As a IT staff member, how many times do I have to explain to the non-technical bosses of the technical people that an EXE slide show in email is not installing anything on the receiver's computer; that you cannot browse the web, you browse your already-downloaded-to-your-hard-drive temp files; that I'll take responsibility for modifications to "my" work computer since the helpless desk can't even help with a standard install, so I don't feel compromised at all by my own custom installation enhancements -- I'll support myself, thank you -- and all they do is swap preconfigured hard dives anyway, so who cares if I have non-standard Firefox or Opera installed, they don't deal with it or support it anyway, they just bulldoze it with a new drive? Unfixably insecure, unreliable, incompatible, arduous Microsoft products are better because ...?
On the other hand, as an independent servicer for 30 years, I LOVE helping end users one-on-one. They teach me so much, and I get to bash Microsoft at their complete and total agreement and amusement.
It's the bosses, not the end users.
I HATE zero-technical no-brain "technical" bosses, and there's no way to make them happy except to pile on, bashing the poor end users who already get no support nor training, and who get crappy computer setups.
Conversely, I LOVE end users, and prefer to work directly for them, especially if they have checkbook in hand.
"... Okay, the downgrade fee is from the OEM, NOT from Microsoft ..."
Wrong. Microsoft already charged the vendors in bulk for Vista on every PC they sell, so you cannot buy a PC without the vendor already including the price of Vista in the total price. So, when we ask for XP instead, they cannot make XP available instead, only as an extra price addition -- we pay for Vista, which we do not want, AND we pay for XP, which we at least tolerate. Also, Microsoft is raising prices on XP to try and stop their total loss of revenue due to Vista being accurately perceived as anti-customer crap (and 7 will be no different).
What we are seeing is the fallout results of monopoly practices. Microsoft won, we all loose, and now Microsoft is complaining that they have so little future now that they have won their monopoly position. It's what they deserve, and what we deserve for allowing ourselves to be bushwhacked by a shrub for 8 years. (Clinton's administration was moving forward on the break up of the monopoly.)
"... I hear good things coming from Windows 7 ..."
Nope, just repackaging. Same half-dozen confusing product line, same re-learn everything to use it, same replace your peripherals and upgrade your software if you're coming from XP or earlier, same double your PC resources requirements, same old crap from the same old monopoly.
Yes, break up the Microsoft monopoly at last ... though Microsoft seems to be hell bent to do that themselves!
"... The launch of Vista has been a massive disappointment for the company, not a part of a nefarious strategy to jack up the prices on XP ..."
That's not the point. XP isn't good, it's merely better.
The point is that Microsoft is taking advantage of it's monopoly position to charge for BOTH Vista and XP for those who do not want Vista.
"... The launch of Vista has been a massive disappointment for the company, proving the point of why we break up monopolies -- because monopolies diminish competitive innovation in commerce that should provide opportunities and enhancements to the qualities of life of the citizen ...".
At least that's the way the US Constitution reads.
Wikipedia is not a source, it's a pointer to other sources. Wikipedia declines original research and reporting (yeah, right!). It's group-vetted testimony on other sources, and it's constantly in flux, so anyone using it should cite specific page versions and date.
"... attention-seeking and hyperbolic ..." YES! Like so many headlines on the covers of newspapers, magazines, and the front pages of web sites: "Wikipedia/the Internet/Google/Motherhood: blessing, or the most evil plot in the world? ... exclusive story inside, read on ...".
These are stories written from hunger -- the author wants to get paid, and there is no editor, and the goal, after all, is to keep the advertisements from bumping into each other -- you have to have something in between or they look too crowded!
Remember, these are vehicles for advertising, and the advertisers are their real audience and target, NOT the reader.
None of these writers wants your MIND, they want your EYEBALLS so they can turn over your WALLET to the advertisers for MONEY.
I imagine that a study of pre-historic or pre-literate societies would reveal the same scanning -- you look out of the cave and scan, you study an animal in the distance, but ignore the familiar or uninteresting nearby because there's no food nearby, you look back in the cave to get a weapon to catch that animal.
