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Patent Suit Leads To 500,000 Annoyed Software Users 180

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the vp8-soon-becomes-popular dept.
ciaran_o_riordan writes "A rare glimpse at the human harm of a software patent lawsuit: company receives 500,000 calls complaining about video quality after a video call system was forced to change to avoid a patent. That's a lot of people having a bad day. We don't usually hear these details because the court documents get ordered sealed and the lawyers only say what the companys' communication strategists allow. However, for VirnetX v. Apple, Jeff Lease decided to go the hearings, take notes, and give them to a journalist. While most coverage is focussing on the fines involved, doubling or halving Apple's fine would have a much smaller impact on your day than the removal of a feature from some software you like. Instead of letting the software patents debate be reduced to calls for sympathy for big companies getting fined, what other evidence is out there, like this story, for harm caused directly to software users?"

Comment: No, strongly disagree here (Score 0) 656

I earned a second major in Statistics alongside my Comp Sci degree. In my 25 years of systems programming, application programming, *nix, Windows, GUI apps, data gathering, data analysis, web, comms, you name it - in a wide variety of fields I have NEVER used any of my statistics knowledge more complicated than a mean or median to this day. Not one single bit.

Comment: Throbber in early versions of Internet Explorer (Score 1) 93

by Traf-O-Data-Hater (#43855395) Attached to: Interpreting Global Flight Maps
I recall that at least one early version of Micosoft Internet Explorer back in the late 90s had the earth globe 'throbber' animation show, in sequence: the Americas, Europe, then the blue 'e' then back to the Americas. No Asia or Oceania. At the time I could hardly believe it that a giant company that had always promoted internationalisation of its software could have such a 'fail' moment.

Comment: Now exacerbated by Firefox v20 ESC key disabling (Score 3, Informative) 196

by Traf-O-Data-Hater (#43596019) Attached to: Windows Store In-App Ad Revenue Plummets
Mozilla in their 'wisdom' decided to disable the ESC key that a lot of people used to stop animated gifs running It also stopped the page loading - dead in its tracks - which I personally loved. However some Mozilla devs didn't like it (as scripts etc may not be loaded properly). So they've now taken control away from the annoyed user who is going to cop entire page loads of crap.

Comment: Re: Not news. (Score 2) 288

by Traf-O-Data-Hater (#43429319) Attached to: Top Coders Tell Agents, "Show Me the Money!"
Mod parent informative. These guys are nothing more than headhunters trying to pitch themselves at any top-notch dev that might come their way, but trying to play up how cool and Hollywood-movie-star the word 'Agent' sounds. Wow I even have visions of limos and red carpets wherever these smart devs go. If they are such smart devs and techs themselves, why have they felt the need to get into marketing to make money?

+ - Google is actively developing products against users of alternative browsers->

Submitted by epSos-de
epSos-de (2741969) writes "Google said: "Don't be evil". In reality they are actively discriminating against browsers that are not based on Google Chrome. Opera is repeatedly crippled in gMail. Google's Java Scripts are prohibiting Opera users from selecting and copying text in the Opera browser.

Opera did resolve the issue with every new release, but Google still keeps changing their code, so that users of Opera are not allowed to select and copy text, when they are using gMail. The first few times, it was suspicious, but now it is too obvious that Google is actively developing products that can not be used outside of the Google Chrome."

Link to Original Source

+ - Aggressive Android Adware and Malware on the Rise

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "With adware gleaning more user data from people devices than they would normally need too and developers bundle more than one adware framework into their apps, user privacy is increasingly taking a backseat to profit for developers and advertisers. More and more unknown third parties now have access to user browsing history, phone numbers, email address and everything they need to compile comprehensive and personalized user profiles. User privacy is taking a serious blow as adware targeting Android devices jumped 61 percent worldwide in the five months through January, while malware expanded 27 percent and adware in the US expanded 35 percent, according to a study by Bitdefender Labs."

Comment: Dishwasher used for cleaning old PDP-11 cards (Score 3, Informative) 197

by Traf-O-Data-Hater (#43241087) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Dealing With Electrostatic Contamination?
Over on the Vintage Computer forum, people do in fact run old circuit boards such as PDP-11 modules through the dishwasher, and clean contacts with fine abrasive. Blasting core memory stacks with compressed air however is a definate no-no as this destroys the fine wiring.

"If there isn't a population problem, why is the government putting cancer in the cigarettes?" -- the elder Steptoe, c. 1970