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Gore: White House May Get Involved in MS Settlement Talks

Roblimo posted more than 14 years ago | from the be-nice-to-big-campaign-donors dept.

Microsoft 332

Amigan writes " C|Net is reporting on VP Al Gore's visit to Microsoft's campus today includes a statement from the Vice President that "...he expected that the White House would get involved in any settlement talks between the company and the Justice Department when antitrust remedies get discussed. Why would the White House need to be involved?"

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Why get involved? (1)

blowdart (31458) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529633)

Why would any politican get involved? Political brownie points and to garner votes.

Gates and Gore having invented the Internet... (3)

Oms (16745) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529634) well as all the other significant advances of modern computing, it's only logical that they should stick up for each other!

great whats next.. has sex with gates wife? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1529635)

come on.. the white house is getting involved with microsoft? isnt this like a violation of judicial proceedings? they should stay the heck out of it and somebody should hack microsoft into seperate companies and enjoy the prosperity that comes from that.. my 2 cents

Gore (3)

Fuhrer (111424) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529636)

Gore needs public exposure. Everyone thinks he has no brain, and from the things he says it certainly seems like it sometimes.

In any case, for him to be SEEN as doing something (whether he actually does is another matter) will make him look good, taking a tough line on the "evil Microsoft empire" will rake at least some votes for him. He *needs* it cause he needs all the support he can get.

Signifying nothing (3)

Daffy Duck (17350) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529637)

Oh yes, Microsoft employees, although these are not political decisions, the White House will deifnitely be involved. Don't worry. Vote Democrat.

This is meaningless tell-them-what-they-want-to-hear bullshit. Gore won't want to be anywhere near the settlement talks (if there are any settlement talks), because there's no way to gain political advantage from it. He can't very well back his own administration's prosecution of Microsoft AND go to bat for them in settlement talks without the press shredding him for it. Gore's not so hard up for money that he needs Microsoft's support. He just wanted to be seen hanging out with high tech types to show how in tune he is with the new millennium.

Of course, all he said was that the White House would be involved. He didn't say which way. Nice, bland, noncommittal, non-responsive response. Perfect candidate.

Its always about politics, never about justice (1)

seichert (8292) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529638)

Of course, Al Gore will have something to say about this ruling. He will have to do some simple math to figure out what to say. Basically if he says that this ruling is a miscarriage of justice, you can be ensured that political contributions from the Microsoft camp will increase. If he says that this ruling and the subsequent remedies are just you can be ensured of increased contributions from various Valley firms. Common citizens will still be puzzled why the Justice department went after a company for selling its product the way it saw fit.

The mistake the Valley firms have made is inviting the federal government to regulate their industry. Now there is legal precedent for the government to come in at any point in the future and limit the competitive practices of the market participants. The Valley firms, Sun in particular, have now agreed to play a game whereby they will bid for the political favor of various powerful politicians, instead of spending their time and money on creating better products and marketing strategies. This can only lead to the weakening of many a great firm.

Stuart Eichert
U. of PENN student/FreeBSD hacker

Money (1)

okie (72512) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529639)

I wonder how much Bill Gates gave him? This could get bad for other OS's if politians get envolved.
It will be interesting to see which Willy is slicker.

Not unnatural (2)

Lettuce B. Qrious (4630) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529640)

It doesn't seem that far-fetched that the White House should need to be informed about the proceedings of a case involving the justice department plucking apart the company that comprises the world's ninth largest economy. I find that the statements delivered by Gore on this occasion, despite the obvious shortcomings of some of his statements on other occasions, are sound and fair.

However, Bill Gates' wallet makes him/M$ a "viable force" in American politics; adjusted for some technicalities in language, American politicians ARE for sale. It isn't that far fetched to think that the Microsoft antitrust trial could become "an issue" in the upcoming election...

Gore - father of the internet. (1)

arcade (16638) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529641)

Well, Gore is, as we all know, the father of the internet. How could y2k be a problem, in a country that has both MicroSoft and Intel ..

ohwell, no wonder. Gore probably [try] to make sure that MicroSoft stays in one piece.


Re:Its always about politics, never about justice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1529642)

How has Microsoft set a precedent here? Didn't IBM get involved in a number of justice department tie ups about 10-20 years ago?

Re:Signifying nothing (1)

Ancipital (19821) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529643)

Umm, it's not a case of hard up- MS funds a lot of politicians- sometimes inderectly, by sending judges to use their "spare" holiday homes, sometimes by paying congressment some campaign funds through shell companies.

There's a reason why it took someone with the resolve of the estimable Janet Reno so long to get them nailed up in court- they have a LOT of political friends.

Of course, now MS are openly lobbying to get antitrust fiunding cut back- as the SNL church lady would say, "how conveeeeeeeinient".

I suspect that even people in the open src movement don't have a problem with companies making good per se, especially by dint of superior products.

However, the tactics used by MS to saddle the world with their forth-rate software (strangely, their non-monopolistic hardware is very good- go figure) are distinctly beyond the pale.

From this side of the pond (ie Europe), it all looks very unsavory.

I know why Al is helping(silly, kinda) (1)

Odinson (4523) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529644)

Al Gore needs to get involved because this is all his fault. I think he feels bad.

Microsoft didn't have as many chances to abuse their monopoly power ten years ago. But then Al, in his infinite wisdom, invented the internet.

Microsoft would have never done those things to try to help the internet work better had Al never inventeted it. So it's really his fault.

I'm sure tomorrow he will tell the judge that it isn't really Bill G's fault and how he will do better next time.

Then again I bet big brother baby George B, is already trying to help. So big brother Bill G may not bother big brother Al G.

*I know the story dosen't read like that, but I don't trust Al. How many any rockers remeber his wife's censorship trip at the head of the PMRC? Could you picture Tipper Gore as president^D^D^D^D^D^D^D^D^D err I mean first lady?

About as surprising as a shark eating fish. (2)

idic (18650) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529645)

That VP Gore should wish to be involved is no surprise at all. He can play either add his bat to those wielded by the government enforcers or (if Microsoft can meet his price) he can call them off and instruct them to agree to a lesser punishment more agreeable to Microsoft. Sounds like an example of good cop/bad cop to me.

What more does the average voter expect from a Demopublican with no principles?

Maybe next time voters will vote Libertarian [] and endorse a society where people's right to buy (or not to buy) software of their choice is respected.

