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Comment Re:Summary (Score 1) 324

Sure enough there are documents, lawsuits, etc. but often the real world does not reflect those decisions.

In the early 80's I visited several job sites. Several of those had paper and pigeon-hole message systems leased from AT&T. They also had computers and printers, but they could not be connected to the phone lines.

These messaging warehouses (for Dr's and lawyers) had an odd workflow where paper messages when from phone to pigeon-hole and as time permitted to computer entry and storage/backup.

At the time I was told this was for legal reasons--per their contract with AT&T the message storage systems could not be connected to the telco lines because they were not AT&T equipment.. They had to maintain physical separation from all non-AT&T products.

The legal cases you mention may have held force in some situations but the day-to-day reality of business owners, at least from what I saw and experienced, is not reflected by that casework.

Several business owners I met complained bitterly about paying Western Electric more per month for a small phone bank than their office rent.

Within two years, post break-up, the computers were attached and the pigeon-hole racks were gone.

Comment Re:Summary (Score 1) 324

I have to disagree with you. My brother worked for a startup that was selling products overseas but could not sell them in the United States due to the AT&T land line monopoly. It had nothing to do with OS/ISP issues and everything to do with the hardware you could legally connect to the phone lines. After the breakup he was able to finally sell his devices in the USA, and the company was bought by a baby bell shortly after the case ended. Prior to the breakup every device had to be approved by the Bell/AT&T processes or you could be arrested/prosecuted for connecting an unauthorized device to the wall socket.

Comment Re:Summary (Score 1) 324

To understand the microsoft case you need to understand the ATT breakup. The Bell System (ATT) was granted an illegal monopoly, by the US government, in secret, that lasted about 100 years. The government desperately wanted telephones in everyone's house using a common system and Bell put the screws to them, demanding a monopoly similar to what the government had given the railroad industries.

Fast forward to the ATT breakup. After 100 years, the rest of the world were making products and innovating (answering machines, faxes, etc.)--products for public consumption. As far as telephony goes, America was starting to look pretty stale and primitive. ATT had a government supported lock on every phone line, and only their overpriced products could be legally attached to that line. Creating or attaching unauthorized devices to an ATT line was a crime and many people were punished.

Finally ATT was broken up and things like cubby hole paper messaging were replaced by modern systems, etc...the world changed.

In the MS case they basically have the same issues. They have secret APIs that no one else can use, public APIs that crash or are unstable if you use them, mountains of internal memos on how they break other companies' software to favor their own. It's illegal to clone windows--patents, copyright, etc, as we see enforced everyday. Many people believe MS was handed a similar "100 year" secret monopoly by the government just as they did for ATT--the goal being a common OS in everyone's house.

Now fast forward to the trial. It was a slam-dunk--all kinds of memos, emails, perjury showing MS committed multiple crimes. In fact, a smaller company in Florida, a grocery chain committed similar crimes, was chained shut and had their business licenses voided around the same time. No business license no sale--but I digress.

The penalty for MS was a breakup of the company. However, the Judge, Thomas Jackson, with decades of legal experience, conveniently provided evidence of bias within weeks of the trial's end, and the penalty was thrown out.

The incoming Bush Administration put a "paper tiger" Federal Judge (Kathleen Kotar-Kelly) in charge of overseeing what feeble penalties remained, and she has consistently let MS continue with their old behaviors.

Corporate criminals rarely get jail time, unless the government wants to parade them in front of the cameras for PR purposes. The wealthy can afford the best lawyers and withstand the massive cost of extended trials. And it does usually pay off in lower penalties and fines. In terms of crime, usually only those convicted of physically harming people go to prison, others usually pay hefty fines. MS has certainly been convicted in Europe and paid substantial fines.

Comment demonizing groups (Score 5, Interesting) 656

This type of news item is sort of a cheap shot by journalists. It's an old trick that probably dates back to antiquity--look how stupid these people are, they can't answer simple questions! And the consumer rolls their eyes, feels superior, etc. Look on youtube [below], there are some hilarious videos about Americans, British, Germans being "stupid". The vids were done as an exercise in psychological manipulation. One example.

Comment intel varies the charge based on destination (Score 5, Informative) 297

I think Atom purchasers have to declare the destination of the chip and intel charges more if the destination is a 12" display. The idea being every 12" sold is a desktop CPU sale lost. AMD, NVIDIA, VIA don't have the necessary market share to impose this kind of restriction on the manufacturers using their chips. Dell is probably surrendering now rather than continue with a platform that's had its profit margins hobbled from the start.

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