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Laura and Me - Updated
Tuesday, June 19 2007 @ 12:19 PM EDT

I wrote once that I wanted to be a tech analyst when I grew up, because no one seems to expect them to get their facts right. That, I reasoned, would make it an easy gig. I could lean back in my chair, put my feet up on the desk, and just make things up. Why research? And people would actually print it as if it were true. And next time they wanted to know something, they would call me up again, even though I called it completely wrong the last time, had huge gaps in my knowledge, got random but truly vital facts utterly wrong, and said the opposite of what is observably true.

And we have another fine example this morning, from the lovely and tireless Laura DiDio of Yankee Group. That's if the journalist got it right. One never knows with LinuxInsider. In an article by Kimberly Hill of LinuxInsider on TechNewsWorld about the Microsoft patent saber rattling and how Ubuntu isn't buying it, it suggests that Laura DiDio of Yankee Group says that I did the OSRM patent study three years ago. That is not true. I wasn't even involved peripherally. I didn't even read the report before it was published. (Red Hat isn't either, by the way, nor Mandriva.)

I publicly quit my job there in 2004 because SCO was going around falsely claiming that I did the study and that it "proved" that I thought Linux had serious IP issues. I didn't think that then and I still don't. My point is that this was a public event, reported widely in the press. So can she or LinuxInsider claim there was no way to check this fact? And if you say something negative about someone and it's provably not true, what do we call that, class? The law calls it libel. Perhaps they need to brush up on the subject of the importance of fact checking.

Microsoft has been misrepresenting that OSRM study for three years now, as far as I'm concerned. Would the world be a better place if that company put its energy into great code instead of FUD? What do you think? Try Vista and then come back and tell me.

In fact, I read the study as proving that Linux didn't have any more IP worries than any other chunk of code, and probably less than Microsoft's, because the study didn't find a single court-validated patent that Linux by any stretch could be claimed to be infringing. Not one. That is what the study said. So not only does LinuxInsider and DiDio get it wrong factually about who did the study, they get wrong what the study found too.

Microsoft can't say that about its code, now can it? It regularly goes to court and ends up paying for patent infringement. There has never been a patent infringement lawsuit against Linux, by the way, something else Microsoft can't claim about itself.

The study also didn't say Microsoft had 200+ patents infringed by Linux. It said it had a few that might or might not be valid that it might try to claim Linux infringed. Probably not valid, actually, now that the US Supreme Court has raised the bar on obviousness. Yet, here is Ms. DiDio channeling SCO and Microsoft's meme. Hit me with a feather, someone, so I can fall down from surprise.

Here's the part about me in today's article:

The recent uproar in the open source community about Microsoft's claims, though, ignores an important chapter in the community's history, Laura DiDio, research fellow with Yankee Group, told LinuxInsider.

"Some of the stuff coming out of the open source community about Microsoft and the patent infringement issues is very disingenuous," she asserted. "Four years ago, the people banging the drum about patent infringement were in the open source community."

Back in 2004, said DiDio, then-fledging insurance firm Open Source Risk Management commissioned a study to determine just how many patients Linux may infringe upon. At that time, the number was pinned at 280 or so, most of them owned by IBM (NYSE: IBM) Latest News about IBM, with about 30 held by Microsoft.

The now-infamous study was performed by Pamela Jones of Groklaw, and its methods and conflicts have seen much comment since then. Still, DiDio asserted, the open source community itself was the first to raise the issue of how much Linux actually overlapped, in terms of intellectual property, with proprietary software.

Microsoft has made it infamous, for sure, by misrepresenting it. But the facts are simply not true. In any case, thanks to the Supreme Court, the danger, if any, is considerably less today than three years ago.

If Linux did have any IP issues, Microsoft really should put its patents openly on the table, so everyone can remove any patent infringement. That's how it's done, except when somebody is trying to build a bully business with FUDly unspecified and unproven IP infringement claims, la SCO. Forcing people to perpetually infringe by not telling them where to find the infringement is not a longterm business plan, Microsoft. Look at SCO.

Here is what Dan Ravicher, who did the study, said at the time:

"I'm a patent attorney, and I'm often the one least concerned about a patent threat. It's like jay walking is illegal in NYC, but everyone does it because the fine is not significant enough," he says. "Likewise with patent infringement, if you are held to infringe a patent, there's no windfall. It's rare for a patent holder to get an injunction, especially against a smaller competitor, just because of anti competitive terms."

