Spam Creep Gets Creepier

In the same way that death row inmates regularly claim innocence (unfortunately, sometimes they're right), spammer Jeremy Jaynes says he's 100 percent not guilty. In Jayne's case, it's not that he didn't do it; it's that spam shouldn't be illegal in the first place.

According to Jaynes' equally creepy lawyer, spam should be protected as anonymous free speech. Of course, Jaynes' form of spam (er, anonymous free speech) included using false originating addresses and messages meant to trick us out of our money.

I'm all about free speech, but protecting spam is so wrong on so many levels, I almost don't know where to start. First is the issue of decency. When you send an unsolicited, filthy e-mail to my 11-year-old son, I have a problem.

Next, anonymous speech doesn't deserve universal protection. I shouldn't be able to slander and libel you, and then hide like a coward behind anonymity. And I shouldn't be able to sell you fake male enlargement products and then claim a right to be anonymous.

Perhaps most important, while speech should be generally free, the Internet actually costs money. Don't forget: The carrier lines, routers, servers and all the rest cost someone money. And if your Trojan takes over my PC to spew spam, that's costing me money.

I wish Jaynes all the luck in the world -- as long as it's bad!

While Jaynes' lawyers think spam laws are too strong, judging by my inbox and quarantine, I say they're way too weak. What say you? Send your thoughts on spam laws to me at [email protected].

Talking the Biz
The latest version of BizTalk Server (one of the more creatively named Microsoft products) is now out and includes a few new features and a heckuva lot more advice.

BizTalk is Microsoft's main SOA play, as it connects up applications to each other and ties them to mainframe and other high-end resources.

The new rev, BizTalk Server 2006 R2, talks to RFID and -- in a future update -- will deal with more third-party apps (always a good thing).

What I find most interesting is Enterprise Service Bus Guidance, which gives architectural advice to BizTalk customers and interested SOA parties.

SCO Lawsuits Fail To Sustain Company
SCO's story is mildly intriguing, but I fear it would take more time to explain the whole saga than real interest levels would support. On the plus side, the tale is twisted, complex and possibly sleazy.

SCO was a major player in Linux back the day. In fact, Microsoft licensed SCO's software and sold it as Xenix until Redmond got single-OS religion.

In more recent years, SCO has claimed ownership of Unix (created by AT&T) and used that to sue Linux vendors (Linux was derived from Unix, which is one of the reasons I often doubt the originality and creativity of the open source movement).

The suits against powerhouses like IBM didn't work out, and now sue-happy SCO is filing for Chapter 11 so it can pay its creditors (maybe lawyers?) pennies on the dollar.

SCO may get a taste of its own medicine as Novell -- which bought Unix System 5 from AT&T but later sold rights to SCO -- can possibly claim ownership of some parts of Unix/Linux, and go after what's left of SCO for royalties.

Even more strange, SCO was bought by Caldera, which was founded by Novell founder Ray Noorda (now deceased).

Here's a possibly accurate view of SCO.

Got all that? If so, and if you have an opinion, write me at [email protected].

The Electric Future of Motorcycles
I happen to love motorcycles. I should -- I own well over a dozen.

While I have a soft spot for gas engines, I have nothing against helping the environment. So you can imagine my excitement when my favorite motorcycle Web site ( linked to a video of a 400-horsepower electric motorcycle. In the video, the builder, a government scientist, shows just what this baby can do.

I'm not a huge fan of laws to protect ourselves from ourselves, but if you burn out on a 400-drag bike, a helmet and some leathers is never a bad idea! Watch the video, and you'll see what I mean.

What's your favorite motorcycle? Let us know at [email protected].

Infrastructure Optimization
For many, IT is a game of chasing and fixing problems. Run out of storage? Buy a new disk. Apps too big? Get more servers. The result is often too much hardware from too many vendors with too many configurations. And don't get us started on all the software, PCs and laptops, and network gear from so many vendors, you can't even keep track of them all.

For years, vendors such as IBM and integrators like EDS have gone into large shops, looked at the IT systems holistically and offered up plans to simplify, create efficiencies and make them more productive.

During the last two or three years, Microsoft has gotten into this game with its Infrastructure Optimization (IO) model -- a system for analyzing the state of your shop and devising plans to make it more efficient and better support business goals.

Has Microsoft talked to you about IO? Do you trust Redmond to take an objective, holistic view of your shop? Send your yays and nays to [email protected] or fill out the form here.

Mailbag: Do VMware's Numbers Add Up?, More
Fred wants to make sure we have our numbers straight when it comes to VMware's market worth:

I think you need to get better analysts or check your facts -- or, as you say in your article, "Someone needs to switch to decaf."

Since when is VMware's market worth more than Microsoft, Oracle and SAP? By my calculations, the combined market cap of MSFT, ORCL and SAP is about $447 billion.

And a few weeks ago, Lafe wrote about the recent spate of laptop thefts. Bret shares his 2 cents:

I think most of these so-called security breaches are simple cases of stealing a computer, and if it is not -- that is, if it is targeted to obtain names and addresses, etc. -- that is espionage, not laptop theft.

When I worked in Canada, the odd (literally) person would bring in a laptop explaining they lost their key or some such nonsense and could we reset it so they could use it again? I got suspicious once and told the client that I would call in their details to the seller, and not surprisingly, they said they would come back later (never did).

Tell us what you think! Leave a comment below or send an e-mail to [email protected].

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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