· Naughties
· · 2006
· · · November
· · · · 15 (2 entries)

Know Fear · Check out Jason Matusow’s <a href='http://blogs.msdn.com/jasonmatusow/archive/2006/11/11/your-input-requested.aspx'>Your Input Requested</a>, on the reaction to the recent Microsoft-Novell deal. Jason notes the push-back and seems to be saying that some of it is reasonable and they’re willing to fine-tune. But there’s this one sentence that leaps off the screen at me: <i>We are not interested in providing carte blanche clearance on patents to any commercial activity - that is a separate discussion to be had on a per-instance basis.</i> Oh really. At one level that’s a tautology, but placed like this in the immediate context of the Novell deal, it’s more than a little threatening. It’s hard for me to imagine Microsoft firing a barrage of litigation, or even of royalty demands, at a bunch of Linux developers or integrators or packagers—that would be a nuclear first strike and who knows who’d be left standing—but then strange things happen in this world. Maybe the nonspecific saber-rattling is the real point, just trying to create enough not-unreasonable doubt in the minds of high-tech legal departments to put a little drag on OSS business momentum. Of course, they don’t say what the patents that apply in this context are, but that’s not unique Microsoft evil, it’s just the evil way that these things are usually done. <i>[Update: <a href='http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/microsoft/archives/108806.asp'>Ballmer confirms</a>: “the fact that that product uses our patented intellectual property is a problem for our shareholders.” And “anybody who has got Linux in their data center today sort of has an undisclosed balance sheet liability”]</i>
RX Redux · Thanks to the commenters on <a href='/ongoing/When/200x/2006/11/09/Optimizing-Ruby'>the previous RX piece</a> who recommended <code>ruby-prof</code> (there’s a gem install), which is a much faster and thus better profiler than the built-in one. I learned a few more things ...
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