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Slashback: Dyn-O-Mite!, Paper, Sploits 129

Here is your regular irregular dose of Slashdot story updates and obsessive compulsion -- some of it sad, some amusing, some utterly neutral and of no caloric value. For instance: You can win more than 50 of Roblimo's personal dollars if you work really hard, and wait a really long time.

"Kilby ... Kilby .. Kilby ..." [WHACK!] BMagneton writes: "The Nobel Prize for Physics was just awarded to several electronics pioneers, notably Alferov and Kroemer, who invented a bunch of semiconductor device construction methods, and Jack Kilby, who pretty much invented the microchip. The Nobel seems to have gone to a more practical/applied achievement than it usually does." And sconeu writes: "Wired News reports that Jack Kilby have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his part in the invention of the IC. The prize was split with Herbert Kroemer of UC Santa Barbara and Zhores Alferov of Russia who worked on semiconductor development as well."

And as "Boo," acclaimed international film star Keanu Reeves! Godzookie2k writes: "I was bored out of my mind the other night, and stumbled to boo.com's old site to see what would pop up. Mouth agape, I read: 'Boo.com returns, October 30, 2000.' yippie, you can download the official "boo" screensaver and enter some contest. See for yourself."

Some things are worth bringing back (Old Coke, bermuda shorts), and others may not be. Frankly, I'd never heard of Boo except maybe vaguely in the background until they went bust, time number one. On the other hand, our friend Pee-Wee was pretty funny in Mystery Men, so maybe anything is possible.

A browser for your naked (P)PC; combine with image filtering, stir. Mozilla keeps getting better -- I'm not afraid to show it to anyone right now, for instance -- but it's not exactly lightweight. Anyone who's been following the progress of Galeon may be interested when Markos writes: "Tired of waiting for a lightweight browser, that supports https, frames and all the other good stuff? BrowseX may be what your looking for. 'BrowseX is an Open Source, cross-platform Web Browser written primarily in Tcl.' You can check out the screenshots, features, and download." Or, for those of the Motorola persuasion, you'll be happy to hear that, as sephus writes "Opera for Linux PPC is now available at http://opera.online.no/linux/tgz/ - by popular request from Slashdot readers :) Opera"

Remember, retailers, you better not install these on computer that you know full well are going to be loaded with a god-fearin' American OS-thingie, like Innernet 'Splorer!

"OK, Mr. Gates, Meet Mr. Ponzi. Howdya do?" robl writes "There was a suprisingly under-ranked comment in the Microsoft story yesterday [about Microsoft and Taxes], pointing to the Fool's take on Microsoft's tax situation. It does a great job of clarifying the sfgate article yesterday. You see, Microsoft exercises it's stock options by printing more stock certificates. So they really only lose the cost of the paper and toner to print the stock, and they gain the money from the employees who exercise the options."

In fairness, this is approximately the same system used to fill the hypothetical coffers of the Social Security administration, but MS probably doesn't pay $534.55 for each toner cartridge ;)

My god! And they claim to be secure!? sporri writes: "The OpenBSD homepage has been updated (or downgraded) and now announces "Three years without a remote hole in the default install!" after a root hole was discovered and exploted in a library used by chpass. The sad thing it was fixed in the "current" source tree in June.UpsideToday has an interview with Aaron Campbell." If that's the worst you can say about an OS's security, it's a pretty strong endorsement for it being exemplary in that regard. OpenBSD and Debian get my vote for Most Serious Projects. Comments on the strongest security for (any particular) default Linux distro? Makes me think about Bastille Linux ...

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Slashback: Recasting

Comments Filter:
  • Actually they had a story on this on 48 Hours last Thursday (pretty cool show, showed a few different tech companies, get rich IPO stuff). fashionmall.com (their chief rival) bought them for pennies on the dollar.

    Boo really screwed up, they burned through something like $200 million dollars before they even went live, then sold something like $1-$2 million in merchandise. Not a good business plan.

  • Amen, brother!

    Three years ago I spent an insane amount of time downloading Slackware 3.5 from ibiblio (ne metalab, ne sunsite) onto all the floppies in the world, using a text-based Dos 'net all-in-one program called Nettamer that was absolutely hideous (small example: the mail menu was displayed in a spreadsheet: obviously the guy had just grabbed the code from some old program and shoved it in). I ended up having to reinstall Slackware a couple times w/the floppies before it finally worked. And I loved it.

    I switched to Stormix earlier this year, in a fuzzy attempt to upgrade to libc6 and possibly get a job w/the company (no luck). It's a really slick distro: it configured my sound card, X windows and everything else all in one go; just four clicks and thirty minutes, like you said.

    But...truth be told, I miss sitting around with 872 floppies, feeding 'em in one after another. The sense of accomplishment when you made it to the end was sweet.

    I could get a CD, and someday I think I will again. But I also think the only thing that would give me the same sense of down-and-dirty hacking would be the roll-your-own option. I think I'll end up doing that sooner than I buy a Slackware CD. If I don't climb mountains, or wrestle bears, or know thirty-two ways to kill a man with a paperclip, I've got to get the testosterone flowing somehow...:-)

  • Every substance has an instrinsic value. However, the intrinsic value of gold is much higher than paper (mashed carbon fibers) mainly because gold is more scarce (on the market, not in the environment). Scarcity in itself doesn't create significant value however, there has to be one or a series of applications in the current society, even if it is just to function as an adornment. Even if humans at some point got disgusted with gold ornaments it would still have applications within industry, for example on circuit boards. -17028
  • Actually gold has intrinsic value that, given the relatively limited supply, would keep its price fairly high. Gold's main usefulness is its corrosion resistance, its good conductivity is also important. Think of all the gold plated edge connectors on PCBs and so on. Gold is used to line some chemical apparatus in the manufacturing world, in sizes where glass is not practical. And thin gold film makes a good IR mirror.

    The short-term fluctuations in the price of gold are mostly driven by irrational beliefs. The 100-fold drop in the price of gold if the seawater extraction is a WAG - check the price of bromine or bromides, where bromine is roughly 10 million times as abundent in sea water as gold and is often extraced from brines (such as the Dead Sea) where it is a hundred times more concentrated than in sea water. It cost money/energy to move all that water ...

  • Manually assigning IP's for servers is definately the way to go.

    However, if your manually assigning IP's to your workstations you've either got a small network, or your a time-wasting moron.
  • If I remember correctly that FTP problem was not isolated to just OpebBSD, but affected a number of different FTP servers.

    dmp
  • Is it too late to patent Slashdot ID #3872???

    I really must learn to park online like the rest of you...
  • You missed the point. Microsoft *DOES* pay taxes, and their employees *DO* end up with fair 'wages'.

    They simply get a tax exemption for paying their employees, like any other companies. This would happen whether they were paid in cash or options, or new cars.

