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Friday, April 30, 2004

Just Try To Pack In One Bag, I Dare You

Going to be here (well, mostly here, and with a few stops here) for a bit, visiting Grandpa Mel and discovering firsthand the joys of travel with an infant. Connectivity not so great, though Mel has one of these in a box gathering dust that I might press into service. If you're in the neighborhood (home of bunnies named Fuzzbutt and guys named Byrd), give me a holler.

Second Time's The Charm

Gary Wolf, who blogs at Aether, has a good essay on syndication in the May issue of Wired Magazine: The Return Of Push!

Wednesday, April 28, 2004


Meta Morphoses

John Palfrey, Revisiting online information sources for lawyers: "I have high hopes yet for the Net's impact on the practice of law."

Clay Shirky, in Salon and on Many 2 Many, on Groklaw: "Groklaw may also be affecting the case in the courts, by helping IBM with a distributed discovery effort that they, IBM, could never accomplish on their own, no matter how many lawyers they throw at it."

Over 70 Million Served

Happy Anniversary, Apple's iTunes. Thanks for the free downloads (and for already shipping the books I ordered Monday).

Monday, April 26, 2004

T-Minus 13 Days And Counting

What to do when your new-ish born has four grandmothers, three great-grandmothers, and his first Mother's Day rapidly approaching? Three words: Make a book. (Two more: Free shipping.)

IP Memes: SCO Many Lawsuits, SCO Little Time

(My April contribution to IP Memes follows. Many thanks to the indefatigable Pamela Jones of Groklaw for the inspiration, and for maintaining such a useful and vibrant site. You can read more about Pamela at Wired News, Linux Online, Linux Planet, and eWeek.)

Happy World Intellectual Property Day: "[A]n ideal opportunity to promote, inform and teach the importance of intellectual property as a tool for economic, social and cultural development. The theme of World Intellectual Property Day 2004 will be 'Encouraging Creativity.'" WIPO is the U.N. agency that administers the international treaties governing intellectual property protection.

IP Memes this week takes a look at the lawsuits and positions pursued by The SCO Group, in connection with its claim that Linux violates its intellectual property rights. Linux is a popular open source operating system, originally the brainchild of Linus Torvalds. SCO, which purchased rights to the UNIX operating system from Novell, began claiming last year that Linux improperly uses portions of UNIX code. SCO has sued IBM, claiming Big Blue's contributions to the Linux environment incorporated key portions of the UNIX code. SCO likewise has sued Novell for corporate slander due to the company's statements challenging SCO's claims to UNIX. And recently SCO has begun suing major corporate users of Linux (DaimlerChrysler, AutoZone), claiming their unlicensed use of Linux violates SCO's intellectual property rights. Red Hat, a Linux developer and distributor, has sought to protect its ongoing ability to do business by suing SCO for declaratory relief and damages. For a lengthy discussion of the pending actions, see Darl McBride, CEO of The SCO Group, speaking at Harvard Law School on 2/2/04.


SCO's $5 billion suit against IBM is pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah. It is in the discovery phase, with trial scheduled for April 2005. SCO recently moved for a continuance to September, claiming its ability to complete discovery has been hindered by untimely responses from IBM. On March 26, IBM filed an amended counterclaim in the case, seeking declaratory judgment that it did not infringe SCO's copyrights, that it breached no contractual obligation to SCO, and that the code in which SCO claims a proprietary interest is subject to the same open source license that controls Linux (the GPL).

Unsurprisingly, SCO denies any of the UNIX code is subject to the GPL. In a recent interview, SCO's CEO also characterized IBM's infringement as involving both literal and nonliteral copying, with the latter having more to do with "sequence and organization" than line-by-line duplication. Among the items SCO says were copied verbatim were certain application binary interfaces (ABIs), but it is unclear whether SCO's IP interests extend to the ABIs, and whether the ABI headers are copyrightable as SCO contends.


SCO v. Novell

SCO's rights to UNIX derive from Novell, who acquired them in turn from AT&T. SCO's action against Novell, filed in January, contends the company improperly has sought to file copyright registrations for UNIX that conflict with SCO's copyrights. It also takes issue with statements Novell has made challenging SCO's ownership of UNIX copyrights and patents. The court currently is considering whether to grant Novell's motion to dismiss, filed in March.