The free software and open source communities should remember, he says, that a patent isn't the end of the world; that workarounds can be implemented quickly and often painlessly.

That was before KSR, by the way, when folks were already mocking Microsoft's patent saber rattling by pointing out the fatuousness of Microsoft's IS NOT patent, one example of the "strength" of its patent claims. And here's a segment from an article Ravicher wrote for Groklaw on why nonfree software may have more to fear from patents than FOSS:

Now, assume there exists a patent that arguably covers Free Software and the patent holder brings a patent infringement law suit to stop such infringement. It is highly unlikely that the patent holder would receive a preliminary injunction, as they are highly unusual in patent infringement cases to begin with. Further, the equities and public harm would very rarely be in favor of the patent holder, because Free Software is a public good, on which many individuals, businesses, and government rely. Lastly, the wide spread distribution of Free Software would render any such injunction meaningless, unless it attached to every single possessor of a copy of the allegedly infringing code, a highly unlikely scenario for any Free Software project of significance.

This is where free software is very different from non-free software, and why patents are more of a threat to the latter, than the former. A non-free software product will have a harder time defending against a preliminary injunction as, although they might be able to argue equities, they will have much more difficulty arguing a public harm. Further, their product can indeed be easily stopped because they have complete distribution control over it.

Having virtually no chance at preliminary relief, the patent holder will then seek damages, but here they are in a catch-22 when it comes to Free Software. If they go after deep pockets, the defendant will, by the fact that they are a "deep pocket," be more than capable of defending itself against the patent assertion. Such defendants have a very high success rate in patent cases, as about half of all litigated patents are held invalid and many of those that are held valid are nonetheless held not infringed.

If, instead, the patent holder sues a little guy, there will be no money to recover, because the defendant is a "little guy." Additionally, there are several reasons why a deep pocket may step up to protect any such little guy.

And that's why you may have noticed that Microsoft's patent saber rattling this year elicited yawns, jokes, and anger, particularly after the KSR decision altered the patent landscape. The only folks acting scared are journalists, emphasis on the verb.

Laura and Me

Laura and me. Through the years of the SCO saga, on opposite sides intellectually. Factually too. Which of us got it right, looking back? Let's see.

You probably remember that she looked at the SCO code and opined that it surely looked very bad for Linux. Hardy har. It was not BSD code she looked at, she said, those 80 lines SCO showed her, because SCO said it wasn't. Of course, the code turned out to be BSD code after all. It's comical to read about the MIT deepdivers, a story she swallowed whole as well:

SCO hired three separate teams of code experts, including a group from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. According to SCO, these groups all found code in Linux that purportedly originated in the Unix System V kernel and not BSD.

It's so fun going down Memory Lane, isn't it? Especially now that no one can find any MIT code experts, SCO later admitted that its experts weren't actually from MIT, and they've disappeared into the mists of time without ever showing up in court. Not to mention the code they supposedly found, which has also simply vanished, I fear. She garbled some information about the GPL too, but even lawyers do that, so I give her a pass on that.

More of her pearls of wisdom from -- where else? -- LinuxInsider in a story from 2005 about how some in the media, with the initials MOG, messed up and reported the Linux kernel was being rewritten to avoid patent worries, which wasn't true. Here's what DiDio said:

"If you look at the success of Linux you have to ask how it got so good so fast," Didio said. "Well there's a reason. A lot of people will maintain that Linux is ripped-off Unix code -- and certainly there is a lot of Unix in Linux."

Lots and lots, eh? Certainly? No doubt about it? Except no one can actually show any unequivocably infringing code to the court after 4 or 5 years of studiously looking. We're on planet "methods and concepts" now. Poor SCO. And heaven only knows, they have put forth a diligent effort trying. And trying. And trying. They could have just listened to Groklaw, but no, they just had to spend millions on their quest, their impossible dream.

So, I'd have to regretfully conclude that Ms. DiDio got that one wrong. But who's counting? She's an analyst, after all. They don't have to get things right.

Here's where DiDio told the world that if companies want to switch to Linux, they need to "upgrade things like storage, bandwidth and security". That might make you laugh if you are a geek. Here's why: Linux runs on anything from a wristwatch to a supercomputer. The one thing you can pretty much guarantee is that it will run on older hardware that Microsoft's products can't. And as for security upgrading, it is my opinion that just switching to Linux accomplishes that for you.

