[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Operating System Definition NOT!

  This question has been sufficiently and constructively
  answered by Prof. POLLACK on this list. He has proposed that
  DOS/Windows code be treated as a ...
  This is dead-right and on-target. Stick to it, damn you all.
  It means we can look at  DOS/Windows, VMS/Windows, NetWare,
  OS/2, MacOS, and flavors of UNIX as residing in 7-layer
  ISO-type or RFC-type "stacks".
  WindowsNT sort of adheres to such a scheme. That is a start.
  Moreover, MS Internet Explorer is being deployed as
  Session/Presentation layer code across most of the platforms
  above. Give MS credit for doing something right, for Pete's
  sake, and torpedo their flimsy case for doing something else
  wrong -- selling sub-standard, Windows95,  technology to
  little people with just government and tort lawyers, not
  high-paid engineering staff and insurance lawyers, to
  protect their interests.
  The People, especially the government lawyers, should
  completely avoid taking a "meets and bounds" approach to
  defining an OS. That plays into MS hands.
       Microsoft's mischief lies in how they subvert others'
       (ANSI and IETF) and violate their own published
       specifications. In a steam boiler, gas burner, or jet
       engine, their conduct would be called a "tort" or even
       "criminal mischief".
       Their folly lies in how they allocate development and
       overhead costs to arrive at "net" costs and
       discriminatory prices for code packaged for "retail",
       namely upgrades, for "wholesale", namely OEM shipments,
       as well as for export as distinct from domestic sale.
       These are, or were once, commonplace matters of
       codification and enforcement at the SEC and FTC, the
       first of which actually had a pretty good reputation
  The FCC or ITC could be brought in, but these have always
  been agencies for the legal distribution of monopoly or
  Haitian-type export/import concessions to wealthy political
  patrons. The whole point of resolving the matters through
  civil government is to keep the army and navy out before all
  that fertilizer blows up.
  Microsoft's conduct involves plain, old justiciable issues,
  nothing exotic at all. They are also matters that lend
  themselve to simple, uniform government regulation. Any
  "meets and bounds" definition of an operating system based
  on the extent of its functionality, "usufruct", is just the
  sort of bogus "property right" that non-traditional
  copyright and patent lawyers like to conjure up.
  There are two problems with this very modern sort of
  economic expansionism and imperialism.
       First, inventing and extending novel rights at home
       devalues popular property rights and existing patent or
       copyright law. It often drives people nuts, as both
       Lotus and Borland learned. Moreover, it leads to
       "wars", like old disputes over the West's water and
       grazing land, farmers and ranchers, cowboys and
       indians. We have seen this all before and have a long
       history of governments both failing, usually the
       damnyankee federal government, and succeeding, in some
       states from time to time, in dealing with it.
       Second, trying to push our novel schemes overseas takes
       "gunboat diplomacy" and "land wars in Asia". We have
       seen all that too. Do geeks and nerds know about these
  There are civilized ways to handle public communication
  interface standards despite all the potentials for war and
  commerce out there on the high seas or cyber-space.
  The whole nation is at risk, the states of Texas,
  California, and Massachusetts more than the others, if we do
  not handle this in a civilized way, more particularly, if
  what passes for a ruling elite in the Great State of
  Washington, D.C., subjects all this to the ususal lawyerized
  "negotiated settlements" and lobbyized "bidding wars". Then,
  like the South American junta they are, our bipartisan,
  coalition government will have to resort to war in order to
  cover up their high crimes and misdemeanors.
  Do I exaggerate? I think not. CINPAC intelligence estimates
  point to the potential for war in that theater arising out
  of our, mostly Microsoft's, huge "intellectual property"
  claims against the Chinese army's publishing houses, and the
  regional naval arms race based on the PRC's counter-claims
  to territory and concession rights in the China Sea.
  There is ample majoritarian (legislative) and authoritative
  (executive) means to deal with the present matters. But, if
  our Tory/Whig Bench and the rest of the Anglo-American
  overclass march in and improvise with this, Judicial
  Activism, Yale Clerico-Legalism, call it what you will, we
  will all pay, once again, in blood and treasure for the
  negligence and corruption of our ruling elite.
  Let me be clear: The "meets and bounds approach" is
  fundamentally wrong regardless of where the fence-line runs:
  Picture angry farmers on one side, ranchers on the other,
  with shotguns and carbines. Now, picture both sides with
  horse artillery and boys in blue or gray coats. Disputes
  over "innovative marketing practices" (MACHAN) lead to range
  wars and piracy. Disputes over "new forms of property"
  (GILDER) such as black slaves or opium concessions leads to
  even bigger wars.
  This is a simple, sometimes lurid, old matter we are
  discussing. Make no mistake, the technical details are
  important, even decisive, "for want of a nail" and so on.
  But, they are confusing, "fog of war", if not seen for what
  they mainly are, more of the noise in a long-running dispute
  between China Trade Imperialists, on the one hand, and
  Agrarian Populists and Industrial Progressives, on the
  Bill GATES is of the class and on the side he was born to,
  no surprise there. I am of and on mine for pretty much the
  same reason with no more or less shame. We both know a lot
  of bond and patent lawyers as elegant as NEUKOM. I know some
  just like heros in GRISHAM's agrarian legal romances and
  like Jewish labor-lawyer romances, too. But, what we really,
  really need here now is a quaint, old admiralty lawyer.
  So, what side are you on?
  begin:          vcard
  fn:             John Robert BEHRMAN
  n:              BEHRMAN;John Robert
  org:            TETRA ENGINEERING, Inc.
  adr:            1436 West Gray, Nbr 298;;;HOUSTON;Texas;77019;USA
  email;internet: jbehrman@netropolis.net
  title:          Chief Analyst
  tel;work:       713 610 1162
  tel;fax:        713 610 1161
  tel;home:       713 524 4154
  x-mozilla-cpt:  ;0
  x-mozilla-html: FALSE
  version:        2.1
  end:            vcard