Now blogging at diego's weblog. See you over there!

product battles can't be won in court

Last week the judge in the Sun vs. Microsoft private antitrust case was considering whether to force MS to put the JVM as a standard bundle into Windows. Dave's comment was right on the mark on this:

[...] Sheez, I'd love to bundle Radio with Windows. How about it? Why aren't they clubbing me in the knees? What makes Java so special? [...]
. While I don't think that Radio is better than Java as Dave says, <wink> I do think he is absolutely right when he questions why one thing should be forcibly included and not the other. Forcing these things through the courts is not the way to go, since it would tilt the field in favor of the big guys as usual (who can afford to pay for armies of lawyers) and it only creates infighting between the smaller players, which is never beneficial (Note, for example, how this article talks --near the end-- about how Sun will have to drive Corel out of the Office Software market before making any headway). In fact, I'm not even sure that I would like Java to win its position in this way: it would be like attaching itself to the Windows monopoly, forcing its way just like MS forces its way with its own products by leveraging Windows, doing exactly what we have accussed Microsoft of doing. We should teach by example. We should win this by creating better software, easier to use, simpler, secure, inherently multiplatform, inexpensive, and more interoperable. I think we're on our way.

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on December 7, 2002 at 2:51 PM

digital robber barons

An excellent op-ed piece by Paul Krugman in the New York Times. This is exactly what is happening. To see where the US is going, look, of all places, to Dublin, Ireland, the "tech capital of Europe". Here phone access is charged by the minute, and the typical modem connect speed is 33.6 Kbps. An ISDN line (also charged by the minute, except that the speed is "guaranteed" to be 64 Kbps) is Euro 40 a month ($40) on top of the regular phone line "rental". I live 20 blocks from the center of the city and I called Eircom (the stupid monopoly) the other day to see how to get DSL (Installation cost: Euro 400, plus Euro 110 per month, not surprisingly, in the Dublin and greater Dublin, where one million people live, there are only two thousand DSL installation, mostly businesses). They said that I can never, ever get DSL in my apartment (which by the way, was new when I moved in last year). They cited "unknown technical problems". I think they looked at my internet charges and decided it was a better deal to keep me using the phone. Meanwhile, there are no other options, no cable modem, no wireless (except for a Satellite ISP that charges Euro 1500 for the equipment and then Euro 130 per month), nothing. Mobile phones (and mobile phone service) is much more expensive than in the rest of Europe.

This is the result of the utter stupidity (if not corruption) of politicians and the combined greed of companies too cozy with their insanely high profits to care about their customers.

The US should take note, before it's too late...

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on December 7, 2002 at 1:05 PM

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