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"Show Us the Code" Breaks Its Silence 180

Posted by kdawson
from the getting-out-of-the-kitchen dept.
DigDuality writes with an explanation of the silence of the Show Us the Code initiative. The push he began — to gather influential sponsors demanding that Steve Ballmer reveal what Linux code he believed to be infringing Microsoft patents — was discussed here last February. "Show Us the Code has been silent since March 23. May came and went — the deadline allotted for calling Ballmer's bluff — but the site gave no update. I now explain the silence. After a scheduled interview with Forbes columnist Dan Lyons didn't happen, and my place of employment falsely accused me of representing that they endorsed my own political goals, I decided it was best to shut my mouth so I would be able to keep paying my bills. I'm glad to see Linus now publicly echoing the sentiments that this site espoused. Maybe someone already accustomed to the limelight will have better luck in challenging Microsoft's FUD machine."
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"Show Us the Code" Breaks Its Silence

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  • It's not in their interest to admit anything, that would bing their very successful run of bullshit to an end requiring them to think up new bullshit
  • Keep paying bills (Score:5, Interesting)

    by HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) * <lajollahomeless@hotmail.com> on Monday July 02, 2007 @10:38PM (#19725625) Homepage Journal

    my place of employment falsely accused me of representing that they endorsed my own political goals, I decided it was best to shut my mouth so I would be able to keep paying my bills
    If that could've been properly documented I think there is federal protection for termination threats based upon political affiliation.

    In the real world, though, that sort of thing is nearly impossible to document fully and, even if it is well documented, one must still retain the services of an attorney ($$$) willing to stake their reputation against what could be a multimillion dollar company, and their respective insurers and financiers, with more than enough legal backing of their own.

    Not that I would know anything about how that sort of situation plays out. It would most certainly be indicative of an "OMG teh evil conspiracy!" if I were to suggest that I've been on the worse end of a similar situation.

    All that said: sell-out. =P~~~~
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by jollyreaper (513215)

      Not that I would know anything about how that sort of situation plays out. It would most certainly be indicative of an "OMG teh evil conspiracy!" if I were to suggest that I've been on the worse end of a similar situation.
      Sounds like somebody doesn't love our worshipful Great Profit, Bonuses and Dividends Be Upon Him. Why do you hate capitalism and America? Why do you hurt your parents so?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by muridae (966931)

      If that could've been properly documented I think there is federal protection for termination threats based upon political affiliation.

      If they were threatening him for that, sure. But that's not what the article said.

      falsely accused me of representing that they endorsed my own political goals

      The company was upset because, in their eyes, he used their name in a way that made it look like they supported him. They just threatened him with termination over misuse of the company name. The problem is, even

      • by LEgregius (550408)
        That depends on which state he lives in. In a lot of states, you can be fired for no reason at all other than the employer doesn't want you to work there any longer. If they terminated him and said "we simply don't want you to work here," it could be very hard to win a court battle over wrongful termination. He would have to prove they did it for a given reason.
    • by ad0gg (594412)
      IANAL, there is no protection for political affliation, its not part of the Equal opportunity protection(race,gender,sex, national origin).
    • by DigDuality (918867) on Tuesday July 03, 2007 @12:23AM (#19726523)
      This reply just isn't to you. It's to many in this threaded discussion. Yes i was stupid for using company machines. That i know. I knew it then. I still don't have proof of them knowing this way. I don't know one way or the other. But you have to consider, i was one man handling an irc chatroom, revamping a website that blew up far faster than expected, maintaining a blog, i have a romantic life that's important to me, chores to do, errands to run. I used up every second of every day, and losing sleep answering the 1000s of e-mails and attempting to contact many people who may help the cause. It was stupid, but there simply wasn't enough time in the day. I'm not saying i didn't have a choice, i did. I made a bad one.

      As for those that'll accuse me of advertising and attempting to get attention. Find me one advertisement on that site. That site cost me money and i didn't advertise a damned thing.
       
