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Google To Take On iTunes?

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the battle-of-the-bands dept.

Google 277

An anonymous reader writes 'Multiple sources say Google is preparing to launch Google Audio. According to people familiar with the matter, Google has been securing content from record companies. Is Google about to go head-to-head with Apple's iTunes?'

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277 comments

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Can they take on first post? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29831681)

Well can they?!!?

Re:Can they take on first post? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29831763)

No. you did it.

iGoons! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29831689)

I think the name should be iGoons

Re:iGoons! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29831727)

just like idont? *ducks*

Google did a few years ago... (1, Interesting)

iCantSpell (1162581) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831713)

... It's called songbird http://www.getsongbird.com/ [getsongbird.com] = (mozilla+google)

Re:Google did a few years ago... (1)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831739)

Are you sure? Unless I have missed something, I think songbird has nothing to with google at all, and the only Mozilla connection was xulrunner platform.

Re:Google did a few years ago... (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831785)

And even if it was, they also contributed to Firefox, until they decided to start over with Chrome.

Re:Google did a few years ago... (4, Insightful)

ajdlinux (913987) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831743)

I think they're talking about iTMS here, not just the iTunes player.

Re:Google did a few years ago... (5, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831987)

they're talking about iTMS here, not just the iTunes player.

Yep, it's about a music store.

It makes sense for Google to have a content store for their Android phones, and it's clear Apple doesn't want to play nice with competitors (Palm Pre, anyone?). I just hope Google do it so well that they frighten Apple into dropping prices and restrictions.

It's a market that's begging for a little real competition.

Re:Google did a few years ago... (4, Insightful)

Saint Fnordius (456567) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832325)

Prices may drop, but Apple's philosophy from the beginning was "the store is here for iPod owners, since the other stores were all Microsoft's bitches and we won't pay for a WMA DRM license". In other words, Apple is still very much tied to the hardware, and isn't likely to give it up soon.

On the one hand, the iTunes Store turns a modest income, but it's peanuts compared to the income that the computers, iPods and iPhones generate. Apple might actually be happy to have the iTunes Store become irrelevant if it means people buy more iPods.

Re:Google did a few years ago... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29832847)

What does Paml refusing to follow the USB standard have to do with Apple playing nice with competitors?

Your officia| guide to the jigabo0 pre$idency (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29831819)

Congratulations on your purchase of a brand new nigger! If handled properly, your apeman will give years of valuable, if reluctant, service.

INSTALLING YOUR NIGGER.
You should install your nigger differently according to whether you have purchased the field or house model. Field niggers work best in a serial configuration, i.e. chained together. Chain your nigger to another nigger immediately after unpacking it, and don't even think about taking that chain off, ever. Many niggers start singing as soon as you put a chain on them. This habit can usually be thrashed out of them if nipped in the bud. House niggers work best as standalone units, but should be hobbled or hamstrung to prevent attempts at escape. At this stage, your nigger can also be given a name. Most owners use the same names over and over, since niggers become confused by too much data. Rufus, Rastus, Remus, Toby, Carslisle, Carlton, Hey-You!-Yes-you!, Yeller, Blackstar, and Sambo are all effective names for your new buck nigger. If your nigger is a ho, it should be called Latrelle, L'Tanya, or Jemima. Some owners call their nigger hoes Latrine for a joke. Pearl, Blossom, and Ivory are also righteous names for nigger hoes. These names go straight over your nigger's head, by the way.

CONFIGURING YOUR NIGGER
Owing to a design error, your nigger comes equipped with a tongue and vocal chords. Most niggers can master only a few basic human phrases with this apparatus - "muh dick" being the most popular. However, others make barking, yelping, yapping noises and appear to be in some pain, so you should probably call a vet and have him remove your nigger's tongue. Once de-tongued your nigger will be a lot happier - at least, you won't hear it complaining anywhere near as much. Niggers have nothing interesting to say, anyway. Many owners also castrate their niggers for health reasons (yours, mine, and that of women, not the nigger's). This is strongly recommended, and frankly, it's a mystery why this is not done on the boat

HOUSING YOUR NIGGER.
Your nigger can be accommodated in cages with stout iron bars. Make sure, however, that the bars are wide enough to push pieces of nigger food through. The rule of thumb is, four niggers per square yard of cage. So a fifteen foot by thirty foot nigger cage can accommodate two hundred niggers. You can site a nigger cage anywhere, even on soft ground. Don't worry about your nigger fashioning makeshift shovels out of odd pieces of wood and digging an escape tunnel under the bars of the cage. Niggers never invented the shovel before and they're not about to now. In any case, your nigger is certainly too lazy to attempt escape. As long as the free food holds out, your nigger is living better than it did in Africa, so it will stay put. Buck niggers and hoe niggers can be safely accommodated in the same cage, as bucks never attempt sex with black hoes.

FEEDING YOUR NIGGER.
Your Nigger likes fried chicken, corn bread, and watermelon. You should therefore give it none of these things because its lazy ass almost certainly doesn't deserve it. Instead, feed it on porridge with salt, and creek water. Your nigger will supplement its diet with whatever it finds in the fields, other niggers, etc. Experienced nigger owners sometimes push watermelon slices through the bars of the nigger cage at the end of the day as a treat, but only if all niggers have worked well and nothing has been stolen that day. Mike of the Old Ranch Plantation reports that this last one is a killer, since all niggers steal something almost every single day of their lives. He reports he doesn't have to spend much on free watermelon for his niggers as a result. You should never allow your nigger meal breaks while at work, since if it stops work for more than ten minutes it will need to be retrained. You would be surprised how long it takes to teach a nigger to pick cotton. You really would. Coffee beans? Don't ask. You have no idea.