    The real issue, from an investor point of view, is that the only reason microsoft can get away with doing this (financially speaking) is because their stock price still goes up. A normal company would just dilute it stock, drive the value down, and it would end up costing them the same as if they had paid their employees cash.

    The government would get *NO MORE* income tax out of them if they simply paid their employees in pur cash.
  • Damn, that linking of the end of that shit was good. I thought of that a while ago, but I'm lazy,and I'm sure someone's done it before.

    GODDAMMIT, WHAT A FUCKWIT... IHBT
  • by Inoshiro ( 71693 ) on Wednesday October 11, 2000 @06:45AM (#716149) Homepage
    "Maybe it's the fact that it doesn't have a curses or X-based install,"

    I've been using Slackware since 2.3 (when I first started using Linux), and still use it today. AFAICT, it uses an ncurses based install. Perhaps it would've been better to say, "just because it doesn't have an X-based install routine .."
    --
  • Because the guy who bought Boo, Boo's former competitor, bought the entire company for chump change. The place could make a buck a year and still be profitable. I'm exaggerating, of course.

    The whole thing (about Boo) was on 48 hours (US TV show) the other day.

    --
  • by Pinball Wizard ( 161942 ) on Tuesday October 10, 2000 @04:06PM (#716151) Homepage Journal
    geez...some people never learn! It was widely acknowledged that boo.com failed because of all the slow-loading graphics, flash, and javascript which made it unusable to anyone without a fast(DSL+) connection.

    Now they're planning a comeback...and even their announcement page has big graphics and javascript. They've commited the sin of disabling the back button to escape from the site. It really doesn't seem like they learned much from their original mistakes.

    I watch the sea.
    I saw it on TV.

  • Did anyone else not notice the capital X and think "brow sex? I didn't know my eyebrows had sex!"

    Maybe it's just me.

  • "Boo really screwed up, they burned through something like $200 million dollars before they even went live, then sold something like $1-$2 million in merchandise. Not a good business plan."

    Seems to work for Amazon.com

  • by TheDullBlade ( 28998 ) on Tuesday October 10, 2000 @04:29PM (#716154)
    They don't guarantee a return on the purchase of their stock, as Mr. Ponzi did on his promissary notes.

    However, their apparent profits are based on the same pyramid principle: new capital provides the return on investment for old investors.

    This is what happens when people think that a simple extrapolation of past results is a reasonable model of future results.

    An illustrative game: Gimme Double!
    You hand someone a penny, and say "if you give me twice what I gave you, I might give you twice what you gave me".
    They think "what the hell, it's only a penny!" and does it.
    It goes back and forth for a while, with both players showing a 100% profit for each transaction (when it comes back to them), and wondering how far they should push it. Both want a significant profit, so they push it at least until it's enough money to care about.
    Then one guys stops and keeps the money (hint, only play this game against compulsive gamblers).

    In its purest form it's an honest game, just not a sensible one. The problem is when people don't recognize this game (the social stigma attached to gambling helps prevent people from learning these sorts of lessons).

    Extend this to millions of players, add tokens to track who gave last, a system that lists the last payments as the "current price", and a class of professional analysts who pretend that it's all a sensible economic behavior, and you've created a pretty good model of a bubble stock like MS. Also, a pretty good model of the whole stock market. Not to mention a reasonable approximation of the monetary/banking system.

    (BTW, anyone who sends me a penny at e-gold account number 134343 might get 2 pennies back... in some twisted alternate universe)

    --------
  • heehee, I'm going to go with the former, Chuck.
  • by gtx ( 204552 ) on Tuesday October 10, 2000 @03:04PM (#716156) Homepage
    My Stupid Patent (for those who care)

    A Plan to use Action Describing or Implicating Words in the spoken or written language as a persuasive tool to sell goods and or services.

    Our method of Action Describing or Implicating Words (trade name: "Verbs") increases rates of sales by allowing the licensee of the method to fully describe anything, be it an object or an action. This also allows for more persuasive sales pitches! These "Verbs" are the most important part of our method, and should be considered our Intellectual Property. Being that our sales plan relies on this Intellectual Property, all uses not licensed by we, the inventors, are prohibited. Prosecutors will be Violated :)

    Yes. It's a patent on verbs.
  • I did a Slackware floppy install using nothing but AOL trial disks! This was, of course, back in the day before they started sending out CDs (and now in wasteful DVD-like packaging, too) and I was more than thrilled to actually find a use for all them lil' floppies.

    Gone are those days, gone gone gone...
  • Looks like it's time to update my OpenBSD boxes... well, I still think they do a damn fine job over at OpenBSD.org. And, I'd like to emphasize, I'm a bit more concerned about a remote intrusion than, say, one of my cats [dragonflydynamix.com] 'sploiting chpass to get to my root account. heh.
  • Did you know...

    that the original Pyramid scheme (yes, by our friend, Mister Ponzi) was formed using International Reply Coupons? Yes, how incredibly pathetic, but right before the roaring 20's, they were a commodity.

  • lease correct me if I'm wrong (and I have a sneaking suspicion that I am... I hate to think that the system is even more screwy than I thought), but the company isn't free to just print up as many shares as they wish, they have a limited supply. At some point they run out, and either have to buy back stock or stop paying employees in stock options.

    You really should have read the Motley fool article. I had a sneaking suspicion that you indeed did not.

    Yes, you can come up with a scheme that does both, prevents employees from cashing in on their options until the stock reaches a certain price, and generates new stock certificates for those that do have options yet to be exercised. In fact I suspect MS does have such a price-control system on their options as a stop gap measure, should the stock never rise again.

    Yes, Virginia, profit and loss statements are meaningless on a company balance sheet, at least to an investor. What investors look at is the cash flow, and whether or not it's positive or negative, basically summed up by the "Cash is KING" idea. Corporations will sometimes declare profits before the money has come in, which is reflected in the balance sheet, but meaningless in the bank account. MS has a huge cash flow coming in, which it also considers to be profit, and it is currently untaxed.

    At any rate, the point has been well made by others that plenty of taxes are being paid on those profits anyway. How many times do you think a corporation's profit should be taxed, anyway?

    ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGH!!! YOU IDIOT! YOU COMPLETELY MISSED THE POINT!!! MS DOESN'T PAY ANY TAXES!!!!

    Okay, I'm sorry for calling you an Idiot. But that was the whole point. MS should be taxed only once, which is is once more the value that they are being taxed currently.
  • Looks like Boo.com is still good a getting rid of cash quickly - the homepage currently offers the chance to win $1000 spending money!

    Though i guess the old boo would have added a few zeros to that just to keep the cash burn rate up!

  • Precisely. In fact, it sort of reminds me of the time I spent in Lima, Peru in the late 80's. Every time the government needed to pay their employees they would simply fire up the printing presses. The money they printed was beautiful, but inflation that this caused was absolutely astounding. The Inti went from 72 to the dollar to millions to the dollar in the space of two years.

