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Comment Re:better than facebook (Score 2) 120

The thing is, this is like the 19th time we've rehashed this issue on Slashdot. Periodically there will be a new article about it, and it will inevitably get posted on Slashdot and I'm pretty sure at least a certain percentage of readers assume its a new thing, and not just a discussion about something we've already discussed a dozen times or more.

It wasn't a big deal then, it's not a big deal. This article is just more shrilly alarmist in its language choice than others. I can't tell if that's a product of not truly understanding the issues or just a lack of integrity on the part of the writer.

Comment Re:I think we can say that Google (Score 2) 120

It should be proven at least once. This article is terrible. It refers to a non-issue as a "major privacy scandal" and talks about google "secretly" doing something that was such a good secret that Google didn't even know about it. The writer just doesn't have a good understanding of the issues, or he/she is intentionally misstating them to be alarmist. Either way, though, there was nothing evil about what Google did in either "scandal". Google was indeed subverting Safari's privacy settings to set a Cookie, but it was an OPT-IN cookie. Apple was blocking Google from doing something that Google's users wanted done, and Google used a work-around and then apologized for it and stopped when people freaked out even though it was totally a non-issue.

Comment Re:Clearly not a copyright atty (Score 4, Interesting) 418

Showing a picture of a hamburger (as an example), then reviewing the food is not what is meant by "criticism, comment, news reporting"--if you didn't take the picture, that's just plain old infringement. It means commenting on or criticizing the *actual* photograph in question as a work of art--not the subject of the photograph.

So if I run newspaper, I can't just use whatever graphic for any story I want and claim fair use because "news reporting"--I only get to invoke fair use if the news story is about the photograph in question.

She might be able to make a fair use claim somewhere, but I doubt she can make a fair use case for the vast majority of the infringements. I don't see how some guy's campaign for Sheriff qualifies as an entitlement to free use of any stock photography he wants.

That's just my 2 cents. But, like yourself, IANAL.

Comment Re:this woman is an attorney? (Score 5, Interesting) 418

Well you know Schizophrenia can sometimes have a late onset. I'm not a doctor, but her writing definitely has a certain rambling, imbalanced quality to it. That whole, huge thing was one long paragraph on the theme of "everyone is out to get me". It's possible that she is genuinely mentally ill, and yet she might have been a competent attorney once. All I can say is that, as a layman, I was somewhat concerned for her mental health after reading that blog entry. It doesn't strike me as the writings of a sane person, but I'm not an expert.

Comment Sigh (Score 3, Interesting) 44

Samsung "gets a free pass" because they used their patents the "right" way and used it as a defensive deterrent against other lawsuits. When Apple sued them, they sued back as a means of increasing their leverage in a legal battle. Samsung wasn't out simply trolling with the patent, as this company seems to be.

Comment Re:Stop trying to tell us what you think we want (Score 1) 299

Quotes should be sacrosanct. I've been in a similar situation where Google "corrects" what I've got in quotes and as a result can't find anything relevant. It drove me NUTS. There's just no work-around for it For the life of me I couldn't find a way to get results for my actual search query. Thinking you know what the user wants better than the user is a Microsoft-style blunder. Apple gets away with that shit because they have a niche market that *wants* it. Google should be better than that.

If anyone wants a specific example, go to image search and try to search for "suchi". Wikipedia claims this is how you spell the name of the monkey from Captain planet (IT CAME UP, OK?). Google, however, ignores my quotes and searches for "Sushi" every time. There seems to be no way around this. In fairness, there probably are next to no results--but if that's the case, tell me so. I've had similar issues with the web search as well. There are situations where it will say "There were no results for xxx, did you mean xxx?" and that is absolutely fine! If there are no results, then by all means show me what you think I may have met.

Also I sometimes do a web search in quotes and it will return "Showing results for Someshityoutotallydidn'ttypebutwethinkyoumayhavemeant to type. Did you mean "Shityouactaullytyped?" Search for "Shityouactaullytyped instead" and I have to click to get my results. Screw you Google. It's one thing to second-guess me and offer me the alternate search if you think I didn't mean to search for what I wanted to search for--but you should NEVER EVER show me a different search result if there were results for my actual search. I don't need my search engine assuming I'm an idiot.

Comment Yes, but . . . (Score 1) 262

Don't the same properties that would make them useful also make them nearly impossible to work with? How do you build an antenna for something that passes through everything? Is my iPhone, 50 years from now, going to be attached to a football field-sized tub of heavy water? Finally, there will be no wrong way to hold it!

Comment Yes, they are wasting *short* term profits (Score 2) 408

But it's for the long-term health of their company.

There are too many business majors out there running things who don't seem to grasp the simple difference between long-term and short-term gains so they do things that piss off their customers for a short-term profit and end up paying for it later. And frankly, why wouldn't they? The whole reward/incentive scheme in business is completely set up to encourage this. You get a bonus for an idea that results in a profit, and the focus is always entirely on the next quarter--so why would you come up with an idea that's going to increase profits in 10 years when you may be working somewhere else. Hell, for that matter, why wouldn't you come up with an idea that is less profitable over 20 years but more profitable for the next 2 years? You get paid more if you do.

Google--I think, rightly--feels that it is strongly to their disadvantage to be a company that just does one thing, which is ultimately what they are. Companies that just do one thing tend to do fantastically well--until they die horrible, terrible deaths. Look at Blockbuster. Look at the print industry. Look at Circuit City and now Best Buy.

For Google, these current billions are pocket change. Sixteen billion dollars over the next ten year is just 1.6 billion a year. They can find that in their couch cushions--for now. But if they wait until their luck starts to change to figure out how to diversify, they may not be able to spare the cash to do it and they might end up going the way of buggy whip makers and everyone else who just did one thing. All of these things are gambles, but they're calculated gambles. It's ok if they have a 99% chance of going nowhere, if the payout for the ones that do go somewhere is way more than 100 times what you put into it--at least that's ok if you're a company like Google with obscene amounts of cash-on-hand and a desperate need to diversify.

Comment Re:Another one bites the dust (Score 1) 176

That's because Apple never got a patent on "mp3 playback". Believe me, if they released they the iPod today, they'd probably try (and probably succeed) to patent it. This stuff is getting ridiculous. Google has a working implementation of an actual NFC wallet product for over a year. Apple gets a patent on it without having made anything. Granted, probably 100 different companies besides Apple have also patented it. Hell, Google probably has too, but I'm too lazy to check. Still, this whole thing is getting really, really silly. The concept isn't patent-worthy to begin with. It clearly fails the "non-obvious" test.

Comment Honestly? This is patent worthy? (Score 1) 176

A trademark, sure. But a patent? How is any of this patent worthy? None of it is significantly different from what's already been done. There's supposed to be a "non-obvious to an expert in the field" requirement to get something patented. How does Apple keep getting away with this crap? I don't care if this patent so narrowly worded that nobody will ever have to worry about their own NFC implementation infringing--this not just a "We shouldn't have software patents" issue, this is a "We shouldn't have stupid patents" issue.

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