name on it- if you tried to social-engineer your way into a _lot_ of record stores your costs of interacting with all those stores would _rapidly_ overwhelm any income you might get from it. You can't talk your way into being a 'Billboard top 10'- you can't have that no matter how much you sell unless you're an RIAA label.

    On the Internet, it becomes possible to ignore distribution completely- get a bunch of CDs made, order up a bunch of little CD mailers and you're ready to go. You might or might not want to be asking similar prices to what the industry asks- after all you're hand-packaging everything- but your problem is recognition and publicity, again. Free mp3s might help- but then you might get hit with a $15,000 fee for use of the format (see www.mp3licensing.com) making it damned risky, and you've got to maintain a website with a decent amount of storage and bandwidth. Napster is almost useless- it doesn't link the listener very closely to you, they may have quite a bit of searching to do to hunt you down, particularly if the ID3 tags aren't helpful.

    The one technological development that could drastically change all this has already been covered by Slashdot- it's the 'audio fingerprinting' [slashdot.org] concept. This basically takes a very broad imprint of audio and reduces it to a digital recognition code- it's _not_ watermarking. It could be sold to the RIAA labels as copy authentication, which it is- ignoring the fact that they have _never_ needed such authentication to file suit on someone's infringings- but the true usefulness of the technique comes when the database of 'fingerprints' starts to get really huge and includes countless prints from indie artists' songs, even audio doodles recorded by kids in those loop-mixing programs (some of which would end up as already taken by another kid, of course).

    At that point it becomes part of cultural expectations to be able to hear any snippet of any song and _immediately_ look it up given only a bit of digital audio of it. The selling point for consumers would be 'instantly look up any tune you hear and like', curiosity value and ability to buy the CD or whatever- curiosity value is quite a good bait all by itself. The mechanism would be like a search engine, something that's already culturally accepted and understood. The kicker is, ANY audio creator suddenly becomes searchable and traceable, as long as they have their 'prints' on file. When you consider that the purpose of this 'tracing' is 'where can I buy that CD?' and the result can be 'from me directly, for $12 including shipping and handling and I keep ALL of the profit, none of it goes to the RIAA', it starts to look very exciting.

    The fact is, without an ability to cross-reference and deliver such information, proliferation of free 'music samples' isn't that useful. I've sold many tapes at a loss with lots of information on them about websites- but some of that becomes irrelevant- for instance, I still have the mp3.com site but don't expect to be adding any music to it from now on, as they have changed their contract unacceptably and I don't accept their new contract. Relying on the information printed on the tape means being pointed to mp3.com and airwindows.com, only one of which is truly current, and that one doesn't have music hosted on it. If you could consult the 'print' database it becomes trivial to have any 'searchers' directed to the most current information- you just update it if there's a change. If I ditched mp3.com I'd be able to just update that to whatever new music site I used- and you could download a tune from mp3.com, 'print' it, and use that to learn my new site. The fluidity of this is terrific! That, not Napster per se, is what would fragment the RIAA control. Napster does not direct people to a musician's page. This would (at which point Napster and its ilk would take on their real role of proliferating those 'pointers' to the musician's page widely)

  • There's a whole lot in that McD case that the press didn't point out. Like that McD's had a TON of written complaints about their coffee being too hot, about how the coffee gave her THIRD degree burns - leaving her hospitalized/bed ridden for quite some time (skin grafts even, iirc), about how at first she simply asked them to pay her medical expenses, about how they refused. The US legal system has major problems, but the McD case wasn't one of them.
  • ISTR that most folks get their news from local TV news crews. They aren't that bound to the networks. I doubt ABC really cares whether WTAE covers a missing person report or a church dedication, for instance; perhaps if the locals specialized in gore and nudity the networks might, but otherwise...

    The local news programs, at least here, cover almost entirely purely local issues. Some do "World in a Minute"-type overviews, but those are pretty much read-the-headline/show-a-photo deals.

