Link: Intel backs up Apple in court – ZDNet UK News.
"Strong trade secret laws are vital to the health of California’s high-technology business and to the economy of the nation as a whole," Intel and BSA stated in their joint brief. "There is no public interest in having such trade secrets stolen and plastered on the Internet for competitors and others to see."
Oh, the irony. Strange how, when Intel wanted to speed up the performance of VIdeo For Windows, it went to the same developer who’d worked on QuickTime for Windows with Apple – Canyon Software – and got them to do it. Apple ended up suing Intel for stealing code from QuickTime for Windows and putting it the offending software. Sure, there’s no public interest in trade secrets being stolen – but if there’s private profit to be made, that’s a different matter.
I’m doing the annual rebuild of my Windows laptop, which means reinstalling everything from scratch after wiping everything… so I get to reinstall, install Antivirus software, install XP SP2, install Office and its add-ons, and so on and so on…
Will be back posting tomorrow.
MacFixit has a handy list of issues with Tiger. Well worth a look if you’re upgrading.
Disappointing, but completely unsurprising news via Spymac
An upcoming biography of Apple CEO Steve Jobs titled “iCon Steve Jobs: The Greatest Second Act in the History of Business” has prompted Apple to pull other books by the publisher from its shelves. According to Mercury News, John Wiley & Sons, a leading publisher of technology books, said Apple Computer has removed all its titles from the shelves of Apple stores in apparent retaliation for the upcoming biography. The books disappeared from Apple stores last week after a month of increasingly contentious discussions about the book written by Jeffrey S. Young and William L. Simon. Young, who was a contributing editor for the Mercury News in the early 1980s, said he is dismayed by Apple’s reaction to “iCon”. He said it updates a biography of Jobs he wrote 20 years ago, called “The Journey Is the Reward”. The latest book retraces Jobs’ early days as a computer maverick and chronicles his failure with NeXt. But it also documents his triumphant return to Apple, the successes of the iMac and iPod as well as his role in remaking animation through Pixar Animation Studios, the Mercury News report says.
Kelly Martin writes in The Register about “Apple’s Big Virus” – the fact that there’s no viruses on the Mac.
Beyond critical mass, I would like to believe there’s a better reason for the lack of viruses on OS X, and it’s based on the culture of the Mac — which is distinctly different from other platforms. Is it wrong to try a new computer system and actually enjoy the user experience, for a change? Can you imagine a world where (today) you can click on anything and never worry about malicious intent? Can we not continue this unwritten rule that there can be a platform out there that is simple, easy-to-use, with Unix (and a cool ports tree) underneath that has no threat at all from viruses?
Unfortunately, Kelly doesn’t actually talk about what this “cultural difference” is, which leaves me somewhat loathe to give it any credit – Kelly links to a study that shows that virus writers are fairly diverse individuals, which doesn’t really explain anything.
To my mind, there’s a simple reason why Macs lack viruses, trojans, et al: Unfamiliarity and lack of access. How many virus writers actually have a Mac they can write on? How many understand the ins and outs of Mac programming? No Access + no knowledge = no virus.
Of course, there are other reasons as well: The Mac is more secure, although not immune (no system is). The Mac is a relatively small percentage of machines on the net, which makes it less easy to effectively spread. And so on. But I suspect that knowledge and access are the two most important reasons.
Yesterday was a very busy day, as I ended up writing two stories for Publish on the sale of Macromedia to Adobe. It’s a shame to see Macromedia disappearing – it’s done some really good applications over the years – but at least in its new home the technologies it’s created will have the money and resources to develop and market them more effectively.
This is a strategic buy-out rather than just one to eliminate competition. From what I can gather, it sounds like Macromedia has had something of a "for sale" sign around its neck for a while now, as it’s probably reached the point beyond which it would find it hard to expand without extra significant resources. Certainly, that it had been sold was a surprise to no one that I spoke to.
Adobe hasn’t bought Macromedia for its desktop applications: It’s bought it for Flash, which as a format has been making significant headway in the mobile market, and for enterprise server products like Breeze and Central. In that sense, Adobe IS becoming another Microsoft, in that it’s going after the same market – collaboration tools for the enterprise.
I spoke to Joe Wilcox yesterday about the potential impact on Microsoft, and he said "MIcrosoft should be more worried about Adobe than Google", because enterprise collaboration software is one of the few markets in the enterprise that MS doesn’t dominate, and now Adobe is well equipped to steal it.
On the desktop side, don’t forget the possibility that Adobe could sell some of the products it doesn’t want/need to other companies – Corel would be interested, as might ACD Systems. Divesting itself of unneeded products, rather than canning them, would be a good way of keeping on the good side of the Justice Department.
One other point: In the conference call on the deal yesterday, execs pointedly declined to comment on whether Macromedia had had any contact with other companies over a buy-out. Now there’s probably only two companies with the cash and interest: Microsoft… and Apple. Would be interesting to find out who the mystery suitor (if there was one) was…
A while ago, I started using Onfolio on my PC, which is a very nifty RSS reader/information organiser, that had one major flaw for me – it didn’t sync with either NewsGator Online, or Bloglines – both of which I use to read feeds on my Mac. Now, thanks to Onfolio developer Joe Cheng, Onfolio can now sync with Bloglines. I’ll give this a test spin later on.
There’s an interesting discussion going on in the comments to a brief posting over at Scoble’s, about the lack of any kind of forum where developers can discuss NDA’d stuff. Bryan Pietrzak posts that:
It’s my understanding that Apple has a comprehensive solution to NDA
restricted discussions coming soon, but that it just wasn’t ready to
benefit Tiger. It’s not that Apple doesn’t know that we want an
environment to discussed NDA’ed material (the old java-seed list was
great!), but they just want to "do it right".
This would be good news for developers, who at the moment lack the kind of community that’s needed.
But there’s a slightly wider issue, which is Apple’s reluctance to be more open about its system releases prior to introduction. Despite it being a year (at least) away, there’s a sack load of discussion and information about Longhorn around for both developers and others with a technical interest – yet the same discussion would have been NDA-violating for Tiger. Why? Yes, I can understand Apple’s desire to make a marketing splash with an OS release, but the company had already revealed details of all the features anyway. More importantly, the pay-off from increased openess about future operating systems is better customer and developer feedback – something that, in a core product like an OS, is immensely valuable.
Anyone thinking about voting for UKIP should take a look at the details of the party’s platform, at "UKIP aim is to ‘reclaim’ nation". Among the juicy highlights:
- Leave EU
- Set up new trade agreement
- Restricted immigration
- Pensions raised by £25 a week
- Council tax cut by half
- Raise borrowing £30bn
- More nuclear power
UKIP’s policies are a mixture of impractical nonsense and deep conservative (with a small c) discredited economics. The real reason the party proposes borrowing $30 billion isn’t to stimulate the economy, but to mask the drastic consequences of the UK pulling out of the EU. It’s also a dishonest platform: Any negotiated trading relationship with the rest of the EU would be on the same terms as countries such as Norway, which are forced to comply with EU social legislation yet, as they are not members, have no say in the setting of those regulations.
Their policies away from the topic of the EU are, if anything, even more ridiculous. Cutting taxes overall, yet abolishing the 10p rate for the lowest earners means punishing the worst off while delivering tax cuts to the richest. £25 on the state pension sounds great – until you start to wonder who will pay for it. The answer of course is the least-well off working families who currently benefit from that 10p rate.
This isn’t even as credible as "voodoo economics" – it’s nonsense economics. No wonder the main parties aren’t arguing with UKIP – it’d be like arguing with a three year old.