Please remember that the very state in which Hollywood resides is arguably the foremost technological hub of the world. More people and more money are involved in that industry than the narrow interpretation of "Entertainment" that Hollywood carries. Yes, they have marketing muscle. But ultimately, they don't drive our country and our planet forward the way that technology does.
Pissing off technologists is a dangerous and politically fatal move, especially as the Youtube/Facebook/Tumblr/whatever generation begins voting. They will care a lot more if Facebook tells them a bill is bad than if some aging studio exec does.
Let's be real here - we've been eating genetically modified foods (animals and plants) for the last 6000 years or so. Domestication, selective breeding and cross-breading of species has been a staple of human cultivation of food sources.
Except now we have people with advanced degrees, selectively modifying genes, instead of randomly cross-breeding species and hoping for the best.
Cross-breeding gave us killer bees. Genetic modification gave tomatoes that can be grown naturally, without harsh pesticide chemicals because they naturally repel insects.
Microsoft isn't in the habit of suing open source projects, even if they're backed by commercial entities.
For example, MS never sued Open Office, despite making the assertion it violated 45 patents (many of which may be invalid). Now, if companies like HP started building Open Office-based school machines? Well, MS might step in.
I think this will be tested when/if the Motorola + Google deal closes, if the existing Motorola + MS license deal doesn't carry forward.
I've struggled with this as well. There's obviously not "no evidence" as Mike claims - otherwise these companies wouldn't be settling. There might not be strong evidence, or legally tested evidence, but there's clearly some.
MS isn't going after tiny devs. These are giant companies with huge legal budgets, they looked at MS's evidence and decided a settlement that both companies felt was fair.
Would you prefer the Apple approach? Sue in every country, blocking competitors from entering the market, harm consumers, submit fraudulent evidence to courts?
There are so many other issues in the patent system and tech companies being sleazy, why focus on this so hard? Let it go - you don't need to be angry on the behalf of two companies that are entering into a mutually beneficial business deal.
Sorry, I didn't make it clear in the original post - I'm not the only one to consider this, and there are many extensions and plugins that do the same thing. Fact is, birthday wishes are something we value to receive but put little thought into sending, so it's unsurprising this person saw so many duplicates. There are fewer than 20 people that I could even roughly guess at their birthday, let alone notice if they moved it every few months.
So, I outsourced my birthday wishes to the Happy Birthday Extension. There are precious few people I want to write something specific to, but the feeling when you log in and see 200 "yay you're wonderful" messages is important to some people. So I compromised, sending them varying but generic messages, unless I really care about them, in which case it's a three- or four-sentence message about their importance to me.
Apple has shown that they're perfectly willing to use every questionably-legal technique to sell their products. Lie with your ads, "accidentally" misquote competitors numbers, snidely mock rival CEOs and make fun of their english in your product announcements, and now - taking out a competitor (and supplier) for a few months right when their product is gaining steam (and mindshare)?
Well, that's just Apple.
What's really upsetting is that there's no cost to Apple for this - if Samsung is later cleared of wrongdoing, the months of lost sales? The'll get no settlement for that. Knocking out a quarter of your competitors sales with bogus patent claims?
This whole article sounds like it is written by someone who is outside the military, business, and technology worlds. Why and how we're listening to this hermit is beyond me. Sure, if these predictions had been made in the 70s, that'd be one thing, but at this point, it seems like they're pointing to the past.
That crap about WoW being an example of how DNA traders will work? I'm sorry, haven't ever come across telepresence or Skype, have ya? Amazed groups of people can talk to each other in teamchat? Gee - where do you think VoIP came from? Oh right - military.
I'm sorry, the whole thing just reeks of someone who's stumbled into technology, never worked at a real company, and goes "Wow, if only we could get these two together!", blissfully unaware that these applications have been developed side-by-side for decades.
Our press has always generally agreed with the government. Look back at the "Red Scare" - were newspapers decrying the rounding up of citizens accused of being Communists? No, they were supporting it and applauding every time we "caught one"
Stubhub is not just a listing service. Most of their listings (some 80-90%) come directly from the ticket brokers, and are never actually bought or sold by the public.
Stubhub then takes an additional 15% commssion from the "seller" and 10% from the "buyer". In this way they are acting as an original seller, in many cases tickets that have never hit the public before and are sold, for the first and only time, on Stubhub.
Is Chicago's amusement tax a dumb tax? Probably, but the vast majority of the tickets sold through Stubhub in Chicago should fall into it, because they're not being "resold", but marketed and sold for the first time.
Now let's take this to it's next logical, social+media+web2.0 level.
A service where users can issue warning labels on sites they visit which fall into one of these categories. Other users see the warning labels, comment accordingly, and the most commonly given label stays at the top. Doesn't have to be just negative, too.
Great thing? You do it all through a browser plugin - like Web Of Trust for content quality rather than just malware. Sites who WANT to boast having original, well-researched content can voluntarily display their badges.