    The overall content as far as a network would be concerned is pretty much nil. And, not quite coincidentally, those who get their news chiefly from local news progs are, IIRC, less likely to be clueful about politics and such (versus, say, national newspaper readers and so forth)...
  • This post is NOT insightful. It tells someone who disagrees to go away because the poster doesn't care for a dissenting opinion.

    I'd hate to see Slashdot become a fascist society where dissent is not permitted. The parent is a troll. Please moderate accordingly.
  • still lack are features that have been standard in commercial UNIX for years

    I don't doubt you, but I'd like to know what these features are. As far as I know (I'm a physicist, not a professional CS guy) Linux and *BSD are lacking mainly in scalability but what else is there?

  • No, but I blame the Times for what their reporters write and they print. To my mind, the appropriate analogy here is: submitter == reporter, editor == editor, poster == letter to the editor. I don't blame /. when a poster says something I think is irresponsible - I do blame them when an editor turns a irresponsible statement into an article.

    Wrong. The correct analogy would be poster == reporter, submitter == quoted party. If the Times were righting a news article, and they interviewed the submitter, his comment "MS is running scared" would be valid, appropriate content. You'll see the exact same sort of commentary in every newspaper in the world, and nobody complains about it. Because that's how journalism works. If CT had made the comment, your complaint would be accurate (though still stupid-- don't like /.'s well-known bias, go elsewhere), but in it's present context it's just more pro-MS, anti-/. windbagging.
  • True, Microsoft may be running, but its only about hmmm, 3 more minutes until they 'crash' again.
  • While saying that people who hate slashdot shouldn't come here may not be insightful to you, obviously it's not so obvious to them-- otherwise they wouldn't need to be told so.

    Nobody said that dissent is bad. I welcome pro-MS posts. Posts critical of Linux are are also fine. What I-- and most everyone else-- finds annoying are all of the anti-/. posts. Is /. biased? Of course. Don't like it? Fine. Want to complain about it? Great-- just do it elsewhere.
  • I feel sorry for those who lost their jobs
    due to unfair competition. I don't feel
    sorry for a company that had previously received
    a warning about its business practices and
    then continued as business as usual.

  • One of the reasons Microsoft is in the position it is in? It takes even the smallest threat seriously and tries to kill it. Sounds like this is no different.
  • Hey maybe you can go to the public.microsoft.* newsgroups and complain to them they are biased against linux. That would be fun maybe I'll do that every time anybody says a dispraging word about sun, oracle, sybase, linux, open source, or other enemies of microsoft.

    A Dick and a Bush .. You know somebody's gonna get screwed.

  • by Col. Panic ( 90528 ) on Friday September 01, 2000 @07:10AM (#811119) Homepage Journal
    Bristol, based in Danbury, Conn., makes software that helps developers rewrite Windows programs for the rival Unix software. The company was left weakened by the dispute with Microsoft and was forced to cancel an initial public offering of its stock.

    $1 Million ought to get the ball rolling again ...

  • Entertaining and gratifying, but what does this mean in real terms? In U.S. law, a decision is often only as good as the next higher court. How much effect does this have on the "main" case, the DoJ antitrust decision, and Microsoft's plan to appeal?

    -TBHiX-

  • Oh boy, here we go:

    Microsoft is trying to bully people. Imagine that.

    Microsoft made promises it didn't keep. Imagine that.

    Microsoft got shunned in court and have to pay damages that equal little more than lunch money for Bill Gates' daughter. Imagine that.

    Unix has Microsoft running scared.

    Um.

    Huh?

    Wait a minute...that wasn't in the article...but, but it said, and I mean, I mean it said something about Microsoft fooling these Bristol people and...Unix technologies in Windows?

    Bill Gates hits the crack pipe again.

    Imagine that.

  • by Kid Zero ( 4866 ) on Friday September 01, 2000 @07:07AM (#811122) Homepage Journal
    $1 Million? That's IT?

    Bill could probably find that in his couch.

    I don't see where it will help Bristol at all, except in maybe an appeal or retrial.
    -----------------------------
    1,2,3,4 Moderation has to Go!
  • Watching CNBC Squak box, while siping your morning coffee:

    "Good Morning. I'm Trent Presedshirt. Let's go over to the big kahuna for the "ms jury report".

