Daniel Eran Dilger:
Almost three years after Google released its WebM video encoding technology as a “free” and open alternative to the existing H.264 backed by Apple and others, it has admitted its position was wrong and that it would pay to license the patents WebM infringes.
Looks like we’re establishing a clear pattern: Google clearly (and often willfully) infringes on someone else’s IP, can’t believe that it’ll ever have any repercussions, and claims they’re doing it to be “open” or some bullshit. It betrays a culture at Google’s highest levels of arrogance, entitlement, and dishonesty.
Microsoft is backing a bill in Massachusetts that would effectively force schools to stop using Google Apps, or any other service that uses students’ data.
“Any person who provides a cloud computing service to an educational institution operating within the State shall process data of a student enrolled in kindergarten through twelfth grade for the sole purpose of providing the cloud computing service to the educational institution and shall not process such data for any commercial purpose, including but not limited to advertising purposes that benefit the cloud computing service provider,” the bill states.
The proposed legislation was introduced by state representative Carlo Basile (D-East Boston), and Microsoft has said it is supporting it, using the old canard of wanting to protect children from harm. Blocking Google and other providers that use an ad-funded service model is just a side benefit, it seems.
In my experience, the behaviors and culture of an organization (large or small) that focuses on the Consumer as a customer is diametrically incompatible with the behaviors and culture of an organization that focuses on Business as a customer.
I feel strongly that this is a key reason Microsoft’s products are often good, but not excellent; the consumer ones and the business ones. This is why Google will never be able to beat Apple at Apple’s game: Google’s customer focus is split between the advertiser and consumer.
The behaviors of organization, which are really driven by the attitudes, actions, priorities of the people, define what the organization produces. The behaviors required to delight the consumer are simply at odds with the behaviors required to delight businesses. You cannot do both simultaneously in a single organization and be excellent.
If you had told me five years ago that I’d have the chance to pay $1,500 to beta test and advertise a product for you I would’ve said ‘get the heck out of town’! But here we are.
“‘The lack of interest, the disdain for history is what makes computing not-quite-a-field,’ Alan Kay once lamented. And so it should come as no surprise that the USPTO granted Google a patent Tuesday for the Automatic Deletion of Temporary Files, perhaps unaware that the search giant’s claimed invention is essentially a somewhat kludgy variation on file expiration processing, a staple of circa-1970 IBM mainframe computing and subsequent disk management software. From Google’s 2013 patent: ‘A path name for a file system directory can be “C:temp\12-1-1999\” to indicate that files contained within the file system directory will expire on Dec. 1, 1999.’ From Judith Rattenbury’s 1971 Introduction to the IBM 360 computer and OS/JCL: ‘EXPDT=70365 With this expiration date specified, the data set will not be scratched or overwritten without special operator action until the 365th day of 1970.’ Hey, things are new if you’ve never seen them before!”
With stolen passwords in hand, attackers attempt to break into accounts across the web and across many different services. We’ve seen a single attacker using stolen passwords to attempt to break into a million different Google accounts every single day, for weeks at a time. A different gang attempted sign-ins at a rate of more than 100 accounts per second. Other services are often more vulnerable to this type of attack, but when someone tries to log into your Google Account, our security system does more than just check that a password is correct.
Every time you sign in to Google, whether via your web browser once a month or an email program that checks for new mail every five minutes, our system performs a complex risk analysis to determine how likely it is that the sign-in really comes from you. In fact, there are more than 120 variables that can factor into how a decision is made.
If a sign-in is deemed suspicious or risky for some reason—maybe it’s coming from a country oceans away from your last sign-in—we ask some simple questions about your account. For example, we may ask for the phone number associated with your account, or for the answer to your security question. These questions are normally hard for a hijacker to solve, but are easy for the real owner. Using security measures like these, we’ve dramatically reduced the number of compromised accounts by 99.7 percent since the peak of these hijacking attempts in 2011.
Google is abusing its dominant place in the search market, according to Europe’s antitrust chief Joaquin Almunia.
In an interview with the Financial Times of London, Google could be forced to change the way that it provides and displays search results or face antitrust charges for “diverting traffic,” in the words of Almunia, referring to Google’s self-serving treatment to its own search services.
Despite the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s move earlier this month to let off Google with a slap on the wrist — albiet, a change to its business practices, a move that financially wouldn’t dent Google in the short term but something any company would seek to avoid — the European Commission is looking to take a somewhat different approach: take its time, and then hit the company hard.
