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172 comments

Wow (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38727418)

What a bunch of niggers. They're worse than microsoft.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38727472)

Thanks for your correct use of "they're", at least.

Re:Wow (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38727660)

He also correctly used niggers and microsoft.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38727948)

Yes, but is "bunch" the correct collective ?

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38728602)

And he properly used than rather than then.

Re:Wow (-1, Offtopic)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38727844)

White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack
By Peggy McIntosh

This article is now considered a `classic' by anti-racist educators. It has been used in workshops and
classes throughout the United States and Canada for many years. While people of color have described
for years how whites benefit from unearned privileges, this is one of the first articles written by a white
person on the topics.

It is suggested that participants read the article and discuss it. Participants can then write a list
of additional ways in which whites are privileged in their own school and community setting. Or
participants can be asked to keep a diary for the following week of white privilege that they notice (and in
some cases challenge) in their daily lives. These can be shared and discussed the following week.
Through work to bring materials from Women's Studies into the rest of the curriculum, I have
often noticed men's unwillingness to grant that they are over privileged, even though they may grant that
women are disadvantaged. They may say they will work to improve women's status, in the society, the
university, or the curriculum, but they can't or won't support the idea of lessening men's. Denials, which
amount to taboos, surround the subject of advantages, which men gain from women's disadvantages.
These denials protect male privilege from being fully acknowledged, lessened or ended.
Thinking through unacknowledged male privilege as a phenomenon, I realized that since
hierarchies in our society are interlocking, there was most likely a phenomenon of white privilege,
which was similarly denied and protected. As a white person, I realized I had been taught about
racism as something which puts others at a disadvantage, but had been taught not to see one of its
corollary aspects, white privilege which puts me at an advantage.

I think whites are carefully taught not to recognize white privilege, as males are taught not to
recognize male privilege. So I have begun in an untutored way to ask what it is like to have white
privilege. I have come to see white privilege as an invisible package of unearned assets which I can
count on cashing in each day, but about which I was `meant' to remain oblivious. White privilege is
like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes,
tools and blank checks.

Describing white privilege makes one newly accountable. As we in Women's Studies work to
reveal male privilege and ask men to give up some of their power, so one who writes about having white
privilege must ask, " Having described it what will I do to lessen or end it?"

After I realized the extent to which men work from a base of unacknowledged privilege, I
understood that much of their oppressiveness was unconscious. Then I remembered the frequent charges
from women of color that white women whom they encounter are oppressive. I began to understand why
we are justly seen as oppressive, even when we don't see ourselves that way. I began to count the ways
in which I enjoy unearned skin privilege and have been conditioned into oblivion about its existence.

My schooling gave me no training in seeing myself as an oppressor, as an unfairly advantaged
person or as a participant in a damaged culture. I was taught to see myself as an individual whose moral
state depended on her individual moral will. My schooling followed the pattern my colleague Elizabeth
Minnich has pointed out: whites are taught to think of their lives as morally neutral, normative, and
average, and also ideal, so that when we work to benefit others, this is seen as work which will allow
"them" to be more like "us."
I decided to try to work on myself at least by identifying some of the daily effects of white
privilege on my life. I have chosen those conditions which I think in my case attach somewhat more to
skin-color privilege than to class, religion, ethnic status, or geographical location, though of course all
these other factors are intricately intertwined. As far as I can see, my African American co-workers,
friends and acquaintances with whom I come into daily or frequent contact in this particular time, place
and line of work cannot count on most of these conditions.

1. I can if I wish arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time.

2. If I should need to move, I can be pretty sure of renting or purchasing housing in an area, which I can
afford and in which I would want to live.

3. I can be pretty sure that my neighbors in such a location will be neutral or pleasant to me.

4. I can go shopping alone most of the time, pretty well assured that I will not be followed or harassed.

5. I can turn on the television or open to the front page of the paper and see people of my race widely
represented.

6. When I am told about our national heritage or about "civilization," I am shown that people of my
color made it what it is.

7. I can be sure that my children will be given curricular materials that testify to the existence of their
race.

8. If I want to, I can be pretty sure of finding a publisher for this piece on white privilege.

9. I can go into a music shop and count on finding the music of my race represented, into a supermarket
and find the staple foods which fit with my cultural traditions, into a hairdresser's shop and find someone
who can cut my hair.

10. Whether I use checks, credit cards or cash, I can count on my skin color not to work against the
appearance of my financial reliability.

11. I can arrange to protect my children most of the time from people who might not like them.

12. I can swear, or dress in second hand clothes, or not answer letters, without having people attribute
these choices to the bad morals, the poverty, or the illiteracy of my race.

13. I can speak in public to a powerful male group without putting my race on trial.

14. I can do well in a challenging situation without being called a credit to my race.

15. I am never asked to speak for all the people of my racial group.

16. I can remain oblivious of the language and customs of persons of color who constitute the world's
majority without feeling in my culture any penalty for such oblivion.

17. I can criticize our government and talk about how much I fear its policies and behavior without being
seen as a cultural outsider.

18. I can be pretty sure that if I ask to talk to "the person in charge," I will be facing a person of my race.

19. If a traffic cop pulls me over or if the IRS audits my tax return, I can be sure I haven't been singled
out because of my race.

20. I can easily buy posters, post-cards, picture books, greeting cards, dolls, toys, and children's
magazines featuring people of my race.

21. I can go home from most meetings of organizations I belong to feeling somewhat tied in, rather than
isolated, out-of-place, outnumbered, unheard, held at a distance, or feared.

22. I can take a job with an affirmative action employer without having coworkers on the job suspect that
I got it because of race.

23. I can choose public accommodation without fearing that people of my race cannot get in or will be
mistreated in the place I have chosen.

24. I can be sure that if I need legal or medical help my race will not work against me.

25. If my day, week or year is going badly, I need not ask of each negative episode or situation whether it
has racial overtones.

26. I can choose blemish cover or bandages in "flesh" color and have them more or less match my skin.

I repeatedly forgot each of the realizations on this list until I wrote it down. For me white
privilege has turned out to be an elusive and fugitive subject. The pressure to avoid it is great, for in
facing it I must give up the myth of meritocracy. If these things are true, this is not such a free country;
one's life is not what one makes it; many doors open for certain people through no virtues of their own.
In unpacking this invisible backpack of white privilege, I have listed conditions of daily
experience which I once took for granted. Nor did I think of any of these perquisites as bad for the
holder. I now think that we need a more finely differentiated taxonomy of privilege, for some these
varieties are only what one would want for everyone in a just society, and others give license to be
ignorant, oblivious, arrogant and destructive.

I see a pattern running through the matrix of white privilege, a pattern of assumptions which were
passed on to me as a white person. There was one main piece of cultural turf; it was my own turf,
and I was among those who could control the turf. My skin color was an asset for any move I was educated
to want to make. I could think of myself as belonging in major ways,
and of making social systems work for me. I could freely disparage, fear, neglect, or be oblivious to anything
outside of the dominant cultural
forms. Being of the main culture, I could also criticize it fairly freely.

In proportion as my racial group was being confident, comfortable, and oblivious, other groups
were likely being made unconfident, uncomfortable, and alienated. whiteness protected me from many
kinds of hostility, distress, and violence, which I was being subtly trained to visit in turn upon people of
color.

For this reason, the word "privilege" now seems to be misleading. We usually think of privilege
as being a favored state, whether earned or conferred by birth or luck. Yet some of the conditions I have
described here work to systematically over empower certain groups. Such privilege simply confers
dominance because of one's race or sex.

