Bri’s Techdirt Profile

brsullivan

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  • Aug 19th, 2011 @ 11:39am

    oh those germans

    From now on I say if the Germans have any complaints about facebook or google that they should just block all IPs from Germany. That's right, completely block access for Germany to ALL of facebook and ALL google products, including search. Problem solved...

  • Apr 12th, 2011 @ 2:53pm

    Re: Yelp = Scam business

    @ E C
    As a business owner you are in prime position to fight this thing! I suggest you start with a BBB and FTC complaint and then I would even look into contacting your local DA's office. I still don't understand how this isn't illegal by any normal standards.

  • Nov 12th, 2010 @ 2:45pm

    Re:

    Good to hear from you. What Yelp is doing is nothing short of slander and extortion. I implore you to contact the BBB, the FCC and anyone else who will listen. If you have the time I would even consider a small claims court action against them, just make sure your documentation is in order. Good Luck!

  • Sep 13th, 2010 @ 1:09pm

    Re: Re: Business as usual for Yelp

    Yelp has in the past been outed for posting fake reviews. In one case there was a negative review before the restaurant was even open.

    The fact that they will conceal or promote certain views, i.e., thus alter a restaurant's ratings for money is tantamount to deceptive business practices. Furthermore, contacting individual restaurants for money to garner positive reviews is extortion. And if they are altering reviews to make a restaurant appear in a more negative light, I would argue that's libel because they are intentionally misrepresenting a restaurants rating.

  • Sep 13th, 2010 @ 5:50am

    Business as usual for Yelp

    I think you are missing the point, which is that Yelp continues to engage in shady if not illegal business practices. I don't understand how they are allowed to post fake negative reviews and then extort business into paying them. As far as I am concerned they are scum of the earth and I will continue to avoid their site.

    On the flip side, it would be nice to have some competent lawyers blow Yelp out of the water.

  • Feb 1st, 2010 @ 7:53pm

    Re: Different situation

    You do realize that Israeli's and Palestinians are genetically related, so you can't screen solely based on ethnicity. Forehead slap.

  • Dec 6th, 2009 @ 5:01pm

    (untitled comment)

    "First... in none of the experiments with metered billing have the "low level users" received a discount."

    Thank you! This seems to be missed by most. No ISP said let's charge our low tier users $10/month and our high tier users $60/month. Instead they said, let's keep charging our low tier customers the same rate and jack up the rates for everyone else. So in essence they are saying, although we advertise unlimited at a certain rate we only think low end users deserve that rate. It is also a clear indication that they don't really care about their customers as they would have you believe.

    Of course we all know what this is really about, a content delivery shift from cable to the Internet. These providers are simply poising themselves to reap HUGE profits as "normal" Internet usage becomes excessive Internet usage.

  • Nov 10th, 2009 @ 5:08pm

    (untitled comment)

    I fully believe innovation should be rewarded, which isn't to say that the patent system isn't royally screwed up. However, in this case were the proprietor can't keep up with demand the duplicate drug should be allowed into the country and the government should step in to allocate a fair tariff that would go to the patent owner. This would be similar to the government taking over private land for road development and paying the land owner a fair market value.

  • Oct 21st, 2009 @ 9:54am

    (untitled comment)

    So this once again displays,
    a) A non-open privatized voting system is a complete cluster-****.
    b) The government is asleep at the wheel. Privatizing voting systems only works if there is oversight, governmental, public, etc.
    c) The government doesn't give a flying F about voting security. Laws should be implemented against people with this kind of power, particularly when any abuse is tantamount to treason.
    This crap is mind-boggling.

  • Oct 21st, 2009 @ 5:49am

    Re:

    "If you are paid by a company to work for them, to promote them, or other, and fail to disclose it while talking about them, you could mislead people into thinking your opinion is unbiased - when in fact, you are getting paid (or receiving some other form of compensation)."

    There's your problem. News outlets have no obligation to the truth and as such, there is equally no obligation to remain unbiased.

  • Oct 21st, 2009 @ 5:47am

    Re: Re:

    Even without the extortion charge this is a pretty clear cut case that multiple studios are colluding to affect pricing differently for certain retailers. That's quite clearly illegal.

  • Oct 16th, 2009 @ 6:58am

    Hmmm

    So at this point, why in the hell isn't the judge holding them in contempt of court??? That better be the next step, along with jail time for anyone involved in not relinquishing the information.

  • Oct 8th, 2009 @ 7:01am

    Re: Wil Wheaton...

