Corante

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Dana Dana Blankenhorn has been a business journalist for over 25 years and has covered the online world professionally since 1985. He founded the "Interactive Age Daily" for CMP Media, and has written for the Chicago Tribune, Advertising Age, and dozens of other publications over the years.
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Moore’s Law defines the history of technology. It held that the number of circuits etched on a given piece of silicon could double every 18 months as far as its author, Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, could see. Moore’s Law has spawned constant revolutions since then, not just in computing but in communications, in science, in a host of areas. Moore’s Law applies to radios, and to optical fiber, but there are some areas where it doesn’t apply. In this blog we’ll take a daily look at new implications of Moore’s Law in real time, as it rolls forward to create our future.
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April 18, 2005

Blogger of the Year

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Posted by Dana Blankenhorn

groklaw.gif
Having done this work for a few years now, I do sometimes ask myself what the best bloggers have that I might lack.

The answer comes down to one thing. The best stay on one thing. They know their beats, know their limits, they do the research, and they don't flit around outside those subjects (the way I often do).

The most important blogger of our time is probably Pamela Jones of Groklaw. Groklaw is more a community than a blog (but so is DailyKos). Despite the extensive help her audience gives her, Jones still gives her beat rigid attention, tons of supporting materials, and she gives her enemies plenty of rope for hanging themselves so that, when she does speak her mind, she has both authority and supporters.

The best example of this is the SCO vs IBM case, which she recounted recently. It is, in fact if not in law, all over but the shouting, and SCO's Darl McBride is still shouting (mainly at Jones herself).

Still, in this case the market has voted with its dollars, and it has voted overwhelmingly for IBM, not SCO. The judge in the case, Dale Kimball, could make a final ruling as early as Thursday.

This does not mean Groklaw will go away. There are many more legal issues Jones and her reader/collaborators can pursue. She's already on the case. Having carved herself a niche as the best technology law site out there, it remains only for her to exploit it, and find its proper business model.

One more important point. Jones is, by her actions, Exhibit A for why bloggers are journalists. She acts as a journalist in all things, which is meant as a compliment, her ethics are impeccable, and her work ethic is astounding. She is, without doubt, one of the best reporters on law in the country, if not the best. She has earned far more praise than I have the power to bestow.

So congratulations and thanks.

Comments (14) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Internet | Journalism | Politics | blogging | ethics | law


COMMENTS

1. Don Stubbs on April 18, 2005 05:58 PM writes...

Well said and truly deserved!!!

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2. Richard Walker on April 18, 2005 06:10 PM writes...

I think you are right, so I loved this piece but I do hope you were grinning when you wrote that mischievous bit near the end:
" Having carved herself a niche as the best technology law site out there, it remains only for her to exploit it, and find its proper business model."
OK, maybe it is hard to grin with your tongue in your cheek; I can just imagine whose heads might be nodding vigourously and pointing at that bit as evidence that somebody else has "seen through" the facade of Groklaw's hidden purpose. The same people might themselves have wasted a lot of time trying to find a "proper business model" to exploit free and open source software.

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3. Yagotta B. Kidding on April 18, 2005 06:30 PM writes...

The judge in the case, Dale Kimball, could make a final ruling as early as Thursday.

Nope. His Honor has already announced that he won't even accept dispositive motions until after the end of discovery. That is at best several months out.

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4. Bjorn on April 18, 2005 06:40 PM writes...

"Nope. His Honor has already announced that he won't even accept dispositive motions until after the end of discovery. That is at best several months out.
Permalink to Comment "

That's correct yougotta. Kimball's next ruling won't be the final word. However, the outcome might have a big impact, since it might limit what SCO is allowed to put on the table. Since all agree (including Kimball) that SCO has shown nothing yet, their only hope of getting anything would be to expand the scope of the case. With that denied, the fat lady hasn't sung yet, but we can all recite the words of the song: Hit the road Darl, and don't you come back no more no more...

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5. rjamestaylor on April 18, 2005 07:45 PM writes...

Whether or not the court agrees one only needs to look to The SCO Group's (TSG) reaction to Groklaw to assess the latter's impact. At one time TSG's Public Relations war against Linux commanded attention, if not fear and respect. Then, when TSG's courtroom antics were laid bare through PJ's erudite reporting, fear left early and now so has respect. TSG is a minor blip in the financial news and almost ignored in the tech sector -- quite a fall from the days of Darl McBride on CNN!

Moreover, Groklaw (and PJ) has served not only to provide an outlet to the tech community anxious about the claims of TSG (neé Caldera) in March 2003, but even more to counter the very PR war its executives were waging through PR News and "friends" in the tech "journalism" field. On more than one occassion a reporter who had blithely repeated the assertions of TSG, a polite note to the reporter pointing to Groklaw produced a response of gratitude and in many cases a follow-up or even a correction. It was "traditional journalism" that received the greatest benefit from Groklaw's existence and PJ's authorship.

As in the CBS documents fiasco of 2004, it's the bloggers in their PJs that are setting straight the facts promulgated by "journalists." Having read PJ's blog since its start at radio.weblog.com and having had more than one private communication with PJ, I sincerely doubt she'd have the audacity to write in her "pjs" but rather be appropriately attired as she lays bare bald lies.

