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Comment Re:Shocking (Score 1) 360

And yet, they're willing to abide by the flag as long as it isn't set by default. There's nothing that obliges them to do that much--it's against their own self-interest. This is just Microsoft trying to undermine Google's business model because they compete in other areas.

Comment Make up your mind FTC (Score 4, Insightful) 167

So wait, which is it? Google is unfairly prioritizing their own services, or unfairly indexing others? Yelp is their competitor. They have their own competing service in Google Places.

You can't have it both ways. You can't say on the one hand that they're "stealing" when they index other people's content and you can't argue that they're being anti-competitive if they don't have enough of other people's content, or other people's content not highly enough ranked. And, bottom line, Google has flatly denied that they do this. They have been explicit in stating that they do not tinker with their algorithm to make their services show up higher than others--so unless you have some evidence they're lying, then what's your case going to be?

Comment Re:Funny (Score 1) 418

PETA is great at getting free publicity, sadly they tend to do so in ways that totally undermine their credibility as a serious organization and completely derail their message. It's really not a good trade-off, imo. No publicity is bad publicity might hold true if you're selling entertainment, but PETA isn't a reality show, their a not-for-profit and I'm pretty sure bad publicity is a bad thing for them.

Comment Re:This BANS others from OFFERING anonymity (Score 2) 188

There's an inverse relationship between the level of authority you posted with and the level of accuracy of your statements. Defensive patents are extremely commonplace in the industry, and Google has never used a patent non-defensively to date. That is to say, they've only ever counter-sued when sued. You think a few thousand dollars is a big deal to a company like Google? Hell, for Google it's just the cost of the filing fee. Google has their own in-house legal department. They pay their lawyers regardless of whether they sit on their ass twiddling their thumbs or if they're in court fighting over patents. That means, the opportunity cost of filing a patent is minimal--just whatever the filing fees themselves are ($750 I think?).

Comment Re:Curious. (Score 4, Interesting) 252

I've used JSTOR and I never agreed to any TOS. More than likely, the University in question did that as they are the actual "customer".

I frankly find it hard to believe that spoofing a MAC address to keep from being banned from a network rises to the level of "hacking". The guy already has trespassing charges for being in the building, and that seems like the most appropriate crime to charge him with. Everything else is just piling on bullshit because "We didn't have a law that fit this guy, so we're gonna throw everything we can think of at him because we think he should go to jail."

For the record, all the articles he "stole" are public domain. JSTOR asserts copyright because it was their scan, even though the articles themselves belong to the public now. The problem is, that there's currently no way to access a lot of this older public domain stuff except by going through JSTOR.

Comment Re:That this is patenteable AT ALL (Score 1) 214

This is almost the least stupid software patent I've ever seen. I mean, all great ideas look obvious in retrospect, but I can't tell you how many times I've been embarrassed that I forgot to silence my phone and had to fumble with it to try to silence it without removing it from my pocket. If could just give my thigh a light slap and silence it mid-ring, that'd be awesome.

Still, I'm not sure I like the idea of a patent protecting something like this, even if it hasn't' been done before and would be useful. I think there's enough benefit in simply being first to do something like this to justify the minimal R&D required to come up with something like this (which is to say, none, just a neat idea that popped into some engineers head). We don't need to nurture this level of innovation along with the promise of a monopoly on the idea. It simply doesn't rise to that level nor does it require such incentive to happen.

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.

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