Non-Google Jabber accounts are less common than Google accounts
Not entirely representative, but on my Jabber roster about 30% are Google people, and about half of them are Google employees. I wonder how many Google Talk users have no non-Google people on their roster, and will be happy to learn that Google has just decided that they can no longer talk to them.
Uh, no. An API is not subject to copyright, and so you can't sue someone for writing code to an API or reimplementing that API. That has absolutely nothing to do with whether you can use a specific service in a specific way. Google could not stop someone else implementing the YouTube APIs on a different media hosting site.
I think Microsoft has been quite clever here. They're now in the situations where they're giving their customers something that they want, and Google is telling them that they can't. They can't really lose: if they can keep offering the app in the same format, then they can provide a better experience than other platforms. If they can't, then they have some good material for their next round of anti-Google adverts.
It's a distinction between a federated and a proprietary network. When you make a telephone call, your mobile operator may or may not be the responsible for the far end. They are selling you access to a world wide telephone network, parts of which are operated by many companies even within a single country. The rules for this network are defined in part by the ITU and in part by the national laws of the various participating countries. In most of the western world, these place limits on who is allowed to listen in to messages. In contrast, Microsoft is selling you access to a private network that is owned and operated entirely by them.
The laws apply to federated networks because you may not have a direct business relationship with the carriers for a potentially large part. They do not need to apply for non-federated private services, because you have a direct business relationship with the supplier, in this case Microsoft.
Liberals like you never ask yourself how much more efficient it would be if people would not be taxed and instead donate even 10% of what they would have been taxed to the causes they believe in
It's an interesting thought experiment. You can see a lot of what happens from the current tax exemption rules for charities in the US: most people with surplus income give to things that will directly benefit themselves (educational trusts that run schools predominantly for wealthy people, heart disease charities, and so on). Of course, most people wouldn't donate anything. There's a reason why economists have the term 'the tragedy of the commons' and it's not because they invented a hypothetical scenario, it is based on large numbers of historical examples.
The loan was for two years, with interest payments of £150 (so, £75/year) on a total of £450. That works out at about a 17% AER. On other words, you'd have been about as well off to get the first credit card offer that came through your door, buy the phone outright, and pay back the money at the same rate. You'd have been a lot better off if you could afford to pay back £50 on your credit card bill every money. A quick search tells me that the Sainsbury's credit card has a 7.8% APR, so if you got one of these, you'd be a lot better off to buy the phone on the card, and then paying back as much as you could afford.
If you're in a situation where £450 is an unaffordable expense, I'd imagine that you already have a credit card that you pay off every money, so you postpone paying for your regular expenses by 14-45 days, in which case just buying the phone on the card you already have would be cheaper and no more effort.
And it sounds like you actually got a comparatively good deal on your phone. Most 'subsidised' phones are equivalent to a loan with an APR of 20-50%. I'd love to see the regulator say that phone companies had to sell phones at the same price whether you had a contract or not, but could include a loan for phone purchasing with the contract as long as they stated the terms with the same detail required of other lenders.
Surprise your boss. Get to work on time.