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How the DOJ/MS Settlement was Reached

chrisd posted more than 12 years ago | from the does-the-doj-run-exchange? dept.

News 274

Drek was among the many who wrote in to tell us about the following: "Wired is running an article about how the MS/DoJ settlement was reached. More importantly, the DoJ has set up an email address where citizens can send comments about the case: microsoft.atr@usdoj.gov. This might be a good way for Slashdotters to do their civic duty."The address has been around for a bit, but still, a renewed call for comment.

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274 comments

MS and the DOJ can suck it! (-1)

Pr0n K1ng (160688) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577234)

Cause I got the mother fucken first post, bitches!

Re:MS... M.Twain comments on... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2577462)

Mark Twain's thoughts on the Islamic inhabitants of the Holy Land

One of America's most popular humorists, Mark Twain, perpetuated this scholarly tradition. Although Twain earned a reputation as "the Lincoln of our literature" for his brilliant denunciation of slavery in "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," the author had a potential for nastiness.

Eighteen years before he published Huck Finn, Twain engaged in a grand tour of the Holy Land. Twain recorded his impressions of Arab Muslims for American newspapers: They "never invent anything, never learn anything. . . . They are a stupid population . . . all beggars by nature, instinct and education."

"Mohammedans do not think like a lot of other people in this world. They never have. They are almost devoid of what we call kindness and pity. . . . This applies to animals, enemies and their own kind. They derive amusement from torture, from mutilation, of both animal and man."

Well, it does say something... (2)

11thangel (103409) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577237)

That they even are considering our opinions important enough to set up an address for them. Which means they are at least ACKNOWLEDGING some discontent about the decision.

So there I was.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2577302)

screwing the hell out of my gf, when I suddenly felt like I had to take a huge dump...
I hate when that happens...

Re:So there I was.... (-1)

DivineOb (256115) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577306)

That's never happened to me but I can imagine that would really suck...

Re:So there I was.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2577319)

Hang in there pilgrim, you'll get laid someday...

Re:So there I was.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2577410)

Umm, actually, if you ever had then you would know that that sort of thing doesn't happen - your brain supresses your need to relieve yourself when you're having sex. Your story == bullshit.

Re:So there I was.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2577492)

Actually, if you ever had sex, you wouldn't even know that... You must have read a lot about sex though, getting ready for the "big" day...

What you are refering to though, is the need to piss... Ever try to take a piss spotin' wood... damn near impossible...

Re:Well, it does say something... (5, Insightful)

luge (4808) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577348)

Actually, it's not that they think highly of our opinions but that they're legally required to get community feedback on this type of thing. This was originally intended to make it difficult to allow for pro-environmental decisions and such, but now it's coming around to bite the government on the ass.

More importantly, they're legally required to respond. As I understand it, every 'valid' email sent to that address /must/ be responded to. Sure, the responses will probably be mostly form emails, but they also have to be forwarded to the judge- who is legally required to consider the public interest when approving the decision. So... it's not completely over yet, and yes, this might actually make a different. So... go and write something thoughtful and coherent about why you feel MS as is significantly impacts your freedom as a consumer, and it might actually make some difference.

Re:Well, it does say something... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2577363)

I think if you really sat down and thought it through, you'd be hard pressed to come up with any examples of how Microsoft is impacting your freedom. You'd likely come up with a lot of things you think Microsoft did wrong, but none that actually has an impact on your freedoms.

Re:Well, it does say something... (3, Insightful)

luge (4808) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577443)

Actually, I can think of a number.
  • Fairly soon I'll be unable to watch any online media content without paying an MS tax. If that does come to pass it'll be specifically because of this settlement.
  • I'm unable to start a business in any field might even vaguely compete with MS, because no VC in their right mind will give me money.*
  • If I were offering a competitive product in another field (like NS did or the PS2 is) I'm unable to sell product at a price that actually reflects the cost of production. If it were a japanese car or steel company, that would be called dumping.
And this is just what I came up with in a few minutes while on the phone. It's quite clear, from the acts of Congress, the rulings of the Supreme Court, and the writings of the Founding Fathers that we have a legal right to conduct commerce and communicate without the obstruction or cost of a monopoly. And that right is clearly being violated.
Luis
*No comment on what that says about our VCs :) but there is plenty of sworn testimony from the west coast VCs to that effect.

Re:Well, it does say something... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2577444)

they set up an email address doesn't implicate what you say.
i think the laws require that they have a 30 day period for citizens to voice their opinions, they, in the light of our tech oriented society, have set up an email address in addition to their faxes, phone #, and addresses...whatever

Re:Well, it does say something... (2)

luge (4808) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577458)

No, it's not an implication... I spoke with some extremely knowledgeable* lawyers about the case last weekend, and what I'm saying is just what they told me.
*like, directly involved in the case

Re:Well, it does say something... (2)

David Gould (4938) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577447)


but they also have to be forwarded to the judge- who is legally required to consider the public interest when approving the decision.

What I always wonder is, in a context like this, what exactly does "consider" mean? It obviously can't mean that the decision has to be entirely determined by the feedback, since that's what the judge is for, but then how much discretion does the judge have? Is there some kind of standard for how much weight should be given to such things? Is there any protection against the judge satisfying the requirement by simply saying "Okay, I considered it."?

When you were a kid asking your parents for some new toy, how much difference did it really make whether they said "No." or "Hmm. Lemme think about it. No."?

Did I just write a post in which every unquoted sentence is a question?