    Microsoft has been so important to the American economy, and investors have been so positive that Microsoft stock would continue to rise, that they have failed to realize the games that Microsoft is playing. Unfortunately when Microsoft does come crashing down to earth it is going to affect us all very deeply. Many 401Ks and and mutual funds are invested heavily in Microsoft (which is why the price has always gone up). When (and hopefully if) Microsoft tanks it's going to take the entire economy along with it.

  • by sulli ( 195030 ) on Tuesday October 10, 2000 @03:10PM (#716163) Journal
    They were really the classic Fucked Company [fuckedcompany.com] - the Edsel of e-tail. But why to bring them back - to sell shit to geeks who still have money and a sense of irony? Or just to "reposition" a memorable name? Or to give us some well-needed Late Nineties nostalgia?

    Weird.

  • MS DOESN'T PAY ANY TAXES!!!!

    MS the corporate entity doesn't pay income tax (though it pays sales taxes and government fees and taxes for this, that, and the other thing... don't confuse "no income tax" with "no tax at all"). MS the co-operating group of workers pays income taxes, MS the group of shareholders pays capital gains taxes. Don't doubt that every dollar MS (the corporate entity) takes in ends up being taxed heavily on the way out, and if more wasn't going out than coming in, it'd be taxed on the way in, too.

    If MS the corporate entity paid taxes, MS the group of shareholders would be taxed twice.

    Yes, I think you're an idiot, too, for not recognizing the simple difference between a free citizen who spends their money however they please and a corporate entity which exists only to hand over its profits to its shareholders. What you're insisting is analagous to demanding that a vending machine should pay income tax for every quarter that goes into it, even though the owner of the machine must pay income tax on that same income.

    --------
  • by dizee ( 143832 ) on Tuesday October 10, 2000 @03:11PM (#716165) Homepage
    Definitely slackware.

    Slackware has an appeal to me. Maybe it's the fact that it doesn't have a curses or X-based install, maybe I find pleasure in installing it on a laptop that has only a floppy drive so I have to use 25 disks. Maybe I like having to do it all myself instead of having to press 4 buttons and it be installed, security holes and all. Maybe I don't like package managers. Maybe I like to know where all of my stuff is on my system. Maybe I'm stubborn. Maybe I like to take pride in knowing how it all works.

    The interesting part is that I like(d) to use Linux because it was difficult, it wasn't point and click. It was an adventure. Tackling some goal that I wanted to achieve with Linux was FUN. I came out of each one with a mastery over it. I figured out how it ticked! I know how it works. And I took pride in it. RedHat's taken a lot of that away from me.

    Slackware is my distro of choice. I'm through with RedHat.

    Mike

    "I would kill everyone in this room for a drop of sweet beer."
  • ok, im going to correct myself on this one before somebody else does. as i said in the original post, i don't know everything about the stock market.

    apparently it is possible for companies to continually create new stocks when they need them, as long as they are make it clear that this is their policy. (i think, i may still be missing something.)

    however, my original point still remains, which is this: saying that printing up more shares of stock costs microsoft nothing more than the cost of the paper that they are printed on and the toner cartridges to print them is completely not true.
  • i don't know what the original comment was. i didn't read it. what i read was timothy's synopsis of the comment which stated that microsoft redeeming employees stock options costs them nothing more than the cost of the paper they are printed on and the toner cartridge to print them. and his claim that this comment was underrated. and both of those are completely untrue. and that's what my comment was attempting to state.

    i just used a lot of words to say it so i'd have a better chance to get modded up....
  • When I was a young lad (12), I attempted to do an all floppy install of Slackware. At that time I really didn't understand the idea of deferred gratification so I think I stopped very close to the end because I was getting tired of changing disks. RedHat is for _losers_ like me who like Linux but also like pretty pretty pictures and what not. And the prize is sweeter if it is quick and easy to install and doesn't force me to make any decisions that are very system critical.
  • Amen! It's called dillution people. Look it up. I can assure you anyone who's worked at a pre-ipo company is familiar with it. You look at a clueless new hire and think for THIS guy my options are worth less?
    ---
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Arent we all 'leeto skeeto w/ our slackware - puts us all in another league ehhh m'fers. Are't we just the tops.
  • This is useful knowledge. I'll have to take this info with me to show off at my next ebonics night class.
  • It does a great job of clarifying the sfgate article yesterday. You see, Microsoft exercises it's stock options by printing more stock certificates. So they really only lose the cost of the paper and toner to print the stock, and they gain the money from the employees who exercise the options.

    ummm... excuse me? perhaps this comment was underrated because IT WAS PULLED STRAIGHT OUT OF SOMEONE's ASS!!!

    no company, not even microsoft, can just print up more stock cirtificates when they need them. that's like asking why the united states government doesn't pay off it's national debt by printing more hundred dollar bills (aside from the fact that it would take a lot of hundred dollar bills)

    every company that gives away stock options has a limited size pool of options that they issue from. if for some reason they need to create more stocks, they have to take away from the existing value of all the existing stock (ever wonder what a stock split is all about?)

    anyway, the only thing that gives a stock cirtificate any value is the fact that it represents partial ownership of the company. if a company could just print up stock cirtificates at whim, they would be worthless. (insert obComment about m$ stock being worthless anyway here...)

    anyway, i don't know everything about stocks and the stock market, in fact i would say i don't even know a lot. but i know enough to realize that this statement is completely bs, and i'm a little surprized at rob & co for giving it credibility. i would have thought they would have known better.
  • This still might result in more tax for the government.

    Say the original value of the company is $100. When you do things like share-splits, it doesnt change the value of the company - its just more shares for the same amount of value. (You can cut a pie to tiny pieces, but the sum is still a pie)

    In this case, since the share are going to employees, there is a shift in the distribution of wealth from normal shareholders (mums and dads say) to the employees.

    So instead of the M$ employees owning say 10% of the value, they might now own 20% of the value.
    Since I would imagine M$ employees earn above the average salary, the would pay more in tax than the other stock holders.

    (im using arbitary numbers, and also assuming that the capital gains tax is somehow linked to marginal rate of tax in the US, im in AUS so can someone fix that bit up)

    Cam
  • Pretty good job getting your cat to sit on your shoulder, even if it didn't look at the camera. Mine just sit on the keyboard and my papers, and dig in when I try to move them. Shoulder would be a big improvement.

  • I urge all of you to hedge your MS stock exposure with the appropriate investments which will become invaluable after the crash:
    - shotgun shells
    - canned food

    BTW, thanks y'all for correcting me. I read the Motley Fool article, but I thought they were being deliberately misleading to make a more sensational story. I still think it is a bit misleading in the way they present MS as an entirely seperate being who is somehow maliciously cheating both the employees and the shareholders (not to mention the gov't and its customers, while unfairly attacking the industry through monopolistic articles). If they attacked Bill G. specifically, I might have agreed with them. He's the one who profited most, screwed everyone along the way, and set it up the way it is. But just blaming it all on this fictional independent MS boogeyman confuses the issue.

