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Slashback: Start, Trash, Explain

timothy posted more than 8 years ago | from the questions-before-work dept.

Slashback 142

Slashback tonight with more on the Microsoft start page project vis-a-vis Google's similar one, a wee $40 million slap on the wrist for Amazon over shopping-cart patent infrigement, new animals for the CodeZoo, and a strong denial that WikiPedia has announced a more stringent editorial policy. Details on these stories and more, below.

What's done is done, and in a certain order. MSN.com general manager Hadi Partovi writes:

"A few days ago I read your Slashdot post about start.com.

Thank you for the promotion :-). Meanwhile, I wanted to make sure you know that the work we've been doing on the start.com project actually predates the Google personalized page. I manage a tiny incubation team that has been building start.com since November, and it was first live on the Web in February, 3 months before Google released their personalized page. Of course we are missing some capabilities that Google has, and vice versa. It's a tight competition. But I'm emailing you because our team takes a lot of pride in its innovation. You may point out at a lot of place where Microsoft is following competitors, but if you track the functionality and UI changes that the companies have made over the past 6 months, this has clearly been a place where Google has been following Microsoft's lead.

(Our main engineer on the project has written a bit more about this to respond to your post.)

Anyway, I'm not sending this to be defensive. Heck, I have a lot of work to do to bring an innovation culture to the MSN organization and in many areas we have our work cut out for us. But I guess I want my small incubation team to get credit for being the leading innovators on this one small product :-)"


Thanks for the note!

Always clean out the trashcan. dotpavan writes "The Register and Cnet have this report about Kai-Fu Lee not cleaning his recycle bin at his previous workplace and now MS has stumbled upon some interesting document, which shows that Google anticipated the MS move, and had planned top put him on a leave of absence or have him as a consultant to thwart any attempt of MS getting him back."

Amazon Settles Patent Suit For $40M theodp writes "In today's SEC filing, Amazon.com disclosed it will pay $40 million to settle an e-commerce patent infringement lawsuit that was reported earlier on Slashdot. The terms of the settlement also provide for dismissal of all claims and counterclaims and grant Amazon a nonexclusive license to Soverain's patent portfolio."

29+36 more = 65 vector drawing apps. Anonymous Coward writes "There were many useful comments made for 29 Vector Drawing Programs. After incorporating most of them, the revised column has 65 Vector Drawing Programs."

And each after its own kind. chromatic writes "As seen on the O'Reilly Radar and announced at OSCON 2005, CodeZoo now lists Python and Ruby components. CodeZoo is a human-edited directory of useful, well-maintained, and redistributable software components in various languages. (Slashdot previously covered CodeZoo's launch.)"

The chair recognizes Mr. Wales for a point of clarification. brajesh writes "There has been news on Slashdot and others about Wikipedia announcing tighter editorial control. It seems that everyone jumped the gun. Jimmy Wales, a founder of Wikipedia, has clarified his stance on the idea of freezing stable content on Wikipedia. Apparently, [Jimbo writes] 'I spoke in English, and this was translated to German. Then the German was translated back to English, and then translated again into the Slashdot story.' Also, 'There was no "announcement." We are constantly reviewing our policies and looking for ways to improve, but we have not "announced" anything. We don't even really work that way ... if you know how Wikipedia works, it's through a long process of community discussion and consensus building, not through a process of top-down announcements.' This has also been covered on Ars Technica."

Google Earth not a security risk after all. mister_tim writes "In a follow-up to yesterday's story about ANSTO's request that Google censor images of Australia's only nuclear reactor, the Australian government has now come out and said that Google Earth poses no security risk. Australia's Attorney General has come to the view, also noted by many /. readers, that the Google images have been available for several years from other sources and add nothing to the existing publicly available data. Chalk this one up as a victory for common sense."

cancel ×

142 comments

FP (-1, Offtopic)

karji (114631) | more than 8 years ago | (#13299504)

FP!

zzz... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13299510)

Who cares...

I Have Low Karma (-1, Offtopic)

Computer Mutt (847977) | more than 8 years ago | (#13299513)

I wonder why. =/

CodeZoo (1)

Jack Pirate (770758) | more than 8 years ago | (#13299528)

I highly recommend all the coders out there check out CodeZoo. Just browsing around I found some extremely nifty little programs that I know I'll be using in the near future. Since I missed the first article, thanks for pointing me to it Slashback.

Re:CodeZoo (5, Informative)

Poromenos1 (830658) | more than 8 years ago | (#13299545)

Indeed. I was just browsing and this seems especially useful: http://www.scipy.org/ [scipy.org] . It's a mathematical library addon for python (turning it into a sort of matlab).