      As to my job versus what I enjoy software wise, lets get real here. This is the real world. I'm not 30. I don't write for the linux kernel. I'm not management. I'm also not a kid. I have real world bills, i live in an area where finding a job in open source is next to impossible and i go where the money goes. If i happen across a position that aligns with my passions (which i actively strive for) then all the better. But until then there's rent and car payment and electric bills, and insurance, and gas and pets to feed and a relationship i value. I put things in perspective and i'm not such a strong idealist that i'm going to destroy me life. I'm not a member of PETA and i have a bit of common sense in this regard.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by TheoMurpse (729043)

      If that could've been properly documented I think there is federal protection for termination threats based upon political affiliation.

      I think that this would not be viewed by the courts as a firing for political reasons, since "Microsoft needs to explain what patents Linux infringes upon" is not a political goal.

      Instead, here's what I (as someone who spent a semester researching employee firings) think about this:
      There is a common law tradition of allowing an employer to fire an employee for

      1. a good reason
      • Let me also state, i was not fired. I left on a good note and i did not leave over this issue. I did have my mind made up that when i did leave, this would be made public.
      • by Hatta (162192)
        Our legal system isn't "lawyers always win", it's "lawyers ONLY win". Yet your analogy still stands. If infrastructure design was such that only engineers won in the end, that system would be just as broken as our legal system.
  • This type of behavior is very typical in the business world. If someone says 'prove it' to a company, that someone usually gets some celebrity status, but also they run the risk of being crushed under the company's legal department. It's a shame this guy had to get flack in his job, even though it was 'professionally' handled. They should have read up first, and then seen how to deal with the situation, but as time == money, they couldn't be arsed.
    How has this influenced MS and more importantly Ballmer
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Otter (3800)
      ...that someone usually gets some celebrity status, but also they run the risk of being crushed under the company's legal department.

      This guy seems to have been crushed under the weight of being a marginal Linux celebrity. It gives you some sympathy for Paris Hilton the way he's flipping out after 248 Slashdot comments and a Forbes reporter not following through with an interview.

  • by chubs730 (1095151) on Monday July 02, 2007 @10:49PM (#19725741)
    I'm sure he'll show you a chair or two
  • What gets me.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew&gmail,com> on Monday July 02, 2007 @10:50PM (#19725749) Homepage Journal
    ...is that there wasn't a general claim "that we believe one or more patents may have been infringed upon" but rather a very specific claim that they know some 200 specific patents were violated.

    If they know exactly how many were allegedly violated, then they have already done their research.

    Here is the funny thing. If M$ released that list, immediately people would score the code of the Linux/GNU system to verify the claims. In the possibility that M$ has a legitimate claim, people would write new workaround-code and destroy M$'s case. If the claims are shown to be less than legitimate, it detroys M$'s case.

    M$ has nothing to gain by releasing this information, and everything to lose. This is a huge scare tactic, that may work to scare large businesses away from considering what may turn out to be illegal software. And why migrate if you may be forced to migrate back?

    This is a rotten tactic, but a very effective and insidious one. Luckily, I don't think this will destroy Linux, as Linus pointed out, many of the basic patents of a GUI that M$ may be referring to are likely pretty much public domain at this point. If anything, there is prior art from vast numbers of previous GUIs that M$ copied, so it is absurd to think they invented everything, let alone own exclusive rights to it.

    When companies like Novell were first approached by M$, they should have gone to the Linux Foundation, or EFF. Instead they took a payday that inherently casts a doubt of suspision upon the entire Linux community. And while I was a fan of SuSe and many of the things they did, I will never again advocate the use of any Novell products, nor any major distro/vendor that strikes such a deal.
    • Re:What gets me.. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Surt (22457) on Monday July 02, 2007 @11:04PM (#19725881) Homepage Journal
      Rewriting the code is great for future infringement, but does nothing to protect everyone currently using linux from their past infringements, not to mention everyone who has shipped non upgradeable hardware running a fixed version of linux or uclinux.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Enderandrew (866215)
        You are correct. In that regard, companies like Novell could be hit financially in a suit if it was shown they sold a product that infringed upon patents. Meanwhile, the Linux Foundation turns back to the EU who demanded MS open up their products and libraries more for interoperability with other OS'es. Linux has a stronger hold in the EU, and the EU has already proven they will rule against MS. Does MS really want to open that legal battle again?

