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Slashback

Slashback: Dilemma, Privacy, Chess 352

Slashback tonight with updates on Deep Fritz, the interaction of Microsoft service packs and privacy laws, and the view from the shuttle tank-cam, and a depressing update on the Nissan squatting case. Read on for the details.

Front-row seats. zer0vector writes "The previously mentioned camera that was attached to the external fuel tank on Atlantis gave some great shots of launch this afternoon on NASA TV. During the feed, it looked like the ejection of the solid rocket boosters damaged or obscured the camera, leading to a fuzzy image during the fuel tank separation stage."

SkyNet has not yet achieved consciousness. DrEnter writes "According to this Yahoo article, Vladimir Kramnik has defeated 'Deep Fritz' (apparently the world's most powerful chess computer) to take the lead, 2.5-0.5 (the first game was a draw). You can find out more details at the contest site."

Damned if you do, but also if you don't. cybaea writes "A recent article in InfoWorld argues that the latest Windows 2000 and Windows XP Service Packs may be illegal for health care providers under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. To make matters worse, not installing the Service Packs may also be illegal. Damned if you do, damned if you don't ..."

Dad, please switch to a real operating system. It's still spreading. deego writes " An e-mail-borne computer virus that lets crackers control infected Windoze machines remotely continues to spread and constitutes the most severe attack this year. The worm, known as W32.Bugbear, or I-Worm.Tanatos, infects computers that use Microsoft's Windows operating systems. It was first spotted a week ago and has spread to dozens of countries. Article here."

Please sit down first. calib0r writes "CNN.com is running an article on the most recent events dealing with the nissan.com lawsuit. Salon.com ran an article about this a few months ago. More information can also be found here."

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Slashback: Dilemma, Privacy, Chess

Comments Filter:
  • by Brento ( 26177 ) <brento@brentoCHEETAHzar.com minus cat> on Tuesday October 08, 2002 @07:03PM (#4413526) Homepage
    Just about EVERYTHING is illegal under HIPAA. I've never seen such ridiculously stringent specs. If you want a good laugh, check out www.hipaacomply.com [hipaacomply.com] and read through the technology FAQ's. Even faxing is restricted.
  • by Burritos ( 535298 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2002 @07:07PM (#4413548) Homepage
    How do I get privacy while playing chess on the internet while making sure I don't get the bugbear virus?
  • by LaDanserie ( 603476 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2002 @07:09PM (#4413554)
    Kramnik gets $1,000,000 if he wins, $800,000 if he draws, and $600,000 if he loses. I knew I wasn't spending all that time on Yahoo! Chess for nothing...
  • Chess (Score:4, Informative)

    by MutantEnemy ( 545783 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2002 @07:09PM (#4413555) Homepage
    It's laughable to say that Deep Fritz is the strongest computer programme - Deep Blue (that defeated Kasparov) evaluated 200 million positions per second compared to Deep Fritz's 3-4 million. Deep Blue was running on an IBM-made supercomputer. Fritz isn't.
    • Re:Chess (Score:5, Informative)

      by cbv ( 221379 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2002 @07:15PM (#4413583) Homepage
      Yea, that's why Fritz won the Computer Chess World Championship in 1995 against Deep Blue. SCNR.
    • Re:Chess (Score:4, Insightful)

      by MalleusEBHC ( 597600 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2002 @07:18PM (#4413597)
      First off, I believe Deep Fritz has beaten Deep Blue head to head.

      Second, the program and the computer it runs on are two different things even if they are closely tied together. In fact, I'm kinda surprised Deep Fritz doesn't run on a more powerful computer. I would imagine that if it scaled well to 8 processors they would at least be able to scale to 16 or 32.
    • Re:Chess (Score:5, Funny)

      by Zeinfeld ( 263942 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2002 @07:21PM (#4413611) Homepage
      It's laughable to say that Deep Fritz is the strongest computer programme - Deep Blue (that defeated Kasparov) evaluated 200 million positions per second compared to Deep Fritz's 3-4 million. Deep Blue was running on an IBM-made supercomputer. Fritz isn't.

