Tech Week in Review

Copyright Office loves DMCA, Motorola breakthrough and Mac rumors, thoughts on the H-Paq merger, journalism or advertising, another frivolous suit against Apple, Apple follows Windows innovation, and the MacAddict CD.

Run! The DMCA is Here!

Apparently the US Copyright Office thinks the DMCA is the greatest thing since sliced bread. I find the irony of this quite shocking, since the Copyright Office is actually under the control of the Library of Congress, and libraries in particular are being hamstrung by the most asinine piece of legislation since Prohibition.

Note to ZDNet Talkback poster who, in supporting the idiotic DMCA, said software piracy was worse than rape because rape only affects one person. When a serial rapist who has been freed from prison for the fifth time in as many years because he has "good behaviour" rapes your mother/sister/daughter/wife/girlfriend/loved one, <begin very bitter mocking tone> remember that rape only affects the victim, not the victim's family or friends</bitter>.

Whew. I feel better now.

Neener, Neener, MOSR

Let's run a little informal contest. All you readers take close note of this article and then email me the date and time of day you think Mac OS Rumors will "break" a story (and boy, "story" is really the right word) about prototype G6-based Macs running at 50 GHz. Closest person to it other than Ryan Meader (sorry, Ryan, but you're not eligible) gets the honour of being — the closest person to guessing the exact date and time of Ryan making a fool out of himself yet again.

Physics in the Computer Business

Remember high school physics, where you learned about elastic and inelastic collisions? The analogy I often heard for inelastic collisions was that of two lumps of clay being throw at each other, whereupon they stick together and fall to the floor as one big lump.

I can't help but imagine this inelastic collision when I think about the HP-Compaq "merger" that was announced on Tuesday. I don't claim to have any idea how a company that big runs, but I do know that two of them that size merging in a market like this spells serious trouble for the Windows-based PC industry. I'll give HP a year before it starts fading into oblivion unless it basically kills the Compaq portion of that merger. It's a shame, too, since HP makes pretty darn good printers. Maybe I should buy Epson stock.

This Is Your Journalism Student on Drugs

I don't know who's doing the news editing at The Mac Mind these days, but this is not news. This is an ad.

Search 1000% Faster!
Monday, September 3, 2001 - Steve Salas
Are you like me? Do you hate spending up to two minutes searching on various search engines? Well, never fear — Sockho-Software has came up with a solution. From any MacOS X native application you can search simultaneously on 6 of the most popular search engines in various languages. You can find it (here.)

That's a blatant advertisement — or sure looks a helluva lot like one — for Sockho-Software. Memo to Steve Salas: I don't care if Sockho Software promised you Bill Gates's fortune. Unless you have hard data to back up that "1000 percent faster" claim, this is an advertisement. I (and, I'm sure, your readers) resent this ad being stuck in the middle of your news section like it was a real news story.

Borg Sue Apple Over Cube, Again

Remember that ridiculous lawsuit brought by Cobalt last year when the Cube was introduced, the one that alleged Apple was infringing on Cobalt's copyrighted design of a cubic computer? Remember the Imatec patent infringement case where some donkey with hands decided it would be fun to sue Apple over ColorSync? (A judge just threw that one out a few weeks ago.)

Well, it's back. This time, a "company" calling itself BIAX has filed suit against Apple for infringing on two patents assigned to BIAX for improving "the efficiency and speed of parallel processing of a computer's central processing unit." Despite the fact that BIAX has no telephone listing anywhere in the United States, including at the address named in the lawsuit, "company attorney" Jack Slobodin claims there really is such a company.

Let's play the "is-this-for-real" game. Company has no telephone listing. Company has an attorney whose last name (just coincidentally) sounds a lot like a bad translation of a former Serbian leader's first name. Company has filed suit against Apple, who, as we are so often reminded, does not make the G4 CPU — Motorola does. Company has not yet filed suit against Motorola, the obvious (and proper) target. Company has not yet filed suit against Intel, since the Pentium 4 uses technology similar to AltiVec in speeding up P4-optimised applications. Conclusion: it might be a real lawsuit, but a real judge is going to throw it out of real court real fast for being real stupid.

Editor's note: Apple has been selling multiprocessor Power Macs since August 1996, and these were based on the DayStar Genesis design released in October 1995. The BIAX patents were awarded in 1996. Where has BIAX been for the past six years?

Windows XP = Mac WHAT?

Maybe Jack Slobodin — or his client(s) — has a long-lost relative writing about Windows XP (marketing slogan: "The only original part is the P"). Read the feedback, too. It's funny. With the ridiculous claims the author makes, you'd almost think "Paul Thurrott" might be a pseudonym for Michael Dell. (Note that the article referenced has been changed at least twice since the Mac Observer broke the story about what a goon Mr. Thurrott is, and it now makes no mention of the Mac being a "copycat" of Windows at all.)

RIP, MacAddict Cover Disc

MacAddict — or, more correctly, Imagine Media, MacAddict's publisher — is now charging software developers for inclusion of their products on "The Disc." "The Disc," for those of you unfamiliar with MacAddict, is a CD-ROM full of demos, shareware, freeware, and other nifty tidbits that comes with each issue of MacAddict. Commercial developers will be hit for $5,000 — yes, five grand — for each demo, and shareware developers will be smacked with a $500 inclusion fee.

Maybe it's just me, but I think for $30/year (the subscription fee for MacAddict), Imagine Media can afford to press the CDs. This is just their way of trying to scrape some more ad revenue without raising the price of the magazine beyond its already ludicrous $30/year. I can't think of a single magazine I subscribe to — and I subscribe to a lot of them — that's worth that. MacAddict is good, but not that good.

I'm afraid this action will probably kill The Disc. As the Mac Observer noted, most shareware developers can't afford even a one-time $500 fee, let alone $500/month, and most large companies aren't going to pay $5,000/month just to distribute a crippled demo. Without software from third-party organisations on The Disc, why would Imagine Media even bother to distribute it any more?

That's all for this week. Tune in next week when TWiR takes a brief vacation and I discuss a topic you are all dying to read about — you just don't know it yet.

copyright ©2000-2004 by Chris Lawson