Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Alvarado v Microsoft - Western District Washington

Is a charge to downgrade from Vista to XP the beginnings of a credible Washington State Anti-trust suit?



In her Feb 11, 2009 complaint, Alvarado alleges, among other state violations, a cause of action under the Washington State Unfair Business Practices statute.

Alvarado, a resident of Los Angeles County, California, filed the class action complaint in Washington as a diversity action, with JD/venue proper since Microsoft has its principle state of business in Redmond Washington.

The benefits of filing complaint under Washington state law are unclear. Considering the breadth of consumers "harmed" by Microsoft's alleged anti-competitive behavior, wouldn't it be proper to pursue an interstate system of relief?

Specifically, the complaint alleges in claim 1:
33. Beginning at a time presently unknown to Plaintiff, and continuing through the
present, Defendants entered into and operated a continuing unlawful trust in restraint of trade
and commerce. This trust consisted of a continuing combination, agreement, conspiracy,
and/or understanding between and among Defendants, OEMs, IAPs, and others with respect to
the licensing and sale of the Windows Vista operating system within the State of Washington
and throughout the United States.

The unlawful trust has had the following effects, among others:
a. competition in the sale of Intel-compatible PC operating systems
software has been suppressed, restrained, and/or eliminated;
b. prices of the Windows Vista operating system have been fixed,
maintained and stabilized at supra-competitive levels;
c. prices of the Windows XP operating system have been fixed,
maintained and stabilized at supra-competitive levels and customers have been forced to
purchase the most expensive version of this program in order to “downgrade” from the
Windows Vista operating system; and
d. Microsoft prohibited its OEM's (Dell/HP/Sony, etc.) from selling new
computers with Windows XP operating system pre-installed.

35. The conduct of Defendants as alleged herein constitutes a violation of the
Washington Unfair Business Practices Act.

36. As a direct and proximate result of the anti-competitive practices described
herein, Plaintiff and the members of the Class have been injured in their business or property
within the meaning of Section 19.86.090 of the Washington Unfair Business Practices Act
because they have been forced to purchase Vista rather than alternative operating systems
software and have been required to pay additional amounts of money to “downgrade” to the
Windows XP operating system.

Complaint obtained via Pacer

full text complaint Alvarado v Microsoft Complaint Against Microsoft


Thursday, February 12, 2009

HDR Comparison - Roses under the canopy

I've been a proponent of HDR photography ever since my first attempt, but although I've posted some of my work (here and on flickr) I haven't shown a comparison / process photo. Last year I posted Water Song, an HDR image taken under canopy of several roses and water dripping down a bit of mesh. The image never received much attention, but it's one of my favorites because it reminds me of home/summer - My mother always keeeps flowers or roses on her deck, under a canopy - and this image was taken of just that. The deep color of the flowers combined with the drops of water is warming to me:)

I took a few different shots of this subject - Water Song being the HDR product via Photomatix - below is my favorite non-hdr shot, followed by Water Song in HDR.

Notice this is the same subject matter, but the deep reds and blacks a more distinguished in the HDR image. A lot of HDR photographs wind up looking surreal - I USUALLY aim to recreate and highlight rather than distort, fittingly the HDR image above is much more true to what the subject actually looked like than the non-hdr. It's sometimes difficult to capture the mood of a subject; I've found HDR a valuable tool both before the shot and in processing for accurately recreating a scene (especially when you don't have a super expensive camera/lens)

As with all my photos, both shots are in high res on my flickr, and are free to distribute via Creative Commons license (with attribution).

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Men's Spring Fashion 2009, Sunglasses

As a guy who likes to keep up with seasonal fashion, I was inspired by a recent article at Associatedcontent.com listing some must haves for Spring 2009 men's fashion. Among some typical gear, the author ranked designer sunglasses as a must have for the coming spring. As a proponent of designer sunglasses (they LAST!), and since my pair of Tommy Hilfiger sunglasses were accidentally dropped in the ocean last summer, I decided to put together a quick list highlighting my best spec picks for the season.

Guess GU 6156

These square frame Guess glasses are a safe choice for casual wear. Stylish and not overly aggressive, they can hang on the end of your nose in case you need to do some scouting sans the shades.

Nike Supercharged 800.P EV0464

Does it show my age if I call these Nike glasses my Johnny Knoxville pick? These shades look tight with a collared shirt or a sport coat (nights can be chilly in the northeast)

Silhouette 7395

My interest in Silhouette glasses was sparked by a ECJ case I read in an International Intellectual Property class (international exhaustion of property rights) . Until then I was unfamiliar with the brand, but they're huge in Europe (an Austrian Company). This pair screams bronze - pair it with off-white, cream, you name it. Take these shades out for a night downtown, just rest them up on your head. Nobody likes a guy actually wearing shades at night, but I've had some success putting them up as an accessory - if you can get away with it, why not?

So that's my top three for the season. You'll notice all three are wire frame - I'm not a big fan of plastic wrap-arounds - unless you've got the snowboarder look to go along with it they're too flashy. Now don't get me wrong, I've been snowboarding since I was 15, but that doesn't mean I dress the part.

All three pairs are available at eyeglasses.com (along with many other styles), you can click through each picture for more information.
Creative Commons License
This work by Autman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.