      Deep Blue has been broken up and sold off in bits. It was not so much a computer as a temporary assembly of parts. So Deep Fritz would be the strongest living chess computer. After all we don't expect Kasparov to beat dead grandmasters.

      I think that it is time to introduce weight categories like they have in boxing. So neither competitor would be allowed to weigh more than 1000 pounds. Otherwise the game is a bit like watching an industrial robot beat the crap out of Mike Tyson, OK so it might be fun to watch but it is not real sport.

      • Re:Chess (Score:3, Funny)

        by FyRE666 ( 263011 )
        Otherwise the game is a bit like watching an industrial robot beat the crap out of Mike Tyson, OK so it might be fun to watch but it is not real sport.

        I think you'll find the robot's name was Lennox Lewis...
    • Re:Chess (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Jouster ( 144775 ) <slashdot@ a n gelfaq.com> on Tuesday October 08, 2002 @07:24PM (#4413629) Homepage Journal
      Deep Blue (that defeated Kasparov) evaluated 200 million positions per second compared to Deep Fritz's 3-4 million.
      Let's run with your comparison of computing power based solely on number of evaluated positions per move.

      If evaluating a chess position takes 150 units of processor time, and eliminating a position from consideration takes 1 unit of processor time, we shouldn't prune the decision tree at all! Never mind that as we get a little above a dozen moves into the future, we are considering (and tracking in some sort of memory) more moves than there are molecules in the universe. Posh! All that matters is the number of moves evaluated.

      Also:
      1. Kramnik defeated Kasparov.
      2. A supercomputer from ten years ago is compressed into a $2,000 box under my desk as I type this.

      Jouster
      • Results (Score:2, Interesting)

        by MutantEnemy ( 545783 )
        The real test of playing strength is results, of course. Although we have too small a sample size (for both chess computers) to be truly scientific, so far it looks like Deep Blue was stronger than Deep Fritz.
        • Re:Results (Score:2, Interesting)

          by buzzdecafe ( 583889 )
          A crucial difference in this match is that Kramnik was able to study Fritz's playing style beforehand. Kasparov was not afforded that opportunity in his match vs. Deep Blue. Also, Kramnik's positional style may be better suited to defeating a computer opponent than Kasparov's aggresive style. It's tough to write an algorithm that identifies positional advantages and disadvantages in any position and evaluate a plan based on that. Hell, it's hard for human beings to do that, that's what makes the greats so great.
    • Re:Chess (Score:3, Informative)

      by _LFTL_ ( 409654 )
      It's laughable to say that Deep Fritz is the strongest computer programme

      Hrmm... I guess you should be laughing at Kramnik then. From the article:

      "Deep Fritz is simply a stronger program than Deep Blue" - Vladimir Kramnik

    • Re:Chess (Score:5, Insightful)

      by damiam ( 409504 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2002 @09:17PM (#4414125)
      So? Kramnik can only evaluate three moves per second, and he's kicking Fritz's ass. Moves per second has very little to do with how good a player is.
  • by pVoid ( 607584 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2002 @07:10PM (#4413557)
    From the Nissan case:

    But Uzi Nissan, whose family name is also the name of a month in Hebrew and Arabic[...]

    "We've always seen this case as protecting the Nissan brand and not about money," he said. "What we are saying is the word Nissan by itself is our registered trademark and we're the only ones with the right to use the name Nissan by itself."

    • by beebware ( 149208 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2002 @07:13PM (#4413571) Homepage
      It gets better - Nissan Motor has registered the domain name nissancomputer.com which they'll "give" to Nissan Computers if Nissan Motor get given the nissan.com domain name. Now, if they've brought nissancomputer.com with the express purpose of squatting on it for exchange of monies, services or goods (for example, a domain name) - surley that's a blatant case of cybersquatting by Nissan Motor?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Agreed on this. You're not allowed to trademark common words, like orange, hand or March. If your company name happens to be the name of a month in another language, you shouldn't be allowed to go into a fit everytime someone uses it.

      Further,

      The auto company didn't sue until 1999, but the judge said that five-year wait wasn't too long because Nissan didn't initially know the impact the Internet would have on business.