Red Hat v. SCO

After several months of consideration, on April 6 District Judge Sue L. Robinson (for the District of Delaware) denied SCO's motion to dismiss Red Hat's declaratory relief action. The Court concluded there is an actual controversy sufficient to support Red Hat's claims, despite the fact it has not yet been the target of action by SCO: "SCO's conduct has created a reasonable apprehension of suit. Moreover, there is no question that Red Hat is a LINUX software developer who is engaging in the allegedly infringing activities." The suit however is stayed pending the outcome of SCO v. IBM: "From the allegations found in the complaint, the core issue of whether the LINUX system contains any misappropriated UNIX system source code must be decided. It is a waste of judicial resources to have two district courts resolving the same issue, especially when the first filed suit in Utah involves the primary parties to the dispute."


SCO v. End Users

In addition to its pending actions against DaimlerChrysler and AutoZone, SCO has threatened additional actions against the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center.


SCO Invokes Free Enterprise, National Security

In January, SCO's CEO Darl McBride sent correspondence to the members of the U.S. House and Senate, characterizing open source software as a "much more serious threat to our capitalist system than U.S. corporations realize," as well as a threat to world peace: "A computer expert in North Korea who has a number of personal computers can download the latest version of Linux, complete with multi-processing capabilities misappropriated from UNIX, and, in short order, and in short order build a virtual supercomputer."


SCO Investor Wants Its $20 Million Back

Citing alleged breaches of the disclosure provisions of its Exchange Agreement, on April 15 SCO investor BayStar Capital notified SCO it wants to cash out of its $20 million investment in the company. The Royal Bank of Canada, SCO's other major investor to the tune of $30 million, is reported to be reviewing its investment as well.



For blow-by-blow coverage of the Linux-related SCO lawsuits, please see Groklaw, and the SCO v. IBM Wiki.

Saturday, April 24, 2004


Roll 'Em

The baby rolled over three times today. Awards ceremony pending.

23 Skidoo

"For the scientist, as for the mystic, beauty goes hand in hand with truth."
Einstein and Buddha, p. 23, sentence 5

  1. Grab the nearest book
  2. Open the book to page 23
  3. Find the fifth sentence
  4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions

Via Dave, via Shelley, via...

Friday, April 23, 2004

The "C" Factor (Revisited)

Says here, DickCheneyIsABitch. That's not all: the leader of the free world apparently is a Post Turtle, and, in like manner, JohnKerryIsADouchebagButImVotingForHimAnyway (don't miss Instances of Doucheitude and Why it Doesn't Matter).

The "G" Factor

Posts about Gmail are being aggregated at Gmail – best links.

There are 23 members and 64 posts so far at Gmail Forums.

The "T" Factor

Shady Character
The Little Scammer

So, you begin to appreciate how whenever I leave Tyler alone with the computer, I come back to find him sneaking peeks at Cameron and Leta, and sending "Back off!" emails to those Lessig and Kos kids...

The "C" Factor

The Today Show reported on Generation C (for "Content") this morning. Of course, Jeff Jarvis and JD Lasica had this early last month, and credited the source: Trendwatching.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Loving These

Wild Republic's Audubon Birds with authentic sounds. There's a good selection at Bugs and Stuff. (The nursery: it's a jungle in there.)

Random brilliant ideas spawned from emails and comments with Kevin Heller:

  • MESOTHELIOMA@home: harnesses the world's idle CPU cycles to click on lawyers' paid search ads, costing them some $100 a pop. (With apologies to SETI@home, John Battelle, and anyone suffering from this tragic ailment.)
  • Mandatory warning label: "Caution: Objects In Aggregator Are Less Cool Than They Appear." (Context.)

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

It Pays To Act Up

Did you see that Blogger is offering early Gmail accounts to "active" users? More, from Ev.

Also via Mr. Williams, Tim O'Reilly takes on California Senator Liz Figueroa and concerns about Gmail and privacy.

Gotta Love The Headline

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Speed Limit: 8 Miles Per Hour

It was indescribably beautiful here today, so I'm in the process of posting a bunch of photos from my walk with the baby. I hope these help quell the entirely fictitious and not at all rampant rumor that they want me on the Third Circuit. (Unless I too could have chambers in the Ninth...Hmm!)

