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SCO's UNIX Timeline Chart Goes Poof
Monday, July 26 2004 @ 08:50 AM EDT

If you visit SCO's SCOsource page, you will find their "UNIX System Development Timeline" link now points you not to their edited version but to the original Eric Levenez chart. Their "personalized" chart has gone bye-bye.

So you can replicate, go to the SCOsource page, and click on the link. It's on the right, in the blue column, under "SCOsource License".Then, for old time's sake, go to the archived SCOsource page on Wayback and click on the same link, and presto, chango, their chart is before your eyes once again, in all its incorrectness. Or for the impatient, it's here. Get it while it's hot, though. That's my advice.

Regulars will recall that Groklaw's talks_to_birds noticed that SCO's chart seemed to be making a connection between UNIX to Minix to Linux in its chart, a connection which Levenez himself, as well as UNIX historian Peter Salus, promptly shot down in an article on Groklaw on June 20.

And now the chart has gone poof, also first noticed by talks_to_birds. Is it a tacit acknowledgement that the prior chart was inaccurate? If so, why do SCO's most recent documents also imply a connection between UNIX, Minix and Linux? Inquiring minds want to know. For example, in their MEMORANDUM IN OPPOSITION TO IBM's MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT ON ITS TENTH COUNTERCLAIM FOR DECLARATORY JUDGMENT OF NON-INFRINGEMENT, they put it this way:

"9. Linux was first created in 1991, when a Finnish college student named Linus Torvalds began developing Linux as a hobby after studying an operating system that one of his professors had based on and derived from UNIX. IBM Statement 2; SCO Linux Introduction Version 1.2 1-5 (2002) (Exh. S-7)."

Samizdat, the ill-fated Ken Brown book also attempted to make such a connection, which led to the book being ridiculed and contradicted. And just to show you that it's a small world after all, up pops another AdTI guy, urging us all to buy SCO stock, using Ken Brown's language about "hybrid source" and how open sourcers are a bunch of haters of the Most Holy IP.

Those who bought SCO stock in the past based on that chart might not be in a such a hurry to do that again, though. You think?

Of course, Gregory Fossedal doesn't tell you in the UPI article, "Bottom Line: Hard buy, Soft sell", that he is with AdTI. Here is Mr. Fossedal's message encouraging you to part with your money and give it to SCO:

"And 'Bottom Line' still likes SCO Group, despite the lumps the position has taken in recent months. SCO is the one proprietary software company that is gamely challenging the hybrid-source, hardware-maker-led termite attack on intellectual property by suing IBM. Its chief counsel is sharp, tough, and has won nine-figure awards from Microsoft and others in the past; bet on IBM to settle, if it's smart, and lose a 10-figure judgement if it goes to a jury. . . .

"Cover your shorts on the open source movement for a last-gasp rally, but put the puts back on after a rally -- and stay in Sco group that has more than a David's chance of defeating IBM's Goliath."

Well, and who is Mr. Fossedal and what is his interest, if any? Mr. Fossedal is identified like this at the bottom of the article:

"Fossedal manages international investement [sic] research for Emerging Markets Group in Washington, DC. His clients may (and usually do) hold long and short positions in many of the investment securities and opportunities mentioned in his reports. 'The Bottom Line' is compiled from sources we believe to be reliable, but no representation is made that they are necessarily accurate or complete. Investors should perform their own due diligence and consult their own professional advisor before buying or selling any securities. Mr. Fossedal's opinions are entirely his own, and are not necessarily those of UPI or EMG. Futhermore, they are subject to change without notice."

The AdTI website makes it hard to find out much about Mr. Fossedal, because the page on their employees seems to have gone poof too. Didn't there used to be such a page? Now, if you want to know about his connection, you can click on the picture of a book he wrote that they are pushing on the web site's home page, and then you can click to find his somewhat dated bio. Back in February of 2003, he was listed as "chairman of the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution". By December of that year, he was listed as "a senior fellow at AdTI and its former former [sic] chairman, manages international investments for Emerging Markets Group." His bio lists him as still chairman and "also the president and chief investment officer of the Democratic Century Fund, established in 1998." If you visit the Democratic Century Fund, you find out it is a hedge fund:

"The Democratic Century Fund - Thank you for your interest in the Democratic Century Fund, LLC, a hedge fund investing in emerging market countries. DCF is managed by the Emerging Markets Group, with offices in West Lebanon, NH, and Washington, DC."

And on the About page, they add this:

"The Democratic Century Fund, LLC, is a hedge fund that manages investments for its clients in emerging market countries around the world.

"We offer the opportunity for competitive rates of return on investment, but can manage funds only for qualified individuals and institutions who appreciate the potential and risks inherent in dealing in these markets."

And who are the principals? Fossedal, of course, who is the Chief Investment Officer, and guess who is the Director and VP? Kenneth Brown.

Now I know nothing about stocks, so I never give advice about that. But I do wonder about that old chicken and egg thing. For example, we have SCO alleging that there is a connection between UNIX and Linux via Minix. We have a "think tank" alleging in Ken Brown's book, Samizdat, that Linus may have copied from Minix. We have a chart on SCO's web site showing a purported connection between UNIX, Minix and Linux. And now another member of the "think tank", Fossedal, turns out to give stock tips, and the author of Samizdat works there too, and Fossedal is pushing SCO stock and telling us his "clients may (and usually do) hold long and short positions in many of the investment securities and opportunities mentioned in his reports." Oh, and Microsoft encouraged BayStar to invest in SCO, and they also have funded AdTI. And now BayStar is fighting with SCO over SCOsource. And the chart has disappeared.


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