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Slashback: IEEE, Liquid, Swings

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the hike-in-smokies-this-weekend dept.

Slashback 241

Slashback this evening brings you updates on silly patents, closer-to-mainstream watercooling for your desktop, the IEEE's publication rules, and more. Read on below for the details.

IEEE v. DMCA. Reacting to the IEEE's changing publication rules, Boone^ writes: "The IEEE has backed away from their stance that all papers submitted must comply with the DMCA. Their reason? 'The IEEE, publisher of nearly one-third of all computer science journals, said it is removing the requirement because it turned out to be more contentious than expected.' Personally I'd have preferred their reason to be based on the law instead of popular backlash, but maybe that's a step in the right direction to eventually bring about new legislation."

Many readers also pointed out this New Scientist story on the reversal.

Free as in Blender? tinus writes: "Ton Roosendaal, creator of Blender, submitted an update to Elysiun.com about finding solutions for continueing activities of the Blender projects. He describes the way Blender has been split up into smaller projects to make it both profitable as public domain software. Also, he gives us a preview of his setup for his new community plan, which even mentions 'Blender sources will be opened for members.'

Seems like there is a very promising future for Blender after all. Read the full story here."

Water meets your processor. Foss writes "You may remember this story about the dodgy-yet-extremely-cheap DIY water cooling block. Well, thanks to all your emails, Rob's getting better. It's still extremely cheap (under £10), but it's now pretty stable too, running a P3 933@1.1GHz for a few hours at a very stable 28 degrees. No dental floss this time round either!"

But don't worry, all the other patents issued were A-OK. Worried about getting slapped with a lawsuit for swinging different? f00zbll writes: "Cnet is running an follow up article on the patent posted earlier in the week. Apparently, the kid doesn't plan on suing anyone over swinging side ways."

We're here to save you money, Ma'am. Now, where do you keep it? guttentag writes "The NYTimes (reg req'd) is reporting on a MS and Mexico plan to develop digital community centers as part of a broader 'eMexico' initiative meant to bring the entire nation online by 2006. Microsoft will license its Windows, Office and Encarta software on the same terms that colleges and universities use. Some background: Microsoft's licensing deal with the University System of Maryland resulted in a mandatory $14 Microsoft tax imposed on all 130,000 students. Apparently, if you want to attend one of MD's taxpayer-funded university, you must pay MS. Is eMexico Microsoft's plan to tax Mexican citizens?" Hope they keep their licenses up -- Virginia Beach's taxpayers got to foot a city-size bill. The tab in Texas wasn't low either. What would it look like for all of Mexico?

cancel ×

241 comments

And in other news... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3369710)

Why has Slashdot been sucking so hard lately?

Re:And in other news... (-1)

on by (572414) | more than 12 years ago | (#3369751)

what do you mean 'lately'. you're new here aren't you?

Re:And in other news... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3369782)

Shit has gone downhill in a major way over the last 3 months or so. I mean, it's always been smelly self-righteous hippies, but lately it's been smelly self-righteous hippies posting comments on really stupid posts.

Re:And in other news... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3369970)

And dumbass ACs flaming other dumbass ACs. STFU cocksucker!

Re: Fucktard (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3370021)

Blah blah fucking blah.

Just checking to see if you still sucked.

Call me if you get funny, OK?

OK. Bye!

The editors are morons! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3369714)

All these stories have been posted before!

Are you guys actually paying for this stuff?

Re:The editors are morons! (-1, Offtopic)

DDonahue99 (541662) | more than 12 years ago | (#3369747)

What? Paying? I'm sure they're getting paid. :-) Don't visit the site if you don't like it.

Re:The editors are morons! (-1, Offtopic)

Pussy Is Money (527357) | more than 12 years ago | (#3369851)

it's fuckheads like you that make this site suck so hard. why do you come here ruining it for everybody? you should be ashamed. i hope you grow up. at which point i might have some cheap whores on offer for you. as it is right now i wouldn't trust you with my dog. or with the shithouse that is this website.

Re:The editors are morons! (-1, Offtopic)

Pussy Is Money (527357) | more than 12 years ago | (#3369878)

i have been modded down!

oh the humanity

Re:The editors are morons! (2, Informative)

Tigris666 (197729) | more than 12 years ago | (#3369794)

All these stories have been posted before!

The article does state slashback which does trigger my mind to believe that, yes genius it has been posted before, and we don't need you to tell us this.

The article also mentions the word update which, if you read this link [dictionary.com] you will see that it is implied that this is not new information!

Are you guys actually paying for this stuff?

Don't even go down the whole paying/subscriptions on /. that's a whole other story that has been commented on by all of us already...

YHBT. YHL. HAND. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3369849)

Sad but true, sorry.

Informative?! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3369942)

Well, if it's informative to state the purpose of slashback, then I would like to state for the record that slashdot is owned by VA Software. Give me that mod point!

Re:The editors are morons! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3369984)

Are you guys actually paying for this stuff?

What's even worse is that the dickwads that pay for a 3rd-rate weblog "subscription" wouldn't pay for a bar of soap.

OT: Subscription Debate (2)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370123)

"Are you guys actually paying for this stuff?"

I hate when people say stupid shit like this. Let me explain why:

1.) You're not subscribing for news, you're subscribing to view slashdot pages without ads. If you log out, you still have acess to EVERYTHING on slashdot.

2.) Last I checked, $5 bought you 1,000 ad-free page views. Assuming I'm not mistaken about the rates, that's $.02 a page view. Oh Slashdot is really ripping you off.

