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Computer and Technology Show 104

Posted by michael
from the loot-galore dept.
SLUG member writes: "At the Computer and Technology Showcase this week in Clearwater, maddog was the keynote speaker, but Microsoft still thought they owned the show. There was a little confrontation out front with the guys from the Suncoast Linux Users' Group when the MS people decided they didn't like them handing out free Linux CDs and magazine. There's something about it at Newsforge." Newsforge is owned by VA Linux, which also owns Slashdot.
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Computer and Technology Show

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    The issue here isn't Microsoft vs Linux, it is PRIVATE PROPERTY. You can give away Linux CD's all you want on PUBLIC property but once you step onto my place of business then I'm going to kick you out. Why should Microsoft let people who aim to destroy them use their property?? Who the fuck do you guys think you are?? If you tried this shit on me I'd forget about the police and just cap you fools.

    Just another example of the cancer known as Linux. You hippies can't afford to rent your own space so you expect Microsoft to share theirs. Listen fags: If you want to hand out your little Linux CD's that will end up in a landfill then you should all pool your quarters and rent a convention center for a day. You can call it "Leftist Marxist GayCon" or something like that.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Oddly enough, Clearwater is also where the church of Scientology [fso.org] and anti-Scientology demonstrators [xenu.net] frequently clash. Not that I'm saying that Microsoft and Scientology [cisar.org] are similar in any way...

  • The Red Kool Aide is a referance to the Jonestown Massacre. Basically... A Waky-Guru-Type told all of his followers to practive for the end of the world by drinking a bunch of red Kool Aid. This wen't on for a few months, then one day the Kool Aid was replaced with somthing nasty. Lots of fun followed. Do a Google search for Jonestown massacre.
  • Where the heck do you get 'the middle of a display Microsoft had paid huge money to rent'? Makes it sound like they climbed into the MS booth or something.

    I read it as the entranceway TO THE HALL. The fact that MS put a big inflated thingie there hardly grants them ownership of the whole fscking building.

    If they were doing it outside the entrance, on the street, would you still consider it Microsoft's private property?

  • by Chris Johnson (580) on Friday June 01, 2001 @05:57PM (#182513) Homepage Journal
    "At the Computer and Technology Show (CTS) in Clearwater, Fla., this week, there were blue Microsoft footsteps pasted on the floor, showing the way to the sparsely populated MS demonstration area. Linux people must be smarter, or maybe just more fun. Even though they had no such navigational aids, their booth and demo floor lured thousands of visitors, and was a hive of activity on both days."

    Alright! Best slashdot news I've read all day!

    "You can't pass out free software here!" *G*

  • Ah- nice detective work! And a fair question- what about Iomega and those clicker things, and so on? Is it true that no other vendors ever give out tchochkes away from their booths?

    And yet, and yet... it doesn't really matter, does it? MS is not the only one that can fight dirty. I think the 'free-in' (like a sit in only you give people your free stuff) was a brilliant move PR-wise, intentionally or not. Why?

    "You can't pass out free software here!"

    You couldn't _pay_ for a more damaging line... and who really gives a fsck if it suggests a nepotism and unfairness that didn't really exist? Ballmer is going to great lengths to lie his ass off that using open source... USING it... forces you to give out all the source code for everything you do. He put together his little remarks very carefully, I think. The implication is plain, it's the most direct reading of his statement, and it happens to be flat nonsense and propaganda.

    Sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander. At a recent trade show, Microsoft reps cried "You can't pass out free software here!" and went to get building security to drive the peaceful Linux people away, and prevent them from even _giving_ their stuff to attendees, much less selling it. That's the story, that's the spin, that's the way it is perceived.

    Now- you can argue we should be _nobler_ than Microsoft- but isn't it interesting that without any effort at all, Microsoft can damage its position as easily as it can prop it up? This is because what MS is fighting is a difficult thing to hate- people sharing, cooperating, giving to each other willingly. So, MS has to cling to technicalities in order to try and block this cooperating and giving- and you get "You can't pass out free software here!" at the trade show- easily interpreted as indicating Microsoft's _real_ wishes, that _nobody_ should be allowed to pass out free software under any circumstances.

    I'm sorry- whether they were in the right or not, this was a colossal PR foot-shooting on Microsoft's part. They ought to fire the guy who was damnfool enough to give the world THAT quote, because it's going to haunt them, taken out of context- and so it should. War is war.

  • by Craig Maloney (1104) on Friday June 01, 2001 @08:51PM (#182515) Homepage
    Of course the big stink in all the trade papers (and the mainstream press) has been with XP's new pricing model (the "rent-to-be-owned" model) Of course Microsoft isn't going to be happy with these Linux "communists" giving away free software in front of their pavilion. Add to that the uncertainty of whether people will even upgrade to XP, and you have Microsft at it's finest paranoia point.

    "Sure you can come to the party... just don't start handing out gifts to the guests". :)

  • I am sure that nearly all of the companies at the convention are passing out "free" software. They just have to pass it out from the display booth that they paid money to rent. Otherwise all of the groups would simply camp out by the front door and throw CDs at people when they came in.

    Microsoft paid good money for their spot, and they don't want anyone else giving out swag on their rented spot.

    In other words, this is a story about freedom, but not free software. The freedom to have private property is one of the cornerstones of our society. You wouldn't like it if Microsoft came over to your house and set up a software distribution center on your front lawn, and they didn't like having their competition giving out software in a part of the convention that they had paid good money to rent.

    It's the same difference.

    Too many people have the idea that freedom means being able to do whatever the heck they want, regardless of what others may think. The convention center is not a public place. If the owners of the building don't like how you are acting, then they are well within their rights to make you stop (or kick you out).

  • I read it as the entranceway TO THE HALL. The fact that MS put a big inflated thingie there hardly grants them ownership of the whole fscking building.

    It's all the same difference. It was on private property, and it was expressly against the wishes of the owner of that property. The convention organizers want people to pay for the privilege of passing out free stuff. If this wasn't the case then everyone would simply buy a small booth and then send folks to the entrance to throw swag at the people coming in.

    Now if the Linuxers would have been on public property (with the requisite permits) then they could pass out Linux CDs all they want. That's an entirely different story.

    Once again, don't misinterpret me. I am a huge fan of Free Software. But an important part of maintaining your own personal freedom is being willing to stick up for the freedom of others. Even unpopular corporations like Microsoft. The Linuxers in question had no right to disrupt the convention. The fact that they were handing out copies of Free Software does not mean that they have the right to ignore other people's rights.

  • Generally I wouldn't respond to a post like this, but I have some time to kill...

    First of all, just because it is a munincipal building does not mean that private citizens can do whatever they want on the property. I suppose you would think it is fair game to drive up to your local Police department and set up a flea market in the parking lot. After all, it's public property! Just because your taxes paid for a (miniscule) portion of the property does not give you the right to do whatever you want there. In this case the show organizers (who probably rented the convention hall from the city, and who therefore were entitled to make the rules) had the following set of guidelines [techshows.com]. Here's an excerpt of the relevant bits.

    The distribution of samples, souvenirs, publications and the like or sales promotion activities must be conducted by Exhibitor within its booth. The distribution of any article that interferes with the activities or obstructs access to neighboring booths or that impedes aisles is prohibited.

    Microsoft was clearly within its rights to ask that the Linuxers be stopped. If Microsoft would have done the same thing, they would have been stopped too.

