Bill's rules

Why is it that we have to hear from people who have no concept of what reality is in the software industry world


"The computer industry is far more complex and diverse than you think. It is only the ignorant who believe that Microsoft is a monopoly. A monopoly of what?"

Bill's rules

Why is it that we have to hear from people who have no concept of what reality is in the software industry world telling us about the reality of the software industry ("It's the law, stupid," 11/11)? I work in Unix and have a boatload of Microsoft stock, so I stand to gain significantly by a Microsoft break-up. Microsoft did what all software companies that I have ever been associated with or have knowledge of, including Netscape, do. These companies compete ruthlessly. Yeah, Bill stepped on some toes. But it ain't a monopoly. These are not Bill's rules. These are the rules that govern the software industry. It is created by tremendously driven programmers who hate losing.

So the Seattle Weekly is complaining that Bill Gates didn't employ more lobbyists. This is a newspaper for the people? Let's not forget why he is the richest man in the world. His wealth places him above other CEOs because of the overvaluation of his stock. That overvaluation is based again on a perception of the company's future value. He isn't the richest man in the world because he developed an industry and squeezed every single competitor out of it like the robber barons of the gilded age.

You give Gates too much credit. He ceased being an entrepreneur 10 years ago.

I have two Intel-based machines in my office both running SCO Unix. I have a Mac nearby. The computer industry is far more complex and diverse than you think. The problem seems to be based on a perception of what the computer industry is, a perception created by marketing and media. It is only the ignorant who believe that Microsoft is a monopoly. A monopoly of what? The computer industry has thousands of players. If you want to look at a monopoly, consider a company like Cisco or Hewlett Packard. Netscape is an example of a company who wasn't savvy enough to compete with the big boys and instead of trying to remedy that went whining to mommy.

I doubt Bill Gates is losing much sleep. This is just the kind of ruling to get him and his company jolted into overdrive to prove Pennington and his cronies at the justice department that they are in over their heads. Next the justice department will come out with a glowing tribute to their handling of Waco.

Microsoft will challenge this thing all the way to the supreme court with nothing to lose, and double in size in the process. Cisco, that's the company that is a monopoly. Do you even know who they are? Of course not, you're just a printhead.



Disclaimer: we don't

I can't just stand by and let Angela Gunn retread the fantasy that Netscape deserved to succeed in the marketplace because it has a superior, "innovative" Web browser ("Control freak.alt.delete," 11/11). While Communicator may have been nifty compared to the text-based browsers it replaced, it can't hold a candle to IE, especially when used in a corporate intranet. As the browser battle progressed, Netscape stopped innovating.

This is not just me: A recent PCWeek poll of top IT managers showed that corporations were moving away en masse from Netscape's Communicator—not due to pressure from Microsoft, but because Netscape's browser technology is a good year behind Microsoft's. Communicator's lack of support for XML, its hackneyed implementation of Dynamic HTML, and its lack of fast and robust client-side programming technologies (and yes, I'm excluding Java) means that using Communicator puts companies far behind the technological curve.

If that's not enough, check out the Web site of Netscape Employee No. 6, Jamie Zawinski, who quit when he realized that Netscape "stopped innovating. The company got big, and big companies just aren't creative." Well, at least *that* big company isn't.

All that said, I'd still like to point out that Netscape was recently absorbed by AOL for the robust sum of $4 billion. I don't know about you, but I'd love to lose that big.

Disclaimer: I work for Microsoft.




Thank to Angela Gunn for another great piece and for putting one of our homegrown sacred cows into proper perspective ("Control freak.alt.delete," 11/11). When Microsoft launched Windows 98, they contracted with Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones to use "Start Me Up" as their "theme" song. Now that the Monopoly Kid has been put into the spotlight, will Bill and Mick get together to use "Winning Ugly" as their new theme for the Microsoft Millennium?



E-waste not, e-want not

Thanks for printing ("Down the tubes" (11/18). It is a timely reminder that the escalating piles of computer junk that is rapidly becoming obsolete poses a serious environmental threat, especially if we continue to bury our heads in the sand and pretend it doesn't exist. That's why it's so disturbing that the US high-tech leaders and their trade associations such as the American Electronics Association—made up of the largest firms, such as Microsoft, Intel, IBM, etc.—have increased their lobbying efforts against the European initiative that would require the companies to take back their e-waste at the end of its useful life. While the companies and the US Trade Representative continue to deny to the media that they are out to scuttle the European Directive, their own actions speak louder than their words. For anyone who wants additional documentation on these issues, please visit our Web site at and you will find more information.