3.) What business is it of yours if anybody pays for it or not? You're not being told to subscribe. You're being offered an opportunity to pay a small price to not get ads. I, for one, find Slashdot really entertaining. Even if the story's not interesting to me, usually the comments are. I see value, therefore I either subscribe or contribute. You don't hear me bitching about the subscription.

I realize this is off-topic, and I apologize for that. But I am sick and tired of people making posts like these as if it's a big deal. If you're here reading the comments, then Slashdot is providing you with a service, whether you like it or not.

Man (-1)

Mao Zedong (467890) | more than 12 years ago | (#3369719)

I'm out of beer.

Re:Man (-1)

trollercoaster (250101) | more than 12 years ago | (#3369846)

that sucks. beer helps when reading /.

Re:Man (-1, Offtopic)

Pussy Is Money (527357) | more than 12 years ago | (#3369863)

have some cheap whores, thrifty motherfucker. capitalism forever!

Re:Man (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3369864)

I ran out of beer also, but now I am drinking Captain Morgan and Fresca. Not bad for an improvisation.

swinging sideways (1, Funny)

frankmu (68782) | more than 12 years ago | (#3369721)

i'm so glad that i can now go to the playground and not have to police my son.... that kid in wisconsin is very generous.

Re:swinging sideways (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3369770)

Saint Paul is not in Wisconsin.

Re:swinging sideways (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3369778)

Hi. My AIM name is "ukturner". If anyone wants childporn, pissporn or animal porn, AIM me. I'm online 10am - 11pm, EST. Ciao.

Re:swinging sideways (1)

Krusty_Klown (533651) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370334)

I don't know about any of you but I know that this method for swinging isn't new. I know it is absurd notion and nobody believes it is new but I can't believe the article quotes the father as saying he had never seen anyone else swing like that. Although, when I saw the article title I was expecting something totaly different than a story about a kid getting a patent for how he uses a swing.

exciting (nt) (-1, Flamebait)

ungulation (566406) | more than 12 years ago | (#3369722)

patents are fun

Re:exciting (nt) (-1)

YourMissionForToday (556292) | more than 12 years ago | (#3369890)

why is this modded down? I know, it's because this site is run by BOLSHEVIK PUPPETS OF THE SOVIET UNION!

eMexico... heh. (0, Flamebait)

bl1st3r (464353) | more than 12 years ago | (#3369732)

Mexican internet = powered by Tequila, dust, and Microsoft.

Clever.

It's Polltrollicaly Incorrect (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3369739)

With your host Troll Maher.

Tonight's guests are

Trollercoaster
Adolf Hitroll
Rock'n'Troll
Klerck

Tonight's question is, do you ever feel guilty about trolling /. and insulting those that give their time and money to running this site?

Re:It's Polltrollicaly Incorrect (-1)

trollercoaster (250101) | more than 12 years ago | (#3369823)

no

IEEE issues (2, Funny)

El_Nofx (514455) | more than 12 years ago | (#3369740)

One of my professors was talking about the problems with the IEEE and the DMCA, he is a fellow in the IEEE too, head of the EE department at my college. He was definitely against it.

The fact that he has about 20 gigs of Divx movies on his laptop he brings to class might have something to do with it.

Re:IEEE issues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3370003)

The fact that he has about 20 gigs of Divx movies on his laptop he brings to class might have something to do with it.

What does his porn collection have to do with DMCA?

Next on the patent list (4, Funny)

KeatonMill (566621) | more than 12 years ago | (#3369760)

Swinging upside-down, swinging standing up, swinging both ways, swinging both ways at ONCE, swinging with another person, using two swings, swinging without hands, swinging without feet, and finally, swinging with a brainless parent. What kind of parent actually files a patent, to teach about the patent process? That's like taking your kid to the bedroom with you and your wife (husband) to teach him/her about the birds and the bees!

I propose somthing new for /. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3369810)

Every couple days, just have a BS discussion with no topic. A story about nothing. That would be great.

Re:Next on the patent list (3, Funny)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 12 years ago | (#3369830)

Swinging upside-down, swinging standing up, swinging both ways, swinging both ways at ONCE, swinging with another person, using two swings, swinging without hands, swinging without feet, and finally, swinging with a brainless parent. What kind of parent actually files a patent, to teach about the patent process? That's like taking your kid to the bedroom with you and your wife (husband) to teach him/her about the birds and the bees!

I wouldn't be surprised if the father actually did the latter.. especially if he's a swinger.

Re:Next on the patent list (1)

martissimo (515886) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370043)

What kind of parent actually files a patent, to teach about the patent process?

A lawyer of course!

I bet the kid did learn a lot about how the whole process works though, he probably knows more about patent laws than your typical high school grad, at the age of 7. Would be especially cool if his dad used it to show him ridiculous patent laws can be... never know

pantalla azul de la muerte (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3369762)

The subject is what the fish gave me for
"Blue Screen of Death" in Spanish.

Hey bretheren (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3369772)

Eaten you all my balls.

Mozilla 1.0RC1 is out (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3369787)


Nothing like a /. thread hijack!
It's just a slashback anyways.

Peace.

On MS Tax (3, Interesting)

Geekonomical (461622) | more than 12 years ago | (#3369789)

I wonder whether we can call it a tax!

Are we assuming that software HAS to be free already? Does it mean that we need some kind of a policy for univeristy and educational institutions not to spend for software at all? That being said, I am not justifying the MS pricing or anything...

