China Protects Microsoft

But not for reasons you might expect. This post in StrategyPage is so fascinating that I decided to clip the whole piece:

July 24, 2007: Facing U.S. import restrictions, China finally allowed major software counterfeiters to be shut down. Nearly ten million dollars in CD manufacturing equipment was seized, along with nearly 300,000 CDs, many packaged to appear identical to the real thing (various Microsoft, and other major publishers, products). Ironically, this rampant piracy has prevented the Chinese government from getting most civilian Chinese PC users to switch to Linux. With the pirated Windows software available, the Linux price advantage largely disappeared. There was more application software available for Windows, thus it was much more popular than Linux. However, this makes the Chinese economy much more vulnerable to attack via the Internet. This is just what the American military, and many civilian agencies, are calling for. The U.S. wants to establish a policy for retaliating, on a massive scale, for increasing Chinese Internet based espionage operations. China would like to force Chinese to pay full price for Microsoft products, thus forcing more people to use Linux. But because of the shortage of business and game software for Linux, most people still prefer Windows, and will continue to support counterfeiters. Looks like hard times ahead for the software pirates.

San Francisco’s Free Wifi Network, Sigh

The proposed Google/Earthlink citywide wifi network in San Francisco has been debated for almost 2 years and not a single access point has made it through the guantlet that is the Board of Supervisors. It appear that Earthlink has now decided that citywide wifi is not the good business it once promised

"The Wi-Fi business as currently constituted will not provide an acceptable return. We’re actively exploring ways to scale this business more economically," Rolla P. Huff, the company’s president and CEO, told investors on the conference call.

It’s really stunning that San Francisco’s politicians could snatch defeat from the jaws of victory with such a spectacular display of political incompetence. Google wants to deliver this for free and the Board of Dupes can’t figure out that free really is free. Meanwhile, San Francisco’s residents still don’t have citywide wifi, free or not.

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Times vs. Dow Jones

The decision signals the end of an era for Dow Jones and the Bancroft family, an intensely private clan that for generations had allowed The Journal to operate independently and become one of the nation’s most prominent and trusted newspapers, even as its finances deteriorated.

Wonder when the NYTimes is going to start writing stories about how the Sulzberger family’s control over the NYTimes has worked out for shareholders? It’s without a hint of irony that the above quote was included in their coverage of News Corp’s acquisition of Dow Jones today.

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Notify Your Doctor If You Experience Sudden Urges to Gamble

In the background I hear an advertisement for a drug, presumably a new one because I have never heard of this one before, Mirapex. Before I write anything else let me say that I’m not quick to criticize drug companies because it’s really not possible to argue the merits of a drug or therapy unless you personally know the impact of the disease or condition it treats. Having said that, restless leg syndrome?

What caught my attention is the standard blurb at the end of the commercial highlighting possible side effects. I’m not making this up…. "notify your doctor if you have unexpected urges to gamble, compulsive eating, or increased sex drive". Wow, that’s quite a bit different than naseau and diarreha.

I’m sure there are drugs with side effects a lot worse than these, in addition to the aforementioned gambling and sex drive issues, but you typically don’t see them advertised on television:

"MIRAPEX may cause you to fall asleep without any warning, even while doing normal daily activities such as driving."

"When taking MIRAPEX hallucinations may occur and sometimes you may feel dizzy, sweaty or nauseated upon standing up."

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