Archive 8

Even being the richest man in the world doesn't stop you from getting a pie in the face.

"But godliness with contentment is great gain."
1 Timothy 6:6 (NIV).

Apple Beats iMac Copycats

Posted 12 March 2000.

By Dennis Sellers,

March 8, 2000, 11:15 am ET

Apple today announced that it has successfully concluded its iMac trade dress infringement cases against Daewoo and eMachines by securing worldwide injunctions that prevent the two companies from manufacturing, distributing, selling or promoting their respective computers, E-Power and eOne.

Apple successfully argued that the eOne copied the design of Apple's own iMac computer; the PC-compatible eOne features a one-box design and translucent blue and white case material that make it appear markedly similar to the iMac. The ePower mimicked the iMac's design by incorporating an egg-shaped architecture and featuring multiple color schemes almost identical to the iMac's casing.

The case against Daewoo was settled after the U.S. Federal Court in San Jose entered a preliminary injunction barring the sale of Daewoo's E-Power computers that copied the design of the iMac. The court also granted an injunction against Future Power's distribution or sale of the E-Power computer.

In January, Apple settled its iMac trade dress litigation with K.K. Sotec in Japan. Under the terms of the settlement, Sotec is prohibited from manufacturing, selling or exporting the eOne personal computer. That settlement was reached after the Tokyo District Court issued a preliminary injunction against Sotec on Sept. 20, 1999.

Shortly after the settlement, Sotec announced plans to sell a re-tooled version of its iMac clone with features "not to be confused with the iMac." The eOne went on sale in Japan on July 21, at around 80 percent of the price tag of the iMac. The Tokyo District Court then imposed a preliminary injunction on production and sales of the eOne as it considered the suit. Sotec's shares plummeted 25 percent after the injunction.

Great Writer

Posted 14 March 2000.

There was once a young man who, in his youth, professed his desire to become a great writer.

When asked to define "great" he said, "I want to write stuff that the whole world will read, stuff that people will react to on a truly emotional level, stuff that will make them scream, cry, laugh, howl in pain and anger!"

He now works for Microsoft, writing error messages.

Me Maybe, But Not Us

Posted 16 March 2000.

Plug a printer into a Mac and you've got a network. Windows Me (Millenium Edition) is the upgrade to Win98:

Microsoft has dropped support for some networking technology from its upcoming Windows Me consumer operating system in a move analysts say is intended to nudge customers to the company's more lucrative Windows 2000 software.


The networking features being removed from Windows Me were available in Windows 95 and Windows 98...

Windows Me, with its tagline of "It Just Works," reflects this movement toward simplicity.

"It Only Just Works" would be more like it. I don't think many "consumer" games are going to be affected, though. I believe the networking technologies removed are not used by (m)any games.

Intel Overheating Toshibae

Posted 24 March 2000.

Intel has another problem. Some Toshiba notebooks are dying because of their processor's mobile module is letting too much of the heat generated by the processor escape into the notebook environment. The excess heat prompts the notebook to shut down until repaired.

Several hundred incidents already have been reported to Toshiba. Intel pays for the fix, which takes about an hour for most notebooks. The problem likely slipped by because most manufacturers generally don't worry about revisions unless Intel tells them there is a need to.

"Usually you don't see heat issues until you speed up the processor," said International Data Corp. analyst Katrina Dahlquist. "I'm sure Intel does their own internal testing, but they might not warn companies about a revision unless the (processor and module) no longer met original specifications... Intel might conclude it's just a simple component change and everything is exactly the same."

Strangely, Intel warned PC manufacturers the problem could occur in modules released after Sept. 1, even though the chip revision that causes it did not occur until December.

"We're trying to figure out what that means," said a Toshiba representative. "We can't seem to see the logic here."

Naughty, Naughty?

Posted 24 March 2000.

From CNET:

Microsoft's lobbyists are being investigated by a state commission about a $2,399 dinner the company hosted for state legislators in New York City, the company confirmed.

The guests included state assembly minority leader John Faso and his assembly members as well as staffers from New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani's office.

At issue is why the company provided the New York Temporary State Commission on Lobbying with an inaccurate list of attendees at the dinner Microsoft paid for at the Old Homestead steakhouse last November.

The Times Union of Albany reported Saturday that the state commission began investigating when it called some of the people on the list only to learn that they had not attended the dinner. Additionally, the paper reported, some of the guests, including Faso, were left off the list.


It reads like perfect PieGate fodder, but the rest of the article goes on to give Micromeal's excuse: An employee had to leave the dinner early so she got the list from Faso's office. The poeple there explained the list was of those people invited, not those people who attended.

Alleged Death Threat

Posted 25 March 2000.

It's a hard, cruel word, made even more so by managers taking swipes at each other.