It's like a sales tax (4, Insightful)

Catiline (186878) | more than 12 years ago | (#3369908)

It's based on the concept that since you pay a sales tax on everything* (*:Void where prohibited by law. Some restrictions may... *ahem*) the fact you "pay" for Windows with every prebuilt computer from the big name retailers (Dell, Gateqay, Compaq, eMachines, etc) makes it a tax as well. Of course, using such a loaded term is meant to suggests that the minimal OS choice I ought to have is ordering a "nude" PC with a $50 - $100 discount (price of license).

Of course, you can always flip the loaded term around (especially given the recent actions of Microsoft), and say it's a commentary on their "we laugh in the general direction of your government" attitude. I used to think there was a limit to arrogance, but they sure cured me of that over the past year.

Re:On MS Tax (5, Insightful)

coyote-san (38515) | more than 12 years ago | (#3369937)

Why should students be forced to pay a $14 fee for a mandatory software license if they:

1) don't use computers in their class,

2) only use Unix or Apples computers with not one bit of Microsoft software on them, or

3) only use their own computers, purchased outside of the university, with independently and fully licensed software on them.

Remember that last item - many incoming students will arrive with computers their parents bought them before they learned about educational discounts (you think Best Buy will tell parents of college-bound students about the competition?), and many non-traditional students will already have computers because of their job.

This sounds a lot like a tax (second definition) - everybody pays regardless of whether they need it or not, and regardless of whether they've already paid for the product or service elsewhere.

Re:On MS Tax (1)

Phosphor3k (542747) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370013)

At the UMBC campus, everyone uses the labs. You cannot graduate without taking several classes that require the use of the labs, the least of which is freshman English, where the curriculum is being moved to be totally technology oriented and taught out of a lab. The x86 machines in the labs and the library dual boot a custom version of Redhat and WinNT. All of the non-x86 machines have either Redhat or Irix. I think there is somthing to be said for a)choice and b) not ramming *nix down everyone's throat just because you don't like Microsoft. It called being well-rounded. All of the poor sods who have non-technology jobs when they graduate and go of to their cubicles will likely be using something microsoft based. Why not teach them something they will use in real life when they get on the job, whilst still educating them to the alternatives?

Re:On MS Tax (3, Insightful)

coyote-san (38515) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370143)

So a lab is required for Freshman English? BFD - that class ALONE has a lab fee associated with it. Same as the "glass fee" for most chemistry labs, the materials fee for some art classes, etc.

The issue isn't whether *some* classes may reasonably have a mandatory fee associated with them, it's whether it should apply to every single student regardless of need. Worse, in this case not only do not many students not need MS products for their courses, if they do they probably already licensed the software via some other mechanism.

Re:On MS Tax (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3370154)