4 Google stores in past 24 hours? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13299536)

wtf?

Why we love Google (2, Funny)

Frank T. Lofaro Jr. (142215) | more than 8 years ago | (#13300723)

Slashdot has Google Page Rank 9. :)

I think only Google itself has 10.

Google is popular because, quite simply, it works, and works well.

The company appears to be a benevolent giant, full of geeks and geek friendly.

And they are a very important player on the Internet.

I probably average 2 dozen Google queries a day or so - it is an extremely useful website which makes the Internet as a whole a lot more useful.

Also, the story of Google is the story of some very smart people becoming rich because of their knowlege and innovation (real innovation), not because of inheritence, popularity, social standing, etc.

It is a geek success story of the first order.

So it is only natural there are a lot of Google stories here.

theres a sale at pennies (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13299541)

Whats your vector victor?

Re:theres a sale at pennies (-1, Offtopic)

deutschemonte (764566) | more than 8 years ago | (#13299561)

Obg. That 70's Show Quote:

Michael:
"Eric, just because there's a sale at Penny's doesn't mean you have to buy everything."

Re:theres a sale at pennies (0)

shobadobs (264600) | more than 8 years ago | (#13299626)

We have clearance, Clarence.

Re:theres a sale at pennies (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13299656)

Roger, Roger.

Competition == Good (4, Insightful)

deutschemonte (764566) | more than 8 years ago | (#13299547)

It's cool to know that MSN actually came up with that interface before Google. I mean, I hate MS and love Google just as much as the next /.'er, but tight competition like this is awesome for everyone involved.

Now if only we could get some nice eye candy from the Yahoo! folks.

Re:Competition == Good (5, Informative)

generic-man (33649) | more than 8 years ago | (#13300079)

http://next.yahoo.com/ [yahoo.com]

Yahoo!'s testing ground for its new stuff.

Re:Competition == Good (2, Insightful)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 8 years ago | (#13300460)

That isn't exactly true. The main innovation of the interface is the dragging. Google implemented the dragging of the items earlier than start.com. The guy from start, who sent in this slashback entry, even admitted it himself, saying "We did notice when google shipped their page in May and I have to admit we were like "darn, they have drag/drop before we do": http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=157898&cid=132 29038 [slashdot.org]

my.msn.com (2, Informative)

ScottyH (791307) | more than 8 years ago | (#13300792)

But microsoft has my.msn.com WAY before google, which had all sorts of column dragging stuff in it. It was kind of buggy though, and didn't work in firefox.

Re:Competition == Good (1)

Baricom (763970) | more than 8 years ago | (#13300998)

My Netscape supported drag and drop long, long before start.com or Google's customized start page was a gleam in either company's eye.

Re:Competition == Good (1)

Felonius Thunk (168604) | more than 8 years ago | (#13300500)

Yes, indeedy. We can thank Gmail for making dhtml cool again (and I don't mind calling it ajax, either). That pressure allowed the folks at MSN to try something like this. Soon there will be some Google-suggest kinds of things, and start.com will be commercialized one way or another (please not the banner-ad-ification like the MSN home page; the world will be a better place if you just bite the bullet and do text ads). Hadi Partovi is fairly high up in the food chain, and seems to be genuinely interested in doing at least some things that stand out technically from their competitors. Kudos to him, and I hope he wins more of the battles against the status quo (like the political mess their CMS is going through right now).

I also heard that Google may have upped what their Adsense program is paying, presumably thanks to Yahoo starting in on the business. Now if only there was some kind of competing OS to push Windows further. Oh, wait.

question (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13299557)

is Hemos bi? I mean, I used to think he was gay (I met him at linuxcon 2001, trust me, he sucks dick like a pro), but he's got a wife and a kid, so that's just weird. Unless he had some other guy fuck his wife.

Ed Randell, homosexual linux user since 1998.

I'm confused (-1, Troll)

deutschemonte (764566) | more than 8 years ago | (#13299577)

Were you a heterosexual linux user before 98 or a gay windows 95 user before 98?

Re:I'm confused (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13299670)

I was asexual prior to 1998. That's when I met an older guy (I was 14 at the time) who showed me the joys of anal sex and linux. Prior to that, I had used Windows 95 and 98 at school, with my friends. Anyhow, I bought a used dell from a friend and installed linux on it. It was a sweaty late night session, trying to configure linux for that dell, and having gay sex.

Ed Randell, homosexual linux user since 1998.

Re:I'm confused (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13299705)

I will sympathize with the original troll mod, even though down-modding in general is a lame ass practice.

But this not being modded UP as funny is a crime, and not just in Texas.