MAKING YOUR NIGGER WORK.
Niggers are very, very averse to work of any kind. The nigger's most prominent anatomical feature, after all, its oversized buttocks, which have evolved to make it more comfortable for your nigger to sit around all day doing nothing for its entire life. Niggers are often good runners, too, to enable them to sprint quickly in the opposite direction if they see work heading their way. The solution to this is to *dupe* your nigger into working. After installation, encourage it towards the cotton field with blows of a wooden club, fence post, baseball bat, etc., and then tell it that all that cotton belongs to a white man, who won't be back until tomorrow. Your nigger will then frantically compete with the other field niggers to steal as much of that cotton as it can before the white man returns. At the end of the day, return your nigger to its cage and laugh at its stupidity, then repeat the same trick every day indefinitely. Your nigger comes equipped with the standard nigger IQ of 75 and a memory to match, so it will forget this trick overnight. Niggers can start work at around 5am. You should then return to bed and come back at around 10am. Your niggers can then work through until around 10pm or whenever the light fades.

ENTERTAINING YOUR NIGGER.
Your nigger enjoys play, like most animals, so you should play with it regularly. A happy smiling nigger works best. Games niggers enjoy include: 1) A good thrashing: every few days, take your nigger's pants down, hang it up by its heels, and have some of your other niggers thrash it with a club or whip. Your nigger will signal its intense enjoyment by shrieking and sobbing. 2) Lynch the nigger: niggers are cheap and there are millions more where yours came from. So every now and then, push the boat out a bit and lynch a nigger.

Lynchings are best done with a rope over the branch of a tree, and niggers just love to be lynched. It makes them feel special. Make your other niggers watch. They'll be so grateful, they'll work harder for a day or two (and then you can lynch another one). 3) Nigger dragging: Tie your nigger by one wrist to the tow bar on the back of suitable vehicle, then drive away at approximately 50mph. Your nigger's shrieks of enjoyment will be heard for miles. It will shriek until it falls apart. To prolong the fun for the nigger, do *NOT* drag him by his feet, as his head comes off too soon. This is painless for the nigger, but spoils the fun. Always wear a seatbelt and never exceed the speed limit. 4) Playing on the PNL: a variation on (2), except you can lynch your nigger out in the fields, thus saving work time. Niggers enjoy this game best if the PNL is operated by a man in a tall white hood. 5) Hunt the nigger: a variation of Hunt the Slipper, but played outdoors, with Dobermans. WARNING: do not let your Dobermans bite a nigger, as they are highly toxic.

DISPOSAL OF DEAD NIGGERS.
Niggers die on average at around 40, which some might say is 40 years too late, but there you go. Most people prefer their niggers dead, in fact. When yours dies, report the license number of the car that did the drive-by shooting of your nigger. The police will collect the nigger and dispose of it for you.

COMMON PROBLEMS WITH NIGGERS - MY NIGGER IS VERY AGGRESIVE
Have it put down, for god's sake. Who needs an uppity nigger? What are we, short of niggers or something?

MY NIGGER KEEPS RAPING WHITE WOMEN
They all do this. Shorten your nigger's chain so it can't reach any white women, and arm heavily any white women who might go near it.

WILL MY NIGGER ATTACK ME?
Not unless it outnumbers you 20 to 1, and even then, it's not likely. If niggers successfully overthrew their owners, they'd have to sort out their own food. This is probably why nigger uprisings were nonexistent (until some fool gave them rights).

MY NIGGER BITCHES ABOUT ITS "RIGHTS" AND "RACISM".
Yeah, well, it would. Tell it to shut the fuck up.

MY NIGGER'S HIDE IS A FUNNY COLOR. - WHAT IS THE CORRECT SHADE FOR A NIGGER?
A nigger's skin is actually more or less transparent. That brown color you can see is the shit your nigger is full of. This is why some models of nigger are sold as "The Shitskin".

MY NIGGER ACTS LIKE A NIGGER, BUT IS WHITE.
What you have there is a "wigger". Rough crowd. WOW!

IS THAT LIKE AN ALBINO? ARE THEY RARE?
They're as common as dog shit and about as valuable. In fact, one of them was President between 1992 and 2000. Put your wigger in a cage with a few hundred genuine niggers and you'll soon find it stops acting like a nigger. However, leave it in the cage and let the niggers dispose of it. The best thing for any wigger is a dose of TNB.

MY NIGGER SMELLS REALLY BAD
And you were expecting what?

SHOULD I STORE MY DEAD NIGGER?
When you came in here, did you see a sign that said "Dead nigger storage"? .That's because there ain't no goddamn sign.

Re:Google did a few years ago... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29832075)

Songbird doesn't even have global hotkeys for mac or linux yet.

What about the player? (5, Interesting)

scottblascocomposer (697248) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831725)

I'd be thrilled if Google could do a music player analogue of Picasa. I've always hated iPhoto, and Picasa is great. A similar product to displace iTunes would be incredibly welcome (and yes, I've tried Songbird; maybe someday, but it's not there yet).

Re:What about the player? (1)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831767)

I absolutely love Picasa. But I am not sure here we are talking about just a desktop application. I just hope Google buys Media Monkey (one of the very few proprietary s/w I use - even in its free version, its fantastic) and get done with the desktop application part.

What is more important is the supplier aspect of this. What labels will it be? What and how much of Indie stuff? What all formats? Will it be better than Amazon in terms of content and delivery?

Re:What about the player? (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831825)

Really? I thought both were inferior to digikam. Digikam seems more built around sorting pics while iPhoto/picas seemed to be built around the camera roll theme,where pics were taken together and near the same time. I admit my experience with them isn't vast and it has been a while.

Google players will obviously be the android based phones. And the record companies have been hoping for a while to break the dominance of iTunes so they can pit distributors against each other and gain the upper hand in that dynamic again. Either way it doesn't matter as artists will eventally be able to deal with the marketplaces directly rather than through an expensive middle man once physical media is completely out.

