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Old 04-26-2010, 07:52 PM   #1
Drysdale
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Default Is a Blogger a journalist?

That's apparently the main question to be answered here.

This sucks. Apple loses a prototype, and is given 2 chances to recover it and bungles both. Now they're using the cops to curb stomp Gizmodo, one of my favorite wastes of time. When Apple refused to accept the object in question, I'd think that they gave up certain rights to that object. Just my take on it of course.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-20003446-37.html
Police have seized computers and servers belonging to an editor of Gizmodo in an investigation that appears to stem from the gadget blog's purchase of a lost Apple iPhone prototype.

Deputies from the San Mateo County Sheriff's office obtained a warrant on Friday and searched Jason Chen's Fremont, Calif., home later that evening, Gizmodo acknowledged on Monday.

In an article on Friday, CNET was the first to report on the criminal investigation into the circumstances surrounding the iPhone prototype and Gizmodo's acquisition of it, including that Apple had contacted local police. A San Mateo County judge signed the search warrant, which said a felony crime was being investigated, a few hours later.

"When I got home, I noticed the garage door was half-open," according to an account by Chen. "And when I tried to open it, officers came out and said they had a warrant to search my house and any vehicles on the property 'in my control.' They then made me place my hands behind my head and searched me to make sure I had no weapons or sharp objects on me."

Lucy Dalglish, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press told CNET on Monday: "This is such an incredibly clear violation of state and federal law it takes my breath away. The only thing left for the authorities to do is return everything immediately and issue one of hell of an apology."

Dalglish said that the San Mateo County search warrant violated the federal Privacy Protection Act, which broadly immunizes news organizations from searches--unless, in some cases, the journalists themselves committed the crime. The 1980 federal law requires police to use subpoenas to obtain information instead of search warrants, she said.

Editors at Gizmodo, part of Gawker Media's blog network, last week said they paid $5,000 for what they believed to be a prototype of a future iPhone 4G. The story said the phone was accidentally left at a bar in Redwood City, Calif., last month by an Apple software engineer and found by someone who contacted Gizmodo, which had previously indicated that it was willing to pay significant sums for unreleased Apple products.

CNET has not been able to confirm whether the investigation is targeting Gizmodo, the source who reportedly found the iPhone in a bar, or both. Apple has acknowledged that the lost device is its property. Calls to law enforcement sources on Monday were not immediately returned.

Gizmodo said on Monday:

Last Friday night, California's Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team entered editor Jason Chen's home without him present, seizing four computers and two servers. They did so using a warrant by Judge of Superior Court of San Mateo. According to Gaby Darbyshire, COO of Gawker Media LLC, the search warrant to remove these computers was invalid under section 1524(g) of the California Penal Code.

Darbyshire was referring to the portion of California law that prevents judges from signing warrants that target writers for newspapers, magazines, or "other periodical publications."

In 2006, a California appeals court ruled that the definition of "periodical publication" protects Web logs. "We can think of no reason to doubt that the operator of a public Web site is a 'publisher' for purposes of this language...News-oriented Web sites... are surely 'like' a newspaper or magazine for these purposes," the court concluded.

The federal newsroom search law known as the Privacy Protection Act is broader. It says that even journalists suspected of committing a crime are immune from searches--if, that is, the crime they're suspected of committing relates to the "receipt" or "possession" of illegal materials. (Two exceptions to this are national security and child pornography.)

The police hauled away three Apple laptops, a Samsung digital camera, a Seagate 500 GB external hard drive, USB flash drives, a HP MediaSmart server, a 32GB Apple iPad, an 16GB iPhone, and an IBM ThinkPad, according to documents that Gizmodo posted.

The tale of a lost iPhone may sound trivial, but Apple goes to great lengths to protect the secrecy of its products, and the company has not been afraid to take aggressive legal measures in the past. It filed a lawsuit against a Mac enthusiast Web site, for example, to unearth information about a leak. A state appeals court ruled in favor of the Web site.

Apple argued in that case that information published about unreleased products causes it significant harm. "If these trade secrets are revealed, competitors can anticipate and counter Apple's business strategy, and Apple loses control over the timing and publicity for its product launches," Apple wrote in a brief.

Under a California law dating back to 1872, any person who finds lost property and knows who the owner is likely to be but "appropriates such property to his own use" is guilty of theft. If the value of the property exceeds $400, more serious charges of grand theft can be filed. In addition, a second state law says any person who knowingly receives property that has been obtained illegally can be imprisoned for up to one year.