Re:I'm confused (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13299757)

Wow. I hope one day you look back on this crap and think about how much of your life you wasted being a juvennile delinquent on the Internet.

proper destruction of documents (4, Insightful)

aaza (635147) | more than 8 years ago | (#13299575)

This is why shredders are so useful...

Apart from the fact that the one at my work has a "donations for hearing aid fund" on it (put on there by the guy who sits right next to it).

They're great: they turn whole pieces of paper into lots of tiny things this big -->.<--

Re:proper destruction of documents (4, Funny)

generic-man (33649) | more than 8 years ago | (#13299739)

This is why OS/2 was so powerful: instead of some pansy "trash bin" or "recycle bin," it had a Shredder. Some of the later versions made an awful noise when you shredded a file.

Re:proper destruction of documents (2, Informative)

ZosX (517789) | more than 8 years ago | (#13299896)

Yeah, but it did not really shred the document. I hear the gold standard these days is something like 30+ write overs. That is an awful lot of writing to delete a file. Just imagine how long a 1 gig file would take to delete! On a 486/33! Clearly they didn't do anything beyond just marking the filespace as writable.

Re:proper destruction of documents (3, Interesting)

generic-man (33649) | more than 8 years ago | (#13300065)

True. There have historically been add-ons to most OSes to wipe the sectors out to provide that extra security. Mac OS X has an option "Secure Empty Trash" on the Finder's application menu, and as such it's the first OS I've seen to include such an accessible feature. It takes a very long time compared with regular Empty Trash even on a 1.33 GHz machine.

Re:proper destruction of documents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13300233)

> It takes a very long time compared with regular Empty Trash even on a 1.33 GHz machine.

I doubt the time has ANYTHING to do with cpu speed. Yes, a good thing will scribble random data over it, so you're going to spend a little time generating random numbers.

But if you ever looked at the figures for how slow disk accesses are? Seeks are expensive. Now think what something that's writing on a chunk of disk does. And then what it does when it scribbles over it a second time. And now the third time. And however many extra times that particular implementation does.

Compared to the time it takes to seek & write 10x10 megs, generating 10x10megs of random numbers is instantaneous.

Re:proper destruction of documents (1)

Sancho (17056) | more than 8 years ago | (#13299839)

Huh. That's pretty big on my friend Frank's 2000" screen.

Re: proper destruction of documents (1)

ShakiirNvar (904354) | more than 8 years ago | (#13300087)

Plus the fact that shredded paper makes great mulch. Great way to deal with sensitive documents.

Re: proper destruction of documents (1)

WhyCause (179039) | more than 8 years ago | (#13300717)

I used to work in the Central Engineering Department for a power company. They would periodically open one of the boiler access hatches (while it was boiling, of course), and hurl in sensitive documents.

Ain't no way you're getting anything informative out of the other end of a fire cyclone.

MSN did some innovation! (4, Funny)

jb.hl.com (782137) | more than 8 years ago | (#13299579)

Sweet, Start.com isn't actually that bad, and they trumped Google too! Now all they need is to have an email service which doesn't piss off everyone who uses it, a homepage which isn't cluttered and full of shite and doesn't install cookies on your PC when all you want to do is download Firefox on a new Windows install, a Messenger service which doesn't have wanky "nudge" features built in which are expressly designed to cater for those with the intelligence spans of a flea, a media player that works with ShoutCast streams and doesn't clash horribly with every other app out there in terms of UI, a web browser that isn't 5 years behind Firefox in terms of EVERYTHING and a fucking always on top button on Windows, and they're getting somewhere!

Re:MSN did some innovation! (1)

iMaple (769378) | more than 8 years ago | (#13300824)

:) Actually I just wanted to mention that the new Hotmail beta(aka Kahuna) is damn cool. I got the chance to Beta test it. IE7 is decent, better CSS support, PBG transperancy, and ofcourse tabbed browsing. I dont use MSN messenger (why is GAIM bad ?), shoutcast or need to have an always on top setting for windows.

Look what you just did, made me defend MS , I'm gonna get u.

Encyclopedias are meant to be edited (3, Insightful)

anything lemon (820119) | more than 8 years ago | (#13299584)

If Wikipedia wants more credibility, then they need to start freezing some articles. At least the most controversial ones, which as you know are terrorized by vandals and agenda-pushers.