    Thanks big guy: (up pops a cleverly produced, weather map looking, graphic showing the ms logo and various litigation represented as storm fronts approaching)
    "We have a 70% chance of a guilty verdict as the sun microsystems decision moves in from the north, and a 99% chance of the Bristol decision sweeping in from the west, but the real threat is the hurricane building off the shores of the pacific northwest. The name of the hurricane is DOJ and current tracking models predict landfall very soon.

    Now onto the 5 day forcast. (up pops yet another cleverly produced graphic showing the next 5 days with dollar amounts representing legal decisions agains ms) "Mon. a 23 million decision. Tue., 17 million. Wed, 19 million. Thurs., 14 million. and Friday will bring the full impact of the DOJ decision with damages totaling in the Billions. So the early part of the week looks like the usual for ms, but the storm coming on friday will mean a massive evacuation of windows programers to Linux."

    Back to you, Trent.

  • Microsoft was able to snowball the jury in the Bristol case, but they couldn't fool the judge.
  • by FascDot Killed My Pr ( 24021 ) on Friday September 01, 2000 @07:12AM (#811125)
    "The courts announced that Unix has Microsoft running scared ... anyone surprised?"

    Yes, I am. Why would the courts say such a thing? It has nothing to do with a legal ruling. Do you have a reference for this? (it's not in the ZDNet story you provided a link to)
    --
    Bid on me! [ebay.com]
  • by SUWAIN ( 223234 ) on Friday September 01, 2000 @07:12AM (#811126)
    Isn't this a daily occurance? I think true news would be "Microsoft, in a remarkable change of pace, was not sued yesterday." :-)

    ...............
    SUWAIN: Slashdot User Without An Interesting Name

  • Overall I agree with your well thought-out (esp. for an empty stomach) post Jeff and there's a couple of points I'd also like to mention. I have to agree that for the really big jobs (ie enterprise critical or enterprise scale for established large companies) OS/390, VM or a commercial *NIX is the way to go, but IMHO Linux is less than two years behind some of these, in features at least.

    • AIX's JFS does provide the same capabilities as you mentioned for AdvFS.
    • Red Hat has recently released a high-availability clustering package that allows multiple types of OS'es to take part in the cluster (although I haven't looked at the details to compare capabilities to say an IBM S/70 HA system running AIX, which I'm familiar with, or OS/390's Parallel Sysplex capabilities, which sound almost identical to the ones you spoke about for DEC/Compaq. The S/390 servers in the cluster can be physically separated by a distance of 10-20 miles and still participate in the dynamic load balancing and failover responsibilities).
    • Kernel level auditing - I can't recall for certain if Linux has kernel level auditing which you alluded to with the system auditing point, but I believe that it does (as do all enterprise level OS'es, and NT).
    • As you mentioned, several vendors are jumping in with hot-swappable core system hardware components, this brings Linux (interestingly also probably NT) into the arena with E10K's and S/390 hardware.
    • Scalability is being addressed, but I don't expect that Linux will hit what OS/390, VM or Solaris offer (and AIX 5 is slated to introduce) regarding scalability and running multiple instances of the OS on one box. (unless you consider VM Ware, which while it may be a fine product I seriously doubt is at the capability or stability level of the other systems mentioned - anyone with solid info to the contrary please post a reply).
    • Multiple physical and logical paths to one physical device, including logical connections to the device from multiple instances of the OS. Let me try to explain this further for those unfamiliar with OS/390 & VM architecture. Let's suppose you have a box with a SCSI drive. Now imagine that you have more than one SCSI cable that attaches to that drive. Further imagine that each physical cable can support multiple logical connections, from more than one instance of your OS (all of which are running on one physical box). I don't know if there are any other OS & hardware systems out there that have this ability (forgive my ignorance of other hardware and OS'es of which I have only fleeting knowledge).
    • The ability to control the priority of processes and threads with fine granularity (255 levels IIRC). Under OS/390 you can control each thread or process running under the OS, so even if there are various types of threads that are spawned by the Webserver (just for instance - could be any thread running on the system from any app or process), I can specify what priority each has (ie I could give the thread that serves up the order form a high priority - say 255 - and the thread that serves up the complaint page low priority - say 1) for when the CPU's are at 100%.