Re:What about the player? (5, Interesting)

slifox (605302) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831851)

Music Player Daemon (mpd) has the right idea: separate the playing backend and the user interface. The result is an easily-interfaceable (many, many clients for all platforms, web, etc) and reliable player that rarely (never for me) crashes, and will continue to play even if X dies (which makes repairing X a little more enjoyable).

My favorite client is QMPDClient, which is cross-platform and has a good user interface for easily switching between the Library view (3-section Artist/Album/Songs), the Directories view (which shows the Music directory as a folder tree), and the Playlist view (for saving or loading playlists). The directory view is the big selling point for me, because I have my music folder well organized by genre, artist, album, but not necessarily well organized as far as ID3 tags go.

Here's a screenshot: http://dump.bitcheese.net/images/batidij/qmpdclient-win32.png [bitcheese.net]

It's definitely worth a try...

MPD: http://mpd.wikia.com/ [wikia.com]
QMPDClient: http://bitcheese.net/wiki/QMPDClient [bitcheese.net]
Other MPD Clients: http://mpd.wikia.com/wiki/Clients [wikia.com]

Re:What about the player? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29831931)

Also UberView is a great little piece of software that was/is a win32 app but he is now developing a cross-platform version. Nix version can act a mpd frontend. It is focused around the album covers, is small and fast and does not rely on tags in any way.

The Nix version is mentioned at the Arch forums [url]http://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=61660[/url].
Latest source is here [url]http://aur.archlinux.org/packages.php?ID=22508[/url]

Re:What about the player? (1)

Weezul (52464) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832749)

You just made my day! mpd looks awesome. Thank you :)

Re:What about the player? (0, Troll)

LordAndrewSama (1216602) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832785)

I just visited mpd.wikia.org in opera and it redirected to some zroalert.com site "Initializing virus scanner" with a little alert saying my computer was at high risk and should be scanned thoroughly. I disabled scripts and quickly closed the tab, then visited again in firefox with adblock plus and it's fine, no redirects. some malicious advertising there, maybe? anyways, just warning people.

Also, googling zroalert.com didn't find anything much, except that the domain had been registered...

Re:What about the player? (0, Troll)

jeffstar (134407) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831911)

an alternative to itunes would be great, but it would have to sync non jailbroken iphones ipod touch / whatever comes next and apple clearly doesn't want any program other than itunes doing that. see palm.

Re:What about the player? (2, Informative)

onefriedrice (1171917) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832027)

an alternative to itunes would be great, but it would have to sync non jailbroken iphones ipod touch / whatever comes next and apple clearly doesn't want any program other than itunes doing that. see palm.

Huh? I assume you're trying to reference Palm's Pre, but that whole debacle doesn't have anything to do with Apple devices syncing with non-Apple software.

Re:What about the player? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29832037)

Blackberry does fine syncing with iTunes. "See Palm" is a case study in asshattery. If Palm had used the iTunes sync APIs, or even if it just parsed the iTunes library XML, they'd be able sync without issue. Palm did it out of sloth, for publicity, and to get people like you to make comments like yours.

Ignorance and random Apple-bashing. How original.

Re:What about the player? (1)

EvilIdler (21087) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832085)

"see palm"?! Palm tried to use iTunes to sync with THEIR devices. Not make a program of their own to sync with iPods.

I'd welcome an alternative to iTunes, especially if it had the selection of iTunes, the prices of eMusic and the convenience of Amarok. They'd be better off just plugging into Amarok, really. Also strike a deal with eMusic, while they're at it. Albums are technically $6 apiece, which is better than iTunes.

whats the point? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29831731)

lame

woohoo! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29831745)

another half-assed google knockoff! fill my ass with goo, sergey and larry!

Got a pussy in my panties (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29831751)

She got a pussy in her panties
She wore a pussy thong.

Its a Fractal (4, Interesting)

NETHED (258016) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831769)

This, if true, will only hasten the divide between the two tech darlings Google and Apple.

Apple has a vested interest in maintaining their defacto monopoly on online music sales though their vertical product pipeline. The Zune is no real threat, as Microsoft does not have the mindshare. Google, with Android, have significant clout, and potentially enough mass to unseat Apple from the head of the online music sales table.

Apple has done very well with the iPhone, but if history is our guide, they did very well with the original Macintosh. Fast-forward a few years to now, and the story is being repeated. Apple is dominant with their iPhone platform, but Steve Jobs is too obsessed with removing buttons from mice to loosen his grip on the brand. This has help Apple survive, but it ultimatly leads to Apple's cyclical demise.

Anyway, Google launching a music app will cause Apple to remove Google maps, and Youtube integration from their products. In the end, Google (openness) will win over the closed Apple system. Yes, the Apple devices will be pretty, but the Google stuff will work well enough, be less expensive, and have 95%+ of market share. (Its like we've seen that before somewhere....)

Re:Its a Fractal (1)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831777)

>>... will cause Apple to remove Google maps, and Youtube integration from their products.

You are dreaming. They simply can't - even if they want to.

Re:Its a Fractal (2, Interesting)

NETHED (258016) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831809)

Why not? [google.com]

Apple and Steve Jobs historically hate being tied/dependent on anyone else.
iWork is a beautiful example of Jobs wanting to no longer have to deal with Microsoft. On paper, it makes sense, but in the cold hard truth of reality, Pages.app is no where near the sophistication of Word for Mac. But Jobs wants it to be pretty, and functional enough.
Either way, Apple hates being tied to vendors, and I see Google being divorced sooner than later.

Re:Its a Fractal (5, Insightful)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831953)

Either way, Apple hates being tied to vendors,

Which is funny to me, as they seem to have no problem tying people to them.

Re:Its a Fractal (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831811)

I think they could, given everything else they've done lately -- though I agree it would probably be devastating for the brand.

