Postini, Re: Verisign vs. ICANN

It never ceases to amaze me that some companies will move forward with
actions that they know will give them a horrible reputation. Does the
potential for short-term financial gain outweigh the benefits of a


long-term reputation? Verisign, SCO, and Postini come to mind as

I can't stand the current spam filtering/AV email service that we use
right now (Mailwatch...ugh.), but should we change to Postini--a
supposedly superior service--knowing how slimy some of their actions
have been? That's a rhetorical question, of course, but I think it


the point. I prefer to do business with good companies with good
products, not bad companies with good products.

Based on some offline comments I've decided to clarify my remarks. I
don't think Postini is necessarily slimy and I shouldn't have mentioned
them in the same sentence as Verisign and SCO, who are verifiably slimy.
I should have phrased my remarks differently because I don't _know_ that
Postini is slimy yet.

Postini's patent issue (do a Google search to get more info) is
suspicious, and _possibly_ indicative of a slimy tactic. However, there
may be some completely valid reasons for their actions and I suppose we
shouldn't judge them too harshly yet. Regardless of their reasons, it
gives the appearance that they're not satisfied with simple competition
and may try to negatively affect the competition through legal means. If
they do that, then they're slimy. Until then, I suppose we (I) shouldn't
make hasty judgments.


Date: Fri, 18 Jun 2004 12:56:11 -0600
From: John Neiberger

Postini's patent issue (do a Google search to get more info)
is suspicious, and _possibly_ indicative of a slimy tactic.

It does look pretty ridiculous. ETRN, formail, procmail, Web-
based UIs, etc. have been around far longer than Postini.

Heck, I was doing selective partial delivery in 1997 -- if a
message was addressed to an important email address, "head -n"
and pipe the output to a printer for paper-using staff to have.


Yep, and NAT, PAT and stateful inspection exist outside of Cisco.

This "need" by already dominant players to patent everything related
to their business is unpleasant enough, but it's also common enough
to make singling anyone out as slimy to be a bit disingenuous.

I'd hazard to guess that a large number of folks on this list work
for employers with similarly "ridiculous" patents.