Re:Well, it does say something... (1)

luge (4808) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577460)

I think what it actually means is basically up to the court it gets appealed to. So... could be about anything :) I'd hope it means that amicus curiae briefs which contradict the opinion of the DOJ (not to mention the state attorneys still involved) will be given serious weight. But I don't know any specifics.

What Bill Gates said, says it all (1)

Erris (531066) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577526)

"Despite the restrictions and the things in this settlement, having the uncertainty removed and the resource-drain removed we think is very positive, not only for Microsoft but for the industry," Gates said in an interview. "We're hopeful to get it put behind us."

Babelfish translation, BORG -> ENGLISH

"That was cheap, not just for us but for all the collective", speaker Gates said, "We will soon forget it." 4LL UR BASE R B3LL0N6 2 US. END TRANSMISION yyyyyyyyyy!?????? -TCP/MSXML CONTAINER zzzt - error 2012867 -

The what department? (4, Funny)

pi_rules (123171) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577248)

from the does-the-doj-doesn't-run-exchange dept.

I've been staring at that for a few minutes now... what in the hell were they trying to type?

Re:The what department? (0)

[drb] (109201) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577314)

err..

does-the-doj-run-exchange? dept.
-or-
because-the-doj-doesn't-run-exchange dept.

the real chrisd... (1)

fractaltiger (110681) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577408)

must have been replaced by Eliza. Help!!

****
WARNING: The rest of this poster's comment will be replaced by an automated response:****


Q:

I've been staring at that for a few minutes now... what in the hell were they trying to type?

A:

And how does the hell were they trying to type make you feel?

Re:The what department? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2577481)

"hope the doj doesnt run exchange dept", since there is probably alot of email on the way and slashdot likes to bash products they probably know very little about.

Of course there is always the far superior Open Source groupware replacement for exchange/outlook called... uhm... oh yeah......

mods can dish it out but cant take (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2577502)

guy is right

Don't make an ass of your self (0, Flamebait)

baronben (322394) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577251)

Even though I firmly belive that no e-mail messege from a citizen to a goverment angency hasn't changed anything, at any time, anywere, we can only shoot ourselves in the foot all thoes script kiddys outthere start flaming the DOJ. So lets all no make complete idots of our selves, thats what IRC is for anyways.

this is the forth p0st (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2577252)

and I feel so dirty.. so cheap.. so used...

I LOVE IT!!!

http://goatse.cx all the way, baby!!!

Spambait (1)

OblongPlatypus (233746) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577254)

Silly DoJ, they should've spam-protected their email address.

Re:Spambait (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577316)


> Silly DoJ, they should've spam-protected their email address.

The actual address is microsoft.NOSPAM.atr@usdoj.gov. They figured spammers would never think to add "NOSPAM" to an address.

Taking away their monopoly (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2577257)

If this weren't Microsoft and 'we all' weren't so zealously seeking its death, how far should a government go in punishing a monopoly for misbehavior?

Yes, yes, we all want Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer to be burned at the stake and Microsoft to be blown into a million pieces and split among Sun, Oracle, and AOL/Netscape.

How far should the government go in cases like this? Imagine it was a company whose products you liked.

Re:Taking away their monopoly (1)

ebyrob (165903) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577445)

They should go nowhere with it.

Instead they should reform copyright. I don't recall the constitution saying "To promote large megaconglomerates and the stomping of individual thought and freedom, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries"

Of course, then all those nice megaconglomerates would fall apart and we'd have a free market again. Chaos!

Will they read it? (0, Flamebait)

cliffy2000 (185461) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577275)

I really think that our government's resources could be better allocated to fighting a war than listening to a bunch of angry nerds.
(Note: Not flamebait. I'm a nerd, myself.) Just noting that it might be a little wasteful, if, indeed, the entirety of the e-mails are read... and a little pointless if they're not read. Seems like a silly idea in the first place.
Correct me if I'm wrong... I usually am.

Re:Will they read it? (1)

gmack (197796) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577292)

uhh Except that the people who's jobs are to fight the war are doing so. That's not the DOJ's job however.

I find it amazing how many people expect every day things to just stop simply because there is a war. We need to all get on with our lives and not let the terrorists win by disrupting everything.

Re:Will they read it? (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577327)


> I really think that our government's resources could be better allocated to fighting a war than listening to a bunch of angry nerds.

Yeah, they wanted to settle because antitrust suits aren't on the national priority anymore, yet I can't help but notice that they haven't said anything about settling the war on citizents^w drugs.

Re:Will they read it? (1)

pyrrho (167252) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577357)

I think the same thing goes for the national highway system... couldn't the government spend it's time better fighting war than fixing the roads?

And schools. Shouldn't they close the schools so they can spend that effort fighting war?

And what about all this scientific research? Should not those people be more involved in the war effort?

And what about the Coast Guard, shouldn't they stop saving boats in distress? couldn't they be used better to Guard the Coast... oh wait, scratch this last one.

Re:Will they read it? (1)

pyrrho (167252) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577366)


wait, I didn't understand, did the poster say, "wouldn't the government be better off sending all the DOJ attorneys to Afghanistan?"

forget my last answer... I'm for that!

"It's the ECONOMY, Stupid." (1)

Bilbo (7015) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577378)

The point is, the economy is in a slump. If we want a strong nation capable of sustaining a long term "War on Terrorism," then we (or the government) has to do something about it. If Microsoft is in fact a preditory monopoly, then that is hurting the economy, and you can be damn sure that the job of the DoJ (and FTC and everyone else) is to FIX it.

