I have started an Ask Patents "question" to collect relevant prior art, including some cursory analysis of the prior art listed to date in this article and its comments. If anyone knows of possible prior art, please contribute an answer on the Ask Patents entry, so we can aggregate the results. Thanks!
(disclaimer: I am heavily involved in Android application development)
This is unsurprising, and perhaps inevitable, given Google's acquisition of Motorola and going after other patent collections.
In the olden days, simply hoarding patents and hoping for Mutually Assured Destruction competitive models would have sufficed. But Apple (and others) have turned this into a shooting war... one in which few (if any) are actually shooting at Google. Mostly, they are suing non-Motorola Android device manufacturers. IANAL, but I don't see where Google has the opportunity to volunteer as defendant (besides, they'd get sued for stealing the idea from The Hunger Games). It does Google little good to have a pile of patents and not be able to defend the larger Android ecosystem with them.
One could argue that Google's acquisition of Motorola Mobility was simply to ensure that at least one manufacturer couldn't be sued without involving Google, but Android's strength lies in numbers of manufacturers.
I think Google, as is all too common, missed a golden opportunity for controlling the messaging. Had they come out with a "we won't shoot first, but we will shoot last" statement around this move, they could have done a bit better job of claiming the moral high ground (to the extent that there is "moral high ground" in the world of software patents).
In an ideal world, Google would have elected to "turn the other cheek" on all this patent nonsense, and instead worked to get the patents invalidated independently of being sued and pursue other similar tactics. As I often point out to those I'm advising in Android app development, in an ideal world, I'd have hair.
"It's economically interested in taking its users' money. That's not that much different than a site that's economically interested in taking advertisers' money."
With a paid service, there are effectively two parties: the service and the users. With an ad-supported service, there are effectively three parties: the service, the users, and the advertisers. I agree that the relationship between the service and the users does not necessarily depend upon the model... but there's another party in the ad-sponsored system, and it's interests may not be aligned with the users.
Say, for example, al Qaeda (or Occupy Wall Street, or the Tea Party) decides to set up an account on the service and uses it as part of its propaganda/publicity campaign. Government officials decry the service's allowing al Qaeda's (or Occupy Wall Street's, or the Tea Party's) participation. The service defends allowing the account, on the grounds that the service has no right to discontinue arbitrary accounts for arbitrary reasons in the absence of some court order.
Some users will leave the service due over the issue, and that will harm the service and its remaining users. However, the three-party solution is intrinsically weaker, in that advertisers might withdraw from the service, either on their own or due to government pressure. In that case, the service's interests are aligned with its (remaining) users, but the advertisers' interests are not aligned with the users. By having advertisers, the ability of the service to keep servicing the users' interests is degraded in the face of controversy or similar pressures.
Admittedly, it is possible that some situation would arise that would cause more lost revenue from departing users than from departing advertisers, though in that case, the service's interests are apparently not aligned with enough of its users. However, advertisers, particularly larger ones, are easier to pressure.
Look, it's pretty simple: if you make a product, and people continue to buy less of it, continue to consume less of it, and continue to use less of it as part of their business, then you get to continue to make less money.
You can argue that piracy is the primary cause. Others, like myself, can argue that The Band's modest original popularity and increasing irrelevancy is the primary cause.
For example, you cite "being used by radio stations to attract listeners", which is about as piracy-resistant of a business model as you're going to get. Radio stations aren't going to be downloading tracks from The Band off a torrent somewhere, as they don't need to. Yet, I am willing to be that The Band's royalties from such licensing is on the decline, because The Band is irrelevant to modern rock stations and is competing against an ever-growing collection of artists in the "classic rock" segment, as more artists age and become "classic rock". That's just natural given the passage of time.
Similarly, the sales of CDs, vinyl, etc. for The Band will continue to decline, for much the same reason. Which means if they are not touring (and I have no idea if they are or not, though from other comments my guess is "not"), I fail to see how anyone would expect The Band's income to remain steady, even if there were no piracy.
In fact, given that the percentage of The Band airtime on radio will decline in the face of increasing competition, and given the decline of "record stores" as a means of exposing people to different artists, it seems like pirate sites are a fairly likely place for people to find out about The Band's music, given a lack of other options. Whether the conversion rate of pirates becoming paid buyers of The Band's materials offsets those who avoid buying by downloading pirated The Band tracks is certainly up for debate, but that leads back into CwF/RtB and the general discussion of business models for musicians.