      Then looks like Nissan should have had a little more foresight. IANAL but if you don't defended your trademark when you become aware of someone else using it, then it's become diluted.
    • Give me a break... (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Heynow21 ( 573910 )
      Does anyone honestly beleive that this guy wasn't trying to take advantage of Nissan's trademark? That he didn't cackle with glee when he registered the address? If you aren't going to use English as the standard for judging common words then you need to use common sense. For all I know "Kodak" is the most common surname in Mongolia. The fact that this has gone to court tells me that Mr. Nissan played hardball when they were negotiating a payoff; I'm guessing he demanded seven (maybe eight?) figures like most cybersquatters instead of just taking a fair settlement for his lucky last name.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Wrong. I've purchased computers from Uzi for years. I live in Raleigh and I can honestly say that Uzi owns a respectable business. He had a homepage for Nissan Computers YEARS before Nissan motor ever decided to hop on the Internet bandwagon. Oh yeah, Uzi also started his own ISP years before Nissan tried to grab the domain name.

        Nissan is his name. He registered it first. It's his.
      • by pla ( 258480 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2002 @08:01PM (#4413801) Journal
        Of course, he might actually have a spine (or independant wealth), and wanted the domain more than the money.

        This strikes me as no different than the McDonalds (the junk-food chain) vs McDonalds (the family owned restaurant that predates the fast food chain) a while back. The bigger business considers itself more important, and has the money to throw at lawyers to make that delusion a reality.

        If *you* had a family domain, and some company offered you what you consider a pittance for it, how would you feel? Would you consider yourself an informed "hardball" player? Would you "cackle with glee" at your great luck in having a valuable name?

        It really disgusts me that companies consider themselves more important than individuals. It disgusts me even more that the legal system mostly agrees with them. Neither of those comes *close*, however, to the disgust I feel about actual individual *humans* who agree that companies have more rights than everyone else, and actually criticize other humans for standing up for what few rights we have left.
      • by sconeu ( 64226 )
        The fact that this has gone to court tells me that Mr. Nissan played hardball when they were negotiating a payoff;

        Or maybe Mr. Nissan said, "No. I'm not selling it at all. It's MY name!"
        • by kylef ( 196302 )
          Just because his name is Nissan doesn't mean that he has the exclusive rights to any property with "Nissan" attached to it. He already owns nissan.net as well. Let's look at it from an independent judge's perspective:

          Both sides want nissan.com. Why? They either feel that:
          A. nissan.com will get more traffic and thus generate more revenue than some alternative, or
          B. nissan.com is more representative of their company's name

          As for A, what would cause nissan.com to get more traffic than "nissanmotors.com" or "nissancomputer.com"? People around the world recognize the Nissan brand name. Common sense would dictate that an overwhelming percentage of traffic seen to nissan.com [i]stems from that recognition, which Nissan (the car company) has carefully cultivated and paid for since 1933 when Nissan was incorporated in Japan[/i]. To continue to grant Mr. Uzi Nissan a monopoly on the domain "nissan.com" to promote his own company would be to allow his company to capitalize on the name recognition he did not establish. This fact does not seem to be in dispute. (Mr. Nissan would add, however, that the coincidence of his name should not be held against him.)

          As for B, both sides feel THEY have the right to use the name Nissan, and they do. As it happens, Mr. Nissan was first to claim nissan.com. Nissan Motors, however, was clearly the first to stake out recognition of "Nissan" as a brand name. Which one should legally be priority?

          It is fair to say that Mr. Nissan knew that registering nissan.com would be disputed by Nissan Motors. He chose to register nissan.com anyway, and it must be assumed that he did so because he felt he would be better served by nissan.com than nissancomputers.com or something else. It is also fair to say that he knew that by picking nissan.com he would receive more traffic to his address than a small computer store in North Carolina would normally receive, and that this traffic is a result of the name conflict with Nissan Motors.

          Nissan Motors clearly has more at stake in its name than Mr. Nissan has in his company. Forcing Mr. Nissan to relocate to a different address will have some cost, but this cost is small compared to the potential commerce that is being impeded by the naming mismatch. Clearly, the public does not expect to get Nissan Computer Corp of Raleigh, NC when they type "www.nissan.com" into their web browsers.