Re:Encyclopedias are meant to be edited (3, Interesting)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 8 years ago | (#13299714)

If Wikipedia wants more credibility, then they need to start freezing some articles. At least the most controversial ones, which as you know are terrorized by vandals and agenda-pushers.
Wikipedia doesn't always do well on controversial topics, but I don't think freezing articles would necessarily help. In fact, WP already has a procedure to freeze articles, and it's generally used when an article is experiencing a revert war [wikipedia.org] , or a wave of determined vandalism. In the case of a revert war, my experience is that the freeze is an admission of failure, and the frozen version of the article typically sucks to high heaven. An article that gets to that point is one that's already become a sterile battlefield, and nobody has been able to do any constructive work on it for a long time. Freezing doesn't help; it just gives official recognition to the fact that the article is dysfunctional anyway.

I think the most positive thing WP can do right now is to eliminate the time-honored custom of allowing anonymous edits, and institute some kind of moderation system (yes, a la Slashdot) so that sock-puppet accounts can't be used to mess up an article over and over. For instance, there was recently a horrible mess over the article on apartheid, where one anonymous editor kept insisting on inserting text about Jews in an effort to blame apartheid on the Jews. It caused massive conniptions, because he was dialing in from different IP addresses several times a day, and using sockpuppet accounts.

Another example is an artist named Gabrichidze, who has been spamming lots of articles (Mermaid, Plato, Pop art,...) with his (non-copylefted) artwork. Once people got wise to him, he started creating sockpuppet accounts to throw people off the trail.

Re:Encyclopedias are meant to be edited (5, Insightful)

Prof. Pi (199260) | more than 8 years ago | (#13299934)

I think the most positive thing WP can do right now is to eliminate the time-honored custom of allowing anonymous edits, and institute some kind of moderation system (yes, a la Slashdot)

Which would cause them to degenerate into groupthink (yes, a la Slashdot).

I've seen way too many cases in which posts that say little more than "X sucks" (where X is any of the usual things hated by the majority here) get +5 Insightful, while well-written posts defending X and presenting cogent arguments get modded down into oblivion. Meta-moderation fails due to the same groupthink. ("Yes, nobody intelligent or moral could really be defending X, so I agree with the moderator that it's Flamebait.")

Slashdot is viewed as heavily biased in many circles, and for good reason. If WP wants to be taken seriously, they should avoid copying Slashdot.

Re:Encyclopedias are meant to be edited (1)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 8 years ago | (#13300069)

Which would cause them to degenerate into groupthink (yes, a la Slashdot).
I wouldn't claim that Slashdot moderation to individual posts is always fair -- obviously it's not --- but I think anybody who isn't a complete jerk will see their karma trend up over time until it maxes out and bobs around 50 forever. The point of what I'm suggesting isn't to make some articles or edits privileged over others, it's just to allow sockpuppet accounts to be distinguished from accounts of people who actually have an edit history, and singleminded vandals from people who are really trying to contribute.

Re:Encyclopedias are meant to be edited (2, Interesting)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 8 years ago | (#13300407)

Group think can be avoided by having a rating system tied to the actual rating rather than in +-1 steps.

Instead of 20 people all saying "yer, that was funny, +1" and instantly making a rather amusing comment blasted up and down like a yoyo (After the overrated mods kick in)
you can have many more people saying "Funny=3" without the overrated mods. Concensus means its less likely to be over modded and doesnt bounce around.

Re:Encyclopedias are meant to be edited (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13300962)

Slashdot is viewed as heavily biased in many circles

Um, yeah, that's one viewpoint I've seen. Not the most common one, but it is one of them :-)

Re:Encyclopedias are meant to be edited (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13300041)

The Assayer [theassayer.org]-books for the free-information revolution

"Assayer" - sounds like "a horse-whisperer" for butts!

Fart-talker!

I better stop now or Cornholio will show up looking for TP.

Re:Encyclopedias are meant to be edited (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13300755)

Oh come - overrated? My ass. Off-topic, yes, but otherwise definitely underrated. You gotta laff at ass-sayer - speaker of the ass, its funny even if you aren't beavis!

Re:Encyclopedias are meant to be edited (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13300245)

If WP wants to earn some of the trust and credibility that traditional encyclopedias have then all they have to do is to do some of the things that those traditional organizations. They need some experts and professionaly to write and review some of the articles on the site. Then those articles deemed professional enough can be locked and stamped with a seal of approval. People can still add to and comment on those articles and creat their own articles on other topics but the core 'approved' articles simple need to be unchangeable by everyone else.

Re:Encyclopedias are meant to be edited (3, Interesting)

enosys (705759) | more than 8 years ago | (#13299726)

They should have a "released" version that is locked and a "current" version that is undergoing change.

Re:Encyclopedias are meant to be edited (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13300063)

They should have a "released" version that is locked and a "current" version that is undergoing change.