        Again, given the possibility of legal repercussions that
      • by Marsala (4168)

        True, but the patent holder also has a responsibility to defend the patent. If they push this to trial, I'd imagine the first question the defense will be asking is, "So, if you knew there were 200+ patent violations in 2003, why did you wait 5 years to send out cease and desist notices or start any legal proceedings against the offenders?"

        • by Surt (22457)
          The patent holder has no responsibility to defend the patent. That's trademarks.
          Patents are completely capriciously enforceable. If MS wanted to, they could pursue a suit against you and only you for the linux patent violations, and that would be perfectly legal. (assuming you're a linux user, and the patent claims are valid).
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Dunbal (464142)
      M$ has nothing to gain by releasing this information, and everything to lose.

      I beg to differ:

      They have EVERYTHING to gain - open source coders will alter their code so that it no longer violates MS patents.

      They have NOTHING to lose - releasing a list won't cost them anything - presumably they already HAVE it.

      Oh oh I SEE WHAT YOU MEAN - you mean they will lose potential "damages" from a "lawsuit"? Right I forgot for a second, it's about MONEY
      • Of course (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ClosedSource (238333)
        "Right I forgot for a second, it's about MONEY - no one CARES about the patent really - it's just a means to an end, right?"

        Patents have always been about money. What did you think they were for - bragging rights?
        • by Dunbal (464142)
          Patents restrict the rights of others, and guarantee the "author"'s rights. The idea was that this lets the author make a lot money by manufacturing his product. So yes and no. Patents aren't strictly money (otherwise the government would simply hand the author a fat cash subsidy for his invention). The author still has the job of actually trying to earn money from his invention.

          But now enter the Jackpot Justice legal system. Why should I go through all the bother (and risk!) of trying to manufacture someth
      • by Svartalf (2997)

        Oh oh I SEE WHAT YOU MEAN - you mean they will lose potential "damages" from a "lawsuit"? Right I forgot for a second, it's about MONEY - no one CARES about the patent really - it's just a means to an end, right? In reality, with them NOT revealing what the infringements are in a timely matter they lose the right to
        damages, and possibly even the right to enforce their patent rights against the code that currently
        infringes. MS is counting on the FUD factor of possible "illegal" software and ignorance of

        • by Svartalf (2997)
          ARRGH... Blown closing tag... Must have more caffeine in the morning before my first posts of the day...
    • Re:What gets me.. (Score:5, Informative)

      by harlows_monkeys (106428) on Monday July 02, 2007 @11:22PM (#19726045) Homepage
      It's probably the same ones that RMS says Linux violates: [fsfeurope.org]

      Two years ago, a thorough study found that the kernel Linux infringed 283 different software patents, and that's just in the US. Of course, by now the number is probably different and might be higher.
      • Thanks for the link!
    • by fermion (181285)
      It reminds me of this [conservapedia.com]. It is very important that when you lie, you lie very specifically. That way, not only do people believe you, but fanbois will have some basis to defend you later. After all, if you were so specific, you must have had some reason to believe you were telling the truth. Or, in this case, they can merely say you were misquoted. After all, why would say such a specific thing that was so easily verifiable as incorrect.

      And it really is so apropos on this day of forgiving acts against

    • by dbIII (701233)

      but rather a very specific claim that they know some 200 specific patents were violated.

      It remains equal to the claim of more than sixteen thousand weapons of mass destruction sites until an example is given. This behaviour is a very bad trend and I'm sure we will see a lot more of it.

    • by xeoron (639412)
      I do wonder if a law suit could be placed against them in civil court to force them to produce the list of violations. Thoughts anyone?
      • I doubt it, unless you tried to excuse them of fraud/extortion.

