The Haus

Wednesday, December 5, 2001

Back on Broadband

Around midnight Eastern time I took a look at the cable modem and the lights were blinking as they did back when I had AT&T cable, so I fired up the Linux box and gave it a spin. Sure enough, I was back online! AT&T said that Michigan would be back online on Thursday, so they were right on target. Yay!

The Master comments: Not bad, they actually gave an expected fix date, and made the date. Amazing. TW would NEVER manage that. :-)

A.T. Hun comments: Sweet. Back in the real world o' high speed. And no more MSN to boot!

Stocks Recovering

I saw on The Motley Fool that the stock market surged up today. The Dow is back over 10,000 and the NASDAQ is back over 2,000. To tie this into computers and gaming somehow, I saw that NVIDIA will replace Enron on the S&P 500.

Excite@Home RIP is reporting that Excite@Home will go out of business on February 28, 2002. That's not a shocker by any means, but now there is an official date.

No Nazis in German Wolfenstein

id's Todd Hollenshead was quoted on Shacknews about the fact that there will be no Nazis or Nazi symbols in the German version of Return to Castle Wolfenstein. Here's a snip:
As you probably know (since you're not all that far away), you cannot legally sell a game in Germany where you fight Nazis. That type of content, along with Swastikas, the Deathshead symbol, and lots of other Nazi iconography is strictly taboo there: it's effectively the *legal* equivalent to a drug like marijuana here in the U.S. It would be illegal to sell, or even possess any game that contained that content. So the real choice for RTCW for the German market is to either change the content, or simply not sell it.
This is in response to a news blurb on XGR which announced this as if it were some kind of revelation. Some of their users are replying with cries of "censorship!" I might not agree with the ban either but that doesn't mean that id, Nerve, Gray Matter, and Activision should violate laws just to make a point.

The Master comments: I would also recommend that all the censorship freaks remember this is Germany they're talking about. Rights are a little different there than they are here.

A.T. Hun comments: Of course, lest we get all high and mighty, there are more than a few people that get uppity about the Confederate flag and have tried to ban it. I personally can't figure out why you'd want to fly it because of what it represents, but I think the parallels are there.

M$ Busted for Piracy?

It appears that Microsoft may be guilty of a little "do what I say, not what I do." A French court found Microsoft guilty of using patented code in a product they still sell, originally produced by a company they absorbed. Worth a chuckle. Thanks Blue.

@Home Bondholders Threaten to Sue

Excite@Home's bondholders are threatening to sue AT&T for withdrawing their bid for Excite@Home's assets. OK, let me get this straight. You reject AT&T's bid for being way too low in your estimation. In revenge, you cut off all of AT&T's customers. Then, after AT&T withdraws their bid, you have the unmitigated gall to demand that they reinstate it? Wha? I think this bit from the article sums it up best:
Although the bondholders say they have reason to be angry at AT&T's withdrawal, they may also be to blame in the Excite@Home morass.

According to numerous sources close to Excite@Home and AT&T, Excite@Home creditors engaged in a dangerous game of chicken with AT&T. They underestimated Ma Bell's resolve and its ability to move customers to its own network, so they lost the game.
J.t.Qbe comments: There's no shortage of idiots in the world, especially at Excite. I guess they're following the principle, "If you can't be right, at least be loud". Meanwhile, AT&T's web site says that Michigan will be reconnected tomorrow. . .

Tuesday, December 4, 2001

@Home Cuts Deals

CNet is reporting that Cox, Comcast, and Rogers Cable have cut deals with @Home to continue broadband service to their customers for the next three months. They are in discussions with Charter as well. Translation: @Home will provide the service until they can get their own networks going. Excite@Home's bondholders' hard-ball tactics have pretty much ensured that they are going to get nothing on their investments. Thanks Slashdot.

And, contrary to what Slashdot is reporting, AT&T customers are not all back online. They didn't read the press release from Sunday that they quoted which says about 10% of their customers are back online.

I also love the bleeding hearts who are blaming Excite@Home's demise on AT&T. Oh, puhlease. Let's see, where shall we start? How about in January of 1999 when @Home bought Excite for $6.7 billion. Yes, with a "b". Fast forward to October 1999 when Excite@Home buys Blue Mountain for $780 million. Basically it was a bunch of clueless dot commers who thought they could burn through venture capital forever. Well, when it came time for accountability, those in charge resigned. Hmmmm.

Oh, and if you are currently without broadband access, you might want to check out these guys. Or maybe not.

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