Patents and Symantec were made to look very silly this week. Microsoft said that open source was a bigger threat than Google and no prizes for guessing which month the final version of Firefox 3 will appear in.
Strutting down the corridors of Symantec this week, one very proud security researcher was on top of the world. A flaw had been found within Adobe's Flash player and therefore the entire Web was ready to reel in horror.
One small issue with that premise though: the flaw in question had already been patched and everything continued as normal. Well, maybe not normal within the walls of Symantec, as one suspects the once proud researcher had their hide handed to them on a plate.
But that was far from the silliest thing to appear this week. Over in Singapore, a company is sending out invoices for S$5000 (AU$3800) to companies with websites for infringing on their patents. What technology are the patents for? For that ground-breaking idea of linking to web pages using images. Apparently the patent has also been granted in the US, New Zealand and here in Australia. Expect some rooting-tooting actual-factual spam in your mailbox soon asking for your money. My financial advisors tell me that your money would be better invested and get higher returns if you gave it to the next Nigerian scammer that appeared in your inbox.
Back in the real world, Microsoft's chief software architect Ray Ozzie said that open source is a bigger threat to Microsoft than Google. Ozzie bases his conclusion on the idea that since open source projects do not have to answer to shareholders and hence are more potentially disruptive to Microsoft. After attending some of the conferences last week, watching developers do whatever they want without a care about the bottom line, I can see how that could threaten Microsoft -- especially in terms of bar tabs.
Look at your calendar and notice what day it is. Got it? (30th May if you can't be bothered to play along.) Get ready for this startling announcement: the final build of Firefox 3 will be ready in June. You probably didn't need me to tell you that one.
-- Posted By Chris Duckett