I want, then, to distinguish between earned strength and unearned power conferred
systematically. Power from unearned privilege can look like strength when it is in fact permission to
escape or to dominate. But not all of the privileges on my list are inevitably damaging. Some, like the
expectation that neighbors will be decent to you, or that your race will not count against you in court,
should be the norm in a just society. Others, like the privilege to ignore less powerful people, distort the
humanity of the holders as well as the ignored groups.
We might at least start by distinguishing between positive advantages which we can work to
spread, and negative types of advantages which unless rejected will always reinforce our present
hierarchies. For example, the feeling that one belongs within the human circle, as Native Americans say,
should not be seen as a privilege for a few. Ideally it is an unearned entitlement. At present, since only a
few have it, it is an unearned advantage for them. This paper results from a process of coming to see that
some of the power which I originally saw as attendant on being a human being in the U.S. consisted in
unearned advantage and conferred dominance.
I have met very few men who are truly distressed about systemic, unearned male advantage and
conferred dominance. And so one question for me and others like me is whether we will be like them or
whether we will get truly distressed, even outraged about unearned race advantage and conferred
dominance and if so, what will we do to lessen them. In any case, we need to do more work in
identifying how they actually affect our daily lives. Many, perhaps most of our white students in the U.S.
think that racism doesn't affect them because they are not people of color, they do not see "whiteness" as
a racial identity. In addition, since race and sex are not the only advantaging systems at work, we need
similarly to examine the daily experience of having age advantage, or ethnic advantage, or physical
ability, or advantage related to nationality, religion or sexual orientation.

Difficulties and dangers surrounding the task of finding parallels are many. Since racism, sexism
and heterosexism are not the same, the advantaging associated with them should not be seen as the same.
In addition, it is hard to disentangle aspects of unearned advantage which rest more on social class,
economic class, race, religion, sex and ethnic identity than on other factors. Still, all of the oppressions
are interlocking, as the Combahee River Collective Statement of 1977 continues to remind us eloquently.

One factor seems clear about all of the interlocking oppressions. They take both active forms
which we can see and embedded forms which as a member of the dominant group one is not taught to see.
In my class and place, I did not see myself as a racist because I was taught to recognize racism only in
individual acts of meanness by members of my group, never in the invisible systems conferring unsought
racial dominance on my group from birth.

Disapproving of the systems won't be enough to change them. I was taught to think that racism
could end if white individuals changed their attitudes. (But) a "white" skin in the United States opens
many doors for whites whether or not we approve of the way dominance has been conferred on us.
Individual acts can palliate, but cannot end, these problems.
To redesign social systems we need first to acknowledge their colossal unseen dimensions. The
silences and denials surrounding privilege are the key political tool here. They keep the thinking about
equality or equity incomplete, protecting unearned advantage and conferred dominance by making these aboo subjects.

Most talk by whites about equal opportunity seems to me now to be about equal
opportunity to try to get into a position of dominance while denying that systems of dominance exist.
It seems to me that obliviousness about white advantage, like obliviousness about male
advantage, is kept strongly inculturated in the United States so as to maintain the myth of meritocracy, the
myth that democratic choice is equally available to all. Keeping most people unaware that freedom of
confident action is there for just a small number of people props up those in power, and serves to keep
power in the hands of the same groups that have most of it already.

Though systemic change takes many decades there are pressing questions for me and I imagine
for some others like me if we raise our daily consciousness on the perquisites of being light-skinned.

What will we do with such knowledge? As we know from watching men, it is an open question whether
we will choose to use unearned advantage to weaken hidden systems of advantage and whether we will
use any of our arbitrarily-awarded power to reconstruct power systems on a broader base.

Peggy McIntosh is Associate Director of the Wellesley College Center for Research for Women.

Reprinted by permission of the author. This essay is excerpted from her working paper. "White Privilege
and Male Privilege: A Personal Account of Coming to See Correspondences Through Work in Women's
Studies."

Copyright 1988 by Peggy McIntosh. Available for $6.00 from the address below. The paper includes a
longer list of privileges. Permission to excerpt or reprint must be obtained from Peggy McIntosh,
Wellesley College Center for Research on Women, Wellesley, MA 02181 Ph: 781 283-2520 Fax: 781
283-2504.

Re:Wow (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38728544)

Ok then.

They may say they will work to improve women's status, in the society, the university, or the curriculum, but they can't or won't support the idea of lessening men's.

You see the same BS about poverty. It's some kind of jealous hatred that makes you want to bring the other guy down instead of elevating yourself. Tell me something. If you want to do something about poverty and you notice a middle-class family and a very poor family, will you reduce poverty by turning the middle-class family into a poor family? No, because now you have two families in poverty. If you want to reduce poverty you aid the impoverished family.

If blacks or women or whatever feel disempowered you fix that by teaching them how to assert their power, not by taking power away from somebody else. What you want to do here is like fixing your car by breaking your neighbor's. It's childish jealousy.

1. I can if I wish arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time.

First off do you think people should be forced to associate with someone they don't want to be around? You think that is a free country? Oh I get it, they don't agree with you and instead of convincing them you want to use force to make them do something they don't want to do. That makes YOU an oppressor. Just because you think you have a great cause doesn't make you less of a hypocrite.

For another ... various integration and diversity efforts mean an all-white crowd is pretty hard to find in any workplace, college, or other institution.

2. If I should need to move, I can be pretty sure of renting or purchasing housing in an area, which I can afford and in which I would want to live.

3. I can be pretty sure that my neighbors in such a location will be neutral or pleasant to me.

4. I can go shopping alone most of the time, pretty well assured that I will not be followed or harassed.

It's just a fact blacks and hispanics really do commit more crimes per capita than whites and asians. Some perceptions are fantasy and prejudice. This one is grounded in reality. See the color of crime [colorofcrime.com]. You really think that as a group people can wreak more havoc than others and never have anybody think worse of them? Sorry but it does not work that way. Truth is tho that if you are black and try to better yourself, dress decently, speak decent English as taught by any public school, and have a legitimate job most whites will welcome you. On the other hand if you work hard to act, speak, and dress in saggy pants like a "thug gangsta" criminal because you think that's cool, don't be surprised if you are treated like one. This isn't a white-black thing. Whites who look like criminal biker gang members aren't welcomed with open arms either.

5. I can turn on the television or open to the front page of the paper and see people of my race widely represented.

Funny you mention that! Blacks are about 13% of the US population. They appear in easily over 50% of commercials and print advertisements. Not only are they represented, they are over-represented with respect to their percentage of population. You have no point here.

6. When I am told about our national heritage or about "civilization," I am shown that people of my color made it what it is.

Blacks helped to make black life what it is. You see Africa was a very terribly dangerous place for a white man to tread back in the Triangular Trade days. The natives knew the land and defended it fiercely. Slavery simply would not have been possible without Africans who kidnapped other Africans and sold them to the white man as slaves. And I am sorry but unless you really like primitive tribes what civilization have blacks created?

7. I can be sure that my children will be given curricular materials that testify to the existence of their race.

Was somebody denying that the black race exists? Name that person.

8. If I want to, I can be pretty sure of finding a publisher for this piece on white privilege.

Yes, you can. Easily in fact. Guilty self-loathing whites are in vogue and have been for a while. What you cannot find a publisher for is a book criticizing any non-White race. Nobody would touch that one.

9. I can go into a music shop and count on finding the music of my race represented, into a supermarket and find the staple foods which fit with my cultural traditions, into a hairdresser's shop and find someone who can cut my hair.

Are you seriously suggesting you could walk to a music shop and not see tons of rap, hip-hop, R&B, blues, and reggae? Have you ever seen a supermarket that didn't sell fried chicken, watermelon, collard greens, chitterlings, and the like? Did you ever see a hairdresser with a big sign saying "we cannot serve blacks?" If so provide the address.

10. Whether I use checks, credit cards or cash, I can count on my skin color not to work against the appearance of my financial reliability.

You know what really helps with that? Paying your bills on time and maintaining a good credit report. If you can do that the banks don't care what color you are. The only color they care about is green. I am sorry that so many blacks have bad credit but that is not because they are black, it is because they don't pay up on time. I assure you that white people who don't pay bills on time also have terrible credit. We don't get a special pass.

11. I can arrange to protect my children most of the time from people who might not like them.

Explain that to parents of white nerds, geeks and other social outcasts. You think white kids never get menaced by bullies at school? Think they never have peer pressure? Fucking absurd.

12. I can swear, or dress in second hand clothes, or not answer letters, without having people attribute these choices to the bad morals, the poverty, or the illiteracy of my race.

I know if my race had severe problems with poverty and illiteracy I would be out there trying to do something about it. If I couldn't be bothered to be part of the solution I definitely wouldn't complain when this hurts the perception. I sure as hell wouldn't sit there and whine about it.

13. I can speak in public to a powerful male group without putting my race on trial. 14. I can do well in a challenging situation without being called a credit to my race. 15. I am never asked to speak for all the people of my racial group.

