Time For a SCO Update methinks

No doubt if you have been following things at all closely in the SCO business, you will know about the spanners that Novell have been slinging into the SCO legal machine.

What has not been clear though is the potiential size of the spanners. They are big. Very big. Good.

It transpires that Novell are basically saying that SCO have no ownership rights over Unix, but they do have a right to sell it and make money from it.

This seems to suggest that SCO have no right to sue IBM, no right to unilaterally remove IBM’s AIX license and no right to withdraw SGI’s license either. Oh and no rights to sue Linux end users.

SCO finally managed to mention at their 4th quarter earnings conference (January) that their may be a tiny fly in the ointment regarding Novell. McBride actually said “over the last couple of weeks that Novell snuck into the Copyright Office and tried to file some copyrights. . .”.

This is absolutely hilarious when you consider that Novell have been taking action since mid 2003, as we shall see.

On June 9th, Novell wrote to IBM and SCO and said that according to their interpreation of the 1995 Asset purchase agreement, SCO had no rights to unilaterally terminate IBM’s [AIX] Unix license. They duly waived SCO’s termination of IBM’s license.

Is it not interesting that SCO have been a bit quiet about this? Hang on though, I’ve have not done with this yet. On October 10th, Novell duly waived the termination of SGI’s licence too.

Oh, but there is one more absolute corker yet. Remember that there is of course a potential problem here: It is possible that SCO will prove that they and not Novell actually ‘own’ Unix, depending on interpretations of sale agreement annexes. Don’t worry though, Novell has this covered.

Part of the Sale agreement of Unix was the ‘Technology License Agreement’. This agreement describes rights that Novell has over Unix.

I’ll repeat this bit word for word from GrokLaw’s transcripts from Novell: The technology transfer agreement gives ‘Novell the right not only to use the “licensed technology” itself, but also to “authorize its customers to use, reproduce and modify” it and to sublicense and distribute it “in source and binary form”.

Oh Wow! so now it seems you simply need to be a customer of Novell and you have complete rights to use any part of Unix.

Of course it goes without saying that now Novell have gone public with this SCO are just bound to start ranting again, but I for one have started looking out those Netware 3 and 4 licenses to show I’m a customer.

GrokLaw sum this up well: As Novell told SCO in its first letter to them, Novell is “an ardent supporter of Linux” and it shows. I, for one, will not forget it.

I have to say I think it’s about time that the FBI or whoever it is in the States starts raiding the offices of SCO and removing Guns, Belts, Knives, Rope, Shoelaces, and other things that could be used for self harm.

Article By TurboTas

Prime material Source: GrokLaw.

Maaaaaaad Idea

Infonauts, that’s what it’s all about. I don’t half get fed up with people continually asking me where such and such is or how to do thingy.

Either the Internet is too big, it’s too hard to navigate, people are lazy, thick or perhaps a bit of all of these.

At the same time, I can’t even pay the mortgage. Okay the the infonaut idea is simply a portal site to like info sources with info sinks

A requester who is busy/stupid/lost posts a question and gets assigned a little live updating box showing the cost of the information and the suppliers. Matey gets to choose the supplier of the info and hopefully gets his answer.

Assuming all goes well the request PayPal’s the provider the fee and adds feedback. The provider adds feedback on receipt of the funds. Surferes get paid to find things. People who are daft/busy get quick answers. Surely a winner? TurboTas 2004

Build a UGV and win $1M?

TurboTas has posted before on the progress of the TAM team to cross the Atlantic with a UAV. As if that were not enough of a challange, the US DARPA have raised the bar with a challenge to cross 300 miles of the Mojave desert with an Unmanned Ground Vehicle.

Pretty easy to see that this is a cheap development trick for the US Government, but the challenge still looks really exciting.

UGV’s have a brand new set of problems to solve that makes the CFIT problem for UAVs look pretty simple to fix.

The challenge itself will be run in mid March 2004, The vehicles will all set off together and have 10 hours to make their way from L.A. to Las Vegas along a tightly determined route.

The rules are pretty tough and call for numerous software and sensor technologies to sucessfully negotiate the waypoints: GPS alone will not be enough.

As if route navigation was not tough enough, there will be numerous obstacles to negotiate. Examples given are bridges and underpasses, but there is also mention of moving obstacles.

Don’t get ideas that you can enter though: entries had to be technically vetted by October 2003.

The competition looks set to hot up now. Many of the teams have tested their vehicles and are now looking at fine tuning. Interestingly, the spectrum of teams is very wide: the likes of Lockheed are competing next to teams of enthusiastic amateurs and Colleges.

For the big corporates, the $1M prize is not the ultimate goal, but more the lucrative contract that may follow a win. The million dollars means much more to the smaller teams.

Follow the progress of the competition here

TurboTas 2004

First Mad Idea Of 2004

Happy new year. The first public idea, and the first new posting for 2004.

The problem with the Internet and law enforcement is that perps will always go where the least resistance is.

If that means that Porn sites move to Lithuania and Spammers operate from Nigeria, then you are going to have problems stopping em.

Not that the countries have poor legal systems, just that they have different ones.

Add to this the growing issue over currencies: The growing ‘net will need a way to fix currency conversions etc.

TurboTas mad idea is that The Internet should be a nation state itself. It should have it’s own laws and it’s own currencies. Counties will have to enforce those laws for their citizens or face getting cut off.

I guess some repressive regimes would like that, but we need to get this Internet thing sorted.

Half arsed legislation about intangibles and electronic exports is going to make the Internet a legal minefield soon.

Ask me more about this fascinating subject……