Re:Its a Fractal (1)

mikeken (907710) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831815)

I agree, too late to remove something like that, people would be so very mad.

Re:Its a Fractal (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29831817)

Macintosh market share is growing. In a recession.

Re:Its a Fractal (0)

NETHED (258016) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831833)

Replying to anonymous: Apple Macintosh was introduced in 1984, at the tail end of the 1980s recession. Apple iPhone released in 2007, in the midst of the current recession. Take that as you will

Re:Its a Fractal (4, Interesting)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832147)

Apple iPhone released in 2007, in the midst of the current recession.

The recession didn't start in 2007, it started in late 2008. For Australia the height hit in feb/mar 2009 and is practically over now.

2007 was when economies were booming.

As for you GP post I agree, it will be Apple's pathological need for control that will be its downfall, it's all happened before. Google is positioning itself to take advantage of Apple's fall, especially since most of Google's ties to Apple have been severed.

Re:Its a Fractal (5, Insightful)

GaryPatterson (852699) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831841)

Apple has done very well with the iPhone, but if history is our guide, they did very well with the original Macintosh.

Not any version of history I've seen. The Mac struggled for a while before finding a niche in desktop publishing, where it languished while PC-compatible machines caught up, overtook it and took over the world. The desktop metaphor took over the computing world, but mostly through Windows.

History is no guide, unless you believe the players have learnt nothing from it.

Steve Jobs is too obsessed with removing buttons from mice

Like many commentators, you've missed the point. He is focused on quality, and the vision he has for Apple seems to include removing anything that detracts from that goal. I can't say if he's 'obsessed' as I don't personally know the man.

Back on topic - competition is great. Now that Apple have pushed back the limits on music purchasing and pushed DRM off the table (aided greatly by Amazon), players like Google can step up and provide a music ecosystem similar to iTunes. Hopefully Google will include new features that draw users towards their product, stimulating Apple to work harder to compete.

I hope Google produce something amazing.

Re:Its a Fractal (1)

NETHED (258016) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831883)

My friend, I whole heartedly agree with you. I'm typing on a Mac, with an iPod touch charging near by, and a iPod nano somewhere in my bag. I agree that Apple products are superior to competitors for a number of reasons. I also agree that competition is needed.


All I wanted to say is that Steve Jobs' singular vision for vertical control of the market is what hurts Apple in the long run. I can't speak with any authority, but I believe that Jobs did NOT want apps to be sold for the iPhone. The way they are controlling the App Store is indicative of that. Whether that is right or wrong is not our business, its Apple's. Its their store, and they can do what ever they damn well please.


But with Android's recent improvements, and long term potential success, Apple is no longer operating within a vacuum.

Re:Its a Fractal (4, Interesting)

Saint Fnordius (456567) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832439)

I think the real reason Apple is so reluctant to allow apps on the iPhone is fear that one malicious app could destroy the ecosystem. That's why they first decided to not allow apps, at least not until they had the store set up.

I personally think Apple needs to have two delivery methods to the iPhone: the app store, where Apple can act as your gatekeeper, and through the developer environment, where you compile from source code and assume all responsibility for whatever bugs are in the software. Thus the only way to distribute outside of the app store would be to give away the source code. (The same thing goes for Android: either trust the app store tied to your phone or compile the code yourself)

Re:Its a Fractal (-1, Troll)

Taikutusu (1479335) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832465)

iPods and the like are not the best, and you're kidding yourself if you think they're anywhere close. They basically pulled off a Microsoft of their own - in the right place at the right time. They got a critical mass of brand name recognition and rode that to where they are today.

Terrible stock speakers, comparitively crappy audio decoding hardware, and tying them to annoying and crappy programs (iTunes) is just the start. "Popular" does not imply "Superior".

Re:Its a Fractal (5, Insightful)

indiechild (541156) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832881)

You're totally missing the point, and if you ever entered the portable music player business you would crash and burn horribly.

People don't want flashy gadgets with a million and one features which are hard to use. iPods took over the market because they are easy to use, and buying or managing your music is an absolute snap.

Other competitors were free to do the same, but they never did, because they think just like you do: they totally dismiss the power of usability and ease of use. Most people in the world aren't Slashdot geeks.

User interaction design and usability doesn't just apply to portable music players, it applies to just about anything you interact with in everyday life. A lot of people are so used to mediocre engineering and design that they take these frustrations for granted. Apple is a company that spends their time addressing these issues and making things easier for the user, but sadly few other companies do.

Read "The Design of Everyday Things" by Donald Norman sometime, it's a real eye opener.

Re:Its a Fractal (2, Insightful)

indiechild (541156) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832835)

I hear what you're saying, but I think Steve Jobs' benevolent dictatorship is what has made Apple so successful. If it wasn't for Jobs being a demanding tyrant, Apple products would be mediocre at best. The guy isn't exactly known for being friendly, but I admire his strive for perfection.

Jobs has outstanding business sense. If he realises something isn't working, he'll change his approach. I don't think he's particularly tied down to any particular path. That's something a lot of commentators miss. The iPhone App Store thing is a constantly evolving beast.

But yeah, competition is good. I wish Google and others all the best.

Re:Its a Fractal (1)

GoochOwnsYou (1343661) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831921)

Yes, the Apple devices will be pretty

Maybe its just personal taste but I find the HTC Magic a better looking device than the iPhone.