Good for 2 things!

"If there was one thing grunge offered in addition to noise, it was sincerity." The aforementioned remarks by Mr. David Massengill, which open his preview of Chris Cornell's concert Music, 11/25), are a welcome reminder to those of us who pick up your weekly rag of the tasteless vulgarity and utter worthlessness of the articles, editorials, previews, and reviews that fill in the spaces between the paid advertising.

Ah, yes, Mr. Massengill, grunge in its most generalized form did foster sincerity. The same overgeneralized kind of twisted argument employed by Mr. Massengill to pay 'grunge' its due is often used by those who suffer a 'failure of the intellect.' One example of such a failure are the many apologists who rationalized that sure, they made their mistakes, but the fascists in Italy DID make the trains run on time.

Mr. Massengill then proceeds to wax most eloquently about the 'good ol' days'; yes, you remember those days (way back when) in which people preferred "sensitive music that you can mosh to." I can just picture in my mind's eye exactly the kind of Norman Rockwell-esque scenario Mr. Massengill is contemplating. Moshing to sensitive music. You know.

Mr. Massengill ends his insightful and profound preview with an expletive-laced rhetorical question which certainly reflects his own sensitive side.

Thank you, Seattle Weekly, for reminding me that your weekly magazine is good for 2 things: determining show times and cleaning up after the pet.



The fuzz

Rick Anderson instantly loses credibility when the photo caption describing Nicole Prigger perching on a "King County deputy's car" ("In the line of booty," 11/25) describes the half-page photo of a woman leaning against a WASHINGTON STATE PATROL car. Rick must not get out of the office much. The logo on the side of the WSP cruiser has only been in service for 50 years or so.



Enthused walker

As a "mere walker" who has completed three half-marathons and a full marathon (and who will be doing my fourth half-marathon on Sunday), I take umbrage at Brian Miller's disdain for those of us who choose to challenge ourselves by walking rather than running long distance events ("Hitting the wall," 11/25). He himself notes that the satisfaction of completing such an event outweighs your finish time. I switched to walking five years ago because my knees could no longer take the pounding of running and have enjoyed working at improving my technique and speed. I'm extremely proud of my finish times and I hope to continue to better them. Most of us who walk these events are not strolling! It takes determination and commitment to train for and complete a half-marathon or marathon at any speed. Walkers, hold your heads up, swing those arms and hips proudly, and give a big fat raspberry to the likes of Miller!



Actual Marivaux

I have always read with pleasure John Longenbaugh's theatre previews. However, this time, when he describes Stephen Wadsworth's staging as having an "annoying penchant for stylistic tricks" ("Elegant schmelegant," 11/25), he missed in my opinion the opportunity to pronounce it as one of the most brilliant and inspired theatre events with a loving touch of Marcel Marceau thrown in for still more stylistic enjoyment by an enthusiastic audience.

To quote from Mr. Wadsworth's program notes: "I love classical work that uses the style of the play to speak its truths and which brings the period in question alive as something actual and tangible! 'actual' meaning: That is the was it was. . . ." With that in mind, the old play came to life rejuvenated in an exuberant, unique production.



Alive and well

Kathryn Robinson's review of Salumeria (11/18) is an excellent example of the forms that racism takes these days: insidious and unwitting, but racism all the same. The table-of-contents teaser says Salumeria is "bringing the neighborhood [Columbia City] to life." Robinson complains that before Salumeria, there was no casual afternoon hangout in the neighborhood (and that before Lottie Mott's and Starbucks, there was no morning hangout). One would think that the Columbia City of old was a place bereft, a cultural wasteland. And it was, if you are part of the tide of gentrifying white people who would never, for reasons they themselves cannot articulate, feel comfortable in establishments where minorities gather in any numbers.

Of course, the most casual stroll down Rainier will show you that Columbia City was vibrant and happening long before nouveau riche restaurateurs condescended to convert their stock options into profitable sponges to soak up the settlers' dollars. Some of the best Ethiopian, Vietnamese, Filipino, Mexican, and Somali restaurants in town, not to mention burger joints, have been established in Columbia City for years, and all of these places can serve as morning or afternoon "hangouts" provided one does not feel the inexplicable fear of the settler in territory perceived to be hostile. Robinson seems oblivious to the existence of these places. It's just a restaurant review, but this is disturbing all the same. It's this sort of non-seeing of the Other that allowed early white settlers in the US to justify mass murder of Native Americans.