          The cost to commerce as a whole must be taken into consideration, and weighed against the cost to Mr. Nissan for relocation.

          Judgment? plaintiff [Nissan Motors] may use nissan.com, but must pay a reasonable fee for costs of relocating Mr. Nissan's site.
    • Of course, Japanese people with that name are just as SOL.

      These guys are like aliens- just remember that.
    • A friend of mine pointed out that Domino.com could be easily claimed by any one of several companies: A pizza company, a sugar company, or a software company.

      This is a very sordid and very nasty issue. If you want a view from the front lines look here [domainnamerights.org].

  • Nissan vs. Nissan (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 08, 2002 @07:14PM (#4413577)
    If Nissan Motors wanted to have an exclusive name, they should have made one up.

    They took an existing word (in 2 languages, nonetheless) which also happens to be a surname. Now, they can't expect exclusive rights over that name.
    • Exactly.

      I start a line of cosmetics called June.

      I then make tons of money because my stuff makes old women feel young.

      I then say:
      Oh, now I am famous, and I ought to be able to use
      june.com exclusively because any other use would dilute my brand.

      And, oh, by the way, all women named June need to pay me royalties.

      And, The Month of June will be renamed in the english language as "The Month formerly known as June".

      Nissan is being fucking ridiculous... If they want a unique name that no one else in the world has, why don't they get a catchy IP address?
    • Re:Nissan vs. Nissan (Score:5, Informative)

      by sulli ( 195030 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2002 @08:33PM (#4413927) Journal
      In Japanese, it means "Made in Japan." Other Japanese companies (e.g. Nissan Stainless) also use the name.

      Now it's not the same word as that used on other products to mean "Made in Japan" (that word is kokusan, "made in our nation") but it is definitely somewhat generic.

  • Deep Fritz (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MalleusEBHC ( 597600 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2002 @07:15PM (#4413580)
    While this isn't man vs machine as the casual observer may think, but chess playing man vs programming man, how long until programming man is able to win soundly all the time? I don't mean to offend the chess players out there, but I find it very hard to believe that the advances in both processing power and programming knowledge will eventually catch up to chess knowledge. According to Moore's law processing powers is doubling every 18 months, and I would venture that programming knowledge of AI's is progressing faster than chess knowledge given the youth of the former's frield and the extensive history of the latter's.

    That said, even while as a programmer I'm somewhat rooting for Deep Fritz, as a fellow man I can't help but be in awe of the fact that Kramnik is able to think better than a machine that "thinks" millions of times faster than him.
    • Re:Deep Fritz (Score:4, Interesting)

      by egomaniac ( 105476 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2002 @07:57PM (#4413780) Homepage
      That said, even while as a programmer I'm somewhat rooting for Deep Fritz, as a fellow man I can't help but be in awe of the fact that Kramnik is able to think better than a machine that "thinks" millions of times faster than him.

      Why? I can, for instance, look at a picture of my wife and identify her as my wife in a fraction of a second. The best image-recognition software in the world can't reliably do even that simple task.

      I'm not the least bit surprised to see a human beating a computer in a complex activity like chess, and that's with lots of handicaps in Fritz' favor (it doesn't have to analyze an image of the board in order to determine where the pieces are, for instance). The amazing part is not the human beating the computer, but the computer beating the human (which won't happen in this case, but it's getting close).
      • Why? I can, for instance, look at a picture of my wife and identify her as my wife in a fraction of a second. The best image-recognition software in the world can't reliably do even that simple task.

        Why? There are so many different things computers can do better than us, just as there are so many things that we can do better. I thought that by now computers would be able to win at chess merely by going deep enough through all potential trees to find the most advantageous move combination.

        Or maybe it's all just because GNU Chess always kicks my ass, heh.
      • What's impressive to me is that Kramnik is beating Fritz quite handily (2.5-0.5 at the moment) at a task for which Fritz is immensely better than the average human. Comparing Fritz to the average chess player is like comparing a Formula One race car to the average horse. (Imagine if there were a few dozen horses in the world who could run 250 mph.)
    • Moore's law states that the number of transistors on a chip doubles every 18 months, not the processing power.

