Is next Monday. The 4th of July. A time to reflect on the American Revolution. A time to think about what led to that revolution, too. Things like taxation without representation. Or things like a lack of due process . the King could jail someone at whim and simply keep him (or her) in prison without access to legal representation or recourse. Or things like a system that sometimes depended on whim instead of the rule of law. Or things like some simply above the law. Should make us think. Think about who we are and what America is. Think about America as the shining "City on a Hill" and a beacon for the world. Should make us think. Random Notes: . Death Sentence? While I’m certainly not going to defend what John and Timothy Rigas did to what once was their own company (or so they certainly thought, never mind the stockholders), I think the senior Rigas is paying too high a price. At 80+ and in frail health makes the sentence he got a little over the top. The sentence for Tim, on the other hand, well, maybe not enough. This long-running Greek tragedy isn’t going away. Michael goes back on trial in October. (Bet the govt loses this one, though.) . Remember Tiger? While those of us in the cable business might, certainly the telephone companies dreaming video – nor their ardent analysts – didn’t remember (or they never knew). Lots of press lately about how Microsoft is struggling to deliver bulletproof software to run the ambitious TV plans of the RBOCs and some international telcos. On the one hand, new software is tricky, especially when it must work with a variety of hardware and software supplied by a few dozen vendors. On the other hand, promises made should be promises kept (yeah, I know, that’s just wishful thinking in the real world). We’re curious (as is our new Telco Media News), so we’ll be talking with Microsoft later this week. We’ll let you know. Meanwhile, our John Ourand has been in Keller, TX, for a look at another telco attempt at TV. Look for his story in CableWORLD soon. . Supreme Decisions: Who knows how the Court will rule on Brand X and/or Grokster? Last time I guessed on a serious cable matter, the last Must Carry decision, I got it wrong (frankly, I still don’t get it). Narrow questions of law sometimes result in strange outcomes, like last week’s "eminent domain" decision. Wonder what the fallout will be this time? . Zombies and Spam: While broadband saved the cable industry, it has brought problems to cable broadband subscribers: faster spam and easier zombie infiltration. I wonder if our CTOs might direct a little thinking and research to finding anti-spam and anti-zombie (not to mention anti-phishing and anti-pharming) solutions that might be, at least for a time, unique to cable? Talk about a value-added feature!