Strange times, indeed...
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The Net Applications survey seems to be centered on desktops and personal-use devices only, while Microsoft's graphic conceivably includes OS deployment across all kinds of devices (desktops, servers, network appliances, etc.).
If you take servers into account (especially web servers and certain network appliances), aggregated Linux installations could very well top aggregated Apple OS product installations.
Also note that the Net Applications survey segregates Macs (presumably including MacOS System 9 and earlier along with OS X) and iPhones (which runs a modified Mac OS X called "iPhone OS"), whereas the Microsoft slide simply has a single "Apple" moniker.
It's an Apples v. Oranges comparison; don't read too much into it...
You're somewhat confused. There is a collection of UK constitutional law, though it is in multiple documents. Part of that constitutional law is the Human Rights Act, which is actually distinctly relevant to the rights of individuals and how officialdom may deal with them. (The details do vary from the US, but to claim that there is no constitution or protections is factually incorrect.)
While I will concede that is indeed the case (the UK is very often referred to as a "constitutional monarchy" in political science classes), there does not seem to be an overriding "uberdocument" in the UK analogous to the US Constitution that sets an equally high standard (by comparison) against modification and/or dilution.
In the US, the barriers to amending the Constitution are quite strong. An Amendment may be proposed by agreement among 2/3 of both Legislative Houses (the House of Representatives and the Senate) or by agreement among 2/3 of the legislatures of the individual States, but ratification of said Amendment requires agreement among 3/4 of the State legislatures or agreement among 3/4 of the Constitutional Conventions held by each State to decide the matter. Quite a tall order, given our current political climate in the US...
By contrast, it seems that the barriers to the modification or dilution of ordinances within the collected body of "constitutional" law in the UK are much lower.
You forget, many of the companies are limited or just plain monopolies. They don't have to care about reputation as they always know they're going to get paid.
One could argue that the telephone carrier industry as a whole falls into this category. AT&T may no longer be a monopoly vis-a-vis "Ma Bell". However, one could make a case that "Alltel + AT&T + Sprint + T-Mobile + Verizon" add up to a "collective" monopoly, or (more properly) a hegemony.
The government has some advantages as an issuer, it's huge, not going away soon, and bureaucracy helps keep the corruption away and eventually can be held accountable for what corruption there is as it's all public.
Gotta disagree on this one. Cases in point: Watergate, Iran-Contra, NSA/AT&T Room 641A (not to overuse the example), Coingate, Danngate, Rodgate... That's just a small list of US Federal and State scandals, from off the top of my head; an exhaustive list would fill many, many, many pages (did I say "many"?). The first three scandals listed all revolve around "national security" in some way, shape or form; the last three scandals mostly involve personal gain and prestige.
And while all scandals go public at some point (it's not a scandal if the public never finds out about it), the "accountability" factors do little to stem the tides of backroom dealing. Either way, governments often use "accountability and transparency" to justify actions taken in the name of "national security".
The threat of lawsuits hasn't been all that effective at reigning any of this in either.
Don't even get me started on tort reform in the US...
Private companies, especially big companies, can't be trusted...
That argument could go either way:
On one hand, private companies in the US appear to lack a certain "trustworthiness" because they don't need to file quarterly and yearly financial performance statements with the SEC. On the other hand, private companies aren't bound to the "profit-NOW!!" whims of a large pool of shareholders, so they tend to take a longer view of things and operate in a more conservative fashion.
Public companies in the US are somewhat more transparent, because they are required by law to file quarterly and yearly earnings statements with the SEC. These statements are available to the general public, so any underhanded activities by public companies are more likely to be noticed. However, public companies are driven by necessity to take a shorter-term, more immediate view with regard to cashflow because their shareholders demand instant gratification.
I'm always looking for a new idea that will be more productive than its cost. -- David Rockefeller