Last updated at 3:45 p.m. PDT: To include comment from Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and background on California newsroom search law and the federal newsroom search law.
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Old 04-26-2010, 10:31 PM   #2
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The tale of a lost iPhone may sound trivial, but Apple goes to great lengths to protect the secrecy of its products, and the company has not been afraid to take aggressive legal measures in the past. It filed a lawsuit against a Mac enthusiast Web site, for example, to unearth information about a leak. A state appeals court ruled in favor of the Web site.

Interestingly enough...they don't give a flying rat fuck if it gets stolen after they sell it.

It would pretty easy to end theft too, but the way it is now, companies like AT&T don't lose anything if one is stolen, they just gain a new customer. Mine was stolen once. My cousin had one ripped right out of her hand on the subway in DC. apple and AT&T's response: you're perfectly free to buy a new one, but since your account is not ready to re-up it will only cost you SIX TIMES what you originally paid for it.

I'm still unclear how apple has avoided anti trust laws all these years. Microsoft gets hit because their OS encouraged (not required) their browser...while apples ENTIRE make up means using ONLY their other products.

I have an iphone, because frankly it is better than blackberry, yes I have owned blackberry before, it's garbage by comparison. I also own a mac book because, being the only company in the world allowed to do this: it's the only platform certain software will run on.

But I hope Giz sues em. They don't truly even need a case, at this point any jury, after subjected to a few weeks of stories about this companies shenanigans would award millions.
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Old 04-27-2010, 04:09 AM   #3
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I also hope Gizmodo sues the shit out of them. We're talking about an iPhone here, yet the cops sieze just about every electronic device this guy has. Does being in possession of a lost iPhone make one a terrorist somehow? And hasn't Gizmodo offered to give the phone back if someone from Apple would just come pick it up? I realize that Apple isn't responsible for issuing the illegal warrant, but they should pay somehow.

As far as the title question: it doesn't matter. According to the 2006 decision, bloggers are protected "under section 1524(g) of the California Penal Code."
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Old 04-27-2010, 04:24 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Aolynd View Post
Interestingly enough...they don't give a flying rat fuck if it gets stolen after they sell it.
Interestingly enough, once they sell the item, it's no longer their responsibility. Do you think GM should be held responsible if you bought one of their cars and it got stolen? The onus would be on you to contact the police to report the theft.

Remember, in this case, this is a prototype and it still belongs to Apple even if one of their "geniuses" misplaced it. Read the 2nd last paragraph that DD posted. They are taking their own responsiblity and contacting the police.
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Old 04-27-2010, 05:01 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Davek View Post
Remember, in this case, this is a prototype and it still belongs to Apple even if one of their "geniuses" misplaced it.
This has the potential to bite Giz in the ass. Hard.

But again, I think that the fact that the original guy trying to return the device, plus Apple stating nothing was lost, plus the fact that Giz returned the device after Apple asked them in writing should be enough to mitigate this so called "theft."

Giz has a defense in that they weren't sure it was an actual Apple product as well.

Just love the way yhr cops treated Chen too. They couldn't wait until he got home? They needed to bash in his door and tear up his house? What, he was going to flush his computers down the toilet?
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Old 04-27-2010, 05:11 AM   #6
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I suspect Gizmondo's got a decent case here - I don't know how much they make in ads & such, but it's clearly "professional" (e.g. we make our livings doing this) journalism.

Apple's had one hell of a comeback - and to a large extent, I think it's deserved. I'm not a huge Apple fan (although I've owned a number of Macs & such over the years), but when I was shopping for a laptop for my wife as a Christmas gift, I got her the low-end MacBook for the simple reason that everyone I know with a Mac really likes them. For what she uses it for (web browsing, email), it's perfect - and while there's a lot cheaper solutions, I'd rather pay a bit more and not have to listen to complaints.

While a lot of folks weren't impressed with the iPad, I think it's actually a brillant product for "casual users" (e.g. non-tech folks). If you've got a laptop and iPhone, yeah, an iPad probably isn't for you. But for someone who wants a light-weight, low-fuss, around-the-house multimedia/web browser, it's probably great.

But, I don't see Apple's dominion lasting forever.
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Old 04-27-2010, 06:02 AM   #7
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Apple's dominion may not last forever, but it's going to take someone huge to challenge them. Yes, Windows is still, by far, the most prevalent OS out there, but the iPhone is the big kid on the block when it comes to smart phones, and iTunes is the largest reseller of music on the planet.

