Flattr is a micro-donation site. There's a link below every article author to send them a donation via Flattr, which makes a number on the article go up.
Everything else is either a connection from a social media site that uses their connection to update their own tracking of your profile or a stats network for both tech logging (How many users viewing this page got a broken site? or how many timed out while getting what links?) and stats. (What's the counter at for views? what was the previous page or referrer?)
The "Search Rip-off" came about as Google's lead engineers started noticing Bing's searches on misspelled words where getting identical fixes and results.
"LAURA SYDELL: When you type a search request into Google, say, Hosni Mubarak, and you're a couple of letters off, Google can usually figure out what you mean.
Mr. AMIT SINGHAL (Software Engineer, Google): And getting these queries right is an incredibly hard task. It's a very challenging algorithm.
SYDELL: That's Amit Singhal. He's the lead of the search team at Google. A few months back, they noticed something strange. A user searched for tarsorrhaphy.
Mr. SINGHAL: It was this real medical procedure that some users generally needed to know about.
SYDELL: The user misspelled it. But Google's algorithms figured out what he needed. Singhal noticed that competitor Bing didn't bring up any results until a few weeks later.
Mr. SINGHAL: Bing started showing the topmost relevant result for that spelling correction to their users.
Mr. SINGHAL: Now, we got suspicious. However, we said, maybe they came up with some clever algorithm and they did it.
SYDELL: But Singhal and his team decided to do a little experiment. They began to do searches for silly made-up words, and they created fake results unrelated to those words. A few weeks later...
Mr. SINGHAL: Microsoft's Bing started showing the same artificial result for the same synthetic query. And this was just conclusive to us at that point."
While Bing has offered great things to Searching, there was clearly a copy of services that could not be explained by just creating their own proper code. As noted, Bing was "learning" from people using Google though IE 7/8, sending over data as to what was being searched and what Google returned with for those queries. That's a level of shady we've come to expect from MS and needs to be called out.
There's no group, only Anonymous. It is what you make of it, but sites like the "chans" do offer shelter to those who do not wished to be named.
It's a pen name that is open for the public to use, that is both transparent and opaque. Anonymous is what you make of it and out of it. The people who do not understand it will make it into devils, and those who do see the redeeming value behind it.
Mike! I'm surprised you didn't mention about the SModcast Live's bonus as well! During the tour, Kevin would post any Smodcast in which the theater they where in was full, otherwise, that "smodcast" was for the audience only.
I went to see the group when they where here in Tempe AZ, and the place was packed, but a few seats short of "full". I'm kinda happy though that track wasn't released thankfully, the winning "prizes" might shock some co-workers if they found out! :P
Honestly, these videos cost money, but I have no doubt that the hour or two of content that's been uploaded to youtube has cost the company LESS then a full 30sec TV spot.
Add to the fact that these are personal and high quality content, and you have what could possibly be one of the greatest viral ads this year. The best ads are the ones that we actively look for, rather then just pushed on us. That's why we have shows dedicated to great advertising, because the content itself is of incredible quality.
Now, SWAN DIVE INTO THE GREATEST COMMENT BOX RIGHT BELOW YOU.
I can confirm that the waitlist when the mount was released was to prevent hardware failure...
The reason why I can confirm this is because I bought the mount as a gift for a friend, and my time in wait was over 2 hours, which was amazing since it took a good 15mins just to get the site to load.
You are correct in both instances, but those ideas are not fully related to the subject at hand or to your original argument.
Your house and home is where your privacy starts and ends at for the most part. Anything that you do in your car (for example) that can be viewed by the public at large isn't considered private. (Like waiting a stop light and looking to your right and left, seeing someone shaving in their car or singing to themselves. your only real protection is if you have anything in your car that's not in public view like a glove box).
Walking down the street, and you're not expected to be able to reserve any rights of privacy unless it's on your being. (Like walking around with a cell phone, your texts are viewable to the public if they can see it clearly.) In a shop, your privacy is subject to the shop's owners. once again, unless it's something on your on being, it's not up to debate since it's not your house and home.
On the other end of the scale, yes, just because you can, doesn't mean you should tape everyone. Just because you can see what a person is typing and texting, doesn't give you the right to go over a stranger's shoulder and read out loud their messages. We have laws to try and extend privacy into public locations, but for the most part, the social norms are enough of a deterrent.
Extortion, outwresting, and/or exaction is a criminal offense which occurs when a person unlawfully obtains either money, property or services from a person(s), entity, or institution, through coercion. Refraining from doing harm is sometimes euphemistically called "protection".
I think it's more just upping-the-ante then extortion. You can YouTube for their vids since someone out there most likely have uploaded them to many places, but for the general public that just goes right to the source, TEM is getting their's as the people get theirs. For the registered members though, without paid subscription, it seems like it may be one too many ads for what's already a sign of loyalty.