"... Scanning ..." is a human survival tactic, keeping us able to pay attention to emergent situations as we look for value, preventing us from getting lost against our own self interest in things that do not benefit us.
More useful would have been a report from those authors if they had gone back to look at the specific content in question, the content that was skimmed, and read it themselves to report on it -- hey, it's crap ... or ... it's not germane to their research ... no wonder the readers skimmed it! Or, as already noted, "Hey, it's hard to read anything online since the computer screen only shows 1/2 a page, and it's slow, so why not print and read on paper because paper's better for that, and use the computer for what it's best for -- searching, sorting, selecting, and skimming! "Good readers know how to skim" would have been an alternative headline if the writers weren't so bent on their own trajectory.
"... linkbait ..." -- great term, exactly what such headline grabbers are after: making the advertisements look properly spaced apart from each other. "Filler". Same here on TechDirt? Maybe. We all have ulterior motive$.
"... over time, it seems harder to switch between modes of filtering inform ..." No, not really. Over time IN ONE PLACE it seems harder to find value, so we tend to leave. Some people watch TV for entertainment and distraction from the other worries of the day. Some people watch TV to catch up on the news. It's not TV, it's how the person uses TV. Same with the Internet. Some people use it for one reason, some for another. The report writers did not audit the users to first see what was their purpose in using the Internet, so their resulting report is bogus, as expected.
"... a large majority of today's people simply don't think ..." What does "today" have to do with it? Someone else's ability to think is not even accessible let alone measurable by another. YOU may think I'm thoughtless, but maybe I'm solving my family's life-long problems in my head and you're waay less interesting to me now? Rephrase that as "other people's thoughts still inaccessible to others". Duh!
I skimmed the rest of everyone's comments, thanks all ... nothing personal, I'm just not as interested here as I am interested in spending time elsewhere. Bye!
No surprise here, just trademark owners going about their business
No surprise here, just trademark owners going about their business .. if inarticulately (hey, they make stinkin' flat pine tree car ornaments, after all - and only for a buck!)
"... a misstatement of trademark law... as is the information on Little Trees' own web page about its trademark, where the company incorrectly claims that "the law requires that we take action when someone is using them without permission." ..."
"... That is not true. The law requires that a trademark holder actively police infringement on its trademarks and activity that would likely cause confusion or dilution of the trademark ..."
The "law" does not "require" ANYTHING!
However, as stated, precedent seems to show that registered trademark holders get better protection in court and in actions at the US Trademark Office when they can show that they have been aggressively acting to prevent their trademark from becoming generic or "diluted".
Since Photoshop users tend to be a funnel where familiar images of trademarks get played with, it makes absolute sense for trademark owners to jump into Photoshop user's faces and say,
"Hey, create your own stuff, this is ours!"
You think this is bad? You think this is inarticulate misunderstanding of trademark law and intellectual property law (not "private" property law - geesh!), read some public documents from supposedly in-the-know trademark lawyers themselves!
If I were the judge assigned the case (and I've seen this happen in court), I'd first ask,
"Have you tried to resolve this with each other?"
If the answer is, "No," as the dentist seems to say, then I, as judge, would reschedule for a month, letting the parties know in the strictest terms that I'm miffed and don't like being used as the first line of communication between parties. If the case is not dropped by the month, I'd want a very complete explanation of the attempt to resolve. Then the case could proceede.
It really is up to the judge how silly and inappropriate these things can become.
However, I've also seen judges complete loose it and act on a clear misunderstanding (to coin a phrase!), and I've also seen judges "play" with a case no end for their own entertainment.
When we're chatting on the phone, we're having a private experience, separate from the public experience around us.
This is especially dangerous when the public venue in which we are having a private experience is the high speed, highly dangerous highway, full of traffic, full of other people.
That is why I walk to another room when I'm on the phone at home. There's no way I can reconcile the private chat with the "public" in the rest of my house -- perhaps speaker phone?
But at least my home is not rolling along the crowded highway supposedly under my concerted control with supposedly undivided attention.