Seriously - is Google innovative at all? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29832015)

All this hype about omgz Google is so innovative. Let's take a step back and see what they have actually created shall we?
Search engine? There were plenty of search engines before Google came along
Android? Oh look, Apple are doing really well with phones, let's be on the cutting edge and... create a phone
Online music? Apple are doing really well with iTunes, time to be way out there, live life on the edge, and... get into online music
Google maps? Easy to use but hardly a new concept
Gmail? wow!! how imaginative - a decade after online email they blow everyones minds with, you guessed it... online email

So all you fanbois - with all the fanfare and hype - what exactly has Google really invented or developed that is so way out there? I'm not suggesting Apple invented any of those other things either, the difference is Apple + co don't go around telling everyone how they have legions of super smart uber-nerds who come up with ideas us mere mortals cannot even comprehend. So tell us - besides developing good search algorithms what exactly have these uber-nerds given us that requires such massive pools brain power?

I put forward that on an innovation per IQ point Google is perhaps the most inefficient use of intelligence ever.

Re:Seriously - is Google innovative at all? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29832119)

Search engine? There were plenty of search engines before Google came along

Except that they invented a better way of searching that allowed for real results that could not be faked by simply having great meta tags?

Android? Oh look, Apple are doing really well with phones, let's be on the cutting edge and... create a phone

Except that they created a phone with a new type of operating system, simply put a new platform to design on which people would argue is easier to develop on

Google maps? Easy to use but hardly a new concept

I don't know about you but i never get accurate anything on map quest or the like, google did a great job here. also they integrated satellite images before anyone that i can remember. on top of i haven't seen anyone else driving cars around to give a street view of the map either.

Gmail? wow!! how imaginative - a decade after online email they blow everyones minds with, you guessed it... online email

uhh, yea they did blow everyones mind with a simple way of doing email that made sense with a set of tools that makes managing your email easy. i'm finding that you have no idea what google has done

I put forward that on an innovation per IQ point Google is perhaps the most inefficient use of intelligence ever.

wow do some research next time, google designed one of the most efficient servers and OS for their search engine. also the hardware that they developed for it is of their design not someone else. i guess you have never seen how all those "IQ points" developed how they manage all their equipment which was unique and new for data centers. heres a small article on some of it http://www.engadget.com/2009/04/02/googles-data-center-secrets-revealed/

not a fan boy, i am not a "pro-google" person just someone who can't stand ignorant people. (i do not own any mac/apple or android equipment)

i suppose you sir need to learn to google.

Re:Seriously - is Google innovative at all? (4, Insightful)

tibman (623933) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832159)

I put forward that you cannot survive a year without touching/using a google technology. If you truely believe google tech is mediocre.. go a year without google search/mail/reader/youtube/maps/docs/books/code/chrome/images/news/android and of course.. no clicking google ads.

Search engine? There were plenty of search engines before Google came along

Agreed, but why did google become so popular? It was great and very minimal. We didn't want "web portals" filled with ads, news, and junk.. just a simple place to find sites from. Was that innovative? heck no.. was it very intelligent? yes.

Re:Seriously - is Google innovative at all? (1)

daveime (1253762) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832913)

We didn't want "web portals" filled with ads, news, and junk.. just a simple place to find sites from

Maybe Yahoo could learn from this.

Re:Seriously - is Google innovative at all? (1)

pudro (983817) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832573)

All this hype about omgz Google is so innovative. Let's take a step back and see what they have actually created shall we?l

...

So all you fanbois - with all the fanfare and hype - what exactly has Google really invented or developed that is so way out there?

Your problem here is clear - you don't know the difference between innovation and invention.

Re:Its a Fractal (2, Informative)

RickRussellTX (755670) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832023)

Apple has a vested interest in maintaining their defacto monopoly on online music sales though their vertical product pipeline.

Are you certifiably insane? They have no such monopoly. You can buy music all over the place, without DRM. I've been buying music on-line for years, and I think the last iTune I purchased was 2005. Heck, Amazon's downloader (native versions for Win, Mac and I think Linux) will download albums and add them to iTunes for you, utterly transparently, and they have since at least 2007, which is long time on the technology clock. In that time I've moved my entire music collection from Win, to Linux, to Mac, back to Win without so much as a blip.

Do they have a de facto monopoly on portable video solutions that actually work? I might give you that, but it's purely de facto. They aren't preventing others from entering the market or abusing market power. It's hardly Apple's fault that nobody else (except Pirate Bay) can do it correctly.

Re:Its a Fractal (3, Insightful)

Itninja (937614) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832409)

They have no such monopoly. You can buy music all over the place, without DRM.

Well, you can buy music all over the place. But for the vast, vast majority of online music buyers when they think 'I want to buy a song', they think 'iTunes'. Apple (and other independent research firms) put their online music market share at something like 80%. That's certainly not a monopoly in the legal sense, but it is in the practical sense.

Re:Its a Fractal (2, Interesting)

biovoid (785377) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832853)

That's certainly not a monopoly in the legal sense, but it is in the practical sense.

No it isn't. A monopoly in the practical sense would mean that people have no choice but Apple. In reality, they have plenty of choices. Your point is merely that people aren't aware of the alternatives, but that doesn't make it a monopoly in a legal, or practical sense.

Re:Its a Fractal (2)

Saint Fnordius (456567) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832399)

I disagree with you as far as the online music sales monopoly goes: Apple's real interest isn't in dominating the online music store business as much as it is maintaining dominance in the music player business. They want to sell iPods first, and the online store is merely an accessory. So no, I don't think Apple would retaliate by banning Google apps, especially if it could hurt sales of iPhones and iPods in any way. The music store is a valuable chess piece, but one Apple would sacrifice to protect the more important pieces on the board.

I also think Apple is aware that this dominance cannot last forever, but their long-term strategy has always been to find what tech is a great idea if it only had a polished user interface, and give it a UI that makes it suddenly cool. Google's strategy is similar, but slightly different. Google's strategy is all about developing new ways for people to find and use the information that is out there, be it web sites, books, photos or music. The difference between the two companies is that Apple is concerned about the hardware and devices, whereas Google is focussed more on the software.

