Submarine patent from Rambus [or someone else] surfacing in 3... 2... 1...
Telco billing platforms are well-known to be shoddy and inaccurate, both because this is a hard problem to get right and because the engineering quality is low. I have personally worked on several that I know gave wildly inaccurate bills to some customerrs (high or low - I referred to this as our "double or quits" feature).
So I am confident that part or all of AT&T's reticence is because they do not want it to be known how low the accuracy and quality of their billing platform is.
My attitude to this is to wear interesting T-shirts (complex attractive design or image, or attractive band logo, or amusing slogan, or so on, but not offensive) in good condition, newer good-condition black jeans (always looks smarter than blue), and smart shoes. I've never been poorly groomed, but I have not become worse groomed either.
This puts me in the category of people who dress casually, but care.
Another way is to mix some more or less formal clothing, such as very good shoes with casual jeans and shirt, or wear an over-shirt open if that fits your image, or so on.
Yet Google Maps on iPad doesn't even have a distance measure, nor support offline map fragments (even as uselessly as Android). It also doesn't look vector-based yet, it's still tile-based. Google really have some catching up to do, and shouldn't be focusing just on minority new features for Google Earth.
Sending cell text messages is also not entirely reliable between networks, especially internationally to/from US cellcos.
What about the people who live next to a road? Or people walking along a separated pavement (sidewalk to the Americans) next to a road? Quieter cars benefit them all - in fact the reason we have maximum noise restrictions on cars at all is to reduce noise pollution to others.
Why should we require noise pollution?
Is this going to be some attempt to legislate that urban areas have as much vehicle noise in future, as they do today and no less?
If you are the CEO of a company and there is an inner circle of influential employees driving your business and you do not know about them you are not doing your job as CEO.
It is completely reasonable and often a good idea to have an inner circle of high-ability influential employees to drive your business (see, for example, Good to Great, J Collins). It is entirely incompetent of the CEO to not know who they are and not to be using them to build a successful enterprise.
Wave did not take off because there were no Wave servers worth a damn that weren't Google.
Wave protocol is a Sharepoint killer. It's not a new cool social medium, it's a workgroup and corporate information sharing system.
And I want to kill Sharepoint, because the stupid thing only works with Windows.
Many organisations do not want, or cannot, share their information with Google. Google doesn't even use any translucent database techniques to help users keep their data private. Google being a Wave server is useful for some public publishing, but there must be your own private Wave server for Wave to be usable by most of the target market. The target market is the market of Sharepoint, larger organisations who are always more careful with their data.
So Google's error was not to make something noone wanted. It was to make something none of the interested people could use, because they did not release a free Wave server to use inside your organisation.
They will make the same mistake, of assuming people will share their data when they won't, again in future.
And I really don't care that people, usually from Google, say that Google can be trusted not to read users' data. That's not relevant; they can be compelled to reveal it to random other authorities without the users' knowledge or consent, and if anything like that does happen, they don't give any information out as a matter of policy.
This is not a technology problem. This is a business problem. If you are running a shopfront, online or offline, in a competitive marketplace, you need to make it as accessible as possible to all the customers you want. For eBay, that is "everyone" (for a hot-dog stand, it is also "everyone"; for a Rolex dealer, it's only people who can afford a Rolex). The higher you make the barrier to entry, the fewer customers you will have.
Now if you're a person wanting a partner to sell your stuff with, do you want the stupid partner, or the smart one?
If you're a customer wanting to buy, do you use the easy website that works, or the one that doesn't work right? What incentive is there for you to use the hard-to-use site?
eBay thinks they have incentives (product range, large base of existing users, etc) to overcome these things. They may be right. They could be wrong. It's their business choice to make it work less well for some people. If they are unable to make it both work better for some people and well enough for others, they may have a serious business problem; if they choose to make it better for some people and worse for others, that's a courageous business choice. If it makes them, or their sellers, less money, it's stupid.
Search for Terrestrial Intelligence is currently in progress but has not produced any good evidence of intelligent life on that planetary object yet.