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September 25, 2007
Apple v Burst, and Bad Reporting
Yes, you read that right. Microsoft settled with Burst some time ago, to the tune of USD 60 million. But that's peanuts next to the nearly half billion that Burst figures its owed from Apple, due to the use of its patented technologies in a little thing called iTunes (and the store, and iPods). If Burst wins big it will be because Apple used the technology in a big way where Microsoft did not.
Robert X Cringely's Pulpit column on this case makes that point that the news reporting on it has... well, sucked. In general the press coverage of IP cases tends to be slanted or just outright wrong as the reporters don't know what they're covering. I'm sometimes guilty of this myself.
In this case, Cringely slams the reporters for both falling victim to the Apple mystique and just plain getting its facts wrong. He has particular harsh words for ars technica (this time in the personage of Justin Berka) for getting Burst's history wrong.
You can read the original linked pieces to see the details but I think Cringely is spot-on. Despite us being into the second decade of the "Internet revolution" we still get mass media reportage that can't tell the Internet from the Web, and that makes basic mistakes I wince over regularly. Ars is usually better than that, but clearly even they mess up now and then.
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