And who decides what goes in the "released" version? The folks from CNN?

hmm (4, Insightful)

d34thm0nk3y (653414) | more than 8 years ago | (#13299588)

Amazon Settles Patent Suit For $40M theodp writes "In today's SEC filing, Amazon.com disclosed it will pay $40 million to settle an e-commerce patent infringement lawsuit that was reported earlier on Slashdot. The terms of the settlement also provide for dismissal of all claims and counterclaims and grant Amazon a nonexclusive license to Soverain's patent portfolio."

Those who live by the sword die by the sword.

Yeh but ... (3, Insightful)

A nonymous Coward (7548) | more than 8 years ago | (#13299803)

Now some patent lawsuit company has $40M to go after other companies, and Amazon has even more incentive to enforce its own stupid patents. More swords will be put into play. This is not good.

Mis-re-translationified (1)

kihjin (866070) | more than 8 years ago | (#13299589)

I spoke in English, and this was translated to German. Then the German was translated back to English, and then translated again into the Slashdot story.

So what you're trying to say here is that the problem was with going from English to German, or German back to English?

Undoubtedly (2, Funny)

FlightTest (90079) | more than 8 years ago | (#13299635)

English to Slashdot.

Re:Undoubtedly (1)

Kafka_Canada (106443) | more than 8 years ago | (#13300819)

Yep, Wales' comment was by far the best one-line description of how Slashdot works, evar.

Re:Mis-re-translationified (-1, Offtopic)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 8 years ago | (#13299695)

maybe the problem was the translation from English to Slashdot.

Re:Mis-re-translationified (3, Funny)

EvanED (569694) | more than 8 years ago | (#13299977)

Just for fun, I put the phrase "A penny saved is a penny earned" through Babelfish to translate to German and back (not my idea), and got the following:

"A penny, which is stored, is an acquired penny."

Re:Mis-re-translationified (2, Funny)

Approaching.sanity (889047) | more than 8 years ago | (#13300034)

And from that to slashdot you get

1.Save a Penny
2. ?????
3.Profit!!!!

Re:Mis-re-translationified (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | more than 8 years ago | (#13300210)

Redundant? It was funny!! Ok, so it was only funny because it was redundant - still funny.

Mod funny (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 8 years ago | (#13300292)

This is one of the funniest posts I've seen in a while, redundant or not

Wrong comment? (2, Interesting)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 8 years ago | (#13299593)

(Our main engineer on the project has written a bit more about this to respond to your post.)

The comment [slashdot.org] that Hadi Partovi points us to as a comment by his main engineer doesn't seem to be the right one. The one he linked to is by http://slashdot.org/~yagu [slashdot.org] and says the following:

for me, the last line on the page:

©2005 Microsoft &nbsp

kind of says it all... In their hurry to rip off the competition, they even forgot a semicolon ... Tsk-tsk!

That criticizing clearly doesn't seem to be coming from an MSN guy. Who really is the informed MSN engineer posting/clarifying on /. and what really did he say?

Re:Wrong comment? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13299689)

I think she didn't quite get the right comment. Further down in the thread generated by that comment is this one, that's much more likely from the MSN guy:

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=157898&cid=132 29038 [slashdot.org]

Re:Wrong comment? (2, Insightful)

value_added (719364) | more than 8 years ago | (#13299693)

The comment that Hadi Partovi points us to as a comment by his main engineer doesn't seem to be the right one...

Maybe you're looking for the post that begins with:

(I posted this as a new topic earlier. I hope I don't end up in karma hell for re-posting it as a reply like I should have...) ... I work on start.com and am one of the 3 folks on the team ...
And ends with:
I noticed one of the posts mention that we use a cookie. Yeah we do, we use it to index your settings on the back-end. The last thing we wanted to do was slap on a huge LOGIN TO PASSPORT page before you can even do anything since a) our target audience (you guys) would probably thing that was lame and wouldn't even try the site out and b) we use start.com too and *we* think that would be lame. We want people to check it out, kick the tires, give it a whirl, etc and a simple cookie works pretty well for now.
Reading the previous statement, I wonder whether Microsoft would be less generally reviled if such expressions of humour and honesty were more common.

Re:Wrong comment? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13299860)

A lot of the people at Microsoft seem like decent folks. I just don't like their executives.

DUPE!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13299596)

OMFG All ThEsE StoRIeS BeeN PoSTED BEFORE MAN I HAX U!

-Sj53

Even further legitimizes this behavior.... (3, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 8 years ago | (#13299619)

Amazon Settles Patent Suit For $40M theodp writes "In today's SEC filing, Amazon.com disclosed it will pay $40 million to settle an e-commerce patent infringement lawsuit that was reported earlier on Slashdot. The terms of the settlement also provide for dismissal of all claims and counterclaims and grant Amazon a nonexclusive license to Soverain's patent portfolio."