Re:Its a Fractal (1)

maglor_83 (856254) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832435)

Maps they could remove and replace with their own version. Youtube they couldn't.

Re:Its a Fractal (1)

trajanus22 (1655297) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832459)

defacto monopoly on online music sales

Really? I get all my online music downloads off of Amazon. Am I the only one?

amen! lol (1, Interesting)

Weezul (52464) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832805)

Except Apple has always been fashion darling, not a tech darling. Indeed, Apple's technology is always fairly far behind, but Jobs' 1-button obsession does create fashion conscious products. Apple will always find users who'll pay more for fewer features when existing features are presented more fashionably.

I dislike the closed source culture surrounding Apple's computers and strongly dislike the iPhone's restrictions, but Apple's fashion awareness has helped many people. Just look how Apple made incremental back up fashionable. Can you imagine how much time and how many irreplaceable family photo albums that move has saved?

WSJ reports that it's NOT competition for iTunes (5, Informative)

DavidinAla (639952) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831795)

The Wall Street Journal's story says that the plan will allow people to buy FROM iTunes and Amazon. According to this version, Google is just providing a link to the music providers when it comes to the purchase. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704597704574487423504899680.html [wsj.com] If you're not a WSJ subscriber, copy the first sentence of the article and Google it. The link from there will allow you to read the whole thing.

Re:WSJ reports that it's NOT competition for iTune (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29831915)

Are you suggesting sanzenpuss got the headline wrong? Where do you think you are?

Re:WSJ reports that it's NOT competition for iTune (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29832095)

I welcome any alternative to the iTunes Store interface. Considering that Apple prides itself on its intelligent and intuitive user interfaces, the iTunes Store boggles my mind. I gave my father a gift certificate to buy some songs for his iPod, but he got frustrated quickly and handed the controls over to me. After a few minutes of navigating the slow, labyrinthine interface myself, I threw in the towel and got the songs he wanted through other channels. If not for the luxury of being so tightly integrated with the hardware and iTunes itself, I doubt Apple could get away with pushing something so clunky. Hopefully, Google can remedy that.

Re:WSJ reports that it's NOT competition for iTune (1)

indiechild (541156) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832887)

Huh? Granted, iTunes Store can be slow at times, but I think it's easy enough to use.

What specific usability problems did you run into?

Re:WSJ reports that it's NOT competition for iTune (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29832677)

Google going to resell music. Woohoo. Another intermediary to burn money. Another link in the "Songwriter > Musician > Label > Wholesale > Itunes > A dozen resellers > Customer" chain that inflates prices.

Re:WSJ reports that it's NOT competition for iTune (-1, Offtopic)

linahnyi (1661969) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832857)

http://www.uggboots-space.com/ [uggboots-space.com] ugg boots

iTunes? (0, Flamebait)

DogDude (805747) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831797)

If this means a Google version of a crappy, bloated, needlessly complex music player, then good.

If this means a Google version of an overpriced digital music store that sells digital copies of songs that are only good enough to listen to on poor quality mp3 players, then good.

Why Apple decided to use the same name for both a software application and an e-commerce site is beyond me. Regardless, I'd love to see something better than both.

Re:iTunes? (1)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832415)

Why Apple decided to use the same name for both a software application and an e-commerce site is beyond me

So that average people would equate the music player with the music store (with the protable music player tied to them).

Antitrust (0, Troll)

iamacat (583406) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831799)

As a dominant content company Google must not be allowed to use it's search results to promote it's product offerings. They better have ironclad separation between the divisions.

Re:Antitrust (3, Informative)

madpansy (1410973) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831905)

Unless Google abuses its dominant market position through anti-competitive actions, they should be allowed to do whatever they please. Antitrust laws protect the consumer from companies that abuse a monopoly position. Merely having a monopoly is not illegal.

Re:Antitrust (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831945)

Abusing their search monopoly to push into other areas could be. But given that often google services aren't the first link from google searches for them I would be a bit surprised.

Re:Antitrust (3, Insightful)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832463)

The first link (sponsored) on the search page for "web browser" is "Try Google's New Browser." The first link (non-sponsored) on the search page for "photo manager" is "Picasa 3: Free download from Google."

  • "Maps" -> Google Maps (sponsored and not)
  • "Documents" -> "Google Docs" (not sponsored)
  • "Videos" -> "Google Videos" + "YouTube" (not sponsored)
  • "e-mail" -> "Free Email from Google" (Sponsored)
  • "Blogs" -> "Blogger" (non-sponsored)
  • "Desktop search" -> "Google Desktop Search" (non-sponsored)

I'm sure there are many more, and I'm kind of disturbed. I think that the sponsored links are probably more dangerous for Google than the non-sponsored ones as long as the algorithm used to decide the non-sposored links is fair.

No matter what, these results sure show the dominance of Google.

Re:Antitrust (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29832589)

Meh, look at bing's results:
web browser: sponsored link is IE8, actual search results are wikipedia, firefox, opera, chrome (google's results: firefox, opera, chrome, chrome sponsored)
Photo manager: no ads, then photo manager 2010, acdsee, then picasa. Google's results: picasa, acdsee, something else, then photo manager 2010
maps: a bing/microsoft virtual earth map, sponsored by smartdraw.com. Actual results: maps.google.com, mapquest.com, maps.yahoo.com Google's results: same (sponsored by google maps)
Documents: docs.google.com, sponsored by bing cashback. Google's results: docs.google.com sponsored by docs.google.com
Videos: video.google.com, break.com, youtube.com Google's results: video.google.com, youtube.com, metacafe.com
e-mail: yahoo, wikipedia, email.com, live hotmail, mail2web, gmail (sponsored by hotmail). Google's results: yahoo, gmail, hotmail, mail.com, wikipedia, mail2web. Sponsored by gmail.
blogs: wikipedia, blogs.com, blogsearch, official google blog, blogs.myspace, whitehouse blog. Google's results: Blogger, wikipedia, blogspot, official google blog, blogsearch, technorati, blogs.com (sponsored by blogger)
Desktop search: Windows Desktop Search, wikipedia, google desktop (sponsored by microsoft enterprise search). Google's results: google desktop, windows desktop search, wikipedia. Sponsored by google search appliance.
Photos (not photo manager): photos.com, flickr, photo.net, photobucket. Sponsored by google image search. Google's results: flickr, photobucket, photos.com, map results for photos, picasa. Sponsored by the Life Photo Archive hosted by Google.