    And it's becoming ever more difficult to determine where Linux ends and commercial *nix begin... Gnome will soon be standard on numerous commercial OS'es (which is difficult for the unwashed masses to differentiate from the OS if they see the same interface) and AIX 5 will offer extensive compatibility with many core Linux / open-source apps & utilities. [cnet.com] While this obviously doesn't mean that AIX is using the Linux kernel, the cross-pollination is occurring much faster than anyone would have dared guess even 2 years (or 1 year?) ago.

    Flamers please note that I am a staunch Linux booster and have used it at home for approximately 3 years. I can't wait to see what promise it holds, but nonetheless could not go to upper management and suggest that we run our enterprise processes on it yet. Our enterprise still relies on OS/390 databases, with AIX taking on an ever larger role, and NT doing it's best to try and weasel it's way in. NT has been largely relegated to an OS for the desktop and user frontend where I work, with the backend being on AIX or OS/390 (with a couple of HP boxes hanging on by their fingernails because of apps that we can't seem to kill no matter how hard we push!)

    ----

  • by boing boing ( 182014 ) on Friday September 01, 2000 @07:09AM (#811128) Journal
    The courts announced that Unix has Microsoft running scared ... anyone surprised?

    That is not what the article said. It said that Microsoft was trying to damage Unix competition while they were putting out an OS to compete.

    And they used their standard operating practices to try and make that happen.

    I have no clue where "running scared" came from.

  • by photon317 ( 208409 ) on Friday September 01, 2000 @07:12AM (#811129)
    I don't think so. Windows is the pre-eminent operating system of the modern age. Unix is some 70's technology that lived beyond its usefullness. Unix still works on cromagnon ideas like functional process priorities, truly protected multitasking, scalability, and conformance to open standards and APIs for interoperability.

    Microsoft saw through all of this crud, and has produced what the modern age really needs: An operating system expressly designed for computers with one user, who's running one application, which is only available from one vendor, and is capable of consistently crashing and losing data so as to provide the user a safe direction in which to ventilate his frustration with his miserable life.

  • How much effect does this have on the "main" case, the DoJ antitrust decision, and Microsoft's plan to appeal?

    Answer: None.

  • Why is it that they *always* rule against Microsoft but yet they are always ruling in favor of the MPAA and Amazon and all of these other bullshit lawsuits?

    Because, Bill Gates thinks that he's smart enough to be an advisor to GOD, and that all of these politicians and "laws" are below his contempt. M$ plays as if they can play smart judges and plaintiffs as fools like they do the general public. Unfortunately, judges, and smart people in general, don't like to be toyed with. M$ therefore gets slammed at every turn.

    RIAA/MPAA/et.al., on the other hand, being the mafia dons they are, have a little more respect for the powers that be. They've paid off the right people beforehand, so that everything they do has a "legal" argument. They genuflect and smile when appropriate, and never scream about "thier intellectual property" (notice how they're always looking out for someone else?)

    70% of making way in this life is not about how you treat others, but how you can convince others that you are treating them. M$ isn't doing as good a job of convincing as the other mafia groups.

  • CNET has more on this story at here [cnet.com]
  • The jury found that Microsoft violated the law. Then they determined the injury to Bristol based on Microsoft violating the law, and decided that the injury was non-existant, but they have to award at least $1, so they did. Very similar to what happened to the World Football League when they sued the NFL on three counts of anti-trust violations. The won all three, and were awarded $1 for each violation ($3 total for the math impaired). The WFL closed their doors right after this.
  • Could it be just a type? It must be $1M and they forgot the M... I can't believe someone would award so such a compensation.

