Slashback tonight with more on the Microsoft start page project vis-a-vis Google's similar one, a wee $40 million slap on the wrist for Amazon over shopping-cart patent infrigement, new animals for the CodeZoo, and a strong denial that WikiPedia has announced a more stringent editorial policy. Details on these stories and more, below.
What's done is done, and in a certain order. MSN.com general manager Hadi Partovi writes:
Thanks for the note!"A few days ago I read your Slashdot post about start.com.
Thank you for the promotion :-). Meanwhile, I wanted to make sure you know that the work we've been doing on the start.com project actually predates the Google personalized page. I manage a tiny incubation team that has been building start.com since November, and it was first live on the Web in February, 3 months before Google released their personalized page. Of course we are missing some capabilities that Google has, and vice versa. It's a tight competition. But I'm emailing you because our team takes a lot of pride in its innovation. You may point out at a lot of place where Microsoft is following competitors, but if you track the functionality and UI changes that the companies have made over the past 6 months, this has clearly been a place where Google has been following Microsoft's lead.
(Our main engineer on the project has written a bit more about this to respond to your post.)
Anyway, I'm not sending this to be defensive. Heck, I have a lot of work to do to bring an innovation culture to the MSN organization and in many areas we have our work cut out for us. But I guess I want my small incubation team to get credit for being the leading innovators on this one small product :-)"
Always clean out the trashcan. dotpavan writes "The Register and Cnet have this report about Kai-Fu Lee not cleaning his recycle bin at his previous workplace and now MS has stumbled upon some interesting document, which shows that Google anticipated the MS move, and had planned top put him on a leave of absence or have him as a consultant to thwart any attempt of MS getting him back."
Amazon Settles Patent Suit For $40M theodp writes "In today's SEC filing, Amazon.com disclosed it will pay $40 million to settle an e-commerce patent infringement lawsuit that was reported earlier on Slashdot. The terms of the settlement also provide for dismissal of all claims and counterclaims and grant Amazon a nonexclusive license to Soverain's patent portfolio."
29+36 more = 65 vector drawing apps. Anonymous Coward writes "There were many useful comments made for 29 Vector Drawing Programs. After incorporating most of them, the revised column has 65 Vector Drawing Programs."
And each after its own kind. chromatic writes "As seen on the O'Reilly Radar and announced at OSCON 2005, CodeZoo now lists Python and Ruby components. CodeZoo is a human-edited directory of useful, well-maintained, and redistributable software components in various languages. (Slashdot previously covered CodeZoo's launch.)"
The chair recognizes Mr. Wales for a point of clarification. brajesh writes "There has been news on Slashdot and others about Wikipedia announcing tighter editorial control. It seems that everyone jumped the gun. Jimmy Wales, a founder of Wikipedia, has clarified his stance on the idea of freezing stable content on Wikipedia. Apparently, [Jimbo writes] 'I spoke in English, and this was translated to German. Then the German was translated back to English, and then translated again into the Slashdot story.' Also, 'There was no "announcement." We are constantly reviewing our policies and looking for ways to improve, but we have not "announced" anything. We don't even really work that way ... if you know how Wikipedia works, it's through a long process of community discussion and consensus building, not through a process of top-down announcements.' This has also been covered on Ars Technica."
Google Earth not a security risk after all. mister_tim writes "In a follow-up to yesterday's story about ANSTO's request that Google censor images of Australia's only nuclear reactor, the Australian government has now come out and said that Google Earth poses no security risk. Australia's Attorney General has come to the view, also noted by many /. readers, that the Google images have been available for several years from other sources and add nothing to the existing publicly available data. Chalk this one up as a victory for common sense."