Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 21st May 2012 23:47 UTC
Legal "He's one of 10 reverse-engineers working full time for a stealthy company funded by some of the biggest names in technology: Apple, Microsoft, Research In Motion, Sony, and Ericsson. Called the Rockstar Consortium, the 32-person outfit has a single-minded mission: It examines successful products, like routers and smartphones, and it tries to find proof that these products infringe on a portfolio of over 4,000 technology patents once owned by one of the world's largest telecommunications companies. When a Rockstar engineer uncovers evidence of infringement, the company documents it, contacts the manufacturer, and demands licensing fees for the patents in question. The demand is backed by the implicit threat of a patent lawsuit in federal court." And then people wonder why I call Apple and Microsoft patent trolls. These are the people destroying this industry, with Apple, Microsoft, RIM, etc. money. Sickeningly low.
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RE: How stupid were Google
by cyrilleberger on Wed 23rd May 2012 06:28 UTC in reply to "How stupid were Google"
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First they utterly fuck up the bidding process through the absurd and juvenile prank of using math constants to set their bidding offers. Are these people children? And then, when it is clear that a big consortium of the big tech players is coming together in a consortium that is almost certain to win, Google rejects an invitation to join the consortium!

In what universe did that strategic decision make sense?

From this it seems you see two reasons for google stupidity:
1) bidding with mathematical constants
2) they did not join the winning consortium

For 1), it makes me wonder if you ever bid on something of significant value (like a house, unlike some ebay thing). Since it was an English style auction (ie bidding until everyone folds and the highest bidder get the prize), the main principle is that you set a maximum price you are willing to pay (for Google it was around 4 billions $), and you bid random numbers until you win or your ceiling is reached. Whether it is 3B$ or 3.14B$ does not makes any difference, except that it was a good opportunity for google to make some buzz, at no cost.

As for 2), Google's motto is "Don't (openly) do evil", sure they do pretty crazy stuff (ie log wifi data, violate privacy settings...) but it *never* appears to come from the company management. From the very beginning it appeared that the consortium was all about trolling other companies to get money out of the patents portfolio, quiet obviously, Google considered it to be evil, and did not want to be associated with it. Whether it is a good decision or not remains to be seen.

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