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Copyright Industries Oppose Treaty For the Blind 135

langelgjm sends in a piece from Wired, which details the background of a proposed treaty to allow cross-border sharing of books for the blind — a treaty which is opposed by an almost unified front of business interests in the US, with the exception of Google. "A broad swath of American enterprise ranging from major software makers to motion picture and music companies are joining forces to oppose a new international treaty that would make books more accessible to the blind. With the exception of Google, almost every major industry player has expressed disapproval of the treaty, which would allow cross-border sharing of digitized books accessible to the blind and visually impaired. Google's chief copyright counsel believes the industry-wide opposition is mainly due to 'opposition to a larger agenda of limitations and exceptions... We believe this is an unproductive approach to solving what is a discrete, long-standing problem that affects a group that needs and deserves the protections of the international community.'"

Comment Re:Maybe it IS you. (Score 1) 8

We don't sell anything online, every sale is a result of discussions and old-fashioned payments and elbow grease. Our software is configured based on discussions with the client, our training is done online one-to-one with staff in our office. Customers who reach our site can read about the software, view some screenshots etc, but will have to submit a request for demo or call us to get more info or arrange a purchase. It's a very low-volume, hands-on kind of business, and we're all just stunned to be singled out by Google without warning or recourse.

We can't help but think it's a misunderstanding or mistake, but in the wake of the big Google Silence (tm) treatment, we can't know for sure, or resolve the problem. It's frustrating: I've always defended Google's choices, and I continue to defend this one to the boss. Their business, their choice, right? If they don't want our money, they shouldn't be forced to take it if they'd rather not deal with us. I just wish they were more human in their actions. We're quite disheartened by this brusque treatment.


Submission + - What do you do when Google screws you? 8

NEOGEOman writes: I work for a small company in Australia that sells a business product developed in Canada. We've come to rely on Google's AdWords system to bring us business — the vast majority of our new customers contact us because we came up near the top of their search for inventory control software. Google just cut us off, with an automated form letter that describes all kinds of offenses that don't apply to us (except perhaps our fairly unattractive landing page) and their stern wording and lack of response seems to indicate that there's no way to appeal or even find out what we did wrong. We've been AdWords users for years, and give Google a comparatively modest $1,000+ every month. Without this source of customers, we're kind of panicking. Our Canadian head office is panicking more, since their account is still active but their business is obviously the same. They have more staff than we do, and a lot more riding on continued AdWords success. We might fail without AdWords, but we WILL fail without our parent company.

My question for Slashdot is: If you're a legitimate small business selling legitimate software and Google cuts you off with the same letter they use to kill malware purveyors (Our software's might not be world-class but malware is a bit of a stretch!) what do you do?

Comment Re:Major Issues (Score 1) 277

It seems that some of your issues are limited to your specific installation. I've been using 9, switching to 10 only with the release of Beta 1, and I don't have most/any of the problems you describe:

Slashdot works fine, and has for a while, though it certainly suffered when they started working on this .js-heavy relaunch a few months back. Loads fine, scrolls fine, responds quickly. It's far better with 10 than with 9. Opera works fine with gmail and g-maps as well, at least for the recent past. Interestingly, google recently broke their regular search page with the live-search thingy: I can no longer edit the terms in a results page and hit ENTER, I have to TAB-ENTER or use the mouse. The same bug exists in 10.

As a fix, you might try a clean install (losing your precious profile data, sadly) or try it on another machine, as your OS may have something installed that causes trouble (like, say, microsoft products, heh)

Comment Their website is full of lies too. (Score 2, Informative) 116

I covered a lot of the Zeebo issues on my own site a while ago. From my site:

"They further claim that hundreds of millions of games have been downloaded wirelessly without one ever being pirated. At first I thought they were joking, as a search on any warez site will turn up hundreds of mobile phone downloads cracked and ready to play, but then I read between the lines: Out of all the wireless games out there, one of them still hasn't been pirated! I wonder which one it is... "

"But hey, at least it has VGA graphics, right? 640x480 video, and since it's VGA we know it'll be non-interlaced (ie: progressive). Too bad it only has composite-video outputs, which can't actually support VGA resolutions."

""Additional enhancements may include [...] new services." Phew, I was worried about the future. But no, the future's awesome: "By 2012, the worldwide video game market is projected to become a $68 billion industry." Yup, from $9.5b in 2007 to $70b in 2012. Only Zeebo allows you to capture a market that will increase in value seven-fold in five years. "

There are so many things wrong with their plan that I can't believe it's anything but a scam run by liars or idiots.

Comment No punishment, no point. (Score 0) 507

It's funny, but a friend was telling me not half an hour ago how he picked up this game today, and he just hates it. It's impossible to die: "if you miss a jump, your magic friend saves you and brings you back to the previous piece of ground you were on. And if you're in combat and you lose, your magic friend pulls you out of harm's way"

That's not FUN. Why try hard if you never fail? Stupid design is stupid.


Submission + - Is MS gaming referrals? (

NEOGEOman writes: "In the last three days has suddenly started appearing on my referral logs thirty times more frequently than they used to (a whopping 31 visitors per day now!). The thing is the search terms are almost certainly bogus. What human being would search for 'newest' or 'message' and find my tiny site among twenty three million results? All the visitors' IPs resolve to the domain *.phx.gbl, which seems to be some non-standard Microsoft thing. Google returns a lot of hits for it in discussion of all things Microsoft. My question now is: Am I the only one noticing this? Is there a legitimate reason for this increase in ridiculous traffic? To the point, is Microsoft gaming the system to make more relevent?"

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