Here is another pearl of wisdom from July of 2003, when SCO pulled out of UnitedLinux:

"SCO's decision [to pull out of UL, according to Ms. DiDio] has not killed UnitedLinux as a project by any means, DiDio told the E-Commerce Times.

By no means. Except it did. And here's the most famous quote of all:

And when it comes to companies who have bet their fortunes on Linux and other open-source software, Didio says she sees much to criticize.

"The thing about Linux is, you can talk about a free, open operating system all you want, but you can't take that idea of free and open and put it into a capitalist system and maintain it as though it is some kind of hippie commune or ashram," she said in a phone interview from her home in Massachusetts. "Because if you can do it like that, at that point I'm like, 'Pass the hookah please!'"

Ah! that elusive Cluetrain. Is Red Hat making money? Is IBM? Might her analysis be wrong, then? You think?

And would an article about analysts be complete without this gem from Rob Enderle at SCOForum in 2004?

His speech, originally announced as having the theme of how SCO can win in the courts was reportedly changed to another theme: "Free Software and the Fools Who Use It".... Oh, and he suggested to those who wish to slam the company that they should get a clue and invest in the company instead. "It's the best investment you'll ever make."

I certainly hope he followed his own advice. Here's coverage of Day 1, by the way. And here's Enderle's speech, since you can no longer find it on SCO's website. It's so much fun to look back now that the danger is so over.

Here's one part from today's article that illustrates quite well how much of an insider LinuxInsider is not:

What the companies making agreements with Microsoft are doing, then, is simply conducting business. Managing the risk of doing business in the software world is just business as usual, DiDio asserts, and nothing more malignant than observing the rules of corporate behavior.

Shuttleworth himself places the emphasis of his announcement not on the open source nature of his company's software, but on the fact that it's distributed for free.

"In the Ubuntu community, we believe that the freedom in free software is what's powerful, not the openness of the code," Shuttleworth stated.

Ah yes, the rules of corporate behavior. And how we all admire them. Obviously, the journalist doesn't realize that Shuttleworth was talking about free as in speech, not free as in beer. In fact, he used the word freedom, not free. But it whizzed right over her head. That is so basic, I will opine, with my feet up on the desk, that she hasn't a clue what FOSS is about and did not a minute's research on what freedom means in this quotation. Hint: it doesn't mean free as in beer. Perhaps she is auditioning to be an analyst.

So, after our little stroll down memory lane with Laura, who would you say got it right time after time, Laura or me? And that, I suppose, is why no one has ever offered me a job as an analyst. Sadly, I'm overqualified.

P.S. I believe this is a resurrection of the smear campaign against me and Groklaw. I think that because just before the LinuxInsider article appeared, one of the lesser stars in Microsoft and SCO's lightshow said the same factually incorrect thing. [ Update: It has been removed.] Excuse his language. I just thought I'd also record it here, that he'd like me to drop dead and calls me libelous things. Can't Microsoft and SCO get any nice people to support their cause, I wondered? Why might that be? He's at it again today with the same libel. [ Update: The comment is now removed.] So I expect more of the same. If I were Microsoft or even SCO, I'd be disturbed to have a supporter who conducts himself like that. It is a violation of the law, after all. Do they not care enough to tell him to stop? I've now shown them where to find it. Perhaps it calls for a statement from them that they don't condone such behavior? If not, what might we all conclude?

So, without holding our breath, what can we do? Whenever you see this lie, you can just politely link to this article to correct the libel. I stress politely. One cure for libelous words can just be correcting them. And if you wanted to let Yahoo know that there is libel on its message boards, that would be helpful. Link to this article in your own blogs, by all means, also, if you write about that article and quote a sentence or two from it. That way when that LinuxInsider article appears in searches on Google and other search engines, so will your correction. It all helps to protect my good name, which I obviously care about and should care about. Their purpose may be to damage Groklaw's reputation so people discount what they read here; so our goal is to protect it, so they will not be misled. And a little geek smarts can go a long way.


Laura and Me - Updated | 260 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Corrections here please
Authored by: WhiteFang on Tuesday, June 19 2007 @ 12:40 PM EDT
If needed.


"When listening to MS, always remember the tongue speaking is forked." -

[ Reply to This | # ]

Laura and Me
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, June 19 2007 @ 12:41 PM EDT
PJ -- do you plan on a formal reply to Ms. D's libel concerning you, either in
court or in a third-party publication of some sort?

[ Reply to This | # ]

OT here please
Authored by: WhiteFang on Tuesday, June 19 2007 @ 12:42 PM EDT
Clickies if you've got 'em!