First cigarettes, now software, what next?

Some possible reasons (1)

stevelinton (4044) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529646)

I don't pretend to understand US government properly, but the WH is head of the executive isn't it? So I can imagine two possible reasons for WH involvement:

1. As the DoJ's bosses -- this is a big issue, so
is dealt with at the highest level

2. Because many possible remedies would involve some part of the executive supervising M$'s future behaviour and there needs to be input on what would be feasible and who would be the right people to do it.

In the UK I would certainly expect something like this to go up to cabinet level, which is the nearest equivalent.


It's called a money-grubbing, corrupt government. (1)

acecool (41671) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529647)

We all know that in today's disgusting political system what counts isn't your so-called "vote," but the amount of money you are willing to use to grease the palms of today's politicians. MS is just doing what's natural for a company in their position- attempt to use any resources at it's disposal (money- they got plenty of it...) to get their asses out of this mess. And we have a walking piece of filth like Al Gore taking them up on the offer. Gross. It doesn't have to be like this, folks. Politicians don't _have_ to be liars and cheats, but our couch-potato ball-game watching society doesn't care at this point... truly sad...

Re:Why get involved? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1529648)

Why get involved? That's easy--look at how much Microsoft has donated to the political coffers of a certain US Vice President.

Gore seems to have some balls. (1)

Ken Broadfoot (3675) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529649)

To refuse to even appear if press was not allowed I applaud.

He is right to not comment on the case, however his statements about antitrust law make me think he is on the DOJ side.

Microsoft has money but its not like the 17,000 votes from MS employees can equal the hundreds of thousands from all the other hi-tech companies.

In other words, so what if we piss off Microsoft and its employees?

Because M$ gives tons of money to republicans.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1529650)

M$, as well as many other silicon valley companies, have moved to buying republican politicians as they are often more sensitive *cough* CORRUPT *cough* to the needs of big businesses that want to exploit employees, the public, etc.. M$ has donated a good sum of money to the campaign of George Jr., and perhaps Al feels that if he convinces the DOJ to take it easy on M$, he will be able to win back some support in silicon valley for the democrats, and himself. -supabeast! who can't get his login to work from work.

Gore's war on illegal copying (3)

ole (19909) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529651) html []
"Today, we are declaring war on software piracy... At home or abroad, intellectual property must protected." (Vice President Al Gore, October 1, 1998) phy/words-to-avoid.html#Piracy []
Publishers often refer to prohibited copying as ``piracy.'' In this way, they imply that illegal copying is ethically equivalent to attacking ships on the high seas, kidnaping and murdering the people on them.

If you don't believe that illegal copying is just like kidnaping and murder, you might prefer not to use the word ``piracy'' to describe it. Neutral terms such as ``prohibited copying'' or ``unauthorized copying'' are available for use instead. Some of us might even prefer to use a positive term such as ``sharing information with your neighbor.''

Re:Why get involved? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1529652)

Political brownie points?? Gimme a break. How about Al Gore is running for President and needs cash bad. This presidency has shown us that they can't keep their hands out of any `green' pie. Al BORE is probably slobbering all over himself wondering what's in it for him. gotta loathe `em.......

There is a political angle here anyway (2)

CormacJ (64984) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529653)

Microsoft may try to stall and appeal until after the next president comes into office.

This would mean that the many political appointments that are made could be beneficial to Microsoft.

The current administration want to have a solution so that they aren't seen as being weak.

They may also want to have something that will cause the next adminstration as much havoc as possible.

If they can take money from China... (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529654)

.. then why can't they take bribes from Bill G? It's patently clear what Gore's purpose is. "Hey bill, this can all go away for 20 million bucks!" I think it's extremely inappropriate for a presidential candidate to go sucking up to defendant in a major antitrust case. Gore can go to hell. -jcr

Re:Signifying nothing - Unseen hand (1)

idic (18650) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529655)

Adam Smith's unseen hand [] can take care of software buyers far better (and a darn sight cheaper) than paying for the new age gestapo agents at antitrust.

Microsoft and its tactics are all competing organizations need. BeOS, FreeBSD and Linux don't need the help of the USG to sell their product

Iznogoud! It is like advertising (1)

ubi (23702) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529656)

My experience in Italy says that 90% of PC users think that MS is a sort of "only one existing choice". The fact that big machines and servers cannot even run Windows is often unknown, mostly as it is unclear to people that things very different from PCs exist -the existence of something unusual is probably due to that strange thing called Apple!
If the White House plays a role in the game, the MS brand will be strenghtened among the IT-unaware ones, because those will see it as a necessary move. To them, to hit MS means to endanger the world of computing!
I would understand such need if only Windows could do what it does, but we have alternatives!

Re:Signifying nothing (2)

cicatrix (58686) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529657)

>Of course, all he said was that the White House
>would be involved. He didn't say which way.
>Nice, bland, noncommittal, non-responsive
>response. Perfect candidate.

While the actual statement about White House involvement was noncommittal (and somewhat superfluous, considering that the DoJ is in the Executive branch), he pretty much flat-out said that he supported the DoJ's prosecution:

. . . he said he supported the nation's antitrust laws and that the laws applied to software companies as well as other industries . . . "If dominance in one area is used to prevent competition in another area, that is wrong,"

Sorry, but there's just not much ambiguity there...

Because Gates & Clinton have a history... (1)

LinuxGeek (6139) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529658)

I seem to remember pictures of Bill G and Bill C playing golf together before the 1995 DOJ anti-trust slap on the wrist. You know, the decree that MS basically got to author themselves saying that they were sorry for smacking DR-Dos and some other software developers around. This time around, the Clinton administration didn't get the ball rolling even after some congressional hearings and a lot of proding from Republicans.

The DOJ didn't get involved until 20 states had already joined together to file suit. The DOJ was starting to look like they were more interested in protecting a Clinton friend and then had to take action to save face.

conspirary, corruption? nahhh.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1529659)

And don't forget the recent EU/USA "banana incident". I guess that shows quite clearly that US politicians are "in the pocket" of the banana industry (the name Chiquita doesn't come to mind now does it?) --- The $$$ Man.

the funny thing is.... (1)

walkingCrash (87804) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529660)

how M$ pressured him for his views on the antitrust laws, then M$ changes the subject to hate laws???

