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

Know Fear · Check out Ja­son Matusow’s Your In­put Re­quest­ed, 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: 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. 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. [Up­date: Ballmer con­firms: “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”]
RX Redux · Thanks to the com­menters on the pre­vi­ous RX piece who rec­om­mend­ed ruby-prof (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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