      An increase in the number of transistors does not equate the same increase in processing power.
    • While this isn't man vs machine as the casual observer may think, but chess playing man vs programming man,

      Daily affirmations by Stuart Smiley....

    • This is, in fact, man vs. machine. If this
      is a chess player vs a programmer, then
      it's the same as an engineer who designed
      a crane vs world champion weightlifter. Come on.
  • by Jouster ( 144775 ) <slashdot@ a n gelfaq.com> on Tuesday October 08, 2002 @07:15PM (#4413582) Homepage Journal
    Just a few quick things to throw in:
    1. Bugbear actually uses one of forty different subject lines. It also sometimes throws in some random data, just for fun.
    2. Bugbear is a descendant of Badtrans [symantec.com], a nasty but not particularly widespread virus from earlier this year. The keystroke logger seems to have been borrowed bit-for-bit (at least in the copy I isolated and analysed).
    Jouster
  • Enjoy. [nasa.gov]
    • Why is this video only 1:44?

      Why cut off before SRB sep?

      Why did live TV coverage switch to long-range cameras right at SRB sep?

      What is wrong with this whole picture?

      It may be that before launch they realized that the camera would be smoked by the SRB separation rockets but being too late to fix they gave instructions to cut away at that point.

      Conspiracy freaks will come up with plenty of other explanations.

  • Bugbear (Score:5, Funny)

    by Henry V .009 ( 518000 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2002 @07:21PM (#4413612) Journal
    There is no way to save users from themselves. If a sizable part of the population need to use computers, there will always be a significant number of those who do stupid things from them. These problems will continue no matter how secure Windows becomes. These problems will occur on any software platform that is simple enough for the general population to use.

    Actually, with a certain class of user, Windows' automatic updates make Windows more secure than Linux. Amoung windows users, that class is rather large. We may see less of the Code Red Viruses, but the Shoot Yourself in the Foot Viruses will continue.

    Linux does have one advantage though. It is intensely hard to install programs for Linux. It is so complicated that it is very hard to automate. And as long as users have to install viruses by hand, and download the correct libraries to get them to run, you can be sure that Linux users won't have to worry much about a Linux virus spreading like wildfire across the net.
    • If a sizable part of the population need to use computers, there will always be a significant number of those who do stupid things from them

      You don't have to do "stupid" things anymore... "somewhat clueless" will suffice. I just got a faux bounce message, sent to the error address of one of the Phoenyx' mailing lists. Looks perfectly normal, except that it alleges that the bounced message is contained in the attachment. (Maybe it is, but so is Klez or a variant thereof, so I didn't look further.) Even if you "don't open attachments, even from people you know," I suspect that one might slip under the radar. It certainly got past someone somehow, unless I happen to be the lucky recipient of a first-gen distribution.

      (Of course, perhaps "running a computer without a virus checker" itself "stupid." In which case, some of us stupid people have still never gotten a virus.)
  • Nissan.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BrodieBruce ( 575127 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2002 @07:22PM (#4413616) Journal
    Prior to my hearing about this case, if you had asked me

    Can I register a domain name SomeCompany.com and then do the following:

    • Talk about how much I dislike the company
    • Feature ad banners for sites related to that company
    • Talk trash about the management of the company
    • Post numerous comments on the low quality of the company's products (thereby "diluting their image")

    My response would have been, "damn right, freedom of speech..."

    But now, I'm just confused.

    What did he do that violated any laws?

    He's paid $2.2 million in legal fees. It's not like he had a choice about showing up in court to defend himself.

    Now Nissan motors can take his domain name after all the legal bills? And if not, he'll be ordered to give them financial reparations for "diluting their brand name?"

    • Re:Nissan.... (Score:2, Informative)

      by BrodieBruce ( 575127 )
      btw,

      I know he didn't do all those things, just the second one. But I may as well clear that up before 50 people post on my inaccuracies in delineating the situation at hand.

