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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (March 2, 1999)
Columnist dispenses advice to the masses
A.L. FORKNER is a junior
news-editorial major and a
Daily Nebraskan columnist
It never fails. Every week it’s the
I write my 25 inches where I pre
tend to be wise and all-knowing. I
fool Cliff, the opinion editor, into
paying me for it. Then I get bags and
bags of letters from the readers ask
ing me for more advice.
Why do they turn to me in their
darkest hour? I like to think it’s my
street-wise intellect and my straight
forward approach to the topics.
In truth, I’m cheaper than thera
py. Heck, I’m cheaper than the
Wendy’s value menu. (But no, I’m
still not available with a side order of
So, as a service to my readers,
I've decided to answer a few of the
more pressing issues.
Dear Smart Guy: You claim to
be so bright. So tell me this. What is
the meaning of life?
Signed, Annoyed in Harper.
Dear Annoyed: The property of
plants and animals which makes it
possible for them to take in food and,
get energy from it, grow etc. That’s
the meaning of life according to
Webster’s New World Dictionary.
Oh, I get it. You were talking
about the spiritual meaning of life.
I can’t exactly tell you, but I can
give you a hint. The meaning of life
can be found in the movie “The
Crow: City of Angels.”
Have a nice day.
(Oh, I can be mean when
You seem to be a pretty smart fel
low. Perhaps you can help me with
this exam. What is the answer to
Signed: Stressed in Class
The answer is Woodrow Wilson.
! Either one should work. Trust me.
Dear Mr. Forkner:
My friends convinced me that
you could help me with a little prob
lem I’m having. It’s kind of embar
rassing and those guys on “Loveline”
didn’t really help much.
Anyway, my roommate and I met
this guy at a Butter Churning
Festival last month and ... Well,
c’mere, I don’t want anyone to hear
this. (Whisper, whisper.)
Can you help?
Signed: Itchy and Scratchy.
Dear I & S:
That is a troubling problem. The
way I see it, you have two options.
First, you can call a locksmith and
grab a sheet. Second, you can simply
call the guy and ask him which one
he would rather be: Everclear or
Keep it real.
) The ASUN election is tomorrow.
Who should I vote for?
Signed: Deeply Concerned
It’s ASUN. Who cares?
Thanks for reading.
How do you come up with such
original and witty material each
week? Turn card over. It always
brings sunshine to my week.
Signed: An Adoring Fan.
Well, it’s a long and arduous
process that actually begins on
Tuesday. After carefully looking over
my column for the week to see what
the hell I wrote, I begin thinking
about the next week.
This continues until Thursday
night. After drinks with friends, I hit
upon the mother of all column ideas.
ITie quintessential column topic.
Friday, however, I wake up hung
over and can’t remem
ber my great idea.
Saturday, the real VMGS
writing process begins. I,
Around 7 p.m. I take
my usual seat at the bar II I
and drink until I feel |
like Ernest Hemingway.
Then I stumble back
home and decide to wait
until the a.m. to write.
After turning my
alarm clock off three
times and oversleeping
until 3 p.m., I frantically
hack and delete over and
over for an hour.
Then, I give up and
copy something out of a
P.J. O’Rourke book so I
can get it to Cliff by 5 p.m.
and keep him happy.
That’s what goes into
making this tasty, yet nutri
tious, 25-inch column each ^
Oh, and another thing.
The “turn the card over” was
one of the instructions,
Nitro. You weren’t supposed
to write that. Sheesh.
Thanks for the letter, n
Time for one last letter.
I gotta know. Are you for
real? Do you honestly expect
us to believe anything you
say? At the very least, tell me
what you believe in.
Signed: Raised Hackles.
I believe many things. I
believe baseball is more of a
religion than a game.
I believe I hate cold weather
I believe Sheryl Crow is a
goddess. • ,-j ■
I believe indecision may or
may not be my biggest problem
I believe Jimmy Buffett is the
key to all the knowledge in the uni
And, I believe I’m done.
(But do you really believe that?)
The rise and fall of Microsoft
Results of court case could bring trouble for Bill Gates, his gang of bullies
. CLIFF HICKS is a senior
major and the D
Nebraskan ooinion edit
See Bill bum and crasn
Bum, Bill, bum.
Crash, Bill, crash.
See Microsoft lose..
Lose, Microsoft, lose!
