Computer Industry Issues
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Date Fairness.com Resource Read it at: May 01, 2013 Cellphone Thefts Grow, but the Industry Looks the Other Way
QUOTE: new nationwide database for stolen cellphones, which tracks a phone’s unique identifying number to prevent it from being activated, theoretically discouraging thefts. But police officials say the database has not helped....Some law enforcement authorities, though, say there is a bigger issue — that carriers and handset makers have little incentive to fix the problem.
New York Times Apr 28, 2012 How Apple Sidesteps Billions in Taxes
QUOTE: The growing digital economy presents a conundrum for lawmakers overseeing corporate taxation: although technology is now one of the nation’s largest and most valued industries, many tech companies are among the least taxed, according to government and corporate data. Over the last two years, the 71 technology companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index — including Apple, Google, Yahoo and Dell — reported paying worldwide cash taxes at a rate that, on average, was a third less than other S.& P. companies’.
New York Times Nov 11, 2011 CNN Sets Off a Debate on Race and Technology
QUOTE: In the documentary, the blogger and venture capitalist Michael Arrington is shown saying “I don’t know a single black entrepreneur.”....Already, the program has people talking about a disparity that is often not broached in technology circles — the staggering lack of diversity in Silicon Valley
New York Times Sep 01, 2011 Age Bias in IT: the Reality Behind the Rumors: Is high tech really that tough on older workers? Or are they simply not pulling their weight in an industry that never stops innovating?
QUOTE: Age bias is "something that no [employer] talks about. But it's a reality in tech that if you're 45 years of age and still writing C code or Cobol code and making $150,000 a year, the likelihood is that you won't be employed very long"...
Computerworld 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 Jun 21, 2011 Indian Company Under Scrutiny Over U.S. Visas
QUOTE: A giant Indian outsourcing company with thousands of employees in the United States is facing an expanding federal investigation prompted by claims from an American whistle-blower that it misused short-term visitors’ visas to bring in low-cost workers from India. Accusations that the company, Infosys Technologies, repeatedly violated the terms of business visitor visas...
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) May 12, 2011 Facebook's failed Google smear: Stupidity squared
QUOTE: In the universe of things that are not very bright, there are three basic categories: stupid, really stupid, and how-do-you-even-manage-to-get-your-pants-on-every-morning stupid. Now there's a fourth category: Facebook stupid. The world's largest social network earned this sobriquet via its shocking-yet-laughable attempts to launch a smear campaign against Google.
InfoWorld May 08, 2011 Suit Opens a Window Into Google
QUOTE: In the smartphone market....“Google has the same problem today that Microsoft had 20 years ago, when Windows started to take off in the personal computer market,” said David B. Yoffie, a professor at the Harvard Business School. “It needs to maintain the integrity of its technology, and control it.”
New York Times Dec 21, 2010 F.C.C. Approves Net Rules and Braces for Fight (Media Decoder)
QUOTE: The new rules [approved by the FCC-- Ed.] are, at best, net semi-neutrality. They ban any outright blocking and any “unreasonable discrimination” of Web sites or applications by fixed-line broadband providers, but they afford more wiggle room to wireless providers like AT&T and Verizon.
New York Times May 21, 2010 Sure, It’s Big. But Is That Bad?
QUOTE: “The government is finally onto the notion that they have to start asking questions about Google,” he said. “Google started off saying they were going to treat everything on the Web neutrally. That is the basis on which they secured dominance. And now they’ve changed the rules.”
New York Times 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 Apr 16, 2010 Out of the Loop in Silicon Valley
QUOTE: Though many people say that outright sexism is rare in the tech world these days, the barriers that Ms. Fleming encountered aren’t unusual....Women own 40 percent of the private businesses in the United States, according to the Center for Women’s Business Research. But they create only 8 percent of the venture-backed tech start-ups...
New York Times Mar 12, 2010 Apple’s Spat With Google Is Getting Personal
QUOTE: Google and Apple had worked together to bring Google’s search and mapping services to the iPhone...Mr. Jobs, Mr. Schmidt and their companies are now engaged in a gritty battle royale over the future and shape of mobile computing and cellphones, with implications that are reverberating across the digital landscape.
New York Times Mar 02, 2010 Apple-HTC Suit Cites Multitouch, Gesture Patent
QUOTE: ...Apple announced that it had filed suit in the U.S. District Court in Delaware against HTC, alleging twenty instances of patent infringement....HTC has developed numerous touchscreen and other phones to rival the Apple iPhone. Of late, most have used the Android operating system...
PC Magazine Feb 24, 2010 Microsoft Takes Down Whistleblower Site, Read the Secret Doc Here
QUOTE: Microsoft has managed to do what a roomful of secretive, three-letter government agencies have wanted to do for years: get the whistleblowing, government-document sharing site Cryptome shut down. Microsoft dropped a DMCA notice alleging copyright infringement on Cryptome’s proprietor John Young on Tuesday after he posted a Microsoft surveillance compliance document that the company gives to law enforcement agents seeking information on Microsoft users.