Wow, I depressed, $40M will only further strengthen the incentive on this patent behavior - I wish amazon stuck it out. Not that I care about amazon that much, but it only raises the barrier of entry for the little guys - especially on stupid shopping cart technology.

FYI Soverain held patents on "shopping cart" technology.

Here's another article on it:
http://news.com.com/Amazon+pays+40+million+to+sett le+patent+dispute/2100-1030_3-5829193.html [com.com]

Retractions (2, Funny)

Jeff Molby (906283) | more than 8 years ago | (#13299643)

Since half of those amount to retractions, does that mean there will be a reduction in dupes for awhile?

/It's a joke. I'm not that new here.

Honey, take out the trash.... (0, Flamebait)

petepac (194110) | more than 8 years ago | (#13299646)

Kai-Fu Lee may have been very smart but didn't have the common sense God gave a turnip.

Re:Honey, take out the trash.... (1)

anagama (611277) | more than 8 years ago | (#13299889)

I only read the register article and it says "recovered" from the trash bin. That suggests to me something more than dragging the icon out of the trash folder. Perhaps it was deleted, and the trash emptied, but recovered using a somewhat more sophisticated process.

Amazon being sneaky... (5, Insightful)

RexRhino (769423) | more than 8 years ago | (#13299651)

It seems like Amazon is up to something sneaky by paying for this frivolous pantent portfolio, when Amazon surely has the legal clout to fight this kind of thing.

Big companies like Amazon can afford to pay for these patents, but small companies cannot. They are losing money by paying for these things, but if they raise the cost of doing buisness beyond a certain point (if everyone has to pay millions to use patented technology in order to run an eccommerce site), they can knock out a lot of competition. There will be no chance for the mom and pop store selling used books can hope to compete with Amazon, because they won't be able to afford the startup cost or liability.

I think a lot of big companies are encouraging this abuse of patent laws in order to squash competition from smaller companies who don't have a few million to spare.

Re:Amazon being sneaky... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13299758)

I think you should take off the tin foil hat.

Re:Amazon being sneaky... (1)

Jeff Molby (906283) | more than 8 years ago | (#13299840)

I think you should take off the tin foil hat.

No, he's right. I doubt it's quite like "I think a lot of big companies are encouraging this abuse of patent laws in order to squash competition from smaller companies who don't have a few million to spare." but I wouldn't be surprise if their thought process was something like "Well, we could spend $10 million fighting it with a 25% chance of winning or we could just buy the rights and use them to bash someone else over the head with them down the road

Re:Amazon being sneaky... (1, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 8 years ago | (#13299841)

I think that strategy will bite Amazon in the ass later - Walmart has a history of fighting ANY and ALL lawsuits against it just to discourage the next party of thinking they can have easy money.

With Amazon rolling over and paying these guys - who'll be next up at bat in order to get a few easy million?

Re:Amazon being sneaky... (1)

Stinky Cheese Man (548499) | more than 8 years ago | (#13301089)

Not to disparage your main point, but Amazon is not knocking out mom and pop booksellers. As an Amazon.com Marketplace Pro Merchant I can attest that Amazon is, in fact, enabling thousands of mom and pop outfits (as well as larger retailers) to compete on the internet. The vast majority of Amazon Marketplace sellers do not have the resources to develop their own ecommerce sites. Even if they did, it is not likely that anyone would ever see them. As it is, anyone with a book to sell can get it listed on Amazon.com right next to Amazon's own copy.

Really? (1)

kihjin (866070) | more than 8 years ago | (#13299657)

"The Register and Cnet have this report about Kai-Fu Lee not cleaning his recycle bin at his previous workplace and now MS has stumbled upon some interesting document, which shows that Google anticipated the MS move, and had planned top put him on a leave of absence or have him as a consultant to thwart any attempt of MS getting him back."

Now I know I've tossed out my share of Microsoft 'merchanise', but I never, not once, considered that they could actually be IN my trash bucket.

One could say that this is a new 'low' for Microsoft.

Re:Really? (1)

jZnat (793348) | more than 8 years ago | (#13300495)

Uh, this was regarding a desktop that was located on Microsoft's campus, not your typical remote desktop...

Defined Personalized (1)

lakerdonald (825553) | more than 8 years ago | (#13299684)

How many features could they possibly have missed? I mean all that really makes up a so-called personalized page, is your name and some local news and weather. The end.

