I don't think you understand what a 'widget' is. It's a traditional economic term for an arbitrary item that is produced and sold, follows supply and demand, etc. They are very much physical objects. In fact, the classic "pirate" products are clearly not widgets, because they don't obey classic economic principles.
In other words, take a course in basic economics. You'll be a much better person for it, and less likely to make an argument about someone else's use of a term you don't understand.
P.S. As a simple homework exercise, estimate the cost of the "physical object" of a book. Compare that to the publisher's desired sale price. Explain the relationship, or lack thereof.
Google isn't saying the video did something bad by being popular. Rather, they said that it was getting lots of traffic from robots, in addition to (or instead of) the actual human traffic.
From Google's point of view, robots watching videos is fraud of the worst kind. They make money off ads, and some of that is "impressions" (views). If robots are viewing things, then they're charging advertisers for human eyeballs that were never really there. In addition to the obvious problems (Google is now overcharging the advertisers), this messes up their ranking/auction system, which can actually cost them money as well (by tricking them into showing poor-quality or mistargeted ads).
Part of the reason Google is so tight-lipped about this is that there are people out there trying to trick them with fake views, for a variety of reasons. If Google says, "we've banned you for robot traffic, which we detected because of X, Y, and Z", then they're telling the world "we detect robot traffic by looking for X, Y, and Z". So then the bad guys know not to do that. But if Google just says, "we've banned you", then the bad guys don't get any information. They might not even know that X, Y, and Z exist.
I hope there is enough of an outcry to cause Google to reconsider.
I wouldn't hold your breath.
Look, Google doesn't "owe" you anything. I know you didn't say that, and I'm sort of putting words in your mouth, but that's the impression I get whenever someone says "If only I yell about this loudly enough, surely I'll get my way!".
Google is a business. They are kind of quirky, and they sometimes do things "for the users" instead of "for the money", but at the end of the day they're a business. And they make mostly rational decisions, just like everyone else. So if they cancel a product, it means (1) it's not making a profit, (2) it's not going to make a profit, and (3) these are still true if you count "goodwill" on the balance sheet.
Look, Google didn't kill Reader because they hate you, or they hate RSS, or whatever. They did it because they don't want to spend 3-5 full time employees on a product that has a tiny (if dedicated) userbase and zero revenue.
Now there probably weren't 3-5 people working full-time on Reader, by the end. But you add up all the background services they use, the guys working on BigTable and GFS and so on, the hardware teams, the administration... It adds up.
Google-scale products have staggering complexity; you don't keep them running on a whim.
As usual, lots of nerds are missing the point. Think of the average user - your parents, say. Would this change create more work for them to access their email? Remember, to do this right you need to make sure Google can't read the messages. (If they can, you're just one super-secret-national-security court order away from having your mail read.)
If you want to encrypt your emails, you can do that now. But if you do that, you probably aren't using Gmail in the first place. People use Gmail because it's dead simple and so easy your grandma can do it. And you want to complicated that with local private keys, that the user has to manage herself? I don't think so.
I don't think Google makes enough money from Gmail ads to even keep the servers on. And before you cry "but then why would they provide a mail service at all", let me remind you of the dozen other services they offer that don't even have ads.
Wouldn't it be better if companies were forced to come up with new and potentially better ways of creating a product rather then simply copying the guys who came before?
I suspect you haven't thought this through. Sure, second-movers could "simply copy" the guys who came before, but how does that help them? In order to capture market share, they need to not only copy the previous design, but undercut prices by being more efficient with production. That's a "better way of creating a product" right there!
Now imagine you're the first company. You were doing great for a while, you had a new and exciting product, you could set your own prices, then some jerks come in and start competing with you. What is your best strategy? More innovation. Come up with another new product. Create a brand new market where you can make tons of money. Sure, the other guys will eventually copy your design, but you'll have a few years before they figure it out.
If copying is illegal, a company only needs to innovate once and can ride that idea forever. Profits will never decrease because no one is allowed to compete.
If copying is legal, the only way to be profitable is to create something. The copying firm needs to discover cheaper ways to make the same product, and the inventive firm needs to keep creating new products to stay ahead of the copycats. Any company that stops being creative, that stops producing economic value to society, also stops making money. Isn't that how it should be?
You seem to be very upset about the "misuse" of the word median, and I cannot figure out why. Simply stating the definition does not constitute an argument, unless it clearly contradicts a previous definition, implied or otherwise. No one appears to have implied any particular definition; they merely claimed a value (which is roughly correct for "median US income") and observed that $1 billion is about 21,000 times that median value.
The only thing I can think of is that you somehow object to the validity of the phrase "median US income". In common usage, that phrase refers to income value of the middle US individual (or household, sometimes) if ordered by income. To use your emphatically stated definition, it is the middle number in the sequential counting of all incomes in the US.
Perhaps if you take a moment to point out a specific mistake in a previous comment we could have a more meaningful conversation. For example, the number $45,016 was given; since you clearly dispute that this is a "median", what is the correct name for this value?
I'm not sure who actually has standing to sue for perjury. I'm pretty sure Henry can't sue UM though - but he might be able to sue Google, and Google can probably sue UM if it wanted to. Of course that's not going to happen, since Google wants to set up their online store to compete with iTunes, which is kind of hard if you sue a big music company over a "misunderstanding".