Microsoft May No Longer Be Appealing
- By Peter Varhol
The long-running feud between our favorite technology vendor and the European
Union antitrust watchdog may finally be winding down. The European Court of
First Instance ruled
largely against Microsoft
in the company's appeal of a previous ruling --
that Microsoft Windows server software and media player unfairly leveraged the
company's dominant market position. The 2004 ruling by the Competition Commission
was based on Microsoft actions that go as far back as 1998.
The court did rule in Microsoft's favor in one instance, rejecting the Competition
Commission's ruling to appoint a third party -- which was being paid by Microsoft
-- to monitor the company's compliance. Microsoft still has to pay fines and
restitution valued at over $600 million.
I originally thought that this would be the last appeal left for Microsoft,
but there's apparently one last possibility: an appeal to the Court of Justice
of the European Communities. According to the article linked above, Microsoft
has two months to appeal, though the appeal would be limited to points of law
only. That means the findings stand.
Although the law may finally be winding its way to a conclusion, has justice
been done? Tell me what justice is at email@example.com.
More on SCO's Chapter 11 Filing
In yet another chapter of what is one of the longest-running soap operas in
tech today, the SCO Group has filed
for voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
The timing of this filing -- the Friday before its trial with Novell was supposed
to begin -- is seemingly based more on self-preservation than a lack of cash.
The Chapter 11 filing stays that trial until the bankruptcy matter is resolved,
if ever. It will also stay the upcoming IBM trial until its scheduled beginning
should it remain in Chapter 11.
Legal analyst Roger Parloff suggests that SCO may have taken this action to
try to gain
the support of the bankruptcy court in its ongoing legal offensive. It's
the responsibility of the bankruptcy court to maximize the value of the assets
of the company, so Parloff speculates that SCO is hoping that the bankruptcy
judge assumes jurisdiction for the trial that it has already largely lost in
summary judgment. It's a long shot, he concludes, and may only delay the inevitable.
Groklaw post, which lists everyone to whom SCO owes money, is interesting
Boston Outduels Silicon Valley for VC Funding
In the first half of 2007, venture capitalists (VCs) invested
$464.2 million in Web 2.0 startup companies, according to a report released
by Dow Jones VentureOne.
While 25 Silicon Valley companies snared $91 million of that money, Boston-area
companies beat that number handily, with 10 companies receiving $102 million.
Cambridge startup n2N Commerce garnered the lion's share of this money, with
$30 million of funding.
The VCs spread money around quite a bit, with companies in Southern California,
the Pacific Northwest and overseas also receiving substantial amounts.
Are we due for a tech bubble again? Send me your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mailbag: Much Ado About Spam
Readers excercise their right to free speech by sounding off on spammer Jeremy
Jaynes and his lawyer's contention that spam e-mails should be protected
by the First Amendment:
I read the article regarding Jeremy Jaynes and cannot believe the man
was convicted and sentenced to prison and yet he is is free while the case
I work for a medium-sized company and I would say that 80 percent of our inbound
traffic is spam and gets (thankfully) blocked. But it is a difficult job to
keep up with the posers and scam artists out there. Companies spend tons of
money trying to protect their users from spammers and home users do the same
for their families. The fact that these people make money off of this burns
me up, especially as we spend so much to keep them out. They should be in
You hit the nail on the head, bro. It costs money to use the Internet,
send e-mail, etc. A convicted spammer should be given a bill for the estimated
You don't happen to have Jaynes' e-mail address, home mailing address
or phone number, do you? I have some time on my hands and am pretty annoying
(at least that is what my wife told me last night). In any case, I'd bet he
would not like to be bothered by a low-value interruption (spam) of any sort.
Again, if you have any contact information for him, I have two or three minutes
of time available per day for the next 30 years (if I live that long).
Imagine 1,000 people calling him once a week and hanging up for the next
30 years, every other day. That is the kind of annoyance spam produces, and
that is only if it is looked at from the time-reducing, annoyance angle; add
in security and it is very dangerous.
Right on the money, Doug. I would definitely agree. Spam laws should be
made stronger, not weaker. If some of these spammers would use their creative
skills in a positive way, we might we be surprised at what could be achieved!
What's the line? Do unto others as you'd have others do unto you? So,
let Jaynes get signed up with his personal and business e-mail accounts by
his own spam services. I wonder how he'd get anything done. If he's such a
proponent of this "free speech," he shouldn't have any reservations.
Does he use any anti-spam tools? Hmm, why would he bother since it's free
Another cost implication of spam, let alone the line costs: PC time is
employee time spent sorting through spam filters looking for legitimate e-mails.
There's an entire industry built to prevent this "free speech."
Corporations spend quite a bit of money on anti-spam services and tools. I'd
rather those budget dollars go elsewhere.
It seems to me that a case can be brought against spammer Jeremy Jaynes
that his e-mails were not anonymous -- they were fraudulent. He did not send
his e-mails anonymously, he sent them under the guise of stolen and fictional
identities. Representing yourself as someone you are not in order to transact
business is fraud.
I would be quite happy if all of the spam I received was truly anonymous.
It would make it very easy to filter out.
I fully agree with what you said. Spamming should be illegal and the laws
should be tougher. As an IT manager, I am more aware of the adverse effects
spam plays on the business world. On an average day my company (a global manufacturing
company) receives anywhere from 60,000 to 100,000 e-mails a day. Over 90 percent
of those e-mails are spam. That is an enormous amount of garbage clogging
up our e-mail systems. If we didn't purchase products and services to filter
out this "anonymous free speech," we wouldn't get any work done,
at least not via e-mail. I say prosecute the spammers to the fullest extent
of the law.
As a network administrator, I spend a great deal of my day dealing with
the gargantuan pile of spam we receive every day. It interferes with physicians
caring for their patients, nurses communicating with each other and patients
communicating with clinical administrators -- and for what? The laws are not
strong enough, the penalties are not strong enough and the rewards for spamming
are too great.
The Internet is not free; my mail servers use electricity and we have
to pay for the bandwidth the spammers steal. They fill up our storage drives
and make us jump through hoops to seperate the good mail from the bad. They
try to steal our users' passwords and financial information for personal gain.
They do not work for a living; they steal it. So what price freedom? With
all the talk of the U.S. government monitoring electronic communications,
why don't they hunt down the spammers and put them all behind bars? Fifty
years ought to do it.
I use the Internet for work and for those folks to try and hide behind
the free speech constitutional right is very sad. When I give an opinion or
say something, nothing is attached, hidden or otherwise deviously placed in
the sounds I utter. When I read a magazine there are no trojans, rootkits
or other reactive software placed on the page. It does not cost me anything
to listen to anyone or read anything, but the cost to consumers on crashed
computers, ill-gotten information and plain underhanded behavior experienced
I think they should be ashamed of themselves for misusing our Constitution
in such an obvious attempt to make ill-gotten gains by tricking people.
All of this stuff should be opt-in, not opt-out. I pay for my phone and
its bandwidth, and I pay for my Internet service to my house and its bandwidth.
I should have final say in what I allow to come over that service I pay for.
Join the fray! Leave a comment below or send an e-mail to email@example.com.
Peter Varhol is the executive editor,
reviews of Redmond magazine and has more than 20 years of experience as a software
developer, software product manager and technology writer. He has graduate degrees
in computer science and mathematics, and has taught both subjects at the university