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Posts Tagged ‘Microsoft’

Pass the coffee

June 14, 2010 3 comments

Monday mornings are not as toxic to me as to others, to hear them tell it. In fact, I have a healthy indifference to Mondays; on a work-week landscape where my first day of the work week at the newspaper is a Thursday, Mondays essentially are my “Fridays.” All of which is to say, that’s not so bad.

Still, coffee would be nice, and while sipping a Kona blend, we can review some of the recent past’s events and articles, like . . .

It’s dead, Jim . . . finally: Novell came up the winner in the SCO case, according to Groklaw, and it looks like this is the end of the line for a one-time tech company turned litigation machine. Judge Ted Stewart ruled that Novell’s claim for declaratory judgment is granted; SCO’s claims for specific performance and breach of the implied covenant of good fair and fair dealings are denied. Denied. Did I mention it was denied? Also SCO’s motion for judgment as a matter of law or for a new trial: denied. Deeee-nyed! So that’s game, set, match. Also, on a personal note, as a MoFo — as in a Morrison & Foerster alum, having worked for the firm in Tokyo — I have to say I’m proud of their work in this case.

Well, duh! Chapter One: Dell, which offers Ubuntu (if you want to wait for it — more on this in a minute), gives those thinking about ordering an Ubuntu machine some reasons for making the switch. While those ordering Ubuntu Dells wait — ask me about ordering one for a client and getting a shipment date in about a month, versus a few days for an identical Windows machine — they can take a look at Number 6 on this list: Ubuntu is safer than Microsoft Windows. You think? Sheesh.

Well, duh! Part Deux: What’s the weak link in the national security in relation to cyber war? Easy question, according to a recent ars technica article: Microsoft Windows. Richard A. Clarke’s new book, “Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It,” is still making quite a splash. A quote from the article: “While it may appear to give America some sort of advantage,” Cyber War warns, “in fact cyber war places this country at greater jeopardy than it does any other nation.” The enormous dependence of our financial and energy networks on the ‘Net open us up to potentially devastating online attacks. “It is the public, the civilian population of the United States and the publicly owned corporations that run our key national systems, that are likely to suffer in a cyber war.” Yep, that sounds like Microsoft Windows all right.

What’s that? The sky is falling? It figures that the likes of PC World would take a story involving a relatively obscure IRC server, give said IRC server undue credit for popularity, exaggerate the seriousness of the situation and exaggerate how long it went unnoticed all in one article. But that’s what happened when — HORRORS! — an announcement was made on the Unreal IRCd forum that the Linux version of the popular IRC server Unreal IRCd was contaminated with malware in November 2009, without anyone noticing it. Of course, what the article conveniently fails to mention is that unlike the infections automatically started by the mere presence of Windows, this one had to be downloaded, installed, and configured. That point was glossed over. Another glaring omission: How many in the wild security breaches have there been due to this? I’m not linking to the article — PC World is not getting hits from me — but you can go to LXer and see the article, with responses, if you wish.

I need a refill.

[FSF Associate Member](Fedora ambassador Larry Cafiero runs Redwood Digital Research in Felton, California, and is an associate member of the Free Software Foundation.)
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I’m a PC . . . running GNU/Linux

September 25, 2008 1 comment

I don’t know if the same ad agency which made the obtuse Jerry and Bill ads is responsible for the current “I’m a PC” ad — frankly, I don’t really care — however the latter commercials are remarkably better than the former.

And, naturally because it’s advertising — and not only that, but advertising for Microsoft, which arguably can be considered redundant in the deception department) — it’s misleading. Shocking, I know, but still.

We could blame Apple for fostering the misconception that PCs equal Microsoft. After all they started this whole nonsense with their “I’m a Mac” ad pitting a cool guy, or so goes the perception, in comparison against a drone-like PC user. So the groundwork that PC equals Microsoft has been laid long ago.

However, the fact remains that PCs do NOT equal Microsoft. PC no longer really equals Intel, despite years of dominance by that processor.