Wired 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 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 07, 2009 U.S. Begins Inquiry of I.B.M. in Mainframe Market
QUOTE: The Department of Justice has started a preliminary investigation into whether I.B.M. abused its monopoly position in the market for the mainframe computers...
New York Times Jun 24, 2009 Steve Jobs's health: A personal or public matter?
QUOTE: Many investors see the innovative Apple CEO as fundamental to the company's success. If he's unwell, they think they should be told.
Christian Science Monitor Jun 18, 2009 Hurry Up and Type: Why your laptop runs out of juice so fast.
QUOTE: battery-life numbers are based on a benchmark test called MobileMark 2007 (MM07). AMD [computer chip] says PC makers know full well that the new tests produce misleading [battery life] numbers, but they are touting them anyway.
Newsweek Jun 06, 2009 Ping: Get the Tech Scuttlebutt! (It Might Even Be True.)
QUOTE: That drive to compete with the so-called mainstream media is what’s behind his strategy. He doesn’t have the luxury of a large staff to confirm everything, so he competes where he has the advantage. “Getting it right is expensive,” he says. “Getting it first is cheap.”
New York Times Jun 04, 2009 Growing White House ties to Google draw protest: Consumer groups object to expected selection of Google exec to deputy CTO post
QUOTE: White House's reported plan to appoint another Google Inc. executive to a top tech advisory post is, for some, carrying the idea [a "Google-enabled government"] too far.
Computerworld Mar 22, 2009 Rivals Say I.B.M. Stifles Competition to Mainframes
QUOTE: The Computer and Communications Industry Association... described the Platform deal [I.B.M. buyout of rival] as “a clear attempt by I.B.M. to purchase a company solely to foreclose competition in the mainframe marketplace..."
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 Nov 08, 2008 Apple Exec Hired From IBM Ordered to Stop Work
QUOTE: IBM contends that Apple will use Papermaster and its stake in P.A. Semi "to design microprocessors for incorporation in a variety of electronic devices, including handheld devices."....Papermaster's lawyers contend the IBM focuses on large enterprise applications for businesses while Apple focuses on consumer electronics.
PC Magazine Sep 18, 2008 Just Tell the Truth, Apple
QUOTE: Tech consumers can be very forgiving—if companies are honest about their failings.
PC Magazine Apr 17, 2008 Are You Stealing Vista?
QUOTE: he'd had enough of people who try and convince Microsoft customers that installing an upgrade is just as good as installing the full version of an app. What's the problem? Well, an upgrade assumes you already have a full-blown product license (Windows or MS Office). The confusion: most upgrades are full-blown versions of the software—seeming replicas of the standard, full versions.
PC Magazine 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 Jan 29, 2007 Microsoft Answers 'Vista OEM' Questions
QUOTE: For those who don't need a full manual, however, the Windows Vista OEM versions offer substantial savings. Normally, such versions are restricted to "System Builders," not large corporations purchasing thousands or even hundreds of copies of the operating systems through Microsoft's volume licensing programs, but small mom-and-pop computer shops building individual systems for local communities.
PC Magazine Jan 08, 2007 Snow Jobs: Why Steve Jobs should be punished for the options backdating chicanery at Apple. And why he won't be.
QUOTE: As with [baskeball star Michael--Ed.] Jordan, a different set of rules seems to apply to Jobs. "At the worst, Steve Jobs directed his company to issue him stock options on favorable terms, without bothering with the silly legal necessity of having a board meeting to approve it," wrote Thomas Donlan in Barron's. Silly legal necessities? Some people call them laws.
Slate Nov 14, 2006 Caught in the Web
QUOTE: "The Web site for Orzack's center lists the following among the psychological symptoms of computer addiction: · Lying to employers and family about activities. · Inability to stop the activity. · Problems with school or job."
Washington Post Sep 21, 2006 HP CEO Allowed 'Sting' of Reporter: HP CEO Allowed 'Sting' of Reporter
QUOTE: Hewlett-Packard Co. chief executive Mark V. Hurd approved an elaborate "sting" operation on a reporter in February in an attempt to plug leaks to the media, according to an e-mail message sent by HP Chairman Patricia C. Dunn.
Washington Post May 26, 2006 Loading the iPod With Egalitarianism: French Bills Have Firms Singing Blues
QUOTE: songs downloaded from Apple's online music store embedded with code that prevents them from being played on anything other than an iPod....French lawmakers say their bill is enlightened consumerism for cutting-edge technology, an effort to force Apple and other companies to freely compete, rather than relying on techno-secrets to crush the competition.
Washington Post Apr 17, 2006 The Fear Industry: Shameless self-promoters? Fear mongerers? Sure, security researchers aren't always model citizens, but business technology pros want them on the job.