If UMBC is teaching courses using computers and you can't do everything remotely over the net if you have your own machine, then they're either control freaks or technology wannabes.

~~~

i say (-1)

mackga (990) | more than 12 years ago | (#3369793)

chinga tu madre, you fucking third-world asswhipe. how many shit-for-brains here really know what the fuck they are talking about? answer: none. anyway, that's really all the news that is fit to print on this shit-sucking, piss-swilling, penis-sucking, goat-fucking site.

Chinga Tu Madre!

Re:i say (-1)

trollercoaster (250101) | more than 12 years ago | (#3369854)

we miss you.

Re:i say (-1)

mackga (990) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370167)

well, gee, thanks, i guess. i haven't spent much time here lately, but the general tone still seems to be inane and sophmoric. when will they finally eviscerate that shit-eater faggot michael live and in lovely color on a special edition of slashdot live! via streaming and steaming video? that's what we've all been longing for.

clarrise and i have been waiting for so long.

Marriage (1)

Walterk (124748) | more than 12 years ago | (#3369795)

When do we get slashbacks about CmdrTaco's marriage?

Re:Marriage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3370006)

When "news for nerds" and "stuff that matters"
become two separate sites with two quite
separate owners.

Fines? (2)

TheTomcat (53158) | more than 12 years ago | (#3369796)

The article mentions $1000 in fines. I wonder what those were for. Not fees, but fines.

Anyone know what those might be for?

S

Re:Fines? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3369865)

check your glasses. it was $1000 in fees

The kid may be 5, but 20 years later.... (3, Funny)

DraconPern (521756) | more than 12 years ago | (#3369800)

Message for kids, 20 years from now... Kids everywhere, beware of a 25 year old man who will sue you for swinging sideways. Add your allowance to the 'Free Swing Fund' and defend your rights.

Patents still expire in 17 years (2)

asmithmd1 (239950) | more than 12 years ago | (#3369886)

20 years from now this technique will be in the public domain, and we all will know how to do it because he published detailed directions. That is the theory behind patents, instead of everyone keeping secrets (i.e. the formula for Coke) in exchange for publishing what you invented and how it works, you get a time limited monopoly, in 17 years we all will be enjoying this innovative method of swinging totally free of a license fee, I can hardly wait!

Re:The kid may be 5, but 20 years later.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3369891)

20 years from now is a poor choice. The patent will have expired...

Re:The kid may be 5, but 20 years later.... (1)

Citizen of Earth (569446) | more than 12 years ago | (#3369940)

Inventors & attorneys of obvious patents should be suable for fraud. Patents should be challengable without the owner suing you.

Swinging (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3369816)

Today, I patented a method for swinging while riding on a Segway!

--Blair
"You're not worthy."

Sorry, (0, Troll)

ilyag (572316) | more than 12 years ago | (#3369819)

Your processor has performed an illegal instruction and was flooded.

same article I read? (2)

discovercomics (246851) | more than 12 years ago | (#3369820)

One rejection and $1,000 in
fees later, Steven is a certified inventor.

Re:same article I read? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3370229)

Fees to prosecute the patent. You think the PTO does this stuff for free?

Under funded patent office? (2, Interesting)

dytin (517293) | more than 12 years ago | (#3369825)

Intellectual-property experts said the patent clearly should have not been issued, but that such mistakes were inevitable from an underfunded government agency that issues 3,000 patents each week.

If the patent office is so underfunded, then why don't they charge more to apply for a patent? When I applied to colleges, the colleges did not complain because they accidently accepted a few people that they should't have because they were underfunded. No, if they are underfunded, then they simply raise the cost to apply. At each school I applied to, it cost between 40 and 70 dollars. Now, some of you might claim that this would be unfair to the poor inventor, but I say that this is simply the cost of doing business. The patent office would be much less underfunded, and thus issue less stupid patents if they raised the cost to apply by simply $10.

Re:Under funded patent office? (4, Informative)

startled (144833) | more than 12 years ago | (#3369848)

"If the patent office is so underfunded, then why don't they charge more to apply for a patent?"

Damn, you were so close to the reason, but needed to skim a bit further. Quoth the article: "application fees go into the general government budget, rather than being used specifically to fund patent examinations".

They could charge a million bucks an application, and still not get any more money.

Re:Under funded patent office? (3, Informative)

Otter (3800) | more than 12 years ago | (#3369896)

...and in the next paragraph:

The administration has also proposed a one-time surcharge of 19 percent for patent applications, which would generate an additional $45 million for the agency and $162 million for the rest of the government.

Re:Under funded patent office? (3, Interesting)

Wintersmute (557244) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370276)

In fact, the PTO generates a profit. Really. Its operating budget is lower than the revenues it generates in fees. (Maybe becuase there's so many boneheads out there trying to patent business methods of picking their nose)

And you know how Congress shows its gratitude? (drum roll) It doesn't. The money vanishes into the Treasury until Sen. Byrd uses it to fund yet another pork barrel project in West Virginia.

Popular backlash? (1)

lilo (106287) | more than 12 years ago | (#3369829)

Boone^ writes:
Personally I'd have preferred their reason to be based on the law instead of popular backlash, but maybe that's a step in the right direction to eventually bring about new legislation.
The DMCA is the law in the US. I don't think we're going to see that changed, other than possibly by people speaking out on the subject. If there's a popular backlash, that says that people have spoken out because they don't think the policy is right. If some functionary simply changes the policy, where's the opportunity for comment? Probably better this way.

Re:Popular backlash? (1)

Citizen of Earth (569446) | more than 12 years ago | (#3369853)

The DMCA is the law in the US. I don't think we're going to see that changed, other than possibly by people speaking out on the subject.

It could very well be changed if a big case involving it ever makes its way through the courts. The law would be in great danger of being ruled unconstitutional. This is why media giants haven't pushed cases beyond easy out-of-court settlements.

Self censorship is the best kind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3370108)

If the academic community censors itself then they only have to go to court against the little guy and the riff raff ...

Re:Popular backlash? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3370224)

Have you ever even heard of the Supreme Court? Guess what, they can declare laws unconstitutional and get rid of them! It's part of this deal called 'checks and balances' that most eighth-graders have heard about...

