Microsofts counterattack

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Postby scorp123 on Mon May 21, 2007 4:02 pm

rerushg wrote:
scorp123 wrote:France? Germany? Don't be ridiculous. :lol:
Well, I won't confuse you any further with facts.
Well, maybe it would help if you explained what you mean?? :wink: You see, it's videos like this one (and plenty of sad personal experience with people in the US company I worked for until very recently) that makes us Europeans believe that you Americans have a bit a limited view of the world:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJuNgBkloFE

I know I know I know ... it's a stereotype. But then again, could you explain what you mean with "Germany and France", yes? :wink:

rerushg wrote: building a 35 ft. sailboat
Now, that's cool 8)

rerushg wrote: spending 20 years in corporate America
Well, I'm kinda disappointed with "corporate America". Having worked for a US-based company in the past seven years I have come to the conclusion that US management schools produce lots of really weird people :? ... Oh well, read here in another post:
http://www.linuxmint.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=17814#17814


Seems I'm not the only one here with such experiences? ... judging from Husse's comment:
http://www.linuxmint.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=17860#17860

rerushg wrote: being involved in two patent violation litigations,
Well, as I said. US patents and its weird (from an European perspective) patent system are confined to the US, and you can believe me that the last thing we want here is something like the DMCA or an US-style patent system.

rerushg wrote: I only needed to know one thing: Windows is sh**.
Look at the facts, please. You don't have to take my word for it, you can check this stuff yourself, e.g. by following discussions in newsgroups about network security, by checking the many postings e.g. in the SysInternals forums, and so on.

Also: Please let's use logic. Just look at the software market today! Examples:

How many anti-virus toolkits do exist? Right off my memory these come to my mind: Avast, Symantec, Norton, F-Prot, PC-Ciline, Defender, AntiVir, ... How can Windows not be a seriously flawed product if it's flaws are so big that there is a market for such products?? A well-designed product should not be vulnerable to so many viruses in the first place I guess?

How many "PC maintenance" tools do exist? The good old "Norton Utilities" and "PC Tools" for MS-DOS come to my mind. The number of such toolkits has grown considerably since the age of MS-DOS. Now we have the "Fix-It Utilities", we still have something called "PC Tools" according to Google, we have Paragon's "System Recovery" and all the other dozen of tools they produce, we have Symantec, and last but not least there is a huge market for computer magazines which boast titles such as "Repair your Windows registry now!", "Speed up Windows!", "Tune your Windows to the max", and so on. Just go to a news stand and see for yourself. Don't you have to ask yourself how deeply flawed and broken Windows must be if there is such a huge market for thousands of "maintenance toolkits" and "tuning utilities", "registry cleaners" and other such software? I'd assume that a well-designed OS has all such tools on-board already? With Linux for example (and yes, I agree: I'm totally biased towards it) you need not to bother about buying such tool packages, all the tools you might ever need are already there in the OS.

Also: I'd further assume that a well-designed OS doesn't auto-cripple itself over time? Fact is the longer you use a Windows installation the slower and the more crippled it gets (there are many forums full of such stories), leading to its user either assuming that they need a new computer, or that they need some sort of "repair toolkit" of sorts, or that the problem might go away again when they do a full reinstallation ... :? There are no such problems with UNIX-like operating systems: You can use them day in and day out, install, reinstall and remove software, upgrade packages, compile stuff, do development, serve web pages, host databases ... Such a system won't come to a crawling halt over time just because you used it. So how can Windows not be junk?

Last but not least, I think these advertisements from Apple are spot-on:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-7C-w8jc0w
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PxLgBx3W9Ss
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfCHuVrWHPk
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Postby clem on Tue May 22, 2007 5:23 am

I don't think it makes sense to compare countries on the level of freedom they give to their citizens. The reason is: it's hard to quantify.

