You find an owner of an obscure bit of copyright that is available on the internet, preferably something pornographic and extremely nasty. It’s all downhill from there, in the form of legal blackmail that’s technically speaking not an abuse of process but in practice, ends up being just that as tens of thousands of people are sent frightening letters from copyright lawyers. The video is 9 minutes 25 seconds long, but worth watching in full to understand why technology makes copyright abuse easy in more ways than one. Surely this means that any copyright legislation worth the toner it’s written with needs safeguards against this type of tort and malfeasance? — Lord Lucas “How the game works” — New litigation campaign quietly targets tens of thousands of movie downloaders
Google goes nuclear — Arrington++ for this April’s Fool.
Details of what caused XT to roll over and die multiple times have started to appear, ahead of the Analysys-Mason report. It’s not a pretty picture either; in fact, XT is a mess that’s likely to cost Telecom millions of dollars to sort out. From removing the GSM component and not having full 2100MHz coverage in towns at launch, XT seems plagued by costly indecision. The GSM removal alone cost $33 million, and now there’s meant to be further hardware and cell sites installed to improve resilience and coverage which, as it happens, isn’t up to 97 per cent of the places where New Zealanders live and work as Telecom said. A year after XT was launched the older CDMA network has better coverage. In fact, neither Telecom nor Alcatel-Lucent appears to know the extent of XT’s coverage today. Alcatel-Lucent’s CTO Martin Sharrock seems to say that cell breathing is the reason why the coverage area for XT can’t be determined which is a bit surprising really as that feature of WCDMA networks is hardly a new thing. Could it be that having to introduce filters to deal with cell site interference is one reason for not reaching the promised 97 per cent coverage and that this is what the additional mast amplifiers will rectify? Then there’s the 21Mbit/s HSPA+ upgrade that XT was meant to get at the end of last year sometime. Telecom even got a USB data stick in and demonstrated HSPA+ for a select few people, but obviously, you don’t upgrade a network that’s not working properly. Thanks to the above and the frequent XT failures, confidence in both Telecom and its network builder and operator, Alcatel-Lucent, has been dented severely. Putting it bluntly, XT currently is a fiasco. Bold new initiatives are needed to shore up XT’s future, but where are they? — Root causes of XT failure identified — XT doesn't cover 97% of the population — Commission eyes Telecom about-face on XT
Win and lose
Many millennia ago, the software dinosaurs that roamed the world duked it out in court over open source, UNIX, monopolies and more. Everyone bar the dinosaurs’ fee-earning landsharks lost interest a long time ago though. Remember how SCO tried to sink Linux with legal torpedoes? No? Oh well. It didn’t work. — Novell wins! SCO loses! — Novell beats SCO, but gets trumped by Microsoft
Cartoon: www.xkcd.com Robert X Cringely
Did Apple and Google kiss and make up? A surprise public meeting between Steve Jobs and Eric Schmidt is fueling speculation the two feuding giants may be about to bury the hatchet. Cringely thinks otherwise Two middle-aged guys sit down for a cup of coffee, and people start acting like they just saw Brad and Angelina at Starbucks. What's the big deal? In this case, the two guys are Steve Jobs and Eric Schmidt, sitting down for a morning confab over caffe lattes at a Palo Alto beanery last Friday. Some alert passersby snapped pix of the pair with their cell phone and sent them to Gizmodo, which then alerted the world. That's the big deal. It resembled a scene from "The Sopranos", where two capos are sitting outside Satriale's Pork Store drinking espresso and talking business, until the next thing you know one of them gets whacked. (Remember: When they come for you, they always send a friend.) What did they talk about? Was it a conciliatory meeting to ease tensions between the two companies or just two old friends sharing a muffin? Was Eric trying to get Apple to join Google's anti-China movement? Was Steve telling Eric to take the Nexus One and shove it where it's unlikely to get very good wireless coverage? That's the question on everyone's minds. To answer it — or at least, get more mileage out of the topic — Gizmodo asked a body language expert from the Department of Alchohol, Tobacco, and Firearms to analyse their postures. Her conclusion? The men mostly distrust each other, and Schmidt is frightened by Jobs. (The goofballs at eSarcasm consulted their own body language analyst, whose conclusions are slightly different.)
The reason why this silly meeting is getting so much attention is because of where Apple and Google sit in relation to the rest of the world. These two companies are defining what technology is and does, just as Microsoft and Netscape did in the 1990s and a litter of Web 2.0 companies did in the more recent unpronounceable decade. Increasingly, everything either of these companies do has an impact on a wide range of industries (music, video, games, publishing, and so on) and, sometimes, world politics. Last week, the news was all Google all the time: First with the revelations from the Viacom YouTube lawsuit, then the fallout from Google's dissing China. This week, the tech world is revving up for the imminent release of the Jesus Slate, aka the iPad, on April 3. As I write this, nearly half of the stories on Google News' science and technology section have something to do with the Wonder Tablet. The two companies are an interesting study in contrasts. Google, of course, just made waves with its public defiance of Beijing. Apple, on the other hand, makes all of its iPhones, iPods, and iPads in China, and seems to enjoy a special relationship with Beijing. That's not changing any time soon. And like its Chinese hosts, Apple possesses an insatiable appetite for total control — from the apps that run on its gear to the point of requiring developers to physically tether iPad samples in locked windowless rooms. Though Google also likes to fly mostly under the radar, it seems a bit less anal retentive over what Android developers can and can't do. When Apple has a new product in the wings, the entire web throbs with anticipation, and the unveiling is like the circus has just come to town. When Google has a new product, it usually just posts something on the Official Google blog. The one big exception: Its unveiling of the Nexus One phone, which if nothing else proved that when it comes to putting on a show, the Googletons have much to learn from Jobs. Earlier this year I wrote that the battle for tech supremacy will be between these two companies — and we all will be better for it in the long run, thanks to the innovation it will inspire. I still feel that way. Tensions between the two companies will get a lot worse before they eventually dissipate. I don't think a cup of coffee changes that. But here's the real question: Who paid for the lattes? Place your bets below or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org