TMLutas' blog posts can now be found at Flit(tm)

August 23, 2003

IBM, Pay Me !

Posted by TMLutas

I can trash talk SCO with the best of them. I've got a blog and I'm not afraid to use it. So where's my check? I could use the money.

According to SCO's CEO, "You've got all of these guys and it looks like the whole world is coming against SCO. It's really IBM that has wired in all of these relationships," he said. "That's why it looks like they're sitting back and not doing anything. It's us fighting a whole bunch of people that they put on the stage."

Color me unimpressed. At the recent SCO Forum, they finally unwrapped some code that they claim was infringing by flashing a few lines on a screen for about 15 seconds. Unfortunately for SCO, they were dumb enough to give out the presentation Powerpoint to a journalist without making said journalist sign an NDA. This led to a devastating analysis by Bruce Perens which shows that SCO is at best incompetent and possibly criminal. Eric Raymond pursues the criminal angle a little more forcefully. "You have a choice. Peel off that dark helmet and deal with us like a reasonable human being, or continue down a path that could be bad trouble for us but will be utter ruin — quite possibly including jail time on fraud, intellectual-property theft, barratry, and stock-manipulation charges — for you and the rest of SCO's top management."

ESR's blog is the delightfully named armed and dangerous. The most dangerous weapon in existence is the human mind. From the evidence uncovered so far, it looks like Darl McBride is bringing a knife to a gunfight.

Fading away

Posted by TMLutas

The Economist -- Half a billion Americans?

"But assume, for a minute, that Americans remain, as they are now, about one-third richer per head than Europeans. The high-series projection implies that America's economy in 2050 would still be more than twice the size of Europe's—and something like that preponderance would still be there even if you assume that by then much of Central and Eastern Europe will have joined the EU."

Stratfor -- U.S. Dollar Steams Ahead, but No Euro Crash Pending Aug 22, 2003 [subscription only so no link]

"On the economic front, the U.S. economy has outgrown the European economy for seven consecutive quarters, and by any measure -- productivity, unemployment, business investment, currency flows, stock markets, etc. -- the United States clearly is leaving Europe behind. This is not particularly new. In fact, with the exception of three quarters during the 2001 recession, this has been the state of affairs since the end of the Cold War."

Let's assume that the time period is 1990 q1 - 2003 q2 so we have a period of 54 quarters. For 51 of the 54 quarters the US grew faster. Is it reasonable that the Economist's assumption will hold true that the US will only be 1/3 richer than the EU in 2050? Read the article and you will find a tale of woe about the EU falling behind in population with rising costs as far as the eye can see while US dependency costs stabilize with a new boom of US children coming online into the working world about 2030. If Stratfor's correct though, the Economist might actually have been optimistic about Europe's comparative future.

Advancing the arts and sciences II

Posted by TMLutas

The bottom line, both pragmatically and constitutionally, for any discussion of US patents and copyrights is whether a particular innovation advances the progress of the arts and sciences. The Washington Post (reprinted in the Detroit New) has an article on the subject. Unfortunately, the US government has squelched an effort of WIPO to host a meeting on open source software and how its different model of intellectual property protection does just that, advance the arts and sciences.

This is a shame and an outrage, if true. If the hallmark of property ownership is the ability to do with it what you will, intellectual property's limited monopoly privilege should have the same neutrality of usage to it as long as it fulfills its basic function to advance the arts and sciences. To shut down a discussion on a different usage model merely because it discomforts incumbent IP producers' business plans is in the worst tradition of corporatism.

Hat tip to Slashdot for making me aware of the story.

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