The question then is, how do you best fix something like this without simply bludgening MS to death? Dedicating a couple of people to skim through a few hundred emails in order to get a feeling for people's opinions isn't that difficult.

Re:Will they read it? (1)

CN-1 (537170) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577394)

What a most excellent idea there slick. But I have a better one: we shouldn't just stop at focusing our judicial branch on the "war" effort. Hell, why stop there. Let's send all the legislators into combat. Wouldn't that be grand. They would go over there and give all the whores 'merican STD's and then infect all the dirty towel heads. I bet a few of them would even agree to screwing camels, boy would that get to them. Let's also completely cut funding to education, john ashcroft, and peacocks. America, unite. (note to reader, this is purely sarcastic. you may wish to go back and read it with a sarcastic inner monologue)

Re:Will they read it? (2)

trilucid (515316) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577417)


Alright, that has *got* to be a troll post, but heck, I'm in a sporting mood...

"I really think that our government's resources could be better allocated to fighting a war than listening to a bunch of angry nerds."

Government by the People, for the People. Nuff said. We're all "the People", nerds included. Geez, grow a spine and stand up for your rights man.

"Just noting that it might be a little wasteful, if, indeed, the entirety of the e-mails are read... and a little pointless if they're not read."

Dear Lord, somebody hand this dude a clue stick... do you have any idea how rare it actually IS for the government (local, federal, whatever) to openly ask for public feedback on *any* issue, let alone one with this much at stake? We (Americans, that is) live in a (supposed) representative democracy, which means the folks we install on Capitol Hill are supposed to listen to our thoughts and feelings on issues. Granted, this doesn't always happen, but pardon me for appluading even the smaller gestures.

Even if the gov doesn't read a single email that flies into that box, the very concept is worth much more than the bandwidth spent sending them. Given the fact that you seem to feel democracy and rational behavior are silly concepts, perhaps you'd like to live in a nation where these ideas are frowned upon. Oops, I'm sorry... you probably wouldn't even be able to GET web access in most of those places.

Which is all fine and dandy with me, because people like you make me rather ill. I hate to be extreme here, but this is one case where "If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem" actually does apply.

Yes, I know "I have been trolled". This message is intended primarily for anyone out there with a generic "fuck it" attitute toward these issues. Unfortunately, given the percentage of Americans who actually vote come election time, this group seems to have a healthy number of members.

Wasted resources (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2577459)

First, the fact that our government has a channel
for citizens to respond is not wasting resources.
Ask most of the Afghani population about that.

Second, the amount of resources spent soliciting
and responding to email will pale in comparison
to the squandered resources in pursuing Microsoft
all these years for this pathetic settlement. If
this is what the DoJ wants, they should not have
bothered in the first place.

'public' responses? (1)

mrPalomar (3397) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577279)

Does anyone know if and where the public's responses might be posted for public review? Or, will they just be routed directly to Ashcroft's Outlook trashcan by his rules wizard...

How it was reached, in a nutshell... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2577281)

It was reached because several million in soft money will get you just about anything you want from uncle sam.

Consumers just don't matter (5, Insightful)

Walter Bell (535520) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577282)

The Microsoft antitrust case was never about protecting consumers' right to choose. It was never about curbing an illegal, unethical monopoly that tries to extend its control over consumers in every possible way. It was about money.

The Justice Department used the Microsoft case to increase their own budgets. Republicans and others who supported Microsoft had no problem with increasing funding to the DoJ because more money for the DoJ means more money to enforce laws against drugs, pornography, civil liberties, and other things that conservatives hate. The DoJ was thrilled when David Boies took their case, because they would get to dole out more funding to a very expensive lawyer and take a cut from the middle. Better funding helps everyone in an organization.

The states had no interest in protecting consumers, either. The states all saw a large antitrust settlement as a gigantic handout - more money from God to drop into the state coffers and spend on pork barrel projects. And since Microsoft has customers in all 50 states, why would any state pass up the opportunity to take part in the windfall? Especially because attorneys general are not elected, so who are they really responsible to?

The antitrust trial has always been about money, and the interests who participated in the whole circus have made billions of dollars off the taxpaying public from it. It is time for a quick and decisive settlement so that the bleeding of wasted dollars can stop. The government has shown time and again that consumers are defenseless against corporations who break the law and defraud them. This time is no different.

~wally

Re:Consumers just don't matter (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2577288)

Oh yeah, 10,000 maniacs like this writing in to a email address for "public opinion" is sure to get the "truth" out. /. is fucking mob of idiots.

Re:Consumers just don't matter (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2577313)

I like Natalie Merchant's solo work better.

Troll??? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2577328)

How did the parent post get modded "troll"? His theories may be a little unusual but he's definitely not trolling.

Re:Consumers just don't matter (5, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577354)


> It was about money.

You're right in general, but IMO wrong on the details. For instance, I suspect the various states are less interested in getting a one-time dole out of this than they are in giving their local software industry a boost. This kind of "protectionism" (if you will) helps them bring in jobs (aka "taxes"), catalyzes bribes^w campaign donations from those industries, and gives them something to stir Joe Citizen's patriotism, since at the next election the politicos will point out how they are so dutifully looking out for the interests of Joe Citizen's home state.

Yeah, it's about money, and the interests of big business. That's not to say that I'm against the suit; I just think it was mostly a case of "the right thing for the wrong reasons", and those wrong reasons is why so many parties were so eager to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory.