        Let's say the argument is that they made up the patent allegations as a means to defraud/con people into these vendor agreements. Under those terms, I can see a court order demanding they produce such a list to ensure Microsoft wasn't defrauding Novell.
  • Voting Machines? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by binaryspiral (784263) on Monday July 02, 2007 @10:56PM (#19725801)
    I wish the same amount of pressure was behind the US Electronic Voting machine systems to open their code.

    Until then, what's the point of holding elections?
  • Enough said. The world will be a better place when they are gone.
  • [blockquote]They were professional and courteous and reassured they would not attempt to violate my freedom of speech. But the underlying message was clear even if it was never stated explicitly and I was not in a position to start bucking my place of employment over a political cause.[/blockquote]

    I sympathize with the guy, I really do, but in no way, shape, or form, was his freedom of speech violated, nor could they have violated even if they wanted to, even if they threatened (and followed through) with f
    • by King_TJ (85913)
      I don't see why you're so "up in arms" over his (IMHO quite valid) point about "freedom of speech"??

      Sure, they're not blocking him from speaking out in a strict sense, but he explains pretty clearly why they're making it highly impractical to continue.

      At the end of the day, are we content to define "free speech" as simply "You won't get thrown in prison or killed over saying this!", or do we want to strive for truly being able to speak out without harassment, loss of employment, or other repercussions?

      I thi
      • by Torvaun (1040898)
        Because it isn't actually valid. The government is the only group constrained by the Bill of Rights. You want some examples?
        1. You do not have freedom of speech in a theater. You have freedom of shutting the hell up. Theaters can remove you for talking, and they don't even have to give you a refund.
        2. You do not have the right to keep and bear arms in many businesses. Try exercising your 2nd Amendment in a bank sometime, see how that works out for you.
        3. Ok, this one is narrowly defined enough not t
      • by gfxguy (98788)
        Freedom of "speech", which has been expanded by the supreme court to include the more generic "Freedom of Expression", in no way, shape, or form, means "Freedom from repercussion."

        The employer ALSO has a right to freedom of expression, and if he chooses to fire someone to express his opinion, he's the boss.

        Really, it's a minor version of what Hollywood actors are complaining about - that studios don't want to put them in their movies after they've "exercised their free speech." The Dixie Chicks whined thei
    • It's pathetic. He admits he freely stopped the site himself, he admits he obtained little or no support, he admits he received little direct media contact regarding the issue and then tries to make out there was some nebulous conspiracy to silence him which he was unable to fight. Personally I felt he was extremely lucky not to have been fired for using his employers computers for uploading to the site during work hours.
    • I sympathize with the guy, I really do, but in no way, shape, or form, was his freedom of speech violated, nor could they have violated even if they wanted to, even if they threatened (and followed through) with firing him. I'm getting a little sick and tired of people claiming to be the victim in what they consider "freedom of speech" issues. This is nothing of the kind.

      Sorry, but are you really saying that you are happy with people being fired because of their reasonable and legal political beliefs? I
      • I recently had a similar, if lower profile, experience with my employer. Essentially Fortune 1000 companies are scared that something someone says might come across as upsetting to business relationships. As a result, they tend to be overly cautious in their response.

        In my case, the corporate communications department was "concerned" that someone might interpret a future action to be offensive. Since the up side to my activities would benefit the department I work for, and the potential down side might n
    • by pavera (320634)
      As to selectively enforcing patents, yes you can. Look at NTP vs RIMM. They didn't sue everyone at once, they left Nokia and Palm to go implement wireless email while they fought with RIMM, now that they won against them, now they are going after the others.

      Also, the companies he mentions probably (read definitely) have patent cross license deals with MS. Sun does for sure (a result of the whole java settlement), and MS owns something like 15% of Apple, bailed them out in the 90s. I'm sure they both hav
    • This might be a good thing to ask Mr. Beckerman if he's around.