Joe Panettieri reminds Microsoft that they are not necessarily “PC” with their PC ad in his blog at Works with U. Despite the fact I think Joe gives too much credit to Microsoft for making the personal computer available to all — items that are hashed out in the comments on his blog, so I won’t go into detail here — it makes the original point that — and I can’t stress this enough — (ahem) PCs DO NOT EQUAL WINDOWS!

Like Joe, I’m a PC. A GNU/Linux PC. I’m also a Mac, a GNU/Linux Mac if you must know.

[FSF Associate Member](Fedora ambassador Larry Cafiero runs HeliOS Solutions West in Felton, California, and is an associate member of the Free Software Foundation.)

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Three strikes, you’re out

September 18, 2008 Leave a comment

Apparently, spending $10 million on Jerry Seinfeld and $300 million on an ad campaign in which both Seinfeld and Bill Gates try to show off their “human” side isn’t paying off, and Microsoft is pulling their ad campaign tomorrow, according to this blog item.

In fact, in a classic case of advertising euthanasia, a third episode in the ad campaign may not see the light of day.

Pity.

Not.

The fact is when you compare this ad campaign — which was as mysterious as it was offensive — to others, whether it’s the current “I’m a Mac” or even the legendary “1984” ad, you can see an interesting parallel: Just as Apple blows Microsoft out of the water with its technology — OS X versus Vista? You decide — it also parallels its superiority in its ads. Conversely, Microsoft shows it’s ineptitude both in their inability to hire and execute an effective ad campaign in the same fashion that it produces inadqueate software.

[FSF Associate Member](Fedora ambassador Larry Cafiero runs HeliOS Solutions West in Felton, California, and is an associate member of the Free Software Foundation.)

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Strike two

September 11, 2008 Leave a comment

Arguably, you could maybe give the Jerry Seinfeld-Bill Gates a pass for not hitting one out of the park with their first ad, despite the fact that it was a bunt foul in the annals of advertising. And maybe I was a bit hasty with saying that the $300 million that they spent on this ad campaign is wasted

Or maybe not.

You be the judge of this, the next Microsoft ad in the series, which is probably as bad — no, it was as esoteric — as the first one. What’s even sadder is that it’s not funny.

Not only that, at least the Mac ads are humorous and — hey — the ads actually talk about computers.

It will be interesting to see what comes next. I could understand that you may not want to directly involve computers in an ad — it worked in this ad 24 years ago — but the way the current ad agency is handling Microsoft’s ad borders on criminal.

Good thing for us, too.

[FSF Associate Member](Fedora ambassador Larry Cafiero runs HeliOS Solutions West in Felton, California, and is an associate member of the Free Software Foundation.)

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This is what $300 million gets you?

September 5, 2008 Leave a comment

Bob Lewis, who I’m proud to say is my “partner in Linux crime” in the Felton Linux Users Group, sent me an e-mail this morning with a link to the first Microsoft commercial featuring comedian Jerry Seinfeld (whose dramatis persona, incidentally, spent several years as a Mac user on what can arguably be called the most watched comedy in television history).

If this is what Microsoft spent $300 million on, I think I’d ask for a refund.

On second thought, maybe that’s the point: Perhaps it’s payback for all the money people have spent over the years to migrate and update (or downgrade, in the case of Vista) and buy additional software (anti-virus ware, for example) to make Microsoft’s software, well, work. It also begs the question about how many times Microsoft intends to take it on the chin, in the public eye.

[I also sent the link to one of my best friends and best baseball buddy Pam Tao, and she got an error message on Internet Exploder. Poetic justice anyone? Here's the message (thanks, Pam): "Internet Explorer cannot open the internet site http://justinflood.com/?p=528. Operation aborted." If you get the same message, drop the ?p=528 and scroll down a few items on Justin's blog.]

[FSF Associate Member](Fedora ambassador Larry Cafiero runs HeliOS Solutions West in Felton, California, and is an associate member of the Free Software Foundation.)