cost (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3369833)

A spokeswoman for the Patent and Trademark Office said she could not comment on the merits of any particular invention, but pointed out that typically only 400 of the 187,000 patents issued each year come under challenge.

I'm assuming from this that challenging patents is an easy and inexpensive action. If someone could enlighten me on how to do this for little to no money, I'd be rather pleased as there are a lot of patents I'd like to have dismissed. As it is, I live in fear of being sued despite the fact that I have no intention to purposefully break any patents - it's simply too unwieldy for me as a software developer right now.

Did you notice this? (2)

Catiline (186878) | more than 12 years ago | (#3369843)

The growth in "business method" patents over the past 20 years--which provide protections for software and other intangible inventions...

Could someone clue me in? Since when did swinging on a swing have anything to do with business?

Trolls SUCK SHIT!!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3369872)

That's right -- all you trolls are the SCUM OF THE EARTH. Seriously, why don't you all go away and kill yourselves!!!!

Alternatives (1, Insightful)

danheskett (178529) | more than 12 years ago | (#3369876)

Jesus, would you editors please stop whinning about the choices other people make?

Yes, we all know that you think that OSS is better. Yes, we all know they should have used an exotic and ecclectic mix of various miscellanous OSS projects. Yes, we all know that 'M$' is the beast.

And we all know that not everyone agrees.

I guess I don't get 'it'. Mexico wants something; they've hired a company to provide it, and have struck what sounds like a great deal.

The $14 per license from the UMD deal? What a bargain! You get Windows, Office, etc for $14 per license per year! What a great frickin deal! And, of course, this line was sitting right there in the press release

The agreement is not exclusive - participating schools and colleges will continue to be free to use and support any other software products they choose.

Jesus, what more could you ask for? Ohh wait, anything that goes MS's way is bad. MS is the devil. They only want to hurt maim and kill. Down with the beast. Groups of schools that get together to form a consortium to save money are wasting their time. I mean, they could get everything they wanted for 100% nothing, absolutely free! It'd be so much better if they went with Microsoft! They'd save 100% of the money! Open Source is free! Even to implement across an entire network with thousands of users, its completely free! Yeah!

Yeah. Sure. Hey, by the way Slashdot editors.. when was the last time you saw any open source company put together a broadbased, ambitious, and extremely useful package like the 'eMexico' initiative? Where is RedHat? Where are the competitors? Where is RedHat in this big deal? Why didnt they put together a package? What about the open source ally's? Where are they?

Sorry, it may seem like I am trolling, but I am deadly serious. Where is the pressure on competitors to do better? Where is RedHat? SuSE? Mandrake? Where are they? They are off fighting for scraps here or there while missing huge opportunties.

Re:Alternatives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3370010)

The $14 per license from the UMD deal? What a bargain! You get Windows, Office, etc for $14 per license per year! What a great frickin deal! And, of course, this line was sitting right there in the press release

It's hardly a bargain if you don't use the software. What about dance majors or people who don't use Windows software?

Not to mention the purpose of public universities is to educate citizens, not earn licensing fees for MS.

Re:Alternatives (2, Insightful)

raistlinne (13725) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370046)

Ohh wait, anything that goes MS's way is bad. MS is the devil.

You in fact answered your own question. Microsoft is a company out to destroy all of their competitors, including open source software. They've stated it, they've acted the part, and they've been found guilty in a federal court of doing just this (to specific competitors).

Why do people find it so hard to understand that some of us do, in fact, believe that microsoft is bad. Why on earth does the fact that they want to make money somehow exonerate them from everything they've done to destroy competition, and somehow nullify the fact that they're a highly abusive monopoly?

In short, MICROSOFT IS EVIL. Get that through your thick skulls. If you're not part of microsoft, you do not stand to benefit from anything that they do. Not in the long run.

Note: I am counting greed as evil. It is not, in fact a virtue, and when greed is allowed to cause one to injure others, it is evil. Why do people restrict their definition of evil to killing >1,000,000 people and clubbing baby seals? There are plenty of types of evil in the world, and microsoft actively engages in several of them.

Hell, there's "Megan's Law" for sex offendors. Somehow people think it's not entirely unreasonable for people to find out about child molestors who enter their communities. Microsoft has comitted crimes. Microsoft has admitted in many, many times to anticompetitive behavior. What more do you need? Bill gates to grow a goatee and wear all black?

Re:Alternatives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3370055)

uh, The M$ tax doesn't get the students free M$ products. It gets M$ products for the Proffesors, Researchers and other staff, and in the student labs.
The short of it is that the students are getting shafted. And it is still not a deal. The negotiations started with the promise of a fantastic bargain that would really benefit the students, but thats not what resulted. In the long run, I don't the the university system saves anything, except that their IT departments don't have to enter or remember CD-keys.
The short is that microsoft f*cked the system. The web they spun about the deal was too good to pass up trying to get, but the resultant deal was really something that should have been passed up.

You WILL pay, you WILL enjoy it, you WILL shut up. (5, Insightful)

coyote-san (38515) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370060)

The issue isn't whether students WHO WANT MICROSOFT PRODUCTS AND HAVEN'T ALREADY PURCHASED THEM are getting a great deal.

It's whether it's fair to force students to pay for software that they don't want, don't need, and possibly can't even use.

As a trivial example, I took one grad CS course a semester for about 7 years during the 1990s. 14 semesters. Had the University of Colorado had this mandatory plan, I would have paid close to $200 to Microsoft. For absolutely nothing of value in return.

Could I run any Microsoft application on my computers? No - I was already using Linux almost exclusively on my own equipment.

Did I need any Microsoft application for my graduate CS course work? No. It was either agnostic (e.g., email), or needed to be done on Unix systems.

Could I have saved money on my rare Microsoft purchase? No - my laptop already included a mandatory copy of Windows and applications. What possible value would there have been in replacing a copy of Office 95 with another copy of Office 95?

Maybe you're rich and can afford to give people $200 for absolutely nothing in return, but most of us aren't and we resent being forced to do so.

You must remember those "activity fees", then. (2)

SlashChick (544252) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370211)