    I doubt it's a typo, given the quote from Microsoft claiming that the judge's ruling was inconsistent with the jury's verdict. It said that the jury only found Microsoft guilty of unfair-trade practices (and not guilty of other charges), and imposed damages of $1. One dollar is the traditional nominal amount that is intended to be effectively free. (Like when your dad "sells" you a car for $1.) Evidently, the jury decided that they couldn't return "not guilty" on the unfair-trade charge, yet they didn't want to punish them, so they declared nominal damages. It would seem that the judge disagreed with the jury and felt that Microsoft should be punished. It's inconsistent with the jury's evident intent (to let Microsoft off the hook for their actions), but not inconsistent with the "guilty" verdict. Besides, it's the judge's perogative...

    Disclaimer: I Am Not A Lawyer. (IANAL)
  • Previous antitrust cases generally have made people in Bill's position RICHER in a breakup. So don't assume it'll make him poorer. I'd say it will probably be the richest course for him, actually. If *nix is actually successful at taking over a good market share in either case, he'll probably get the most money in a breakup now, as opposed to a decline.

    But then he couldn't play god as much, so what fun would that be?

    Does anyone know if there is some way to do a civil suit re: purjury? I know it's unlikely you could prove MS execs were lying with the criminal burden of proof, but i'm convinced you could with the civil burden of proof.

    Courts hit microsoft, because what they do is wrong, AND illegal. The DMCA means what the other threats do is LEGAL. We should be worried about this, but it isn't something any lower courts could possibly remedy; changing it is Congress's domain.

    I really think Micro$oft IS the bigger threat. Microsucks impedes the ability of business to get work done and computers to evolve into the power they really can be.

    The RIAA's best efforts are really about keeping you from getting Brittany Spears for free, forever. I'm not in favor of letting them have their way with the law. But even if they do, it can at most apply to the artists who are with them and the media that have sufficient development to support encryption (which will always be broken by someone, too.)

    Ticketmaster is evil too, and I try to avoid supporting them if possible. But I've found that I hear about more small and free shows the more evil Ticketmaster has gotten. In digital media you have the added advantage of cheap music distribution being easier and easier for independents - fragmenting their control.

    Not that they shouldn't be fought. Especially the legal ridiculousness should be fought. But the reality is that the internet already has revolutionized independent distro. Therefore how evil they can get is severly limited by the willingness of good artists to continue to participate in the conspiracy vs. the ease of being a good guy independent.

    Microsoft might possibly be similarly self-limited by linux, but while I want to believe that I don't yet.

    Now, for my next trick, what we really need to do is create a company that does something that's going to get them sued by both the RIAA and Microsoft, or have them suing them, and where the megacorp's statements are going to be used as crossover evidence. Or maybe be able to sue the RIAA and microsoft in a single brief...

    Then we'd see the money just OOOZE out of the lawyer's pockets

    Then we could try to get them to agree to a "People's Court" thing, except the CEO's play a game like soccer to settle it. And the field is covered in leprous amadillos and donkey pooh. Oh and the ball is filled with nitrogylerine. Did I forget about the machine guns? And then the hydrofoil ninjas - OOPS time to take the medicine :)
  • There's precidence in this in antitrust law - the old United States Football League (USFL) sued the National Football League (NFL) back in the 80s and the NFL was found guilty of having a monopoly on pro football in the US and using their monopoly power to squeeze the USFL out of TV contracts. The monetary verdict was $1, and was even tripled, for a grand total of $3.

    You gotta wonder what juries are thinking - they'll award $1 in damages for anticompetive business practices, but millions and millions in cases like the (yes, overused) McDonald's Hot Coffee incident.

    Reference: http://www.todayssports.com /NFL/stats/history/usfl.html [todayssports.com]
  • $1 Million ought to get the ball rolling again ...

    But how much of that is going to go towards lawyer and court fees? The lawyer's cut alone is probably thirty or forty percent. A million bucks may be a drop in the ocean for Microsoft, but it sure won't do much for Bristol at this stage in the game. Ten million would have been a more fitting number, but what do I know, IANAL.


    --

  • The amount of money MS makes is not relevant.

    Look at it from a different angle: How could a judge justify fining more than $1million, considering the details of this case?
    The fine amounts to a slap on the wrist, which is exactly right for this particular situation.

    If there was a similar fine in the anti-trust case then there would be a problem.