I have never asked one person to represent an entire group of millions of people. Most people know that is unreasonable. You don't?

16. I can remain oblivious of the language and customs of persons of color who constitute the world's majority without feeling in my culture any penalty for such oblivion.

It depends. If I went to a mostly black nation like Haiti then I would expect to learn their customs and maybe their language too. But then I wouldn't go to France without learning a bit about the French. I don't see what skin color has to do with it.

17. I can criticize our government and talk about how much I fear its policies and behavior without being seen as a cultural outsider.

Anybody who does not worship the mainstream is a cultural outsider. Again it has nothing to do with color. It has to do with the only way anything ever changes - because of people who could question the status quo.

18. I can be pretty sure that if I ask to talk to "the person in charge," I will be facing a person of my race.

Do you care what color they are? Are you saying a black person in charge is better and does a better job than a white person in charge? That is racist. Are you saying a black person in charge will give you a special break because you are also black? If you are equal why should you need that?

19. If a traffic cop pulls me over or if the IRS audits my tax return, I can be sure I haven't been singled out because of my race.

Chances are you were singled out because you drove illegally or because there is something wrong with your return. And do tell me, how does the IRS know what color you are? I am not asked for my race when I file my return.

20. I can easily buy posters, post-cards, picture books, greeting cards, dolls, toys, and children's magazines featuring people of my race.

If there is a market for these things do you think some company will say "gee we could make a lot of money selling to this market but we don't really wanna do that?!" If there is not a market for these things do you expect a for-profit company to be your personal charity?

21. I can go home from most meetings of organizations I belong to feeling somewhat tied in, rather than isolated, out-of-place, outnumbered, unheard, held at a distance, or feared.

You think white people feel that way? Sure, the 1% who are wealthy and powerful and get what they want might feel that way. Trust me, average Joes who happen to be white don't feel any more in control of things than people who have a permanent tan.

22. I can take a job with an affirmative action employer without having coworkers on the job suspect that I got it because of race.

Anybody who understands what affirmative action IS understands why that's silly. Affirmative action is precisely that -- giving people jobs because they are a certain race. It is by nature a racist policy. The only way to end that "suspicion" is to go back to choosing candidates based on who is best for the job. If a black person is the best for the job then I want to hire that person because I want to make money. If a white person is best for the job then I don't want to hire some second-rate employee for racist reasons who will make me less money just to kiss the ass of some politically correct weenies.

23. I can choose public accommodation without fearing that people of my race cannot get in or will be mistreated in the place I have chosen.

What sort of accommodation?

24. I can be sure that if I need legal or medical help my race will not work against me.

What hospital is allowed to turn away patients in need of emergency care? Answer: none. What trial lawyer wouldn't LOVE the publicity from a good discrimination case that he knows the media will eat up?

25. If my day, week or year is going badly, I need not ask of each negative episode or situation whether it has racial overtones.

If you see the world as one big question of race then that's YOUR obsession. It sure is childish to blame somebody else for that.

26. I can choose blemish cover or bandages in "flesh" color and have them more or less match my skin.

Is this really a big deal? Or, when you have an injury, your foremost concern is cosmetic and not medical? The only people who care about this are people as obsessed with skin color as you are. Everybody else says "man that cut must have hurt, hope he heals quickly." Again if there is a market and profit to be made from multicolor bandages someone will capitalize on it. If not, they won't.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38728900)

Peggy McIntosh is a racist, but not for the reasons that she thinks. I post this anonymously because I don't have the "racial privilege" of criticizing openly racist articles like this without fear of reprisal.

Re:Wow (0, Troll)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38727920)

WARNING: Anonymous Coward is a known paid shill! The above post was almost certainly funded by the GNAA as part of their smear campaign against Apple and Microsoft.

Re:Wow (1)

ilguido (1704434) | more than 2 years ago | (#38728270)

AC are not paid shills because AC never get the mod points needed by the true shills to mod themselves up. Moreover AC post start with zero points against regular users' one point (or two).

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38728876)

Somebody uprated this as informative? Really?

I'm Techguys mom (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38727468)

And I had to kick him off the computer before he shills for Samsung.

Re:I'm Techguys mom (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38727502)

More like before he criticises Apple, has a go at Samsung and Google and then mentions how Microsoft are so much better.

Re:I'm Techguys mom (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38727510)

Wow! That must be one sore butt you have there. U MAD BRO?

Orchestrated trolling campaign on Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38727586)

GreatBunzinni [slashdot.org] has been posting anonymous accusations [slashdot.org] listing a whole bunch of people as being part of some marketing campaign for Microsoft. He has accidentally outed himself [slashdot.org] as this anonymous poster, and half the accounts he lists don't even post pro-Microsoft rhetoric. In fact, the theme of the accounts seems to be that they have been critical of Google at some point in the past.

That's not the problem. The problem is that moderators gave him +5 Informative and are regularly modding down these people, even for legitimate posts. Metamoderation is supposed to address this problem and filter out the bad moderators, but clearly it's not working.

This "shill" crap that has been flying around lately has to stop It's restricting certain viewpoints from participating on the site and creating an echo chamber.

Re:Orchestrated trolling campaign on Slashdot (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#38727646)

I'm sorry, a paid position is not a valid viewpoint, and has no business on here. Go buy some ad space on TV.

Re:Orchestrated trolling campaign on Slashdot (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38727722)

Listing a bunch of people you don't like followed by a website link isn't evidence of a paid position.

Re:Orchestrated trolling campaign on Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38727946)

No one cares about your lovers' spat. Instead of whining about injustices on Slashdot, why not get a super-suit created by aliens and fight REAL injustice? Loser!

Re:Orchestrated trolling campaign on Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38729160)

Because while he can be a hero if we only sing along, this isn't a music website.

Re:Orchestrated trolling campaign on Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38728138)

This "shill" crap that has been flying around lately has to stop It's restricting certain viewpoints from participating on the site and creating an echo chamber.

Hi bonch. If you didn't post exactly the same shit every time without fail from your multiple accounts then your shilling / trolling wouldn't be so obvious. But you do, and it is.

How do we... (5, Insightful)

Sez Zero (586611) | more than 2 years ago | (#38727474)

... get rid of the legal structure in place that makes this type of lawsuit have a good enough chance of prohibiting or delaying a competitors product that it makes good financial sense to proceed?

I wish that money spent on lawyers was spend on engineering, or alternatively, entertaining commercials.

Re:How do we... (4, Insightful)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38727530)

Unfortunately, it is the lawyers themselves who have a disproportionate influence over the legal structure itself. They are also the only ones who would know how to fix it and every reason not to. Hence, our current problems.

Re:How do we... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38727702)

Unfortunately, it is the lawyers themselves who have a disproportionate influence over the legal structure itself. They are also the only ones who would know how to fix it and every reason not to. Hence, our current problems.

Apply the Douglas Adam's solution. Build a generation ship and fill it with lawyers.
And off they go to bring untold misery to the unwashed civilizations out there in the infinite void.
Less lawyers around, the better the world will be.

Re:How do we... (5, Funny)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38727970)

I prefer the Frank Herbert solution. The winning lawyer in a case that goes to court is require to ritually kill the losing lawyer, and invoking legal rules is grounds for summary judgement against you. It gives both sides' lawyers a strong incentive to settle amicably out of court...

Re:How do we... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38727558)

... get rid of the legal structure in place that makes this type of lawsuit have a good enough chance of prohibiting or delaying a competitors product that it makes good financial sense to proceed?

I wish that money spent on lawyers was spend on engineering, or alternatively, entertaining commercials.

Unfortunately, this type of lawsuit is because of the attempts at creating uniformity in Europe for the European Union, so it will get worse before it gets better...

Basically, all the little odd curiosities in a jurisdiction that makes sense (or not, in some cases) in that legal system, are being put into an entirely new legal framework for the continent, and it's making a slightly odd situation into a full blown disaster.

Re:How do we... (4, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#38727568)

we 'buy' justice from the legal store (system).

is there any wonder that the store owners don't want to give the secret to 'stocking the shelves' away? or let people produce their own goods?

a bit far for an analogy but the point is that they line their pockets due to how bad the system is. they have NO REASON to make the wheels turn faster and more efficient. they would argue themselves out of jobs.

it really is that simple. if tax laws were simple, we would not need accountants and such.

people keep complexity because their job 'depends' on it. nothing much more than that.

therefore, don't EVER expect it to change. its a constant, like gravity.

