Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 13th Jan 2012 22:45 UTC, submitted by bowkota
Google It really hasn't been Google's week. First the entire internet exploded because of some uninteresting nonsense regarding social networking (really internet?), but today something happened that's actually a bad thing and worth talking about: in Kenya, Google has been caught accessing the databases of a competing business, and offering Google's own product to the people in the database. Google has already apologised, and is currently investigating the matter.
Thread beginning with comment 503486
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE[6]: monopoly abuse
by Tony Swash on Sun 15th Jan 2012 00:11 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: monopoly abuse"
Tony Swash
Member since:
2009-08-22



The cold and harsh truth is, though, that if you look at the track records of the three biggest companies in technology, Google's is a shade of heavenly white with a few dubious stains on it, whereas Apple's and Microsoft's are pitch-black. Google's, Microsoft's, and Apple's potentials for evil are all huge - it's just that one of these three has - so far - done relatively little with its potential.

That is not to say they will remain that way forever - just that as it stands now, if you put a gun to my head and asked me to trust any of these three, past behaviour indicates Google is your best bet.

For now.


Genuine question: what do you think that Apple has done that is evil?

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[7]: monopoly abuse
by Neolander on Sun 15th Jan 2012 14:55 in reply to "RE[6]: monopoly abuse"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Genuine question: what do you think that Apple has done that is evil?

Well, I guess the trick here is that careful argumentation must be given as to why something is good or evil. Anyway, here we go, in roughly historical order :

-Claiming overall ownership of the concepts of graphical user interface introduced at Xerox PARC, then attempting to refuse any other legal arrangement than pulling the competing product (Windows 2 IIRC) out of the market, in order to keep a lucrative monopoly on GUI interfaces.

-Introducing the "iPod connector". From an engineering point of view, it is a waste, as the already existing mini-USB standard was capable of everything that this connector was, in a smaller and easier to use form factor. From a customer point of view, it meant paying something like €30 for a freaking wire each time you lost it or broke that 30-pin socket. The only one benefiting from this were Apple, who could sell overpriced wires instead of leaving it to more competent manufacturers.

-Still in the iPod family, introducing the world's first example of nonstandard earphones with the iPod Shuffle 3G. Basically, if you lost or broke the bundled earphones, you also lost the remote control of your MP3 player, and thus were forced to buy new ones either from Apple or from one of their partners with the premium that one may imagine.

-Setting the trend of making the batteries of consumer products as difficult to buy and replace by the user as possible, in order to ensure that the company selling the device remains the only supplier of an accessory that would otherwise be readily sold elsewhere at a much more competitive price point.

-The iOS ecosystem is so full of legally-enforced monopolies that barely make sense that I don't know where to begin...

-...so let's talk about the hardware it runs on : Apple have apparently managed to patent design drafts that represent a slab-like device of rounded rectangular shape. Nice trick, I have to admit, they deserve the same kind of admiration as Al Capone or Madoff for that. But then making use of the legal leverage that this gives in an attempt to ban competing products from the market ? Come on...

I leave it to others to complete this list.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[8]: monopoly abuse
by Tony Swash on Sun 15th Jan 2012 22:52 in reply to "RE[7]: monopoly abuse"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

"Genuine question: what do you think that Apple has done that is evil?

Well, I guess the trick here is that careful argumentation must be given as to why something is good or evil. Anyway, here we go, in roughly historical order :

-Claiming overall ownership of the concepts of graphical user interface introduced at Xerox PARC, then attempting to refuse any other legal arrangement than pulling the competing product (Windows 2 IIRC) out of the market, in order to keep a lucrative monopoly on GUI interfaces.

-Introducing the "iPod connector". From an engineering point of view, it is a waste, as the already existing mini-USB standard was capable of everything that this connector was, in a smaller and easier to use form factor. From a customer point of view, it meant paying something like €30 for a freaking wire each time you lost it or broke that 30-pin socket. The only one benefiting from this were Apple, who could sell overpriced wires instead of leaving it to more competent manufacturers.

-Still in the iPod family, introducing the world's first example of nonstandard earphones with the iPod Shuffle 3G. Basically, if you lost or broke the bundled earphones, you also lost the remote control of your MP3 player, and thus were forced to buy new ones either from Apple or from one of their partners with the premium that one may imagine.

-Setting the trend of making the batteries of consumer products as difficult to buy and replace by the user as possible, in order to ensure that the company selling the device remains the only supplier of an accessory that would otherwise be readily sold elsewhere at a much more competitive price point.

-The iOS ecosystem is so full of legally-enforced monopolies that barely make sense that I don't know where to begin...

-...so let's talk about the hardware it runs on : Apple have apparently managed to patent design drafts that represent a slab-like device of rounded rectangular shape. Nice trick, I have to admit, they deserve the same kind of admiration as Al Capone or Madoff for that. But then making use of the legal leverage that this gives in an attempt to ban competing products from the market ? Come on...

I leave it to others to complete this list.
"


Is that it!

That's your idea of 'evil' ?

Ear phones that you don't like!

Your lists seems to consist of saying 'Apple make stuff I don't like and are thus evil"

Whats so silly is that this 'evil' is so very easy to circumvent - just don't buy Apple's stuff, they don't have a monopoly in any product category so there are always alternatives.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[7]: monopoly abuse
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 15th Jan 2012 23:06 in reply to "RE[6]: monopoly abuse"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

They're patent trolls. Heck, they're software patent trolls. Considering software patents are by far the biggest threat to the technology industry I hold so dearly, it's pretty easy to see why I believe Apple and Microsoft are evil - especially since they do it beneath this thin veil of innovationjobsstealingmurica many people are taken in by.

I've only said this like a billion times, but alas.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[8]: monopoly abuse
by MOS6510 on Mon 16th Jan 2012 06:07 in reply to "RE[7]: monopoly abuse"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

You seem to be on the extreme end what people consider "patent trolls" and kind of stretching the definition.

When I google the definition of "patent troll" this shows up in the first hit:

"Patent troll is currently a controversial term, susceptible to numerous definitions, none of which are considered satisfactory from the perspective of understanding how patent trolls should be treated in law. Definitions include a party that does one or more of the following:
Purchases a patent, often from a bankrupt firm, and then sues another company by claiming that one of its products infringes on the purchased patent;
Enforces patents against purported infringers without itself intending to manufacture the patented product or supply the patented service;
Enforces patents but has no manufacturing or research base;
Focuses its efforts solely on enforcing patent rights; or
Asserts patent infringement claims against non-copiers or against a large industry that is composed of non-copiers"


I guess the only thing Apple comes close to is the first one, purchasing patents and then suing. However I don't recall them buying them from bankrupt firms and when they buy them they do tend to (plan to) use them in product, not just as a means to sue.

There are a number of companies that do nothing but buy patents and sue. They don't build any products. If Apple is "evil" how would you classify those companies?

Still it's within the law.

To me it seems you like Apple to be a patent troll so you can fire more shots at them so you stretch your personal interpretation to make Apple fit in.

Reply Parent Score: 3