As a UK citizen.. (3)

maroberts (15852) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529661)

..I have no influence on US elections,

Judging from the transcript Al Gore was sitting on the fence and refused to come down [publicly] on either the side of Microsoft or the DOJ. A bit disappointing for a possible future leader of the country IMHO, especially when the MS case is probably going to have a huge effect one way or the other on the US economy.

The fact that MS is such a large company explains why the White House is tempted to stick its nose in - of course, it may regret being associated with any decision come a few years down the line.

Don't be ridiculous (2)

orcrist (16312) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529662)

The suit is being prosecuted by the DoJ and 19 states. It would require a pretty complete change at the next election for all 19 attorneys general to change their mind about penalties, expecially in light of Judge Jackson's ruling. IIRC, some of the states are out for even more blood than the DoJ...


Re:Signifying nothing - Unseen hand (5)

jsm2 (89962) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529664)

Without wanting to seem patronising, have you actually read Smith? To use "the invisible hand" as an argument against antitrust law is a pretty damn appalling mangling of "The Wealth of Nations". Smith was absolutely aware of what happens to consumers when powerful companies dominate a marketplace; the judge's argument about "inhibiting innovation" is clearly traceable to Smith.

A couple of quotes from The Wealth of Mations, showing what Smith actually thought about the Invisible Hand in this type of case:
"Our merchants and master-manufacturers complain much of the bad effects of high wages in raising the price, and thereby lessening the sale of their goods both at home and abroad. They say nothing concerning the bad effects of high profits. They are silent with regard to the pernicious effects of their own gains. They complain only of those of other people."

"People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices."

"The monopolists, by keeping the market continually understocked, by never fully supplying the effectual demand, sell their commodities much above the natural price, and raise their emoluments, whether they consist in wages or profit, greatly above their natural rate. "

"In every country it always is and must be the interest of the great body of the people to buy whatever they want of those who sell it cheapest. The proposition is so very manifest, that it seems ridiculous to take any pains to prove it; nor could it ever have been called in question, had not the interest sophistry of merchants and manufacturers confounded the common sense of mankind. "

You are entirely entitled to your views on Microsoft and the government, but please don't try to claim that Smith shared them (I would also suggest that in supporting Microsoft, you are not perhaps as consistent a libertarian as you think you are).


The Plot thickens... (1)

publius (69199) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529665)

Perhaps Mr. Gore realizes that Microsoft, through the Gates Foundation, controls a large amount of money distributed to some of the more vocal groups in US society. The fact that the Gates Foundation has received a sizeable amount of their wealth in stock already ties them to MS's well-being and makes their self-interest somewhat the same as MS's. Perhaps Mr. Gore knows that if he can broker an agreement with MS, with MS's support may come some or all of the people now attached to the MS teat. Or maybe I've just read too many bad spy novels...

Re:Violence is never right (1)

jsm2 (89962) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529666)

Since Microsoft makes all of its money from patented software, it has opted into the system of coercion which is the basis of government, so your invoking of the concept of "initiation of force" is invalid. Microsoft benefits from a privilege granted by the government to impede the free use of information by others, so it cannot object to modifications of that (illegitimate) privilege.

And I've always thought that a definition of "initiation of force" whereby a black man sitting at a lunch counter can be taken to be "initiating force" is rather silly, and certainly a liability rather than an asset to the libertarian cause.


Re:I know why Al is helping(silly, kinda) (2)

Tet (2721) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529667)

How many any rockers remeber his wife's censorship trip at the head of the PMRC?

Yep, I do, and the thought of her as first lady scares me senseless -- and I don't even live in the US! Sure, Al's done quite a good job of silencing her more militant views so his politcal coreer isn't derailed, but I'll guarantee they're still there. Interesting to note that she's now claiming it as a major politcal victory, saying she was instrumental in get parental advisory stickers put on offensive records. She was actually trying to ban them outright, and fortunately, she failed.

What else could Al Gore say? (2)

joeler (45203) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529668)

Let's not forget it was one month after Janet Reno's appointed Anne Bingaman was in office that she had the DOJ take the Microsoft case from the FTC, where they had been sitting on the evidence for years; undecided if they shoud do anything. The first attempt by the DOJ was not too sucessful, but the DOJ continued on.

Keep in mind that Haley Barbour, former head of the RNC,is a paid lobbyist for Microsoft is also a campaign advisor for George W Bush


Ny York Post Online [] ran an article titled "Microsoft waits for GOP to bail them out!" In it they suggest that George W will win, replace janet Reno and the others with more Microsoft friendly department heads!

Just what do you expect Al Gore to say to a group of influencial Microsoft employees? Can he really
afford to tell them they are screwed if he gets elected? No, the only thing he can do is say things that are not too definite, he didn't say the White house would let Micorsoft go, just that they would be involved.

As I posted before, time is running out, the DOJ could be replaced by a more Microsoft friendly group after the next election. Don't be misled
by a few, investigate all the facts before you vote next election. The Microsoft FUD machine is hard at work in Washington, has been for the last two years, they are there protecting their own interest, not the conusmer. Just because this is politics, don't get stupid.. it's still the same Microsoft using the same type of FUD, just trying to get everyone to support their candidates.

PS, I'm running late, can't do much proof reading, please excuse any typos

Re:Gore (1)

RoninM (105723) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529669)

Yeah, at least that ex-Cocaine addict guy used to have a brain. Gore, on the other hand, is running on a slightly specialized 6502 processor, which is great for running some legacy assembly apps. In fact, I've been thinking of porting over Ultima II: The Revenge of the Enchantress.

Re:Gore's war on illegal copying (2)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529670)

This is how clueless I've become, this whole time I thought the BSA was the Boy Scouts of America, like there's a new merit badge for 'Protection of Profits.'

The only real reason I can imagine for Gore to go see MS is to give them a pat on the back while saying, "Keep up the crumby security, you're doing the intelligence community a favor."

I'm Sorry, but... (1)

LWolenczak (10527) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529671)

The White House has no place in talks, this is a matter for the court system, not the white house, they are just trying to stick their nose into an area where The Constitution grants them No Power.

In other Words, The white house has no right to get invloved with any talks with MS. I wouldn't mind seeing MS broaken up, but the only reason the goverment is even going after MS, is because the Billions and Billions of dollors they have, because the goverment has realised, that they cannot continue to raise taxes. Perhaps if the Federal staff were reduced, and all the freebie programs started by this administration were taken away, they would not need to tax people so hevely.