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6. Dana Blankenhorn on April 18, 2005 07:51 PM writes...

Richard:

Well, what I meant was the same thing I hope to do at Mooreslore, namely
find enough money to make a decent living running Groklaw.

There are many business models to choose from. Writing for other
publications, for pay. Public speaking. Going on TV. It's all open.

And she's earned the right to that financial reward, through hard work.

I'm sorry if I was misunderstood.

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7. Dan Dare on April 18, 2005 07:57 PM writes...

Does "Blogger of the Year" get a trophy to keep?
PJ has already cleared a place for it on her mantlepiece!

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8. Clifton Hyatt on April 18, 2005 08:37 PM writes...

"Public speaking. Going on TV." seems to not be options according to pj herslf.

I agree with your sentiment, she has written over 1,700 articles. I want to see us, the community, we the people, start to find new ways (and use the ones thar exist) to support non-profit activities, efforts like Groklaw, debian, FSF, Mozilla.

We need to find ways to create self-sustaining loops that don't *require* commercialization to have a more sustainable reward structure for these types of volunteer efforts.

I was echoing your article to a friend just last week, a good piece.

Regards,

Clifton Hyatt

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9. Richard Walker on April 18, 2005 08:46 PM writes...

Dana:

Fear not, the tone and intent of your article are unmistakeable. Call me oversensitive to certain trigger words which really should be allowed to keep their original neutral identity but which have long been associated with "unpleasant" activity - "exploit" is one of those for me. Besides, it is past my bedtime (BST).

Richard

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10. Colin MacDonald on April 19, 2005 05:16 AM writes...

I don't understand how you can heap such praise on Groklaw while at the same time demonstrate that despite that resource, you are still ignorant of the facts of the case. Either Groklaw and Ms Jones have failed, or your opinion is worthless. Or possibly both.

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11. Dr. Dennis M. Richards on April 19, 2005 11:54 AM writes...

PJ has proven loud and clear that truth will eventually come through. As a a regular blogger on Groklaw I have learned much from the other bloggers. Ms. Jones has tried hard to run a class act, and is worthy of this award and much more.

The comment by Colin McDonald, above, clearly demonstrates he has minimal knowledge of the law, IT, IP, and Groklaw. Many of us, including myself, are employed by attorneys. Many other bloggers on Groklaw are IT professional with years of experience with UNIX (R) and Linux. I happen to be both a legal researcher and the IT director for the law firm I work for.

SCO has presented no evidence to the court, or in public, of what REAL evidence they have. They have only made allegations. Now we have the president of SCO, Darl McBride, attacking PJ and Groklaw, claiming we have deep dark secrets, and are employed by IBM. I wish I was. I bet I would make a great deal more money working for IBM's legal research department, than I do for the law firm I work for. Sorry Darl, just more of your smoke and mirrors, and no fact.

I respect and admire PJ for setting up Groklaw, and now putting up with Darl's accusations. PJ is nothing short of a total class act!

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12. A Thurston on April 19, 2005 12:39 PM writes...

Well Dr.Richards I think Colin McDonald was refering to this passage.

"The judge in the case, Dale Kimball, could make a final ruling as early as Thursday."

IANAL but could Kimball give a final ruling on Thursday? I do not think so. So it seems Colin has summed up the situation quite well.


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13. Dr. Dennis M. Richards on April 19, 2005 03:00 PM writes...

While it is unlikely, Judge Kimball CAN do a number of things Thursaday. I would like to point out that IBM still has a motion for summary judgement. If Judge Kimball would rule even for a partial summary judgement it would be the death knell to the case and most likely SCO Group.

Under the Federal Rules the judge does have the authority to do a wide range of things. Could he end the case totally? Yes, but it would be unlikely. SCO has yet to provide even a clear delination of what was supposedly copied. That makes discover by IBM very difficult when they do not know exactly what they are supposed to have copied. Judge Kimball has made it clear that SCO need to clean up and produce and thus far they have not. That give Judge Kimball a wide range of options that would be supported by the Federal Appeals Court.

So we go back to the comment about a final ruling, the answer is a resounding, "it is possible, but not likely." However, SCO most likely will not come out of court without some bruises.

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14. Dr. Dennis M. Richards on April 19, 2005 03:01 PM writes...

While it is unlikely, Judge Kimball CAN do a number of things Thursaday. I would like to point out that IBM still has a motion for summary judgement. If Judge Kimball would rule even for a partial summary judgement it would be the death knell to the case and most likely SCO Group.

Under the Federal Rules the judge does have the authority to do a wide range of things. Could he end the case totally? Yes, but it would be unlikely. SCO has yet to provide even a clear delination of what was supposedly copied. That makes discover by IBM very difficult when they do not know exactly what they are supposed to have copied. Judge Kimball has made it clear that SCO need to clean up and produce and thus far they have not. That gives Judge Kimball a wide range of options that would be supported by the Federal Appeals Court.

So we go back to the comment about a final ruling, the answer is a resounding, "it is possible, but not likely." However, SCO most likely will not come out of court without some bruises.

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