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Date Fairness.com Resource Read it at: Feb 26, 2013 Apple settles suit over in-game iTunes purchases by kids
QUOTE: Apple has settled a lawsuit filed by parents who say their kids downloaded free games from the mobile App Store and then proceeded to rack up hefty bills buying in-game extras.
CNN (Cable News Network) Jan 03, 2013 Write Gambling Software, Go to Prison
QUOTE: In a criminal case sure to make programmers nervous, a software maker who licenses a program used by online casinos and bookmakers overseas is being charged with promoting gambling in New York because authorities say his software was used by others for illegal betting in that state....Stuart, who has been charged along with his wife and brother-in-law with one felony count for promoting gambling in New York through their software firm, says that his company sells the software only to entities outside the U.S...
Wired Mar 15, 2012 For Apple, Pressure Builds Over App Store Fraud
QUOTE: as reflected by hundreds of online complaints saying that Apple’s iTunes Store, and in particular its App Store, which the company portrays as the safest of shopping environments, is not so secure....It’s a change for Apple, which was once criticized for its micromanaging of the App Store. Now the problem is not too much control, but too little.
New York Times Mar 11, 2012 How Cheap Should Books Be?
QUOTE: A looming lawsuit could solidify Amazon's dominance in the book business. That might be good for readers' wallets, but it also might be bad for readers in the long term. Here 's why.
Atlantic Online, The (Atlantic Monthly) Jan 25, 2012 Build Up Your Phone’s Defenses Against Hackers
QUOTE: Technology experts expect breached, infiltrated or otherwise compromised cellphones to be the scourge of 2012. The smartphone security company Lookout Inc. estimates that more than a million phones worldwide have already been affected.
New York Times Jul 15, 2011 App developers withdraw from US as patent fears reach 'tipping point'
QUOTE: App developers are withdrawing their products for sale from the US versions of Apple's App Store and Google's Android Market for fear of being sued by companies which own software patents - just as a Mumbai-based company has made a wide-ranging claim against Microsoft, Apple, Google, Yahoo and a number of other companies over Twitter-style feeds, for which it claims it has applied for a patent.
Guardian Unlimited Jul 07, 2011 Microsoft’s Android Shakedown
QUOTE: Convincing engineers to pay more attention to patent applications necessarily means that they spend less time doing useful work, and that can be fatal to a young startup....The result is a transfer of wealth from young, growing, innovative companies like Google to mature, bureaucratic companies like Microsoft and IBM—precisely the opposite of the effect the patent system is supposed to have.
Forbes Jul 02, 2011 Stolen Code Is Linked to Program for Chess
QUOTE: Players who use computers to cheat are a growing concern in the chess world. Now the developer of Rybka, the winner of the last four World Computer Chess Championships, has been accused of plagiarizing code to create the program.
New York Times Jun 14, 2011 Banks Turn to Schumer on Patents
QUOTE: After years of fighting Mr. Ballard at the federal Patent Office, in court and across a negotiating table, the banks went to see one of their best friends in Congress, Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, who inserted into a patent overhaul bill a provision that appears largely aimed at helping banks rid themselves of the Ballard problem.
New York Times May 12, 2011 Why gadget makers wield a 'kill switch'
QUOTE: When you buy a video game from Best Buy, you don't give the retailer the right to barge into your house whenever it wants. So why do we give that permission to software companies? Most popular smartphone operating systems and other electronic gadgets include what security researchers refer to as a kill switch. This capability enables the company that makes the operating software to send a command over the Web or wireless networks that alters or removes certain applications from devices.
CNN (Cable News Network) Mar 31, 2011 Google making app that would identify people's faces
QUOTE: Google plans to introduce a mobile application that would allow users to snap pictures of people's faces in order to access their personal information... As Google's size and clout grow, so does the chorus of critics who say the company frequently encroaches on people's privacy... North said she believes Google has a tendency to push boundaries in order to outdo competitors. The service could push too far by, say, aggregating every photo of a user it finds on the internet without giving that user an easy way to erase certain images.
CNN (Cable News Network) Feb 01, 2011 An Apple E-Book Rule Tightens
QUOTE: [Apple will] require app developers that sell e-books outside of their iPad and iPhone apps — through a Web site, for example — to also sell the books inside those apps.
New York Times Jan 20, 2011 Amazon.com: The Wal-Mart of Android apps?