    • by chriso11 ( 254041 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2002 @07:48PM (#4413740) Journal
      Maybe the U.S. Constitution should be changed to something like:
      "We, the Corporations of the United States (and other countries), in order to have a more perfect customer base, establish commerce, insure domestic profits, provide for our CEOs, promote the use of tax shelters, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
  • Crap... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Myuu ( 529245 ) <myuu@pojo.com> on Tuesday October 08, 2002 @07:22PM (#4413619) Homepage
    "During the feed, it looked like the ejection of the solid rocket boosters damaged or obscured the camera, leading to a fuzzy image during the fuel tank separation stage."

    Bring on anti-NASA the conspiracy theories...
    • Re:Crap... (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      According to a small video piece run on the canadian "Space" channel (www.spacecast.com) the camera was sprayed with fuel when the solid rocket boosters disengaged. Maybe that's something in the SRB ejection system (beats me how that works)
      • Re:Crap... (Score:2, Informative)

        by kzinti ( 9651 )
        Maybe that's something in the SRB ejection system (beats me how that works)

        Small rocket motors in the boosters - "separation motors".
  • camera (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 08, 2002 @07:23PM (#4413620)
    Does it annoy anyone else that NASA spent $750,000 on the technical equivalent an X-10 webcam?

    And it failed! I mean, what the hell?

    Private space enterprises deserve to eat NASA's breakfast, dinner AND lunch once they get started.
    • Re:camera (Score:2, Informative)

      by zer0vector ( 94679 )
      The camera did not fail, up to SRB separation the footage is amazing, go look at it on NASA's site. I may not have clarified this, but after separation, there is still footage and the camera is still running, but it seems to be severely fogged over. It was probably just a miscalculation about how much debris would be ejected by the SRB separation motors.
  • by ksw2 ( 520093 ) <obeyeater@gmMENCKENail.com minus author> on Tuesday October 08, 2002 @07:23PM (#4413621) Homepage
    "We've always seen this case as protecting the Nissan brand and not about money," he said. "What we are saying is the word Nissan by itself is our registered trademark and we're the only ones with the right to use the name Nissan by itself."

    Interesting. I wonder if they'll be requiring Uzi Nissan to change his last name as well... after all, Nissan owns it...

    Also, it bear mentioning that Uzi has spent well in excess of one million dollars defending his own last name from these assholes who didn't even use the name "Nissan" in the States until well after Uzi had registerred the domain and used it for his own business.

    The corporate swines have also been using dirty tricks like filing suit across the county from where Uzi lives, in an attempt to sap his finances so he can't defend himself. (These are things Uzi himself talked about at H2K2, if you're curious about my sources)

  • Deep Fritz... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Espectr0 ( 577637 )
    ... is NOT a computer. It's just a software program than can run on your local pc, and if you know where to look, you can get it.

    Deep Blue was a real computer, much more powerful than the 8 cpu Compaq that is running Deep Fritz, although the chess algorithms were less efficient.

    Btw, i don't think computers will conquer the world as much ppl think it. Remember, computers are made by humans. Until computers can think on their own (no, computers don't think, they just execute instructions, they can emulate thinking but it's not really that) human race will always win.

    Now, the end of the world will be probably when the viruses exterminate the human race, but that's another topic...
  • by SmileyBen ( 56580 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2002 @07:31PM (#4413656) Homepage
    ...the scariest part has to be that they let a Windows operating system anywhere near brain surgery....
  • SRB Debris (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kzinti ( 9651 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2002 @07:32PM (#4413660) Homepage Journal
    During the feed, it looked like the ejection of the solid rocket boosters damaged or obscured the camera...

    That can be a problem for the crew too, or used to be. Each SRB has rocket motors that separate it from the external tank at around two minutes MET. Debris from these motors can get on the forward orbiter windows. Not too many years ago the shuttle flight software was changed - a "window washer" mod - to fire the FU RCS jets for a few seconds at SRB seperation to keep the windscreen clear of debris.

    Just thought you'd be interested to know...

    --JIm
  • HIPAA vs. MS (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kefaa ( 76147 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2002 @07:39PM (#4413695)
    I believe Clark has the right idea
    "...the health care industry needs to go to Microsoft with a joint NDA (nondisclosure agreement) and indemnification agreement, requiring Microsoft to hold their HIPAA-compliant customers harmless should patient information be leaked via this mechanism."

