If anybody needed any proof
That the patent system is an obstacle to innovation…
3439 posts • joined 3 Sep 2007
Floating islands in the sky - check
Blue people - check
Luminescent vegetation - check
Huge tree with mystical/natural meaning for the natives - check
I'm sure there are other examples; not that all of this has not been pretty much done a few times before.
Of course there are other people, and these ones have been celebrated already; but it would make no sense not to give the prize to people who deserve it the most, just because they are already famous. It would be like giving the gold medal to the one who finished fourth, because the others are already standing on the podium.
It was always obvious that the competitors were going to reject the proposal. So far, I have not heard any constructive proposal of what they think Google should do. IIRC, they asked for "clear guarantees" that Google would "stop pushing it own products" in the search results. That is practically impossible, unless Google made public its ranking algorithm; which it would most certainly never do.
It is true that Google having 90% market share makes it hard for others to compete, but nobody seems to have any feasible idea of how this could be fixed. Even the EC does not seem able to propose anything, other than telling them to "improve their proposals" somehow.
From what I understand, you can be a part of the alliance and sell Windows phones; however you are not allowed to sell incompatible versions of Android. As far as I know, this is the only place Google is putting restrictions on manufacturers.
Maybe that could be seen as an attempt from Google to strong-arm the manufacturers, though not in a way that Microsoft would care about it. What do manufacturers lose if they get kicked out of the Open Handset Alliance?
It's usually the way used by people desperate for attention.
That said, at look with much anticipation to the day Assange will leave the embassy. It is most likely he will get out in a very large Diplomatic bag, which would be disappointing; but I have not lost hope that he will eventually get sent to Sweden, and get sentenced there to a month of community service.
How does Google intend to address the specific issues around facial recognition in the future? (Dear Google, we have no clue how to solve this problem. Can you solve it for us?)
Has Google undertaken any privacy risk assessment the outcomes of which it would be willing to share? (Dear Google, we really have no clue, but you people seem to be more intelligent. Can you help us write new regulations?)
Would Google be willing to demonstrate the device to our offices and allow any interested data protection authorities to test it? (I WANNA TRY IT! ME TOO! MY TURN!! WANNA WANNA WANNA!)
I'm not sure it matters where the "selling" is done. European law seems to allow companies to pay tax in a single country, no matter where the "selling" is done. What matters is which country is on the bill. This was very explicitly meant to be a feature of European tax laws, and not a bug: It means that you can sell in many countries without the hassle of paying taxes in each of them.
Google may have been wrongly claiming that sales were happening in Ireland, but this is probably just for saving appearances; the fact is that they are allowed to pay taxes wherever they want.
You may go to a travel agency to buy a plane ticket; you may get convinced by the travel agency to buy a certain ticket; you may never talk to anybody from the airlines company. Yet, the ticket you buy is still a British Airways ticket, not a Kuoni one, even though Kuoni did the selling. The travel agency only pays taxes on the commission they get, which has nothing to do with the amount the airlines company earns.
I.e. is Google trying to make its own product better, or just trying to keep others from making their product better?
I don't want to sound too cynical, but I am not sure what Google is hoping to get out of Waze (though Waze can undoubtedly benefit a lot from Google).
The way I understood it, the reason it is not see-through is that they wanted to have a general consumer product. It seems to me that while see-through might make you feel like the Terminator, there are simply very few people who actually want to walk around with a see-through device.
Though this might indeed be due to the fact that a see-through device would have to be way bigger than the "giant goggles sticking out strapped on your head" that is Glass.
I am not convinced about the graphics arguments, though. Don't jet fighter pilots already have heads-up displays in their helmets that overlay graphics across their vision?
I actually wear a watch, and though it is cool and slightly expensive, I do use it a lot to check the time. In comparison to getting my phone out of my pocket, checking my watch is much faster.
Though paying attention to a difference of a few seconds might indicate that I am slightly obsessional-compulsive about time. I even maintain it synchronized to the second. Then again, I live in a place where trains and buses run on time.
I really wish people would only wear sunglasses to reduce glare from the sun… Unfortunately, there are far too many who wear sunglasses after dark. One guy I knew even wore two pairs of sunglasses after dark: One on his eyes, and one on his hair, to hold in place his fashionably-ruffled hairdo.
There are a few big players who are not at all interested in sharing their users with the other guys. Without even saying that all these systems add subtly different features in order to differentiate their offer from the others, which makes it difficult to interoperate. For instance, the new Hangouts thing from Google had to mostly drop XMPP support, because it could not handle half of the extra features.
Have you thought about all the opportunities of making money that got killed because of the advent of Internet? How many billions would people agree to pay for services that have become completely unnecessary because the Internet exists and has made them obsolete? Google even had the unmitigated gall to make Internet easy to use! All that money drained from the global economy!
And don't forget how the invention of the damn telephone killed the letter delivery business, and killed off so much tax revenue.
The problem is that laws need not follow the rules of logic. The US and a few other countries have so-called General Anti-Avoidance Rules (GAAR) that essentially state that it is illegal to game the system, even if you only use legal means.
This flies in the face of logic, but remember, lawmakers do not have a program to tell them that what they write does not compile…
Exactly my thoughts. I would bet that more than one was spurred to download the plans by just this announcement.
…Could it be that the police estimated that having exploding and imprecise guns in the hands of the populace would diminish the number of proper guns bought illegally?
Note that Google's hands are rather tied on this point. The only reason they have not lost their lawsuit from Viacom and been sued into oblivion is that they provide with ContentID a way for copyright owners to automatically show ads against their videos uploaded by users. They are simply not allowed to show these videos without ads.
Yeah, I was going to say the heading should be "IBM solution is the best, says IBM employee"
On subject of the message, I was under the impression that the reason most companies simply don't consider using anything else than Linux servers is that they are vastly cheaper and easier to manage. Proprietary solutions were always better, but stopped being used because the "power, security, administration licensing and management benefits" were not worth the trouble and lock-in. What percentage of IT workers can manage such a system, compared to a Linux server? How easy is it to find replacements?
This year's April fool announcing YouTube is shutting down in order to select the very best video of the web. Also, don't miss the 12-hours video announcement of the nominated videos!
This, gentlemen, is the problem that scientists and technical people have with the legal system. They are so used to argue with pure logic that it is extremely hard for them to understand that there are grey areas in the way laws are interpreted and applied.
In the real world, you unfortunately sometimes need a lengthy trial and a lot of money spent on lawyers to figure out whether something is legal. And the outcome of the trial can actually depend on how good the lawyers are! From a scientist point of view, this is pure madness — they assume that the law is so clear that any intelligent person could determine infallibly whether something is legal after thinking for a few minutes. Would it be that simple…
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