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Comment Not a Mafia, but a Cartel (coming soon) (Score 2) 205

Here is my take on it, and this applies very specifically to the mobile area.

Over a period of time the patent disputes between Google, Microsoft, Apple, Samsung, and the other big players will be settled. Whether through fees or you-use-ours-we-use-yours agreements, the battles will end. Then what we will have is a true cartel through which any outside party wishing to build and sell a legal mobile device must pass through. This could either mean very big per device license fees, obstructive licensing agreements, or outright market exclusion.

What I fear most is not the death of outside innovation in mobile but the Frankenstein chimera of a law that bought off lawmakers and lobbyists create to "reform" this problem.

Comment Re:no. (Score 4, Insightful) 648

If there was an article about me, it would be titled "X requires cable companies to put their shows online in order to watch."

I thought I was going to have to keep cable and HBO to watch Game of Thrones. But I thought about it more, and I can wait a year in order to avoid writing and mailing a damn check every 30 days.

Cable is dead. Avoid it for a month or two and when you return it feels like you are watching a video version of the spam inbox.

Comment A Luddite Dilema (Score 1) 164

I am reminded of a quote by James Lovelock in The Vanishing Face of Gaia - "..before we start geoengineering, we have to ask: Are we sufficiently talented to take on what might become the onerous permanent task of keeping the Earth in homeostasis? Consider what might happen if we start by using a stratospheric aerosol to ameliorate global heating—even if it succeeded it would not be long before we faced the additional problem of ocean acidification. This would need another medicine, and so on. We could find ourselves enslaved in a Kafkaesque world from which there was no escape."

but that is not all, Lovelock continues:

"The alternative is the acceptance of a massive natural cull of humanity and a return to an Earth that freely regulates itself."

Two very grim images of the future.

Comment Re:Still many accessories in a "post PC" world (Score 1) 559

I used to order all my hardware from newegg. Then, my last order were marked as "successful" only for me to find out the following day it had been flagged. As a very busy adult that was a huge deal. I can't just assemble a new PC any day I feel like it. I cancelled the order, found all of the parts available on Amazon Prime for about the same price and overnighted them (would have been free shipping had I been able to wait an extra day.)

My brother went through an almost identical experience the last time he tried to build a machine.

The real question to me is, can newegg survive Amazon?

Comment Re:America Invents? (Score 1) 244

Or "Healthcare Reform" that makes it illegal not to buy the product your claiming to reform.

As soon as I hear "Reform" on the end of the bill I cringe. Its obvious it was written by the same people that the bill allegedly regulates.

I don't think the founding fathers of the United States ever would have imagined that an elected government could turn in to such a satirical farce of Edward Bernays' proportions.

Comment Re:In principle it's not too bad (Score 1) 171

I support it -- as long as a third party does it. It could be done browser side with GreaseMonkey. Someone can host a mirrored censored Wikipedia. Multiple people can host censored Wikipedia's. Different groups can censor whatever they don't want their members to see. For example a fundamentalist Christian/Muslim Wikipedia could remove all references to biological evolution and astrophysics (the whole big bang thing.)

A system whose purpose is to curate what amounts to a record of the entire record of knowledge of human civilization has absolutely no place in censoring itself, even if that censorship is a thin sheet. The mere addition of such a feature sends the message to children and the naive that there are things which we should pretend didn't happen if it makes us feel uncomfortable.

Hiding something such as pictures of war crimes should be embarrassing to anyone. In this case it is appalling. These are not pictures hanging up in your living room, this is content that people pursue when trying to learn specifically about the very subject.

This feature was requested by the Wikimedia board of trustees unanimously. In their resolution they specifically state: "We support the principle of user choice; readers should have control over their experience on the projects." Why is this addressing only images? If someone can hide a picture of a black man being lynched 100 years ago, why not also allow a reader to hide the statement that it ever happened in the first place? If the Wikimedia Foundation wants to do with Wikimedia Commons or whatever, fine, but Wikipedia too, then everyone one of them should be replaced.