You might think there's more freedom in France than in the US. The truth is, there's less social pressure, less stuff and the market doesn't have a hold on your personal freedom. Having said that, France doesn't let you encrypt your data (you can in the US), France doesn't let you talk freely about what you want (you can in the US), France doesn't let you buy guns, redbull, good satellite receivers etc etc.. (you can in the US).

I'm not saying it's good for a society to let its citizens say everything they think and have guns in their house, but if you want to compare individual freedom between two countries you have to take this into account. Personal freedom is nice to the individual, it's not necessarily a good thing for a nation.

The US have regulated the use of software patents and this is the issue we're talking about here. There's no need to spit on China or the US or any other country cause they don't know how to cook rice or how to implement free speech.

Anyway.. personal freedom sucks. Look at them, they all run Windows! If only there was a legislation to make them use Linux :lol:

Note: I agree with the fact that the US is just the US and that what happens to US legislation doesn't affect the rest of the World or the Internet. This is the case for software patents for instance. However, keep in mind that on the Web, the US represent grossly 50% of our Web traffic, 50% of our donations and I assume 50% of our user base. So for a project like Linux Mint, the US is not just a country among others... it's half of its community. This is very important IMHO.

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Postby RedJak on Tue May 22, 2007 8:40 am

I agree with you, clem.

But, since I never was a big fan of passivism, allow me to refute a few of Scorp's claims (just to set the record straight):

Scorp123 wrote:France? Germany? Don't be ridiculous. Laughing

Europe in general is far (!!!) from being even in the same ballpark like communist China, where people face the firing squad just because they opened their mouth. Rolling Eyes

Unless I'm missing something here I don't have the impression right now that you're "well informed", my dear Very Happy

And as for freedoms: Can you walk in your street and drink beer although you're only 16 and not 21? We can. When we turn 16 we can buy ourselves beer if we want. Real beer like Heineken, Amstel, Tuborg, Hoegaarden, Franziskaner, with real 3% to 8% of alcohol in them. Don't like beer? Fine, take a Vodka then. Or one of those Baccardi or Smirnoff mixtures you can buy here in every ordinary supermarket. Do you have to "brown-bag" your alcoholic beverage? We don't. And we don't have more alcoholism or alcohol abusers here than other similarly developed countries.

Can you vote with 18? We can. For with 18 we are considered fully adult ... and not only with 21 like you people Wink ... How many political parties do you have that you can choose from? Two: Republicans and Democrats; maybe independent candidates here and there, but that's it. We don't have limits regarding the number of parties that may or may not exist. Heck, you can even vote for the communists if you feel like it. Or the socialists. Or the populist right-wing parties. Vote as you wish.

Can you walk down a street while smoking a joint without being at risk that the police will drag you in prison? We can.

Do you think that any politician or official in the USA will face any consequences for collecting all that data you mentioned in your previous post? Here they would. Something like the "Patriot Act" where your own police spy on the ordinary citizen without search warrant is simply impossible here and if anything like that were to become known it would cost someone's political career.

Do you face jail and extreme monetary fines way out of any proportion if you are caught owning illegal copies of copyrighted material? Yes you do. Thanks to the "DMCA - Digital Millennium Copyright Act". I don't. I can copy what I want, for as long as I make no monetary profit of that it is not considered "piracy". I can walk down the street and brag with my MP3 collection and hold it under the nose of a police officer ... The biggest risk for me would be that he too wants a few copies of some favourite songs. No monetary fines, no jail time. Please try that in the USA ... Laughing Laughing Laughing

Nope my dear, you are not free at the moment, thanks to Bush and his minions and their bizarre creations such as the "Patriot Act" and the soon to be introduced update to the DMCA (250'000 dollars monetary fine + 10 years of jail time if they catch you copying stuff ...). As a fact: you are not really free right now.

BTW, Having your own secret services spy on you without legal ground (= "Patriot Act") is pretty far away from the concept of freedom as I understand it; and sadly: This totally is in the same ballpark like China!

