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"Unfortunately, Bill Gates is not a wizard. Even worse, he is a bad programmer. When Martin Eller, a Microsoft programmer, found an error in the flood fill routine of the MS-Basic interpreter, he exclaimed "Which moron wrote this brainless sh*t?" only to find out it was Gates himself who wrote the "brainless sh*t". I think it is safe to say that Bill Gates is hardly the technical wizard he would so much like to be."

"One notorious proof that Bill Gates has it wrong time and time again, are the "death marches". According to Cinepad (which hosts an entire MS-vocabulary), a death march is: "The long, lingering final countdown to a ship date, involving 16-25-hour days, catnaps on couches, and plenty of 'flat food' (food, mostly from vending machines, that you can slip under people's doors so they can keep working)"."

"Of course, this way of working simply couldn't continue. This had to go wrong one time. I don't mean the viruses, the spyware or the overall security (or lack of it). Microsoft tolerates the bugs riddling the software, since problems can always be patched over.


After investing $15 million into Ubuntu through the last two years Shuttleworth says it may take another two years to see if his company, Canonical, will turn a profit, but says it doesn't really matter if it does.

""He's paying all the bills either way, along with setting up a $10 million endowment for the Ubuntu Foundation that's earning interest for a day when his attentions may drift elsewhere.""

The difference between Canonical Ubuntu business model and the RedHat one is that Canonical support service contract is completely optional, even for Enterprise edition of the OS while RedHat Enterprise edition requires a support contract.

""Deutsche Bank could deploy 10,000 Ubuntu servers, and they would not have to pay us anything,” says Shuttleworth in a hypothetical example. “But my guess is for 1,000 of those servers, they would want a 24-by-7 support contract.”"

Shuttleworth also believes that Free Software is inevitable:

"For Shuttleworth, free software is an inevitable progression, whether it comes from his company or not.


If you really want to see Microsoft scramble to patch a hole in its software, don't look to vulnerabilities that impact countless Internet Explorer users or give intruders control of thousands of Windows machines. Just crack Redmond's DRM.

...

Now, this isn't a "vulnerability" in the normal sense of the word: digital rights management is not a feature that users want. Being able to remove copy protection is a good thing for some users, and completely irrelevant for everyone else. No user is ever going to say: "Oh no. I can now play the music I bought for my computer in my car. I must install a patch so I can't do that anymore."

But to Microsoft, this vulnerability is a big deal. It affects the company's relationship with major record labels. It affects the company's product offerings. It affects the company's bottom line. Fixing this "vulnerability" is in the company's best interest; never mind the customer.

So Microsoft wasted no time; it issued a patch three days after learning about the hack. There's no month-long wait for copyright holders who rely on Microsoft's DRM. -- Read more...


"What kind of contract includes a provision that one of the parties has the right to violate the contract with impunity? Well, the Windows XP EULA for one, as an interesting analysis of Microsoft's legalese points out.

Several readers have justifiably praised LinuxAdvocate.org's "Windows XP EULA in Plain English" page in which each section of the current Windows XP Home EULA is printed side-by-side with a clear explanation of what it means. Given the fact that most of us have "agreed" to it or a very similar Microsoft EULA, the LinuxAdvocate's analysis is definitely worth reading." -- Read more


"Google, infamous for its continuing cooperation with Chinese censors, says it'll hand over a "small and narrow" amount of data to Brazilian authorities after the government issued a 15-day ultimatum.

"Brazil is seeking date and timestamp information relating to a small number of users who posted pornographic, racist and homophobic information on Orkut," continues eWeek, adding:

"Unlike the U.S. Justice Department's request for broad data, which Google resisted earlier this year, Brazil's request is for a discrete amount of information that will be used to investigate specific criminal activity."" -- Read more