"When listening to MS, always remember the tongue speaking is forked." -

[ Reply to This | # ]

Laura and Me
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, June 19 2007 @ 12:44 PM EDT
It's a real bear being right all the time, isn't it?

*evil grin*

Integrity is a heavy burden, but you carry it well.

Go PJ!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Corporate behavior?
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, June 19 2007 @ 12:51 PM EDT
" as usual, DiDio asserts, and nothing more malignant than
observing the rules of corporate behavior."

Isn't "rule of corporate behavior" oxymoronic? Aren't Enron, et al.,
about corporations being willing to stoop to any low to pump their stock?
Doesn't the SEC have a full dance card well into the next millenium because the
salaries, bonuses, even jobs of corporate officers depend on them going to any
extreme, legal or otherwise, to raise the stock and pad the bottom line?

Not being cynical here, but corporations are not moral or ethical entities. If
the corporate officers do not hold themselves to ethical standards, or are
rewarded for unethical but profitable behavior, then "corporate
behavior" will be on par with that of a feral dog.

Geek Unorthodox

[ Reply to This | # ]

Patents In Linux
Authored by: DannyB on Tuesday, June 19 2007 @ 01:21 PM EDT

Microsoft: So, it is down to you, and it is down to me...if you wish Linux dead, by all means keep moving forward.
IBM: Let me explain...
Microsoft: There's nothing to explain. You're trying to free what I have rightfully stolen.
IBM: Perhaps an arrangement can be reached?
Microsoft: There will be no arrangements...and you're killing Linux.
IBM: But if there can be no arrangement, then we are at an impasse.
Microsoft: I'm afraid so. I can't compete with you physically, and you're no match for my brains.
IBM: You're that smart?
Microsoft: Let me put it this way: Have you ever heard or CompuServe, AOL, Prodigy?
IBM: Yes.
Microsoft: Morons!
IBM: Really! In that case, I challenge you to a battle of wits.
Microsoft: For Linux? To the death? I accept!
IBM: Good, then pour the wine. [Microsoft pours the wine] Inhale this but do not touch.
Microsoft: [taking a vial from IBM] I smell nothing.
IBM: What you do not smell is a Patent. It is registered, issued, difficult to find and is among the more deadly poisons known to innovation.
Microsoft: [shrugs with laughter] Hmmm.
IBM: [turning his back, and adding the Patent to one of the goblets]
IBM: Alright, where is the Patent? The battle of wits has begun. It ends when you decide and we both drink - and find out who is right, and who is dead.
Microsoft: But it's so simple. All I have to do is divine it from what I know of you. Are you the sort of man who would put the patent into his own goblet or his enemy's? Now, a clever man would put the patent into his own goblet because he would know that only a great fool would reach for what he was given. I am not a great fool so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you...But you must have known I was not a great fool; you would have counted on it, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me.
IBM: You've made your decision then?
Microsoft: [happily] Not remotely! Because Patents come from the United States. As everyone knows, United States is entirely peopled with DRM violating pirates using DeCSS. And hackers are used to having people not trust them, as you are not trusted by me. So, I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you.
IBM: Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.
Microsoft: Wait 'till I get going!! ...where was I?
IBM: United States.
Microsoft: Yes! United States! And you must have suspected I would have known the patent's origin,so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me.
IBM: You're just stalling now.
Microsoft: You'd like to think that, wouldn't you! You've beaten my FUD, which means you're exceptionally you could have put the patent in your own goblet trusting on your strength to save you, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you. But, you've also bested my SCO lawsuits, which means you must have studied...and in studying you must have learned that man is mortal so you would have put the patent as far from yourself as possible, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me!

IBM: You're trying to trick me into giving away something. It won't work.
Microsoft: It has worked! You've given everything away! I know where the patent is!
IBM: Then make your choice.
Microsoft: I will, and I choose...[pointing behind the IBM] What in the world can that be?
IBM: [turning around, while Microsoft switches goblets] What?! Where?! I don't see anything.
Microsoft: Oh, well, I...I could have sworn I saw something. No matter. [Microsoft laughs]
IBM: What's so funny?
Microsoft: I...I'll tell you in a minute. First, lets drink, me from my glass and you from yours.

[They both drink]

IBM: You guessed wrong.
Microsoft: You only think I guessed wrong! That's what's so funny! I switched glasses when your back was turned! Ha ha, you fool!! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders. The most famous is never get involved in a land war in Iraq; and only slightly less well known is this: Never go in against a Monopolist, when death is on the line!