Remember those from college? Usually about $15/semester, they entitled you to use the pool tables at the Student Union or go to college football games for cheap.

They were imposed on every student, regardless of whether that student actually went to football games or used the pool tables at the Student Union.

"Maybe you're rich and can afford to give people $200 for absolutely nothing in return, but most of us aren't and we resent being forced to do so."


Yep. Although, like the activity fee, your choice is always to go somewhere else. Most universities now have the Microsoft program whereby students can get any Microsoft software for $15 or so (everything from Visual Studio to Windows to Office.) Microsoft also routinely gives out free software at college events. I think that most students see this as a value-add, just like most students see being able to go to a football game for cheap see that as a value-add. Regardless of whether you like it or not, if most students are willing to pay, the university will be willing to levy another fee on those students.

On the other hand, if students had protested, I doubt this would have ever been enacted. So the benefit is there, even if it doesn't apply to every student.

Re:You must remember those "activity fees", then. (2)

Com2Kid (142006) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370329)

The difference here being that the money you paid TO YOUR COLLEGE was FOR that college and NOT for some privet independent company.

if I worked I MS I would be willing to throw in a few bucks to the office party pool, but since I am NOT working there DAMNED if THEY should get MY money.

Emphasis added for the bleak hopeless and generally inane.

When you attend a campus you CHOOSE WILLINGLY to become at least in the smallest part a part of that campuses social atmosphere. As such you contribute some small pittance to funding various (often times idiotic) social activities.

But there is a DIFFERENCE between contributing to SOCIAL activities for the GROUP that you belong too and providing REVENUE for a private company that exists SOLELY to make money. (of course your institution of higher learning may very well exist for a similar purpose, but once again, you have willingly signed on the dotted line saying you are willing to join them)

Re:You WILL pay, you WILL enjoy it, you WILL shut (1)

RN (21554) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370337)

Oh please. Do you think your entire tuition goes only to pay for the courses you take and the professors you learn from? Here's a hint, your tuition goes to pay for many many things which you will probably never used. You probably didn't use the gym at all or went to the football games or take writing courses but your tuition helped pay for them.

If you never said anything about that, you can't complain about this. Universities do not exist to cater to your needs alone. Not everybody is as leet as you to be a Linux guru. Some actually like MS products.

Re:Alternatives (2, Informative)

Fantome (7951) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370061)

The $14 per license from the UMD deal? What a bargain! You get Windows, Office, etc for $14 per license per year! What a great frickin deal!

It sounded like it was going to be a great deal, and then we found out that, although the students are paying for it, we don't get any of the software. It all goes to computer labs, research groups, and other university employees. I think there was a student option, but the school where I'm at (UMDCP) didn't exercise that option.

It ends up being a pain because the professors want us to use MS products (it's free for them), while it costs us good amounts of money. This isn't true across the board, but it happens often enough to be annoying.

Dan is right. (3)

SlashChick (544252) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370119)

Weren't people on Slashdot just yesterday praising the guy who put a computer in a wall in an Indian slum? [slashdot.org] How is this much different?

From the article: "Eventually, the Mexican government hopes to have 10,000 free public Internet kiosks in rural areas to help bring government services to citizens and reduce what has been called the ``digital divide'' of the urban rich from the rural poor."

I think this is a good thing, regardless of who is sponsoring it.

Miguel de Icaza is quoted in the article as saying "It's a shame." But why weren't Linux companies involved in this? As Dan asks, where was RedHat? Miguel? Any other Linux-based company?

And if the Linux vendors weren't there, why not? I think it is because it is still the case that no one has figured out how to make money off of Linux. RedHat is profitable -- barely. Mandrake and the others are begging for support, and a lot of them aren't getting it. Meanwhile, the editors and others on Slashdot rail against companies and people who choose Microsoft because they believe that no one should have to pay for an operating system. But isn't this very belief what is killing the commercial Linux companies?

It's a question that needs to be asked.

I think that if you polled those college students who get Microsoft Office for $14 a year, and asked how many of them would not be willing to pay that money, you would find that an overwhelming majority are in favor of getting Office for cheap. Heck, you can't even buy StarOffice for less than $60.

I guess I really don't understand this "everything must be free" mentality. I use Windows, and I think it's worth the $140 (Windows 2000 OEM) because Windows helps me make money doing my job. I am fully supportive of your right to use Linux; however, I believe that you should chip in your support to those vendors that you feel are making a good product, regardless of whether that product is being offered as a free download or not.

If all software developers worked for free, what would your job be? How would you put food on the table?

Keep that in mind next time you bash someone for using a product that costs money.

Re:Dan is right. (2, Insightful)

ethereal (13958) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370343)

That's a nice straw man:

If all software developers worked for free, what would your job be? How would you put food on the table?

But it's not particularly valid. The question isn't whether software developers should work for free, but whether the software itself should be free. And that's a very different discussion.

The majority of software is written and used deep within corporations; it never sees the light of day. It isn't sold to consumers or to businesses; it's as much a part of a business as the chairs in the cubicles. There will always be software developers getting paid to write this stuff, and to write custom software for embedded devices that have special needs. Software developers will never have to work for free.

But, if those developers are able to use software that is itself free as the basis for their work, then the costs to their employer are reduced. Where does this savings go? Into paying the developers better, more profit for the business, or better prices for the end user of the business' processes and/or embedded products that make use of the software.

I put plenty of money on the table working with free software right now, and if I had my druthers I'd be working with it entirely. It's easier to use, easier and more well-thought-out to configure, has fewer licensing and cost issues for management, and doesn't mind me tinkering with it. Right now, can my employer's business do everything with free software? No, not quite. But would the business, and the software developers that it employs, be better off if it could run on free software? Absolutely.