On the seventh day God made maternity leave. And it was good. So educational too. In just one day, for example, my portion of wisdom increased in numerous subtle ways:

  • It's tough to beat a charged phone, a charged iPod, an uncharged baby in a big, comfy stroller, and a whole morning to enjoy them.
  • It's a really good time to be in construction.
  • Trash day is trash day — even on the beach.
  • The roses in our front yard bloom in April.
  • One need not necessarily juggle one's schedule a month in advance to work in a hair cut.
  • Baseball caps. (I'd forgotten all about them.)
  • There are literally hours of baby entertainment in that paper bag Starbucks provides with your muffin.
  • If you should find yourself in a grocery store without the baby, there is hardly any reason at all to rock the shopping cart.

Interesting Mother's Day Idea

The American Immigrant Wall of Honor: "Mother's Day means Family, and what better way to honor Mom than by presenting her with a unique document celebrating her own family's heritage. . . . Proceeds from the Wall of Honor support the many projects the [Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island] Foundation undertakes year-round at Lady Liberty and on Ellis Island." Names on the wall are searchable, too.

Monday, April 19, 2004

Hundred Thousand Dollar Bar

Over at David Giacalone's, my Newport neighbor J. Craig Williams explains how his blog has helped grow his law practice — we're talking "hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of legal business" — as reported in the New York Times:

I think you have to put yourself out there, who you truly are, and let people see that.  You show them that you're the one they want to hire because you either write well, they understand what you write, or you're writing about the very thing that they need help with . . .

Just as important to getting clients, however, is that the blog teaches me . . . I am [] more informed about the law than if I did not write it.

Nice, huh? (The backdrop of the discussion is continued musing about LexBlog, and business blogging in the legal context.)

Two More IQ Points For Holland & Hart

I mean, aside from the blog. The 300 lawyer, Denver based law firm also has WiFi in the conference rooms, and "lists most of its 600 employees" on its Web site. (Most firms list just the lawyers, sometimes not even all of them.) [Both factoids via LawFirmInc.; just one of the articles is online (Low Visibility).]

RU Rdy 4 Dis?

Have you ever wondered what a federal appellate judge might sound like in IM-speak? Of course you have.

How Appealing relocates to the Legal Affairs site as of midnight tonight. (New URI to follow. [Update]: Here it is. I'm not yet getting a site there, but give them a bit.) Well done Howard, well done Legal Affairs. (Someone there apparently has read the book.)

May 9

Whatever else you may do for Mother's Day, every mom needs one of these. (You're welcome.)

Saturday, April 17, 2004

Giving BloggerCon A Run For Its Pixels

Marc Canter has been keeping me in stitches today, sending piles of interesting email to my GMail account in an effort to get it to spew related ads and pages at me. (No luck — I must have the ad-free version.) All this in the middle of DaddyCon SF, hoo boy. MommyCon OC is on a semi-concurrent track:

Hello darling,
How're you feeling?
Mommy's tired,
Almost reeling!
You've been such a
Little grumpster,
It's a wonder you're not sleeping in the dumpster!

Such a sunny
Like the Spanish
Though you burble,
And you smile
That behavior hasn't been here in a while.

Where's the light switch,
Shall we dim it?
I've about reached
My limit.
Piles of laundry,
Poopy diapers,
You keep crying and I'll need some windshield wipers.

(That last was most unfair to the baby, who's being a little angel right now. Not even a fallen one.)

By the way, if Marc Canter, Shelley Powers and Jonas Luster all say WordPress is a good blogging tool, you'd better believe it. I'll second Marc's enthusiasm for Blogware too, Elliot knows his stuff.

Friday, April 16, 2004


Just got the email that my Netflix accounts (I'm floating my Mom's too; hear that Tyler? that's what good kids do) are jumping $2.04 (from $19.95 to $21.99) as of June 15. That extra $.04 per account per month at first seemed just wacky, but it must be significant across all the users, and every little bit helps.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Cake + Eating It Too

Donna Wentworth comes through again with privacy recommendations for using a mail account from "any business - Yahoo, Hotmail/MSN [and GMail] - that offers both search and email services and can link the two."

Jason Shellen: "I must say the level of begging was impressive."

Marketing Is A Conversation

David Giacalone spotted Kevin O'Keefe's new service for lawyers, lexBlog, and called him on it. The good: lexBlog wants to help legal professionals get blogging. The questionable: the service goes beyond the nuts and bolts of putting together a weblog, and offers, in its Plus and Premium services, to provide "Content, Content, Content" written by its "staff of lawyer editors."