Re:Consumers just don't matter (1)

rabidcow (209019) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577467)

Isn't the US government pretty much designed for people to do the right thing for the wrong reasons?

Not all civil liberties (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2577403)

increasing funding to the DoJ because more money for the DoJ means more money to enforce laws against drugs, pornography, civil liberties, and other things that
conservatives hate.


Most conservatives are *very* interested in preserving the liberties that are granted by the Second Amendment. Especially because so many liberals want to pretend that amendment never existed.

Re:Not all civil liberties (1)

chriso11 (254041) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577485)

Yeah, while most conservatives (supposedly) are interested in preserving liberties, the ones in power sure aren't.

Let's see, there's:
-military tribunals for immigrants
-holding 1000s of people with no charges for months
-expanded wiretap provisions
-removal of lawer-client privileges
-attack on Oregon's right-to-die provision (where's State's Rights when Conservatives disagree with what those idiot voters wanted?)
-attack on California medicinal pot distrubution centers (see above)

Re:Consumers just don't matter (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2577440)

Considering that most of the case occurred during the Clinton administration and was initiated by said administration, how does this fit into a Republican "plan" wherein they get enforce laws against things they "hate." Even if they did have a plan, which is debatable, they must be incredibly adept since they got an administration under and opposing party to play right into their plans. Sorry, I just don't see it.

ahh relief (2, Insightful)

imrdkl (302224) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577284)

Regarding the DoJ: they believed would result in the "most effective and certain relief in the most timely manner."

Just who's relief we talking about here?

Guide us Landru!

Please email intellegent, informed messages (5, Insightful)

SideEffects (123663) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577287)

The subject says it all! Spamming this email address with overly anti-Microsoft emails may have the effect of causing intellegent, well thought out emails to be discarded.

Please, please use your head and point out what you honestly believe the problems are (and back them up with facts when possible). We may be able to make a different here. Let's not screw it up!

Re:Please email intellegent, informed messages (1)

sparkz (146432) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577476)

No - spam this account with idiotic pro-MS rants, so that all pro-MS rants will be ignored

;-)

;-)

Meanwhile at DOJ HQ! (5, Funny)

DragonPup (302885) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577290)

Web Guy 1: Wow, we got THOUSANDS of emails to the Antitrust email address from citizens over the past hour!

Web Guy 2: In an hour? Must be spam.

Web Guy 1: You're probably right

*Web Guy 1 deletes said few thousand messages*

-Henry

Slashdot Effect (1)

Grelli (98061) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577295)

I wonder, has it ever been known to happen that the slashdot effect has been applied to an email address?

This is obviously going to end up as one huge mailbomb!

I wonder what mail server they ran...

Re:Slashdot Effect (1)

mrseigen (518390) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577304)

I'm sure we'll be reading about this in the paper later...

Re:Slashdot Effect (1)

Grelli (98061) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577321)

I'm sure we'll be reading about this in the paper later...

Oh yeah, I can see it now:
Sources have confirmed that after the DoJ provided an email address for the public to comment on the antitrust case involving Microsoft Corp (MSFT), the DoJ servers suffered a Denial Of Service Attack, no doubt propagated by those people in against the case. Industry analysts suggest that the DoJ should take this as a sign to drop the case, or risk further attacks.

But..... (0, Redundant)

ElDuque (267493) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577297)

you mean the DOJ doesn't read slashdot every day? I think they know how we feel.

Re:But..... (1)

imrdkl (302224) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577341)

I think they know how we feel.

They are looking for either

  • more support
  • more evidence
Will you reply?

Cmdr Taco gives best blow job (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2577309)

Hey cmdr Taco,
I'll 'meat' you again, usual time,
under the old oak tree at Rock Creek Park.
You magnificent cocksucker, I love it
when you tickle my `nads. Quite good at it you are, and if you beg gracefully, I'll let you watch me take a shit again. Don't bring that lamo cowboy neil, what a worthless queer he is, quite fucking lame in fact.

Re:Cmdr Taco gives best blow job (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2577419)

Whoa! Mod this up! Insightful! Troll my ass, this is insightful bitches.

What is my civic duty? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2577312)

As 'a slashdotter', i feel i should know what my 'civic duty' is. it seems like you assume that all of our civic duty is to e-mail them and say "a settlement is bullshit. get em by the balls! they're evil!" but in much more politically correct language.

if you wanna know what i think, an agreement is great. they did some lame things, but they have some excellent software and hardware, and i have no major anti-microsoft sentiments.
if you don't, then at least dig this: when the people that tell the news start telling you what your civic duty is, you gotta look 2x

slashdot going to hell in a bobsled (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2577320)

The quality of slashdot continues to erode at a
frightening pace. The principal problem appears
to be the slashdot editors. A serious lack of
intelligence and a massive dose of stupidity
hampers their judgement, and thus the threads
they allow, are at best, pretty fucking stupid.
If the maintainers of slashdot had any talent
at all, they might be doing useful, meaningful
work. Instead, they're locked into the pathetic
charade that is slashdot. When the fuck is VAlinux
going to fold? Maybe then these no-talents can
find meaningful employment picking up cigarette
butts alongside I-95. Until that fateful day,
the cocksucking slashdot crew will continue to fuck
everything up.

P.S Piss on you linux lovers.
openVMS forever!!

No one will care what we have to say (2, Funny)

Nitroshock (525868) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577323)

Even if we were to send email to microsoft.atr@usdoj.gov, do you honestly think they're gonna have some monkey go through all the email they get? Even if they do, it's not going to change anything. A good ploy would be for MS to use this as a "Who likes us and who needs to die" check.