    Not a prayer that MS would agree, but it will be interesting when they get pulled into court the first time a provider claims it was the update and MS forced them to allow it.

    The regulatory oversight may do more to open MS software than the DOJ. Logic, reason, and innovation are not the watch words of these organizations. Regulations were passed, comply or be destroyed.

    It is hard for me to decide who I want to win. MS or the regulators...
  • licensing agreements (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Parsec ( 1702 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2002 @07:42PM (#4413720) Homepage Journal

    We've been told at my University that we (as system administrators) can go ahead and click the "I accept" on any Microsoft service pack or hotfix, our licensing agreement with M$ overrides anything they put in a EULA.

    Microsoft could actually wind up violating their own agreement if they take action not specified in the big license.

    • Funny that saying "I accept" when installing software is equivalent to signing a more recent agreement.

      So Microsoft violates the big agreement, University sues, stating that Microsoft violated their agreement.

      Microsoft argues that installing software is tantamount to rewriting the old agreement, and countersues for libel. (Saying that such a major company violated a major agreement will cause a major reduction in stock values.)

      Oh, how the legal system is so...
  • all about money (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Parsec ( 1702 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2002 @07:53PM (#4413762) Homepage Journal

    Nissan paid $400 million in building the brand. So, if I register my family name and some company just happens to come along and spends $400mil promoting their brand which happens to be the same as my family name, is it even fair for them to sue me?

    Just because they spend more money? They could at least have offered to reimburse the costs to change his business name and re-market. Probably less than they're paying their team of lawyers for the duration of the lawsuit.

    • Re:all about money (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Just because they spend more money? They could at least have offered to reimburse the costs to change his business name and re-market. Probably less than they're paying their team of lawyers for the duration of the lawsuit.

      When Nissan first decided that they wanted the domain, they did try to good faith negotiate for the domain, however Mr. Nissan then offered up a price tag...of $15,000,000 (he now claims that he, uh, wasn't serious...he was just being rhetorical he claims). He had every intention of capitalizing upon the fact that the overwhelming majority of people going to nissan.com were looking for an auto company, and he planned on making Nissan pay. That's why we're in a situation with Nissan taking a big black eye while this guy cries his crocodile tears (he recently put up a site to make it look like a computer company. For the longest time it was nothing like it, but instead was a banner factory).
  • Bugbear... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 08, 2002 @08:10PM (#4413834)
    how is it whenever an as-yet-unpatched exploit pops up for *nix its "just wait for the patch", yet a been-patched-since-last-year windows exploit gets "switch to a real operating system"?

    Idiots that don't patch their systems will be vulnerable on any OS don't you think?
  • by WEFUNK ( 471506 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2002 @08:11PM (#4413840) Homepage
    While plenty of web sites, blogs, and usenet discussions informatively describe and criticize the heavy handed tactics of companies like Nissan, Molson Canadian, and Gateway (2000), these companies need to start hearing vocally from consumers who will not buy their brands based on their overbearing legal tactics and we should compile and distribute a list of companies to target. More important than a boycott itself, the average joe and especially these company's dealers, sales, and marketing people need to know WHY we're upset.

    Whenever these cases come up we read the lawyers and spokespeople telling us they have to do this to "protect the brand", or to "prevent consumers from being confused". Real squatters aside, this is generally total crap. Consumers in any demographic able to buy a car will quickly realize Nissan Computer != Nissan Motors and while brands need to be protected to a certain extent in order to avoid becoming generic (like kleenex, or xerox) the chance of "nissan" becoming a generic term is slim to none (and not just because it doesn't have an 'x'). Trademarks apply to specific categories only, and this limitation should help to prevent dilution happening from unrelated uses of the same mark. Companies that try to over extend their marks should do so only at their own risk, and I bet that willy nilly suing other users probably does more to imply dilution than just leaving things be (Ob.IANAL but this should be true even if it's not the actual law).