    --------
  • It is not a reasonable approximation of monetary/banking system

    You're right, I've got it completely backwards on that one. The switch to bank-issued fiat money was a simple case of government coercion, bank fraud, and mass delusion.

    There is no underlying game which explains it, or even helps illustrate it, because its survival or crash is inextricably connected to the real world of productivity, believe in the value of a dollar, and continual government intervention.

    --------
  • You dislike the process of verbing nouns? I don't think its really a marketing creation, its a natural function of the english language. Many people do it. Pretty much any time that a group does certain actions involving a particular object (or anything else that a noun describes) the noun often becomes a verb for that group. Think 'dicing' or 'gaming' as two easy non-marketing examples.
  • Actually, you're quite wrong - all it takes to issue more stock certificates is a vote at the board of directors meeting.

    The only reason that they HAVEN'T diluted the hell out of the value of their company is because greed-blinded investors keep grabbing as many shares as the laser copiers can churn out, at almost any price/share, so the growth in capitalization of the company has been keeping up with the dilution of the stock.
  • I already made the argument about what you now just said 3 posts or so ago. Go back up and look.

    If MS the corporate entity paid taxes, MS the group of shareholders would be taxed twice.

    You idiot. The law says that corporations can be taxed. I wasn't debating your legal wish list here. I was debating whether or not a loophole should be closed or not.

    I just realized you don't know the topic of debate. It's time to stop.
  • I've never actually heard of "dicing" involving the plural noun for randomness cubes (though I have heard it in reducing vegetables to similar cubes). And I would argue "gaming" pretty much has sprung up as a marketing term; I didn't really hear it used before the early 90s and the advent of highly profitable computer games (and "gamers" as a target market, whoever they're actually supposed to be). And I even played AD&D in the 80s (which is exactly how we said it then, dammit ;). My reply was of course slightly flippant; I don't oppose the evolution of the language, and in fact I enjoy participating in it myself. I do particularly dislike the three terms I included ("leverage", "interface", and the godawful "transition"). I think the real reasons have more to do with the intentional vagueness of the terms as employed by marketeers, and the way that sort of verbification seems to spring from mere laziness instead of directed creativity. Hackerspeak frequently produces new verbs that are interesting, specific, and appropriate (as mentioned in the Jargon file), while marketspeak spews them out bland, vague, and unnecessary. Hmm. It is the latter process that should be patented and then ruthlessly policed for infringing use, of course. ;)
  • Stupid HTML Formatted default.

    I've never actually heard of "dicing" involving the plural noun for randomness cubes (though I have heard it in reducing vegetables to similar cubes). And I would argue "gaming" pretty much has sprung up as a marketing term; I didn't really hear it used before the early 90s and the advent of highly profitable computer games (and "gamers" as a target market, whoever they're actually supposed to be). And I even played AD&D in the 80s (which is exactly how we said it then, dammit ;).

    My reply was of course slightly flippant; I don't oppose the evolution of the language, and in fact I enjoy participating in it myself. I do particularly dislike the three terms I included ("leverage", "interface", and the godawful "transition"). I think the real reasons have more to do with the intentional vagueness of the terms as employed by marketeers, and the way that sort of verbification seems to spring from mere laziness instead of directed creativity. Hackerspeak frequently produces new verbs that are interesting, specific, and appropriate (as mentioned in the Jargon file), while marketspeak spews them out bland, vague, and unnecessary. Hmm.

    It is the latter process that should be patented and then ruthlessly policed for infringing use, of course. ;)
  • Well, I think you may be right about gaming being a product of marketoids, I really don't remember what we called it when I was twelve (back in the 80's, technically). But I do know that my friends and I talked about the verbing of nouns years ago, when I was maybe 15. We noticed it going on around us and realised that we were doing it too. That's probably the main reason it doesn't bother me. (Not that marketoid and other empty suits don't bug me with their speech, I just dislike it because they never say anyhting. Rather like politicians that way, I suppose.)
  • Fah, I doubt that the end of the world is around the corner. On the other hand, who would have guessed that the great depression was right around the corner from the roaring 20's.

    However, you missed the point of the Motley Fool's article. Microsoft is not cheating, nor are their employees. The problem is that it is reckless. They are literally betting the farm on their stock price going up, and at the same time they are fueling it's devaluation.

    The Motley fool is simply pointing out a very important truth. A company with the size and power of Microsoft should be a sure bet investment for stable and solid growth. Heck, Microsoft is on the DOW for crying out loud. Investors trust Microsoft, and they assume that their investments are safe for the future. And yet, despite all of this Microsoft continues to play the stock market game like they were a startup ramping up for an IPO. The blame should be laid with the entire board of directors (and the accountants in particular), hence the Motley fool blames "Microsoft" and not Bill Gates.

    This is not to say that Microsoft might not be a smart investment right now. I would bet that they have a few more runs left in them, and the average investor (the ones that bought Amazon during the e-business craze) still feel that Microsoft is a blue chip stock.

    You just have to make sure you are not holding the bag when the sky comes falling down.

  • about time! How long does a guy have to wait these days? He invented the darned thing back in the late 50's. It's been at least 40 years. Were they going to wait until he died? I guess they did for Robert Noyce (one of the founders of Intel) who was the other co-inventor of the microchip except that Noyce figured out how to wire the IC whereas Kilby figured out how to create lumped-parameter components out of silicon by connecting them with tiny tiny wires made of gold.
  • Not only that, its a shitty poem!

    -b

  • ...is studied in good detail in Joseph Bulgati's Ponzi Schemes, Invaders from Mars, and More Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, a sequel to the 1841 Charles Mackay classic. It's good reading, and you'll get lots of analogies to current news and trends. Oh, and you can find a reprint of the Mackay book in remainders at B&N!

  • how i wish i was a moderator right now. that's probably the best explanation of the stock market i've ever heard...
  • "Three years without a remote hole in the default install"

    The site has said that for months. Why did that submission get posted?
  • I can't claim to have been using Slackware long enough to have done an install with floppies. And I personally feel that the data life of information stored on floppies is something along the lines of "Okay, milk, flour, eggs, butter, cheese, and crackers. And don't forget the coupons." so I wouldn't trust them as far as I could throw them... I do however love using Slackware. Started out with Redhat, moved on to Suse 'cause I knew there had to be something else out there. Then discovered FreeBSD(like this much, but it doesn't like my GeForce.) And then finally, about six months ago, discovered Slackware. Shares many of the same things I like about FreeBSD(as opposed to Suse, all menus are in English!) and quite simply, package tools kick the hell out of rpm. I can thank Slashdot readers for pointing this distro out to me too. For as long as I have a choice, it'll be Slackware. (Forget this one Linux distro crap!)
  • by Lostman ( 172654 ) on Tuesday October 10, 2000 @05:01PM (#716190)
    Pardon me for pointing this out, but the posted comment did not say that. It pointed out how microsoft made 5 billion in stock and only 2.8 million in writing software.