Not emptying the recycle bin?!?!? (4, Insightful)

everphilski (877346) | more than 8 years ago | (#13299700)

... that's amateur! I mean heck, I was just interviewing for an entry level job and they wanted me to give them an email address that wasn't work related to communicate with. I mean, come on, if entry level employers are that sensitive, what is your million dollar arse doing talking to Google on a Microsoft computer?

(Obligatory Napolean Dynamite quote)
....Idiot!

-everphilski-

OK my bad it was a hard copy (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 8 years ago | (#13299711)

... but still... you dont bring sh*t like that into your current employers place of business. Nailed his coffin shut.

-everphilski-

Re:OK my bad it was a hard copy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13301171)

What's interesting is that there seems to be a claim that it should be unexpected that Microsoft would sue to settle a dispute. This is Microsoft, after all. Why wouldn't they be expected to sue? Though I suppose it says a lot about Microsoft that they would go through the garbage of a former employee.

Empty the recycle bin??? (5, Insightful)

lost in place (248578) | more than 8 years ago | (#13299710)

If you read the story, it was not a physical recycle bin, but the "Recycle Bin" on one of Lee's computers. Which makes it even more stupid that he would have such a document. If you're going to negotiate employment with a competitor, especially a potentially hostile/actionable move like this, for god's sake don't use your employer's computers to do it. Had Lee never heard of backup tapes or email scanning/archival? Amazing.

Re:Empty the recycle bin??? (4, Insightful)

Black-Man (198831) | more than 8 years ago | (#13299842)

Really... this guy is some genius being fought over by MS and Google?!? What does that say about those 2 companies.... sheesh.

Re:Empty the recycle bin??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13300168)

Hey guess what, Isaac Newton used to sometimes forget to eat dinner, and he believed in alchemy. What a ditz! Better not trust that "calculus" business he cooked up...

Re:Empty the recycle bin??? (1)

aralin (107264) | more than 8 years ago | (#13300763)

He is a manager. 'nuf said.

Following your lead? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13299715)

"but if you track the functionality and UI changes that the companies have made over the past 6 months, this has clearly been a place where Google has been following Microsoft's lead."

Maybe, but if you look at the original start.com.. http://www.start.com/1/ [start.com] its just a simple search bar. The second rev http://www.start.com/2/ [start.com] adds some dhtml functionality, but only the third rev, http://www.start.com/3/ [start.com] adds the identical dhtml section moving feature google has... probably after google came out with theirs.

Re:Following your lead? (2, Insightful)

JanusFury (452699) | more than 8 years ago | (#13300166)

Um, did you click the 'show' link on the first revision?

Hmm (2, Insightful)

smoondog (85133) | more than 8 years ago | (#13299746)

Not surprised that Austrialia backdown from the Google security claims. It sounded a lot to me like they were using that stance for political reasons, given the PR nature of the release (instead of a quiet request to google).

Start.com (1, Interesting)

CSHARP123 (904951) | more than 8 years ago | (#13299755)

okay you guys released the first version 3 months before google. Why isn't the portal not ready for prime time yet?

Re:Start.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13299818)

good question. I do like one thing about start.com that it is not necessary to login into passport in order to do personlization. where as google requires one. But still why isn's start.com not ready for prime time?

Re:Start.com (1)

jZnat (793348) | more than 8 years ago | (#13300512)

Because personalised Google is still "beta", duh!

It's nice we have a recap but... (2)

kinglink (195330) | more than 8 years ago | (#13299772)

I'm sorry the Microsoft stories both are hearsay, it's good to show both sides in their light, but I expect you ask Google for an opinion on the start page if you can. (and was Yahoo before both or what?, or who had the first discussion of it)

In addition the story on the Recycle Bin sounds like an attempt to get suspicious news out to the public to poison the pool of jurors or such, However it's nontheless interesting, but again I'm waiting to hear the other side of the story.

However this is nice, because it gives recaps to EVERY story I really was interested in this time.

But I still think the best is the English to german to english to ./ish. :) Kudos to him for a great explination.

Chalk One Up For Common Sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13299793)

Yet Google Earth and Maps still censor the Capitol building and congressional office buildings. What else is obfuscated on Google Earth?

Re:Chalk One Up For Common Sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13300099)

Google earth/maps doesn't censor them, the company they bought the map data from censors them. Google has no choice in the matter.

WikiPedia (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13299819)

I read about WikiPedia on SlashDot

Translation games (1)

kaitou (789825) | more than 8 years ago | (#13299823)

Heh well first, I actualy like the start.com page, but not as much as google. To me it doesn't matter much who comes out with it first, as it is who makes it better. The entire industry is about copying and improving on things, and I fault neither google nor microsoft for that.

