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Re: WSJ - Article on Linux netbooks

On Friday 29 May 2009, Wolfgang S. Rupprecht wrote:
>Gene Heskett <gene heskett verizon net> writes:
>> We will never convince the Lexmarks of the world to give us working
>> driver writing information until we are a more significant piece of
>> the market, one they will have to play with on our terms IF they want
>> to sell us their printers.
>I'm told by an engineer there that the problem with Lexmark (and I
>assume every hyper-cheap printer) is that the even very low-level stuff
>is done by the host computer.  There are things the printer can do that
>will break the printer.  We are talking about things like how long to
>heat the little wire to flash-steam the ink etc.  Do it for too long and
>you damage the wire.  On the mickysoft driver, this is all buried in a
>binary blob and while folks could in theory binary edit it, they won't
>for the most part.  In the OSS world, if they released sources, that
>almost certainly wouldn't be as true.  This puts Lexmark in a very bad
>position.  If they open it up they would need to figure out a way to
>tell if a modified driver caused damage and not cover that damage under
>warranty repairs.
>Now there might be other issues too like BS patents, where everyone and
>their brother has patents on all the obvious ideas surrounding printing.
>Exposing the software when you know that the competitor is claiming
>patents on half a dozen things you are doing isn't going to make the
>legal dept very happy.
And which is the very real reason they are in that pickle in the first place.  
Its not what you can or cannot do, its what you can do and not get caught.  
And giving the world discovery via driver writing specs will make damned sure 
you get caught.  So folks like Lexmark will slowly see their market share 
deteriorate as linux grows.  And bet the farm they will file for chapter 7 cuz 
its cheaper than getting caught.  And the exact same people will re-arrange 
the letters on the letterhead and become MarkLex next week and buy up all the 
remains of LexMark at the sheriffs sale.  Business as usual till another 
decade has passed.  Wash, rinse, repeat.

>Wolfgang S. Rupprecht              Android 1.5 (Cupcake) and Fedora-11

Cheers, Gene
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 soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order."
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The recent proliferation of Nuclear Testing

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