    <O O&gt
    ( \/ )
    X X
  • Considering that the cost of an employee to a company is generally something like twice their salary, one megabuck will not support a dozen tech employees for a year in Connecticut. Maybe in New Delhi ...

    --
  • That is how much the flusher on Bill's toilet cost.

    While yes MSFT was ruled against one must look at the economics of the whole thing. If it only cost MSFT $1 million to prevent a company from hurting them by 25 million through competition then MSFT might have a pretty good deal. Just another angle.
  • Don't forget the steam-rollers... leprous armadillos are much more effective when you use steam-rollers, as is the donkey poo. And with steam-rollers you'll find that you use less ammunition in the machine guns.

    "Free your mind and your ass will follow"

  • The real issue isn't the money. $1 000 000 might help Bristol, but won't make a difference to Microsoft, or to its business practices. A better verdict would be one which required Microsoft to live up to its promises, and provide to Bristol the license at issue. The "damages" could be to require MS to provide the license for free.

    Money can't fix everything. Courts can require actions other than mailing of checks. Making people (and corporations) live up to their promises will generally do more than letting people buy their way out of them.

    oh - and the "running scared" nonsense comes from this quote in the article:

    The judge likened the Unix threat to that of Netscape Communications Corp.'s Internet browser

    The judge is wrong, unix is a different kind of threat to MS; but it does justify Cmdr Taco saying "running scared", since that was running scared of Netscape.
  • The even bigger point is the fact that they were found guilty of unfair business practices in a trial brought on by a competitor. Yes, it was on a Connecticut state trial, but it's something everybody else in the universe that got screwed by MS can point to.

    It's kind of like the cigarette companies, and why they've always fought so hard in the courtroom. The problem isn't that immediate trial--the problem is the precedent that trial can set, and the millions of other suits that will follow now that someone posted a victory.

    ---

  • To paraphrase Lewis Carrol - If M$ was unethical, they might be sued; and if M$ were unethical, they would be sued; but as M$ isn't ethical, they can't not be sued. Thats logic.

    Vote [dragonswest.com] Naked 2000
  • *shrug*

    It's probably the Sherman Anti-Trust Act that specifies that harsher rules apply to monopolies. Few companies can claim to dominate their industries as much as MS -- professional sports leagues come to mind, and to lesser extents Intel (FTC already looked at 'em, and they've got real competition), Cisco (perhaps?), and such.
  • Maybe the difference is that MS has never actually given an old lady third degree burns that left her bedridden. And been proven that they knew all along it was happening and did nothing about it...

    Ok I have to comment on this. First off the lady took the lid off the cup and put it between her legs. Now you can tell me she didn't know the coffee was hot? Also state laws require food to be certain temperatures, for coffee it's a minimum of 140 degrees F. So tell me how McDonald's is responsible here, for not telling her the hot coffee she was buying was hot? that's like telling someone the ice your buying is cold.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 01, 2000 @10:18AM (#811147)
    Unix has Microsoft running scared ... anyone surprised?

    Nope, most Unix daemons are named by the protocol name followed by the letter "d" (e.g. ftpd, inetd, imapd, named etc.), under NT, the "services" (NT's equivalent of background-running daemons) are usually given freeform text strings as names. It is not surprising at all that Microsoft has adopted standard Unix naming convention for this "scare" protocol's service daemon.... they probably intend to do some more "embracing and extending". I would like to know what this "scare" protocol is all about, though.

    8-) (big grin.... funny, eh?)
  • Re-read the article again. I don't think there was a 'series of "guilties"'.

    Microsoft hailed the jury's July 16, 1999, verdict, which found in the company's favor on nearly every claim except the unfair-business-practices charge.

  • $1 Million won't even begin to pay the legal bill. OTOH, this case isn't finished yet. I expect MS will have to pony up quite a bit more before it's over
    --
  • I would have loved to have seen the faces of the Bristol people as they heard a series of "guilties",...

    Actually, they heard a series of "Not Guilties" followed by a single "Guilty."

