The News – 05/11/01
Microsoft’s Big Brother Attitude
If you’ve been reading for a while, you know I’m not a big fan
of Microsoft’s behavior over the past few years. I used to be a big
supporter, especially when they finally released a half-decent operating
system with NT 3.1. As recently as 1997, I spec’d out an eCommerce hardware
system with all NT servers. So don’t think I’m just a bigot when I say
Microsoft must be stopped!
The latest thing that raises my hackles concerns Microsoft’s
typically-delayed next OS, XP. Seems that M$ doesn’t want to lose any
revenue whatsoever from people installing a copy of the OS on more than one
computer. To prevent this, you must contact M$ before reinstalling the OS
on your PC beyond the limited, but unspecified, number of reinstalls the
software giant permits you. Yes, you must actually telephone the monopoly to
ask, “Pretty please, may I reinstall your POS OS that trashed my hard disk for
the fifth time, and I’ve spent hours finding all my backups, so will you
deign to allow me to recover from the problem you caused me?”
But that’s not all. To put some teeth in this requirement,
when you “activate” the OS upon first install, your computer sends your
hardware information, such as the CPU ID, to a Microsoft server! Can you
say, “invasion of privacy?” Microsoft will get my CPU ID when they pry it
from my cold, dead fingers!
Microsoft realized this process would be an annoyance for
corporations, and so this little bit of Big Brother is reserved for
consumers and small businesses. But I bet they still collect the hardware
information even for the big companies. And there may be a hidden agenda in
all this, according to Bloor Research’s Mat Hanrahan: "Microsoft is
going to intervene more in the future, and this infrastructure and control
of desktop sounds like they are trying to build the ground work to deliver
software as a service. This looks like a simple activate button, but the
infrastructure it has will connect into .NET services in the future."
Businesses, especially small and medium-sized businesses,
should pressure Microsoft into changing this policy. I myself will boycott
any OS that breaches my privacy in this way.
Sun announced the availability of Sun Chili!Soft ASP software,
a cross-platform implementation of Active Server Pages, a “standard”
developed by Microsoft and, up until now, fairly exclusively implemented
only on Windows operating systems. The software will allow ASP developers
to host their Web applications on Sun’s Solaris™ 8 OS.
The number of US
households with Internet access dipped 0.3% to 68.5 million in the
first quarter of this year, says Telecommunications Reports International.
It was the first time in 21 years that the number dipped, the group says.
rules for privacy on the Internet could cost businesses between $9
billion and $36 billion, an industry-funded study warns. Economist Robert
Hahn gathered data from 17 information-technology consulting firms, which
said they would charge from $46,000 to $670,000 for a system to track how
personal data is handled.
Alert SNS reader John Gehring (an expert Internet marketing
consultant specializing in agriculture, BTW) noted the similarity between
Ray Kurzweil’s concepts of our perception of change, and a famous movie:
Your News Summary about the
acceleration of time reminds me of a scene from
"The Jerk." Navin says to Marie:
"I know we've only known each
other four weeks and three days, but to me it seems like nine weeks and
five days. The first day seemed like a week and the second day seemed like
five days and the third day seemed like a week again and the fourth day
seemed like eight days and the fifth day you went to see your mother and
that seemed just like a day and then you came back and later on the sixth
day, in the evening, when we saw each other, that started seeming like two
days, so in the evening it seemed like two days spilling over into the next
day and that started seeming like four days, so at the end of the sixth day
on into the seventh day, it seemed like a total of five days. And the sixth
day seemed like a week and a half."
That’s how I feel some days, or is it some weeks?
Can’t Get Enough of ME?
In the unlikely event
that you want more of my opinions, I’ve started a Weblog. It’s the
fashionable thing for pundits to do, and I’m doing it too. A Weblog is a
datestamped collection of somewhat random thoughts and ideas assembled on a
Web page. If you’d like to subject the world to your thoughts, as I do, you
can create your own Weblog. You need to have a Web site that allows you FTP
access, and the free software from www.blogger.com.
This allows you to right click on a Web page and append your pithy thoughts
to your Weblog.
I’ve dubbed my Weblog
entries “Stratlets”, and they are available at www.stratvantage.com/stratlets/.
Let me know what you think. Also check out the TrendSpot for ranking of
the latest emerging trends.
to Mike’s Take