QUOTE: there's too much incentive for Amazon.com to undercut competing app stores as a way to drive business to its own....The net effect is that when you offer your apps on the Amazon Appstore, you agree to grant Amazon.com, in perpetuity, the right to offer a lower price for your apps than is available anywhere else
InfoWorld Jan 06, 2011 Software security: Honesty is the best policy
QUOTE: Admitting to flaws in your code can be embarrassing, but OpenBSD's hunt for a backdoor proves the alternative could be much worse
InfoWorld May 27, 2010 The Magic Behind Rating Apps
QUOTE: The customer-review process isn’t perfect. Occasionally, it can be abused, or manipulated. But this week, I came across something I’d never seen before: an app that had earned dozens of one-star (terrible) ratings — yet the written reviews were ecstatic.
New York Times May 21, 2010 SEC launches inquiry into market's 'flash crash'
QUOTE: The Securities and Exchange Commission is looking at whether key financial firms broke securities laws when they stopped buying and selling stocks during the "flash crash" on May 6, helping fuel the historic plunge in prices.
Washington Post May 18, 2010 The cloud's conflict of interest over interoperability: It's time for cloud customers to vote with their dollars to get the openness and portability they've been promised
QUOTE: The core motivation behind the lack of cloud interoperability is based on a simpler rationale: greed. Cloud providers have a clear conflict of interesting in support interoperability, as it deprives them of the ability to lock in customers.
InfoWorld May 09, 2010 Consumer Watchdog targets Google
QUOTE: Too big to fail turned out to be wrong for banks and other corporations. But don't tell that to Google, which has quickly expanded into making smartphones, mapping streets of the world, streaming videos, connecting friends and selling digital books....Federal regulators have launched a handful of investigations of the Internet behemoth -- which dominates Web search -- to ensure it doesn't unfairly hurt competitors and consumers in its feeding frenzy of online businesses. So far, there hasn't been a full antitrust review of the variety that hobbled Microsoft, AT&T and Standard Oil.
Washington Post May 06, 2010 Facebook's new features secretly add apps to your profile
QUOTE: When a piece of software is automatically installed on your computer without your knowledge, it's called malware. But what do you call it when Facebook apps are added to your profile without your knowledge? We discovered Wednesday that this is actually happening, and stopping it isn't as easy as checking a box in your privacy settings.
MacWorld May 05, 2010 Facebook Glitch Brings New Privacy Worries
QUOTE: For many users of Facebook, the world’s largest social network, it was just the latest in a string of frustrations. On Wednesday, users discovered a glitch that gave them access to supposedly private information in the accounts of their Facebook friends, like chat conversations.
New York Times Mar 30, 2010 Software Discovery is Broken: SEO, fake reviews, and deceit have made it nearly impossible to find the software you're looking for.
QUOTE: If you're looking for any sort of utility on Google, you'll come across a ton of crappy and often useless (if not outright fraudulent) garbage that has risen to the top, thanks to what I like to call "active" SEO trickery. The normal SEO ideas used to improve search results are being actively modified on what seems like a day-by-day basis.
PC Magazine Feb 17, 2010 Turning Patents Into ‘Invention Capital’
QUOTE: Admirers of Mr. Myhrvold, the scientist who led Microsoft’s technology development in the 1990s, see an innovator seeking to elevate the economic role and financial rewards for inventors whose patented ideas are often used without compensation by big technology companies. His detractors see a cynical operator deploying his bulging patent trove as a powerful bargaining chip, along with the implied threat of costly litigation, to prod high-tech companies to pay him lucrative fees.
New York Times Feb 16, 2010 Hold vendors liable for buggy software, security experts say: Consortium led by SANS Institute, Mitre also releases 2010 list of Top 25 programming errors
QUOTE: The document provides user companies with a list of specific terms and conditions that should be included in procurement contracts to ensure that vendors are adhering to a strict set of software development security standards. In sum, the draft contract would leave development firms liable for software defects.
InfoWorld Feb 11, 2010 Who Owns Your PC? New Anti-Piracy Windows 7 Update "Phones Home" to Microsoft Every 90 Days
QUOTE: The release of Windows 7 "Update for Microsoft Windows (KB971033)" will change the current activation and anti-piracy behavior of Windows 7 by triggering automatic "phone home" operations over the Internet to Microsoft servers, typically for now at intervals of around 90 days. The purpose? To verify that you're not running a pirated copy of Windows, and to take various actions changing the behavior of your PC if the WAT system believes that you are not now properly authenticated and "genuine"...