It's ridiculous to hear someone in the room at home who only hears my side of the conversation and tries to control the, to them, invisible dialog. And then the person on the other end gets confused, "Are you talking to me?"
On the highway, dangerous.
But, as mentioned, there's no real avenue of enforcement.
The police only act on radar because it's easy, profitable, and well documented for court -- an all around"no brainer".
It's unreasonable to ask the "no brainer" police to actually asses safe driving, or conversely, unsafe driving, let alone ask them to document and present a bona fide prima facia case in court based on such an observation, let alone make additional revenues for their community with such arrests.
Air horns and screaming public address systems blaring from passing cars at the poky people chatting on their cell phones seems the only way.
In-car phone use will NEVER rise to be on the cop's RADAR! $$$
In-car phone use will NEVER rise to be on the cop's RADAR! $$$
On the one hand, I remember the first advertisements for car radios, which were intended to use the car battery, but only while the car was stationary, so, for instance, you could listen to the ball game while having a picnic beside your parked car.
Now we think of radios as normal in cars, even safety enhancements, especially with news and traffic reports helping us avoid traffic jams.
Car phones were fist touted as safe because you could call in accidents and call for help. At first, there were scant few car phones, so people weren't generally chatting on them all the freakin' time!
Then global positioning, where at first people actually got where they were going without stopping in the lane wondering if they should turn off or not, but now people turn right into a culvert or river without looking because their GPS told them to!
Anyway, I pass in frustration and then look back in wonder at every driver wandering the road as if in a world unto themselves, and invariably they are on the phone, completely unaware of their presence in the way of the flow of traffic, one of them even cutting off an ambulance yesterday.
Here's my logic. When driving, you can pay attention to only one of three things at a time, at the expense of the others:
1 - what's going on outside the car, in the car's environment -- traffic -- this is pretty much the safest and most aware way to drive.
2 - what's going on inside the car, the car's interior -- the speedometer, the screaming kids, a bumble bee -- this is starting to get dangerous, but on occasion it supports our safe participation in zone 1 above, especially if we check our speed when we see a speed limit sign now and then. However, since day one with cars, too much time ignoring zone 1 in preference for zone 2 has always killed -- fumbling for a cigarette, spilled coffee, unfolding a map while cruising, and so on.
3 - what's going on elsewhere -- in our head, over the radio, over the phone -- this is where we become an impediment to the flow of traffic
Explore this as you drive and see if you can find a pattern of safety. I think safety goes down and risk goes up as we pay attention down the list, that is, we're less safe when we pay attention to our car's interior, such as watching the speedometer, and even less safe when we pay attention to a universe totally disconnected from the flow of traffic, such as chatting with someone back home or back at the office.
We supposedly have hand-free laws, but, like seatbelt laws, they don't show up on a radar gun in the cop's hand as they hide by the roadside, so it's highly unlikely the police will ever participate in enforcing this as a safety issue.
Our challenge is to find a way to enforce safety, not just make more laws. People are addicted to their phones and their phone relationships with people not sharing their immediate space. Fine. What can we do about it -- other than blast the horn or get a PA public address system and scream at them as we pass?
I', serious! What can we do that will be effective?
How about annual value assesment and tax bill on intellectual property, just like on our houses?
Earlier: "... The copyright holders should feel ashamed of themselves -- using a welfare system to bankrupt an innocent person ..."
Hahahahah. Very funny ... if you meant it to be funny. Very scary if you did not mean it to be funny!
Earlier: "... Let's hope the Obama administration fixes crap like this. I have a ton of stolen downloaded art I'd like to throw into a book ..."
Hahahah ... wait a minute. I'm sensing a theme here. Are we being serious, or have we taken a turn towards parody ... very scary otherwise!
Earlier: "... To forbid copying reminds me of the prohibition of the 1920s when alcohol was forbidden ..."
Um ... brewing your own alcohol isn't stealing someone else's recognized property. Copying is.