Windows is a pile of sh** and it deserves to be bashed. Sorry about that, but Windows and Microsoft products in general do absolutely nothing for me. The overall design is totally flawed in my professional opinion as IT admin and Windows as OS is per design bound to get seriously broken at some point ... which is totally braindead. Why do you design an OS that will break so easily if you give it some serious workload? Why is it so easy to get around all those pathetic security measures? Why are so many unwanted and undesirable network services running? Why are those services running under the "administrator" account and with full priviledges? Why aren't they turning those idiotic services off -- per default?? Heck no: Instead they ship that idiotic excuse of a firewall that wouldn't be needed in the first place if Windows had a sane design and those stupid services were turned off! Sorry, but I can't help but bash Windows. It's total crapware. And that after so many years of development Vista is the best they could come up with ... oh please. Rolling Eyes

The newest funny thing I heard about the upcomming "Windows Server 2008" is that they want to create a "Core Server Version" that won't have a built-in GUI but be "command line only". LOL. No thanks Microsoft, nice try though ... Wink

I am not bashing America, and I am not bashing you. Keep cool, chill out. It's just my observation that since beginning of the Bush era you people have gone on a weird path that ultimately had to lead to the war in Iraq, to the de facto invasion of Afghanistan, to the "Patriot Act", and many other absurdities. Instead of solving the problems e.g. in the Middle East which lead to the 9-11 attacks in the first place, Bush isn't helping at all in this question but instead made even more enemies ... And now they are all looking for an "exit strategy" ?? Rolling Eyes Maybe it would have been intelligent not to get involved in a war in the first place? Wink

And as for "bashing" you: Nope. I am just trying to open your eyes a little. You should travel more I guess. Or maybe go and work and/or study abroad for a year or so. It broadens the horizon and adds new perspectives


First of all, it is a widely-believed misconception that we can't legally consume alcohol untill 21. There are only limits placed on the Purchasing and Public Posession of Alcohol. "Public Posession", though, does not apply "In private clubs or establishments" or "In the course of lawful employment by a duly licensed manufacturer, wholesaler or retailer.â€￾
IIRC, only One state requires that Alcohol be brought out of the store in an opaque bag.

We can vote when 18.

We have a number of Political Parties, including a Socialist party, Numerous Independent Parties, a Communist/Workers party :D , and even an American **** Party! (They don't see many offices) The only reason there are two main parties is that they are two well-defined ends to the political spectrum, meaning that most citizens' political beliefs (with the exception of a few) are personified by one of the two parties.

No, we can't walk down the street with a joint and not get prosecuted (well, depending on who you know....), because it is a widely regarded theory that Marijuana is whats known as a "Gateway Drug". When users become Tired of the high they get from Marijuana, they move on to other, more clandestine contraband such as cocaine, heroine, and Methamphetamines.

I am in no way, shape, form, or fashion in support of the Patriot act.
That being said:
Only Elecronic data is recorded (emails and Phone calls), and only from and to citizens that are on what is known as a "Red-List". To get on this "Red-List", one usually has to display the potential of being a threat. This includes searching Google for Certain Keywords that may indicate dangerous intent (e.g. "Anarchist Cookbook", "IED", "Binary Explosives", etc.), Purchasing one of Barnes&Noble's Red-Listed books (usually stuff like Biographies of Terror cell leaders, extremist literature, etc.), and the like. (these things do, however, require repeated instances. i.e. Supppose I buy The Quran, The Anarchist's Cookbook, and a book on the Kennedy assassination, then search google for the words "Home-Made supressors" and "Dirty Bomb"...)

"Black bag searches", however, are not exclusive to the U.S. They have been carried out by almost Every Country at some point or another.

I have a large Mp3 collection as well (as does my Brother, who is a police Officer). Regulations are only for Profit-yielding Piracy operations. (As an afterthought, It's prefectly legitimate to download mp3s that are hosted on public HTTP servers for display. No Monetary Fines, no Jail time.) I had a friend though, who was selling copied CDs, He got a Legal Beatdown by the MPAA.