So let's see..
Web browser: similar results with a different sponsor.
Photo manager: Different ordering of the top four, but picasa's in it. Gets much better positioning on google though, but that could be selection bias (people who use picasa also use google?)
Maps: Both prefer google maps over mapquest over yahoo, sponsors are different.
Documents: Both prefer docs.google.com, sponsors are different.
Videos: Both have video.google.com and youtube.com in the top three.
e-mail: both prefer yahoo, gmail is 6th on Bing and second on google. Sponsors are the respective mail service from each company.
blogs: Probably the most disparity here. I'm very amused that the official google blog is as high as it is :)
Desktop search: google desktop and windows desktop search are in the top three. Sponsors aren't even related to the individual products really (they integrate with them, but aren't for the products themselves)
Photos (a more likely search): picasa isn't in Bing's top 5 (but is sponsored by google image search, which isn't related to picasa). Picasa's pretty far down in Google's results too.

I don't see this as a problem. I don't see any significant gaming of the search results in Google's favor, honestly.

Re:Antitrust (1)

daveime (1253762) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832921)

A company that advertises it's own products ? What a bunch of bastards !

Re:Antitrust (2, Informative)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832153)

Unless Google abuses its dominant market position through anti-competitive actions, they should be allowed to do whatever they please.

Exactly, Google attained it's search monopoly naturally. Natural monopolies occur when there is no competition or one product is so superior that other competitors cannot come close to matching it. This is what happened with Google but they should still be monitored for abuse. Thus far google has maintained it's dominant market position naturally.

Re:Antitrust (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29831941)

Just like Apple's music player and their distribution channel?

Re:Antitrust (2, Informative)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832493)

Its all ok to be dominant in a market. Whats not legal is to use it to squash competition like Microsoft does. In short, actions that promote a monopoly is ok, actions that denote competition isnt. If Google would stop indexing competitors services, refuse to run their ads or make sure their browser wouldnt work with Googles services then it would be illegal. Google has a really long way to go before they are even near average market etics and even longer path to become as evil as Microsoft is.

It's a music search feature (5, Interesting)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831813)

According to TechCrunch, it's a music search [techcrunch.com] with the option to do limited streaming. So you can search for music, preview them, then either use those services to buy or use iTunes/Amazon to buy it.

Re:It's a music search feature (1)

zenslug (542549) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831891)

From what I understand, Amazon and iTunes are not purchasing options. I could be wrong.

eh.... (5, Funny)

djupedal (584558) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831839)

> "According to people familiar with the matter"

Which in today's terms means 'we made this whole thing up' just to fill a gap in the so-called news...

Re:eh.... (1)

lsllll (830002) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832379)

Which in today's terms means 'we made this whole thing up' just to fill a gap in the so-called news...

Not necessarily. The stars are aligned for this to happen. Look at these points:

1. Most iPods and iPhones are used by Windows users. You can deduce this by the sheer number of Windows machines over Macs.
2. Most users of iTunes have a love/hate relationship, specially those on Windows. (Ok. Maybe most hate it, except the Mac users) I have never seen such popular software remove the user SO MUST from the hardware it enables the user to use.
3. Google has the cash to undermine/underbid the iTunes store prices. Hell, they might even subsidize the cost of the media at the beginning, like they do everything else (note: They give everything away for free)
4. Google has the clout to convince record companies that this/competition will be a good thing.

All I can say is "About fucking time."

Lala (2, Interesting)

BlueBoxSW.com (745855) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831843)

I hope it's not a crappy knock-off, like when they launched Google Video.

Even the goodwill of their name couldn't save that horrible site.

No wonder a couple months later they bought YouTube.

This time maybe they'll buy Lala.com.

If you want a good browser-based iTunes store, that's it.
 

No (2, Interesting)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831899)

Is Google about to go head to head with iTunes? No, but they are about to go head-to-head with Amazon.

Re:No (1)

madpansy (1410973) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832265)

Lest we forget, Amazon started out as an online book retailer. Over the years they've built up a huge and incredibly efficient warehouse infrastructure and are now the largest online retailer, carrying much more than just books and mp3s.

Having said that, it does seem like Amazon is being attacked on all fronts. In digital music they have to compete with Apple and soon Google. I'm not sure whether Google wants to get into selling e-books, but with their planned store of out-of-print material, they will have the infrastructure to do so. And in the retail sector, among others like Target and Barnes & Noble, Wal-Mart is already a behemoth in meatspace. It's possible that they can take Amazon's top spot in online retail.

A little sample of what's to come (5, Interesting)

clem (5683) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831947)

Google audio (BETA)

Lyric Search: Carry a laser down the road that I must travel

Did you mean: Kyrie eleison down the road that I must travel?

Re:A little sample of what's to come (1)

rhenley (1194451) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832055)

Lyric Search: Excuse me while I kiss this guy

Did you mean: "I Want Your Sex" by George Michael?

Re:A little sample of what's to come (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29832285)

Lyric Search: This song blows but'll still make millions.

Did you mean: Nickleback?

Re:A little sample of what's to come (1)

Fengpost (907072) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832919)

Lyric Search: I see a bathroom on the right

10 cents a song and I'm there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29831973)

10 cents a song and I'm there.