So yes, Red Hat et al should get their acts together, but let's face it - they're essentially always going to be fairly low-margin operations. The question is: with the amount of money that eMexico is putting up, could a small team of hackers (Miguel, even) have been hired to make Red Hat Linux more than usable for the goals of eMexico? Definitely - and with money left over, to boot. The goal is online access for millions of people; the point is not proprietary software. eMexico took the easy way out of that decision, not the smart way, and not the cheaper way.

P.S. - do you really think that the majority of the citizens of Mexico that are getting online with this initiative will want to pay $14 (or whatever) for Microsoft Office? Or, more exactly, do you think that the $14 is worth the difference between Microsoft Office and Open Office? When $14 might be a day's wage, or more?

I don't particularly mind the 14$ tax.... (2, Interesting)

Phosphor3k (542747) | more than 12 years ago | (#3369879)

and the school bookstore at UMBC offers most of microsoft's current software for uber-cheap.

MS Office XP Professional (3CD) 14.95
MS Windows XP Professional (2CD's) 14.95
MS Office Mac OS X - (1CD) 9.95
MS Visual Studio.NET Pro (5CD's) 24.95

At prices this cheap, how can you not buy it? Even just to tinker around.

newbie? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3369889)

You must be new to computers.

Re:I don't particularly mind the 14$ tax.... (3, Insightful)

danheskett (178529) | more than 12 years ago | (#3369893)

Yeah, exactly, those prices are *cheaper* than you can get RedHat boxed set or Mandrake or anything else.

For those prices you can just pick up a copy, tinker a bit, maybe pickup a few things, and that's it.

Its always so goddamn virulent around against MS - but those prices (and the ones for the schools and Mexico) sound like just an amazing deal - really a fine bargin. I guess I dont get it.

I guess until every single person chooses OSS than Slashdot wont be happy - its not good enough to be there, to be free ,to be available to anyone who wants it. They must crush and destroy everything despite what users what want.

I don't particularly mind Microsoft (2)

Catiline (186878) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370080)

Its always so goddamn virulent around against MS - but those prices (and the ones for the schools and Mexico) sound like just an amazing deal - really a fine bargin. I guess I dont get it.

Personally, when I look at Microsoft's corporate practices, I only wonder whether they think they sell a product or a service. If its' "product", why does it go out the door in such crappy shape (remember the thousands of known bugs at Win2K release?); on the other hand, can you really call an OS a "service"? It's much clearer for RedHat, Mandrake & Co. where they give away the code and sell their support services.

On top of that, they play very fast & loose with differences between what they say and what they do. Remember Tuesday's story about the IE Back button exploit [slashdot.org] ? Even if that were a non-issue as far as bugs go (and it's not because any script kiddie worth his cable modem could do anything they want with that), the fact that it went unpatched across their month of code review and security focus-- when they had notification as early as last November-- makes their newfound focus on security seem more like spin control than code control.

I'm not even going to start talking about their business practices. If you've read any details about some of their recent [slashdot.org] actions [slashdot.org] during the waning days of the antitrust suit, you would understand why I personally think they are a lower form of life than pond scum. That's ignoring, of course, all of the issues surrounding things like Passport, .NET, or Product Activation, all of which are questioned for different reasons (privacy and security top the list, though).

Given the whole picture of Microsoft's behavior, I'm all for the corporate death penalty. But since it seems that the US government won't do that, I'll just try to generate as large a boycott of their products as possible.

Re:I don't particularly mind the 14$ tax.... (1)

discstickers (547062) | more than 12 years ago | (#3369913)

Office XP and WinXP are both $10 at CMU =) 'Course I don't use 'em, but if you do its not a bad deal.

So charge that $14 at the bookstore register (2)

coyote-san (38515) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370168)

If the bookstore required a $14 fee (once per semester) before students bought the software at this price, then that would be great. Students would get discounted software, Microsoft would get to warp impressionable young minds.

The problem is when they want $14 from EVERYONE regardless of need. A lot of courses - even many computer science courses (at least at the graduate level) don't require software of any kind. Or people may already have the software through other channels, e.g., it came preinstalled on their computers, or their boss makes their work systems available for academic work.

Umm.. that is no overclocking feat.. (5, Interesting)

EMIce (30092) | more than 12 years ago | (#3369894)

I run a P3-800 at 1066Mhz by bumping the bus speed up to 133Mhz. It barely gets warm with the stock retail-boxed Intel heatsink/fan. Watercooling and overclocking a 966Mhz processor to this speed doesn't show anything.

See my earlier post [slashdot.org]

Re:Umm.. that is no overclocking feat.. (1)

Spazntwich (208070) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370089)

The problem is that 90% (that # is pulled out of my ass) of Slashdot's userbase knows NOTHING about actual computer hardware. Don't you know how 100 "overclocking is stupid, doesn't gain you anything, and just shortens the life of your CPU" posts show up every time a story on overclocking is posted?

Never put it past Slashdot readers to display their ignorance. :)

Re:Umm.. that is no overclocking feat.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3370310)

I second that this is no feat...

Me and a few thousand of my closest friends ran Celeron 300A's at 450 with the stock heat sink and fan. I'm now doing a similar overclock, Celeron 600 -> 900 Mhz, again with the stock heat sink and fan. And now there are people running the Tualatin-based Celeron 1.0A's at 1.5 Ghz, on BX boards they're supposedly not compatible with, with a wire trick and insulating a few pins. 50% overclocks for intel chips are pretty common, this seems like a waste of a waterblock.

No Tax Here (1)

RN (21554) | more than 12 years ago | (#3369909)

others have said it, but here's the dictionary.com definition of tax.

tax
n.
1. A contribution for the support of a government required of persons, groups, or businesses within the domain of that government.
2. A fee or dues levied on the members of an organization to meet its expenses.
3. A burdensome or excessive demand; a strain.

No matter how you slice it, what Microsoft charges to customers has no resemblance to a tax. You could facetiously argue the third definition qualifies this as a tax, but the first two just don't apply.

Microsoft charges somebody and they get something in return. If they don't want it, they don't have to pay for it. That's a service not a tax.

Get a better dictionary (2)

coyote-san (38515) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370223)