    Your passion for Linux is a good thing, but you really could temper that passion with a bit of understanding. If you want to be an effective Linux advocate you also should stay away from phrases like "wormbrain." They make you seem very juvenile.

  • Those are good points, and I wish the article had spent more time pointing them out. Instead it tried to turn it into a freedom issue, and it clearly wasn't. It would have been refreshing to see an article that talked about how well Linux was doing and not how Microsoft is a bunch of loser cry babies.

  • I can't imagine how this was rated as newsworthy. The whole point of conventions is to charge companies obscene amounts of money so that they can give stuff away. The more money you pay, the better location you get, and therefore the better your chances are of giving away insane amounts of stuff. Which, if you are into marketing, is a good thing.

    As for the fact that the Linuxers were giving away "Free" software, well, I would bet that Microsoft was also giving away "free" (as in free beer) software as well. So the problem obviously wasn't that these folks were giving out CDs of software. The problem was that they were doing it in the middle of a display that Microsoft had paid huge money to rent. The guard that told the crazy Linuxers to move probably has no idea that there is a difference between Free Software (as in free speech) and free software (as in AOL CDs). He just knew that Microsoft had paid for that spot, and someone else was using it.

    I am as big a fan of free software as the next guy, but that doesn't mean that I think that sharing free software justifies trespassing. I am grateful for the time and effort that goes into Free Software, but if a free software developer climbed in the window of my house to give me a CD he would do so at the risk of his life. Passing out CDs in an area of a convention hall that Microsoft had rented is no different (except for the fact slow-witted folk don't see convention floor space as private property).

    Move along folks, there's no news here.

  • OK, the guard that kicked the Linuxers out definitely did not know the difference between Free Software (as in free speech) and free software (as in free beer). He almost certainly knew that what the Linuxers were doing was contrary to the rules that the Linuxers agreed to when they signed up for the convention.

    Read about it here: [techshows.com]

    I did read the heavily biased NewsForge article. I just didn't assume that this was the entire story. The contract that someone fromt he LUG had to have signed to get them into the show specifically stated that they were not to give out stuff outside of their booth. Here's the excerpt from the contract:

    The distribution of samples, souvenirs, publications and the like or sales promotion activities must be conducted by Exhibitor within its booth. The distribution of any article that interferes with the activities or obstructs access to neighboring booths or that impedes aisles is prohibited.

    If the LUG didn't think that this was a good deal, then they shouldn't have signed the contract. Blaming Microsoft for their failure to comply with the rules simply makes these Linuxers look childish.

  • Don't know about this show...

    But at the Office XP demo in Minneapolis Microsoft gave away several thousand NFR copies of Mappoint 2002 as well as trial CD's for Sharepoint Portal Server, Visio, etc.

  • I think it's interesting that all the attention has gone to Microsoft's renting model. Especially considering it's a non-issue. You talk to the large companies and you'll find out they already do this with their Enterprise licensing.

    No the most interesting issue, which is being ignored, is the regular pricing of Office XP. I think it's priced slightly higher to begin with.

    But most importantly is read what is required to be eligible for an Upgrade.

    An existing license to Office 97 or Office 2000.

    Yep, that's right... No more competitive upgrades, no more upgrades for older product. It used to be if you owned WordPerfect or QuattroPro or Wordstar even you could upgrade to Microsoft Office.

    Not any more. You can't even upgrade if you own Office 95.

    That's the real story here, folks. Not this stupid renting crap that will never affect most people.

  • The quote from Microsoft... "You can't hand out free software here." was not referring to Free Software.

    It could have been Oracle handing out copies of Oracle 8i and the quote would have still be applicable. The issue was that they didn't have a permit to hand out stuff in that location.

    Microsoft at their Office XP demo was handing out thousands of boxes of free software. I have a copy of Mappoint 2002 from the event in Minneapolis. I also have trial versions of Sharepoint, Visio, etc.

    They've given stuff aware for free in the past, and they will in the future. That's actually the reason most of us go to these Microsoft shows.


  • You said:

    "Microsoft paid good money for their spot,
    and they don't want anyone else giving out
    swag on their rented spot."

    So excuse me... I didn't know that MicroSoft has rented THE OUTSIDE OF THE CONVENTION HALL !

    The LUG people were passing out free softwares OUTSIDE of the convention hall - OUTSIDE THE FRONT DOOR, and yeah, sure... MicroSoft HAS RENTED THAT FRONT DOOR TOO !

  • by TBone (5692) on Friday June 01, 2001 @07:46PM (#182526) Homepage

    You missed the part where the Suncoast Linux User's Group had a sponsored table at the show. That was significantly more populated by visitors than the MS booths, but that's besides the point. The point is, they paid to be there, just like MS did. And during their paid attendance, MS got pissy.

    These are the facts as attested to in the article. Now stop making up your 'probably's and 'maybe's and 'i bet that's and learn to read.

  • The issue here isn't Microsoft vs Linux, it is PRIVATE PROPERTY. You can give away Linux CD's all you want on PUBLIC property but once you step onto my place of business then I'm going to kick you out.

    ...Except that the private property involved wasn't Microsoft's, it was the hotel's/convention center's.

    Were there signs up in or leading to the area in question saying, "No admittance without XP badge?" The story does not say.

    Personally, I think it would have been a far greater coup if the alleged "gatecrashers" had purchased valid XP event badges expressly for the purpose of getting in and handing out Linux discs. Unless there was language in the "contract" accompanying badge purchase that you couldn't promote alternatives to Microsoft products, Microsoft would have had very little to say on the matter.

    Schwab

  • I hate seeing this argument so much because it give the inference that Open Source products are only better because they are free. If you think that is what Open Source is about, you missed the point.

    The strength of Open Source is it allows more eyes to scrutinize and more ideas into the camp of software development.

    Ah. But being free, that is _exactly_ what Free Software is about. If you think that the open source development model is the same philosophy as the Free Software one, you missed the point as well.

  • by FFFish (7567) on Saturday June 02, 2001 @09:10AM (#182529) Homepage
    Microsoft has Linux in its target sights. Be afraid, be very afraid.

    Above all else, remember that Microsoft is not addressing you. They're addressing your boss, who by definition is almost certainly not capable of completely understanding the complexity of the situation and by default doesn't even want to try thinking about it.

    Microsoft can and will convince the people who make the decisions to avoid Linux like the plague.

    The only chance there is to avoid this assured outcome is to gain control of the bosses' minds.

    You must couch your persuasive arguments in simple terms, as soundbite-compatible as possible. You need to implant memes that paint Microsoft with a tarry, black brush; and make Linux look like a glowing angel.

    "Linux is a cancer" is the perfect meme. It's memorable, and it's nasty.

    You much create countermemes -- and you must be able to get them publicised to the same extent that Microsoft can. And that, I suspect, is impossible. It may be impossible to win the war, simply because Microsoft owns the territory, the media, and the minds of your bosses.

    It's been suggested that "Microsoft is afraid of Linux" may be one of the better counter-memes to spread to your bosses.

    I should think we can come up with others, too.