I say everyone go to all the porn sites they can find and sign the email address "microsoft.atr@usdoj.gov" up for the mailing lists. For creativity, go to some of the off the wall Scheiße sites and sign the email addy up for their lists. That would approximate my feelings anyway.

Re:No one will care what we have to say (2)

trilucid (515316) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577438)


First things first. You, Sir, are a fool and a troll. Yes, I am lowering myself to petty name calling.

How the hell did that get modded up "interesting"?!?!?! That has got to be one of the DUMBEST courses of action I can possibly think of. Perhaps the post was intended to be "funny", but it's just not (IMHO).

Do you have any idea what a bad idea that is? Do you want to give the gov a reason to stop reaching out AT ALL, even in small ways?

For further reference, please refer to my other post [slashdot.org] to someone talking a similar game.

This is patently absurd, but mostly for the fact that that comment got modded up "interesting". Jesus K. Christ, what the hell? I'll probably lose karma for all my shouting on this topic, but I don't freaking care. I feel very strongly about this!

Re:No one will care what we have to say (1)

Nitroshock (525868) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577519)

Dude, get off your fucking high horse, take a deep breath, turn off the defcon 4 alarm, and FUCKING CHILL OUT!!! I'm sorry you must have ran out of Prozac today but you have to realize to not take things so seriously.

It would be a stupid thing to do, but who the hell cares? Do you honestly think that the email address WON'T get flooded anyway? My reference to signing the address up for porn sites was meerly a dry humor attempt at what I thought emailing the DOJ would do, ABSOLUTLY NOTHING! Perhaps a story on Bill Gates goat screwing your mother would have been more appropriate.

Point is, if you're too self righteous to realize that people have opinions that differ from yours, that they may express these opinions differntly than you would, FUCKING CHILL OUT! It's not the end of the world!

Re:No one will care what we have to say (2)

trilucid (515316) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577541)


I have absolutely no problem with people having opinions which differ from my own (given the fact that it's impossible to go through life without that happening anyhow).

That said, I do have a problem (and will voice my opinion as such) with people recommending/promoting idiotic courses of action. Basically, I have the same attitude toward people who claim that shooting doctors is okay as long as it's because they performed abortions. Granted, your post is substantially less severe, but the point stands.

You don't think it's the end of the world, but you also don't have to manually filter the possibly gigs of sheer shit that will get emailed to that address. They don't pay gov tech people enough to do that stuff anyhow. Why take a decent gesture and piss all over it? Grow the hell up.

Here's to ISPs cutting off access to morons who crapflood that address.

Re:No one will care what we have to say (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2577471)

Just as trilucid said, what a pathetic
wanker you are. You certainly must
be to ashamed of yourself. Just listen
to what you have said: "no one will listen
to us..boo-hoo". Thats the lamest shit
I've ever heard. Who gives a fuck if
microsoft is a bunch of fags? Don't
complain like a pussy little bitch,
you sound like a worthless ham-fisted
cunt.

_Stupid_ (1)

bmajik (96670) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577324)

from the article:


The government also sought in its court filing to clarify key provisions surrounding the secrecy of Microsoft's technology to prevent consumers from making illegal copies of music or movies. Part of the settlement allows Microsoft to keep secret any information that might violate the security of such anti-piracy technology, and critics charged that Microsoft might use the exemption to hide details about many of its products.

But the government told the judge that Microsoft must disclose to competitors all the capabilities of its anti-piracy music technology under the latest version of Windows, called XP. Microsoft can't use the security exemption as a pretext for broadly keeping details about its software secret, lawyers said.



I'm no big fan of DRM technology, but the whole premise is that its obscure and heard to interact with. There is no provably secure or correct DRM scheme - all you can do is make the software a pain in the ass to figure out. So by ordering MS to disclose a bunch of stuff on how the DRM works, it probably contributes a great deal to crackability, thus nullifying its use anyway.

Regardless of your moral/ethical/whatever opinions on DRM, requiring too much info be leaked from the DRM technology utterly invalidates and destroys the usefulness of the DRm technology. Which means MS will just have to think of something else that they _wont_ have to reveal secrets about.

Re:_Stupid_ (2)

imrdkl (302224) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577402)

Perhaps not so stupid. The most interesting part of your quote is that they (MS) Must Reveal their Crypto.

All details. Now. Under the threat of strong enforcement provisions.

Hmm, who wins there?

Re:_Stupid_ (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2577451)

Two anticompetitive examples:

Microsoft developer wanted a non public api hook, so linux sendmail could take over: denied.

Crypto certificate exhanges between SUN and MS servers, using supplied documentation did not work. MS said, make the call a 2nd time, and it will work (it did, but there is a performance overhead). The extra aggro, meant future extensions were ms, because of 'compatibility' issues.

How about MS WILL provide external developers info and interfaces for its API's at NO cost via web.

There is no technology issue. Everything calls a routine, eventually. If you choose not to disclose these, you make potential competition 2nd class/unviable.

It is not technology to hide a a bit of checking code.

A list of API's and their parms must be outed.

Also, those on 95' still need/want support. If a carmaker stopped all spare part production for auto models older than 6 years, there would be trouble. Those who upgraded from 95' because of Year2000 fudding have suffered monetary damage.
Lets see the cash.