Re:How do we... (3)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38727914)

How else in our mechanized age could we keep folks working, when we don't need them tilling fields or making goods anymore?

Re:How do we... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38727918)

This so much. The thing Apple are really good at is reinventing things. This is why they are so popular with people.
They can make something new, pretty crap and standard, hype the high-hell out of it, people buy it.
Upgrade it in incremental steps.
Rinse and repeat.

It's a bit hard to do this with other markets of course.
You can't just make a slower car and say "oh but it feels faster! You have to feel it to see why it is better."
You can't make cheaper, dimmer lights and think people will buy them "for the mood factor". "TRY OUR NEW DIM LIGHTS, MAKE YOUR HOUSE FEEL LIKE IT CAME STRAIGHT OUT OF AN 80S HORROR FILM!"
Likewise, making the perfect light will cut a HUGE chunk of your profit from replacement buys. All you will have left is new buys, which are considerably less. So then you'd have to create all sorts of weird, fantastic lights for people for different tastes. And that won't really get back most of those sales, but it'd likely get around over half of them.

To be able to sell the old as new again is a valuable thing to have as a company, especially as you build it up over time and get a dedicated fanbase who would happily buy a wooden stool with the letter i on each leg. Buy the iStool now! Comes in various shades of brown and red! But only on a bad day! Ha, we kid, every day! Only $1400 at your nearest Apple store.

Re:How do we... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38727600)

Agreed, though it would also be nice if Samsung spent the money they currently use for copying to just build new things. And it's not just Apple.

Remember when the Motrola Razr was popular and Samsung introduced the "Blade"?
http://mail2web.com/blog/2006/01/samsung-blade-versus-motorola-razr-v3/

Remember the laughably named "Innov8", which was an homage to Nokia's N96?
http://dailymobile.se/2009/01/04/pictures-nokia-n96-vs-samsung-innov8-2/

And remember when RIM sued Samsung for copying not only the Blackberry design, but trying to trademark "Blackjack" as the name of the clone?
http://www.engadget.com/2006/12/10/blackberry-versus-blackjack-rim-sues-samsung-for-trademark-infr/

There is a lot wrong with the legal system, and Apple deserves a lot of blame. But Samsung is hardly some innovative company that Apple is targeting merely to slow down legitimate competition. Samsung's whole business model is to let others innovate and then rush in with a clone. Let's do something about the legal environment, but let's also give innovators some protection from vultures like Samsung.

Re:How do we... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38727726)

And one couldn't say the same thing about Apple? All the technologies that they use have been done before in one form or another. Heck, Jobs was often quoted saying Good artists copy; great artists steal...

How is it ok (encouraged even) for one company to do it, but the other is just a vulture...?

Re:How do we... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38727786)

1) Did you look at those links? Are you seriously arguing that Apple has the same kind of history of introducing blatant clones which are often even named after the competing product ("Razr" / "Blade", "Blackberry" / "Blackjack")?

2) If that were the case -- which it is not -- then I would say that Apple is every bit as slimy as Samsung. In this world, it is entirely possible to have two wrongdoers.

Re:How do we... (1)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 2 years ago | (#38727832)

Well hey, in that case Apple is just saying to Samsung "You're a great artist, you are". The lawsuit is a compliment!

Re:How do we... (1)

atlasdropperofworlds (888683) | more than 2 years ago | (#38727804)

This has nothing to do with the legal system per se, as it only provide apple with the tools to do what they are doing. They could just as easily choose not to block products, but instead to try and draw royalties as MS is. Also, I don't see the S II as being a "copy" of the iphone, I see it as an improvement. Apple itself takes other products and 'improves' them, so why not samsung?

Re:How do we... (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | more than 2 years ago | (#38729076)

um apple has pulled the same kind of bs as samsong.

iOS is a cisco router operating system that apple stole the name of.

iphone name is stolen from again cisco, it was VoIP phone they were making

integrating an apps store into a desktop operating system aka "Mac app store", that has been a feature of ubuntu Linux for years.

wimpi interface for which they sued M$ for years ago they stole from Xerox.

Re:How do we... (0)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#38727704)

Abolish [slashdot.org]
copyrights and patents [slashdot.org].

Let market work, put government out of business by prohibiting it from meddling with business and taking sides, taking literally, role of Mafia organisation with protection racket.

Trade secrets are the way of the free market. Copyrights and patents are protectionist measures used by those with close government ties to prevent competition and it's a ploy by politicians to get money out of the economy into their own campaigns and pockets.

Re:How do we... (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38727746)

Sigh, there's no reason to abolish patents and copyrights in general. Scale copyrights back to say life + 20 or perhaps 28 + 28 and remove the government from enforcing it and we'd be mostly there.

Patents are a bit more complicated, ban business methods and software patents. Fund the USPTO through taxation, they aren't going to do their jobs well as long as their paycheck depends upon volume of patents granted.

Re:How do we... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38728784)

One possibile solution is to overload the whole system by helping it along. Imagine volunteers going through every single silly software patent in existence, and finding infringers. Then you proceed to notify the holders of said patent to start the suing process. If you were able to crowd enough, you might be able to bring it all to a screeching halt.
 
I am just spitballing, and may not be enough to do what you want.

Motorola and others (-1, Troll)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#38727506)

It isn't just Apple that Samsung has a tendency to "draw inspiration" from. There's also the Samsung Blade, a clone of the Motorola RAZR, and the Samsung INNOV8 is a clone of the Nokia N96 [dailymobile.se]. So before the usual anti-Apple rhetoric starts a-flyin', keep in mind that Samsung is one of those companies whose business is centered on making commodity knock-offs of popular products. I don't blame Apple for suing to protect Jonathan Ive's design work, because if one of the knock-offs is low quality or problematic, it can end up hurting Apple's brand.

Re:Motorola and others (1)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#38727576)

Samsung is one of those companies whose business is centered on making commodity knock-offs of popular products

Canon does that too. The products are generally superior, the business model is the same.

Goose and gander (4, Interesting)

srussia (884021) | more than 2 years ago | (#38727598)

It isn't just Apple that Samsung has a tendency to "draw inspiration" from. (...) So before the usual anti-Apple rhetoric starts a-flyin', keep in mind that Samsung is one of those companies whose business is centered on making commodity knock-offs of popular products. I don't blame Apple for suing to protect Jonathan Ive's design work, because if one of the knock-offs is low quality or problematic, it can end up hurting Apple's brand.

So if say, Apple (ahem) "draws inspiration" from an inferior product and makes it higher quality, then would the "inspirer" not have grounds to sue since it can only enhance its brand?

Re:Goose and gander (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38727870)

you wouldn't be referring to the Creative lawsuit Apple had regarding MP3 players, are you?

Re:Goose and gander (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38728236)

It isn't just Apple that Samsung has a tendency to "draw inspiration" from. (...) So before the usual anti-Apple rhetoric starts a-flyin', keep in mind that Samsung is one of those companies whose business is centered on making commodity knock-offs of popular products. I don't blame Apple for suing to protect Jonathan Ive's design work, because if one of the knock-offs is low quality or problematic, it can end up hurting Apple's brand.

So if say, Apple (ahem) "draws inspiration" from an inferior product and makes it higher quality, then would the "inspirer" not have grounds to sue since it can only enhance its brand?

How does this hurt or help "their brand"? Does anyone mistakenly buy a Samsung product thinking it's actually made by Apple? An Apple product thinking it's a Samsung? Is there a stupid Apple logo on the back of Samsung's products, or something very similar? Should GM be suing everyone for making a vehicle with a steering wheel, a clear knock-off of their product? Should BP or Shell or 76 or whomever sue other people for making "knock-off" gasoline?

Apple tries again to achieve monopoly through edict of the court system. They want to make a certain interface or whatever, and then live in a fantasy world in which no one else, somehow, responds to the demand pressures created by the desire for that product. Apple inhabits a reality distortion zone in which they, a VERY LATE COMER to the cell-phone game want to imagine that the fact that some people want to buy their version of a cell phone, that that means that ALL people who want to buy a cell-phone actually want to buy THEIR cell-phone.