    [this message has been brought to you by the emergency rebroadcast system]

    --
  • At least one of your points is happening. Sun recently gave the gnome team (it's somewhere at developer.gnome.org as a slideshow) a ton of information from a usability test they did. It seems that the GNOME did pretty good once a few basic things were told to the people being watched (like the little G foot thing is the GNOME logo ... then they know it was the "start menu").
  • What a creative and well funded Linux dist would do is follow AOL. They are annoying and horrible about adding plastic discs to landfills but hopefully the superiour Linux folks could do much more targeted mailings as well as some sort of sticker on the cd that would encourage people to pass it to a friend if they didn't want it rather than trash it. What AOL does is very effective. We need to package a Linux dist to be as simple as an AOL disc (or more so), not to bother their Windows installation, and to give them everything the desktop user wants in a cute little free package that magiclly arrives in the mail. Our culture likes free stuff (woah big surprise) and in general will be curious to see what the disc has on it as long as your clearly specify it isn't an AOL disc. Another cute thing AOL did was those mini discs at Blockbuster a couple years ago that people could pickup for free. That might work and be better for the enviroment.
  • This case turned out like the board game "Risk". The GOP had more "armies" (supreme court justices, etc.) in the relevant territories than the Democrats when the dice were thrown. It may not be ideal, but how else are you going to decide it?

    Personally, I think a run-off election (either just for Florida or nationally) wouldn't have been a bad solution...

  • So how does the activities of a group of people OUTSIDE the building interfere with the Microsoft activities within the building in the Microsoft booths, or block access to the aisles?

    --
  • by sharkey (16670)
    He didn't suggest that they'd have anything on them. Haven't you ever gotten an MS CD at a show? They're even less useful than a RightFAX demo CD.

    --
  • Actually you have no idea what your talking about.
    If you had read the article you might have noticed that it was a convention where we had a booth. Both the users group and my own company. Maddog and the guys were handing out copies of Linux Journal and CDs at the front door of the facility where we, as well as M$, had booths. My wife and I happened to be walking up to the front door as this happened.

    What was happening was that M$ was doing the XP launch and had a room rented for it upstairs, Maddog had been in a similiar room the day before for the keynote. M$ had erected a blowup box of XP outside the front door, and the guys were outside the same front door handing the stuff out.

    The comment about 'you can't hand out free software here' was from a M$ flunky who stated incorrectly that they had rented the facility. In actuallity they had rented part of the facility, SLUG was an official exhibitor and had just as much a right to be there.

    In fact the facilities manager did ask the SLUG guys to move, but did agree that they had a right to hand stuff out, just asked them not to do it in front of the blow up XP box thingy.

    Later on the M$ flunkies were handing out brochures and literature in front of the SLUG booth. One of the SLUG guys brought this up to them, rather aggresively saying that he was going to get the facilities manager.

    While this wasn't the most regal moment in Linux advocacy, and maybe some people need to reread the howto, but it does show just how arrogant the M$ bastards are. They believe that it is their right to control the software world and that anyone who has an opposing opinion is a kook or a nuisence.

    I personally think we ought to invite M$ to an open panel debating free vs. proprietary software that takes questions from the public at every oppurtunity we can. At every trade show or conference we should ask them to this debate. If we do this they will most likely decline, even so it will only make them look bad in the public eye and strengthen our argument that M$ does not hold the upper hand.

    So that's what happened.... quit assuming, it makes an ass out of you and me.
  • It ain't just Microsoft at computer shows that pulls these sorts of tricks...

    Last year at Manafest, one of the premier west coast RPG conventions, I got booted by the RPGA. I was second gamemaster to sign up to run a game, four months in advance. Five minutes before my game was scheduled, my game was cancelled at the request of an RPGA bigwig. I'm still not sure why.

    It was my fault really. You see, I wasn't running an AD&D game (the Windows of the RPG world). And I didn't realize that the RPGA had paid for the convention. The Manafest crew profusely apologized to me, saying that they had no choice if they wanted to RPGA there again next year. But it still leaves a bad taste in my mouth, and I'll never go to another con sponsored by the RPGA.

    Moral of the story: whoever pays for the show gets to call the shots...
  • by mwa (26272)
    How many linux zealots would put up with Microsoft guys handing out CD's in front of or near a Linux booth?

    Of what? XP? Like that's gonna happen....

  • I read the article several hours ago, so my memory may fail me, but didn't the SLUGs have a convention elsewhere in the same building? Wouldn't that mean they've paid for the privilege of giving out free stuff?

    Not necessarily... I don't know about that convention, but here in NYC at PC Expo companies pay LOTS AND LOTS of money to put banners on the outside of the Javitz Center to advertise their booths and companies.

    I bet MS paid a good bit of money to put up that display they had on the front of the building. The point is, they paid for that front-of-building advertising. The Linuxers didn't. And I love Linux, and I solely use debian now, but when I try to explain to my friends that Linux is more than a bunch of "crazy computer hackers with no real business knowledge" they can point to things like this, and I'd have no response. And that sucks.
  • Great idea; why doesn't slashdot host it? I'm sure a very public challenge (or, more judiciously, offer) for a public debate on slashdot would get noticed widely enough that it would be difficult for MS spokesdrones^H^H^H^H^H^Hpersons to decline after calling linux a cancer and a threat to democracy....

    Riiiight.... Let's have /. host a free vs. proprietary software debate with MS. That's about as fair as hosting a Civil Rights debate at the next KKK clan get-together or a debate about oil drilling amongst a bunch of oil barons.

    And that's the major problem behind setting up a debate. Both sides will never agree on a fair unbiased location or panel, and they don't need to agree, because they don't have to by law (like the Presidental Candidates do, for instance.) And whatever side loses would claim bias.

    At trade shows though it might work. Possibily distribute pamphlets with bullet points asking questions about MS, and then sitting back watching if MS responds (they do sometimes.)

    MS responds to us literature we release now. That's possibily the only way you'd get a debate going.
  • by mako (30489) on Friday June 01, 2001 @06:42PM (#182540)
    You and the point must be in different time zones so I will try and clear things up.

    It doesn't matter that Microsoft was legally correct. We are not discussing contract law here. This is what is known as *funny*. It is funny for the following reasons.
    • According to the LUG folks, more people were interested in the Linux displays than the MS displays.
    • People from the LUG were passing out free copies of GNU/Linux software. They were doing so right in front of MS type propoganda.
    • People were taking the software and were interested.
    • This bothered MS enough to have to run and whine to the building managers.
    • MS looks like a bunch of cry babies.
    See it is funny. Look at it like someone screwing with MS, and suceeding. The fact that MS is legally correct is wholly inconsequential.
  • Trust me, if you bought Windows, you already bought tons of incidents. The fact that you have to pay extra for trouble calls is another story...
  • We walked into the expo center, scooped up all the free "gifts" we could, ate lunch on Microsoft, then proceeded to the AntiPiracy booth (don't think irony was lost on us...how can you pirate Freesoftware?), stacked the CDs up, and watched them fly. We were happy to explain to anyone who asked what they were there for, what Linux was, and in general promote the use of the OS. For a little while. Then, the Microsoftie lady came over and proceeded to escourt us out of there. We could have resisted, but we didn't.

    Good. Because the next step would have been for you to be arrested.

    Simon
  • Where the heck do you get 'the middle of a display Microsoft had paid huge money to rent'? Makes it sound like they climbed into the MS booth or something.
    I read it as the entranceway TO THE HALL. The fact that MS put a big inflated thingie there hardly grants them ownership of the whole fscking building.


    Not been to many trade shows have you? (Or rather, not been to many where you were organizing the stand and booking the space)

    Yes, MS had ownership of that area for the event. Expo and Trade Show organizers charge MUCHO DINERO for that spot.