      In my one business law class, I seem to recall a series of cases describing something called a "De Minimis Fringe", whereupon an exployee uses a company resource, but the pure cost of that usage is so small that it results in laughable fianncial effect.
      "Ten Minutes of time plus whatever CPU power plus electricity" is right in that category. (Some of the original cases dealt with machines like copiers & faxes.)

      Everyone take a crisp look at yo
  • Thanks for that (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Satanboy (253169) on Monday July 02, 2007 @11:22PM (#19726043)
    Thank you for putting up an explanation on what happened.
    Thank you for trying to help the community.
    Thank you for putting your ass on the line and going as far as you could before you were silenced.

    I'm sorry you were put in such a position.
    Keep up the good work, and keep your chin up.

    It was brave to explain what happened, and it was the right choice you made.
    The open source community is important, but keeping a roof over your head should always be your top priority.
    • by mctk (840035)
      You feeling alright Satan?
    • I'd like to also ad that you are an inspiration.

      ON top of that, I'd like to say that it really sucks, that people have to choose between staying employed, and speaking their mind.

      Monopoly power and fascism come to mind. And I think this trend is going to get worse before it gets better. Companies should be more afraid of these tactics -- and if enough of us call their bluff, maybe they will. After all, there are more of us, than there is of them.
  • But it has to be FUD (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Bellum Aeternus (891584) on Monday July 02, 2007 @11:26PM (#19726071)
    If we knew what the patents were it wouldn't be FUD, it'd just be something to work around. Fear is power, remember that.
  • Dan Lyons (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Monday July 02, 2007 @11:45PM (#19726229)

    After a scheduled interview with Forbes columnist Dan Lyons didn't happen,
    That's probably the best endorsement Show Me the Code could get - if Dan Lyons - notorious anti-Free Software disinformation specialist - can't figure out a way to spin the situation to make MS look good and Linux developers look like a bunch of hippie commies criminals, then no one can.
    • by slughead (592713)

      Dan Lyons - notorious anti-Free Software disinformation specialist

      I would not say that's a fair description. His most famous article is the prescient 1999 Red Hat [forbes.com] article in which he states that Red Hat is a great business venture and M$ is on the slow, declining power curve.

      Forbes is a great magazine and usually tends to think outside the box about things. That's not always good, but in this case, it certainly was. 1999 was not the smartest year to call M$ a loser.

  • by RoadWarriorX (522317) on Monday July 02, 2007 @11:59PM (#19726335) Homepage
    I have a hard time finding any references to this guy's employer anywhere in his blog. So, what asshat translated the mere existence of this blog into "representing the company"? With respect to his need to pay the bills and all, maybe he should have stood up for himself.
    • I have a hard time finding any references to this guy's employer anywhere in his blog.

      I didn't. With one command I found out his name, e-mail address, street address, and phone number. I don't know what contact info he had listed before, but if he used his company's street address, phone number, or e-mail address, I could see a potential for a problem.
    • by ultranova (717540)

      With respect to his need to pay the bills and all, maybe he should have stood up for himself.

      Standing up makes you easier to hit. Laying in dirt is safer.

  • Who snitched (Score:4, Interesting)

    by wrook (134116) on Tuesday July 03, 2007 @12:05AM (#19726389) Homepage
    TFA makes reference to the possibility that a certain author may have tipped off his company that he was hosting an "anti-Microsoft" website. I think this is unlikely. As he mentions himself, his website garnered a lot of attention not least of all on Slashdot. I think it is much more likely that Microsoft themselves contacted his employer. They must have known what was going on and this would be a relatively simple way to shut down the site. As his employer was a Microsoft partner, the result was predictable.

    Which leads me to some advice. Aligning your profession with personal ideals is generally a good idea. But if you are planning on being any kind of activist at all, it's imperative. You can pretend all you want that it shouldn't matter what you do in your spare time. But when push comes to shove, your livelihood is a powerful piece of leverage in a political spat.

