Re: Rockstar claims to be independent from Apple and Microsoft
"but have since mitigated the risk by amending their policy and partnering with content owners" - or alternatively they are managing, at least in part, to talk some sense to content distributors that the relative ease of pushing video files around is going to make home taping look comically prehistoric, and there is a potential market here, if only the distributors wake up to this fact. I mean, how often has it been lamented here that there are many of us that would pay to download an XviD to watch on the device of our choosing? More and more this is possible with music. But with video? It is still tied in all sorts of awkward ways.
"Google images is mostly a destination in itself and utilised copyrighted images without permission" - including some of mine; however the content served up is not served up from Google itself. The thumbnail and preview are fairly low resolution, the link goes directly to the main image. And some sites trap this and throw you into the site itself instead of allowing the raw image to be served up. Some sites serve up an "oi! get off my lawn!" style image instead. ;-)
"Google maps cars were slurping private data with impunity and even hacking WiFi router security to do so" - "private" data? This being information that the user thought was private but was actually being broadcast with no form of encryption whatsoever so anybody with a WiFi interface could have just as easily been reading everything. This, if nothing else, should have been a wake-up call to the users. In a world where you are responsible for the data passing in and out of your IP address, leaving it wide open is irresponsible. Sure, slurping the data is also irresponsible, let's not forget that.
For what it is worth, the same applies with public WiFi. If your tablet or what-have-you autoconnects to open networks and helpfully checks for mail using traditional POP3 - who have you just bleated your login info and password to? Everybody within reception range. That's who. Chances are, nobody will be running a data logger. Maybe it'll be okay in a bar in a provincial town, but is that a chance you are willing to take in a crowded place like a railway station or airport offering open free WiFi? It is not difficult to slurp. Remember that.
As for "hacking", I'm sorry. No. I do not define "receiving open broadcasts" to be hacking any more than I would be hacking by turning on the radio.
"Google are a fiercely competitive commercial entity that has steamrollered any business they think they can" - probably, yes. It is with some sense of irony that I recall Google first get into the search business because they were lean and didn't fill their search results with adverts and rubbish like Altavista used to do. When you went on-line with 14k4 and 28k8 modems, this made a very measurable difference.
"until they bumped into Apple" - two wildly egotistical companies that have the attitude of doing what they like. It's rather like having two male cats in the same garden...
"proposition Google are some cuddly defender of the rights of independent engineers is woefully misguided" - it would be nice if they either open sourced their unwanted ideas, or passed them over to a willing tech to run as a hobby. Google certainly has the habit of creating good ideas, getting bored with them, and then abandoning them. Which isn't so useful to people who actually liked/used those things. Certainly, I think a number of people will be weaning themselves off of Google projects because you never can tell what might get the axe next, and also their relentless push to try to integrate Google+ is going to do them harm in the long run. An example? I upload stuff on YouTube (and I have viewership in double-digits, so I'm hardly worthy of attention). Following the whole Google+/comments thing, I just turn off commenting entirely. While I don't count for much, I'm not alone in doing this. How do we make it clear to Google that... Plus? No thank you.