Thursday, March 27, 2008

Antitrust (the movie)

I just watched Antitrust and, although I had watched it a few years ago, being at Microsoft made me see it from another perspective.

It is amazing the similarities between Nurv and Microsoft, like: the Nurv CEO (Bill Gates), the headquarters being north of California, signs mentioning Olympia (capital of Washington state), roads surrounded by trees, campus with scenic mountain views, department of justice involvement, one character named "Redmond", Synapse being an Operating System that is closed source and finally a company accused of being monopolist.

One of the things that is interesting and is almost unnoticeable happens when the Milo (main role played by Ryan Phillipe) accesses all the videos of programmers in their home/garage. A number is displayed and it looks like the process ID. Guess what's the number related to this surveillance? 1984.

And, at the end of movie, two programmers are found distributing the source code in a garage in Palo Alto, as the beginning of a new era, where the knowledge belongs to the humanity (ie, open source code). Maybe allusive to a new Hewlett-Packard starting in Palo Alto? (One could even think that two graduates of Stanford in a garage could remind us of Google founders, but their story started in their dorm if I recall correctly)

There is a lot more that could be said about this movie, like how it resembles technology companies (taking care of everyhing for its smart employees to focus on work), or how the script could have been improved and more insteresting, but I found the movie amusing and don't want to criticize it too badly. Probably the only problem I actually noticed is that, in the video broadcasted to the entire world, Milo includes his colleague Lisa among the criminals - what he had only figured out a few minutes before broadcasting it. But ok, I am being too picky. :-)
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