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Michael Robertson Sued Over Missing Linspire Cash 65

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the transparency-whether-you-like-it-or-not dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Blogger and ex-Linspire CEO Kevin Carmony reports that Michael Robertson has been sued by a Linspire shareholder to get to the bottom of what happened to Linspire's assets. One hundred shareholders have been left uninformed as to what happened to the company and its assets after Linspire was sold to Xandros a few months back."
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Michael Robertson Sued Over Missing Linspire Cash

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  • by haggie (957598) on Friday October 03, 2008 @04:44PM (#25251353)
    Michael Robertson makes Charles Ponzi look legit. Investing in a Robertson start-up is moronic. You would get a better return if you had put $200K in an IndyMac savings account.
  • by ray-auch (454705) on Friday October 03, 2008 @04:44PM (#25251355)

    Sounds like things are the same the world over... with the key words being "minority shareholder".

    Unless it's a public company (and sometimes even then) that tends to mean you have the right to get shafted (and not a lot else).

    The majority (which could well be the guy you fell out with plus the one or two he bribed) can vote you down and do pretty much what they want - including selling for much less than the company is worth, or just diluting your equity to worthless. Of course, they'll be involved in whatever corporate entity benefits from the transaction - and you won't.

    Oh, you might have lots of fancy contracts protecting minority shareholder rights etc. - but in the end they'll just be more worthless paper to file with the share certificates.

    No no, I'm not bitter, not at all :-/

  • Former Fan (Score:3, Interesting)

    by minus-sign (1371393) on Friday October 03, 2008 @08:24PM (#25252959)
    I actually liked Linspire. The idea was simple and could have been very profitable: a Linux based OS that was professionally supported. You pay for patches and updates and know it retains support because, well, you pay for it. It didn't work out that way, but the theory was sound. Sorry to see its gone so very very bad.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 03, 2008 @11:08PM (#25253735)

    I worked for Michael Robertson at MP3.com. I was there pre-IPO. MP3.com was a wonderful place to work. My favorite gig ever. But dealing with Michael was the least pleasing aspect of the whole thing. He was incredibly arrogant, rude, and obnoxious.

    I'll never forget how he treated this intern kid who was somebody's personal assistant or something. He said he was looking for some big meeting or something. I knew there was a meeting going on in the main conference room so I pointed him that way and followed him there to make sure he found it. He went in to the meeting presumably already in progress and said "I'm so and so's assistant here for such and such meeting" and Michael said "No you aren't, get out!" The poor dude was crushed and I felt bad for having steered him into Michael's venom.

    I did ok financially out of MP3.com having sold the first quarter of my options as soon as they vested (the rest weren't worth much though) so I don't hold any grudge over money (although I know plenty who do and feel like Lindows and other ill-conceived ventures were funded using THEIR money after he cratered their stock options) I just feel bad for how he treated people.

    I once heard one of the tech guys complaining about how Michael loved to say "If I gave you a million dollars could you make this work?!?!" And of course they did because they were rock stars and of course he didn't because he was a bastard.

    Of course, Kevin Carmony was a douche and a half as well and I'm not surprised he had problems at Lindows. He definitely doesn't really get the Free Software thing or he never would have had anything to do with it. They were both trying to take advantage of the "suckers" who give their work away for free.

    Posting anonymously because lots of ex-mp3'ers read /. and I still have to work in this town.

  • Re:Ummm... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by schotty (519567) on Saturday October 04, 2008 @01:27AM (#25254373) Homepage

    Although mostly true, as a former user, I can say the presentation + CNR was what made it a hit with the userbase.

    CNR was the icing on the cake -- the package cake. Red Hat and Novell never had that. Now Canonical has something like it bundled with Ubuntu, as does Fedora with their own. Plus it was one of the cleaner KDE based desktops I have ever used. Coming from a diehard GNOME/Fluxbox guy -- that should be taken as some praise.

    The only issue I saw with the distro was a lack of updates to the kernel. As we all know the kernel adds so much more than just some update, but rather more and imporved device support. It was awful at times to not have properly working modules when Fedora, SuSE, and Mandriva did.

  • by the_womble (580291) on Saturday October 04, 2008 @02:22AM (#25254547) Homepage Journal

    So, if Business - Jesus = Theft + Corruption, it follows that Business = Theft + Corruption + Jesus!

    Both you and the GP are assuming that Business and Jesus can run together. In fact there are well fundamental incompatibilities between the output Business produces and the input expected by Jesus. [bible.cc]

    It is worth noting that other claimed incompatibilities are pure FUD [giffordlectures.org].

    The problem has been repeatedly highlighted by Jesus developers [st-michaels.org.uk], and the project lead has recommended uninstalling business and similar proprietary [bible.cc] apps. This has been unpopular with Business advocates and probably contributed to his legal difficulties [katapi.org.uk].

    The most reliable approach is to use only software meeting the standards set by the Christ Software Foundation. Some people have taken this approach [anglican.org], but they have had to be willing to accept limited access to some codecs [flickr.com].

    Some people have managed to run Money while Jesus executes in a separate VM [templeton.org], but this is probably not a good idea. Jesus is really designed to run as a hypervisor [bible.ca].

  • Re:Ummm... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 04, 2008 @05:17AM (#25255029)

    I had some friends working at Xandros at the time. What heard was the Linspire sub-contracted all that work out to Xandros. So I don't think they had that many people working on it in house. I do know that the Xandros people did a fair bit of work, but I'm not 100% sure how much was free software and how much was proprietary.

    It's interesting the Xandros ended up buying Linspire and the Linspire investors ended up with no money. Seems a bit fishy to me...

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