In good Cluetrain tradition, David has framed the issues, Kevin has responded, and lots of folks are chiming in in the comments. I'm all for employing talented people to blog on your behalf (in good Gonzo Marketing/Renaissance guild tradition), but I think this fact should be acknowledged. Hiring a staff of ghost bloggers to capitalize on the benefits of weblogging with none of the nasty effort (or authenticity) strikes me as a little like counting cards in Vegas: you might win a few hands, but the consequences are likely to be dire.

[Update, 4/16] I'm happy to say the conversation continued in my comments, where Kevin clarified that weblog material purchased from lexBlog appearing on its clients' sites will be identified as such, so it won't be anonymous ghostwriting but more like "value add." That's great, as is Kevin's likely well-founded hope that once his clients experience blogging for themselves their garrulous nature will take its course.

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Shameless Filial Plug

Travel Writer George Medovoy ( recently had some awfully nice things to say about my Dad, his books (published and forthcoming), and the Inn where he unselfishly donates generous amounts of body weight, hour after hour, in an effort to ensure the bar remains upright: Little River Inn: Coastal Comforts in Mendocino.

Donna Got A Sitdown

Donna Wentworth on GMail: "This week, we sat down with Google and got some preliminary answers." The privacy advice so far: deleting the Google cookie often will help prevent search results from being correlated with an email address. (I bet some smart geek(s) could write a few OS-appropriate automating scripts for this in about 2 seconds, and give them a Creative Commons license, so EFF and others — Google? — could make them available for download. [Update: Oops, forgot, Creative Commons doesn't recommend its licenses for software, but encourages other alternatives.])

How Much Is That Mesothelioma In The Window?

Little Party Down In Newport

With apologies to We Quit Drinking, in the ongoing quest for material to sing to the baby I had to look up the Cal Drinking Song (MP3) this morning. (Some context: The Place; The Ferry.)

Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 10, 2004

Sounding Fishy

Ernie The Attorney: "I have heard it streaming through my abode and noted that, were it not for the halting sound that an AAC file makes as it wirelessly fights its way (like a desperate digital salmon) toward the Squeezebox, there is great promise in the idea of streaming music thru the home."

Friday, April 09, 2004

Gee! Mail

By now you know it was no April Fool's joke. You know it has privacy advocates worried. You know there seems to be a trademark issue. But have you thought about how Google's GMail, and an archive and search strategy in general, will force businesses to kiss their email (non)retention policies goodbye, or at least recognize the fact they may not be very effective?

See, here's the thing. The efficiency of storing and Google searching all of one's email has got to be beyond compare. (I don't know much about the Google Appliance — does it only work on intranets and Web sites, or could you conceivably search a whole network?) From the standpoint of user/employee convenience and productivity, this is pure poetry:

Gmail simplifies this process by placing your messages in 'All Mail' when you use the archive function.

'All Mail' is the holding place for all of the messages you've sent or received, but not deleted. When you delete a message, it's gone forever. With Gmail, you have enough storage space to last for years without deleting a single message. Just archive everything and all your messages will be searchable and easily accessible.

From the standpoint of businesses seeking to keep smoking email guns from coming back to haunt them, it should be a loud wake up call. But wait, you say. GMail won't replace carefully crafted corporate email systems, policies, and IT routines that periodically purge. It's going to be a public, Web based service like Yahoo! Mail or Hotmail, right? People will use it to hit on each other and send pictures. What's the big deal?

Well, we're talking a gigabyte — years worth — of storage space, coupled with everyone's favorite search technology. It's going to be really, really tempting for savvy users to start forwarding their work mail to their Gmail account: a.k.a. their ad hoc, kick ass knowledge management tool. (Efficiency, productivity.) Soon enough, those accounts will be just one more thing for lawyers to add to their electronic discovery checklists.

The lessons for smart businesses before Gmail even launches thus are several:

  • Invest sufficiently in your own electronic infrastructure so employees won't feel the need to Gmail their work stuff. (Given the quality of Google's search, I wonder whether it's even possible to invest that sufficiently.)
  • See if your email policy anticipates this sort of situation. If it doesn't, update it. (It won't stop it from happening of course, and you can't just fire everyone, can you?)
  • "Don't be evil." (Still, companies and employees don't have to be "evil" to get themselves in litigatory trouble with email. They just have to be wrong, or careless, or, y'know, humanly fallible. And there's no Fifth Amendment protection for potential civil liability, I'm afraid.)