They are doing the same thing with other industries, Ciggeret Industry, Guns (under the title that we need to protect the children). The people of the United States needs to wake up, and see what their elected polotitions are doing. will somebody please take the razor blade away from the wrists of the country, IE, elect new people, who are for freedom, and lower taxes, and their party name starts with a R.

Government should run the software industry (1)

dgb2n (85206) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529672)

Fresh off of their war on poverty, war on healthcare and war on big business, the administration is ready to take on control of the software industry. Doesn't this scare anyone besides me? Direct Whitehouse involvement should make everyone in the country shake their head in amazement that the government has taken on this role.

This is about power and it's obscene. I don't want Washington to decide how a private company might be split up. Is anyone stupid enough to think that this hasn't become a completely political action in the continual pattern of demonizing anyone who's worked hard and earned great wealth. Say what you want about Billy Boy but he has done more for America (creating jobs, preeminence of the US in office automation and OS software market etc.) than any of those idiots in Washington put together.

The private sector builds businesses and wealth. Government consumes it. They've screwed up public education with "feel good" but do nothing policies and centralized Washington control.

Sorry about the rant. Flame away.

Re:Some possible reasons (1)

Rendus (2430) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529673)

The executive branch, in theory and on paper, doesn't have any influence over decisions made by the Judicial branch. Legislature (spelling?) propose laws, Executive make them laws or drop them, and judicial enforce them (and make sure they don't violate anybody's rights), and no branch, again in theory, has the authority to interfere in another's operation....

Of course, in practice things don't happen this way.

Gates: Microsoft may be involved politics (1)

vr (9777) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529674)

Bogus News [localhost] reports that Bill Gates visited the White House today, and stated that ".. he expected Microsoft to be involved in any decisions concerning national politics."

Comments on Slashdot [] say that "..Gates need public exposure. Everyone thinks he has no brain.", and "Linux Rulez!".

Watch out for Microsoft USA 2000, coming to a fishingboat near you.

Where you smell politicians there's cash... (1)

Aladdin Sane (98532) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529675)

Cut off from Chinese contribution funds, Bore is confronted with an opportunity to encourage spendthrift (in a political sense) tech firms to increase their bribes to public officials^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^ H^H^H^H^H^H campain contributions. After all, look at what constant hounding got for charity!

He went there to sniff Bill's wallet (1)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529676)

politics is such a thinly veiled influence peddling racket - with W's war chest bulging at the seams Big Al has to snuggle up to some real loud free speech. Whether he fires up the bullhorn and shouts, "We must leave business alone to innovate and create jobs!" or "We must protect consumer rights!" all depends on how many zero's are on the soft money check.

How's that for cynicism?
Reporting from the Gerrymandered Bob Scott district, this is


Calling a spade an fscking shovel (1)

the Epopt (106274) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529677)

Neutral terms such as "prohibited copying" or "unauthorized copying" are available for use instead. Some of us might even prefer to use a positive term such as "sharing information with your neighbor."

Rather than mealy-mouthed exulpation, some of us might prefer accurate terms like "theft."


translation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1529678)

Qucik & dirty translation:

AL Gore to Microsoft:

If Microsoft continues to support Goerge W 100% and he wins, you are free, however, if you continue to support George W exclusively, and he loses, look out! It's far better to hedge your bets, because, as you know the White House will be involved in the final decision.

This is a wake up call to Microsoft, if you want to play hard ball in politics, you better be ready
to take a few good hits.

But thats the most effective kind of President! (1)

Shanoyu (975) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529679)

In the age of the Constitutional Aristocracy, (George Mason was right, Hamilton Madison and Jay appear to have evuntally been wrong. :P) you must have money to have a place in government, if you do not have money you must have some medium that everyone listens to and respects, unfortunately to have that you must have money. In this brave new age, if you don't donate money to political campaigns you are 'shaken down' so to speak, and if you do then the people tend to be shaken down.

A New York Post story said Bill Gates donated to GWB's campaign to help him win the election then be able to have him get him off the hook. Sadly it appears GWB might be the lesser of the evils simply because hes accepted money from so many people that if he does one thing for one contributor he'll betray another.

Therefore it is a sad fact of american politics that the most effective elected officals are the ones who do nothing at all, after all you can't get them to do anything meaningful for the people except lamer laws that look like they do something but are really quite trivial. This is why we want John McCain to win, who claims he'll reform all of this, but unfortunately he'll probaly lose to GWB because he has more money and the vast majority of americans who vote don't think, and instead preform block voting techniques and vote for everyone with their political affiliation by their name, the winner of the elections is always the person who can harness the 'ethnic votes' like how Al Gore and GWB are both trying to speak in spanish every so often so they can get the Mexicans to go out and vote for them, and if you can't harness the ethnic votes your next best bet is to just unleash a huge ad campaign and create a rockstar-type fasade, (or in Bill Clintons case, hes accused of alpha male.)

Say, what the HECK were you brits thinking when you got rid of the house of lords one redeeming factor? Oh well, welcome to the world of constitutional aristocracy!

-[ World domination - ]-

This is awesome! (1)

jdube (101986) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529680)

Who else do you want involved with this thing? I mean, come on, the guy made the internet! And on top of that he invented algorithms, too. Get it? Al-Gore-Ithms? AHAHAHAHhhhh... *sigh*

If you think you know what the hell is really going on you're probably full of shit.

So if I understand your argument.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1529681)

You're saying it's not just about right or wrong in this case. There's also Anti-Microsoft and Pro-Microsoft. The current administration is Anti-Microsoft so they want to punish MS, but the next administration might be Pro-Microsoft and take it easy on them.

Wow...and all this time I thought it was about coming to a decision based solely on the facts, not on any bias one may have for or against Microsoft or on the hopes that the "right" result might further one's political career. I mean, every time someone disagrees with the DOJ's arguments, everyone here on Slashdot just says, "Did you even read the FoF, it's full of facts after all!"

Oh my God!! Is it possible the Joel Klein and the 19 State Attorneys General have motivations beyond helping the poor American consumer? Could they possibly be using this case as a means to further their own political career? Do you mean to tell me if Microsoft has just spread a few dollars around before this all got started it could have been avoided? Say it ain't so - aren't courts of law are set up in such a way that emotional arguments and personal biases don't matter one bit. It's all about facts and nothing else, right?