I've never had a Mac, but those that I know that do have them are pretty fanatical about them. I think it's really computer geeks that get that way about them, since they're used to buggy Windows all those years until the iMac came out. That's what really got Apple going again.
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Old 04-27-2010, 07:03 AM   #8
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I use a mac for testing and development work. I never get viruses, spyware, or malware, but this stupid thing needs to be restarted about every 3 days because it slows to a crawl. I can start typing and the mouse icom turns to a little wheel...it spins for a bit...then all of a sudden the text that I typed earlier shoots up onto the screen. Pain in the ass. Also, it's not very UI friendly...like I can't resize windows by clicking just any corner...it has to be the bottom right, and half the time it doesn't drag. There are other things, but I don't have the time right now.

I do like the Terminal application though, since I do a lot of Linux stuff, and use ssh to connect to multiple Linux VMs.

As per Gizmodo... I hope they sue Apple and win.
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Old 04-27-2010, 07:04 AM   #9
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The Android pads in the pipe might do it, at least as far as the Ipad. Same with the Androids vs Iphone.

But I'm not really sure they will, since Apple is so locked down & easy to use.

My wife has a Linux netbook that she bitches about, and an Ipad that she loves. There's the crux.
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Old 04-27-2010, 11:43 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Davek View Post
Interestingly enough, once they sell the item, it's no longer their responsibility. Do you think GM should be held responsible if you bought one of their cars and it got stolen? The onus would be on you to contact the police to report the theft.
True, BUT...

GM would be sued if they made it too easy to steal. If GM manufactured the car so that once you broke into it and got it hotwired, all you had to do was call and ask and GM would send you new ownership papers and a new serial number it would be their responsibility.

Instead, what GM actually does is bend over backwards to make it harder to steal. They actually spend extra money so that it's protected even after it rolls off their lot. Honda even more so: you could hotwire my car, but unless my key is inside it the computer is programmed to lock it up if the chip isn't near. They also build in tracking features, much like GPS, the car can be tracked.

The iphone also has a gps, and, its a phone. It actually takes MORE work to make it so it can have all identifying characteristics in one smooth easy to replace chip.
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Old 04-27-2010, 12:54 PM   #11
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Not to mention that the car companies found that they can charge $150 for a programming a replacement key once they put the RFID chips inside - it's probably great money for their service division.

They could probably make a killing if, with a system like OnStar/LoJack, they'd let you control where the car got disabled on the bad guys. "Kill the engine when they're in the middle of the desert, oh, about 30 miles from the nearest sign of civilization. At noon." Oh, I suppose you'd also have to send the cops to pick 'em up, eventually. But let 'em walk for at least a mile or two. Yeah, I'm sure the vast majority of car thefts would be like that, but it would make a great commercial. "OnStar/LoJack - make those bastards suffer". Another great feature would be if you could control the radio, and blast non-stop really loud annoying noise at them. Maybe have the ability to record your own message. Yeah, I could boost LoJack sales by 200%.
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Old 04-27-2010, 01:23 PM   #12
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I'd buy GM if you could do that.
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Old 04-27-2010, 02:15 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by FafnerMorell View Post
Not to mention that the car companies found that they can charge $150 for a programming a replacement key once they put the RFID chips inside - it's probably great money for their service division.

They could probably make a killing if, with a system like OnStar/LoJack, they'd let you control where the car got disabled on the bad guys. "Kill the engine when they're in the middle of the desert, oh, about 30 miles from the nearest sign of civilization. At noon." Oh, I suppose you'd also have to send the cops to pick 'em up, eventually. But let 'em walk for at least a mile or two. Yeah, I'm sure the vast majority of car thefts would be like that, but it would make a great commercial. "OnStar/LoJack - make those bastards suffer". Another great feature would be if you could control the radio, and blast non-stop really loud annoying noise at them. Maybe have the ability to record your own message. Yeah, I could boost LoJack sales by 200%.
A good idea worth money. It's only a matter of time.
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Old 04-27-2010, 02:26 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by FafnerMorell View Post
Not to mention that the car companies found that they can charge $150 for a programming a replacement key once they put the RFID chips inside - it's probably great money for their service division.
Also, this is pretty much the key to it:money. It's worth car companies money to do these things. They make more money making them secure.

iphone and AT&T however, make more money by making the phones less secure.

