[Standard] Microsoft Pushes Slashdot's Buttons... Again

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From: Adam Rifkin -4K (adam@XeNT.ics.uci.edu)
Date: Fri May 12 2000 - 14:05:56 PDT

Memo to myself: never piss off the open source community.
Memo to Microsoft: never piss on the open source community.

> Microsoft Pushes Slashdot's Buttons

> Once again, Slashdot.org is raging against the Microsoft machine. This
> time, it's personal.

> First, some background. Microsoft developed its own version of
> Kerberos, a security system that authenticates users' identities, for
> inclusion in Windows 2000. Nodding to Kerberos' open-source roots,
> Microsoft posted its Kerberos code on the Web a few weeks ago. But
> this wasn't a classically open-source move; users had to run a
> licensing agreement that included some non-disclosure rules. Slashdot
> users picked up on the license and the proprietary nature of some
> parts of Microsoft's Kerberos and posted links to the code, along with
> information on how to bypass the licensing agreement.

> Microsoft was not amused. It asked Slashdot to remove 11 messages that
> it said were illegal under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (the
> same act being used to nail Napster). Slashdot cried censorship and
> refused to take the messages down. "We are not happy about this, to
> say the least," said a Slashdot post by Robin Miller, editor-in-chief
> of Slashdot parent company Andover.net. "But instead of reflexively
> going into rant mode, we are calmly posting the full text of the
> e-mail we got from Microsoft, along with our initial response to it,
> so that you can see what news and community Web sites like Slashdot
> are up against, now that the DMCA has become law." The calm was
> impressive, but not exactly shared by most Slashdot users.

> In the midst of the thousand-post scuffle, according to a Wired News
> scoop e-mailed by Slashdot founder Rob Malda, Slashdot got hit by a
> distributed denial of service attack. How's that for timing?

> Wired's Declan McCullagh also did a good job of explaining why
> Microsoft's letter stepped on so many toes. "(I)t includes a generous
> helping of everything (Slashdot users) love to hate: Microsoft,
> lawyers and the DMCA," he wrote. Microsoft had also added proprietary
> extensions to Kerberos to make Windows 2000's version incompatible
> with other platforms, and the controversial license agreement came in
> a Windows .exe file. And, as Salon's Andrew Leonard put it, "Asking
> Slashdot to remove posts is like asking a hacker to cut off his or her
> own hands." Basically, Microsoft offended Slashdot in every way
> possible, short of sending Bill Gates to throw a pie in Rob Malda's face.

> Microsoft claims its request was an act of copyright protection, not
> censorship. "We have no problems with the comments on this technology
> - in fact, we encourage them," said MS spokesperson Adam Sohn. But if
> you want the code, Microsoft wants you to get it from them - along
> with the licensing agreement. The Linux-friendly Brits at The Register
> grudgingly admitted, for perhaps the first time, that Microsoft had a
> point. Microsoft's proprietary Kerberos extensions are subject to
> copyright rules, "and the draconian DMCA makes the distributor liable
> for the copyright violation, and its resultant harm to the copyright
> holder," wrote Annie Kermath. "No matter how ugly it looks, Microsoft
> is within its legal rights to make the request."

> It's all irrelevant if a certain DOJ request gets accepted by Judge
> Jackson, added The Register. That particular remedy would force
> Microsoft to give third parties access to its source code. We bet
> Judge Jackson will give that measure a little more thought in the wake
> of the Slashdot uproar. Microsoft might wind up wishing it had kept
> its source open - or its mouth shut. - Jen Muehlbauer

> Slashdot Skirts Microsoft's Kerberos Rule
> http://www.thestandard.com/article/display/0,1151,15024,00.html?nl=mg

> Call it Slash-and-Burn.org
> http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,36282,00.html

> Microsoft Asks Web Site to Halt Postings of Code
> http://interactive.wsj.com/articles/SB958093760332897332.htm
> (Paid subscription required.)

> Microsoft, Slashdot Exchange Volleys
> http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A52826-2000May11.html

> Microsoft Picks Fight with Slashdot
> http://www.theregister.co.uk/000512-000003.html

> Embrace, Extend, Censor
> http://www.salon.com/tech/log/2000/05/11/slashdot_censor/index.html

> Microsoft Asks Slashdot to Remove Readers' Posts
> http://slashdot.org/features/00/05/11/0153247.shtml

> Kerberos, PACs and Microsoft's Dirty Tricks
> http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=00/05/02/158204


.sig triple play!

Weil promises that the 22-minute, May 18 Victoria's Secret show will be able to handle 10 times last year's traffic with the help of a bevy of high-tech partners, including Akamai, IBM, and Yahoo Broadcast. And one more change from last year is a prominent "Buy" button, which viewers can click to snag a dozen featured products, including the new liquid Miracle Bra. The real achievement will come in the processing. Thousands of orders are expected in the span of a few minutes, promising to tax the company's order-and-fulfillment resources. It's a juggling act that has competitors paying close attention. -- http://www.thestandard.com/article/display/0,1151,15056,00.html

Not a soul stirred after Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive of online retail giant Amazon.com, told investors yesterday that the Seattle company's U.S. books, music and videos segments would be profitable by the end of the year. "You guys can applaud," Bezos said, addressing investors at the company's annual shareholders meeting at the Sheraton Seattle hotel downtown. "We've always been confident and passionate about our strategy, but it's nice to show people once in a while." -- http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/news/business/html98/amaz11_20000511.html

When Dennis clicked into Napster on Wednesday, a dialogue box popped up to say the Napster Beta 6 upgrade was being loaded onto his computer. He waited until installation was complete, and immediately got the message that he'd been banned. Dennis said he tried to uninstall Beta 6 and reinstall the old version. He tried logging on with a different user name. No go. The teen said he deleted everything in his Windows 98 registry that contained the word "Napster." He still could not log on under a new user name. So he reinstalled Beta 5. Bingo. He could log on again under a new name and he didn't get the automatic Beta 6 upgrade. Clearly, there was a Trojan horse, he said. From his prior knowledge, Dennis believed the software had installed a hidden key in his registry during the upgrade installation. "When you sign on, it makes you think you're getting something you want, but it's really something you don't want," Dennis said. "They don't say, 'Wait a minute while we doctor your registry so you can never log on to Napster again.' They say 'Welcome to this wonderful new version of Napster.'" -- http://www.zdnet.com/zdnn/stories/news/0,4586,2567912,00.html

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