It'd be like a ugly person thinking that the hot person's rejection of advances over the years could ONLY be because the other person is gay (or straight, as the case may be) and not an actual rejection of him/herself. It's a comforting fantasy, but a fantasy nevertheless.

They're delusional, and I hope everyone they sue counter-sues for the frivolous lawsuits they waste people's time with. Apple wants to imagine that when people consider buying a Samsung (or whatever) smart phone, that they are only doing so because what they REALLY want is an Apple "product". Again, Apple is delusional, possibly high.

Imagine some hot chick in Hollywood suing another hot chick who came into the business a little later for taking movie rolls away from her, because CLEARLY the studio wanted to hire HER (the earlier chick) for the role. Afterall, the other hot chick is CLEARLY a knock-off of the previous one. Same pretty face, soft, plump, yet perky boobies; smooth, creamy, supple, toned thighs; long, lustrous platinum-blonde hair... see where I'm going with this?

It would be nice if Germany just shut all this BS down right now, but they have no incentive to do so, even though neither company is actually IN Germany, so they should toss the thing out on lack of jurisdiction... or is Apple on the sly really Apfel GMBH? I thought Samsung was Chinese, Japanese, Korean, or Taiwanese... or whatever. In any case, NOT German. So who is this a German court's business? Because they sell there? What a buncha crap.

I didn't need any more reasons to feel utter disdain for Apple, and here they gave me one for free.

Re:Goose and gander (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38728512)

They're suing Samsung in Germany. Just Germany. Not the EU, not France, UK, Canada, USA, etc, just a few countries. Why is that? Are the laws, that different in other countries? Are Samsung's products getting some kind of transformation when passing into Germany that makes them look more like Apple's?

Re:Motorola and others (2)

Torvac (691504) | more than 2 years ago | (#38727814)

thats a clone ? like a black bmw is a clone of black dodge because of the color and 4 wheels and those bastards even installed a black round steering wheel this time and a radio in the middle console ?

Re:Motorola and others (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38727904)

Sorry you got modded down by the Google fans. I dunno how somewhere between the 90s and today Samsung, a crap vendor, has become so loved by the nerds for making essentially cheap knock offs of good designs. They were famous for their crap.

Is it legal (1)

aglider (2435074) | more than 2 years ago | (#38727552)

To prosecute someone more than once for the same reason?

Re:Is it legal (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 2 years ago | (#38727590)

"Reason" includes elements that are actually different in this case from the last. For instance, different products (tablets v. smartphones).

I'm not saying "rounded corners" is a great basis for lawsuits, whether one or a dozen; I'm just saying that this lawsuit is distinguishable from the previous by the specific "infringing" products identified in each.

So, yes, this suit is no less, and no more, valid than the prior one.

Re:Is it legal (1)

Delarth799 (1839672) | more than 2 years ago | (#38727612)

They are suing them not prosecuting them. Prosecution happens in criminal court not civil court.

Re:Is it legal (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38727774)

Right, and that's why you want to get suits against you dismissed with prejudice and ones that you initiate dismissed without prejudice if things aren't going to go to completion.

Re:Is it legal (2)

MrDoh! (71235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38727716)

Hmm, probably a civil/criminal thing, and some /tiny/ change in the model allows it to be reopened.

It's obvious at this time that they've realised it's economically worthwhile to lock them down in a court, and it's just a warning to anyone else who'd think of entering the market that if they do well, they WILL be sued. So with Apple threatening legal action to totally block in one way, and MS grabbing for royalties in the other, it adds a huge extra cost to using Android they're hoping will stop future competitors.

Seems to be working well for them at this time alas. What's the solution? As said above, the only way it'd get fixed would be the lawyers wanting it to be fixed, and it's too much of a gravy train for them to ever want it solved.

Re:Is it legal (1)

aiken_d (127097) | more than 2 years ago | (#38727822)

Leaving aside the difference between lawsuits and prosecution, that would mean anyone who loses a lawsuit once would have impunity to do those same things over and over again in the future. Probably not a great basis for a legal system.

Re:Is it legal (1)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 2 years ago | (#38727864)

It is. It's called Double Jeopardy, and was originally intended to stop people from being prosecuted until they no longer had the resources to defend themselves. However it only applies to criminal cases. It might be useful to have for civil cases though, since it's possible to be sued in civil court until you no longer have the resources to defend yourself.

Re:Is it legal (1)

canajin56 (660655) | more than 2 years ago | (#38727944)

Yes or no, depending what you mean by "same reason". If you violate a law twice, you can be prosecuted twice. If you take a single action that violates multiple laws, you can be charged with two crimes for the "same reason". Most countries, Germany included, prevent "double jeopardy", being punished more than once for the same crime. But your question is not relevant to this article since they are being sued, not prosecuted, and double jeopardy does not apply. Though if you have had a suit withdrawn/thrown out "with prejudice" you can't bring it again. At any rate, even if you sue over Product A violating your patent #12345, you can still sue the same company over Product A violating patent #12346, or for Product B violating patent #12345 (unless you lost the first case by getting #12345 invalidated, in which case obviously you can't sue with it anymore).

And even though it's not really related to TFA, Germany's double jeopardy laws are weaker than the USA laws. In some cases the government can retry an acquittal. This only happens if, for example, it turns out that evidence was forged or otherwise not authentic, or a witness recants, things of that sort.

It's gone beyond ridiculous. (3, Informative)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38727676)

Honestly, if someone could find a way to patent the wheel, they'd do it.

Our patent system is such at this point that there is no advancement possible without asking permission and paying royalties to someone else. Every fundamental idea and concept is owned. As anything that has any sort of visual representation and interface.

Of course, all this is incredibly ironic, given that back in the day, Microsoft and Apple both flagrantly ripped off [gizmodo.com] what are considered to be absolute fundamentals of a GUI from Xerox.

It's all they've got left (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38727694)

It's all Apple has left: patents and lawsuits. Without Steve Jobs at the helm, what else did you expect them to do? Innovate new products? Please, even with Steve leading, all Apple has ever done is scoop up companies doing actual innovation and copy them. (It's become cliche to point out that Apple stole the Mac GUI from Xerox. Even more cliche is pointing out that they "licensed" it without realizing that the point is that they claimed it as their own without giving any credit to the people who actually designed it.)

Have you seen iOS 5? All the new features were either stolen directly from Android (notifications, Siri, iCloud if we're honest) or ... um... actually, I think I listed all the new features.

Have you tried Mac OS X Lion? It's this weird bastard child of Windows and iOS. And, yes, I mean Windows. They flat-out stole quite a few things from Windows and added them to Mac OS X. Even the style changes from Snow Leopard to Lion makes it look more like Windows Aero. Why they went that why?

Well - this is Apple, post Steve Jobs. All they've got left is copying other people and then suing them.

Re:It's all they've got left (4, Interesting)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38728022)

Well, perhaps it is cliche.

Regardless, it seems like quite a number of companies (not just Apple) are saying, "To get here, I stood on the shoulders of giants. And by God, I'm going to make damn sure no one else does."

This doesn't spur innovation; quite the opposite, really. Especially when you consider that pretty much all commercial works these days are derivatives of something else. And for the most part, if you want to learn/build something new, you need billions of dollars and a particle accelerator.

Re:It's all they've got left (3, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38728034)

It's become cliche to point out that Apple stole the Mac GUI from Xerox

This is 'stole' meaning 'paid a big chunk of Apple stock in exchange for it and then added original features like the desktop metaphor with the trash can, the menu bar, window title bars and others?' Do you, by any chance, work for the MPAA?

Re:It's all they've got left (1, Interesting)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 2 years ago | (#38728382)

Apple was first to market with a well packaged MP3 player and a business model to support it. Everything else has been largely riding on those coattails with incremental improvements. After the rest of the electronics manufacturers woke up they came back hard with mass quantities of spaghetti flying at all manner of walls. Often times the products featured superior aspects sometimes not. But, for one reason or another they played second fiddle to the comparable iDevice. Recently Apple has been losing ground. In part simply because of the sheer number of competitors with near equivalent products. It is causing the devices to look more like a nearly indistinguishable commodity than a specialized product. Also, in part because Apple is having a hard time out-innovating their previous generation product and their competitors are keeping in pretty close lock-step with them now.

