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By Jason Brooks  |  Posted 2003-06-02 Print this article Print

Waste Management While preparing to write this column, I came across Ted Turners comments in opposition to the media consolidation track onto which the FCC has locked itself. Turner, a majority shareholder in AOL Time Warner, pointed to the risk aversion of companies such as the one with which hed been merged into association. This made me think of AOLs Nullsoft division, and the way that AOL reacted to Nullsofts Waste, a secure, peer-to-peer file transmission product intended for groups of 50 or fewer that sounds to me like something with a lot of potential for businesses and individuals alike. AOL axed Waste almost immediately after Nullsoft began to distribute it, out of fear of angering the gods of RIAA.
Sure, it wouldve been nice to see AOL inject a dose of diversity into the Web by shifting to Mozillas Gecko rendering engine, but the truth is, AOL never really wanted to ditch Internet Explorer, which is why it never did. AOL isnt a technology company, its a service provider. And although its true that next to its Time-Warner divisions, you can call AOL a "new economy" company, AOLs about as low-tech as you can get.
Theres nothing at all wrong with this, of course, but Mozilla may find itself better off detached from AOL, funded instead by a more diverse group of players thats better matched with the spirit of the project. Has Microsoft struck the final blow in the browser wars, or has the battle only begun? Id like you hear your take at

As Editor in Chief of eWEEK Labs, Jason Brooks manages the Labs team and is responsible for eWEEK's print edition. Brooks joined eWEEK in 1999, and has covered wireless networking, office productivity suites, mobile devices, Windows, virtualization, and desktops and notebooks. JasonÔÇÖs coverage is currently focused on Linux and Unix operating systems, open-source software and licensing, cloud computing and Software as a Service. Follow Jason on Twitter at jasonbrooks, or reach him by email at

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