In other words, Gmail is about to make things more transparent. Did you remember to change your underwear?

For my part, I've also learned a few things before Gmail even launches:

  • It pays to hang on to your old, déclassé MSN email address, long after the computer that gave it to you has rusted on the scrap heap. Kind and beneficent Googlodytes might take it upon themselves to move you to a tonier neighborhood.
  • Good fun lies ahead in seeding Gmails with vocabulary calculated to give the recipient some, er, unexpected ads and related pages. The email Googlewhack — mail with no ads or related pages — no doubt will make the rounds as well.
  • It pains me to report that apparently, without my realizing it, I have become too stodgy and boring to be "," though Google to its credit did its level best to talk me into it.
  • Firefox is one nifty browser.
  • I have no spam. Hooray!

No Spam

More links, related and un-:
The Weblog speculates interestingly about Gmail under the hood.
Here's the story from Professor Lessig's appearance yesterday on The Screen Savers.
It's Masters Friday at Augusta National (and as far as I know Sandra Day O'Connor still is not a member).
The Baseball Crank takes a look at stock blogging and SEC regs.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Treat Your Ears

Audio Lessig is in da house! It all started with AKMA's great idea, and — long and exemplary story short — has culminated in this page on Aaron Swartz's Free Culture Wiki, which links to readings by notable netizens of all the chapters of Professor Lessig's new book. Sure your iPod is crammed to bursting with Will Hung tracks, but it's high time to make some room.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

TV Or Not TV

ScienceDaily thoughtfully provides the link to the study (PDF) published in the April issue of PEDIATRICS that has been causing such a stir on Today and CNN among the great unwashed masses (like, who can wash?) of parents with children under 3. As the press release from the Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center explains, the study found that exposure to television while the brain is still developing ups the chances a child will develop ADHD.

ScienceDaily also links to a story about a 2001 study (sponsored by the Children's Television Workshop) on the positive effects of educational television, which were "strongest for children aged 2 and 3." So here's what sounds like a winning long bet. A quarter century from now researchers will be investigating the causes of TVD, or Tunnel Vision Disorder: the inability to shift one's focus fluidly and rapidly from one topic or activity to another.

Monday, April 05, 2004

The Short Arm Of The Law

In case you, like me, have been living under a rock, don't miss Irish blogger Gavin Sheridan and his crash course in Internet/international jurisdiction law — which he passed impressively, with a little help (and more help) from the blogosphere. Here's Glenn Reynolds on the matter: "Does this mean that it's always a mistake to send lawyers after bloggers? I suppose not. But I have to say that so far that's how it looks." Jeff Jarvis throws an apt turn of Shakespearian phrase on the fire, and renews his call for a blogger legal aid society. I for one wish John Maltbie were still blogging. This area of the law, particularly the media/First Amendment aspect, is ripe for regular coverage.

Today's New Blawgs

I've obviously been putting the new blawg sightings on hold, since it's far from a done deal that I'm able to sit down at the computer every day. (I'm snatching blogging like I'm snatching sleep — and with, understandably I hope, somewhat less frequency). My list of newcomers is getting looonnnggg, but here are some particularly worth mentioning.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

No Fooling (Reprise)

Jon Healey has a good article in today's Los Angeles Times Business section, headlined File Sharing Ruled Legal In Canada, about yesterday's Federal Court of Canada decision holding that file sharing does not violate Canadian copyright law. The story also discusses by way of contrast pending U.S. legislation (HR 4077, Smith-Berman) that would criminalize the intentional sharing of 1,000 songs or more, with a maximum 3-year sentence. (Q: "So what are you in for?" A: "Some Bon Jovi, a little ZZ-Top...")

Bonus links: Michael Geist of the University of Ottowa and ILN, quoted in the article, now has a kind of blog, plus an RSS feed.

Creative Commons LicenseUnless otherwise expressly stated, all original material of whatever nature created by Denise M. Howell and included in the Bag and Baggage weblog and any related pages, including the weblog's archives, is licensed under a Creative Commons License.