What's next...will we find O.J. is guilty after all? Well, no, I guess not. The courts did decide he wasn't guilty and if I can't question the courts on the MS antitrust issue, then it stands to reason I can't question the courts on O.J. either. After all...facts is facts.

The finest politicians money can buy. (1)

packrat (93184) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529682)

Now if only the US had regulated the level of bribes... er... political contributions, then perhaps this could be a way to bankrupt Microsoft...

John McCain for president. (1)

Shanoyu (975) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529683)

If there is anyone who has a shot at fixing this mess it is him, unfortunately I don't think he can campaign against forbes and GWB for the nomination, although if GWB is the man he might get the nod for Veep, and get in from there, since GWB and John McCain are friends. Of course that strategy isn't working for Gore, heh.

Still, vote John McCain.

-[ World domination - ]-

Re:Calling a spade an fscking shovel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1529684)

"Theft" is better than calling it "piracy". I don't see women being raped, men being killed, ships being scuttled and coastal villages razed when I let someone "borrow" my windows 98 CD.

"theft" is, at least, relatively free of emotional connotations.

Re:Gore (1)

PD (9577) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529685)

Hahahaha! Bill Clintons brain is an overclocked 486/66. But's he's got one of those overhead projectors and specialized MPEG hardware for looking at pr0n.

Instead of talking to each other.... (1)

Harv (102357) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529686)

This seems a perfect opportunity to let the Vice President know just how welcome it would be for the White House to intervene. Oh, and put ABC News in as a 'cc' on your email. I won't both giving this group the email addresses; I'm sure you can find them.
Instead of chewing on this with each other, why not strike a blow for effective Internet feedback?

Re:Gore (0)

Ralph Bearpark (2819) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529687)

Yeah, a real well deserved Score:2 comment there.

Regards, Ralph.

Re:Gore (1)

Shanoyu (975) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529688)

And in turn the perfect opp. for a -1 score.

People who complain about Score:2's and Score:1's should be shot.

-[ World domination - ]-

IBM sort of did, (1)

Shanoyu (975) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529689)

Unfortunately they never really did get anywhere with the IBM trial, since IBM didn't have a monopoly. And they definately did not get to this point, so there was no real reason for IBM to bribe anyone. I'm going to go looking over for some prescidents like this but I doubt i'll find any, this is like the first time anything like this has ever happened, isn't it? (And by 'this' I am speaking of the operating system monopoly and the company being told that it cannot sell it's products at whatever price it chooses, kinda silly but intresting at the same time.)

-[ World domination - ]-

Re:So if I understand your argument.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1529690)

You?re windoze dumbquotes are giving you away:

You?re saying it?s not

Didi you know that when you post from newer versions of Windoze, you're apostrophes and quotation marks get replaced by non-ASCII, non-ANSI, non-UNICODE, microsoft "extensions" to the internationally agreed character set?
Thought not. It makes it easy to tell who's a Windoze Troller though..

Our Freedoms - Support MS PLEASE! (1)

SL33Z3 (104748) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529691)

What do you mean if politicians get involved? They are already involved. They have been. It's all fun and games until it's not in your favor. I'm not the biggest Microsoft-lover out there, but I dont' hate them by any means. I have one of their certifications. I also don't like some of the things they do. But when the political mess was all AGAINST Microsoft (and it still is I might add), all the *nix camps sat back and laughed about it and said it was great -- about time. But when Microsoft figures out that this whole case was caused because they forgot to grease some palms along the way, everyone gets upset. Politics works both ways. This whole charade was made because someone wasn't happy that MS had all that money and they weren't giving any of it to "compaign contribution" or lobbying as they like to call it. OK. So this may be flamebait of sorts, but it's neccessary flamebait. You can't have a discussion about this without stepping on someone's toes.

My point in this whole jumbled rant is that the politicians always try to get involved. Sometimes you like what they are "restricting". Sometimes you are NOT. You cheer for the governement when you like what they are doing and you complain when you don't. My contention is that you should complain all the time. Government regulation will bite you in the ass in the end. Whether it's an agreement between the Gov't and the NAACP to remove GOOD literature from the school system, a fight to take the right to freedom OF religion away from people (notice it says freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM religion), or whatever your cause. If you support the governement in taking away those rights because you don't agree with them, I promise you it will come back to haunt you later. This is no different. If you don't want the governement stepping in when Linux or BSD or whatever OS makes it's way to the top, then I highly suggest you support Microsoft in this struggle to free themselves from Government regulation. It will only restrict YOUR freedom by siding with the government.

Nuff said - kill my karma and flame me for whatever reason you feel neccessary.


Re:About as surprising as a shark eating fish. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1529692)

What's next? Guns, hopefully!

Re:Calling a spade an fscking shovel (1)

timftbf (48204) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529693)

Rather than mealy-mouthed exulpation, some of us might prefer accurate terms like "theft."

Accurate in what sense? If the Gnu Manifesto the quote comes from is to be believed (and I have no reason to doubt the quality of RMS' research), then legally infringement of one of the various forms of IP legislation is categorically *not* theft.

As to whether it's morally accurate to call it theft, we can all sit and argue that one until... well, a *very* long time from now. You certainly can't take it as an accepted truth.


Why Not?? Father and Son Theory :-) (1)

cansecofan22 (62618) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529694)

Why wouldn't he want to get involved. He did, after all, invent the Internet. Microsoft now wants to be a leader of the Internet revolution. It just makes sense that he would want to be a part of it, its like father and son. No, really, the White House should have nothing to do with this issue. They need to just step back and let the DOJ take care of it.

Re:great whats next.. has sex with gates wife? (1)

Oms (16745) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529695)

come on.. the white house is getting involved with microsoft? isnt this like a violation of judicial proceedings? they should stay the heck out of it and somebody should hack microsoft into seperate companies and enjoy the prosperity that comes from that.. my 2 cents

Hello moderators? Why did this get moderated down as "Flamebait"? Seems to me a perfectly reasonable and interesting comment. The executive getting involved in business of the judicial really is like Gore having sex with... well, maybe not Bill's wife... I know! With Janet Reno!

Re:Don't be ridiculous (2)

CormacJ (64984) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529696)

depends if it hits the Supreme court though...