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I don't see anything about "running scared from UNIX", but here is an excerpt that describes Microsoft's motivations:

    Microsoft's purpose in entering into the WISE Agreements was clearly to convert UNIX ISVs to writing their applications to Windows NT, and thereby convert UNIX users to NT. Microsoft understood that ISVs and developers write to the operating system that most of their target customers use. At the time Microsoft developed and launched the WISE program, NT 3 had a very small share of the operating system market for technical workstations and departmental servers since the introduction of the first versions of Windows NT in July 1993. Microsoft shrewdly played to the follow-the-dominant-platform mentality of ISVs and developers by offering them the opportunity to write to NT as Microsoft forecasted it would soon gain significantly greater market share (as it had in the PC market) and yet still write for (but not write to) UNIX-based platforms through the "bridge" from Windows to UNIX offered by the WISE program. The WISE Program basically allowed Microsoft to promise long-term rewards with minimal short-term costs or lost opportunities for writing applications to NT APIs instead of to UNIX APIs. Microsoft's message to corporate management information systems ("MIS") managers was similar. The WISE Program offered them the opportunity to use only the Windows platform for workstations, servers and personal computers without giving up the use of their existing resources on the UNIX-based and other platforms.

    Overall, Microsoft used the WISE Program as part of an effort to gain converts away from UNIX by offering them all of the APIs the Windows NT operating system offered and would offer, without giving up the use of applications on the then-dominant UNIX operating system. In 1994, this strategy was a rational approach for Microsoft in light of its relative market share and technologies. NT 3 offered few, if any, APIs that UNIX did not provide, and UNIX was a considerably better-selling operating system than the earliest versions of NT.

    ...Amidst this public display of "confidence" and continuous support for WISE Program, however, doubts surfaced and spread within Microsoft about the wisdom of continuing the WISE program in its full scope, i.e. providing full NT source code to its WISE Program partners and thereby allowing the full portability of all Windows APIs to other platforms. Indeed, as early as May 1996, Microsoft's internal communications reflect CEO and then-President William Gate's concern about "losing the franchise." Gates and others worried that, by providing all of the evolving Windows source code to Microsoft's WISE Program partners, whose software then allows the use of all of Windows applications and functions on UNIX and Macintosh platforms, Microsoft would essentially allow users to continue to operate in non-Windows platforms with the benefit of the Windows APIs. The WISE Program, according to this growing view, would hurt rather than advance Microsoft's goal of converting former and potential UNIX operating system users to use of the Widnows NT operating system. One e-mail thread includes this concise summary of the "losing the franchise" concern: "The risk of going cross-platform with our server technology, of course, is that we might undermine the market share for NT by providing most of its features on UNIX (and MVS)." Gates and other senior executives at Microsoft thus worried that, if NT 4 and NT 5's unique technologies could be ported to UNIX, potential UNIX converts would never buy the latest versions of the NT operating system because they would, in effect, already have all the same capabilities on UNIX.

    ...with the introduction of NT 4, Microsoft recognized that its position in the server market was growing stronger and, with the then-expected release of NT 5 in 1999, would grow even stronger. In fact, Gates publicly acknowledged that NT has passed a "critical stage" in sales by year-end 1995. Having done so, the WISE Program as a tool to defeat UNIX was becoming less of a benefit and more of a potential detriment.

  • $1M doesn't mean anything to microsoft, but it probably means a whole lot, and the ability to stay in buisness for Bristo, and that is whats important.
  • The problem is that different parts of the legal system evolve at different rates. The trial by a jury of one's peers is a little stupid, but it is provided for in the US Constitution. It has been ruled (anyone here taken an introductory history-of-law class that remembers?) that a jury of one's "peers" can be pretty much anyone. Your legal peers are hardly what you would consider socially or professionally to be your peers. It isn't feasible to create a jury of one's peers for a lot of people. Think about the OJ Simpson case. Who were his peers? Rich black athletes/actors? World record holders who were told as a child that they'd never be able to run again?

