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Comment Re:why does your phone need software running on yo (Score 2) 519

I've used various iDevices for years, including all models of iPhone bar the 5, iPods and iPads. None of them sync by replacing the entire contents of the device. All of them will sync a single file. None of them will break Windows' features relating to third-party cameras and USB sticks. You either have a seriously messed up Windows installation, or iDevice, or probably both - or you're just deluded.

Comment Re:Anything that states it has to be free? (Score 1) 351

It wasn't a strawman, it's a hypothetical illustration of the problem with providing an exception for free services. Businesses in the EU, that provide a service to consumers/citizens, are required to meet certain criteria in order to prevent abuse. The fact that a business funds a service by means other than direct billing doesn't entitle it to ignore its legal obligations. You questioned why those obligations exist - the answer is, if they didn't, then consumers would be exploited and businesses would inevitably find means to have their services categorised as 'free' in order to avoid their obligations. It's interesting to note that it's not unique to consumer rights - if I walk into a business premises and injure myself, I can still sue them if they were negligent, whether I bought anything or not. These consumer protection laws are an extension of that logic. There is a certain cost involved in doing business in any given region, and in the EU that cost involves fulfilling consumer protection obligations.

Comment Re:Anything that states it has to be free? (Score 1) 351

The logic is, that if you provide a service to consumers (as much as I hate that term), you are required to provide a minimum level of service. Financially discounting that service (even a 100% discount) doesn't change that situation. It's done to prevent abuse of the little guy. If there was an exception for free services, businesses would use all sorts of means to exploit that loophole (e.g. in a broadband + TV package, we say you're paying for the TV only, the broadband is a 'free extra' so you get a shitty broadband service with no customer support, you can't complain as it's 'free', and by the way we're the only provider in your area... see the potential problem?). I would also take issue with your definition of free - by using Google services you're providing to Google a payment in kind by displaying their adverts on your computer screen and viewing them. If it makes you happier, imagine that Google pays Germans 0.01 Euro for each advert imprint, and then demands that in payment for the internet service provided.

Comment Re:You know... (Score 1) 351

Agreed. You could reframe the debate this way: Google has many millions of paying customers, who make payment _in kind_ by reading and displaying (on their computer screen) adverts that Google provides. You can't sidestep consumer protection law by providing a service at a financial discount, even if that discount is 100%.

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