[Microsoft continues to laugh hysterically. Suddenly, he stops and falls right over. IBM removes the blindfold from Linux]

Linux: Who are you?
IBM: I'm no one to be trifled with. That is all you'll ever need know.
Linux: And to think, all that time it was your cup that was patented.
IBM: They were both patented. I spent the last few years building up an immunity to patent lawsuits.

The price of freedom is eternal litigation.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Amazing what can be done with lots of money and no ethics
Authored by: CraigV on Tuesday, June 19 2007 @ 01:24 PM EDT
All it takes is money to create a media outlet with an
authoritative sounding name.

All it takes is money to get someone to say what you wish
to have said in that outlet.

All it takes is money to make sure that the population is
immersed in your propaganda.

All it takes is money to get the government to look the
other way while your bully's others.

Let's hope that diligent work by many caring folks like PJ
can defeat the damage done by money with no ethics.

PJ, Thank you so much for your enormous effort to spread
truth, make justice work, and to enhance the quality of
life for common folks.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Linux is secure?
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, June 19 2007 @ 01:35 PM EDT

"And as for security upgrading, it is my opinion that just switching to Linux accomplishes that for you."

Personally, I think that in quite a number of cases, moving to Linux may downgrade your security. For example, Red Hat Linux 1.0 (released in 1994), completely unpatched, is demonstrably less secure against certain attacks than a fully patched version of FreeBSD, production release 6.2 (released in 2007).

Or are you trying to compare Linux to Windows? In that case, I submit this unimpeachable evidence as to Windows' superiority. (After all, without crashes, how are you supposed to get the computer to stop working?)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Laura and Me
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, June 19 2007 @ 01:57 PM EDT
In all honesty PJ, I believe you would make a really good
technical analyst. You know when you don't know something
and say so rather than blow smoke. Then you go get good
input and put out the facts. You would probably put them
all out of business.

You know, its like they think that they can just stay quiet
for a while and people will forget. As soon as they open
their mouths people recognize that its the same old one-trick pony that was
trotted out last time the circus
came to town.

I'm sure that you will have the support of all of us here
should you decide to go after her.

[ Reply to This | # ]

please remove this post
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, June 19 2007 @ 02:01 PM EDT

[ Reply to This | # ]

Public comments take on a life ....
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, June 19 2007 @ 02:05 PM EDT
Just for fun, I did a quick search to see what else Laura is saying ...

One of the first hits was a Wikipedia page. I don't want to argue the accuracy of Wikipedia, but I think you can see someone has spent a lot of time polishing this page on Laura Didio. I use Wikipedia for information, but I take the articles with a grain of salt.

I am most impressed on how the Microsoft cross-patenting deals have earned a paragraph on the page - clearly an important topic considering how recent the news is. Or it might be self-serving advertising??

I also want to highlight that Laura is "an investigative reporter for various broadcasting and print outlets including CNN and Channel 5 News". At least that's how the official bio reads. I'd cringe at the claimed association.

However, other journalists, besides PJ, have found some questionable statements attributed to Didio to be undocumented conjecture. This BusinessWeek blog analyzes why a survey Didio touts may not be accurate in portraying Windows Server 2003 as better and cheaper than Linux.

Her reply to that blog is revealing, in that she attacks her critics in a number of ways, rather than posting documentation for her conclusions. If you can't argue the facts....

It's not what I consider "fair and balanced" journalism. I prefer that people reveal conflicts of interest before selling me their opinion. I don't always agree with what I read on Groklaw, but at least I respect the source's opinion as honest.

We should all realize, our words take on a life of their own. Thanks for the stimulating discussion, but think before you post. [smile] In this day and time, we are known by our postings, which can be easil y searched and kept for years. It should keep us more honest.

Poor Laura ... her words will haunt her.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Linux backers vs Microsoft
Authored by: Sunny Penguin on Tuesday, June 19 2007 @ 02:11 PM EDT
I wonder how many more patents the Linux side has over the number of Microsoft
Microsoft is but a single company, many companies have donated patents to the
Linux side, others simply wait for the first launch, fingers on their own

/Got popcorn...

If you love your bike, let it go.
If it comes back, you high sided.....