Given that environment, and add to that the fact that the products from companies such as Samsung and HTC meanwhile are really starting to shine in their own right it is making Apple very nervous. When businesses get nervous they tend to play dirty. Often this means breaking out the patent lawyers. They'll come up with any and every excuse to bring lawsuits against their competitors. Not so much because they believe they have a legitimate case (usually they don't and they know it) but because it makes the shareholders of their competitor nervous which drives down share prices and ultimately hurts the business. When businesses can't out innovate they try to out litigate and this is what's going on now with Apple and it is very telling of their future.

Re:It's all they've got left (1)

rapidfx (2541852) | more than 2 years ago | (#38729102)

Not true. I bought a mp3 player far before apple ever had one on market. All apple did was have itunes website built.

Re:It's all they've got left (2)

billcarson (2438218) | more than 2 years ago | (#38728398)

I don't fully agree. Many innovations of Apple came down to combining nifty products that were available, but underused at the time. For instance, look at the original ipod: it was the first to give a proper use to those mini-hd's, which were a novelty at the time. That is basically why their R&D budget has been so low: they looked for the right technology that was available. That being said, I still think it requires some imagination to envision these products, with or without big budgets.

Apple should take a page from Microsoft's playbook (1)

Lucas123 (935744) | more than 2 years ago | (#38727714)

Instead of going to court every other day, wouldn't it be easier to just threaten all retail outlets with not supplying them with products if the sell someone else's.

Re:Apple should take a page from Microsoft's playb (2)

ichthus (72442) | more than 2 years ago | (#38727950)

Sounds reminiscent of the anti-Linux on the netbook tactic Microsoft used.

patent pending - lawsuit pending (1)

Anynomous Coward (841063) | more than 2 years ago | (#38727888)

As long as this BS continues, I won't buy no Apple product no more. Triple minus.

It's not that I'm that principled, but this territorial behavior simply annoys me. So each time I might be seduced by an Apple product, that annoyance raises its ugly head and lowers my libido, if you catch my drift.

Re:patent pending - lawsuit pending (1)

Lucas123 (935744) | more than 2 years ago | (#38727998)

"I won't buy no Apple product no more." That's a triple negative. Does that cancel out a double negative and make it proper English? If so, I'm stealing it.

No details on the patents in question (2)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#38728000)

As Apple has engaged in an all out abusive patent war on anyone who dares compete with their Dynabook ripoff technology, I say "Fuck Apple."

Someone at Apple finally saw the commercial? (3, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#38728028)

I guess someone at Apple has finally watched [youtube.com] Galaxy S2 commercial?

In online gaming, this kind of thing is usually remarked upon as "u mad?".

Has Apple learned nothing from MS? (5, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 2 years ago | (#38728048)

MS behaved once like a complete asshole and it slowly found itself in a world where nobody liked it anymore and it was starting to hurt the company. Nothing like outright revenge but in its proposed standards being ignored and its rivals providing each other with support just because. Or do you think IBM has no alterior motive in supporting Linux then because it doesn't care what it sells support for? IBM doesn't just sell patents to google for the hell of it either to fight Apple, or do you think IBM liked it when Apple ditched their CPU? Oh, not that it made much difference, Apple was a very small buyer but why help Google for just a tiny bit of cash with patents that IBM might one day need themselves?

Reputation matters. How much? Well so much that MS has bought advertising space from GOOGLE to advertise its own browser despite that everyone who can USE Internet Explorer has it installed by default (it comes with Windows). Paying your competition to advertise a product given away for free... that was not the Internet Bill Gates envisioned in the 90's.

Apple had a good reputation, god knows what for, pre-OSX the only time I saw Apples, they were crashing but still, it was a good rep, intresting devices and it never hurts to be considered the plucky underdog against the mega-corp. But right now, a LOT of mainstream media, at least in Holland, is presenting these cases as the relatively small Apple bullying the "small" mega-corp and super diversified semi-government Samsung... it would be like comparying say Harley Davidson against Yamaha. Sure both build motor cycles but HD isn't even in the same class when it comes to business clout.

And yet in this case, many are starting to see Apple as the big evil giant stamping on its smaller cuddlier competitors. When Samsung becomes cute, you know you are doing something wrong with your image.

Yet, the tablets do like a lot alike. Gosh, what do you know, so do many e-readers and for that matter phones. How many phones do you know that are rectangle with a rectangular screen and 12-15 buttons below it? Some form factors just belong to a type of product. Go ahead, redesign the refrigerator with a unique design that has not been seen before since the days of cupboards making started god knows how many centuries ago. Good thing Apple wasn't around when Gutenberg copied the printing press from the Chinese. We would have a thousand different book designs for each and every publisher.

It would be better if plenty of people hadn't already found evidence of how many if not all of Apples own designs had been done by others before.

Everybody copies from everybody else, in science they are even proud of it "if I seen furthest, it is because I stood on the shoulders of giants". Artists are inspired by their predecessors but suddenly in our society the slightest hint of similarity is evil. And for what? To protect your profits so you don't have to innovate (compare the iPad 2 to say a device like the Asus Transformer or the Samsung Note)? That works, for about as long until someone passes you (IE6 anyone?)

It doesn't surprise me that the "new" iPhone is just a small update and that none of them have really upped the stakes let alone tried anything NEW. Smaller, bigger, new design... just updates.

If you want a color e-ink display, you got to go to Korea. Not silicon valley, korea. Go to China and you can buy mobile phones that run rings around western models, laptops with features and specs you just can't get here. The west has become so obsessed with lawsuits, real innovation has stopped. Sure, maybe Apple can stop Samsung now on one of its many different markets but what if next some Chinese company comes up with a NEW idea that Apple wants to copy? Oops, it just introduced around the world that implementing the same broad design as someone else is illegal. Apple and MS have both been in court before for this where they claimed the other copied something only to find they themselves copied it too.

Apple is fighting a legal battle it is unlikely to win, that makes it look bad around the world, diverts resources away from coming up with something new and if they win it, sets a legal precedent that might bite it in the ass in the future.

And you know, if Apple were to crumble over this, I wouldn't care one shit, they gone from a plucky fighter against the evil MS to a far greater evil then MS ever dreamed off. That is an achievement of sorts but be honest, once you might have bought an Apple device and gloated because you were morally superior to a Windows user. Now, you hide your iPhone in shame.

Re:Has Apple learned nothing from MS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38728714)

Just think, one day people will be asking, "didn't Apple learn anything from SCO"?

Apple didn't 'turn' evil.

Apple is a corporation. Corporations are like sharks. As sharks live to hunt, kill, eat, and repeat, corporations are similarly singular in purpose: to make their share-holders happy.

Whatever maximizes current profits, and makes it most likely that future profits will also be maximized, THAT makes share-holders happy. (Some share holders don't give a half a rat's ass about *future* profits either, that's what microsecond stock-trades are for. They suck all the money out of the system they can, then the moment they think the value is going to drop, they dump it and bolt. But I think that's a minority.)

If they can piss their customers off and make their share-holders happy at the same time, they'll do it. If they have to be nice to their customers to achieve this end, then they'll do THAT. If they have to pollute and destroy an environment to do that, if they have to sue Samsung every five minutes, in some penny-ante jurisdiction that neither product is produced in, so should have no business letting the suit even get on a docket... they'll do that.

Anyone remember that scene in Fight Club where Ed Norton's character tells the woman next to him on the plane that the probable number of lawsuits, times the average out-of-court settlement equals X, and if X is less than the cost of a recall, THEY WON'T DO ONE? It's a bit of an oversimplification, but essentially, what he said was true. In real life, they also have to factor-in the cost of the damage to their reputation as a car company, the cost of advertising to fix public perception, the potential cost of fines they may see levied against them as a result, etc. But yeah.

If you think this is just some bullshit I'm spouting, consider this: for years automotive companies resisted putting seat-belts into cars, fearing that the presence of a device designed to keep you from face-planting into the windshield would make potential buyers think the car was (or cars in general are) unsafe. So basically, they worried that it would hurt their car sales figures, and ultimately hurt their bottom-line. Read that as "make their share-holders unhappy." So they sold cars that were LESS safe, LESS survivable in a crash-situation, rather than make them safer, because people might buy their cars less. The ENTIRE, SUM-TOTAL goal in ANY publicly traded or held corporation (and probably most private ones too) that wants to continue to operate is this: MAKE... THE SHARE HOLDERS... HAPPY.