    So MS paid for it. The Linux User Group did not. And as such, they didn't pay to peddle their wares there.

    Tough cookies.

    If they wanted to hand stuff out without paying for a space, they should have done it outside of the exhibition hall property.

    Simon
  • the news would be alot thinner without the marketing folks at MS doing their magic

    We have XP at the office, it has many collaterative features which will be useful, i'm just a little apprehensive not knowing what bugs will appear (yeah, okay this isn't a unquie experence).

  • http://conferences.oreillynet.com/cs/os2001/view/e _sess/1834
  • Given that we do not have enough evidence left from this fiasco to determine what the voters intended, the outcome is necessarilly decided by an arbitrary choice. Neither side has any justifcation for claiming that the election was "stolen". The real victor is as unknowable as Heisenburg's cat's health in a sealed box.

    Wasn't that Schrödinger's cat, not Heisenberg's? Besides, statistical sampling doesn't apply in an election. There is no margin of error; you count the votes and the winner is whoever ends up with the most.

    The problem was that Florida's definition of "vote" was somewhat flexible and wasn't even consistent from one county to the next. Algore didn't like the results from the first count, so he got together some lawyers, judges, and election-department officials who were willing to impose increasingly loose standards. The funny part is that even after three (or was it four?) recounts with increasingly loose standards, the end result never changed. The only thing to come out of the endless recounts has been the shrill bleating of a bunch of sore losers, who complain that they were "robbed" of that which was never theirs.

  • It's nice to see the small show that my local LUG was in on the front page of Slashdot. I myself could not attend, but reading through the messages on the SLUG mailing list it sounded like a lot of fun, and that they also had a very popular booth. Anyways, if you're interested, a SLUG member posted another article to Newsforge about CTS and SLUG's presence there [newsforge.com]. And of course you can find pictures here [nks.net] in case you missed that part in the original newsforge article.
  • Open Source Software Initiatives: Legal, Business and Social Perspectives
    Thursday June 7
    6:00 pm - 8:45 pm
    Santa Clara University School of Law
    Bannan Hall Room 139
    Chair: Visiting Professor Brian Fitzgerald
    Santa Clara University School of Law
    Panelists
    William R. Lard, (SCU Law '82)
    Sr. Director Licensing Strategy &
    Architecture Sun Microsystems, Inc.
    David Schellhase
    Linuxcare
    Yancy Lind
    President and CEO, Lutris Technologies
    Larry Rosen (SCU Law '94)
    founding partner of ROSENLAW.COM, LLP
    This Special Seminar is held in conjunction with the Santa Clara
    University
    High Tech Summer Law Program
    The notion of open source software is an interesting concept from
    a legal,
    business and social perspective. More and more businesses are now becoming
    reliant on open source products - what does this mean for strategic
    business planning, legal liability and society in general? What is meant
    by terms such as "free software", "open source" "open code" and "GPL
    license"? How are these concepts integrating with and impacting upon
    business and the further development of technology?

    Event is free.
    R.S.V.P. to: hightechlaw@scu.edu
    or call: High Tech Law Office: 408-551-1868
    This seminar aims to overview the concept of open source software as well
    as key legal and business issues involved with using such software
    including the:
    - role, function and legal enforceability of open source licenses
    - management of open source projects
    - integration of open source products with proprietary software and hardware
    - impact of software patenting on the open source movement
    - utilization of open source products by the general consumer and
    - preservation of the ethical or aspirational values of the open source movement

    Brian Fitzgerald is a Visiting Professor at Santa Clara University teaching a seminar on Digital Property - see www.scu.edu/law/FacWebPage/Fitzgerald. He is Head of the School of Law and Justice at Southern Cross University in New South Wales, Australia.
    Brian holds postgraduate law degrees from Oxford University and Harvard University. He is co-editor of one of Australia's leading texts on E Commerce, Software and the Internet - Going Digital 2000 - and has published articles on Law and the Internet in Australia, the United States, Europe and Japan. Over the past two years Brian has delivered seminars on information technology and the law in Australia, New Zealand, China, USA, Canada, Norway and the Netherlands. In October 1999 Brian delivered the Seventh Annual Tenzer Lecture - Software as Discourse: The Power of
    Intellectual Property in Digital Architecture - at Cardozo Law School in New York.
    Over the last year he has been involved in delivering papers and running sessions on law and technology issues throughout the USA including in Silicon Valley and New York (Fordham University Law School International Intellectual Property
    Conference), in Europe/Amsterdam (WWW9 Conference), in Australia/Cairns (Ausweb2000) and Canada/Fredricton (NAWeb2000). In October 2000 he was invited as a part of the Distinguished Speaker series hosted by the Ontario wide Centre for Innovation Law and Policy to deliver an address on Digital Property at the University of Western Ontario Law School in London, Canada.

    William R. Lard is Senior Director of Licensing Strategy & Architecture at Sun Microsystems, Inc. He has been an Attorney with Sun for nine years
    handling software related matters. His current role is to establish the future direction of Sun's
    overall technology licensing strategy and architecture. Prior positions at Sun included General Counsel, Java Software with responsibility for world wide licensing of Java Technology during the past five years, and four years as
    Director of Sales and Marketing Legal Group for SunSoft, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sun
    Microsystems, Inc. Chief Counsel for World Wide Operations at Apple Computer, Inc. for seven
    years.

    JD Santa Clara University, 1982, BS Business Administration San Jose State University, 1976.
    David Schellhase currently is finishing a book entitled "In-House: The Practice of Law inside an Emerging Growth Company" (forthcoming, September 2001 from Glasser Legal Works). He was most recently general counsel of Linuxcare, Inc., a
    provider of services for Linux and other open source software, and was previously general
    counsel for The Vantive Corporation and Premenos Technology, two proprietary software companies. He has also been an attorney with Oracle Corporation and Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison. He received his JD in 1990 from Cornell and his BA in
    European history in 1985 from Columbia.

    Yancy Lind is President and CEO of Lutris Technologies. Yancy has 15 years of Silicon Valley experience. Prior to Lutris, Yancy spent two years at Shomiti Systems in the roles of VP of Marketing, VP of Sales, and VP of Engineering.
    Prior to Shomiti, Yancy spent four years at Alantec, where he was Director of Marketing,
    Director of Product Planning, and Manager of Channel Sales. Yancy also has held positions at Touch Communications, Ungermann-Bass, and 3Com. Yancy has an MS, Computer Science, with honors,
    from California State University, Chico, and an AB, Philosophy, from the University of California, Berkeley.

    Larry Rosen (SCU Law '94) is a founding partner of ROSENLAW.COM, LLP, a law firm in Redwood City that represents individuals and companies throughout the Bay Area. Larry specializes in technology licensing and other IP-related
    transactions. Although he often represents companies that license proprietary software, his
    primary goal is to encourage open source licensing. Larry is also executive director,
    secretary and general counsel of Open Source Initiative, a non-profit corporation that reviews and approves open source licenses and that is responsible for promoting the Open Source Definition. You can read more about these
    activities at www.rosenlaw.com and www.opensource.org

    Professor Brian Fitzgerald
    BA LLB BCL (Oxon) LLM (Harv)
    Dean of Law School
    Southern Cross University, NSW, Australia
    PO Box 157
    LISMORE NSW AUSTRALIA
    Telephone 61 02 66 203 368
    E-mail: bfitzger@scu.edu.au

  • Make sure that we recognize freedom for both sides. MS does have the freedom to purchase a forum for promoting their product. Anyway, at many tradeshows, the general rule I have seen is that the exhibitor's must keep the entrance a clear passage way. You don't want to cling all over everyone that walks in the door.