Lauren Weinstein's Blog Oct 21, 2009 Sequoia e-voting code reveals possible FEC rule violations
QUOTE: Though still in its initial stages, the review [by the Election Defense Alliance] has already uncovered evidence indicating that the [Sequoia] voting machines are programmed in a manner that falls afoul of rules and guidelines established by the Federal Election Commission.
Ars Technica Oct 09, 2009 Does Microsoft complicate its licensing on purpose?: Recent comments from the company's CEO suggest the company has little interest in simplifying its software licensing any time soon
QUOTE: remarks made recently by Microsoft's top executive, as well as suspicions raised by customers and software consultants, suggest that Microsoft keeps its licensing complicated for a reason, and that it has no plans to make it any simpler in the foreseeable future.
InfoWorld Oct 08, 2009 File-hosting site up in arms over Firefox plug-in
QUOTE: One of the latest incidents in the ongoing battle over advertising involves file-hosting sites, which support the service by showing ads to users as they download files. One of these sites, MediaFire, is bothered by a Firefox plugin called SkipScreen which automates the user straight past the ads.
Ars Technica Sep 14, 2009 Insurers Fight Speech-Impairment Remedy
QUOTE: Medicare and private health insurers decline to cover cheap devices like iPhones and netbook PCs that can help the speech-impaired, despite their usefulness and lower cost.
New York Times Nov 24, 2008 Judge orders Ballmer to testify in 'Vista Capable' case
QUOTE: A federal judge in Seattle has ordered Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to testify in a class-action lawsuit against Microsoft that alleges the company misled consumers in a marketing campaign for its Windows Vista operating system in which computers sold with an older Microsoft OS were labeled "Vista Capable" when in fact they could only run a basic version of Vista.
InfoWorld Oct 15, 2008 Online Watchdog Sniffs for Media Bias
QUOTE: the future of truth-squadding may lie. Any attempt to judge news articles could rely on experts, a broad audience of readers or a set of formulas. SpinSpotter combines all three, but for now the formulas are still being adjusted, the audience is not yet big enough, and it remains to be seen how unbiased or effective the experts are.
New York Times Oct 03, 2008 Skype: We didn't know about security issues
QUOTE: ...Josh Silverman, Skype's president, explained he did not realize that TOM-Skype, Skype's partner in China, was logging and storing users' instant messages that were deemed offensive by the Chinese government. He said the company knew that instant-messaging chats were monitored by the government...
CNET Sep 30, 2008 RealNetworks Picks A Piracy Fight
QUOTE: ...RealNetworks, the maker of RealPlayer software, began selling RealDVD, a $50 program that allows users to "rip" DVD files from discs and store them in an iTunes-like library. The program rankles movie studios bent on preventing users from copying rented DVDs or ripping their friends' collections. But Real argues its software doesn't break the encryption on video files and is therefore legal.
Forbes Sep 30, 2008 MPAA, RealNetworks Wage Court Battle Over DVD-Copying Software
QUOTE: RealNetworks and the Motion Picture Association of America are suing one another over whether movie fans can copy their DVDs.
Wired Sep 12, 2008 Spore's Piracy Problem
QUOTE: "Electronic Arts had hoped to limit users to installing the game only three times through its use of digital rights management software, or DRM. But not only have those constraints failed, says Garland, they may have inadvertently spurred the pirates on.
Forbes Jul 24, 2008 What Product Reviewers Never Tell You
QUOTE: When a product is great, my reviews are on point. When it sucks, I'm honest about that. But what if the product I receive is great, but the one you get sucks?
PC Magazine Jul 17, 2008 Protect yourself from software-vendor 'snarketing'
QUOTE: These days, even the software we like often comes with hidden annoyances designed to help the vendor at the expense of us poor customers. Here are five examples of sneaky marketing — snarketing, as I call it — and what you can do to mitigate the practice's ill effects.
WindowsSecrets.com Mar 25, 2008 Apple's Safari browser likened to malware: Mozilla CEO calls Apple's Software Update on Windows 'wrong'
QUOTE: "The problem here is that it lists Safari for getting an update - and has the 'Install' box checked by default - even if you haven't ever installed Safari on your PC," Lilly wrote.
InfoWorld Mar 18, 2008 Not a class Act! (The Gripe Line)
QUOTE: Many people have mixed feelings about class action lawsuits, seeing as how the only real winners are usually the lawyers. But is such litigation more justified against a software company that keeps putting out a buggy product?
InfoWorld Mar 03, 2008 Apple slammed over programming secrets: Firefox developer claims Apple uses secret techniques built into WebKit to make its own apps work better with its operating system
QUOTE: Microsoft may not be the only software company that uses secret techniques to make its own applications work better with its operating system - a Mozilla Firefox developer has discovered similar practices at Apple.
