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Linux fans go nuclear over Microsoft's patent teasing

And illicit Wi-Fi use can get you nicked

Comments A week has passed and we're back with another Best of Comments feature. You've been busy, and as a consequence, so have we. So let's get started.

Microsoft announced that Linux violates 235 of its patents, and then declined to reveal which patents this covered. The reason? The paperwork. You didn't buy it:

"I could be wrong now, but I don't think so!"

Jeez... Someone KNOWS the numbers, because we have a count. They must be written down somewhere! Can't these guys use their own software?

Sorry, in times of past, it was quite common to cite patent numbers on products. Usually on engraved nameplates that said: "Covered by one or more of the following US patents: x,xxx,xxx x,xxx,xxx x,xxx,xxx (etc.)."

So now we can only assume that the patents have either expired, or don't exist!


How is it that they have such a precise number of patent infringements, 235, yet they do not already have the patent numbers for each of them? If they had said something like "hundreds" or "dozens upon dozens" or something less precise, I might just buy this explanation. But 235 is a very specific number, and the fact that they mentioned it (and were even able to detail it out somewhat specifying which components of Linux and other Open Source software infringed on how many of the 235 patents) tells me that this is just a bunch of handwaving. The very fact that they counted them at all means that somebody already did the paperwork, so near as I can see, this excuse is bogus.


The problem is not that they fail to detail hundreds of patents. The problem is that they refuse to detail even a single patent.

Surely if Linux fragrantly violates all of these patents, it should be easy enough to detail just one? Linux has the right to defend itself against this charge, but has no way of doing so until Microsoft details its complaint.


Fragrantly? Not a word we'd associate with Linux aficionados, but if they're sprucing up a bit, more power to 'em.

Does anyone remember that one kid at school who would boast about what present he got for christmas/birthday, usually something cool that was expensive or rare, but when you asked them to bring it in to school or go round their house to see it they would make up some elaborate excuse for not showing you the toy?

You see that kid, that's Microsoft that is.


Be fair, Haku. His dog may have really hurked up some meat containing a highly-contagious retrovirus on the carpet of the room in which that awesome toy is stored. Let the hazchem men do their work.

Microsoft only has to prove that one patent has been violated and the whole open source house of cards comes crashing down. The open source movement prides itself on the idea that it has the moral certainty of not stealing ideas. It only has to be shown to have done this once and it will do huge damage to the movement.


A report was released on the most suitable sites to build nuclear power plants. These were overwhelmingly south of the border with Scotland, which prompted some tit-for-tat territoriality over leccy and North Sea oil:

So Scotland & Wales are not options for nuclear power post devolution? - fine

BUT I do hope that this means we can cut them off from the National Grid and they can pollute their own air with coal fired power stations to make their own electricity (because despite all their spin about green policies can't see the local NIMBYs allowing enough wind farms can you?)

works for me . . .


Does the England's subsidy of Scotland run to power as well now? Is it not bad enough that the anti-smoking bill for England would have failed without Scottish MPs sticking their oar in?

Ye gods.

Rich Bryant

Since Scotland is a net exporter of electricity (to Engerland and Northern Ireland, 2% of Scottish exports) I think you'd be worried about cutting us off from the National Grid. After all, how would you power your pomposity generators?

Johnny Calcutta

Cut them off from our surplus electricity produced up here in what is clearly God's country. But wait! Don't stop there!!! Oh no, sever the water we supply them because all their pipes leak. Re-route the oil, re-build Hadrians Wall and use the surplus electricity to electrify it.

Duncan Robertson

That's enough, boys and girls. Play nice.

Apple got into a tizzy this week over an inappropriate use of their iconic advertising style. Ann Summers is flogging the 'iGasm', an iPod peripheral designed to help women enjoy their music. Or something. At any rate, the ad looks suspiciously Apple-esque, and is apparently unlicensed. A reader had some exciting ideas for an entire product line:

Rather than just a dull buzzing sensation that any streetwise chick could obtain via a bag of honey bees or wasps, someone should design a Rampant Rabbit jive box. It should just be a matter of wiring an ipod to the crankshaft of the Rampant beast.

First it goes this way, then it goes that way depending on the beat variation of the album being listened to (Steps or S-Club 7).

The idea could be extended into strip clubs - nipple-tassles which pick up the ambient music and swing themselves, taking the burden away from the erm, performing artist.

As Alan Partridge once said "You can make them go that way, and you can make them go that way, but you can't make them go bothways".

Well, Sir Alan of Partridge, now you can.


While another proposed a rebranding to settle the issue:

I vote for calling it the "iPoke"


Could also be because Apple themselves market an iPod powered sex toy, as I found out when visiting their shop in London.


We wouldn't call him overzealous, but a Sparta, Michigan cop arrested a man for accessing a cafe's unsecured Wi-Fi network and not buying coffee. The perp was fined $400 and sentenced to 40 hours of community service. The cafe's owner was surprised by the judgment, and so were you:

So what crime did he commit exactly? Who'd he defraud? The cafe owner seems unperturbed by all this. Perhaps the police might like to prosecute her for inviting "criminals" to connect to her unsecured wifi.


Given that the WiFi operator didn't have a problem, it seems logical now that you can prosecute a person for breathing air if they don't come into your establishment. What is the world coming to these days.


He was authorized, the Cafe shop owner didn't object. His computer accessed their network, their network said OK too. That authorization.

BTW, Are you OK if I post a comment here? I forgot to ask first.


No. We'll see you in court.

Slow day in law enforcement? Weren't there any old ladies jaywalking or anyone going 1MPH over the speed limit? Did the donut shop raise their prices? Perhaps the judge's laxative wasn't working that day?



Register Reader

Someone had to say that. And someone has to say this: make mine a double. See you all next week. ®


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