Since the Beginning of the Bush Era, We haven't changed. Our President never was the Brightest-Tack-in-the-Knife drawer, if you get my meaning.

Everybody's concept of "Free" is flawed. Like Clem said. It's hard (if not Damn-Near impossible) to quantify.

Clem: The market doesn't have a hold on anyone's freedom, It just has a hold on their mindset: If you go into a computer store and se nothing but windows, what are you going to think? Computers = Windows.

...and Windows = Trash.

Nothing Personal, Scorp. I just can't stand to see a great argument go to waste :P

again, sorry for trolling.
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Postby Husse on Tue May 22, 2007 8:56 am

I think we should close this thread now. Any other moderator should feel free to open it :)
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Postby scorp123 on Tue May 22, 2007 9:24 am

clem wrote: Having said that, France doesn't let you encrypt your data (you can in the US),
Not 100% precise :wink: There was an old and relatively stupid law that restricted encryption strength to 40-bit. But as far as I know they have abolished that law as nobody was abiding by it anyway. And they never checked us foreigners, although they could have easily guessed that all the equipment I carry with me (laptop, WLAN card, etc.) was very well capable of encryption way beyong their 40-bit limit.

clem wrote: France doesn't let you talk freely about what you want (you can in the US)
That's a bit of a generalisation and simplification. If you want to express e.g. your political or religious views, nobody is going to stop you, not in France, and not in Germany or elsewhere. However, if your religious or political views are about gassing Jews, wiping out Israel, mass murder of a specified ethnic minority, hatred, racism, **** and such then they will stop you -- and rightly so IMHO. Freedom of speech is a nice thing, but there are limits. One such limit is e.g. when it starts hurting others or threatens to hurt others. So yes, Neo-Nazis and ultra-right wing racists, Holocaust deniers and other such braindead idiots are indeed being censored and stopped in their tracks when they open their mouths. But I don't see this as a "problem". The last thing we need is to give such idiots a platform where they can (again !!?) express their bizarre views and spread their hatred into the world.

clem wrote: France doesn't let you buy guns
I don't really think that France is in need of a gun culture? :wink: Given how hot-headed you French folks can be it's maybe a good thing that buying guns in France is not so easy? :wink:

We Swiss each have our fully automatic Army guns at home so we are not really in need to buy additional guns ... we already have too many anyway. Other than that the purchase of guns is heavily restricted here. And this is not a bad thing.

And right now discussions are underway to have these guns stored in depots (as is the case in other countries) instead of private homes: too many weird things have happened recently, e.g. some crazy guys walking into restaurants and shooting people.

If you consider what happened recently in the USA with that crazy guy shooting so many students not having a "gun culture" is probably a good thing.

clem wrote: redbull, good satellite receivers
OK, that's new for me. I guess red bull is banned because of it's high coffeine levels?

clem wrote: but if you want to compare individual freedom between two countries you have to take this into account.
Agree.

clem wrote: Personal freedom is nice to the individual, it's not necessarily a good thing for a nation.
Agree.

clem wrote: Look at them, they all run Windows! If only there was a legislation to make them use Linux :lol:
I didn't say that. I look at Windows from a technical point of view and I find it's seriously flawed as a technical product. It's simple as that.

clem wrote: Note: I agree with the fact that the US is just the US and that what happens to US legislation doesn't affect the rest of the World or the Internet.
Bingo! :wink:

clem wrote: This is the case for software patents for instance. However, keep in mind that on the Web, the US represent grossly 50% of our Web traffic, 50% of our donations and I assume 50% of our user base. So for a project like Linux Mint, the US is not just a country among others... it's half of its community. This is very important IMHO.
Well, be cautious then :? ... Are you familiar with the case around Russian hacker Dmitry Sklyarov? He got arrested in the USA for breaking US software patents in Russia. Yes. Apparently US law doesn't care where exactly you break their patents.