Perhaps this is a little extreme. After all, Robinson says that if Salumeria would just deliver pizza, the neighborhood would be just perfect. Apparently she doesn't want it to become like Greenwood or Madison Park, where, she says, such establishments are common.

Can we then infer that Robinson likes the ethnic flavor of the neighborhood, as long as there is a place where she can "hang out" with a better element?



Not yuppie nor hugger

I guess I take offense to being called a yuppie because of where I choose to live. To me that is as derogatory as the words they used to call anyone other than WASPs back in the dark ages. That's because I associate a yuppie with someone who only loves money and the things it can buy and doesn't care about anything else. I'm not one of those people because of where I chose to live.

I've lived in North Bend for near nine years and have a view of the Grouse Ridge area. I almost can't imagine that the bureaucrats would let this one slide for 250 million in gravel ("Rocks on the brain," 11/11). I have seen what it has done to Issaquah, a travesty! The North Bend valley is very picturesque. Mining rock in Grouse Ridge would ruin the view of that whole valley not to mention the freeways, windshields, and accidents by the maniacs that drive these trucks.

Is it really worth it? 250 million in rock vs. the growth that this represents, the destruction of forest and river land. With so much pressure on the environment and the fragile land that this quarry will consume, not to mention if you will excuse my words "the shit it will leave behind." It seems to me to be so very wrong in every sense of the word. Just more people getting rich at everyone else's expense. Cadman and Weyerhaeuser are aren't interested in the well-being of the community or anything else—they are interested in the revenue it will produce.

I'm no tree hugger; I understand the need for balance in these issues but this one really sends me. All you have to do is look at where they plan to do this and it does become obvious. Shit does run downhill!



Cat chases tail

Thank you for—with such good humor—keeping track of all those seemingly boring meetings for us and most especially for daring, of late, to wade into Neighborhood Planning ("Six-story fracas," 11/11).

Last year I spent a pleasant afternoon walking throughout the exact Greenlake neighborhood of which you write. It has the Eastlake feel—modest, nice, cared-for houses (comparatively affordable) now mixing fairly well with garden variety apartments (L3). My inclination would be to leave it alone. I am an old-timer and I remember how it was that the City Council managed to quiet a great uproar with the Lowrise Multifamily Revisions of 1989. Primarily, they fixed L3 by limiting it to structural widths that mix well with old Seattle-style houses.

That same 1989 Council also transferred, unchanged, the old L3 design standards to a new L4 zone. In doing so they left on the cutting room floor a citizens' request for a work plan to transform failed auto-oriented standards into pedestrian-friendly ones to match L4's adopted locational criteria (places later defined as urban villages). The saving grace was that the new zone existed only on paper—it was left unmapped. So you can see why old-timers do not think much of council member Conlin's compromise offer of L4.

Davidya Kasperzyk, the expert hired by the Green Lake planners, is correct if she means that 60'-85' buildings (five floors of wood over two floors of masonry, concrete, etc.) are less expensive than higher incombustible ones. But as she found out with the canceled downzone, once upzoned, few are interested in selling for less than zoning and fashion allow.

Regardless of new math or land use codes so complex that only the king's men have keys, somewhere deep in everyone's brains lies the knowledge that the higher the permitted intensity the higher the land value—and the consequence that upzoning in the name of affordability is in most cases less productive than the cat chasing its tail. The case of which you write, for example: The prospect of urbane living with Green Lake serving as Central Park would be so appealing that affordability would mean the same, if not more, subsidy that it already does throughout much of the north end of boom-time Seattle.



No guns at Manray

I read Michael Stusser's review of Manray with much amusement. I suppose it's difficult for Stusser to appreciate a bar that has style and class, and which has more to offer than Bob Dylan on a jukebox, neon beer signs, and cigarette smoke. But then again, we didn't design Manray for the likes of Stusser. Compared to some of his other jaundiced reviews, Manray's seemed somewhat less scathing. I suppose for those few crumbs of compassion we should feel fortunate. But then again, who cares, nobody reads the Weekly anyway. However, just to set the record straight, Manray does not use a gun to dispense liquor. We free pour. Perhaps Stusser missed that "minor" detail. He must have been too wasted on our "double" shots.



Free Tibet

Regarding Quick & Dirty, "Trash Tibet" (11/11): I share your offense at Huang's letter in the P-I and agree that "it's a shame that Beijing's propaganda went unchallenged." I'm disappointed that not a single letter in opposition was published, and I'm sure there were many. After all the Beijing claptrap and the Dalai Lama spiritual issues, there remain pure, naked military and economic incentives for the invasion and occupation.



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