You need to get a better dictionary (or would that be a better dictionary.com?). Language evolves, and it's now widely accepted that "tax" can refer to any mandatory fee collected by one group on behalf of another group, esp. if the first group is a government entity of some type. This isn't entirely "fringe" groups pushing their own agenda - after California (and other states) passed tax limitation laws it becamse common for governments to enact taxes through third parties in an effort to evade those laws.

As for the common usage that lexigraphers love, the "blank media tax" that's a law requiring part of the money from the sale of blank media go to the RIAA regardless of how the media will be used. (E.g., even if you're dubbing tapes of your own garage band's original compositions, the RIAA gets a cut.)

Or the well-known "Microsoft tax" that's a license requirement that every system sold by OEM include payment for the Microsoft software license regardless of whether the user wants it or not.

Re:Get a better dictionary (1)

RN (21554) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370284)

sorry, but even with your own evolved definition of tax, this still doesn't apply. the fee is not mandatory, the University is paying it of their own accord. The costs are then passed down to students, but there is no force or cohersion involved. A tax is imposed by authority. This fee is in exchange for goods and services.

As for the blank media tax, it's a law passed by the government, Microsoft does not charge through the law.

Yes: Tax Here (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3370318)

Microsoft charges somebody and they get something in return. If they don't want it, they don't have to pay for it.

This, of course, is where your argument falls down hopelessly.

I *cannot* buy a new desktop PC without buying Windows.

Each time I try to get a bare machine, the dealer has some excuse - With my current desktop, windows was a 'non-refundable' part of the bundle, but even though I said I specifically didn't want it installed, the dealer 'had to load windows' to do hardware testing.

I have been taxed by Microsoft on 4 machines (2x95, 2x98) (despite the last version of windows I used for personal use being windows 3.11 on my old 386 laptop) for junk I didn't want, but still had to pay for.

When I have to pay for other stuff I don't want, like bombs, tanks, nuclear power and enormous freeways, I call it a tax.

If Hollings bill passes, then MS DRM is a tax. (1)

yerricde (125198) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370345)

10 LET M$ = "Microsoft"

1. A contribution for the support of a government required of persons, groups, or businesses within the domain of that government.

If the next version of the Hollings bill (0.1 was called SSSCA; 0.2 was called CBDTPA) mandates a digital rights management operating system on all digital media devices, and Microsoft has a government-granted monopoly [cryptome.org] on such operating systems, then the U.S. government has in effect delegated its power to regulate operating systems to Microsoft Corporation. In effect, Microsoft becomes a semi-government agency like the US Postal Service, with the power to tax computers.

blender, part 3 (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 12 years ago | (#3369927)

Look guys, This is the second time that you've bankrupted a company trying to give away Blender and charge money for documentation and support. Have you noticed most (all?) of the other companies following that business model are supporting Open Source software that they didn't develop themselves?

take all of me (2)

tps12 (105590) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370008)

He describes the way Blender has been split up into smaller projects to make it both profitable as public domain software.

God forbid only one of it be profitable.

The tax ain't so bad.... (3, Informative)

voice of unreason (231784) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370026)

I go to the University of Maryland, and I have to say the $14 dollar tax is more than reasonable, particularly if you're in CS. They've donated tons of stuff, including .NET as soon as it came out. They give heavy student discounts on their software. They hold dull presentations where they give away their software for free. For the non CS people, with the $14 dollars they've installed Office on practically all of the Windoze boxen on campus. Now, I'm as reluctant to part with my money as the next guy, but the fact of the matter is that like them or not, Microsoft is giving Maryland a LOT of software for just a $14 tax. I was against it when it was proposed, but I have to say it's worked out well.

sick of reading about this "block" (2)

tps12 (105590) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370052)

What is it with these stories about a guy who figured out how to make a box out of copper sheet? This is not very interesting. It is a fucking parallelapiped, not too tricky. Here is a pattern:

_
_|_|_ _
|_|_|_|_|
|_|

The hard part of a water-cooling system is the circulation of the water, not the stupid box taped to the CPU. Please let this be the last time I have to see this shite on slashdot. :(

Quick, somebody help Mexico! (2)

Ogerman (136333) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370177)

This probably means you, RedHat. Go set our Mexican friends up with Free Software before M$ further ruins their economy to deepen their own pocketbook. This is really disgusting how M$ is seeking to stay afloat by going for big sleazy licensing deals at taxpayers expense both here and abroad.

The dependency curse (2, Insightful)

josech (98417) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370279)

As you would know Mexico is an "emerging economy" (AKA third world), and one of the Mexicos greatest challenges is the technological dependency on other countries. Despite there are many people who are creative and brilliant (Manuel de Icaza) there are very few chances to develop an own technology. The mexican government doesnt support the technological development at great scale yet and the efforts to improve our technological base are very seldom.

eMexico is a very interesting project focused on offering government services thru the use of IT in many different levels trying to close the technological gap. Unfortunately, Microsoft is the most known and used software provider, and its market dominance is brutal. 99% of the mexican IT is based on Microsoft products. I really dont think that Microsoft would pretend taxing these licenses, it pretends to consolidate its hegemony on the countrys technological dependence.

Manuel made some proposals to include open source software on the eMexico project, but MS is offering a very "generous" support to the project in order to keep dominating the mexican market. They dont really need to tax this software cause they intend to dominate the whole mexican technology market.

Water-Cooled and Depending on a Rubber Band? (2)

telstar (236404) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370282)

The guy with the water-cooled PC is depending on a RUBBER BAND to keep the water-seal tight? You've got to be kidding me. Hasn't he ever seen what happens to a rubber band when it gets old? Not to mention that it'll be under constant strain, and exposed to heat being in the case? That thing's going to turn brittle and crack within months leaving his PC soaking wet.

Dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb....

link [eimod.com]
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