    And then it pointed to Fool.com (where the information was found at).

    Check it out for yourself: http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=00/10/09/22262 09&cid=95
  • Of course, that does ignore the fact that you might get some other funds (i.e dividends) while you hold the penny. So not really the case at all.
  • The stock market makes sense when the primary mode of shareholder profit is dividends.

    Too bad they stopped doing that due to income tax being greater than capital gains tax.

    --------
  • Here [sacbee.com] is Dave Barry's scheme to revamp social security.
  • by rho ( 6063 ) on Tuesday October 10, 2000 @05:22PM (#716195) Homepage Journal

    ... resizes your browser window. So, I'm assuming it's a pr0n site, having never visited the thing before today.

    Ye Gods and little fishes -- there ought to be a death penalty instigated against web sites that resize your browser window.

    Look, people I like my browser windows just how they are. If you screw with them, I'll fix what you fungled and leave, never to return.

    Not knowing anything about Boo, I can still say with 100% conviction why they haven't made it. Their home page (as of now, which indicates to me that they've always been like this) is a giant image. This means that it barely gets indexed by search engines. That means nobody's gonna find it.

    Good riddance, IMO.

  • Would you care to correct me? Or will you just remain a worthless, pathetic Troll?
  • Well, you use the IRC for return postage outside of your country. Therefore, the recipient can obtain proper postage for a reply message/package. There, is that about it?
  • Correct me if I'm wrong here, but that's how basically *ALL* companies deal with stock options.

    THe only thing that differs is whether or not the directors permit the company to do so in this manner. This is something *completely* up to them.

    I know at one company, it used to be they had to pre-set the # of options set aside for option plans in an 'opton plan for year xxxx' or whatever.
    Now, they have the leverage to do so whenever they want (provided they follow the option plan outlined to the SEC).

    How MS doing this is something bad, I'm not sure I understand. How they deal with their employee stock options is public knowledge for any potential investor, and to any employee. What's wrong with that?

    Also... handing out new shares instead of setting them aside ahead of time is merely a bookkeeping issue. Yes, they dilute the stock by doing so, but given the # of shares outstanding, is it really a big deal?

  • This is real simple, they lose equity in their company. It ammounts to the existing stockholders deciding to share some of the value of the company with the employees who then cash in the options. When that happens the original stock holders equity is diluted and the own less of a share of the company. There is no money bening magically created here as the articles claim. Ownership is being transferred and capital gains tax is being paid.
  • ? Employees exercising stock optionns incurr a taxable benefit.. and...
    Microsoft printing it's own stock certificates instead of using already-set aside stock should be no problem provided it was previously disclosed that this is how it worked. What's the issue?
  • by mindstrm ( 20013 ) on Tuesday October 10, 2000 @07:22PM (#716201)
    Okay. BAD REPORTER! BAD SLASHDOT!

    I know we hate MS.. but that summary of the fool.com article is *WAY* out of context.

    It's not that 'ms simply prints certificates to exercise options'....

    THe quote is that 'rather than pay out cash, all MS has to do is have the BOARD OF DIRECTORS VOTE to issue stock certificates for the options.'

    This is how *ALL STOCK OPTIONS EVERYWHERE* work. ALL OF THEM.

    Also.. the talk of 'put warrants'. These are otherwise known as 'options', as in, options trading. Check out cboe.org (chicago bond & option exchange?). LOTS and LOTS of big companies are listed there and do the same thing.

    The context of the fool article is that half of MS income statement can be accounted for on common stock alone, and that it really doesn't reflect their sale of product accurately at all, due to several reasons.

    1) Employees are largely paid in options. The benefit to their financial statement here is that the wages they paid out (an incurred expense of business) is significantly less than you would expect, because options issued are not recorded as expenditures.
    Employees receive no real benefit here; they are still taxed as if they were paid cash. Read the fool article for details (or learn about employee stock options).

    2) Wages paid to employees is tax deductible for Microsoft. By giving them options valued at $xxx, they get the benefit of the tax deduction, without reducing their cash flow, becuase the employees were really paid in options.

    3) In fact, on the books, the options actually caused INCOME to come into Microsoft, as employees had to buy them.

    Now.. please note. This article is NOT trying to say that Microsoft is cheating on it's taxes, ripping off it's employees, or anything like that.
    It's simply pointing out (like the fool always does) that, if you are trying to valuate microsoft and their earnings, as an INVESTOR, you should realize that a *large* part of what they claim as income is coming from their own common stock, and not the products they are selling. Coming by way of tax benefits offset by not spending 'real' money for employee compensation.

    BTW... a smaller company can't do this as well, becuase the dilution of their stock from issuing more shares has a much larger impact on the stock value, and paying their employees large percentages of their salaries in options woudl drive the stock price continually downard, defeating the purpose. This only works as long as the company stock value keeps rising. (as long as it's rising, investors don't much care if it's diluted.. as long as it still rises... kind of fucked, eh?)

  • you should try BSD. just maybe.

    willis/
  • cboe.com that is.
  • But, the thing is, employees are no different than mom & pop Farmer who own stock. The fact that the shareholderes are employees has nothing to do with the value of the company.

    And from an employees POV, exercised options either ammount to capital gains (US?) or a taxable benefit based on the fair market value of the stock on the exercise date (Canada)

  • Nobel prizes for "practical" applications is highly subjective. When does a Nobel worthy award become recognized as being significant by ppl such as those that submit such a story?

    Nobel prizes for physics have been given for: wireless telegraph, automatic lighthouses, transitors, maser (precurser to lasers), transistor, high-temp superconductors, wireless wireless telegraphs, bubble chambers, cyclotrons, discovery of argon, x-rays, microscopy (tunneling and optical), color photography, etc...

    What do you think? The Nobel Prize for physics is only given for those that come up with a new version of F=ma?

    Extra point question: Einstein recieve his Nobel prize for something related to Planck's constant. Question: How does one measure Planck's contant? Physics majors should not respond. This question is for CS majors.

  • i do believe that 'supposed' would be a Verb(tm).

    Better call your lawyers.
  • The real issue was that Microsoft was making money off of employees exercising their options. One of the arguments for the stock-option deduction was that Microsoft was actually losing money and therefore should get a tax write-off. As the Fool article shows this simply wasn't true.

    So not only did MS gain money off the tax loophole, they didn't pay taxes on it either.

    Of course, analogies are imperfect, and yours is too. While the basic mechanics are right, Microsoft acts more as a middle man, keeping the cash it has acquired. When the Microsoft stock bubble bursts, MS loses money only on the value of the market value of the stock it owns, not on the cash it has acquired from the employees. The 5 billion remains in the bank untouched and untaxed.