Stop the Ceaseless Advance of the Borg! (1)

Ereinion (57056) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529697)

Surely it's time to change that stupid, stupid Borg icon on MS stories? There's been so many of them in the past couple of weeks, it's getting old...
It's like 'Windoze' or 'Micro$oft' - OK, it was mildly amusing the first time, but after a few YEARS it starts to wear a little thin, no?

It's very simple: (3)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529698)

Al Gore needed exposure and money for elections. He scheduled the meeting with what perceived as the most "advanced" company in the area that he is supposed to support, expecting to get positive PR from it to himself, declare his support for everything Microsoft does and look good overall. However before he arrives things turn ugly, and Microsoft suddently has a lot of dirt that Al Gore doesn't want to associate himself with. Microsoft sees any public event with Al "Is there some embarrassing statement about technology I haven't made yet?" Gore as possible PR disaster if anything antitrust-related is mentioned, so they are trying to keep press away.

Al Gore realizes that considering his past praise of Microsoft, meeting behind closed doors will arise suspicions that he is either trying to help Microsoft using his current position, or promise support in the future if he will be elected, so to avoid being perceived as corrupt politician he demands to allow press at the meeting, and tries to avoid the whole issue of Microsoft troubles to be mentioned. Microsofties are trying to play along, however not being politicians they fail to realize that any mentioning of lawsuit will force Al Gore to either declare his support of Microsoft and be at risk of losing points in political battles, or declare the support of government in attempt to keep the image of "supporter of technology". So few dumbasses ask him about antitrust lawsuit, and Al Gore tries to play safe. Yet, not being smart enough to understand where he should switch into "I have no comment and no promises" mode, he gives in, and makes vague, stupid-looking promise to "do something about that" despite being in no position to do that.

Re:great whats next.. has sex with gates wife? (0)

Oms (16745) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529699)

On second thought, what with the current version of the Executive branch, it wouldn't surprise me at all. The Mrs. Gates/Janet Reno thing, that is. The White House has been quite keen on the subject of extramarital sex the past few years... :-)

Bush is nothing but a mouthpiece for business (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1529700)

Of course George W. would bail them out. He's proven nothing about himself other than he's a good crony for business. (And, well, he's really proven nothing else about himself, because he's so damn inarticulate. Let the money do the talking!) It just amazes me that there are still people in our country that 1) feel that businesses can do no wrong, 2) that businesses need no regulation because they can do no wrong and 3) business has our best interests at heart. Once Bush is coronated, we'll get exactly what we all seem to want. Greater loss of personal freedom coupled with the greater expansion of freedoms for business. By the time I'm sixty, I expect that every child in our country will be incorporated at birth, so that they can have some semblance of rights as a citizen.

Re:Violence is never right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1529701)

The number of "votes" is irrelivent; M$ made it right by their own actions - they deserve to get back some of what they've dished out for the last ten years.


From the newsroom (2)

Zoltar (24850) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529702)

AP Newswire - 11/16/1999 - Microsoft purchases the rights to Pokemon

In what can only be described as a bizarre transaction today Microsoft announced they have purchased the rights to Pokemon, which will be renamed to microsoft-e-mon.
A very happy Bill Gates had this to say about the announcement: "We are thrilled to own the rights to Pokemon. We have been looking for a way to help children to learn about Microsoft at a very early age and we feel this will be a terrific avenue for them. At Microsoft we have always focused on our customers and innovated to meet there needs, this acquisition fits well with our strategy. God Bless America !"

An official spokesperson for Microsoft talked further about Microsoft's strategy for microsoft-e-mon. "All microsoft-e-mon toy figures will now be bundled with the state of the art browser IE5. We have always felt that children of all ages could benefit from our internet innovations, we look forward to being an integral part of the formative years of all children." The spokesman continued, "In an effort to teach children to be responsible and innovative we will also be charging a $5 per month licensing fee for all microsoft-e-mon toys. This nominal fee will help kids to learn about part time jobs and making monthly payments, skills which will benefit them as they become adults. At Microsoft we love children and are thrilled to finally be able to help them. God Bless America"

it's an election year. (1)

lophophore (4087) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529703)

Of course AlGore wants to get involved. First he will figure out which way the popular wind blows, then he'll adopt that as his platform. He doesn't care about "the right to innovate" any more than the right to operate in a balanced, free market, without getting squished like a bug. He just wants to be president.
there are 3 kinds of people:
* those who can count

Re:Calling a spade an fscking shovel (1)

fwr (69372) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529704)

The problem with whatever term is used to describe the action is that now there is a large body of software that is NOT prohibited from being distributed. The advocates of intellectual property would like people to believe that copying or sharing ANY software, whether it is actually prohibited from being distributed by it's authors or not, is bad, "evil" and morally wrong because it "harms" "good" people trying to make an "honest" living with their IP. This is the subtle, subconcious manipulation, that gets those who believe they have a right to give away their IP (if you even believe in such a thing) to others so upset.

So, yes, you can use "theft" or "piracy" or any other term with bad connotations you want. However, I believe to be truely "fair" one must use a term that indicates the act itself, sharing or copying software with others, is in and of itself not a "bad" or wrong act. Only when done with the "IP" of others without their permission is this a "wrong" act. So, that's why there is a "problem" with the way everyone currently refers to the practice.

so --- sorry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1529705)

buzzz - wrong answer. the doj is a tool of the executive.

thank you for playing.

Algor-ithms and the natural dynamics of... (1)

rootrot (103518) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529706)

government. First off, of course A. Gore invented the net as he is the father of algor[e]-ithms.

Secondly, I do not think it should come as any suprise that the Whitehouse would want to keep an finger/be involved with this settlement. Our government has a history of being involved with *major* corportate events, particularly when such events involve the judical branch. I wager Congress will also get in the act.

With all due respect, it is the beauty or bane of a political system based on checks and balances. I would be considerably more concerned if the other branches of the government simply ignored what was happening in the judiciary.

Whether you are for or against the Court's action, you must admit that it is going to have far-reaching implications for the corporate, economic and political arenas. The Whitehouse would be derelict in its responsibilities if it did not have some form of involvement.

That said, the nature of the involvement One one hand, they should be involved in some form. On the other, they have no business interferring with the function of the judiciary branch. So they walk a thin line in which they lose no matter which side they "step over" on. This is to say, if they get "involved" they will be derided for interferring with another branch of the government. If they stay too remote, they will be accused of, literally, not being involved enough in the process. I really do see this as a loose-loose situation for virtually everyone *except* MicroSith.


