Monday, May 14
Microsoft wakes up and smells the coffee, and it smells like doom:
So Microsoft took the third choice, which was to begin licensing its patents to other companies in exchange for either royalties or access to their patents (a "cross-licensing" deal). In December 2003, Microsoft's new licensing unit opened for business, and soon the company had signed cross-licensing pacts with such tech firms as Sun, Toshiba, SAP and Siemens.(My italics.)
At the same time, Smith was having Microsoft's lawyers figure out how many of its patents were being infringed by free and open-source software. Gutierrez refuses to identify specific patents or explain how they're being infringed, lest FOSS advocates start filing challenges to them.
They're screwed, and they know it. And like the even more thoroughly screwed SCO, they're going after soft targets:
Since the GPL covered only distributors of Linux, nothing stopped Smith from seeking royalties directly from end users - many of which are Fortune 500 companies. He would have to proceed carefully, however, because most of those users were also major Microsoft customers.Indeed. It's a protection racket.
"It was a conversation that one needed to have in a thoughtful way," says Smith, with obvious understatement. In 2004, Microsoft began having those conversations, and Smith claims they were cordial. "Companies are very sensitive to the importance of protecting intellectual property," he says, "because ultimately they know that their own businesses similarly turn on [such] protection."
That's illegal, guys.
Expect to see the lawsuits start flying, and soon.
Thursday, May 03
top - 08:36:44 up 19 min, 1 user, load average: 0.02, 0.05, 0.01
Tasks: 128 total, 1 running, 127 sleeping, 0 stopped, 0 zombie
Cpu0 : 0.7% us, 0.3% sy, 0.0% ni, 99.0% id, 0.0% wa
Cpu1 : 1.0% us, 0.3% sy, 0.0% ni, 98.6% id, 0.0% wa
Cpu2 : 0.7% us, 0.0% sy, 0.0% ni, 98.6% id, 0.7% wa
Cpu3 : 0.0% us, 0.0% sy, 0.0% ni, 100.0% id, 0.0% wa
Swap: 2096472k total, 0k used, 2096472k free, 105208k cached
I have three of these coming - two today and the third tomorrow. Between them I now have the equivalent of two Sun E10Ks to run mee.nu.
Well, not the memory or the I/O bandwidth, but the CPU.
Tuesday, May 01
With the handy-dandy i.MX31!
It's the latest ARM chip from Freescale (nee Motorola). ARM11 core with clock speeds up to 665MHz, includes vector coprocessor, hardware MPEG-4 encode and decode, camera sensors (two) and LCD interfaces (also two), 2D and 3D graphics hardware*, SD, Memory Stick, CF, PCMCIA and ATA interfaces, USB 2.0 host/device/OTG support, and a whole bunch of UARTs for various purposes.
All in a package 14mm square and using a mere... actually, they don't seem to specify the overall power consumption anywhere... and costing just $20 in 1k quantities.
No built-in networking or chip interconnects, but that seems to be the only real downside.
I'm thinking 128MB of memory, 512MB of flash, and a 6" 640x960 screen. I'll take two.
* Though the 3D hardware isn't great by modern standards. Somewhere between PS1 and PS2 performance, and closer to PS1 at that. On the other hand, the graphics module uses 40mW at full speed.
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