    So the only real question is, if the government closed the tax loophole, would MS stop giving stock options? Of course they wouldn't. They are relying on it as a major revenue stream.

    To recap, Microsoft plays the shareholders amongst themselves. A price of a stock certificate is just merely the price determined by market forces, which may or may not actually represent the value of the company. And third, Microsoft has figured out a way to create a self-sustaining market bubble as a major revenue stream and tax shelter, as long as investors are willing to invest in them.

    So I say tax 'em.
  • i am very aware of that fact.

    however the point remains that in doing so they devalue all of the shares that already exist. the company in question has a finite worth, and each stock available for that company represents a percentage of that worth. in this case, fortunately for microsoft, they have a fairly large worth. however the point remains that every new stock cirtificate they issue devalues all of the existing stock by some amount. So while a company can indeed choose to increase the number of shares by a simple vote, (i never said they couldn't, by the way) the point is that the value of each certificate is inversely proportionate to the amount that are in existance (see somebody's previous post about key lime pie. you can only divide a pie in to so many pieces and still get anything of value out of it)

    oh, and by the way, everyone who has those shares has a say when the time comes to take that simple vote. that is what owning stock in a company means, after all. and there comes a point where those shareholders are going to vote against further devaluing the stock they already own. anybody in any company who goes about assuming they can automatically increase the number of shares outstanding whenever they need more to give out is going to find himself in a really bad position after a while...
  • I'm using a Debian system, after trying to get BrowseX going, it seems that Netscape is actually has a smaller footprint than this "lightweight" browser. by running both browser on the same page (/.) and toping it, netscape used a combined of 7% or so of my memory, while BrowseX took up 12%. The performance isn't great either, loading /. with Netscape is way faster than BrowseX, and the fact of lacking JavaScript or Java just drive me nuts, can you tell me that any big pages out there that doesn't use a bit of javascript? One thing that I need to ask the author of the project, why bother trying to write a "lightweight" browser with an interpreted language? Although it's portable, it's not lightweight. One should write a lightweight browser from assembly, not an interpreted language. I'm disappointed on it's performance and the resource management.
  • Oh man you're right.

    I've been running KDE2 snapshots (after I got bored of the CVSup, compile, repeat process) as well as Mozilla nightlies. I always figured that KDE2 would be my environment and Mozilla my browser/mail client. I tried Konqueror each time, and thought it wouldn't compare to Mozilla.

    Boy was I wrong. I installed the latest Beta. Konqueror searched my system for Netscape plugins and automatically used them. Flash works great. Konqueror loads extremely fast and doesn't crash nearly as much. I haven't ran Netscape or Mozilla in weeks.

    KMail is great, too. It finally has GPG support, so I'm using it for work email now. I no longer need to copy and paste between Netscape and TKPGP (It's still useful for encrypting passwords). Attachments are easy to view as well, which is why I've used Netscape for so long.
  • You probably thinking of this:

    http://web.shorty.com/geeks/96/dec/msg00005.html

    (first link that came up, there are many more)

    Okay, so I'm responding to an AC who posted a slobbering adultation of one of slashdot's resident trolls over a commonly known piece of online poetry. I have definitely sunk to a new low here...
    --
    Michael Sims-michael at slashdot.org
  • I just told someone about the bragging on OpenBSD.org to convince them that OSS operating systems aren't necessarily less secure than, say, Windows NT (control your laughter, please). Still, three years? Isn't it something like two years without a localhost hole? That's better than my linux machine can do.

    You know that's gotta sting for Theo.

    I do not belong in the spam.redirect.de domain.

  • Thanks for that heads-up, I missed that part. I wasn't exactly sure what the sentence was supposed to mean... I assumed something like "Nero's Leet Script Kiddies Established Here".

    Serves me right for not knowing Latin. :P

    -- Fester
  • ...cope with the tag soup of its own site design.

    Look at the source retrieved from http://browsex.com/
    and ask me how it is anywhere close to being
    standards compliant or even sound syntactically.

    Example- Here is how the retrieved doc opens:

    <TABLE> <TR>
    <TD width=123> <DIV align=left> <IMG SRC= linux.gif ></IMG></DIV></TD>
    <TD> <CENTER> <IMG SRC=browsexb.gif alt="BrowseX"></IMG></CENTER></TD>
    <TD width=123><DIV align=right> <IMG SRC= logo64.gif ></IMG></DIV></TD>
    </TR></TABLE>
    <BODY BGCOLOR="#FFFFFF" LINK="#066e28" >

    Then again, if it *can* cope with coding
    like this, I'm sure it could handle anything.
  • Extra point question: Einstein recieve his Nobel prize for something related to Planck's constant. Question: How does one measure Planck's contant? Physics majors should not respond. This question is for CS majors.

    First off, the disclaimer: I am a collage dropout
    with 20 credit hours over 3 semesters to my name.
    Combined agregate GPA 1.02. (And they're all
    nearly 20 years old.)

    Q: How would I measure Planck's contant?

    A: With a tape measure! Just like I would for a two-by-four.
    <GDaR>

    ---
  • > Ownership is being transferred and capital gains tax is being paid.

    Right. What I'm still trying to figure out is why in the process of this transfer of ownership, the company gets to write off billions in taxes? Why does the transfer of ownership mean that a company with huge net revenues can pay no taxes?

    I understand that taxing profit after expenses (such as employee wages) makes sense. And effectively whether a company pays employees wages or gives them options, the owners of the company are losing equity (either straight from the company's cash coffers or in diluted ownership), and thus either one should not imbue a tax penalty. However when my holdings in a company get diluted, and the shares lose value (effectively or absolutely), and the owners get a tax break, right? So here we have two tax breaks taking place.

    Something's missing in my picture here. I still don't feel comfortable with stock options alowing a company with such huge net profits to pay no taxes.

    Perhaps it could make sense if it means that effectively the company has no revenue, as the gain in tax savings for the company/owners is offset by the dillution of the ownership... which is sort of the implication of the fool article I guess.

    Maybe it's the completely underhanded manner of getting current owners to effectively fund the company's expenses without actually telling them so, that's continuing to make me uneasy. That's got to be it. I mean, if a company is taking in billions in revenue and yet paying no taxes, it means that *somebody* is getting screwed :)

  • get someone to explain the time-value of money to you

    I understand it perfectly well, but such concepts only have relevance when there is some basic means of extracting the stored value.

    With dividends, the profits of the company are put directly into the hands of the shareholders. The stock price can be justified by comparing it to current dividends and projected future dividends, which have a rock-solid base on the company's profits.

    Without dividends, the only direct means of extracting money from a company is by breaking it down and liquidating its assets, which consistently will get only a small fraction of the company's true worth. So there really isn't any future redemption or withdrawal of invested capital, just the future chance of reselling the stock on the rootless market.