Almunia said in the interview: “We are still investigating, but my conviction is [Google] are diverting traffic,” adding: “They are monetising this kind of business, the strong position they have in the general search market and this is not only a dominant position, I think — I fear — there is an abuse of this dominant position.”
That’s pretty much as black and white as one can get, short of actually saying: “Google, bad! Here’s a whopping great big fine.”
The Google Maps on Windows Phone debacle looks like it will be resolved after all. Google now says that it is in fact planning to get rid of the redirect that’s preventing Windows Phone users from accessing the Google Maps website using Internet Explorer — “soon,” even.
So it isn’t IE incompatibility after all, right? You just got caught.
“People are freaking out about the world coming to an end—I totally get that,” said the Google C.E.O. Larry Page in a conference call with reporters. “But at Google we view the Apocalypse as a unique opportunity. This company was founded with the goal to ‘organize the world’s information’ and we see the next three days as our chance to get that done.”As for the marching orders that Page gave to Google’s team of designers: “The world is going to be destroyed and mankind will cease to exist. Make Google the last page they see, and give us one last chance to serve them tracking cookies.”
Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt has dismissed criticism over how little corporation tax his company pays, saying it’s just capitalism.
Schmidt is “very proud” of the corporate structure Google set up to divert profits made in European countries, such as the UK, to its firms in the low-tax havens of Ireland and The Netherlands, thus minimising its tax bill.
“We pay lots of taxes; we pay them in the legally prescribed ways,” he told Bloomberg. “I am very proud of the structure that we set up. We did it based on the incentives that the governments offered us to operate.
“It’s called capitalism. We are proudly capitalistic. I’m not confused about this.”
“Using dubious tactics dubbed the ‘Double Irish’ and the ‘Dutch Sandwich’, Google apparently was able to pay only 3.2 per cent in tax on its overseas profits in 2011 even though most of its sales were in countries with tax rates from 26 to 34 per cent,” the group’s privacy project director John Simpson said in the letter.
Take a look inside Google’s high-tech data centers
Whether consumers respond by buying the more distinctive devices is another question entirely.
Consider the case of Windows Phone, Microsoft’s operating system for smartphones, which looks almost nothing like the Apple software for iPhones and iPads. Reviewers have praised Windows Phone for its fresh, distinctive design, with bold typography and a tile system for using phone functions.
But the phones, including the Lumia 900 from Nokia, have not sold well.
Microsoft’s product has not gained traction for a number of possible reasons, among them the big lead its rivals had in the marketplace and the relatively weak distribution of its main partner, Nokia. But the experience shows that any flourishing of innovative products prompted by the Samsung verdict may not translate into success for Apple’s rivals.
So this guy argues that because a company that DOES innovate isn’t doing well, other companies should not have to innovate and just copy Apple, and the fact that they should be allowed to copy Apple is GOOD for innovation?
Look, I dislike this patent war as much as the next guy, but this is ridiculous.
Google Inc said on Friday it had not kept its promise to delete all the personal data, such as emails, its Street View cars collected in Britain and other countries in 2010.
In a hearing in the US District Court today, it was determined that Google will pay a net total of nothing for Oracle’s patent claims against them. In fact, Google is given 14 days to file an application for Oracle to pay legal fees to Google(in a similar manner to how things are done for frivolous lawsuits). However, it is not quite peaches and roses for Google, as Oracle is planning on appealing the decision in the case.
This is obviously very good news for Google, but we will have to see what happens with Oracle’s appeal. Of course, appeals for most cases are to be expected(especially with a case like this one, which was heavily watched, and has a large impact on the Software and IT industries as a whole).
He predicted that by this date, developers would be making their apps for Android first. And that’s simply not happening. Sure, there are a few here and there that do it. But for the most part, the situation remains the same. In the hearts and minds of top app developers, it’s iOS first and Android second — or not at all.
The same is true for the vast majority of new startups — I talk with dozens each week. The refrain: iOS first. Android second. Down the road. At some point. Maybe.
So why was Schmidt so wrong? In my mind, there are a number of reasons — the same ones I went into in my initial post. The ability to make money is the most important. But the most interesting reason again ties into something Schmidt said back in December:
“With the ICS release our core objective as a company is to get all of the hardware vendors onto that platform.”
