Anti-competitive behaviour

Finally Microsoft lost the appeal against the ruling of the European Commission. I heard an analyst say on the radio here that this would be bad for customers: users would receive an OS without multimedia player now, and would have to search for such a basic application themselves. Not so knowledgeable people, would even pay for such software. It’s unbelievable that people who don’t even know what this case is about, are being considered as “experts”. Microsoft is still allowed to sell the version with media player, and actually as history has proven already, almost nobody will be interested in distributing the OS without the media player. The most important thing of this ruling (and always ignored in popular media), is that Microsoft is forced now to publish “interoperability information”, which can be used by for example the Samba team, to better implement things like Active Directory support. This is what matters in this ruling! For those people who think that Europe is only trying to bully a successful foreign commercial company, please read the whole ruling. As you’ll see, this was not a light decision. See paragraphs 807-809 for the decisions related to the interoperability information.

Speaking of anti-competitive behaviour, Apple currently is not much better than Microsoft. The new iPOD generation, protects its internal database with a hash, making it impossible to play any files uploaded with programs other than iTunes. All other alternatives cannot be used anymore, and because iTunes only exists for Windows and Mac OS X, Linux users are completely locked out. A few days later, the hash was already cracked, so this proves once again that all this DRM-alike stuff is not working at all, and just annoying users. Actually this is not the first time Apple is trying to block its competitors. It already has done something similar with the DAAP protocol in the past, also locking out all non-iTunes users. Hello Europe, will you continue accepting this?

If anybody knows of a good alternative for the iPOD, supporting Ogg Vorbis and having a capacity of at least 20 GB, I would like to hear about it. And don’t answer Cowon’s iAUDIO. Owning an iAUDIO M3 for a bit more than 3 years, I know that this player has a very serious hardware design flaw, actually making the whole device almost unusable in the end, and technical support in Europe is almost non-existent. So no more Cowon for me anymore…

6 Replies to “Anti-competitive behaviour”

  1. How about Archos players? I think Archos 605 wifi with 30Gb, touchscreen,harddisk behaviour, conection to tv, for 299€ is a good offer. Check at Archos webpage for ogg play, I’m not sure about that.

  2. As you can see on, the iAUDIO M3 has a motherboard with a small daughterboard. The daughterboard is located at the top of the player, next to the remote connector, about 2 cm in height. The daughter board is connected to the motherboard with the white connecter.

    Probably because of pressure on the remote connector or on the player itself, the connection between the two boards becomes loose after some time. The result is that the controls start to behave wrongly. Most of the time it’s the sound level which goes automatically to zero. In the begining you can stop the problem by pressing on the upper part of te player where the connector is. But after some time, the problem becomes worse and worse, and at the slightest movement of the player, it will start changing volume. And sometimes the connection is lost completely, and you cannot power on the player anymore, or it powers off/crashes automatically while playing.

    My player was already repaired two times for this problem. Each of these two times, a first repair was unsuccessful (the problem was not completely solved), and then the player was almost completely replaced, except for the hard drive. And now I have the problem again.

    On different iAUDIO related fora, I found people with similar experiences. This is an example:

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