I think the free market system will eventually hurt em pretty bad tough (and then we can bail em out!). They're on top of the world now, but that only means people will start paying attention to this companies long history of really shitty practices.

Already a German company is producing a computer that's basically an ipad except with usb ports and a system where you actually have access to the OS so you can have some control over setting up YOUR OWN device.

The iphone will stay popular for a long time though. Phone companies are only just now figuring out that people actually like little computers on their hip, but its only a matter of time till you basically have a working PC phone that isn't garbage. At that point iphone, ipad, AND kindle die.

ability to put any content you want will ALWAYS beat 'you can ONLY use our shit!"
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Old 04-27-2010, 03:35 PM   #15
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The iPad looks pretty nice, but keep in mind the Slate PC has been out since February and runs Windows 7. It is sleek and pretty fast from what I have heard. I don't own one and so don't know that first hand.

The thing that will kill the iPad and any Apple device is ultimately their proprietary hardware. Just for example, you can run a Linux flavor on a Slate PC which ultimately makes the Slate much better than iPad. The same is true of any "PC Phone" or "Smart Phone". They can run Windows based OS or an open source OS, which means the phones eventually become cheaper, faster, and run apps much like an iPhone and perhaps better ones.

I was going to purchase a Droid, but decided not to. I am waiting until version 7 of the Windows mobile software releases to see what new phones come out. Why buy an Apple product to connect to my Windows network at home when I can get a phone that will talk to my network devices out of the box?

Anyway, as far as the topic goes... obviously Apple has a right to recover their property, but their PR looks stinky in how they are handling Gizmodo. It doesn't help Apple to be so openly heavy handed, but I am sure they aren't concerned with losing sales over it.
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Old 04-27-2010, 05:41 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Lurikeen View Post
The thing that will kill the iPad and any Apple device is ultimately their proprietary hardware. Just for example, you can run a Linux flavor on a Slate PC which ultimately makes the Slate much better than iPad. The same is true of any "PC Phone" or "Smart Phone".
Define "better"

I have an Android phone. It's hacked out the ass with 2.1 and is rooted. 2.1 isn't even officially available for my phone. (Samsung Moment) I wouldn't touch an Apple phone with their proprietary sandbox and their leapfrogging war against the jailbreakers.

My wife LOVES how simple her Ipad is. It works. It does what she wants it to do. She doesn't give a shit about tweaking it or tethering or extreme customization. I do, she doesn't. She has a blackberry for a phone, and has about 3 apps extra on it that I put there. She just wants it to work when she texts, emails, or makes calls. That's it. She just wants her Ipad to take notes, read books, and let her input into the scheduler. Hell, she's still amazed at the scheduler that came with the stupid thing.
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Old 04-27-2010, 06:12 PM   #17
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Yeah, there's at least two pretty clear sets of customers:
1) "I just want it to work, out of the box, and I never want to fiddle with it"
2) "I want to root hack it, install a different OS on it, run a Nintendo64 emulator on it just for the hell of it, etc"

Apple's done a great job on the first, and they try as hard as they can to get rid of the second set. In the PC world, option 1) is kind of iffy (maybe it's gotten better with Windows 7) - it certainly seems like I'm cleaning up my relatives PCs when I visit for the holidays, or whenever the babysitter has been on MySpace, and I'm getting sick of having to get rid of Malware and rootkits. And option 2) is no longer all that fun for PCs, after you've built a few.
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Old 04-27-2010, 08:30 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Drysdale View Post
Define "better"
"Better" in the sense of flexibility and versatility. Windows + Open Source + Intel based hardware = better than Apple.

Originally Posted by FafnerMorell View Post
...it certainly seems like I'm cleaning up my relatives PCs when I visit for the holidays, or whenever the babysitter has been on MySpace, and I'm getting sick of having to get rid of Malware and rootkits. And option 2) is no longer all that fun for PCs, after you've built a few.
Why would hackers bother with an OS that has around ten percent of the market? They typically don't. That doesn't mean Apple products or even Linux products are virus and hacker free, since they are not. But, because Microsoft owns the lion's share of the market they also get to be the top dog getting attacked. I'm sure if the Mac was the number one platform it would suffer from everything you describe.
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Old 04-27-2010, 11:59 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by FafnerMorell View Post
Yeah, there's at least two pretty clear sets of customers:
1) "I just want it to work, out of the box, and I never want to fiddle with it"
2) "I want to root hack it, install a different OS on it, run a Nintendo64 emulator on it just for the hell of it, etc"
.
The thing is, I'm very close to being option 1. But, while I don't feel the need to change the OS, being able to open a pdf file would be nice. iphone doesn't like pdfs and since they don't have an arrangement with mobipocket or acrobat...you're not allowed to use them, unless you hack the iphone/ipad which allot of people do, but thats more option 2 isn't it?