    The idea isn't to silence MS, but rather to prove or not prove a better product.

  • by PenD0R (62542) on Friday June 01, 2001 @06:46PM (#182550)
    I always see this argument that "MS can't compete against a free product". This is so untrue. You have to factor in benefits of each. All MS has to prove that the gains of buying their product outstrips the cost difference.

    I hate seeing this argument so much because it give the inference that Open Source products are only better because they are free. If you think that is what Open Source is about, you missed the point.

    The strength of Open Source is it allows more eyes to scrutinize and more ideas into the camp of software development.

    -Pen
  • God, where are mod points when you need them.

    It seems this "community," just like any other, is not incapable of twisting the facts to portray competitors as evil/wrong...


    ---
  • by dimator (71399) on Friday June 01, 2001 @06:19PM (#182552) Homepage Journal
    Microsoft must have tucked its tail between its legs and run to the building management, because they showed up and kicked the SLUG members out of the entrance area.

    So from what I read there, and other places in the article, the LUG people were either A) Actually ON Microsoft's area of the floor, or B) in the entrance area in front of it (I wish they put up a floorplan).

    How many linux zealots would put up with Microsoft guys handing out CD's in front of or near a Linux booth?

    If you want a one-sided, theatrical rendition of the facts, read the article, but please don't let it make up your mind before hearing both sides.


    ---
  • Just more evidence of what a pathetic waste of time Trade Shows are. Like I'm going to pick my operating system based on something I saw at a Trade Show? I once worked for a company (went broke last year) that pissed a bunch of money away at so many of those stupid shows. They even one Best New Idea awards and all that kind of crap. There's nothing like that cringe you feel when the marketing people tell you, "Oh, by the way, we'll need something for that show next week. Can you set it up and we'll probably need two or three of your people for the show." I swear the only reason Flash and PowerPoint were invented, was to keep the marketing people busy so the rest of us could get some work done!
  • by Ender Ryan (79406) on Friday June 01, 2001 @08:41PM (#182554) Journal
    Come on crackheads, read the damn article, it's not that long. The LUG people were handing out CD at the showroom entrance, no one's "turf".

    Of course there were people hanging out greeting people there and all, but Microsoft complained that they were handing out CD, which is just bullshit, every expo I've ever been to people were handing me free shit as I walked in.

    This was simply Microsoft not wanting any attention to be distracted away from them, so they open their big mouths and bith and whine and get their way.

    Do you think Microsoft doesn't hand out shit at these things? Of course they do, it's just not "free software".

  • I have to say that I support these guys, and I feel for them. I, too, have been kicked out of a MS party for handing out free software.


    A group of friends and I (about 12 of us total) made sure we got invited to the Win2k release party in Columbus, OH. Once our invites were secure, I got in touch with some people that work at cheapbytes.com [cheapbytes.com](awesome place) and overnighted a 100 CD spindle for a very nice discount (I think I explained what they were for).


    We walked into the expo center, scooped up all the free "gifts" we could, ate lunch on Microsoft, then proceeded to the AntiPiracy booth (don't think irony was lost on us...how can you pirate Freesoftware?), stacked the CDs up, and watched them fly. We were happy to explain to anyone who asked what they were there for, what Linux was, and in general promote the use of the OS. For a little while. Then, the Microsoftie lady came over and proceeded to escourt us out of there. We could have resisted, but we didn't.


    I've often wondered about that day. What happened to all the discs we handed out...were they in use, are they coasters? What would have happened if we would have fought back, and made a scene? We wern't too keen on the idea of a lawsuit, but I just wonder. All in all I enjoyed the party...I even got a nifty Magic-Motion card out of it.

  • Good point about who was at the conference for what reasons and who was getting paid. Until Microsoft starts putting the electropods into people's houses and turns them into Stepford Microserfs, they will always have to pay people to have anything to do with them. And it is creepy the amount of clean-shaven young "Can-do" trons they do find to man the booths at the expos. The worst part is that glazed look in their eye when you ask yet another question that falls outside their carefully scripted presentation. "Uh, let me check my notes, I don't think they prepared us for that", they waffle. "Uh, you do use this software don't you?", I ask. "Yes I use it at work all the time." is the lame response. I guess the idea that you hack on your own time or do more than set up marketing presentations never occurs to these chumps.

    I have to give them their due, they sure recognize a good idea when they see one. You are sure to either see them beat it down in the press or see their own version of it at the next conference you go to. Embrace and extend, damn right. Innovate my ass.

    "We're the hardest working band in the business, I don't care if we're the best!" - Iggy Pop with the Stooges.

  • The show organizers sell many different types of sponsorships. The exhibitors contract limits many marketing activities, but you can purchase exclusive or semi-exclusive rights to override those limits. From http://www.techshows.com/Sponsorship/sponsorship_p romo.htm [techshows.com]:

    "Pathfinder Sponsor

    Foot prints leading from the registration area to your booth will be a great way to garner your company that additional exposure with a slice of fun tossed in! These foot prints will not only give direction to your booth on the event floor but can also be a continuous interactive "Cake Walk" with prizes provided by your company. We make announcements every hour to go to the nearest footprints (they are numbered) and then the attendee on that number wins the prize."
  • > you can argue we should be _nobler_ than Microsoft-

    Indeed, I would. Are you actually arguing otherwise? That isn't a really high bar you're setting, you know!

    I think you're overestimating the effectiveness of this so-called blunder. I doubt mainstream media will pick it up without doing a little more research into the facts, at which point NewsForge's slanted coverage is at least as interesting a story as Microsoft's actions. "Linux Companies Fighting Distortion With Distortion"...now there's a story!.

    War may be war, but integrity counts for something regardless.
  • by Argy (95352) on Friday June 01, 2001 @06:12PM (#182559)
    The article failed to address the question of whether or not the show organizers normally allow this sort of activity from other participants. Whether Microsoft's assertion that "you can't pass out free software here" was a rule MS just created, and was enforced because they're a big sponsor of the show, or if Microsoft was informing SLUG of a rule to which they had previously agreed in a signed contract. (Assuming they're even an exhibitor at all...if they're not, they're even farther off base). From paragraph 14 of the exhibitor contract linked at http://www.techshows.com/Exhibitors_Only.html [techshows.com]:

    The distribution of samples, souvenirs, publications and the like or sales promotion activities must be conducted by Exhibitor within its booth. The distribution of any article that interferes with the activities or obstructs access to neighboring booths or that impedes aisles is prohibited.

    This isn't public property, it's a private business, leasing space to trade show organizers trying to make money. Part of that involves setting up rules to keep guerrilla marketers in check, because the show organizers want to make money from the marketers, not provide a free venue for them. They also need to protect the interests of the people who are paying for advertising placement. If they sold Microsoft prime entrance real estate for a big display, but then allowed anybody else to stand around pitching product there, it would devalue that advertisement. They sell all sorts of marketing rights, such as exclusive rights to advertise on the shuttle busses, on the ticket booths, and so on. If they don't protect the companies paying for this, they'll have a tough time selling such placement at the next show.

  • I read it as the entranceway TO THE HALL. The fact that MS put a big inflated thingie there hardly grants them ownership of the whole fscking building.