So given that you have repeatedly stated that you don't care about patents (something that one might hold against you?) and given that Linux Mint incorporates technologies which might be regarded as "problematic" (that's why other distros don't incorporate those technologies!) and given that you are offering Linux Mint for download to US citizens and US customers, one might easily argue that you are actively breaking US laws or at least violating US patents, and thus making yourself a target for US law enforcement angencies. :?

Having worked in the past seven years for a US company I have seen such things happen: Things that are "normal" or "not worth anyone's attention" here in Europe can cause quite a lot of discussion in the USA ... and of course vice versa. But with software you really have to pay attention, especially if you distribute it to the USA.

I was under the impression that Linux Mint is mainly "an European thing" but if --as you say-- 50% of its user base are US-based then sooner or later you will have to give those patent issues a closer look and some really deep thoughts.

I am not a fan of the US patent system or their --IMHO-- wacky software patents, but I'd nontheless think twice about breaking their laws --regardless what I think of them-- if I were in the business of distributing software to US customers :?

Just my thoughts. :wink:
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Postby scorp123 on Tue May 22, 2007 9:26 am

RedJak wrote: But, since I never was a big fan of passivism, allow me to refute a few of Scorp's claims (just to set the record straight):
Thanks for that. Honestly. 8)

RedJak wrote: again, sorry for trolling.
We shall forgive you :wink:
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Postby clem on Tue May 22, 2007 11:04 am

We have to stop with that FUD. I am not afraid and I have no reasons to be afraid. In case you haven't noticed we're playing by the book here.

We are doing nothing wrong and nothing illegal. Even in the USA where we can fear potential legal threats due to software patents, until one is held against us, we are doing nothing illegal. Let's make that crystal clear.

We're already telling our users to use the Light Edition. We don't have to do that, we do it to make it clear to our users and to people who might want to take legal action against us that we have the power to go to the US market and provide something that they can't attack. If a country takes action and makes it impossible or illegal for its citizens to get the Full Edition, we'll still provide the Light Edition.

And even if Microsoft claimed royalties or legal action because they somehow "own" the Linux kernel, we'd provide something else and whatever we would do in the US, we'd still be the same outside of it.

I'm not going to back down and let FUD make people think we can be closed overnight by some patent lawyer. Let's make it clear to users and to companies: we're here to stay.

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Postby scorp123 on Tue May 22, 2007 2:11 pm

clem wrote: We have to stop with that FUD.
I'm just playing "advocatus diaboli" here :twisted:

clem wrote: I am not afraid and I have no reasons to be afraid. In case you haven't noticed we're playing by the book here. We are doing nothing wrong and nothing illegal. Even in the USA where we can fear potential legal threats due to software patents, until one is held against us, we are doing nothing illegal. Let's make that crystal clear. ... I'm not going to back down and let FUD make people think we can be closed overnight by some patent lawyer. Let's make it clear to users and to companies: we're here to stay.
Amen to that!

And to finally have this thread closed as per Husse's suggestion, I give the last word to Mark Shuttleworth:

"Microsoft is not the real threat"
http://www.markshuttleworth.com/archives/118

Quote from there: " ... I’m pretty certain that, within a few years, Microsoft themselves will be strong advocates against software patents. Why? Because Microsoft is irrevocably committed to shipping new software every year, and software patents represent landmines in their roadmap which they are going to step on, like it or not, with increasing regularity. They can’t sit on the sidelines of the software game - they actually have to ship new products. And every time they do that, they risk stepping on a patent landmine.

They are a perfect target - they have deep pockets, and they have no option but to negotiate a settlement, or go to court, when confronted with a patent suit.

Microsoft already spends a huge amount of money on patent settlements (far, far more than they could hope to realise through patent licensing of their own portfolio). That number will creep upwards until it’s abundantly clear to them that they would be better off if software patents were history.

In short, Microsoft will lose a patent trench war if they start one, and I’m sure that cooler heads in Redmond know that.
... "

Amen to that too :D
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