I mean, he really said that. And it’s unbelievable because it’s perhaps the most epic fail in the history of epic fails. Google’s “core objective as a company” was to get hardware vendors onto Ice Cream Sandwich (aka Android 4.0), and as of June 1 — seven months after the launch of the OS — 7.1 percent of Android phones are actually on it. Seven. Point. One. Percent.
That number isn’t from some bullshit survey of a few hundred devices or some propaganda from Apple — it’s the number published by Google itself. And it’s pathetic.
Perhaps no review has ever painted a better picture of the problem with “unbiased” reviews of technology than David Pogue’s review of the Samsung Galaxy Player 4.2, the iPod touch of Android. There’ve been a lot of reviews in a lot of publications that don’t help anybody buy anything — the very thing they’re supposed to do! — but this review is amazing in how wildly successful it is as saying absolutely nothing useful about the product at hand.
Pogue, ostensibly to please a vocal, angry contingency of fanboys, bends over backwards so hard to say nice things about the Galaxy Player 4.2 that he practically begins to eat himself, so that every good thing he says about it is immediately negated in the same thought. The screen is fantastic, except for when you open your eyes.
So let me get this straight. Advertising networks that track user behavior are OK with “Do Not Track” only so long as a single-digit percentage of users have it turned on? But if a lot of people start using it they’re out? Not being able to track users across the web is a “nightmare” for ad networks?
Years ago I had the idea that if Microsoft really wanted to destroy Google, they should have released a version of IE with a built-in on-by-default ad-blocker that included Google ads in its blacklist.
Feast your eyes on this! Oracle’s Java APIs, specifically as used by Google, are not copyrightable. “Therefore, Oracle’s claim based on Google’s copying of the 37 API packages, including their structure, sequence and organization is DISMISSED,” the judge writes.
Over a week after it began deliberations, the jury has returned a verdict in the patent infringement case between Oracle and Google, finding that the search giant did not infringe upon Oracle’s patents with Android. In play were infringement counts on eight different claims across two separate patents: RE38,104 and 6,061,520. Given the decision, there will be no need for a damages phase in connection with the patent claims, and with the recent agreement by Google and Oracle to postpone any damages hearings related to copyright infringement, the jury has now been dismissed from the proceedings altogether. Judge William Alsup thanked the jurors for their hard work before they left the courtroom, noting that “this is the longest trial, civil trial, I’ve ever been in.”
It’s the final victory in several trial coups for Google. While the jury did find that Android infringed Oracle copyrights by its use of the the structure, sequence, and organization of 37 Java APIs, the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict on whether it was covered under fair use, rendering the verdict moot for the moment. The jury found that Google had infringed on only one other copyright count — the use of nine lines of rangeCheck code — though Judge Alsup later ruled that Google had also infringed by its use of eight Java test files in Android, adding a second minor infringement count to Google’s plate.
“It’s the final victory in several coups for Google”
While the jury’s involvement has come to an end, there are still several outstanding questions. Judge Alsup has yet to rule on whether the SSO of the Java APIs can be copyrighted in the first place; the jury was asked to come to their findings under the assumption that it was.
Celebrating the memory of beloved synth pioneer Bob Moog and commemorating his birthday, Google’s home page (currently in Australia, live in the US tomorrow) is a fully working, multi-trackable Moog synthesizer. Share your masterpiece!
A federal appeals court has refused to force the US National Security Agency to explain any involvement it has had with Web giant Google, citing that a revelation could threaten the entire United States government.
Apple shipped iOS 5.1.1 yesterday. iPhone 3GSs bought in June 2009 are eligible to upgrade to iOS 5.1.1 today. How many Android phones from 2009 are running an even vaguely up to date OS? None.
It’s quite clear that Android was being designed to a completely different target before the iPhone was released. What we see here would have fitted in perfectly with the world of Symbian and BlackBerry. This early build of Android is in fact even less capable and mature than the 2004 release of Symbian Series 90 (Hildon), the OS that runs on the Nokia 7700 and 7710 – Nokia’s first, and only, pre-iPhone touchscreen smartphones. It’s not hard to see that iPhone really changed the thinking across the entire industry, and caused everybody to start from scratch. Android, webOS, Windows Phone 7, Windows 8, BlackBerry 10 – all of these exist because of the iPhone, and standing on its shoulders they have made some amazing and unique contributions to the ecosystem.
I’d say it seems pretty clear HTC is now listening to a different set of “customers”.
It isn’t as elegant of a solution as we might as hoped, but at least it’s free.
Yeah, who wouldn’t want a free dongle that reboots your tablet every few minutes?