    Gotta agree with you there. It seemed to me that he was more pissed that the guy who put the file up is generating a profit, albeit indirectly, from it, i.e., advertising revenue and donations. I would be pretty pissed too, as that doesn't seem much different than some guy setting up a shop and selling copies of your book on burned CD's and claiming to only charge for the media.

  • Oct 6th, 2009 @ 11:37am

    Re:

    Read the article for God sakes! This is strictly about notes on lectures, not the distribution of pre-written material, which includes handouts, quizzes, tests, etc. In fact, the article implies that the material you find so precious would actually be copyrighted!

    And btw, it's arrogant to assume that students will learn best by following your particular teaching style. Different people have different methods of learning. After all, this is why we have tests, to gauge the ability of students to absorb information.

  • Aug 4th, 2009 @ 4:54am

    Say what?

    Wait a minute here, the entitlement argument only applies to people who think they deserve special treatment when they haven't actually invested anything into the system. This seems to be a scenario of paying for services that were never rendered. Personally I think this is a positive thing as it makes universities actually accountable for the quality of their education. If you sell me a Lexus and I come to find out I actually got a Honda, you better damn well believe I am going to be angry. Just because I sign a check and enter the gates doesn't mean your duty to me is over. Universities don't play the customer service game very well, mostly because they are run more like government institutions rather than streamlined businesses, but their duty to the student body shouldn't be any less than any company that has a product or service to sell.

  • Jul 22nd, 2009 @ 8:14am

    (untitled comment)

    The irony of all this extra surveillance is that it seems to be catching criminal cops instead of the supposed mass of criminal citizens out there waiting to terrorize others.

    I look forward to a day where people stop acting like idiots.

  • Jun 11th, 2009 @ 7:23am

    Does bring up a larger issue

    Should the media be able to publish photos of alleged criminals? I would say that mugshots should not be released to the media until someone has been proven guilty. This is especially salient in issues of underage pornography busts where the associated stigma could literally ruin someone's life. Don't get me wrong, the guilty ones are the scum of the earth, but in the court of public opinion just having your picture up there is enough to convict you.

  • Jun 10th, 2009 @ 1:58pm

    Re:

    Actually, if you run into any illegal activity on a user's system I'm pretty sure you are required by law to disclose it. I'm assuming here that not doing so would make you an accomplice.

    I've done plenty of tech work and I was one of the few moral people who wouldn't go snooping, but a lot of scumbags do.

    This is really an issue of what kind of permission is implied in any repair whether it be computer, home, etc. As mentioned, when you invite an electrician into your home there is an implied expectation of privacy. He shouldn't be going through your underwear drawer, which btw would be an illegal activity. So why is it any different for a computer hard drive?

    The question comes down to, is there any valid excuse for the tech to be accessing those files? In a DVD hardware repair, there isn't and I don't understand how any tech could take the stand and say so. Even for entire file backups, there is ZERO reason that files should be opened. Sure, if the file says, "here's all my illegal porn," then you report it to the authorities. You don't go opening individual files under ANY circumstance.

    Honestly, the guy is pure scum for having these types of files on his computer, but I would have fired the tech for doing what amounts to an illegal activity.

  • May 8th, 2009 @ 6:17am

    (untitled comment)

    Can someone explain to me why tech companies are the only ones being put under the microscope as far as antitrust goes? It seems to me there are plenty of others out there that should be scrutinized a bit more.

    Tell me about it! Let's start with the telcos leveraging their market power to either extort consumers, Time Warner, or prevent competition in the form of township's providing broadband service to their residents.

    Last time I checked in order to trigger anti-monopoly regulation you actually have to be abusing your power of monopoly.

  • Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 10:32am

    Fair Use... pffft

    While profitability is not a determining factor for fair use, I would say that Turnitin's entire business model hinges solely on the "fair use" of these papers. Since they are making money off the uniqueness factor of each individual paper submitted, the fair use argument pretty much goes out the window.

    There's a number of key points that sway this debate for me:
    1. Is the key to your profitability, i.e., your business model, hinge upon the uniqueness of an author's work.
    2. Is this work accessed often, weekly, daily, hourly.
    3. Is the amalgamation of these works considered an asset to the company, i.e., if this data were lost would there be considerable financial loss to the company.

    So in Turnitin's case you would find that their cash flow is tied to using the works, more specifically the uniqueness of each individual work. They likely access these works, or the data subset representing the work, on an extremely frequent basis. And if they lost their database of papers, they would be severely financially crippled.

    So tell me, how is this fair use if I, the author, have lost control over how my original work is utilized?

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