As for the Wiki stuff, it reminds me of playing games with the babelfish [altavista.com] Where you pick a phrase (any common saying works nicely) and start translating to see how many steps you need to make it illegible. Bonus points for getting a translation that means the opposite of the original. I used to waste a ton of time on that.

Re: Translation games (1)

ShakiirNvar (904354) | more than 8 years ago | (#13300123)

Glad to see I'm not the only one who plays games with babelfish :)
Now if only they would make the UI a bit more user-friendly ...

No one ever listens to me. (0)

Atario (673917) | more than 8 years ago | (#13300095)

See? [slashdot.org]

Minor correction to vecor program list: (1)

Trogre (513942) | more than 8 years ago | (#13300258)

Dia runs just fine under Linux.

Python and Ruby (1)

otomo_1001 (22925) | more than 8 years ago | (#13300404)

Ok I am still in shock about the choices (less so on python) of languages to add here.

I have been having a hard enough time getting people I work with to understand Ruby isn't some weird language. Until I show them Ruby code with equivalent Perl code.

I just found their reasons reaffirming. Ruby is an excellent sys-admin glue language.

Innovation you say? (2, Insightful)

iCEBaLM (34905) | more than 8 years ago | (#13300470)

I discount every blurb from a microsoftie when it has two or more instances of the word "innovation" contained therein.

This particular one has three.

Why does everything spoken by anyone associated in any way with microsoft have to have so many copies of the word "innovation" in it? I submit to you that their use of the english language is as "innovative" as they are, simple rehashes and reusing the same old tired components, perhaps rearranged in a different way, with nothing actually new.

Microsofties: quit using the word "innovation", it just makes you look like a drone in the collective.

confused about innovation again? (1)

cahiha (873942) | more than 8 years ago | (#13300530)

but if you track the functionality and UI changes that the companies have made over the past 6 months, this has clearly been a place where Google has been following Microsoft's lead.

The first version of start.com looks like Google has looked for years. Later versions look like what My Yahoo has offered for years. And start.com added drag-and-drop after seeing it on Google. I'm sorry, but where exactly does he think that Microsoft has been leading?

Start stopped? (1)

zopf (897522) | more than 8 years ago | (#13300546)

It seems that Start.com has stopped... it has only a simple gif served from the front page. ./ed?

MSN had drag and drop way before Google (1)

ScottyH (791307) | more than 8 years ago | (#13300830)

Don't get me wrong, I like Google as much as the next guy, but Microsoft had this drag and drop business going with my.msn.com way before Google did, although it only works with IE. These were early applications of the new web parts framework in ASP.NET 2.0.

Mr. Wales and retranslation (1)

gbulmash (688770) | more than 8 years ago | (#13300881)

Did anyone see the episode of "News Radio" where Jimmy James' business book was translated into an Asian language and then translated back to English? The scene where he did a public reading from it had me on the floor.

- Greg

Re:Mr. Wales and retranslation (1)

gbulmash (688770) | more than 8 years ago | (#13300902)

Just found a transcript...

Mr. James: "The original title of this book was 'Jimmy James, Capitalist Lion Tamer' but I see now that it's... 'Jimmy James, Macho Business Donkey Wrestler'... you know what it is... I had the book translated in to Japanese then back in again into English. Macho Business Donkey Wrestler... well there you go... it's got kind of a ring to it don't it? Anyway, I wanted to read from chapter three... which is the story of my first rise to financial prominence... I had a small house of brokerage on Wall Street... many days no business come to my hut... my hut... but Jimmy has fear? A thousand times no. I never doubted myself for a minute for I knew that my monkey strong bowels were girded with strength like the loins of a dragon ribboned with fat and the opulence of buffalo... dung. ...Glorious sunset of my heart was fading. Soon the super karate monkey death car would park in my space. But Jimmy has fancy plans... and pants to match. The monkey clown horrible karate round and yummy like cute small baby chick would beat the donkey."

Question: "Mr. James, what did you mean when you wrote bad clown making like super American car racers, I would make them sweat, War War?"

Mr. James: "Well, you know... it's LIKE when a clown is making like a car... racer... it's sorta... like... the FCC. The CLOWN... the clown is like the FCC... and I was opposed to the FCC at the time, right? So it was like I was declaring War. WARRRR!"

Question: "So then did the American yum yum clown monkey also represent the FCC?"

Mr. James: "Yeah, it did. Thanks a LOT!"

Question: "What did you mean when you said, "Feel my skills, donkey donkey donkey, donkey donkey?"

Mr. James: *Sigh*

- G

Who'd a thunk (1)

ewe2 (47163) | more than 8 years ago | (#13301192)

MSN doesn't have an innovation culture?! I'm deeply shocked.
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