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Changing teams

August 16, 2008 3 comments

Growing up in the Maspeth section of Queens, my father grew up a New York Giants fan — the baseball Giants that played at the Polo Grounds, not so much the football Giants (although I believe he never forgave Frank Gifford for fumbling away the championship 50 years ago). If you fast forward to 1987, I moved to San Francisco from Miami (long story) and picked up where my father left off, being the second generation of Cafiero to live and die with the orange and black.

My father’s favorite Giant was Mel Ott, but then there were also Johnny Mize, Carl Hubbell, Eddie Stanky. And there was Bobby Thomson, who hit the legendary home run the year my parents were married. I got to San Francisco in ’87, the year Candy Maldonado lost a ball in the lights against the Cardinals in the playoffs which brought me, and the Giants, back to earth. Two years later, it was Will Clark acing the Cubs’ Mitch “Wild Thing” Williams in the league championship, sending the Giants to “Bay’s-ball” against Oakland and to the first World Series interrupted by a natural disaster.

In addition, I have five Croixs de Candlesticks — awarded to Giants fans who braved the elements at Candlestick Park during extra-inning games — on a cap which also bears the ’89 National League Championship pin.

What does this have to do with FOSS? The reason I’m waxing nostalgic about the Giants is because it looks like I’m going to have to leave them on Oct. 1: Microsoft attorney Bill Neukom takes control of the ballclub in October as president.

It’s impossible for me to support a team that is run by a shill who has made his fortune representing a company that has made its sole raison d’etre squelching any semblance of digital choice; all that while forcing on the public some of the worst software in the short history of personal computing.

This may not make a lot of sense to the Europeans reading this. But imagine a Manchester United fan having to switch his or her support to Manchester City; Real Madrid to Barcelona; Juventus to AC Milano; All Blacks to Australia. Change can be necessary because team allegiances should include principles and mean more than just root, root, root for the home team.

So once this season ends, I’m going to hang up my hat, hang up the jacket and shop around for another team to support. The Oakland Athletics, more than likely, will keep my heart in the San Francisco Bay Area. But perhaps I’ll take the winter off while hoping the San Francisco 49ers do something resembling anything (thanks, Pam) and also root for the Canadian Football League’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats, since co-owner Bob Young is one of the founders of Red Hat.

Go Cats.

[FSF Associate Member](Fedora ambassador Larry Cafiero runs HeliOS Solutions West in Felton, California, and is an associate member of the Free Software Foundation.)

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The doctor is in

June 15, 2008 7 comments

[If you think I don't write enough here, I have a good excuse: I've been blogging at the Lindependence 2008 Felton Diary here. I'll get here when I can.]

I’ve mentioned this before in blogs, but it bears repeating: For years, I have hoped to be a thorn in Dell’s side, the pebble in ol’ Mike’s Gucci loafers about dependability and quality of the machines that came from the Dallas conglomerate.

So when Dell decided to see the light and offer Ubuntu as an OS option, I asked for a nice bearnaise sauce to go with the crow I dutifully, and happily, ate.

Fast forward to late last week, when I helped my commercial neighbor Ron at Long Cabinet Company with the memory on his Dell laptop, it was one of those opportunities to show that what we do, hardware- and software-wise, is not exactly some sort of black magic. In addition, it showed Ron how Dell and Microsoft are working together to make Vista unusable.

Ron’s wife had bought Ron a gig of memory and he asked me to install it. Thanks to Dell — more crow, please — adding memory on the laptops is merely a matter of just removing a panel, popping it in, and putting the panel back on; 60 seconds, tops.

This was the easy part: The harder part, and the part I couldn’t explain other than to say that it’s a huge mistake by both Dell and Microsoft, was trying to justify to Ron how Dell could sell a machine that they said was Vista-ready with “only” 512MB of RAM and how Microsoft could make an “new and improved” operating system that . . . well . . . oh, never mind. In the end, both Dell and Microsoft took a back seat to an explanation of how GNU/Linux doesn’t have the same problems that Ron was experiencing.

One more convert in the making? One can only hope.

[FSF Associate Member](Larry Cafiero runs HeliOS Solutions West in Felton, California, and is an associate member of the Free Software Foundation.)

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