"I buy books from them, but I'd never sell my works through them."
Neither do I. That just means that you have to have other ways of directly reaching your target audience and (gently) promoting your books to them. For example, I accomplish this by answering thousands of Android app development questions per year, releasing open source components, delivering presentations at Meetups and conferences, and so on.
If you can buy or download "approved" apps via google's marketplace intended to violate copyright, then they do have some liability.
Google does not approve apps for the Android Market. Anyone with $25 can list whatever apps they wish. Google can and does review apps after receiving complaints, where those apps violate the Market terms and conditions. Apple, Amazon, and other firms review all submissions to their respective markets/stores/whatever.
He clearly made false statements on those issues, which I have corrected.
No, you have not. At best, you have demonstrated that there are people who disagree with those "in certain circles" who hold certain opinions about Heartland.
The Heartland Institute has a legal write to sue for libel.
At best, they might have a legal "right" to sue for libel.
They are only concerned with those journalists who made libelous statements about them in relation to the forged document.
And your proof that libel is their "only" concern is... what, exactly?
Not anyone who "commented" on it - which is absolutely absurd.
There is no nuance in their assertion that "individuals who have commented so far on these documents" have performed "actions [which] constitute civil and possibly criminal offenses for which we plan to pursue charges and collect payment for damages". You are welcome to imagine such nuance, if you wish.
It would help if you knew what you were talking about.
An OS that was proven to be non-secured (at least compared to ISO)
with an App store that's non-secured (unlike Apple's App Store)?
In terms of being "secured", the iOS App Store and the Android Market are pretty similar. I am not aware of any significant hacks of the stores themselves.
The iOS App Store is curated, meaning that all submissions are reviewed and must pass Apple standards before being listed. The Android Market is not curated, preferring to take an "innocent until proven guilty" approach.
None of this especially matters in this case, as the tablet in question most likely does not qualify to have the Android Market, as I'm guessing that it does not pass the compatibility requirements. This is not saying that it is intrinsically a bad tablet, just that not all Android devices qualify for the Market.
Moreover, part of Android's freedom is that others can create their own markets, as Amazon did. So, the fine folk creating and sponsoring this tablet could easily set up their own market, with whatever rules they choose. You cannot do that with iOS, outside of jailbreaking.
it won't down the line if every 50$ tablet gets exploited out of the box
And your evidence that they will be "exploited out of the box" is... what, exactly?
No need to remind anyone that 25% of the Android exploits were found in the android store...
Number of releases isn't an indication of health, only an indication of the ease by which a "movie" can be made at some level.
Making more money is no more an indication of "health" than is the number of releases. It all depends on one's definition of "health".
For many people, having twice as many releases for no more money would be the epitome of health, as twice as many visions get to market without the public having to pay more for the benefit.
For some people, having one movie with compulsory viewing by the public for thousands of dollars per head would be considered the epitome of health, simply because it brings in more money, without regard to any other considerations.
The Android Market used to have a 48-hour refund period. They changed that policy to be a 15-minute refund period. The complaints were from developers creating apps whose value might be consumed in that 48-hour window (e.g., games with only a few levels). Hence, technically, Google could require a 7-day refund period, across the board, or perhaps only for app sold in Taiwan (though probably not only Taipei).
Google has no ability to enforce these terms on any other distribution channel, and developers in the Android Market itself have limited ability to offer longer refund periods themselves (per Google's apparent argument).
However, Taipei's 15-day demand means that paid apps will probably be pulled from Taiwan, at least for a while, as these sorts of changes aren't going to be implemented quite that quickly.
Of course, all this is making me think that my Android phone needs an app that warns me whenever the microphone is turned on and lets me block it... Anyone writing that app?
I do not believe that there is a way for an app to be notified that another app is using the microphone, sorry. Blocking it is even more out of the question -- any app that could do that could just as easily permanently block the microphone. The problem is that most "user defense" apps like this would need capabilities that could be exploited by malware, causing problems worse than what we started with.
Perhaps [lighting up a hardwired LED] should be done with smartphones too, for both the camera(s) and the microphone(s).
For the camera, preview mode needs to be active for the camera to work. While there is a fairly arcane way to get around this, the net is that the vast majority of Android camera-using apps will have an on-screen preview of what's coming in the camera lens. This will be more visible than an LED. There is no equivalent for the microphone, though.