The new /. effect (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577332)

Wow, I think this is probalby a first. Have we, as a community, Slashdotted an e-mail address before? Is this one holding up? What would you guys like to slashdot next? Maybe one of those coke machines at some college that's on the internet. Of course I should probably heed the saying "A closed mouth gathers no foot."

OT: Metamod (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2577352)

Is it just me, or is the metamoderation system totally broken now?

Re:OT: Metamod (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2577388)

metamoderation simply pulls the content of Slashdot toward the majority. It's not the metamoderation system which is broken, it's the majority which has gotten dumber.

Re:OT: Metamod (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2577493)

He wasn't asking for a philospohical opinion on m2, dumbass -- it is actually fucking not working (as in the page doesn't render), shit-breath.

a thousand goatse.cx later... (2, Troll)

rebelcool (247749) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577359)

Yeah. A few thousand from messages by:

A. People who don't know anything about law (99.9999% of slashdot).

B. People who just hate microsoft.

C. Losers with too much time on their hands, crapflooding the mailbox.

Yeah..i'm sure they're going to pay a whole lot of attention to the one or two actual decent messages which get through the noise. Good plan kids.

Re:a thousand goatse.cx later... (3, Insightful)

JabberWokky (19442) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577375)

People who don't know anything about law (99.9999% of slashdot).

I'd venture to guess that the Slashdot readership knows much more about law than the public in general. Of course, /.ers don't know about law! That's not what this email address is for... it's not for lawyers to write in; it's for the public at large to express the community opinion on the subject. And I would have to say that /.ers are *significantly* opinionated on this issue.

--
Evan

indeed (2)

rebelcool (247749) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577387)

sarcasm


And what a community it is that will write in. Just view the message threads for the delightfully intelligent banter that accompanies postings.


/sarcasm

The law (2, Interesting)

bug1 (96678) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577455)

"A. People who don't know anything about law (99.9999% of slashdot)."

I think when analysing the law, the primary objective of the law should be to implement justice.

How can we begin to understand the law when it fails so consistently on its primary objective in regard to tech matters.
The law will probably always be unjust to techies ad its based on precedents going back hundreds of years, a few people will always have to get persecuted before the lawmakers will consider changing a now irrelevent law.

Why should we try and understand the law when it ignores us and is clueless to make informed descisions.

To obey a bad law is worse than breaking it.

The first thing we need to learn about the law is how to evade it, its the only way to get justice... ironic isnt it.

Article says nothing new (1)

Hercynium (237328) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577362)

Is it really any surprise that nothing new was stated in the article?

Here's a link to the DOJ's press release [usdoj.gov] on the settlement. Everyone should try to read it, as well as the actual settlement (if you can find it... links, anyone???)

Personally, I think the settlement is satisfactory. It addresses the root of the problem and stays (mostly) out of other issues. Microsoft's sin is not in it's products... it's in it's sales and marketing practices. Unless someone can prove that Windows has a secret "Disable third-party software" function, I just don't see the problem.

How the deal was done (2)

Cally (10873) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577380)

Firstly,The Register ran a story covering much the same info [theregister.co.uk] in a much more entertaining way.


Secondly, we know how the deal was reached. Microsoft bought the law,
and the law won. "Don't you know there's a war on?" Someone seems
to think that MS are an American company, therefore their monopoly is
actually a GOOD thing because it means American software dominates
the world. WindowsXP is good for the economy; if you're running Linux
or BSD, the terrorists are already winning!


Thirdly, us Europeans are waiting with bated breath to see
what the EU do [theregister.co.uk]. As (again) The Reg points out,
there's none of this 'adjourning for a second hearing in the
consideration of whether to refer the case to another appeal'
nonsense over here. Let's hope that turns out to be good news
rather than bad news...


--

Carolyn Meinel, Scientific American: "Those computers ran Linux, which
meant that they could impersonate any other server on the Internet."

Re:How the deal was done (3, Funny)

D.Throttle (432930) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577398)

You're close...
This is what happened. As a member of the DOJ, I can tell you that things have been rather busy lately. We all know that Christmas is rapidly approaching. To make a long story short, Bill gave us some of those new XBox consoles. He even threw in the full set of release titles and a copy of XP! Now if that's not justice, what is?

And don't go givin' me your self-righteous BS. You know damn well you'd do the same. We were nearing a settlement anyways. This just sealed the deal.

Some thoughts... (5, Insightful)

Brian Kendig (1959) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577384)

(1) Microsoft claimed all along that the web browser was a useful application which deserved to be tied to Windows. The crucial question they never answered was: what about Microsoft Word? Everybody uses a word processor; why didn't Microsoft add Word's powerful features into Windows, to benefit consumers in the same way they did by adding Explorer's powerful features to Windows?

The answer is that Word had no serious competition, so Microsoft was content to sell it separately and to offer a stripped-down word processor ("WordPad") bundled with Windows.

I've believed all along that a great solution to the tying issue would have been for Microsoft to include a stripped-down basic web browser with Windows, and to sell the full-featured Internet Explorer separately. This would let customers surf the web without buying anything extra, but if they wanted additional features, plenty of competition in the market would give them lots of choices of more-powerful web browsers.

(2) Microsoft defeated Netscape simply because they had the cash, the resources, and the time to copy every one of Netscape's most important products feature-for-feature, and give it away for free. They rarely got things right on the first try, but by bundling browsers and servers in with Windows and by releasing subsequent versions with more features, it was inevitable that they would eventually match Netscape's quality -- and then it was inevitable that customers would choose the free solution over Netscape's. Many of Netscape's customers still remained loyal, and purchased Netscape software rather using Microsoft's give-aways, but still, Netscape was doomed from the very start.