Anything more than that, I'm not there, as it makes no sense to charge more than that for a song in an inferior format (compared to CD) such as .mp3.

Ah well, until the online music vendors come to their senses, there's always "free" P2P sites like Skull&Crossbones Harbor, and the like.

Why audio? (1, Interesting)

MahariBalzitch (902744) | more than 4 years ago | (#29831997)

Why doesn't Google stop delving into all these other markets and just stick to what it knows?: SEARCH. I can just see the day in the near future that Google is disliked as much as Microsoft because it was being a monopoly. Good things never last unfortunately...

Re:Why audio? (1)

The MESMERIC (766636) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832039)

What would you do if you had 1 billion dollar on your bank account, and a fair amount of free time.

... Exactly.

Re:Why audio? (1)

MahariBalzitch (902744) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832081)

Good point. People with money do whatever they want, whether they should or not.

Re:Why audio? (3, Funny)

dougisfunny (1200171) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832343)

The same thing we do every night Pinky, try to take over the world!

Re:Why audio? (1)

GoochOwnsYou (1343661) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832069)

Did you the same thing to Apple when they got into the music business? or in the phone business?

Android has alot of potential, ChromeOS I am yet to be sold on the idea of cloud based desktops but time will tell. Lets not forget Apple made computers and operating systems. What are they doing in the music business? Or the Phone business? Because there is a market there. Do you really think Apple is entitled to a monopoly?

Re:Why audio? (1)

Techman83 (949264) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832407)

Diversification makes sense in a business, it means if one section is doing poorly, the other sections can keep the business afloat.

Re:Why audio? (1)

Itninja (937614) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832419)

Yeah! Why doesn't AT&T stick to telephones and telegraphs? And who the hell does Yamaha think it is making industrial robots and motorcycles? Stick to musical instruments guys! Sheesh!

Re:Why audio? (2)

Saint Fnordius (456567) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832471)

If you think about it and read the reports, it seems as if this is exactly what Google is doing: sticking to search. The difference is that this time it's about searching for songs to download and/or purchase.

What's with the tags? (2, Insightful)

Nebulious (1241096) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832071)

A story is posted about Google apparently engaging in some healthy (and frankly long needed) competition against Apple/Amazon, and the tags we get are 'donoevil,' 'queuethefanbois,' and 'fuckgoogle.' At least someone came along and put a ! in front of the last one but the tag being there at all is an artifact of seriously unconstructive vitriol. This is a story about Google expanding into new markets, not about Google doing anything wrong. These tags must be here accidentally at best and as flamebait at the worst.

Re:What's with the tags? (1)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832333)

And in other news, you *are* really new here.

Re:What's with the tags? (2, Insightful)

PReDiToR (687141) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832347)

So on top of knowing the contents of your email, the names of people you talk to, your voice print, your credit card details, your bank numbers, your search history and your reading preferences, where you live, your IP address, photos of you, your friends family and pets, and how technologically inclined you are ... Now you want them to know what kind of music you like too!

Wait, that came out wrong, I was just watching that horse running off down my garden and thinking about a door that I could do to go and lock.

It isn't about them doing something wrong per se, it is about them being so far reaching in their ability to data mine each and every person that uses their services.

Think what would happen if Microsoft bought them out because they got bored of playing internet billionaires? Or if the government decided that they were a threat to security and absorbed them into itself for our protection. Some thoughts just aren't pretty and that is why some people tag "fuckgoogle".

What's worse is that if you don't voluntarily hand over all this information you are in the minority (or soon will be) and that itself will mark you as a person of interest.

iTunes store? (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832255)

I doubt I'd buy music from them any more than I would from the iTunes store... but if they are going to come out with some music and media management software to compete with the iTune software, I'd be very interested. Every one I've tried, ESPECIALLY iTunes, has been crap... so I'm still organizing all my music in standard file directories and text editing playlists in notepad.

My second thought is... surely Google would be more receptive to indie and non-professional artists?

Been doing it for years in China already (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29832363)

Google's been doing this in China for a couple of years already www.google.cn/music [google.cn] . It's ad-supported and provides completely free mp3 downloads and streaming, without DRM and with scrolling lyrics sync'ed to fast-forward and rewind and fully licensed content from all the big four record companies (including both Chinese and Western artists). It's pretty much exactly what you'd want in an online music service. It's also IP-blocked unless you're in China.

Is it the music or the player? (1)

Whiteox (919863) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832501)

The trouble with iTunes as a front end is that it is designed to be half the ui of an ipod. A lot of non-ipod iTunes users, use it to sort, catalog and play their libraries and it does an excellent job at that. Try and export to a non-Apple media player and you get problems as it stuffs up the filenames.

The problem with iPods, is that you need iTunes to sync/delete/add stuff.
So if Google or whomever would come up with an iTunes like front-end with decent performance and could make it equally good at consolidating media, you'll have a VLC like multimedia player that can sort, convert, catalog, backup, share, stream, import and export with installable codecs and plugins then count me in.

Spotify not ITunes will be the big competitor (4, Insightful)

orbitalia (470425) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832551)

Here in Sweden 1 in 5 of the population has a Spotify account. I think Google would do themselves a service by coughing up a huge sum of money and buying Spotify which already has pretty much all music you would want, android, ipod, apple, pc applications, high quality ogg vorbis streams and a very loyal user base.

Spotify is the next big thing, the US just hasn't seen it yet, their business model is great, and their software works really well.

Spotify may not be for sale, but Google has deep pockets and a link up would knock out MS and Apple easily I think.

Its the start of a new way to sell Android Apps (1)

phonewebcam (446772) | more than 4 years ago | (#29832829)

Lets face it - the Android Market mechanism itself sucks. If they were gonna do a desktop buy-n-sync system, the iTunes model is the one to follow. Looks like they are just following Apples pattern.

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