That's all Apple's trying to do. That's all Samsung's trying to do. If you don't like how they operate, solution one is of course not to patronise them. If enough people do this, sales will fall-off, and perhaps their share-holders will command them to change course. Of course, OTOH, they could just end up becoming a patent-troll, shell of their former self, and subsist off their past glory, not making a product anymore, but just suing as a business model. Remember SCO, anyone? That's Apple's future if enough people stop buying their products, that THAT becomes a feasible business model.

I can even imagine Misro$oft quietly funnelling them money to keep them afloat to help push their wretched (I already know it's wretched without having to see one in person... it's Windows based) Windows Phone.

Can you imagine having to have a phone that's a quad-core just to run the anti-virus software that it will require, just to have the processing power of a single core to do stuff so that they can make the phone seem to pretend to do several things at the same time while really just doing one thing? Hahah.... windows.

But I digress.

Apple's clearly put time and money into the development of their product, and they imagine that THAT entitles them to compensation. It's not Samsung's fault that Apple sunk millions of dollars into design, and then made the world expect all the products of that type (by becoming popular) to act the same way. I am surprised no camera company sued all the cell phone companies for including a camera in their products. Or did they? I haven't looked, admittedly.

Don't buy Apple products. (3, Insightful)

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) | more than 2 years ago | (#38728050)

There. Fixed that.

Re:Don't buy Apple products. (5, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38728336)

I tried to not buy Apple products but I ended up not buying Samsung products due to how simular they where and the marketplace confusion it caused.

Re:Don't buy Apple products. (0)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38729008)

Actually, pretty easy to tell the difference.

If when you open the box of your new phone the GPS antenna falls out, it's Samsung.

If a subpoena falls out, it's Apple.

That's it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38728092)

Apple has officially become the bully of the courtyard.
I'm not buying their next tablet, I will choose the Samsung high-def one next spring.

the Patent / Copyright regime (1, Interesting)

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) | more than 2 years ago | (#38728130)

Let's be clear about one thing- IP lawyers are succeeding in creating a parasitic lifestyle on our industry and on our lives and futures. They impose themselves as non-value producing entities on an industry and then begin siphoning off money from that industry. They do not add value, they remove value; they do not promote progress, they retard progress. There are so many dollars being thrown off from any given product, and lawyers have conspired to insert themselves into that revenue stream, directly and negatively effecting your bottom line. This parasitic lifestyle is as good an example of the 1% staging a systematic assault on the 99%. In fact, The imposition of a software patent regime is as clear cut a case of the 1% consciously organizing to cut off economic opportunity from the 99% as you're going to find outside of a smoke filled room in Texas. There are about the same percentage of software developers who favor software patents as there are climatologists who don't believe in global warming. 98% of software developers want to write software, create a product, and add value. Precious few look at the patent troll lifestyle with envy and wish to pursue a career litigating over simple minded applications of middling value. But for those that do favor software patents, just exactly how do you propose to win at this game? That the realistic cost of acquiring a software patent starts at 15-30k and goes well north of there. http://www.ipwatchdog.com/2011/01/28/the-cost-of-obtaining-patent/id=14668/ [ipwatchdog.com] although note that one IP lawyer comments that "In Los Angeles it is not unusual for partners to charge in excess of $600/hour which makes your estimates on the low side." which is more than you're likely to make from your patent: The cost of patents is greater than the revenue they generate. ÃoeAbout 97 percent of patents generate less revenue than the patent costs." Return on patent costs. How much does it cost to patent an invention? (Andy Gibbs, CEO of PatentCafe.com Inc., quoted in Celia Lamb, ÃoeNew program at Sierra College aims to help would-be Pre Plastics,Ã Sacramento Business Journal, February 7, 2003) But never mind that, now that you have spent more than your likely savings on your one single patent, exactly what is it you're thinking about doing with this patent? Licensing it? Do you think that licensing is automatically negotiated and enforced by the government? No, you're going to pay a lawyer an hourly rate which is two to ten times what your own hourly rate is to approach, approach and then re-approach company after company none of whom are even slightly sympathetic to your request for a taxation on their profits and will, in fact, do everything they can to resist any kind of licensing deal, including using the tactic of exhausting the rent-seeker's financial ability to pursue rent. Oh so let them use your "intellectual property" you'll sue! For millions! Well, good luck with that. Because you're sure as hell not going to be doing that on your own unless you're in the 1% or can find some subset of 1% who are sympathetic to your quest to join their ranks via litigation. The cost to sustain an infringement claim starts at one million US and goes to 5 million and beyond. So unless you're befriended by some part of the 1%, you're not going to be enforcing your "intellectual property rights" anytime soon. So what do we have, really? We have a system which has the net effect of imposing an impossibly high barrier- call it a poll tax- upon the most vibrant and valuable form of economic participation our economy has - starting a company. And who created that barrier? Highly paid (1%) lawyers working for highly compensated (1/10 of 1% ) CEOs. And what does that barrier do? Discourages people of normal to modest means (99%) from starting companies at all. For those with the temerity to do so, it enables anyone in the 1% or with the backing of the 1% to deal them (the 99%) a fatal blow at will. http://www.somebits.com/weblog/aviation/flightprep-patent-7640098.html [somebits.com] http://www.aero-news.net/index.cfm?do=main.textpost&id=9e8fef94-ae45-42e8-a67e-91ec91e1d0f4 [aero-news.net] https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/01/when-bad-patents-hurt-good-people-patent-threat [eff.org] And how is that barrier maintained? Through the efforts of the 1% lawyers and 1% lobbyists who prevail upon the 1% Congress on behalf of themselves and their 1% executives to not enact legislation which would abolish software patents. And how do they prevail upon those Congressional members? With money for SuperPACS contributed by the 1% which keep the 1% Congressional members in office and which thereby sustain the 1% status of those Congressional members while re-enforcing the 1% status of the lawyers, lobbyists and executives, all at the cost of economic opportunity for the 99% And what is the long term effect of the efforts on the part of these 1% of lawyers lobbyists, CEOs and Congressional members upon the ability of the average software developer to climb the economic ladder via value creation, entrepreneurship and personal effort? The long term effect is to keep software developers as serfs whose careers can exist only on the private property - and at the pleasure of - the Kingly 1% who can fire (execute) them at any time, for any reason or no reason, and who can also block them from starting their own companies which would challenge the King's company's dominance. And what are the long term consequences upon society of that reality? Students remove from consideration software engineering as a possible career path. The cost of software goes up. The rate of software innovation goes down. The quality of software goes down. The value that software delivers to society goes down. The rate of innovation across society goes down. Money remains concentrated within the hands of the 1% and the 99% continue their economic subjugation. What should we do? We should organize ourselves in order to push for political reform. This is what all people at all times in history have had to do for all reason and we're no different

It's funny how big business works (1)

whatthef*ck (215929) | more than 2 years ago | (#38728174)

Samsung manufactures the A4 and A5 processor for iPads and iPhones, and Apple sues them over their own mobile consumer products.

Re:It's funny how big business works (1)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 2 years ago | (#38728548)

Samsung also manufactured at least some of the displays, and, IIRC, some of the NVRAM. This may be a big part of the reason Apple is going after them. With the A4 and A5 chips, for example, they are supposed to be acting simply as a manufacturer, taking designs that Apple brought to them. For displays and memory, Apple had significant requirements, and brought a lot of money to the table to ensure that Samsung could ramp up and meet their demands. Taking those resources from the part-manufacturer arm and making them available to the device-manufacturer arm so that the parent company could build nearly identical devices for even less is, say, questionable. Especially so if, say, the device manufacturer arm is getting the parts for the same cost or below cost to what Apple paid.

Re:It's funny how big business works (1)

whatthef*ck (215929) | more than 2 years ago | (#38728916)

TFA didn't say anything about the suit being over chip design. Apple claimed that "Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 copied the design of the Apple iPad in a way intended to confuse customers." I guess that means Samsung slapped an Apple logo on the back. That's the only thing I can think of that would confuse customers.