    Cut loose from the foundation of dividends, stock market values float freely (until they happen to dip below liquidation cost and the corporate raiders hit).

    As for my crack about the monetary/banking system, that was about the sad fiat money situation. Our money isn't worth anything, and is supported purely by irrational belief in its value.

    Usury (in the original sense of "charge for use", I find this term clearer and more descriptive than the euphemism "interest") is entirely sensible and fair: with commodity money (such as gold) it is practically indistinguishable from renting. However, fractional reserve "banking" is a fraud, and non-redeemable banknotes an absolutely absurd fraud.

    I know that these things originally were based on the time-value of real money and that banknotes once were warehouse chits for stored precious metals, but the foundation of these systems has been cut away, and they now function as tokens in absurd, senseless games. Only the fact that the vast majority of the population either doesn't know this or finds it so distasteful that they ignore it, allows them to continue to serve the functions they did with their foundations intact. Even so, the small class which really understands the nature of modern money, and profits by playing games with it, can cause terrible damage to the people who don't understand it.

    Utterly baseless money is part of the reason that whole countries can just fall apart economically like Russia did. Gold and silver coins might lose half of their value over 10 years, but they never just drop to 1% of their value in a few months like non-redeemable fiat money can. All the industrial wealth and human resources of this superpower were basically intact, but no economic mechanisms to exploit these resources could be formed without a stable currency.

    The same thing could happen to any of us who can't give a reason for wanting money other than that other people want it. The market would just have to turn on your country (or collapse into itself, which it can do quite spontaneously, and screw everyone) for a little while to make you and your countrymen into pathetic beggars.

    --------
  • Has anybody noticed an ad here at slashdot about a testing suite for web applications?

    I think many of you have noticed it, because it seems seriously slashdotted.

    Ironic enough, their application tests workloads also.

    Not that I want to worsen the slashdot effect, but a link is always necesary http://www.rswsoftwa re. com/products/etest-suite_index.shtml [rswsoftware.com]

    Fh

  • Search engine isn't particularly broken..but you probably want the vulnerability DB anyway:

    A HREF="http://securityfocus.com/vdb/middle.html?ven dor=OpenBSD&title=&version=any&g t; http://securityfocus.com/vdb/middle.html?vendor=Op enBSD&title=&version=any/A&g t;
  • MS as a seperate entity from both employees and shareholders? Absurd!

    Everyone involved is one or both of these things.

    The shareholders are playing the silly game, and the employees are taking a slice here and there from the game as part of their salary.

    I don't see anything wrong with the tax deduction, but I'm pretty shocked that they are allowed to report huge profits when they're clearly losing money between profit and expense.

    I feel no sympathy for either the employees (who are well-paid by any measure) or the investors (who should know better).

    The really brutal part here is that because of the way the monetary system is structured, this could go on forever, and instead of the money ultimately coming from the poor suckers caught in the crash (who chose to take their risk of their own free will), it could come from everyone in the form of inflation (and possibly higher taxes due to government bail-outs). Understanding why is left as an exercise to the reader (hint: first find out how the supply of money can be increased).

    --------
  • Actually, I think you could easily patent the innovative use of nouns as marketing verbs that's been increasingly occurring in recent years. You could also trademark the process as "nerbs" or "vouns" or something for that cachet of legitimacy. But mostly you could charge impossible rates to licence this special linguistic butchering process, so I wouldn't have to read about marketeers leveraging the language to interface with the transitioning of my tastes or whatever the hell it is they're after...

    Prior art might be a problem...but this stuff isn't exactly art.
  • This is infinitly more useful:
    "Device for perfusing an animal head" [delphion.com]

    Just think, your pet hamster could live forever and impart knowledge to future generations!!

    -----------
  • ahh, thanks all. Heh, had me puzzled.
  • by e-gold ( 36755 ) <jray@NosPAm.martincam.com> on Tuesday October 10, 2000 @03:17PM (#716229) Homepage Journal
    Is here [mark-knutson.com]. This guy really looked into Ponzi, and his site is the best I've found for explaining what a Ponzi scheme is in detail.

    Of course, compared to many offers on the web today, Ponzi's supposed rate of return was downright conservative, but you can tell that Charles Ponzi would have LOVED the web. People are stupider these days, I guess...
    JMR

  • there have actually been several local root exploits beside chpass recently (all but one were string format related). A few weeks ago, the site read "Only one local root exploit in the past 2 years." SecurityFocus.com's search engine seems dead, so i can't find the exact Bugtraq posts (i clean out my bugtraq file every week or so). But this is nothing new...

  • "So they really only lose the cost of the paper and toner to print the stock, and they gain the money from the employees who exercise the options."

    If I have a key lime pie I really want to eat and I decide to divide it between me and 5000 other people instead of just me and 5 other people, I've lost more than just the work that went into cutting the pie. I've lost key lime pie.

  • There is a show on The History Channel about the original Ponzi scheme and it's awesome. He basically went from being flat broke to being insanely rich in a matter of months (Hi Rob). After he got too much attention, some smart news reporter published the fact that Ponzi would need to be buying several times as many International Reply Coupons as had really been printed.

    -B
  • by BoxedFlame ( 231097 ) on Tuesday October 10, 2000 @03:25PM (#716233) Homepage
    http://www.upside.com/texis/mvm/story?id=39dceffe0 [upside.com] is the correct link to the article about openBSD
  • Guess what -- Any company can choose to increase the number of shares outstanding but taking a simple vote at a board meeting. The shares aren't actually "printed" but they sure as hell are authorized, and yes, you CAN do that. James
  • if MS clearly had a loss, it's not reflected on the balance sheets, nor in the cash on hand, nor in the price of the stock.

    It's reflected in the balance sheets they use for tax purposes. The gov't considers it a loss (which is why they don't pay taxes), and I think they're right.

    Perhaps I misunderstand the situation, I'm no expert on the details of publically traded corporations. I believe that there are a certain fixed number of stock shares for a company. I find it a little odd that the company can own some of those shares itself, but it apparently can (and this increases the inherent value of all other shares, as each includes ownership of a portion of the company-held shares; but then, all company property contributes to the inherent value of all shares... but what if it bought all the shares? would it just disappear into its own navel? I'll have to look into it some more and see how such absurdities are avoided).

    The company could sell these shares to anyone, presumably at near current market value. So when employees exercise their stock options, the company takes a loss roughly equal to the difference between the price the employee pays and the current market value of the shares. Yes, they gain a little cash, but they lose shares of greater value.

    Please correct me if I'm wrong (and I have a sneaking suspicion that I am... I hate to think that the system is even more screwy than I thought), but the company isn't free to just print up as many shares as they wish, they have a limited supply. At some point they run out, and either have to buy back stock or stop paying employees in stock options.

