Strong opinions, weakly held

Month: February 2000 (page 1 of 11)

Here’s a good example of how the rich get richer. Corporations are using tax shelters to save big bucks on taxes. Despite the fact that the economy is growing like mad and companies are making money hand over fist, corporate tax receipts were actually down 2% last year. Comparatively speaking, tax receipts from individuals were up 6%.

I’m linking to this article about email monitoring only because my friend Todd is quoted in it. There’s no good reason to use your employer’s email system for personal messages these days. Get a free email account and use that. (I use ssh to connect to my Web hosting provider, and read my email there, for what it’s worth.) The article doesn’t address the real problem plaguing email systems — Powerpoint presentations sent around as attachments.

Interactive Week has an article about Microsoft’s subversion of the Kerberos standard in Windows 2000. Microsoft took an open standard and added some proprietary crap to it so it wouldn’t work with existing implementations of the standard, and is now reluctant to document the proprietary crap that they added. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

Jorn Barger has written a useful article on URL hacking. Here’s an official rc3.org URL hacking tip: everything after the .html in a CNet URL can be trashed with impunity.

Phil Agre’s most recent notes and recommendations are a good read, as always. Most interesting is his capsule history of conservativism and liberalism. You have to skip down about a quarter of the way through the document to get to it. (An until now secret aspiration of mine is to have this site mentioned in an RRE message by Phil Agre. I’ve never had the guts to send him an email recommending myself though.)

bustpatents.com looks like a pretty useful site covering patent abuse in new fields like e-commerce and bioinformatics.

Tim O’Reilly has real guts. He’s taking Amazon.com to task for their use of patents, despite the fact that Amazon.com is a huge O’Reilly customer. I already knew he cares about doing the right thing than just lining his own pockets, but this just raises my esteem for him. I also agree with Tim to such an extent that I don’t know if I’ll bother writing my own Amazon.com/patents related screed.

Yet another reason to vote against George Bush, Jr.: he doesn’t believe in our legal system. Dubya unabashedly opposes the right of individuals to recover damages from companies that commit tortuous acts. He never puts it that way, though. He also says that he wouldn’t have brought the anti-trust suit against Microsoft, which is odd, considering the fact that Texas is a participant in the states case against the Redmondians. What’s up with that?

Ars Technica has a lengthy review of Mac OS X DP3 that goes over both its technical innards and the new Aqua user interface. The review pans a lot of the new interface features. It seems like Apple is trying too hard to achieve coolness and isn’t doing enough to keep things usable.

Here’s a link to the actual Amazon.com affiliate program patent. There’s a protest site up at nowebpatents.org. I’m still putting my thoughts together on this whole thing … I’ve read a lot of interesting stuff from both sides this weekend, and I’m distilling it into a piece that’s too long for the front page. I’ll add a link to it when I’m finished.

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