Re:Our Freedoms - Support MS PLEASE! (1)

HaKn5La5H (32015) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529707)

"But when Microsoft figures out that this whole case was caused because they forgot to grease some palms along the way, everyone gets upset. Politics works both ways. This whole charade was made because someone wasn't happy that MS had all that money and they weren't giving any of it to "compaign contribution" or lobbying as they like to call it."

Polititions know not to expect money from the silicon valley. They do get some, and they appreciate it, but there is no relable contributer there. They don't expect money from these companies-any of them.

Re:About as surprising as a shark eating fish. (1)

TheHornedOne (50252) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529708)

Maybe next time voters will vote Libertarian and endorse a society where people's right to buy (or not to buy) software of their choice is respected.

You Fail To Understand that this is the very right that is being assailed by Microsoft's business practices. They don't WANT YOU to have have the choice to buy a non-Microsoft product or use an electronic service that they don't derive profit from. As a card-carrying Libertarian you seem to welcome the intrustion into your field of choice of an institution that does not have your interests at stake. This is always so charmingly *naive* about Libertarians, esp. when they discuss the Microsoft case.

Re:Calling a spade an fscking shovel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1529709)

"Rather than mealy-mouthed exulpation, some of us might prefer accurate terms like "theft.""

Theft is absolutely not the correct term either. Theft includes taking a physical object from someone. Theft always results in someone taking something from another, that the victim loses a physical object.

Making your own copy of someones copyrighted material is not theft since you're not taking anything away from the "victim". What you simply do is ignoring that you need the copyright holders permission to make a copy of his work.

It's an illegal act, but if it's an immoral act can be debated to the end of the world, I'd say it depends on the circumstances.

(who is at work and doesn't have his Slashdot password handy).

6502 (1)

angelo (21182) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529710)

Gore, on the other hand, is running on a slightly specialized 6502 processor

Nonono, that chip is reserved for Especially surly robots from the year 3000 like Bender (it was in the last episode just on)

Re:Some possible reasons (1)

fwr (69372) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529711)

It depends on what you mean by interfere, of course. The executive branch is the one prosecuting the case, so they obviously have some influence on the outcome of the case. If they are very strongly prosecuting the case then there is a greater "chance" that the Judicial branch will find that more laws were violated, or the laws were violated more blatantly, than if the Executive branch prosecuted the case "lightly" or with reduced force.

So, no, the Executive branch has no "direct" influence on the Judicial branch and what they find/rule. However, they definately have an indirect influence which does not conflict with the separation of powers. They certainly are not directly forcing or impelling the Judicial branch to make any particular finding/ruling.

Why does any politician get involved... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1529712)

He is sending a clear signal to Microsoft to pass over the loot^H^H^H^Hcampaign contributions to insure 'favorable' treatment at DOJ. There is precedent, Bush had DOJ back off in 1994.

Re:Our Freedoms - Support MS PLEASE! (1)

SL33Z3 (104748) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529713)

Yes they do. This was a wake-up call to the rest of Silicon Valley as much as anyone. The whole reason this case went as far as it did is because those in the government were tired of not getting anything from the industry. How dare we make money and not give them more than our 40%-60% in taxes? By attacking the big guy they are showing everyone that if you don't pet the cammel properly, it's bound to spit.


Re:Its always about politics, never about justice (1)

medcalf (68293) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529714)

Any legally created entity (such as a corporation) which has special favors granted it under the law (such as exemption from individual prosecution for the executives [for business decisions]) is already subject to regulation by the entity (such as the Federal government) which created that organization's special status under the law. No additional "precedent" is needed for the government to regulate this industry, just as no precedent would be needed for the government to regulate any corporation in any industry in the US.


Gore + Microsoft = Questions (1)

doogieh (37062) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529715)

If Al Gore becomes involved in a settlement of the MS case during his presidential campaign, it's good for him as free PR, but is good for everyone else?

First, how much do we want politicians interfering with the judicial process?

Second, MS told Gore, a few years ago, that if the antitrust trial was too severe, they would "pack their bags and move to India". Isn't Gore making himself vulnerable now--he has to find a "good" solution, or he won't become prez?

Last, let's just remember how Gore championed the Telecom Act of 1996 as a great source of competition; then we saw the largest stream of anticompetitive telecom mergers in the history of the US. Is this the person we want settling the MS case?


Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1529716)

Had it been made by an Anonynmous Coward, it wouldn't have been Score:2, probably -1 or less. But since it was non-anonymous...

Off Topic - But Provoked (1)

Ralph Bearpark (2819) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529717)

Ditto yourself of course. People who complain about people who complain etc.

Fact is, the moderation/karma thing is looking a little broken at the moment. But as the good Cmdr says: "don't worry about it. There are glitches but they aren't what you think they are."


Regards, Ralph.

Re:Government should run the software industry (1)

Epeeist (2682) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529718)

> I don't want Washington to decide how a private company might be split up.

So let's invert the quote, would you be happy for a private company to decide who should be in government?

> The private sector builds businesses and wealth. Government consumes it.

So change the government. You have a (small) say in what government gets voted in. What say do you have in who runs companies and their policies?

Um, huh? (2)

Wakko Warner (324) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529719)

There's almost no support whatsoever in Silicon Valley for Microsoft. Ask around. Nobody likes them there; they're seen as outsiders.

I'd think he'd get a lot more support by asking the DOJ to tear Microsoft to shreds, which, if you've read the article, he seems to be hinting at.

- A.P.

"One World, one Web, one Program" - Microsoft promotional ad

Pedantry (1)

Ralph Bearpark (2819) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529720)

Interestingly, an Anonynmous Coward post would get scored 1 (or 2 if /. loves you) as it is not an Anonymous Coward post (Score:0).

You really have to be Anonymous to be Anonymous.

Regards, Ralph.

Re:About as surprising as a shark eating fish. (3)

phil reed (626) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529721)

Maybe next time voters will vote Libertarian and endorse a society where people's right to buy (or not to buy) software of their choice is respected.

I have a simple question about your analysis: What happens if there is no effective choice, and that continuing lack of choice is enforced by the company providing the only possiblity?


Re:Don't be ridiculous (1)

orcrist (16312) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529722)

depends if it hits the Supreme court though...