    After 20 years in the proprietary software industry I'm finally waking up and smelling the coffee. As of Friday I'm retiring and going to work on something unrelated to computers. This will leave me unfettered to do the things I believe in in my spare time. It's funny, I've always valued freedom, but I've spent the majority of my career voluntarily chained to something I fundamentally disagree with. Life is strange...
    • TFA makes reference to the possibility that a certain author may have tipped off his company that he was hosting an "anti-Microsoft" website. I think this is unlikely. As he mentions himself, his website garnered a lot of attention not least of all on Slashdot. I think it is much more likely that Microsoft themselves contacted his employer. They must have known what was going on and this would be a relatively simple way to shut down the site. As his employer was a Microsoft partner, the result was predictab

      • Another possibility is that they did detect his FTP use. It's well known that "Fortune Whatever" companies are paranoid about "industrial espionage. It's very possible that they are set up to automatically check outgoing FTP against a list of authorized targets, and they check up on those that don't match the list.

        So it's purely co-incidence that they day after DigDuality gives Dan Lyons his contact details, a routine log trawl at his employers highlights 2 ten second uploads to a blogspot IP hosting a s

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 03, 2007 @12:35AM (#19726605)
    I work for a Microsoft partner, and I own and use a Macbook Pro - at work. I bought it because the company refused to replace my (very under-spec) company laptop when it died, and I wanted to run Unix, OS X, and Windows on the same machine at the same time. (Think universal debugging - I can use any browser on any platform simultaneously.) I took the machine to the IT head to have him clear it into the office, and he they expressed some concern over the non-removable camera, he and his manager came to the conclusion that it and I presented a very low leak risk. (I have worked for the company for almost a decade.)
    The next day I was called into a surprise meeting with the CIO and the head of sales, and I was told to bring the Mac with me. We had a discussion revolving around my "unfortunate" choice of vendor. Someone had mentioned the machine to someone who told someone and so on until somehow our contact at Microsoft was involved. By the time it got to MS they were told the company had bought the machine for me, and several other employees, and wanted to buy an unspecified "apple server". Understandably he was concerned. He called our sales head and asked that the "situation" be "taken care of".

    We determined that nothing of the sort had happened, that I had paid for the machine with my own money, that I was taking it with me at such time that my employment ended. All well and good. Then a few more conditions on my use of the machine came up:

    1) I am to call it a laptop or PC. I cannot use the words "Apple", "Mac", or "Macintosh", not even with other employees.
    2) When entering or leaving the building, or where customers might see it, I am to hold the logo side of the case against me so the logo cannot be seen.
    3) If our area is being exhibited to customers/press or pictures are being taken, the computer is not allowed on the premises.
    4) When on company property I must be running Windows. I cannot boot OS X unless absolutely necessary. (A fullscreen Parallels session, however, was deemed acceptable.) The OS X interface cannot be displayed.
    5) When I leave the company, I have to submit the entire computer to a third-party security consultant who will check the machine to ensure I am not leaving with any company intellectual property. I must reimburse the company for the costs involved in this.

    The company was TERRIFIED that Microsoft might somehow take some offense to ONE EMPLOYEE out of hundreds having a competing product, and was scared to the extent of considering disciplinary action against a senior employee.

    THAT is power, kids.
    • Interesting. Even Microsoft owns racks of Apple boxes for "testing" and such....
    • by Grail (18233) on Tuesday July 03, 2007 @02:31AM (#19727305) Journal

      5) When I leave the company, I have to submit the entire computer to a third-party security consultant who will check the machine to ensure I am not leaving with any company intellectual property. I must reimburse the company for the costs involved in this.

      ROFLMAO!

      Do they ask you to submit the computer to a third party security consultant every day you leave the office? Or just that last time when you've already sanitised the machine by loading Mac OS X onto it fresh? And conveniently hidden your 2GB thumb drive with the Death Star plans in the crevice of some robot's carapace?

      You will, of course, be taking steps to blatantly and flagrantly violate these stupid rules, won't you? If it was a company laptop they wouldn't have all these nasty Microsoft bogeymen terrifying them in their sleep...

      • You will, of course, be taking steps to blatantly and flagrantly violate these stupid rules, won't you?