[ Reply to This | # ]

Python's Cheese Shop
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, June 19 2007 @ 02:49 PM EDT
Does anyone else feel like we've watched SCO go through the whole cheese shop
sketch in court? I'm just waiting for the final line, something along the lines
of "I'm sorry, Sir. We don't have any IP at all. I've been wasting your

And then Microsoft is standing in line to do it next with their mystery

[ Reply to This | # ]

Unfair to Laura
Authored by: ThrPilgrim on Tuesday, June 19 2007 @ 02:56 PM EDT

Here's a quote from Laura, lifted from her wikipedia page, that seams spot on to me

With that said, you'd have to be really crazy to try and sue IBM if you didn't have something.

See, she has Darl's mental state down pat :-)

[ Reply to This | # ]

certainly there is a lot of Unix in Linux
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, June 19 2007 @ 02:58 PM EDT
Of course the statement: "there is a lot of Unix in Linux"
is certainly and trivially true. In fact, even stronger
statements can be made:

1. All of Unix is in Linux
2. Unix constitutes 80% of Linux.

It is a simple matter of reordering the letters: u,n,i,x
into i,n,u,x then you can see both of the above statements
are true, and linux has nothing more than an 'L' in
addition to Unix, i.e. 20% extra.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, June 19 2007 @ 03:17 PM EDT
"[T]he study didn't find a single court-validated patent that Linux by any
stretch could be claimed to be infringing. Not one."

Where does one find "court validated patents"? Is that anything like a
"court validated copyright license"?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Informed vs. uninformed analysts
Authored by: Sean DALY on Tuesday, June 19 2007 @ 03:52 PM EDT
Wall Street brokerage firms employ analysts who follow specific companies,
particularly in high-tech, and in general they are very sharp compared to IT
industry analysts. This is because they talk to lots of people in the companies
they follow. They do a good job because their clients' money depends on their
judgments being correct. Sloppiness results in sanctions.

IT industry analysts, in contrast, are all too often disconnected from the
reality of the IT companies they write about -- since they limit their contacts
to senior executives, PR staff, and product managers -- and the reality of IT
customers -- since they speak mainly to CIOs, who by nature are conservative and
removed from the "front lines". It is possible to keep an IT industry
analyst career going in spite of glaring mistakes by just doing the circuit.

What the Yankee Group, Gartner, Forrester, etc. have in common are staffs of
young, inexperienced but very hardworking report writers, and senior partners
who negotiate with clients and attend industry symposia. Look at any 5-year
projection from these people: they all use the same extrapolated upward slope.
They were late in reporting GNU/Linux penetration in the enterprise; later than
CIOs, who had pressure from underneath to do things differently. And they are
sensitive to pressure from Microsoft, since MS is ubiquitous and they need to
deal with Microsoft daily.

For my part, I wonder how The Yankee Group manages to sell consulting and
reports; their reputation is damaged every time Ms. DiDio publishes silly
statements concerning SCO (which everyone realizes was a huge gamble which lost)
and GNU/Linux. Free software is in the enterprise, it is eating away at the
Microsoft monoculture every day, and companies large and small which sell,
service, and support FOSS are doing very well. Uninformed analysts just need to
get out more often and find out how the industry is changing.

Sean DALY.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Being a stock analyst is even easier...
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, June 19 2007 @ 04:32 PM EDT
Just read the computer trade press and call any consultant you see quoted. I
know, I was once one of those consultants that the stock analysts would call. I
believe I gave them good information, but they knew absolutely nothing about me
so I don't know how they could judge the validity of my statements.

Also, having worked as a free-lance writer and contributing editor for a number
of trade publications, I came the the conclusion that most of the staff writers
and editors on most of the publications were pretty clueless. Even though that
was a few years ago I don't see that anything has changed.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Linux on old hardware
Authored by: k12linux on Tuesday, June 19 2007 @ 04:47 PM EDT
<blockquote>The one thing you can pretty much guarantee is that it will
run on older hardware that Microsoft's products can't.</blockquote>

I recently inherited a 350Mhz Pentium II computer with 256Mb RAM. I decided
that I wanted a PC just to check email and browse the web out in my workshop and
if anyone stole this... well I wouldn't On a lark I tried installing XP on it.
No luck. The drivers available online and on the CD with the PC don't even
include Windows 2000 much less XP.

Next I tried Fedora Core 6 - v7 came out a week later. Installed fine (took a
while, but it installed) and all hardware was recognized including sound card.
KDE and Gnome desktops were too big and slow so I installed fluxbox. (And THAT
is why we shouldn't abandon all but one desktop standard.)