If a Republican is elected...
and If a spot on the Supreme Court becomes vacant
and If the Republican nominates a judge based on an antitrust litmus test
and If a Senate hasn't been elected which would refuse to confirm such a candidate
and If this new Justice is confirmed by the time the case is heard there
and If his vote is a deciding one...

Then it depends.

If Microsoft is basing their legal strategy on this string of events, then their lawyers are cheating them worse than Microsoft cheats its consumers!


I think I'll vote for Al. (1)

nevets (39138) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529723)

On my way to work this morning, they covered this on NPR. It was much more interesting to hear what he had to say then to just read it. The MS employees really tried to hit him with these questions. One, being in the position that he's in (VP), he can't comment on the trial. But to say that the case is "sound" with confidence was actually shocking for me to hear. He didn't seem to "around the bush" talk. To me it stood out how he felt about the case, and that he's telling these people what they don't want to hear. I haven't seen a politician do that in a long time. Al didn't back down on any of these questions. Although they all started no comment, he continued to have sayings about how he felt.

After one person said "I'll try not to repeat the question, but I work for Microsoft..." and Al just interupted by saying "How many of these are we going to have?" and the audience all laughed. Another question that hits him with government stopping MS from joining the Internet, Al said that "For a company that has a large market share in one area, for them to use that to keep others out of another area, is not the American way."

All in all, I was impressed at how he stood up the best he could. Answering without answering. I think he just got my vote.

Steven Rostedt

Re:As a US citizen.. (2)

phil reed (626) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529724)

.. I really don't have much influence either.


Re:But thats the most effective kind of President! (1)

A Big Gnu Thrush (12795) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529725)

This is why we want John McCain to win

The scariest thing about this rambling, xenophobic post is that it is written in first person plural. Is there someone sitting on this guy's lap as he types? We must know!

Bill (Clinton) needs a domestic legacy. (1)

ShieldWolf (20476) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529726)

As a Canadian I may be a little off here, but this is an outsiders take:

Bubba, after the impeachment, is now a lame-duck president with 14 months to go. He is a student of history, and knows well that his place in presidential annals will not be profound. He has tried to make sweeping domestic policies but has been stymied by a Republican Congress, e.g. Health Care reform. He has then turned to Foreign policy e.g. N. Ireland, Middle East, etc. But Billy (Clinton) knows that no one in the US really remembers foreign policy and so he sees his one last chance for an effective domestic policy: breaking up the largest company in the world (Microsoft). It is lasting, powerful, and a worthy legacy. Of course their is another powerful Billy who may just have other ideas...


I hate to spoil an argument with facts, but... (2)

phil reed (626) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529727)

I'm not so sure. Gore was at Microsoft yesterday, and spent most of his question-and-answer session saying "no comment" whenever questions about the trial came up. However, the comments about values that he did make in that context sounded like he was on the side of the judge. There was an extensive NPR story on it this morning. Check the NPR web site - they should have a Real-Audio recording of it in a couple of hours.


Garnering Techie Votes? (1)

gssphrek (107753) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529728)

I really believe there is the possiblility of Gore attempting to get garner some techie votes.... which is the only reason I can see the White hooouse getting involved in this. Afterall, it's difficult to miss the collective distatste for M$, and it would make sense to make friends of the techies, especially after "inventing the internet" the way Gore did, and proving his idiocy to us all.

Why? (1)

G27 Radio (78394) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529729)

Obviously Gore is defending the Internet that he and Gates have been working so hard to create. (Please don't confuse this with the Internet everyone else has worked so hard to create.)


Govenment should enforce the law (5)

Zach Frey (17216) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529730)

This is about power and it's obscene. I don't want Washington to decide how a private company might be split up. Is anyone stupid enough to think that this hasn't become a completely political action in the continual pattern of demonizing anyone who's worked hard and earned great wealth.

Boo hoo hoo -- let's all feel sorry for the poor oppressed billionaire, being persecuted by the Big Evil Gub'mint.

Bill's company is not in court for being sucessfull, but for breaking the law. Repeat that over and over until it sinks in -- "it's not about success, it's about crime." (Of course, anti-trust law is funny in that you have to be successful in order to have the means to break these laws -- but if Bill & Co. are so smart, and have so many lawyers on their payroll, you'd think they'd have heard of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act before now ...)

Say what you want about Billy Boy but he has done more for America (creating jobs, preeminence of the US in office automation and OS software market etc.) than any of those idiots in Washington put together.

I do not subscribe to the theory that "what's good for Bill Gates is good for America."

All of these points (net job creation, American business dominance) are ... arguable. There's certainly some folks at Netscape who would claim that Bill didn't help build jobs at their company ...

Regardless, we must come back to the basic point: Microsoft broke the law. The DOJ action is not an example of government out of control -- it is an example of the goverment doing its job to enforce the (democratically enacted) law.

Sheesh. Might as well feel sorry for those sucessful businessmen, the cocaine smugglers, when they tangle with government law enforcement. I suppose they ought to try using the defense that they are simply hard-working capitalist entrepeneurs, and that the goverment ought to leave private companies alone and not tell them how to run their business ...

The poor have sometimes objected to being governed badly; the rich have always objected to being governed at all.
-- G. K. Chesterton, "The Man Who Was Thursday"

Re:Calling a spade an fscking shovel (2)

A Big Gnu Thrush (12795) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529731)

I have no reason to doubt the quality of RMS' research

What "research" went into the GNU Manifesto? What "research" went into the statement about piracy?

None. It's an opinion. A reasonably well-argued opinion at times, but not one supported by research.

Re:Gore (1)

zigzag (2071) | more than 14 years ago | (#1529732)

You seem to be seriously out of touch. First, it is not true that "Everyone thinks he has no brain". More like, everybody thinks he has no personality.

More importantly, don't confuse attitudes here at Slashdot with general public opinion. Most people do not see Microsoft as the "evil empire". Instead, they see the government as the greatest threat to their well being. A recent Gallop poll showed that over seventy percent of computer users favor Microsoft in the antitrust suit. (People can be so clueless.)

I'm hugely disappointed that Gore would interfere at this point. Since we've already heard that Bush would step in on Microsoft's side, I was hoping that the judge could impose a remedy before a new administration was in place. The last thing we need is for a politician to jump in because he thinks there's votes in it for him.
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