    Actually, I doubt any of these cases stem from the marketing department, more likely the lawyers are trying to justify their salaries and budgets. But if the sales and marketing people thought these tactics were hurting their brand they could override legal in a second. Enough slashdotters are young professionals with a well paying job and interest in new products to present a very attractive demographic to these people. Let them know you're pissed!
    • "Enough slashdotters are young professionals with a well paying job"

      How many of us will be buying a new car in the next month? The next year? I know I won't be looking for a new car until at least after the warranty on my Hyundai wears out. And even then I won't be looking at Nissans anyway as they design their cars for Japanese drivers (and I'm a bit larger than the average Japanese driver). And I sure as hell won't be buying one of their "trucks" because I know that real trucks don't have sparkplugs (they're actually proud of helping to introduce the "light truck" class?).

      At worst your boycott idea will rob Nissan of what, half a dozen vehicle sales in all the North American market?
    • these companies need to start hearing vocally from consumers who will not buy their brands based on their overbearing legal tactics
      I disagree that market forces are the cure for this problem - after all, the litigants are abusing the law, not the market. It's the *government* that's making bad decisions (at the promptings of big business, of course).

      What these cases really need is a judge to say, "sorry McDonald's, this one's easy. You lose."

  • nissan.com (Score:3, Insightful)

    by garcia ( 6573 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2002 @08:17PM (#4413862)
    What I don't understand about the whole lawsuit is how Nissan (motors) can prove that they own the rights to that name. Uzi was apparently around before Nissan became any sort of MAJOR advertising spender ($400 million last year).

    The judge decided that the Internet wasn't that big of a deal in 1994, so the 5 year span between the registration of nissan.com and 1999 when they sued was ok. WHAT? Explain to me how this is ok? Uzi had it first, tough shit if they didn't decide that the Internet wasn't all that important.

    Early bird gets the worm. Money should have no bearing on who gets what domain.

    If I were Uzi, I would tell them to use nissancomputer.com for themselves.

    Just my worthless .02
  • by Optical Voodoo Man ( 611836 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2002 @08:18PM (#4413865)
    I read this [usnews.com] article over at USNews.com about Deep Fritz. It said that Deep Fritz did beat the same Deep Blue that beat Kasparov, but a stripped down, castrated version of it. The article claimed:

    Press releases touting this week's match boast that Fritz has beaten both Kasparov and Deep Blue. The win over Kasparov came, however, in a super fast kind of chess, where computers have a decided edge. And Fritz didn't really beat Deep Blue-it beat an early version of its software running on slower hardware.

    Do I think that there is an added value to better algorithms and pruning methods over pure computational firepower? Sure, but you need to keep in mind that now that Deep Blue has been disassembled, there is no way to get an honest, head to head comparison.

    As if it matters, I still get my but kicked by good old GNU Chess.

    • One thing to remember...

      Deep Blue was being "adjusted" nightly. So a computer plus 6 people were playing on one side of the board.

      Yes, Deep Blue won, but to me, it was not a machine vs man... Deep Blue was being debugged.
  • Well, at least his first name [imi-israel.com] isn't already taken or anything.

    I wish there was a band called Uzi Nissan. I'd totally be into them.

  • by ChrisCampbell47 ( 181542 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2002 @09:25PM (#4414156)
    Quicktime from space.com (6.7 MB) [space.com]

    Just the tank camera, no cutaways, all the way from launch to SRB seperation.

    Play it fast (hold the frame advance button down) for another cool view of the whole launch in about 15 seconds.

  • Is this some kind of "trusted computing"/Palladium version of Earth, created by Microsoft, to answer the question "What is the meaning of life, the universe, and Microsoft?

    If it is...I want a copy of that OS...it doesn't crash for seven billion years! However, a product flaw causes lazers to vaporize the hardware when it does crash...
  • Nasa Footage (Score:3, Informative)

    by Drath ( 50447 ) on Wednesday October 09, 2002 @12:04AM (#4414815)
    This is probably posted already buy you can view this video on Space.com Here [space.com].

    It's pretty sweet.

You can tune a piano, but you can't tuna fish. You can tune a filesystem, but you can't tuna fish. -- from the tunefs(8) man page

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