Archive | August 1, 2005

Microsoft Vista Beta One: We Were Only Kidding…

OSNews posts The Whys, Whats and Whens of Vista. Head of all things Windows at Microsoft, Jim Allchin provides a heads up on the operating system formerly known as Longhorn: “Most of the stuff that we would expect that tech enthusiasts and consumers will be interested in will happen at Beta 2. Beta 1 is not what I would call deeply interesting unless you are a real bithead”.

I probably haven’t griped for 24 hours or so how wrong this is. Microsoft “ships” a product, in the sense that the reviewers (and likely anyone who cares) can evaluate it, and it’s not even out the door before Microsoft is saying that none of this is final, that the “good bits” are in Beta 2, the UI comes later, you just wait, we’ll get it right next time. They’re just throwing it against the wall, seeing who says “ooh” and “ah” and then they’ll ship another one. What’s the point of wasting your time looking at something they promise isn’t final?

Doc: Saved by the Wayback Machine

The Eldred decision may rank as one of the dumbest Supreme Court decisions of our time, ruling that the owners of a copywritten piece of work, by the rights of their ownership could prevent the copying of the work for the purposes of preservation of the work for the good of ourselves, society and posterity, despite the fact that Article 1, Section 8 clearly states that “The Congress shall have Power … To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;”

Copyright protects for a limited time the right of the author to make a buck from copies of his/her works in order to motivate the author to go to the trouble of producing the work in the first place. Copyright does not protect an idea from being copied, only its expression. This allows the free exchange of ideas in society, for the greater good of all. However, when the owner of a copyright has the ability to prevent any copies from existing, by allowing the original to rot to dust, they are destroying not just their property, but the ability of future generations to ever see the work, clearly not what the framers of the Constitution intended “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts.”

Doc wrote a great analysis on this case and that, too, was almost lost in the passing of a web site:

On The Doc Searls Weblog, Doc blogs “Recovery. On January 20, 2003, Lawrence Lessig wrote, Doc has a brilliant and absolutely correct diagnosis at the American Open Technology Consortium website about how we lost in Eldred. The link in that quote went to, a site that no longer exists. Ever since went down, I’ve regretted losing that one post.”

“This was especially so yesterday, when I wrote Web 2.0, Free Markets and Free Culture, at IT Garage. While writing it I wished I could point back to whatever-it-was that Prof. Lessig found so agreeable. All I could remember was that it had to do with metaphor, also the subject of yesterday’s post.”

“Then, when I woke up at 4am, about 15 minutes ago, I thought: Duh! and its Wayback Machine! Of course! So I checked, and found that much of was backed up there. After digging around, I found the post in question.

So, a big thanks for doing its outstanding work.”

Such a deal we have for you!

Checking the price of ink cartridges on the (NEW! IMPROVED!) Staples web site, and check out the deal they offer: buy a two pack of ink cartridges and get an entire case of Staples paper for only ten million dollars! Wonder how cheap I could get it in bulk?

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This work by Ted Roche is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States.