Microsoft's Philippine country manager will return to Manila next week to face charges of threatening the life of an executive of software rival Lotus Development. Darren Lockie, a Briton, denies the charges and has slapped his accuser, Lotus Philippines managing director Victor Silvino, with a countersuit.

'I will come back to answer the legal charges, but once this all is over I am walking away from the Philippines," said Lockie, who has managed Microsoft's Philippine operations out of Singapore in recent months because of fears for his safety.

"The distraction is just too great and I wouldn't want to risk my life," he told Bloomberg News from Singapore.


Microsoft Ruling Imminent

Posted 28 March 2000.

The world's most successful software company, Microsoft, appears to have failed in its bid to reach a settlement with the US Justice Department designed to ensure it doesn't behave in a monopolistic manner in the future.

Last year, District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, ruled that Microsoft had abused its market position and had damaged competitors and consumers.

A mediator was then appointed to assist Microsoft and the Justice Dept to reach a settlement. However, citing sources close to the case, the New York Times has reported that Microsoft's offers where insufficiently watertight to convince officials that the company would not be able to abuse its market leadership in the future.

Consequently, Judge Jackson is expected to publicly rule that Microsoft had broken the country's antitrust laws. That would then advance the case to the next step - the issue of remedies.

Such a ruling would be dangerous for Microsoft, as it would open the company to

private litigation from companies and consumers who felt they had been damaged by Microsoft's actions from mid-1980s onwards, when Windows became virtually the only operating system available on IMB-compatible computers.

However, if Judge Jackson does proceed to such a ruling, Microsoft is expected to appeal to higher courts and had said it would go as far as the Supreme Court, if necessary.

Credit Card Details of World's Richest Man

Posted 28 March 2000.

LONDON--A teenager arrested in Wales for allegedly hacking into e-commerce Web sites obtained the credit card details of Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft and the world's richest man, newspapers reported today.

Raphael Gray, 18, was arrested Friday for Internet fraud after a joint operation between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Welsh Police. The FBI said losses connected to the activities of Gray and another unamed 18-year-old could exceed $3 million.

But Gray, the self-styled "Saint of E-commerce," said: "I just wanted to prove how insecure these sites are. I have done the honest thing, but I have been ignored."

Gray and his accomplice e-mailed credit card details, including those of Gates, to NBCi, a subsidiary of the NBC broadcasting group, the Telegraph said.

The 18-year-olds used the screen name "Curador"--Welsh for custodian--and allegedly hacked into nine e-commerce sites, stealing credit card information related to more than 26,000 accounts in the United States, Canada, Thailand, Japan and Britain.

The arrests stemmed from an FBI investigation conducted with the Welsh police, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Internet security consultants, the FBI said, adding that the international banking and credit card industry also provided substantial cooperation.

Gray and the other man were questioned and have been released on bail.

The FBI was still investigating a wave of attacks last month that disrupted some of the Internet's most popular sites.

The FBI's own Web site was attacked on March 14, the same day the agency celebrated the 50th anniversary of its "Ten Most Wanted Fugitives" list, which is publicized on the site, FBI officials said.

For Every Action...

Posted 1 April 2000.

Darwin is only at version 0.3, but it's doing pretty well judging from this this report:

LONDON -- Apple software developer Wilfredo Sanchez's note on an Apple bulletin board that he's got Darwin--Apple's open-source OS project and the basis for the upcoming Mac OS X--running on Intel's x86 platform may not be a tacit "Mac OS X for Intel" announcement, but it sure comes at a very interesting time.

In his posting, on Apple's Darwin Development bulletin board, Sanchez notes briefly: "Wednesday, the whole thing compiled for the first time for both PowerPC and Intel. That's been my target for the past couple of months, and now I'm just ironing out details."


When Darwin 1.0 ships--presumably in the not-too-distant future, like as not in time for the final beta of Mac OS X, due this spring--it will almost certainly appear in Intel and PowerPC forms...

A week or so back, the rumor mill churned out a nice little item suggesting that a couple of unnamed Wintel PC vendors had been talking to Apple about licensing Mac OS X.

This will all be sure to draw a strong retaliation from the big Intel OS monopoloy that we all love to hate - Microsoft. Expect billion dollar advertising for its Macrocrap line of OS products.


Posted 11 April 2000.

Some months ago Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson released his "finding of fact" - a 237 page document that clearly laid out that Microsoft is indeed a monopoly.

More recently the verdict came in that Microsoft has been found guilty of using its monopoly position to eliminate competition, especially in regard to its web browser. We all knew that anyway - and hence no posting here at the time.

What happens next is uncertain. The latest possibility to surface from the rumour pond is that MS will lose all rights to Internet Explorer, with the code being made public. The judge has stated that he wants to pass the sentence on MS within 60 days from his verdict.

There are reported to be 117 other cases currently pending against Microsoft or in the process of being against Microsoft.