QUOTE: Many researchers bring serious flaws to light, but others are all too willing to cash in on their cleverness by posting information about software vulnerabilities before vendors have a chance to patch their products. This shameless self-promotion of being the first to expose a key vulnerability can bring fame and consulting contracts. Other firms readily open up their checkbooks to pay hackers for dirt on flaws, doling out premiums for the worst flaws--ones that, say, Microsoft ends up rating critical.
InformationWeek Feb 13, 2006 Plays For Sure, Unless It Doesn't
QUOTE: A big headache for customers in the era of convergence is that it's very hard to know for sure what media will play on what device. One reader recently discovered that's the case even when you buy a player that has the Microsoft "PlaysForSure" logo.
InfoWorld Feb 06, 2006 Credibility Of Analysts: Do tech vendors wield influence over IT research? You bet--but how much of it is a matter of perspective?
QUOTE: Research firms make their living by offering expert advice to business and technology people about the best ways to invest their IT dollars. It can be invaluable insight, but only if that analysis comes with no strings attached. And on that, there's no guarantee. Forrester, Gartner, IDC, and others insist their output is squeaky clean, yet they also rake in millions providing services to the very same companies they monitor...
InformationWeek Jan 24, 2006 Licensed Users or Licensed Machines?
QUOTE: ...how users can lose their license to use software because of a hardware problem. Is the real problem confusion over whether software is licensed to the user or to the computer? And is it the customers, or the hardware and software vendors, who are confused about what a license should really mean?
InfoWorld Nov 22, 2005 Sony's DRM Profile
QUOTE: ...before users can even say yes or no to accepting the Sony EULA, MediaMax has already installed a dozen files on their hard drive and started running the copy protection code. The files remain even if the user rejects the EULA, and the Sony CDs provide no option for uninstalling the files at a later date.
InfoWorld Aug 12, 2005 Mac Hacks Allow OS X on PCs
QUOTE: Companies such as Microsoft and Intel originally laid the groundwork for the TPM. The companies insist the chip is meant to verify trusted computers on a network and prevent malicious code from running on PCs....But critics have called the TPM an anti-competitive device that stifles innovation.
Wired Jul 20, 2005 Microsoft Sues Over Google's Hiring of a Former Executive
QUOTE: Microsoft filed a lawsuit against Google on Tuesday asserting that Google hired away a Microsoft executive in violation of a clause in the executive's contract that precludes him for working for a competitor.
New York Times Jun 30, 2005 Payback Time for Bill Lerach?
QUOTE: The king of shareholder lawsuits against Silicon Valley firms may be caught up in a federal probe of allegedly improper payments to plaintiffs
BusinessWeek May 17, 2005 Product Choices and IT
QUOTE: ...customers are unlikely to have as much information about a software company's products and practices as they would with other industries. After all, this is a business where most publishers won't even warrant that their product will do anything, much less that they'll fix their own bugs.
InfoWorld May 02, 2005 Mandatory Arbitration Clauses
QUOTE: No matter how badly you've been treated and how legitimate your greviance, mandatory clauses block your access to the legal system. And, far more than Gateway's language, nowadays the sneakwrap terms are even more blatantly one-sided.
InfoWorld Apr 26, 2005 The Case of the Missing COA
QUOTE: Microsoft feels that too many sticky fingers in the distribution channel are ripping authentic Microsoft COAs off the boxes and selling them to software counterfeiters. So even having an authentic Certificate of Authenticity doesn't necessarily mean you're not a pirate, at least as far as Microsoft is concerned.
InfoWorld Mar 26, 2005 Microsoft funding of security report decried: Finding that system is superior to Linux is biased, critics say
QUOTE: Two researchers surprised the audience at a computer-security convention last month with their finding that a version of Microsoft Windows was more secure than a competing Linux operating system... [but] Microsoft was funding the project all along.
Seattle Post-Intelligencer Mar 11, 2005 Why You Should Stop Before You Click
QUOTE: ...Americans For Fair Electronic Commerce Transactions (AFFECT) coalition announced its "Stop Before You Click" campaign promoting its 12 Principles for Fair Commerce in Software and Other Digital Products.
InfoWorld Jan 28, 2005 Windows' Genuinely Disadvantaged
QUOTE: ...an awful lot of people who paid their money for Windows in good faith are going to discover that somebody along the line - a distributor, a reseller, an OEM -- cheated them. They are just as much victims of the counterfeiters as Microsoft. More actually, because they were in less of a position to defend themselves.
InfoWorld Jan 24, 2005 Tech Firms to Seek Legal Protection From Pirating: Internet File Sharing at Issue in Supreme Court Case
QUOTE: At issue is the continuing popularity of Internet file-sharing services, whose software lets users swap digital music, videos and software regardless of whether they are copyrighted works that should be paid for each time they are sent to another consumer.
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