Netscape did the research and development. Microsoft saw what worked, copied it, and gave it away. How could Netscape possibly survive?

More importantly, what does this say about the Next Big Thing, whatever that may be? What incentive does a person have to turn his great idea into a company, when he knows that Microsoft can simply steal his idea and undersell him once he proves that his idea is a success?

(3) Microsoft has a long history of abusing their power, and they've been taken to court for it many times in many different countries. They've learned, however, that if they can get a court case to drag on for years, any ruling will become irrelevant because the competition it was supposed to benefit has long since died off. And not only are they skilled at dragging the proceedings through molasses -- but they also thumb their nose at the government while doing it; were they ever reprimanded for introducing a falsified videotape into evidence two years or so ago?

Any ruling against Microsoft must be strong and unyielding. So far their punishment for shrugging penalties aside has been another court case which has dragged on for another few years, and they'll only ignore the outcome of this one too; this must come to an end.

They don't really read these emails (2, Funny)

PoiBoy (525770) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577391)

They've probably got a script that simply searches through emails for words like Microsoft, Linux, good, bad; and then either counts it for or against microsoft.

if (/microsoft/ && /bad/ && /consumers/) {

--$bad_microsoft;

}

elsif (/microsoft/ && /good/) {

++$good_microsoft;

}

elsif (/linux/ && /awesome) {

++$slashdot_geek;

}

A guess? (1)

AntiFreeze (31247) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577401)

<sarcasm>
From the /etc/aliases file on usdoj.gov:

microsoft.atr : bit-bucket

<\sarcasm>

mpich devel team fag (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2577490)

WoW your use of computational
grammar is astounding!!

Using fake tags to emphasize
your point is clever!!

You must be on the mpich
devel team, or at least
tenured... fucking brilliant
and original!!
You and Taco should get
together, he really appreciates
fake homos like you.

Only US citizens can write to DoJ? (2, Interesting)

InodoroPereyra (514794) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577413)

The article states:
The Justice Department also set up an e-mail address where consumers and companies may send their comments about the antitrust settlement. The address is microsoft.atr@usdoj.gov, and will operate for 60 days.

But you are saying here:

the DoJ has set up an email address where citizens can send comments about the case

I wonder exactly who is entitled to write an email to the US-DoJ. A lot of non-US citizen slashdoters would be willing to write I guess ...

-- Don Inodoro

"Stiff penalties" (3, Insightful)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577424)

Yeah right. Back in the 80's when illegal dumping of toxic waste was big, fines for those companies were like $50k/day- a value smaller than the amount of money the companies saved by dumping illegally.

So now we are going to fine MS "stiffly?" How much would this be- 1/10 the value of breaking the rules? MS has a history of breaking these kind of agreements, and I don't see this changing anytime soon.

MS Bad rep (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2577452)

I'm disappointed with a lot of people who are anti-MS zealots, esp those who think linux is the best os ever, and anything else is a waste of time. Some of you may like Linux, and use it, but that doesn't mean osx or windows don't have their places. linux has a higher learning curve, and for people who don't use computers that much, or have no need to learn anything beyond email, word processing, etc. osx or windows would make an excellent choice. (gamers also).

whatever...i just think ms is getting screwed over by a lot of people, undeservingly. they have screwed up and a lot of people rightly don't like them, but i think a good portion of the anti-ms movement is by people who don't have a reason to hate ms other than to jump on the bandwagon and promote linux at their cost

my two cents...i suppose i could have done more than 0 research and come up with a stronger argument, but i'm not pro ms or anything so i didn't bother. just disappointed w/ those people...

It's a fairly simple formula... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2577470)

[Large Bush campaign contributions] + [Paying off everyone else in between] = [bye bye antitrust lawsuit]

Settlement is bunk! (0)

mupi (537084) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577491)

Critics, including Microsoft competitors and some independent antitrust experts, have said the settlement announced Nov. 2 is inadequate and charged that the company will be able to bypass many of the sanctions because of vague language. Truth be told, the settlement was only reached because Bill performed anal favours for the judge. It is not known at this time whether Bill enjoyed himself or was only doing what was best for the company.

from the does-the-doj-run-exchange? dept. (1)

xercist (161422) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577517)

lets find out.

% host -t MX usdoj.gov
usdoj.gov MX 15 wdcsun1.usdoj.gov
usdoj.gov MX 20 wdcsun2.usdoj.gov

% nmap -O -sS wdcsun1.usdoj.gov

Starting nmap V. 2.54BETA30 ( www.insecure.org/nmap/ )
Warning: OS detection will be MUCH less reliable because we did not find at least 1 open and 1 closed TCP port
Interesting ports on wdcsun1.usdoj.gov (149.101.1.100):
(The 1547 ports scanned but not shown below are in state: filtered)
Port State Service
25/tcp open smtp
80/tcp open http

Remote operating system guess: Solaris 2.6 - 2.7 with tcp_strong_iss=2
Uptime 296.738 days (since Wed Jan 24 02:33:53 2001)

Nmap run completed -- 1 IP address (1 host up) scanned in 172 seconds

A Sun system wuth an uptime of almost 300 days...perhaps the DOJ deserves more credit than we give them...
On a sidenote, I wasn't able to get an http responce from it, sadly.

Make them "eat their own dog food", as it were. (2)

GISboy (533907) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577523)

It has been pointed out (I forget where) that windows master cd's are made on a unix station.

