15th > April > 2006 Archive

Lessig, Stallman on 'Open Source' DRM

When Sun trumpeted its 'open source DRM' last month, no one at first noticed an unusual name amongst the canned quotes. Lending his support to the rights enforcement technology was Free Software Foundation, Electronic Frontier Foundation board member, and Software Freedom Law Center director, Professor Lawrence Lessig. A name usually associated with the unrestricted exchange of digital media.
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Apr 2006

New Orleans woman runs for mayor of Disneyland

Kimberly Williamson Butler is running for mayor of New Orleans, but you wouldn't know it by looking at her web site. Butler has been superimposed over an idyllic image of the French Quarter on her stump site. The image, however, seems a bit too idyllic - what with the perfectly clean streets, and tourists outfitted with fanny-packs. And, in fact, Butler isn't in New Orleans at all. She's pictured in what appears to be Disneyland's New Orleans Square. This is a sad state of affairs for the beaten down New Orleans and for Butler. The mayoral candidate was brought into New Orleans to "breath new life into the Downtown Development District." Instead of showing off this work, Butler relied on Team Rodent clipart. Here's Butler's web site, although the original image is sure to be changed soon. So, here's a handy screengrab that shows Disneyland and Butler's photo. The screen grab from Butler's site A comparison with Disneyland One can't help but wonder if this was a simple mistake or if Butler is hoping to sway the collective unconscious of the new New Orleans. Plenty of folks believe bureaucrats are turning the once raucous town into a family fun park. "We can replace Café du Monde with Starbucks and prefabricate some precision-milled gingerbread and all-weather recycled PVC grillwork, and listen to oom-pah-pah versions of 'Struttin' with some Barbecue,' just to give it that authentic New Orleans color without the messy business of keeping actual colored folks around," writes one observer. It seems hard to think that Butler - a woman of color - would support such notions, but she has slapped her likeness in the middle of Mickey's playground. New Orleans will elect a mayor later this month. Here's some of the fine apparel folks in New Orleans may start wearing. ®
Ashlee Vance, 15 Apr 2006

SanDisk digs in for Lexar bidding war - reports

SanDisk appears set to make Micron's acquisition of Lexar more difficult. A pair of reports circulating this week claim that SanDisk will make its own, uninvited bid for Lexar. SanDisk has tapped Morgan Stanley for advice on the merits of a Lexar acquisition, according to the reports from The Deal and Reuters. Micron's offer for the memory device maker stands at $700m or close to $8.50 a share. A more lucrative offer from SanDisk could prove attractive to Lexar investors, although the Micron buy appears to make more sense from a competitive standpoint. The Micron and Lexar marriage unites a memory maker with a memory seller, creating a pretty complete operation. A combined Lexar and SanDisk would hold more than 50 per cent of the market for flash cards, USB drives and related products. Such a union would be chock full of overlap and open few new avenues. That begs the question as to whether or not a SanDisk bid for Lexar isn't just a competitive blow meant to disrupt Micron's pursuit of the company. Some prominent Lexar shareholders have pushed for the company to seek better offers than Micron's $700m bid. Close to a dozen companies – including Intel, Micron and SanDisk – are reported to have made previous offers for Lexar. At the moment, however, it seems that Micron and SanDisk are the most interested parties. ®
Ashlee Vance, 15 Apr 2006