    However, even if they can just print up stock, it doesn't change things much. In a rational system, printing up more stock directly reduces the value of all existing stock. If you make the assumption that the system isn't rational (despite the fact that you're probably right), then no calculations about value, profit, or loss are meaningful. You can hardly expect the IRS to just say "Aw, screw it! The whole system is fucked up, you guys are a big company, and your stock price is going up, so you must be profitable and we're taking a chunk of what your stock price went up by."

    I think the characterization in that article of MS somehow simultaneously scamming the IRS, the employees, and the shareholders alike is very misleading. MS may be a legal entity, but it doesn't have a truly independent existence. From different points of view, MS is a co-operating group of workers, a shareholder-owned engine of profit, and even a branch of the government. The three split up MS's income between them.

    I can see the idea of early shareholders screwing later shareholders, but that's about it.

    At any rate, the point has been well made by others that plenty of taxes are being paid on those profits anyway. How many times do you think a corporation's profit should be taxed, anyway?

    --------
  • The reason for this is that they don't CARE if you or I or any weirdo geek Linux user doesn't accept a browser re-size, or has Javascript turned off, or are using a non-NS/IE browser.(I actually got bounced from a site last week "your browser doesn't appear to support Flash! Better upgrade to IE5" when using mozilla :) They don't care if they're not listed on a search engine. 99% of their audience are supposed to be pulled in by advertising, mostly posters (cheap!). Who goes to a search engine & searches for "buy clothes online" FFS? The theory is that once J.Random Normal-Person has scribbled the URL on their hand, and used the site once, they're hooked & will bookmark it and only use them in future.

    I know it's lame, you know it's lame, but they just don't care.

    Shameless plug: lame dotcoms [demon.co.uk] only heard of through advertising on TV/posters in London, UK.

  • I believe that there are a certain fixed number of stock shares for a company.

    I used to think this was true as well. It's not. Microsoft can print up as many new shares as they want. All it takes is a rubber stamp approval from the board of directors. In fact, Microsoft "manufactured" $10 billion dollars worth of shares in 1999 and only bought back $3 billion dollars worth.

    And that is why Microsoft's actions are so dangerous. They are literally betting the farm on the fact that their stock is going to continue to rise. If it doesn't they lose their largest single source of income. If you really are interested I would take a look at the Fool's Report [fool.com] listed in the /. article. It explains the situation better than I could.

  • Let me elaborate a bit. Ponzi claimed he was buying up International Postal Reply coupons, and then having a confederate 'fence' them abroad. Their value was set by treaty, so a coupon worth 50 cents here could be exchanged for 70 cents of postage in France.

    Nobody could figure out how he was exchanging the coupons in Europe, but since he was paying his investors they couldn't really nab him. Well, until some Mr Smarty Pants realized that Ponzi was paying out more money (to an order of magnitude) than the entire crop of coupons issued in the previous year that is. He tried claiming that the postal coupon story was merely a cover to keep his real idea secret, but they already had his ass for fraud among other things..

  • From the link:

    > As far as I can tell, the single most lucrative product Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) sells is its own stock.
    ...
    So there you have it. $3.1 billion from a tax loophole, $1.3 billion from its employees, and $0.7 billion from put warrants combine to give Microsoft over $5 billion from its own stock in fiscal 1999. And it avoided paying $9 billion in wages. All that from a company that only had $7.8 billion in net income. And as long as the stock keeps going up, they can keep doing that ad infinitum.


    I don't keep particularly close attention to the stock market, but a casual eye on the CNN bottom-of-screen listings seems to indicate the MSFT has steadily fallen from the low 70's to the mid 50's over the last six months or so. And that vs, what, 110 or so another six months earlier? It looks like infinitum might get here sooner than expected.

    --
    Give me a candidate who speaks out against the war on drugs.
  • by seifried ( 12921 ) on Tuesday October 10, 2000 @03:36PM (#716253) Homepage

    OpenBSD has had remote holes, for example in their ftp server and the DHCP client, they however claim that since these are not turned on by default, they are "Secure by default". Realistically however most people using OpenBSD that need an ftp server were using the default one, and presto, they were vulnerable. Ditto for anyone using DHCP, which is extremely common on workstations, however the OpenBSD people argued that "no sane admin uses DHCP, it has to many security problems", while this is true to a degree (a "rogue" DHCP server can do quite a bit of damage) realistically unless you want to waste a lot of time configuring and maintaining network settings you use DHCP.

    OTOH OpenBSD does have by far the best track record when it comes to exploits in the core distro, I should know, I write a weekly Linux digest and a weekly BSD digest, the BSD one takes a lot less effort.

    BTW there is an all Linux security mailing list available now; Click here to sign up via the web form [securityportal.com]

    .
  • Hey, what happened to Khaos Linux? I thought they were planning to be the "OpenBSD of Linux". Their site has evaporated (www.khaos.org).
  • About a week ago.

    RedHat recently bought a company by the name of Wirespeed. Wirespeed does embedded stuff. They were based out of Huntsville. The story goes that Wirespeed was interested in several people from the base. They wanted them to move to Huntsville to join the team, but these individuals didn't want to move. Wirespeed asked what if they opened up an office in Tullahoma, and this team was all over the idea.

    So then RedHat bought out Wirespeed, and instead of a Wirespeed office here in town, it became a RedHat office here in town. They are doing embedded stuff. When I was there, one of the guys was working on Linux on an HP calculator. They are hiring.

    Mike



    "I would kill everyone in this room for a drop of sweet beer."
  • You're absolutely right. I've occasionally brought up the simple, extreme elegance of Slack here on Slashdot, but everyone seems too busy arguing about whether the latest version of tamagatchid is installed with the new Debian. Good to know there's more than one of us out there! Ross Vandegrift coolio@tmbg.org Journaling NOW, with SlackReiser: http://poplar.seitz.com/~ross/reiserfs/ "Let Slack into your heart and Hans Reiser into your Bank Account"
  • by dragonfly_blue ( 101697 ) on Tuesday October 10, 2000 @03:50PM (#716265) Homepage
    Hence the "in the default install" portion of the phrase...

    That said, I've been working with OpenBSD quite a bit, and kind of wondered about FTP myself, until some of the older members of the userbase pointed out that FTP should probably be abandoned in favor of SCP or SFTP. So, there certainly are alternatives...

    As for DHCP, I personally hate DHCP; I've never met a DHCP server that played well with others. Plus, as a control freak, it's far easier for me to go in and specify exactly what IP addresses I'd like a particular adapter to be using at any given time...

    There is no way of securing a system, if the administrator doesn't know not to install insecure packages, or at least lock them down. You got me there...but for what it is, OpenBSD is pretty tight.

Recent research has tended to show that the Abominable No-Man is being replaced by the Prohibitive Procrastinator. -- C.N. Parkinson

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