Hotmail was and still is unix windows dressing 2000 on the front end, *if* I am not mistaken.

Address these or the settlement is worthless:
1) Bootloader and OEM contracts. NO more, ever.

2) *IF* windows is requested to be loaded on an OEM box...let the consumer choose which.

3) Enough of this fscking upgrade treadmill, all versions of windows should be supported for a *mandatory 10 years*, including patches, bugfixes and drivers for the latest hardware.

4) Anyone who can produce a cd of whatever version of windows they have/had and runs another OS, Microsoft should be *FORCED* to pay the customer back. Windows refund day, with a vengance.

5) Any vendor "wronged thru contracts" should be allowed to find out what other OEM's payed and get money back for being royally screwed.

6) Knowing the 'hell' the SAMBA team goes thru with each new version of windows either:
a) Full and complete publishing of the source code to CIFS/SMB so that SAMBA can be fully integrated into a windows network quickly OR
b) have Microsoft code it for the team and submit the changes to the SAMBA team.

7) Inclued the past sins of the 1995 consent decree and allow the "de-integration" or outright *removal* of Outlook, Internet Explorer, Windows media player, whatever their IM client is (anything I missed?)...not removal from the add/remove panel, or the Oulook-sneak where it just get rid of the icons and leave the entire exe and other files behind. REMOVE the wholed damn thing, exe's and dll's that are not crucial.

8) Heavy fines or non-voting stock in Novell, Redhat and/or Apple(again). And whoever else was harmed in the past 10+ years by the anticompetitive actions (ignore ineptitude of some of the competitors, or not, business decisions).

9) I'm sure there is a contract lawyer who can point out the BS of "shrink wrap" licenses, do so while we are at it, on MS's tab. Why? see #4, again, because if you can be reamed by clicking I agree, what happens if you click "I disagree", humm? Can't get a refund...sorry, don't work that way (or should not). Too many catch 22's with software if it does not work or is a digital lemon (can't make lemonaide, DMCA forbids it I am certain).

Thoughts? Suggestions? Penguin Mint(tm)?

Let's face facts, you can't change history, but you can influence the future.
Man, 3 more "steps" and it would have been a 12 step process. Heh, MA (Microsoft Anonymous).

Cheers,

GISboy

Here's my letter to the DOJ: (3, Informative)

Futurepower(tm) (228467) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577533)


Here's my letter to the DOJ:


I've owned a computer dealership since before IBM sold personal computers. I'm also a programmer.

Microsoft is extemely abusive and anti-competitive. -- Microsoft is far, far more anti-competitive and abusive than the US DOJ vs. Microsoft antitrust case [usdoj.gov] discusses. If the present case in resolved in an insufficient fashion, there will be a need for another case immediately.

Secret file formats are anti-competitive. -- A good partial resolution of the case would be to prohibit Microsoft from using secret file formats. Then there could be competition again.

At present there cannot be competition because the software from the dominant company, Microsoft, produces file formats that cannot be reproduced because they are secret. So, another company cannot make software that reliably inter-operates.

At present, if a big customer upgrades to a new version of Microsoft Office, and sends out files in a format incompatible with previous versions, all people who receive the files are forced to upgrade their Microsoft software. Companies understandably don't want to go to a good customer and ask that a document be sent again in a former file format.

Microsoft produces software that is deliberately faulty. -- Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows ME all have articifial limitations which cause them to crash even though there are plenty of hardware resources. These are called "User Resources" and "GDI Resources". The memory for these resources is artificially limited to 128,000 bytes in some cases and 2 megabytes in other cases. When these resources are exhausted, the operating systems stop functioning.

Microsoft deliberately allows piracy. -- Major competitors of Microsoft like Corel Word Perfect and IBM Lotus WordPro have difficulty competing because Microsoft allows enough piracy of Microsoft products that competitors cannot sell theirs.

I called the Microsoft legal department and complained about this. The result was that I was a witness in a case against one of the pirates. More recently I tried to complain about this again, but it is now impossible to contact Microsoft's legal department.

In my area Microsoft Office 2000 is available for $50.00 at dealers who sell low-cost computers. I have verified with Microsoft that these are pirated copies. Over a period of many years, Microsoft has not taken sufficient action against the pirates to allow a chance for honest competitors.

Microsoft is ending support. -- Next month, December 2001, Microsoft will stop providing support for Windows 98, apparently in an attempt to force users to upgrade. Another good partial resolution of the DOJ-Microsoft case would be to extend the support time for at least another 10 years. Many people have computers that operate fine for the purpose for which they are used. For example, an accounting department in a small company may use Windows 95, or even the DOS operating system. These people should not be forced to upgrade.

These are only a few of the extremely anti-competitive and abusive methods Microsoft uses, in my opinion.

Regards,

Michael Jennings


An explanation of how the U.S. got involved in violence: What should be the Response to Violence? [hevanet.com]

There's a balance here. (2)

Fat Casper (260409) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577535)

I suppose that it is a good thing that the FBI is working with the EU to get US law to apply in Europe, because it sort of balances out the efforts of the antitrust division to insure that US law doesn't apply in America.

I've said it before... (3, Interesting)

WasterDave (20047) | more than 12 years ago | (#2577536)

...and I'll say it again. You have, on the one hand, a goverment that really wants to be able to bug electronic communications. On the other hand, a monopoly software company that controls 99.999% of desktops in the world. Now, the software company owes the government a favour so....

Dave
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