    Perhaps you would prefer a bigger jury like the greeks had. A jury trial was held in front of hundreds of people (what was it? 500?). Of course, the greeks had no concept of "Peers" in their juries. Anyway, if you get that many people to watch the trial, a lot of randomness that shows up for only 12 people goes away. Seems more democratic to me. Seems impossible to implement today as well...

    As far as a trial by experts, I would love to see a country other than the US try it. As we have a peer jury trial as a constitutional right, it is unlikely that we could change to such a system. I would guess that military courts are the closest thing to that here.

    • One in four workers waste between 30 minutes and one hour due to slow and unreliable technology per day.
    • Nearly half (45%) said slow and unreliable technology stalls their work for five to 30 minutes per day
    • 30 per cent of employees wait over two hours for IT problems to be fixed and 22 per cent wait 30 minutes to one hour
    • One third of employees spend over 30 minutes per week helping others with IT problems
    • One in 10 people find PC failure more stressful than missing a holiday flight
    • One in 8 people find PC failure more stressful than being left by their partner

    From ICL, IT Day from Hell [icl.com]
    There is no denying that McDonalds (well I don't think so but that is another argument) caused the old lady some real misery and damages (hospital bills and loss of quality of life for ......). The point is that MS have caused even more misery the world over and incurred far more costs. You think all the miserable computer users ICL found are all using Mac, *nix and Be? How long before MS pay?
  • by codemonkey_uk ( 105775 ) on Friday September 01, 2000 @07:15AM (#811160) Homepage
    a federal jury found that Microsoft had violated Connecticut's unfair-trade practices act, but awarded Bristol damages of just $1
    Thats right the jury awarded just one dollar. It was the judge that set the $1 million, at a later date (after appeal?).

    There something weird going on here, and I'm not sure I like it. What makes a jury award such a small amount of compensation that a Judge has to overule it later down the line.

    Thad

  • I don't like Microsoft any more than the next person, but I really wish the courts and the DOJ would start paying attention to the more absurd things going on like Amazon's patents and the MPAA/DeCSS crap.

    Why is it that they *always* rule against Microsoft but yet they are always ruling in favor of the MPAA and Amazon and all of these other bullshit lawsuits?

    If you ask me, Microsoft is the lesser of two evils.

    Mike

    "I would kill everyone in this room for a drop of sweet beer."
  • WASHINGTON -- A federal judge found that Microsoft Corp. engaged in "wanton, reckless" and deceptive business practices against a Connecticut software maker, in a harsh ruling reminiscent of the court's finding against Microsoft in the government's antitrust suit.

    U.S. District Judge Janet C. Hall in Bridgeport, Conn., ordered Microsoft [slashdot.org] (Nasdaq: MSFT [zdii.com]) to pay punitive damages of $1 million to Bristol Technology Inc., in the highest award ever imposed under the state's fair-trade statute. After a six-week civil trial last year, a federal jury found that Microsoft had violated Connecticut's unfair-trade practices act, but awarded Bristol damages of just $1.



    This reminds me of a settlement between the NFL and some upstart football league (USFL? WFL?) A $1 award by a jury after finding the bigger-monopolistic party guilty. Good thing the judge stepped it up to Damages Awarded v2.0 Bad that this small company is likely to run out of gas, even with $1M potential, fighting M$

    Vote [dragonswest.com] Naked 2000
  • Something about Microsoft "running scared" from a 30-year old system doesn't seem to jive with me.

    I think they mean Linux, FreeBSD, and other Unix-like systems has Microsoft running scared.

  • What makes a jury award such a small amount of compensation that a Judge has to overule it later down the line(I'll assume this was a rhetorical cuestion of sorts)

    In two words: stupid juries. Ok, maybe I'm being unfair, but the trial-by-peers system in the U.S. and other places is starting to deteriorate. As the evidence used in cases such as this gets more technical over the time, a jury of normal people will base their decisions less and less in the evidence shown to them, and more and more in public image and lawyers' speeches.

    In my opinion, a trial-by-experts should be used instead, with the experts chosen at random from a big database or something.
  • Yes, but Bristol's dealings with Microsoft should have taught them that Damages 1.0 isn't worth having, and they need to wait for Damages 2.0 before they can do anything useful with it...

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