You probably can’t hear the
shrieks and cackles of my laughter
from there, but I’m hopis
can hear it wherever he’s
Six weeks irom now,«
between Microsoft and die
Department of Justice will reconvene,
and not long after that, Judge JOWA
will hand down his decision, one t
will impact every person in t*
who lays a fi
And let me tell ya,
future isn’t going to require sunglass
es for Microsoft.
With the majority of the trial over
(only rebuttals are left), no one thinks
things look good for Microsoft,
except the Microsoft lawyers, natch.
On the steps after each day of the
trial, the Microsoft lawyers claimed
the same thing: “We’re not losing this
Well, I don’t know what they’re
doing, then, ’cause it sure doesn’t
look like winning from this end.
See, the head attorney for the
Department of Justice, David Boies,
has just shredded Microsoft’s credi
bility every chance he could get.
Part of die blame falls on
Microsoft’s shoulders, though. Over
the course of the trial, one of the com
pany’s “expert” witnesses cited a
rigged poll, several of them recanted
their own testimony and Microsoft
also entered a couple of very crooked
videos into evidence.
The first tape in question was sup
posed to demonstrate how easy it was
to download and install Netscape
Navigator. Boies picked this apart like
a vulture over dead meat.
It doesn’t hold a candle to the
other video, though. This video Was
said to show the benefits of having an
Internet browser integrated into the
The problem? Well, Microsoft
changed computers in the video at
least twice, and the computers were
not comparable. Not only were the
modem speeds different, but the pro
grams were, too. Microsoft compared
Windows 3.1 (not 95) to Windows98.
In layman’s terms, Microsoft
changed back and forth between a
Porsche and a Lamborghini, com
pared them to a Volvo and called it
And Microsoft got caught Little
icons appeared and disappeared on
the screen, and Boies noticed, then
asked, and asked again.
A few days later, Microsoft was
claiming the videotape they had
admitted as evidence was, in fact, an
Microsoft still expects to have
some credibility after this? Their own
witnesses also contradicted their own
statements on regular occasions, as
well as their written statements.
As far as I can tell (and from most
of the other commentary that’s been
written on the Microsoft trial),
Microsoft IS going to lose this case.
Most people are banking on the
end result going to the Supreme
Court I’m banking on Microsoft los
ing there, too.
The time has come to redefine
how the computer industry works,
and the monopoly way of life isn’t
going to last
We are ready for something new.
I want the days of free competi
tion back, where company struggled
against fellow company in a dire
effort to try and achieve a modicum
I want the company with the best
product to win, not the one that plays
the dirtiest. When Microsoft makes
its underhanded deals to cut other
companies out of the market, using its
operating system as a lever, that’s ille
gal and it’s killing innovation.
The Microsoft liars, er. lawyers,
have claimed, like Chicken Little, that
the sky is falling. The computer
industry could crash at any given -
moment - any of Microsoft’s com
petitors could overtake them in a
No one should question
Microsoft, they say, because
Microsoft is doing what’s best for us,
the ignorant little computer user who
doesn’t know any better.
You know, I’m starting to feel like
the capitalist in Cold War Russia. I do
know better, and I do know that when
one person controls everything,
everything goes to crap.
Welcome to the modem age,
where paranoia is a weapon that
serves us, the cynical educated mass
es of America, well.
Microsoft says it’s doing what’s
best for “us.” If you swallow this line
of BS, you’re doing yourself a disser
Like any other business,
Microsoft is doing what’s best for it,
and that’s fine, but here are rules and
there are laws. And the laws change
once you get a monopoly.
Itls not illegal to do so; it’s just
illegal to abuse it
It is illegal to use a monopoly to
drive your competitors out of busi
ness. It is illegal to use a monopoly to
sell another product. It is illegal to use
that monopoly for any real force.
Microsoft’s broken all these laws
and more. There’s memos, testimony
and lots, lots, lots, lots, lots more.
If you want to believe Microsoft,
then the entire computer industry has
united in the most massive conspiracy
the world has ever known to bring
down a corporation for no adequately
If you want to believe the DOJ,
everyone in the computer industry has
grown tired of Microsoft’s brutal
strong arm tactics, its abusive and
intrusive business policies, its lack of
respect for its competition and its
general “We ARE computers” atti
When the mighty gavel falls in
Judge Jackson’s hand, die mighty
Microsoft should tremble at the
sound. When the Supreme Court
stands by that decision, the mighty
Microsoft should cringe.
And lo, how the mighty have fallen.
When Jackson hands down his
decision, he might just save the future
of technology as we know it
See Bill go bye-bye.
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