You Can’t Jail Me, I’m English!

U.S. anti-terrorism laws are supposed to fight extremists who wish to do us harm. But a 40-year-old English idiot may find himself in Guantanamo wearing an orange jump suit and enduring the hot Cuban sun. That’s because Gary McKinnon made the stupid mistake of busting into U.S. military and NASA computers, wreaking $700,000 worth of havoc. That type of action could land McKinnon in a U.S. court facing terrorism charges that carry ungodly steep penalties.

While this seems to be a misuse of terrorism laws, if it gets one hacker off the street and serves as a warning to others, then it can’t be all bad. What do you think? Write me at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Linux Geeks Have a New Bookmark: Microsoft.com
At the recent LinuxWorld show, one announcement managed to slip under my radar: Microsoft has a new Web site promoting Linux/Windows interoperability (or is that Windows/Linux interoperability?). Set up through TechNet, the site lets Microsoft interact with open source developers toward the goal of making Linux and other tools play nice in the Redmond world. This could be good for Linux. If open source tools integrate nicely on corporate environments, IT has one more reason to say yes. And Microsoft has all the more reason to keep improving its products.

Is Live Clipboard Just Another Name for OLE?
Does anyone remember OLE, otherwise known as Object Linking and Embedding? This technology allowed applications to dynamically share data, so your Excel spreadsheet could continually update a related table in Word (and yes, OLE worked with non-Microsoft applications).

A new technology from Ray Ozzie and his team brings this concept to the Web. With Live Clipboard, one can cut and paste a dynamic Web data OBJECT, EMBED it in a Web page, and maintain the LINK to the original data source. Maybe they should call it OEL.

No Wonder the Geek Squad Is So Cheap
Winternals could have been flattered to learn the Best Buy Geek Squad relied so heavily on its system recovery tools. But when it found out Best Buy didn’t have the proper licenses, Winternals’ pride turned to anger. Its revenge is a court order forcing Best Best to stop using the software.

Winternals actually gave Best Buy the software to test as part of a potential multi-million-dollar sale. After the deal fell through, Best Buy Geeks kept using the software. Now that's a discount electronics retailer if I’ve ever seen one. Wonder if Winternals would settle for a few hundred flat screen TVs and a couple dozen Xboxes for the office?

About the Author

Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.

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