    You obviously need some education on the value of property rights. If you had known them better than you do, then you would not have so summarily dismissed some very important, specific, concrete rights of Microsoft Corporation in this instance.

    You may be surprised to learn this, but:

    • Microsoft rented their upper floor booth and were entitled to its full use during the convention, including all of the air in the booth.

    • Microsoft rented the main reference hall and were entitled to its full use during the convention, including all of the air in the reference hall, much of which was being actively used by Microsoft representatives exhaling in a warm and huffy manner.

    • Microsoft actually owns the main reference hall, the surrounding 2300 acres, most of the state of Florida and its citizens, including the air contained in the inflatable Office XP box and were therefore entitled to the full use of these properties during the convention. Indeed, many of Microsoft corporation's representatives found it indispensible to take hits of air from the Office XP box as most of the air in the conventional hall had become unbreathable (see above). That was the reason why the box became limp during the later stages of the convention, although we cannot discount rumors of LUG representatives having punctured the inflatable Office XP box with the pointy parts of Clippy®

    • Microsoft owns the internet (having invented the .NET and most other innovative technology for the computer), including all of the air surrounding it, and so are entitled to its full use during the convention, as well as during the time that it retains such ownership. If you look closely, you'll notice an EULA applies to using the inter.NET
    You can see that Microsoft's property rights extend quite a bit far beyond what you realized, and I hope that this education helps you to come to some kind of realization of that fact and to treat them with the respect that they deserve.
  • I'll respond to you as one of the many posting similar sentiments. Don't take it personally.
    You are utterly wrong. The LUG had permission from the event organizers to hand out their stuff in front of the building, as LUG members have made clear in other posts. They were not giving out swag on Microsoft's rented spot, contrary to your assertion. The event organizers permitted several exhibitors to hand out stuff in front of the building, despite the fact (pointed out in other posts) that exhibitors were contractually barred from doing this. They asked (not compelled) the LUG to move simply to avoid unpleasantness from Microsoft, who chose to be unpleasant.
    My real complaint with you, Jason, is not that you were ignorant of the facts, since the posts to which I refer may have been added after yours (and the many like yours.) My real complaint is the knee-jerk invocation of property rights, the automatic assumption that in any conflict between 'rebels' and 'authority' property rights must be on the side of 'authority'.
    I see this faulty assumption all the time on slashdot. Yes, the Newsforge article was woefully deficient in facts, but from the skeletal facts it did provide there is no reason to think that Microsoft had any superior legal claim.
    This was simply a case of a large customer (Microsoft, who rented a ballroom) demanding that a vendor (the event organizer) favor them over a smaller customer (the LUG, who rented a booth). It happens all the time in business. What makes it interesting here is the fear Microsoft displayed.
  • These guys have what you want. [demolinux.org] I'm not sure how well-funded they are, and they seem rather europe-focused. I think LinuxFormat shipped with a CD at one point
  • I'm concerned about two things WRT free software.

    1) VARs seem to ignore it. Like it or not, VARs use VB and hire lots of programmers to write software. VB and MS. Not Linux. That has to change, but it isn't. Borland needs to get back to their roots and...rather than put Kylix on sale at $199.00...sale it like good old turbo pascal for $49.00. That would hurt MS and really help Linux.

    2) No one is guiding Linux. Sun, SGI, IBM, etc. need to do what car companies do. Sit regular old people down in front of a windows box and a linux box, and take copius note WRT the installaion and use. These types of studies happen in all fields, and used to happen in s/w until MS cheapened the product so. Let's do some real usability studies.

    Finally, Linux no longer has "dot-bomb" money to rely on to spread servers. I saw some instrumentation running on NT 4.0 the other day that was much better than anything I've ever seen on WinDOS before. It was scary -- fast and reliable (for a price, of course).

    The last time I really used and developed under NT, it was a real piece of shit. Dog slow, the third party components were broken and undocumented, or documented wrong.

    The package I looked at the other day was slick, fast, and solid. It was processing a lot of real time data, and it did it for hours. Three years ago, this was not the case.

    Linux can make it, but there are a lot of companies that, at this point, would just like to dump their programming stuff and use COTS that's supported by some VAR. Linux does not have this. It requires technology buffs to install, and (other than Kylix and, to some extent glade) has no free GUI builder.


    Treatment, not tyranny. End the drug war and free our American POWs.
  • by big.ears (136789) on Friday June 01, 2001 @06:47PM (#182564) Homepage
    Linux has something ms don't. The back end.

    Don't let the pictures [nks.net] attached to the article fool you. Sometimes Microsoft users are overweight too.

  • Pretty hard not to sense the obvious bias in the article, but definitely an encouraging story overall.

    ________

  • Well I if MS was handing out stuff in front of the SLUG then it sounds like both groups should have been shutdown and kicked out. Reading the contract of the Conference you can easily see that this is unacceptable. Included below is the portion of the contract which you apparently don't know how to read.

    14. Exhibitor Conduct. Retail sales are strictly prohibited during the
    course of the Exhibition. Violation of this rule will result in the closure
    of Exhibitor's booth. The distribution of samples, souvenirs,
    publications and the like or sales promotion activities must be
    conducted by Exhibitor within its booth. The distribution of any article
    that interferes with the activities or obstructs access to neighboring
    booths or that impedes aisles is prohibited. No article containing any
    product other than the product or materials made or processed or
    used by Exhibitor in his product or services may be distributed
    without the permission of Management. Any act or conduct by
    Exhibitor which, in the judgment of Management, interferes, disturbs
    or endangers any other exhibitor or visitor, may be prohibited by
    Management. Exhibitor may not serve or dispense any food,
    refreshment or beverage of any kind in its booth without the prior
    approval of Management.
    part hereof as though duly incorporated herein and
    subject to each and every one of the terms and conditions
    herein set forth. Management retains the right to revise
    and/or alter the Exhibition floor plan and/or reassign
    Exhibitors as may be necessary.

    Linux zelots like you give linux a bad name grow up and be more responsible don't sink to their level.

    Not anonymized for you flame throwing protection.
  • Read the contract they signed to get into the conference.

    14. Exhibitor Conduct. Retail sales are strictly prohibited during the
    course of the Exhibition. Violation of this rule will result in the closure
    of Exhibitor's booth. The distribution of samples, souvenirs,
    publications and the like or sales promotion activities must be
    conducted by Exhibitor within its booth. The distribution of any article
    that interferes with the activities or obstructs access to neighboring
    booths or that impedes aisles is prohibited. No article containing any
    product other than the product or materials made or processed or
    used by Exhibitor in his product or services may be distributed
    without the permission of Management. Any act or conduct by
    Exhibitor which, in the judgment of Management, interferes, disturbs
    or endangers any other exhibitor or visitor, may be prohibited by
    Management. Exhibitor may not serve or dispense any food,
    refreshment or beverage of any kind in its booth without the prior
    approval of Management.
    part hereof as though duly incorporated herein and
    subject to each and every one of the terms and conditions
    herein set forth. Management retains the right to revise
    and/or alter the Exhibition floor plan and/or reassign
    Exhibitors as may be necessary.
  • Actually, a group of us from our school's Linux association did that at the Windows 2000 release in Boston. We all got valid badges and handed out copies of Linux and FreeBSD CD's (donated by Linux Central and Walnut Creek IIRC) in the waiting area. The Microsoft people didn't want to let us in the auditorium, but we promised not to cause any disruptions (we weren't planning on it anyway) and they let us in. Nobody in the waiting area seemed to mind. Chris the MathFreak
  • Where do you want to go from here,

    changes to...