        No no no. Rules are rules (except for the last one, which is really stupid and can only be considered a financial punishment for the employee).


        However, there's certainly no rule about bringing some fresh fruit to work, and mentioning it when talking to coworkers, and how beneficial they are for your health, and ...

    • Yeah, but by snitching on little guys and pushing their managers, Bill earns a lot of money, which he then spends partly on charity, so everything is OK. What a great guy!
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I have an extremely hard time believing this story.

      I've worked for various companies as a Microsoft Partner for over 10 years, and this just doesn't ring true. I think many MS haters like to believe this type of fiction. Every MS Partner company I've been a part of or even visited has had Macs. Hell, I've been to various Microsoft facilities in the US, including the Redmond campus, and outside of the US and seen Macs. Microsoft doesn't care about unimportant things like this, they realize that MS Partne
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Simon Garlick (104721)
      There's no way in hell any employer could make me use my own computer to do work on. No way.

      I can't believe this situation even arose.
    • When I leave the company, ... I must reimburse the company for the costs involved in this.

      Considering what the rest of the conditions are, they're going to fuck you over; unless the cost is negotiated ahead of time don't be surprised if costs you 5 to 20K for this, and the system is hosed when you get it back.

  • by jomama717 (779243) * <jomama717@gmail.com> on Tuesday July 03, 2007 @12:40AM (#19726639) Journal
    Slashdotters on Mardi Gras?
  • T-Shirts? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mgiuca (1040724) on Tuesday July 03, 2007 @01:28AM (#19726919)
    You must be having some effect. I saw on the Australian satirical show The Chaser's War on Everything, they went around making fun of people's "joke T-shirts".

    One fellow they interviewed had a shirt which read, "Talk is cheap. Show me the code."

    They didn't get it. :p
  • I can understand the concern for keeping one's job. But there are 1,489 people who have publicly challenged Microsoft to sue them based on Microsoft's questionable Microsoft patent claims:

    http://digitaltippingpoint.com/wiki/index.php?titl e=SMFM_list_page_12 [digitaltippingpoint.com]

    Included on that list is none other than Eric S. Raymond, who has this to say:

    130. Eric S. Raymond. Yes, Microsoft, the guy who's been harshing your mellow since I wrote The Cathedral and the Bazaar in 1997. Linux user since 1993, so I've been violating your nonexistent patents for fourteen years. Sue me first. Please, oh please! Because I don't think I've kicked your sorry asses enough yet, and I'd love another round with you chumps.
    And this from someone who is supplying the Aussie Defence Forces with "patent infringing" software:

    Steve O'Connor (Adelaide, Australia) BAD ME - I am using a pirated copy of Gentoo Linux that I illegally downloaded off the internet, and have installed on a whole rack of servers that I use to make money by providing information services to the Australian Defence Forces. I skipped out on paying any licence fees by doing it this way, and I have (illegal ?) access to all the source code, so I can hack my application around however I see fit. I have also ripped off a copy of PCLinuxOS from the internet (Which is like a HaXoRed version of Vista), without giving out my credit card, and used that same single copy to install on dozens of other computers. The recipients of these PCLinuxOS machines are way happy too ...
  • Ah, this will be another example of America, land of freedom etc. The only difference between this and say China is that it's the corporates that force you to keep your mouth shut, not the government.
  • ....to use it as a promotion of Linux.... That MS is not providing the evidence of their claim.

    And it should be put in something like the NY Times...

    So... what does that take? Money.

    We just need someone or party of reputation to take it on.
  • Can anyone tell me why the open source community can't search Microsoft's patent portfolio to find these supposed infringements? I realize that there are a lot of MS patents, and thus it would require a lot of work to perform a complete search. But surely if the community can co-operate enough to develop high-quality software, then we can co-operate enough to perform a patent search. We've all heard "many eyes make all bugs shallow" - perhaps "many eyes make all patents shallow" is just as true.

    Of course

How many NASA managers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? "That's a known problem... don't worry about it."

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