With fluxbox, the system is usable. I won't say it's fast. It's not. But it
is perfectly usable. I can run a current release of Firefox (including flash
plugins) and the latest version of Thunderbird. PSI works fine for chat even
while gpg encrypting all messages. (Part of my Internet link is poorly secured

I don't have any licenses for older versions of Windows so I cant say what point
you get an old enough release to be installable much less usable. I will
probably install Fedora 7 just to see what happens.

- SCO is trying to save a sinking ship by drilling holes in it. -- k12linux

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Vicious -- thanks to Lou Reed
Authored by: jplatt39 on Tuesday, June 19 2007 @ 05:02 PM EDT
"You hit me with a flower
You do it every hour
Honey, you're so vicious
–Lou Reed

That's all I could think of when you asked someone to hit you with a feather.

The thought occurs to me, that much of what we call linux tools are tools which were originally written to be used on Unix systems. Okay, so GNU Isn't Unix and they always had their intention of a separate kernel to run those things, but Linus Torvalds still has had the clear permission of the license holders to incorporate things which have even found their way into some proprietary distributions. Then there is X-Windows out of MIT (with corporate sponsorship).

This does way go beyond you. The rewriting of history is widespread and pernicious. One thinks of why Lillian Hellman sued Mary McCarthy.

"Every word she ever wrote was a lie. Including 'and' and 'the'."
– Mary McCarthy

Of course the person making the accusation got sued, but I find myself wondering what would happen if some of these people did take a more proactive position.

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Patents and little guys
Authored by: Yossarian on Tuesday, June 19 2007 @ 06:52 PM EDT
>If, instead, the patent holder sues a little guy, there will
>be no money to recover, because the defendant is a "little
>guy." Additionally, there are several reasons why a deep
>pocket may step up to protect any such little guy.

That's one of the conclusions of the SCO vs. IBM story.

Those of you old enough to remember IBM in the late 1970's
remember a company that had been hated about as much as
Microsoft is hated today.

So yes, fighting SCO cost a fortune, *but* IBM got its
money worth. It earned an image of a pro-free software.
In the 1970's people bought IBM mainframes because they
had to, but without much love.

Now they buy IBM servers because they want to. Yes, other
servers have similar prices, but why not support the
good guy.

I am pretty sure that somebody, in some big company,
learns this lesson.

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Rob Enderle's financial advice
Authored by: cshabazian on Tuesday, June 19 2007 @ 07:19 PM EDT
All those who took Rob Enderle's sage advice and invested in SCO on 8/4/2004
will have lost $0.68 on the dollar for their troubles.

Stock Price 8/4/2004: 4.54
Stock Price 6/19/2007: 1.41

And $1.41 is significantly up from where they have been recently. Less than a
month ago, SCO was at a mere $0.88 (5/24/2007) and they have not been above
$3.30 in the past year. A review of monthly close prices shows that only 3
months of the past 33 have the price closing above his wonderful investment
price, and none above $4.65 (I'm sure there are higher days, but I just looked
at monthly ending prices)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Open Sourceror Rob Enderle
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, June 19 2007 @ 07:51 PM EDT

His speech, originally announced as having the theme of how SCO can win in the courts was reportedly changed to another theme: "Free Software and the Fools Who Use It".... Oh, and he suggested to those who wish to slam the company that they should get a clue and invest in the company instead. "It's the best investment you'll ever make."
and, now, presenting Rob Enderle, the famous Open Sourceror:
(from "The Questions We Should be Asking")
(cue trumpets ...)
"No matter how we look at it, the open source movement is relatively young even when compared to a young technology market. We are learning as we go, but even so, we should be able to apply business knowledge and experience."

(emphasis added)


[ Reply to This | # ]

Google juice links
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, June 19 2007 @ 08:58 PM EDT
Please post links to your blogs/sites where you've connected the original story with this rebuttal. I've made a page, here.

Let's get some more...

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Anti-GPL3 shrillness continues to impress me
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, June 19 2007 @ 10:44 PM EDT

I continue to get increasingly impressed with the almost
panic-stricken language of the anti-GPL3 trolls. Looking
forward to seeing it released.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Laura and Me
Authored by: jmoellers on Wednesday, June 20 2007 @ 02:42 AM EDT
Can someone please enlighten me?
How can someone threaten to sue you for copyright or patent infringement,
obviously hoping to gain from that threat, and then not be required to put proof
onto the tables of the courts?
Can I go around, looking for people with fat wallets, like you there, or you,
and just claim that they broke into my house stealing some of my property and
then not be required to show any proof of that allegation?
If that is so: You there, yes you, you stole my million dollar yacht last week.
Give it back to me, or else ...!