    You can't hand out free software here!
  • Clearwater, Fla?

    s/Microsoft/Scientology/
    s/Linux/Lisa McPherson Trust/

    ...and all the sudden you have your average, everyday occurance there in Clearwater.

    Maybe M$ is there to bone up on $cn's "fair game" methods of "doing business." Two organizations that deserve each other.

    (but then again, maybe I'm just in a bad mood because I had to beat the crap out of M$SQL *and* watched Greg and Darhma this week... <shudder>).

    If you don't have anything nice to say, say it often.

  • I personally think we ought to invite M$ to an open panel debating free vs. proprietary software that takes questions from the public at every oppurtunity we can. At every trade show or conference we should ask them to this debate. If we do this they will most likely decline, even so it will only make them look bad in the public eye and strengthen our argument that M$ does not hold the upper hand.

    Great idea; why doesn't slashdot host it? I'm sure a very public challenge (or, more judiciously, offer) for a public debate on slashdot would get noticed widely enough that it would be difficult for MS spokesdrones^H^H^H^H^H^Hpersons to decline after calling linux a cancer and a threat to democracy....

  • Just an OT pet peeve .... "FUD" stands for "Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt [attrition.org]." It is a term for a particular type of propaganda [jones.tc], not a general term for all lies, exaggerations, cluelessness, and deceit.
  • where can I find the e-mail addresses of the top retards at M$? I'd like to give them "customer feedback", and don't see any way to actually contact the actual company without paying an "purchasing an incident". Instead of bitching and moaning about how the big bad corporation screwed us "Revolutionaries" again, why not deluge M$ with well thought out, intelligent constructive criticism. And while they're distracted by that, pump some napalm through the plumbing at Billy Bob's house...


  • Could this be the beginning of Slashdot's demise to the corporate machine?

    the cororate machine took slashdot long ago. Why do you think you see such interesting phrases as: "all your base belongs to us" in an advertisement? Because .. people from slashdot doesn't care about open source, they like the idea of open source because it brings together a large mass of people that can view their ads.
  • The convention organizers want people to pay for the privilege of passing out free stuff.

    I read the article several hours ago, so my memory may fail me, but didn't the SLUGs have a convention elsewhere in the same building? Wouldn't that mean they've paid for the privilege of giving out free stuff?

  • This sums it up nicely:

    Of all those nicely dressed Microsoft staffers, which ones do you think were manning the booths, shaking hands, handing out swag, and answering dumb questions on their own dime? How many of them do you think would hang around if the district manager called and said, "Hey, we're a little over budget this quarter, so would you mind staffing the XP expo for free?"

    Even if one or two of them agreed to spend a couple of hours there off the clock, it would be ridiculous to think for a second that any of them would spend most of their spare time for months preparing for the show, making repeated calls to vendors, recruiting assistance, and attending to the myriad details that go into getting a show presence ready. But that's exactly what the SLUG show committee did, tirelessly, just because they wanted to.

    This is what they are afraid of, because ultimately, a drone is just a drone.

    Check out the Vinny the Vampire [eplugz.com] comic strip

  • by Dan Jagnow (181761) on Friday June 01, 2001 @06:43PM (#182577)

    Thank you for that wonderful post. Others will now be able to see you Winvocates for what you really are. Angry, rude, and full of hate. A dying breed, proponents of the last of the proprietary operating systems.

    Um, be that as it may, the article that this post is about may not have been angry or full of hate, but it was certainly rude and juvenile. It refers to Microsoft employees as "droids" and "bulldogs". It's pretty rough on a guy who was just asking the Linux advocates to comply with the exhibitor contract, as another poster has pointed out.

    Less venom, please. More substance. There are zealots enough in both camps.

  • by vectus (193351)
    How many linux zealots would put up with Microsoft guys handing out CD's in front of or near a Linux booth?

    Oh, they'd hand them out all right.. they just wouldn't include the licence to install it.

  • You seem convinced that Linux as an operating system cannot take on both the server and the desktop markets. I, however, would like to remind you that Linux itself is just the kernel; not the full operating system. That's why we can have distributions like Mandrake, which do a great job on the desktop, as well as specialized server distros, router distros (coyotelinux), and others. So, I really don't think anything would be a "tradgedy" if Linux tried to take both markets, as it is already moving in that direction, and seems to be doing fine.

  • Hey! Those laptops have the MS logo on them! How'd that get in there....

    http://www.nks.net/CTS/Day2/med_p5310187.jpg

    oh well.

  • No doubt about it, it was a continuation of the war that's been going on since Gates realized that Linux posed a threat to the status quo. If all software is free, there's no longer a way for that big money-maker in Redmond to make any more money.

    Do I even need to add a comment here?
  • Golly, you sure seem like you think you're right. Too bad you caren't. If you read the expo's rules, it said you are not allowed to hand out things anywhere but from your booth. Second, it is private property, so the ownership has the authority to do just that. That doesn't change the fact that it was funny or that MS a faux paus, but legally, the LUG was in the wrong.
  • by percey (217659) on Friday June 01, 2001 @06:03PM (#182583)
    It seems to me that linux is now public enemy #1 on MS's hit list. It seems more and more now that there's an official statement from microsoft saying that linux isn't this, or open source isn't that. Or as this article claims, they stop distributions from distributing. This only means one thing, they're scared. And I think they have real reason to be. With Linux powering tons of webservers, and databases and with the dotcom failures, these dotcom tech professionals will now be entering old-line companies in droves, bringing Linux with them. Additionally the Itanium processors are here now, and that means that the Linux for Itanium will be the #1 *nix for high-end servers. I realize responding like this on slashdot is preaching to the converted, but my point is that the writing's on the wall. If microsoft hopes to expand its market share its going to have to take it from the server market. The way things stack up there now, the great obsticle for them is Sun and Linux, and with Itanium, it'll be more Linux than anything else. Of course the irony is the Linux community wants Linux to be a desktop system. I guess because it is so good at being a server, and because of its arch nemesis, Microsoft is "so good" at being a desktop system. I think Linux should stand its ground and consolidate its place in the server market. The time is extremely ripe for that. If Linux is to be a desktop system, it needs to have its own OS X type system. But then it would loose credibility as a server, and that would be a great tragedy, for then all would be lost.
  • The point of the whole article wasnt that Microsoft is not allowed to tell people what to do. It's that they shouldn't have to tell them what to do. If nobody cared about linux, they would just ignore the fools and the totally free software and their great community attitude.

    I find it complety hilarous that the big company with there multi-million dollar marketing budget can't compete with some volunteers that are passionate about their software.

    -nite
  • This is how upper management picks its software... Ok, well it that and kickbacks. Not too many kickbacks for linux software, this could actually be why more companies don't use it.

