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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.

Comment Re:Will Apple file a lawsuit? (Score 4, Informative) 146

Yes, but that's hardly the same thing. It did that by getting them from the corresponding apps on your Mac when you synced the phone. It didn't pull them out of thin air, which is what "Cloud" is all about. It also didn't work unless you had a Mac. You used to need a computer to make your smartphone work. Now the Smarthphone IS the computer--or it least it can be if you're the minimalist sort.

Comment Re:I still don't get it (Score 4, Insightful) 328

IANAL, but he didn't even break any laws period. He could have been in the United States and it would have been perfectly legal for him to release that information. It's not illegal to release classified information; it's illegal to share it if you were given access to it legitimately. If someone accidentally leaves it on the bus, you can do whatever you like with it. The government can't force citizens to keep secrets for it, it can only punish those who don't keep secrets after swearing that they would.

Comment Re:3,000? (Score 1) 189

The point that was being made, I believe, is that the FBI have repeatedly claimed that they need these sorts of constitutionally-tenuous expansions (like the provisions of the Patriot Act) to their powers to get "terrorists", but that is clearly a farce. Once they have the power, they will use it for any and all of their purposes.

Comment Re:Lies (Score 1) 730

It occurs to me that for the sake of accuracy and fairness, I should also add that the tracks that I've had the labels assert ownership over are ones which do in fact *sample* the tracks which they are identified as being by the automated content identification system. So while they are not the song in question, and are by artists not signed by the labels and released under creative commons licenses, it is not a 100% clear issue. I would believe they are obvious instances of fair use, since sampling has been such a big part the music industry for years. But IANAL, so perhaps I'm not qualified to say that the tracks are indeed 'trans-formative' and not derivative.

Comment Re:Lies (Score 1) 730

I've got this many times, myself. The content I have problems with are creative commons tracks by independent artists that I know for a fact are not owned by the labels asserting ownership.

The primary issue is this: YouTube, probably as a part of their deal with the labels to keep copyrighted music videos on their service, has given the labels too much power. Under the standard DMCA model, the copyright holder files a complaint, the video poster would contest it, and then that would essentially put the matter out of YuTube's hands. The label would then have to sue the person who filed the counter-claim if they felt they had a case. Under the current YouTube system, the label has the power to say "Nope. We reject your counter-claim. It's our stuff."

At that point, you are officially out of options. In most cases, your content gets to stay up, but it becomes monetized and the ad money goes to the label rather than the video-maker. Occasionally the soundtrack will be muted or blocked in certain countries (Germany, most often) but usually the notice just means more money for the labels and nothing else.

While I can see how that system might sound like a decent set-up since it means that YouTube gets to keep the copyrighted stuff *and* its users don't have to worry about being sued if they file a counter-claim, the problem is--surprise, surprise--the labels are abusing it. It is apparent to me that counter-claims are rejected virtually every time (only the labels have this power, if the copyright claim is from a 3rd party entity then a more standard DMCA model applies). It seems apparent to me, based on the rejections I've gotten, that the labels are simply not acting in good faith. They haven't quite automated the process of rejections, as that would be too flagrant--but whoever job it is to review the claims has apparently been instructed to simply reject them all out of hand.

Give the labels a financial motive to misbehave and, guess what? They will. It shouldn't surprise anyone. Remember when they took-down Tech New's Today's video covering the takedown of the mega-upload song. It included a sample of the song. It was newsworthy, and thus obvious fair use. The labels' defense? They didn't remove the videos on copyright grounds, but rather because they *wanted to*. They assert that their agreement with YouTube gives them the *right* to remove any video they want for any reason they want. YouTube may (I say, "may" because, as far as I know, they've been silent on that claim) disagree with that interpretation, but honestly its certainly not far off from how the labels are acting.

Comment Re:So... (Score 1) 197

That doesn't appear to be correct information. Nothing in the Computer Fraud and Abuse act really covers it, and I can't imagine how you could possibly construe a cookie as "wiretapping". There's a difference between tracking someone's computer with a cookie (or some other method) and illegally accessing it. We're talking about a law that obliges advertisers to "play fair" and respect the wishes of of people on the internet, but I doubt such a law exists. I've heard of "Do Not Track" list laws being proposed, but I don't think any of them have been passed. As far as I know, at least in the United States, you opt out of tracking by taking software measures against it (disabling cookies, blacklisting domains in your hosts file, etc)--not by saying "pretty please stop" and then magically expecting that request to have the force of law behind it.

Of course, standard IANAL disclaimer applies here and I'd love to be proven wrong--I just don't think such a law exists.

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