Techworld Feb 25, 2008 Is Microsoft turning over a new leaf? This time, the company's talk of increased openness has some substance behind it, with APIs for the latest versions of popular apps for the first time
QUOTE: When Microsoft announced on Thursday that it was changing its business practices to be more open — specifically to release documentation on its APIs and protocols — many people reacted with disbelief....Yet in this case Microsoft’s commitment may be genuine.
InfoWorld Feb 08, 2008 More Games Rebate Baiters Play
QUOTE: how many people would remember or notice that the check was not for the right amount?....send a rebate card rather than a check....misfile the claim....rebate forms are printed on ultra glossy stock which cannot be written on with ball point or fountain pens...
InfoWorld Oct 04, 2007 Ten Tips: How to Get What You Want from Tech Support
QUOTE: we have an amazing record for getting exactly what we need from tech support, no matter how resistive, stubborn, or bizarre the rep might be. It's not always easy, and it requires a surprisingly large amount of social engineering, but it is possible and that's what matters. Now we've compiled a list of ten tips, many of which we refer to every single time we contact a tech support flack.
ExtremeTech Sep 24, 2007 Did Apple Violate Magnuson-Moss over iPhone Unlocks?
QUOTE: The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act appears to reason that Apple cannot void a warranty for a product with third-party enhancements or modifications to their product. The only exception to this rule is if Apple can determine that the modification or enhancement is responsible damaging the product in question.
PhoneNews.com Aug 11, 2007 Judge Says Unix Copyrights Rightfully Belong to Novell
QUOTE: a federal district court judge in Utah ruled Friday afternoon that Novell, not the SCO Group, is the rightful owner of the copyrights covering the Unix operating system....The ruling could remove the cloud over open-source software like Linux...
New York Times Jun 12, 2007 Vista Limits Choices, Google Alleges
QUOTE: Allegations by Google that Microsoft's new operating system unfairly disadvantages competitors has revived antitrust accusations against Microsoft and opened a front in a bitter war between the two technology giants .... Google, which submitted a 50-page document detailing its concerns, has told federal and state officials who monitor the consent decree that Vista's design makes it difficult for users who want to run Google's desktop search instead.
Washington Post Jun 07, 2007 A crusade against bad EULAs
QUOTE: Foster's chief gripe against EULAs is their anticompetitive nature...Foster has never understood the need for a license agreement. "Copyright law applies to software whether you have a EULA or not,"
WindowsSecrets.com May 17, 2007 Microsoft, McAfee, Symantec charge cards repeatedly
QUOTE: the practice of enrolling customers in automatic renewal for antivirus and other security products is not limited to Symantec. Indeed, it has become an industry standard. Microsoft Windows Live OneCare, Symantec, McAfee, and ZoneAlarm all enroll customers into the companies' automatic subscription-renewal programs with the purchase of a subscription-based product. In most cases, customers aren't given a choice to opt out, and only find out about the annual renewals when they receive an e-mail notice or see a charge on their credit card.
WindowsSecrets.com May 14, 2007 Microsoft takes on the free world: Microsoft claims that free software like Linux, which runs a big chunk of corporate America, violates 235 of its patents. It wants royalties...
QUOTE: But now there's a shadow hanging over Linux and other free software, and it's being cast by Microsoft. The Redmond behemoth asserts that one reason free software is of such high quality is that it violates more than 200 of Microsoft's patents. And as a mature company facing unfavorable market trends and fearsome competitors like Google (Charts, Fortune 500), Microsoft is pulling no punches: It wants royalties. If the company gets its way, free software won't be free anymore.
Fortune May 02, 2007 POS Vendors Now Targeted In Credit Card Receipt Error Case
QUOTE: some 50 of the nation's top retailers...were accused of printing full credit numbers and expiration dates on printed customer receipts, violating a provision of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act...two of those retail defendants—Charlotte Russe and Shoe Pavillion—have sued their POS vendors, saying that the retailer relied on them, and if the retailer is liable, then the POS vendor should pay for it.
eWeek Mar 26, 2007 Mr. Gates, tear down this wall: Fruitless persecution of open source achieves nothing but harm
QUOTE: A few giant vendors produce key software for the majority of computers in use today. But at the opposite end of the spectrum, independent developers and hobbyists have made significant contributions in their own right. In between are countless other ISVs of varying sizes. And all that code is constantly intermingling, moving hand to hand, each piece of software complementing the others.
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