Archive for September, 2007

The New York Times Still Can’t Get it Right

Monday, September 17th, 2007

A while back I commented on the repeated failure of the New York Times to state correctly what the European Commission has ordered Microsoft to do in order to ensure interoperability with other companies. Amazingly, they have done it again, in this article about the consequences of the denial of Microsoft’s appeal. Yet again, they falsely state that the EU:

ordered Microsoft to obey a March 2004 commission order to share confidential computer code with competitors.

In point of fact, the EU ordered Microsoft to provide the specifications for its protocols, not “confidential compute code”. The judgment
is as explicit as could possibly be:

In the contested decision, the Commission emphasises that the refusal in question does not relate to Microsoft’s ‘source code’, but only to specifications of the protocols concerned, that is to say, to a detailed description of what the software in question must achieve, in contrast to the implementations, consisting in the implementation of the code on the computer (recitals 24 and 569 to the contested decision). It states, in particular, that it ‘does not contemplate ordering Microsoft to allow copying of Windows by third parties’ (recital 572 to the contested decision).

Have the Times’ reporters not read the judgment? Do they not understand the difference between source code and specifications? Or are they deliberately lying on behalf of Microsoft?

What is UNBC up to?

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

Yesterday’s mail included a 72 page catalogue of UNBC’s new Continuing Studies offerings. They are typical college fare: courses in business, computing, languages, gardening, creative writing, snowmobile safety, belly dancing, squash, and so forth. Why on earth is UNBC duplicating the efforts of the College of New Caledonia’s long-standing and quite successful program? Faced with a budget deficit and having already laid off faculty, UNBC should be attending to its core functions, not poaching on CNC’s turf.