By: J.D. Hildebrand
Abstract: Microsoft hit by discrimination suit. Chip makers in the er, chips. More to Linux than hyped stocks. Rethinking security. A blind date with virtual Eve.
By J.D. Hildebrand
Greetings! Today is the third day of 2001; 362 days remain in the year.
I hope you are finding that the new year is living up to your hopes. In large
measure, life really does seem to return rewards according to what we have been
willing to invest. So my wish for you as the new year begins is simply this:
that you find within yourself unexpected generosity of spirit, that enthusiasm
and care drive you throughout the year, and that the world rewards you according
to your best intentions. Let it be so.
On December 3, 1521, the Roman Catholic Church excommunicated Martin
Luther. It was the worst thing that could happen to a man in those days, but
don't waste your tears on Luther. He pretty much dared
'em to do it.
Today's anniversaries bring wonder and imagination to mind.
MICROSOFT HIT BY DISCRIMINATION SUIT. A group of African-American
employees has filed a class-action suit against Microsoft and the media can't
get enough of it.
As much as I enjoy seeing market leaders in hot water, I'll note in passing
that legal smoke does not prove the existence of discriminatory fire. I learned
that the hard way, years ago, as an employer on the receiving end of a
groundless discrimination suit. We fought the suit and won quickly, but I'll
always regret the waste of time and resources.
Anyway, no one knows the facts but everyone's treating this like big news.
And I guess it is -- at latest count the plaintiffs are asking $5 billion. Yow!
For the record, here is a link to the Microsoft
Diversity Home Page.
My prediction is that we'll see this suit settled before it goes to trial.
You can bet that Microsoft's attorneys are arguing for a quick, quiet
CHIP MARKET TO HEAT UP IN 2001. Yes, there is a widely publicized
slowdown in PC sales. But the smart execs at Intel and AMD saw it coming.
They're cutting prices, boosting speeds, and bringing out new chips that are
perfect for use in Internet appliances, PDAs, set-top boxes, consumer
electronics, and other embedded systems. As a result, analysts are looking at a
market boom in 2001 -- and increased competition for all players.
Here's what the headlines look like:
MORE TO LINUX THAN OVERVALUED STOCKS. Linux Journal's Emmett Plant
contributed a nice little essay to the publication's Web site yesterday. In Linux
on Holiday? Plant told about a friend who had given up a good job to work
for a booming Linux company, got laid off...and still used Linux!
Plant's point is that while some people have been interested in Linux only
because of the quick dollars to be made, others were drawn by the stability of
the operating system and the fellowship of the open source community behind it.
"I think it's time to stop looking at the stock market as a barometer of
Linux success," he writes. "At the end of the day, my computer still
hasn't crashed, and that's the greatest testament I can think of."
RETHINKING THE CENTER FOR INTERNET SECURITY. Faithful Almanac readers
are aware that an outfit called the Center for Internet Security is looking to
issue security ratings to Internet-connected servers and software. It's like a
Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval or something -- buy a server with the CIS
seal on it and you know hackers won't be able to get you fired by forwarding the
contents of your Temporary Web Content folder to your boss.
In a guest column, the chief technology officer of Counterpane Internet
Security Inc. pokes holes in the plan for ZDNet readers. Bruce Schneier's
misgivings seem well thought-out. This whole issue of security is going to
occupy us for years to come, it seems...I hope we hear more plain talk from
Schneier along the way.
we ready for a cyber-UL?
SAY HELLO TO VIRTUAL EVE. I can't leave you today without passing
along a pointer to a CNN
story about Eve Solal, a computer-generated character you can interact with
over the Internet.
Eve Solal is just the
latest -- and most sophisticated -- virtual personality in a parade that
includes Tomb Raiders' Lara
Croft and the British newsreader Ananova
(click on "video reports").
Maybe it's just me...I find this kind of technology endlessly fascinating.
Server Response from: ETNASC03