    -nite
  • Doesn't XP require some kind of "activation code" in order to install? At least I think I read something to that effect somewhere around here... something about needing to "reactivate" the software if hardware changes "too much". Yeah, I'm pretty sure MS doesn't care who gets copies of XP.
  • This sort of thing is done to make sure that the possible bias of an article is made public. You'll see this sort of thing all the time in mainstream news when a story is made on a station's parent company.
  • Maddog was there, I have a book by him
    "RedHat Linux for Dummies"
    He looks like my Grandpa though ;-)
    But, I can't believe Microsoft was not letting them pass out Linux Cd's. Its not illegal, it just made Microshaft look bad.
    BTW, I might possibly use XP when I upgrade, but I sure as hell am not going to be paying for it, atleast full price. I'll probably build a new computer for my mom, and split the price with her.
  • Uh, no they were doing almost the same thing. "there were blue Microsoft footsteps pasted on the floor, showing the way to the sparsely populated MS demonstration area"
    I don't see anyone complaining about those being outside of the MS booth.
    Does "sales promotion activities must be conducted by Exhibitor within its booth" not apply to MS?
  • Newsforge is owned by VA Linux, which also owns Slashdot.

    It show's slashdot's editors are moving towards politically correct journalism.

  • I might be mistaken, but it's usually the AOL disks that end up in landfills. I have around 500 AOL DVD-holder's with the stickers stripped off, but no AOL cds. On the other hand, I have almost all of my old Linux versions, just backed up for silly reasons. Not to mention I have a few Microsoft CDs I'm going to throw out. I didn't realize "Wine with Julia Child" was an integral part of using a computer.

    Seeka
  • Actually, the SLUGers were passing it out on the front steps. First in front of the giant inflatable XP box, then after being asked to move by venue management (of course, after MS complained) they moved about 30 feet away to the steps. MS complained again, and they were asked to move it inside. When MS first complained, they told Maddog that they had 'rented the venue'. He replied 'You didn't rent the venue, you rented a ballroom', which was true. They probably gave away a hundred or so LJ issues while out front, and quite a few Mandrake 7.2 CDs. Very few people turned the free stuff down; most had a smile on their faces. It is interesting to note that later on that day, the inflatable box collapsed of its own accord. I was there the whole time, and took the pictures.
  • Taken from an earlier post:
    Later on the M$ flunkies were handing out brochures and literature in front of the SLUG booth. One of the SLUG guys brought this up to them, rather aggresively saying that he was going to get the facilities manager.
    They turned around and broke the same rule.
    No opinions in this post, just facts. Let's not argue this point.
  • "You can't pass out free software here!" that communisum!...

    Better not say that too much, it might stick, and with Bush in power... who knows what he could do in the name of fighting international communizum....
    --

  • It's a great quote. "You can't pass out free software here." Another good one is from the June 4 issue of Business Week: "We have not varied in our craft." (Steven A. Ballmer)

    ----------

  • Linux had the party. Microsft unknowingly provided the food beer.

    From now on all the parties I host will be held near Microsoft trade shows.

    Maybe Intel will bring us some hot dogs.
  • Tux: (free Linux distribution CD in hand) Hello, gentlemen.

    Bo Guard: (nightstick and beer in hand) Say, that looks like free software.

    Tux: (smugly) Looks like, but isn't.

    Bo Guard: (angry) Alright, wise guy, what is it?

    Tux: I care about Microsoft's property so much I brought my own coaster. Would you like one?

    Bo Guard: (smugly) Alright, I have you now, you're passing out free Linux-branded coasters! Come with me.

    Tux: Free? Who said anything about free? I meant, 'would you like to buy one from me?' This is a fifty dollar coaster. See? (holds coaster to the light) It's holographic.

    Bo Guard: (thinking himself to be very clever) Yes, I will buy one of your shiny coasters. Here is the money that I am giving you in order to purchase the coaster. (gives Tux $50)

    Tux: It has been a pleasure oding business with you. (pockets money and gives a disc to Bo)

    Bo Guard: Ha! Now I have you! Solicitation isn't allowed in this area. Come with me!

    Tux: (goes quietly, speaking under his breath) Ha. Now I have fifty dollars.
  • Like a quiet spring breeze forcasting a storm the users flew in proclaimed M$ turff, created some diversion and left with out a conflict, just a question in the minds of the non-linux users.

    Nothing can make an adverary more angry than to walk away with out agression.

  • Bringing you the latest breaking news: http://www.vh1.com Shield your eyes. It isn't pretty.
  • you're right. don't post drunk kids. Insert whatever flavor you want. I actually use LinuxPPC, but everyone but me hates it.
  • There was a little confrontation out front with the guys from the Suncoast Linux Users' Group That's wonderful. Does anybody else envision the scene in westside story or Thriller with the dancing gangs? A grid of guys with windows symbols on their shirts snapping their fingers in sync, approaching another geometric array of grubby guys bearing pictures of Linus. They take turns chanting: Windows...KSD(or other linux flavor)...
  • Shit. brainfart/typo. BSD. sorry, flame away.
  • Thank you for that wonderful post. Others will now be able to see you Winvocates for what you really are. Angry, rude, and full of hate. A dying breed, proponents of the last of the proprietary operating systems.

    I feel sorry for you. But I feel sorrier for your spouse and children.

  • >> Oh... sorry, I forgot... Florida is also the SAME STATE where George W. Bush STOLE the presidency.

    > Strange, I though that Florida was the state that Al Gore TRYED TO STEAL the presidency in.

    Nope, your both wrong. Florida is the state where the election was arbitrarily decided based on interpretations of statistical noise. The margin of difference was far, far below the capabilities of the polling system in use to unambiguously resolve the intentions of every voter. This is an unfortunate side effect of our electoral college system, which can amplify sampling errors by orders of magnitude.

    Given that we do not have enough evidence left from this fiasco to determine what the voters intended, the outcome is necessarilly decided by an arbitrary choice. Neither side has any justifcation for claiming that the election was "stolen". The real victor is as unknowable as Heisenburg's cat's health in a sealed box.

    This case turned out like the board game "Risk". The GOP had more "armies" (supreme court justices, etc.) in the relevant territories than the Democrats when the dice were thrown. It may not be ideal, but how else are you going to decide it?

  • Of Microsoft's inability to compete with a product that is literally, and by all means free. It's no wonder they would want to bar LUGs from the expo, you simply can't trump "free". It just can't be done.

    The Storm is Brewing...


    The One,
    The Only,
    --The Kid
  • He's right, you know. There is no story.

    Somehow, when I see this kind of spin, I picture journalists in training, in a scene out of the Matrix:
    "Do not try to bend the truth. That's impossible. Instead, realize that there is no truth, and that it is yourself that is bending. Not to mention your credibility."
    --
  • That the hotel/convention center did M$'s bidding.

    They are a business. They are out to make money. If they thought that Microsoft would consider throwing business to their competitors they would have done just about anything.

    Once I lost my account with an ISP because I sent weekly emails to the people at Adelphia, bugging them to introduce cable modems in my area.

    Tim Gaiches, the contact person for this ISP said to me words to the effect of "I don't care that you didn't violate our terms of service. The $20 per month that we get from you doesn't matter compared to the headache we'll face if Adelphia blocks all incoming mail from our server."

    timg@telerama.com is his address, ask him if you think I'm lying.

    BTW, yes I'm still bitter and this type of thing pisses me off.

  • Well, kinda fooled me for a little while, getting mad even, until I realized it was really a PR piece rather than a real news story. An MS-seemingly kind of tactic, double for a Linux release producer, let alone the one that owns fair Slashdot. Where was the way lost? Can infomercials be far behind?

    I'm not doubting the incident, that MS really did seemingly quite unfairly, perhaps unconstitutionally, bar a group of people from distributing free Linux CDs and magazines at the conference, just that the story of it, as Homer would say, "Phew!"

    +

    : I cogitated it up!

"Just think of a computer as hardware you can program." -- Nigel de la Tierre

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