The third category is:

3) I want to open shit without having to have it specifically approved by apple, but I don't want to have to root hack the damn thing just to get MY COMPUTER to be able to play my files. I mentioned kindle earlier because it's the same way. You buy one, but the company acts as though you're renting it.
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Old 04-28-2010, 04:15 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Drysdale View Post
I wouldn't touch an Apple phone with their proprietary sandbox and their leapfrogging war against the jailbreakers.
That's really not that big a deal. I have an iPhone that I jailbreak whenever an update comes out. First of all, you aren't required to keep the phone updated, and updates usually don't provide some new, vital functionality to the phone. Second, it takes about 5 minutes to jailbreak an iPhone, which includes the time it takes to download the software. That's 5 minutes every 2 months or so, if that often. Given how much it opens up the phone, that is a small price to pay.

I wouldn't trade in my iPhone for anything; it's the best money I've ever spent.
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Old 04-28-2010, 04:25 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Wildane View Post
I wouldn't trade in my iPhone for anything; it's the best money I've ever spent.
Add to it that the damn things are only on AT&T, and I really am not interested.

I prefer the open concept, and support it with my dollars. Android's as close to open-system as it gets right now, and they got my cash.

Of course you can hack an Iphone with Android these days, so even the Iphone's being improved
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Old 04-28-2010, 04:43 AM   #22
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AT&T-only on an unjailbroken (I just made a new word!) phone, yes, but you can crack it to work with other carriers.
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Old 04-28-2010, 04:47 AM   #23
Davek
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Originally Posted by Aolynd View Post
GM would be sued if they made it too easy to steal.
Ok...money is pretty easy to steal too...so whyt not sue the Gov't?

Pens? Damn easy to snatch and run....sue those pen makers!!!

Watches? Damn you Rolex! (might as well steal the expensive one, right?)

and the list goes on to pretty much any consumable you can think of.

Serioiusly...you're whining in the wrong direction of product theft responsibility.

Sure you can have a beef with that contract and AT&T, but it would be up to you to report the loss of the actual phone to the police. Maybe with a police report the phone carrier might act on it (although don't count on it since they are all pretty much scuzzbucket bizz)

As for the car security features...are those default to every single car they make or are they extra options you have to pay for?
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Man that just rolls off the tongue nicely.

Originally Posted by Karthanon View Post
I know, you're in Ottawa, Davek. Still, I can't help but /poke you.
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And you wonder why I don't play nice with you? You leave my man buttons alone.. Those are Davek's.

Last edited by Davek; 04-28-2010 at 07:19 AM.
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Old 04-28-2010, 04:48 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Aolynd View Post
iphone and AT&T however, make more money by making the phones less secure.
No, their money making is in shitty contracts.
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Davek Bonemender ~ Guild Leader of Sunrunners ~
~ Retired with 8 years of service ~
~ Semi-unretired 2012 ~

Man that just rolls off the tongue nicely.

Originally Posted by Karthanon View Post
I know, you're in Ottawa, Davek. Still, I can't help but /poke you.
Originally Posted by Drysdale View Post
And you wonder why I don't play nice with you? You leave my man buttons alone.. Those are Davek's.
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Old 04-28-2010, 05:51 AM   #25
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It's been interesting that both Apple & Amazon have solidly positioned themselves as content providers (movies, music, books, TV shows, and in Apple's case, applications) in addition to selling the consumer devices. Getting content has been a mess due to RIAA, MPAA, etc - so in comparison, Apple & Amazon are "easy to deal with" (although still a bit draconian and arbitrary, but in comparison to the rest, they've at least made it somewhat easy for Joe Q Public to interact with).

Longer term, say, 5-10 years, I'd expect this stuff to get worked through - almost all content will be streamable to whatever device you want - whether it be home, car, mobile, whatever. DVDs, BluRays, CDs, etc will still be around, but more folks will convert over to streaming. The notion of "owning" a movie/book/music will seem odd except to the "old folks" - those over 40 or so (so, anyone over 30-35 today) - you just pay a monthly fee (probably a couple of different ones) for access to what you want.
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