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Thursday Afternoon, May
Microsoft and DoJ In Negotiations
The world expected that the US Department of Justice and state
Attorneys General would file suit against Microsoft today. Then, both sides
announced that they had held off on their plans and were conducting last
minute negotiations. (But is Microsoft already showing that it may not
adhere to any agreement that is struck? The software giant claimed that
it would not ship Windows 98 until negotiations were concluded, but reports
are trickling in that some OEMs have disks now.) In any event, here's an
update on the day's big story.
Texas Joins Other States
After waffling and almost backing out of the whole affair, Texas
Attorney General Dan Morales has joined other AGs in the negotiations with
Where Ya Gonna Call?
A Texas family may have done something slightly wrong when setting
up their new computer for a free trial of Prodigy. They just got a long
distance bill in excess of $3,000 because their computer dialed California
instead of a local number! Neither Prodigy nor the phone company wants
to pick up the tab; they say the faily is to blame. But we wonder if these
novices were adequately warned. (We've found similar problems with other
services; if you try to set up MSN in our town -- Laramie, WY -- your computer
tries to make an intrastate toll call to Cheyenne, which can cost even
more per minute.) At least, in this case, the situation seems to be the
result of someone's innocent mistake -- unlike the infamous
"Trojan Horse" program that intentionally caused users' machines to
Jose Mercury News
for our aggressive ad rates.
3Com Switches Have Security
Want to break into an enterprise's 3Com switch? Just log in via
Telnet as "debug" and the system is yours to control. This "back door"
is being patched now.
Quicken Sued Over Y2K Bug
A disgruntled Quicken user is suing financial software maker Intuit
for insisting that users upgrade to eliminate a Year 2000 bug that cripples
AGIS Sues To Block Worldcom/MCI
Merger, Saying Worldcom Already Is Predatory
AGIS, once renowned as a "spammers' backbone," has changed its
ways but is complaining that Worldcom hasn't. It's accusing Worldcom of
engaging in unfair business practices now -- before the merger --
and alleges that things will get even worse if Worldcom gets a larger chunk
of the Internet.
Windows 98 Contains Features
That Are Threatening To Many Businesses
This New York Times article points out features of Windows 98 that
might be threatening to those in many businesses -- not just Internet browser
New York Times (Free registration may be required)
RBOCs Will Charge For Number
The Regional Bell Operating Companies plan to charge telephone
consumers for taking their numbers elsewhere. Our take: the new telephone
company should absorb the cost, just as long distance carriers often reimburse
customers for switching.
Billy, Come Home
John C. Dvorak wonders if Bill Gates is spending so much time on
the road that he has no time to ride herd on software quality back in Redmond.
Iomega: It's Turnaround
This Forbes article examines the plight of Iomega, which has all
at once been plagued by too rapid growth, media cloners, and the Click
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