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Laura and Me - Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, June 20 2007 @ 06:47 AM EDT
Way to go for the "Analysts"
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, June 20 2007 @ 02:45 AM EDT
In a crooked sort of way Microsoft and their shills seem to bow low before you, PJ. They have to jump through several hoops, buy some "analysts" and astroturf forums to get some people to listen to their "opinion", whilst you simply write up an article and the world (or at least large parts thereof) reads it.

Must make them jealous :) .
And I like it that way.

And here the Tipp of the Day: C'mon Microsoft, this is the wrong horse you are riding (looks more like a bull than a horse at closer inspection, in fact).

Copyright assigned to PJ.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Digg this story
Authored by: archimerged on Wednesday, June 20 2007 @ 10:15 AM EDT
Archimerged has submitted this story to digg. Unfortunately, he misspelled DiDio's name. Sorry about that. Digg doesn't seem to allow corrections. At least he didn't spell it Didiot... :-). Anyway, help protect PJ's good name by promoting the story to the front page... Digg it.

[ Reply to This | # ]

OSRM Study Wasn't Just MS Patents
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, June 20 2007 @ 10:58 AM EDT
Microsoft says they got their 235 infringed patent claim from the OSRM study, but the study only indicated that only about 30 were Microsoft's not-yet-validated patents.

And, the OSRM was just studying potential kernel infringements, so where did MS get their alleged OOO, GUI and Email statistics?

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Just because the court hasn't found a patent linux violates doesnt mean they dont exist
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, June 20 2007 @ 12:43 PM EDT
it just means that no one has brought one yet.
that's all.

PJ/Groklaw reads way too much into this stuff.

It's not about what actually exists, (although I am certain that linux *does*
violate some patents),
it's more about what is perceived to exist.

again, no one can say linux violates no patents, this is a really bad statement
to make. it does. everything does!

there isn't a piece of code in the world that doesn't violate some patents
somewhere, somehow...

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Yahoo! removed the offensive article from its discussion board
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, June 20 2007 @ 03:53 PM EDT

The SCOX board article that referred to PJ in libelous way has been removed by Yahoo!

Perhaps someone from SCO informed Yahoo! of the inappropriate comment? (just kidding)

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Laura - Telling mistake - Groks freecost not freedom (nt)
Authored by: SilverWave on Wednesday, June 20 2007 @ 05:30 PM EDT

The bulk of all patents are [bad]...
Spending time reading them is stupid...

I can change the rules...
The coupons have no expiration date..

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Perhaps there is a mistake here ?
Authored by: dmarker on Wednesday, June 20 2007 @ 06:20 PM EDT

I just read this thread & having read PJ's comments & then read the
offending text it struck me immediately that Laura Didio does appear to have
claimed the bit about PJ doing the study, Kimberly Hill appears to have written
that assertion.

In the text that states it, we see the written words ...

The now-infamous study was performed by Pamela Jones of Groklaw,

But note that there are no quotes around it neither is it written as 'Didio
said' or 'siad Didio'.

If I were asked to judge who said what, I would pass my judgement that Hill is
the culprit but worded it in such a way that some people (like many prior
posters in this thread) would assume (by misreading the detail) that it was Hill
who wrote that line with no attribution to Didio.

If my interpretation were proved correct, then Didio may claim she is being

On the other hand, the easiest way to sort this out is to ask Hill who said the
bit about PJ & Groklaw, if Hill says Didio said it then that is the
evidence. But, based on what was written, Didio could wiggle out of this
claiming that it wasn't her & there was do clear attribution to her (shades
of amendment 2)


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Laura and Me - Updated -try vista
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, June 21 2007 @ 07:10 AM EDT
"Try Vista and then come back and tell me."

Dear PJ,

I have one working laptop I depend on. It currently has Windows XP and
Ubuntu in dual boot. To the best of my knowledge, there is no live CD to try
vista with. I can't afford to take the chance of installing Vista on my machine
just to "try" it, since I can't depend on being able to cleanly
removing it and restoring my old system. I do have recovery CDs for the XP, but
I'm not sure they would work properly to recover from a Vista attempt.

I feel that your enjoinder to try Vista for people who depend on a single
machine to do serious work is not a good idea.

Watching history in the making.

[ Reply to This | # ]

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