Earlier: "... If this music were in the public domain, or were to be licensed for $20,000 instead of $200,000, we wouldn't be reading this story ..."
Perhaps there's a middle ground.
Once something is released into the public, even if under copyright, what if there were an independent review board assessing value, like a tax value assessment on our homes, for instance?
Then you'd pay property taxes at that rate, and it's up to you to market your property to stay profitable, or release it to the public domain where you'd no longer own it and no longer be liable for taxes.
Any thoughts on this type of an idea?
- Something to recognize the "property" status of intellectual property as having value, and once public, taxable value.
And something to incentivize keeping it in the commercial marketplace, in publication, in the public, in the "culture", either by owners and profitable for them, or public and benefiting all?
Why do you think private property owners shouldn't have the right to decide what to do with their own private property?
You got it backwards. It's not the copyright laws that are stoopid here, it's the copyright property owners who seem averse to their own informed financial interests. And since it's their property, it's their right to be stoopid with it.
Same with someone holding an valuable car in a garage against all bidders, letting it rust. It's their's. Should we have a law that says, "If someone values your property but is not willing to pay for it, you must turn it over anyway."?
You're suggesting that "public good" and "right of conversion to public domain" are superior to personal property ownership rights, as if their songs were some land and we NEEDED to make a public highway out of it.
Capitalism depends on ownership. Sometimes owners act against the interest of others. Fine. The alternative ... socialism? Cool. Show me a socialist society where contemporaneous authored intellectual property is forcibly made freely available with no control by the author. Really. I wanna see some of THAT culture.
Re: "street view", that is, free speech, "is evil"?
Honestly, trying to prevent people's free speech rights to take photos in public, and to publish photos of public spaces is just wrong - evil, in fact.
I think that is the kind of society we are trying to grow out of, the kind of throw-back societies in Saudi Arabia, the Taliban Malitia, and so on, where one or some in power do all the (lack of) thinking, then incflict their conclusions on everyone else.
No one knows, so the bureacrats try to do the best they can get away with.
Don't forget TRADEMARKS on software, My favorite is "Publish It" - did they not LOOK at the mark beforehand? ;-)
Anyway, all government offices try to do the right thing by their experience regardless of the nievete of court rulings from dilatant judges who don't really try to get to know the total culture of a suit brought to them from outside that government agency, they often get it all wrong, then the agency has to figure out a way to dance with or dance around the ruling ... until the next whimsical judge weighs in.
The challenge is to include the lawmakers in the circle, otherwise the dance is incomplete - we need the judicial, executive, and legislative branches to all be on the same page, er, dance card, so to speak. Otherwise, smart business lawyers will finds and take advantages of cracks, widening such cracks in their favor.
I tend to think biology, business practices, writing, and such are not the domain of patents, but what do I know? Until we as a society bone up and know, then how can we expect non-expert judges to know just by having one case thrown at them?
Job security wins over customer service every time!
This is government where they've taken the merit system and learned how to game it to be worse than whim management.
The Trademark Office also has a broken search system, but the "owner's" of each department defend "their territory" against any newcomers who may change the status quo and actually serve their customers better. I developed a modern alternative that thrilled the Commissioner, and 2 weeks before announcing it, I was tossed for supposedly "breaking the rules", and my search solution was tanked. Nobody stood up for me because the entrenchment is fierce, and incompetence in tenacious.
We the people ... need to empower ourselves through our self governance to make sure corporate citizens stay second class citizens and thereby better serve us.
So long as our self governance bodies keep the powers of "we the people" equal to or superior to incorporated non-citizens, then fine, we can speak for ourselves.
However, when the corporations have more powers than their citizen customers that they are empowered to serve, THATS when we need our collective self governance to step in and stand up for us and direct the otherwise non-free market to do our bidding.
"Free market" should mean free, not "corporations are bigger, they have the might, therefore they have the all the rights".
I have no speakers on my PC and I filter HTTP streams with AdSubtract and other ad blockers. Go ahead Mike, charge a gazillion dollars for danging baloney advertisements that I'll never see nor hear. I don't mind! ;-)