Software patent regimes (2, Insightful)

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) | more than 2 years ago | (#38728200)

Sorry about teh unformatted post previous.. I am sure Slashdot is moving to WYSIWYG any day now ;)

Let's be clear about one thing- IP lawyers are succeeding in creating a parasitic lifestyle on our industry and on our lives and futures. They impose themselves as non-value producing entities on an industry and then begin siphoning off money from that industry.

They do not add value, they remove value; they do not promote progress, they retard progress. There are so many dollars being thrown off from any given product, and lawyers have conspired to insert themselves into that revenue stream, directly and negatively effecting your bottom line.

This parasitic lifestyle is as good an example of the 1% staging a systematic assault on the 99%.

In fact, The imposition of a software patent regime is as clear cut a case of the 1% consciously organizing to cut off economic opportunity from the 99% as you're going to find outside of a smoke filled room in Texas.

There are about the same percentage of software developers who favor software patents as there are climatologists who don't believe in global warming. 98% of software developers want to write software, create a product, and add value.

Precious few look at the patent troll lifestyle with envy and wish to pursue a career litigating over simple minded applications of middling value.

But for those that do favor software patents, just exactly how do you propose to win at this game?

That the realistic cost of acquiring a software patent starts at 15-30k and goes well north of there.

http://www.ipwatchdog.com/2011/01/28/the-cost-of-obtaining-patent/id=14668/ [ipwatchdog.com]

although note that one IP lawyer comments that "In Los Angeles it is not unusual for partners to charge in excess of $600/hour which makes your estimates on the low side."

which is more than you're likely to make from your patent:

The cost of patents is greater than the revenue they generate. ÃoeAbout 97 percent of patents generate less revenue than the patent costs." Return on patent costs. How much does it cost to patent an invention? (Andy Gibbs, CEO of PatentCafe.com Inc., quoted in Celia Lamb, ÃoeNew program at Sierra College aims to help would-be Pre Plastics,Ã Sacramento Business Journal, February 7, 2003)

But never mind that, now that you have spent more than your likely savings on your one single patent, exactly what is it you're thinking about doing with this patent?

Licensing it? Do you think that licensing is automatically negotiated and enforced by the government?

No, you're going to pay a lawyer an hourly rate which is two to ten times what your own hourly rate is to approach, approach and then re-approach company after company none of whom are even slightly sympathetic to your request for a taxation on their profits and will, in fact, do everything they can to resist any kind of licensing deal, including using the tactic of exhausting the rent-seeker's financial ability to pursue rent.

Oh so let them use your "intellectual property" you'll sue! For millions! Well, good luck with that. Because you're sure as hell not going to be doing that on your own unless you're in the 1% or can find some subset of 1% who are sympathetic to your quest to join their ranks via litigation.

The cost to sustain an infringement claim starts at one million US and goes to 5 million and beyond. So unless you're befriended by some part of the 1%, you're not going to be enforcing your "intellectual property rights" anytime soon.

So what do we have, really? We have a system which has the net effect of imposing an impossibly high barrier- call it a poll tax- upon the most vibrant and valuable form of economic participation our economy has - starting a company.

And who created that barrier?

Highly paid (1%) lawyers working for highly compensated (1/10 of 1% ) CEOs.

And what does that barrier do?

Discourages people of normal to modest means (99%) from starting companies at all. For those with the temerity to do so, it enables anyone in the 1% or with the backing of the 1% to deal them (the 99%) a fatal blow at will.

http://www.somebits.com/weblog/aviation/flightprep-patent-7640098.html [somebits.com]

http://www.aero-news.net/index.cfm?do=main.textpost&id=9e8fef94-ae45-42e8-a67e-91ec91e1d0f4 [aero-news.net]

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/01/when-bad-patents-hurt-good-people-patent-threat [eff.org]

And how is that barrier maintained?

Through the efforts of the 1% lawyers and 1% lobbyists who prevail upon the 1% Congress on behalf of themselves and their 1% executives to not enact legislation which would abolish software patents.

And how do they prevail upon those Congressional members?

With money for SuperPACS contributed by the 1% which keep the 1% Congressional members in office and which thereby sustain the 1% status of those Congressional members while re-enforcing the 1% status of the lawyers, lobbyists and executives, all at the cost of economic opportunity for the 99%

And what is the long term effect of the efforts on the part of these 1% of lawyers lobbyists, CEOs and Congressional members upon the ability of the average software developer to climb the economic ladder via value creation, entrepreneurship and personal effort? The long term effect is to keep software developers as serfs whose careers can exist only on the private property - and at the pleasure of - the Kingly 1% who can fire (execute) them at any time, for any reason or no reason, and who can also block them from starting their own companies which would challenge the King's company's dominance.

And what are the long term consequences upon society of that reality?

Students remove from consideration software engineering as a possible career path. The cost of software goes up. The rate of software innovation goes down. The quality of software goes down. The value that software delivers to society goes down. The rate of innovation across society goes down. Money remains concentrated within the hands of the 1% and the 99% continue their economic subjugation.

What should we do?

We should organize ourselves in order to push for political reform. This is what all people at all times in history have had to do for all reason and we're no different

"the 1%" "the 99%" = automatic stop reading (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38728742)

I'm fed up. Enough of this nonsense. I think I'll just have to skip reading any post that contains the words "the 1%", "the 99%" or "the rich". Starting with the OP. So it has nothing to do with your content, but if you can't make your point without easy populist sound bites, it deserves to not be read.

Re:Software patent regimes (1)

coolmadsi (823103) | more than 2 years ago | (#38728850)

Sorry about teh unformatted post previous.. I am sure Slashdot is moving to WYSIWYG any day now ;)

You can change your posting settings (click the little gear icon), setting it to "Plain Old Text" is probably what you want:

"Plain Old Text: Same as "HTML Formatted", except that <BR> is automatically inserted for newlines, and other whitespace is converted to non-breaking spaces in a more-or-less intelligent way."

Really? What did they invent fucking glass now? (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#38728206)

Whatever I wont even waste my time reading this tripe anymore. Fuck you Apple

Re:Really? What did they invent fucking glass now? (1)

Forbman (794277) | more than 2 years ago | (#38729164)

what did they invent, fucking glass now?
Well, there's probably an app for that, too...

I used to like Apple (1)

ToasterTester (95180) | more than 2 years ago | (#38728232)

I got into computers in the Apple II days, the first mouse I touched was on a Apple Lisa the forefather of the Mac. I worked for Mac software companies and Apple partners. So I have been around Apple and watched them a long time. I was never a Apple cult person because dealing with and watching their business practices they could be jerks. Apple was a company that tried to compete via innovation, but over the past few years their switch to litigation before innovation makes me sick.

Apple get back to R&D and Marketing and push the Legal department into the background where it belongs.

Choice and Walled Gardens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38728286)

As someone who struggles with Apple's walled garden, I'm glad Samsung and others are giving me choice and freedom to do what I want. As an example, look at the 3rd party plugins I can get for Android based kit.
Apple has never been about choice - that's why Microsoft won the windows battle. Will history repeat itself with Android?

New patent (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | more than 2 years ago | (#38728510)

I think I'm going to file a new patent for the process where a company derives revenue from suing competitors over frivolous claims instead of producing a product.

Boycott Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38728776)

Whenever i read stuff like this instead of getting upset, i ignore because I have never nor will i ever purchase an apple product. the people getting upset have ipods, macs and ipads and feel shame for supporting this evil company.

Here's my problem with the "looks" issues (2)

vawwyakr (1992390) | more than 2 years ago | (#38728836)

How many TVs looks like a big rectangle with a screen? How many remotes are just a bunch of buttons? How many computer screens are a rectangle with a screen and maybe some buttons on a corner? How many mice are little rounded things with a few buttons at the top? Most things LOOK pretty darn similar, particularly after some initial iterations of refinement where eventually everything looks about it optimal as possible. Sorry but eventually you gotta just let go and try to make a better product.

tac\o (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38729128)

of Am3Rica (GNAA)

Next on, LG (1)

arose (644256) | more than 2 years ago | (#38729144)

Next Apple will sue LG for retroactively cloning the iPhone 4 in 2007. No way they could have designed the Prada on their own, it's just too similar to the iPhone 4.
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