Comment Too little too late (Score 1) 137

Once someone has a day and a half of downtime they aren't going to care about getting half of their money back. Instead they will want a full refund and damages. I know in some situations, even for smaller businesses, that downtime could easily cost thousands of dollars. Unfortunately for Microsoft, there may not be a lot of people using their software in the future even if they make it free.

Comment Re:Excellent timing (Score 2) 193

Yet it is closely interlinked because Google Offers is just the kind of thing that Google is using the search engine to drive traffic to, traffic that would otherwise go to competitors. This is just demonstrating that no one at Google is taking the anti competitive business practice stuff seriously.

Comment Re:Stupidity (Score 2) 131

Ben Edelman has done a truly exceptional job documenting the anti-trust issues involving Google's advertising.

NBC is not a monopoly, Google is. Google makes Microsoft's old monopoly look like a walk in the park. Google not only has the most used search engine but controls or has a majority chunk of the online advertising market flow through it (at least in the US, I'm sure there are exceptions on a country by country basis.) Additionally they now have what is likely to be come the #1 mobile phone operating system and potentially what could become the #1 web browser.

People go to Google to look for stuff. Lets say your business advertises on Google (mine does), and Google wants to do the same thing as your business does. Thanks to either their existing infrastructure or that you are advertising on their platform they know everything about how your business gets traffic. With the wave of a magic wand all of those search keywords and display ad placements are now directly to Google's new competitive service. I have seen Google do this in multiple markets, including my own. How do you compete against Google? You can't. Virtually every user wanting something specific comes from search.

That is an incredibly powerful monopoly, much more so than Microsoft's was.

Areas Google has already used this to their advantage: Google News (vs multiple news sites), Google Finance (Yahoo Finance and others), Google Shopping (infinite shopping sites), Google Health (WebMD etc), Google Places (remember the whole Yelp review jacking thing), and so on.

Unlike Microsoft, Google is actually putting out exceptional products and I am very thankful for that. But, a monopoly is a monopoly, and if anti-competitive practices are involved (strongly likely) US law has something to say about that. Thus any disagreement with this issue lays with US law rather than Google or the FTC.

By the way, I strongly recommend what Ben Endelman has written about this subject. I would take a guess he figured this out first. (If I recall correctly Google was caught here telling lies)

IT Worker's Revenge Lands Her In Jail 347

aesoteric writes "A 30-year-old IT worker at a Florida-based health centre was this week sentenced to 19 months in a US federal prison for hacking, and then locking, her former employer's IT systems. Four days after being fired from the Suncoast Community Health Centers' for insubordination, Patricia Marie Fowler exacter her revenge by hacking the centre's systems, deleting files, changing passwords, removing access to infrastructure systems, and tampering with pay and accrued leave rates of staff."

Kentucky Announces Creationism Theme Park 648

riverat1 writes "On December first, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear announced that a creationism theme park is expected to open in 2014. Park developers are seeking state tourism development incentives and could receive up to $37.5 million over a 10-year period. Gov. Steve Beshear said he does not believe the incentives would violate the principle of church-state separation because the 14-year-old tax incentives law wasn’t approved for the purpose of benefiting the Ark Encounter. The park will have a 500 foot replica of the Ark with live animals on it and a Tower of Babel explaining how races and languages developed. The park will be turned over to Answers in Genesis after it is built. They are a non-profit organization which may allow them to discriminate in hiring on the basis of religion."

Comment Re:Wikileaks isn't the culprit (Score 1) 579

First, I think that individual personalities are what make and break stories. The reason this story is about Julian Assange is the same reason that Snooki from MTV's reality TV show was in the New York Post almost every other day this summer. The guy has put himself in front of television cameras during press conferences and now with some alleged sex crime he is front page news. And the fact that he is part of an incredibly polarizing story makes it media gold.

Julian is certainly smart enough to understand how the media works. To some degree I imagine it was very intentional; what those underlying intentions are I don't know.

What makes this story fascinating is that you can see an individuals comprehension of how the world works and how radically altering the new paradigm of information is by their reactions to Wikileaks and to a lesser degree Julian Assange and what "to do" about him.

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