Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

How Steve Jobs Patent-Trolled Bill Gates

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the might-as-well-aim-high dept.

Businesses 307

theodp writes "Apple, which is currently waging IP war on Android vendors, is no stranger to patent trolling. Citing the Steve Jobs bio, Forbes' Eric Jackson recalls how Steve Jobs used patents to get Bill Gates to make a 1997 investment in Apple. Recalled Jobs: 'Microsoft was walking over Apple's patents. I said [to Gates], "If we kept up our lawsuits, a few years from now we could win a billion-dollar patent suit. You know it, and I know it. But Apple's not going to survive that long if we're at war. I know that. So let's figure out how to settle this right away. All I need is a commitment that Microsoft will keep developing for the Mac and an investment by Microsoft in Apple so it has a stake in our success.' Next thing you know, BillG was lording over Jobs at Macworld Boston, as the pair announced the $150 million investment that breathed new life into then-struggling Apple. So, does Gates deserve any credit for helping create the world's most valuable company?"

cancel ×

307 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

First post (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39234863)

nope he doesnt deserve any credit (Gates)

Disagree (3, Insightful)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 2 years ago | (#39234893)

Sure he does. Not only for investing, but for providing solid competition with a different angle to it -- a very successful angle -- that required Apple to innovate one way or another to succeed.

And even today, I still run Windows... under OS X, in a VM, sandboxed safely away from the Internet. :o)

Re:Disagree (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39234931)

Apple no stranger to patent trolling? That's just BS

Apple practically invented patent trolling (0, Flamebait)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 2 years ago | (#39235009)

Apple started the junk IP lawsuits in the 1980s.

Re:Apple practically invented patent trolling (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39235091)

Again this BS.

So apple started with patents and lawsuits? Talk about serious BS from android fanboys.

Re:Apple practically invented patent trolling (0, Troll)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39235217)

Here's your evidence; please jump off a cliff at the next opportunity. [nytimes.com] (FWIW, everything Apple was suing over in that suit, they stole from Xerox.)

Re:Apple practically invented patent trolling (5, Informative)

readandburn (825014) | more than 2 years ago | (#39235413)

Xerox got 1,000,000 shares of pre-IPO Apple stock for $100,000 in exchange for a demonstration of their technology.

I wish someone would steal from me like that.

Re:Apple practically invented patent trolling (0)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39235469)

And yet no one was beaten up when Windows, OS/2, and Amiga Workbench showed up with the same feature set and user experience.

Re:Apple practically invented patent trolling (5, Informative)

larkost (79011) | more than 2 years ago | (#39235523)

You are very misinformed in using the word "stole". Apple clearly paid Xerox for everything it got from the tours there (except maybe for the engineers that it hired away):

http://obamapacman.com/2010/03/myth-copyright-theft-apple-stole-gui-from-xerox-parc-alto/

A choice quote (for those too lazy to click over):

Apple obtained permission ahead of the Xerox PARC visit. In addition, Apple provided compensation in exchange for the various Xerox PARC ideas such as the GUI.

Re:Disagree (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39234945)

Gates deserved credit for many reasons, not just those related to IT. The man, once the world's richest, has basically given away his fortune to humanitarian aid and to help develop the world. I can't think of any other guy who is like Bill Gates. Say what you want about Microsoft, but that man has done some good.

Re:Disagree (5, Informative)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 2 years ago | (#39235021)

Andrew Carnegie [wikipedia.org] ?

Carnegie died on August 11, 1919, in Lenox, Massachusetts of bronchial pneumonia. He had already given away $350,695,653 (approximately $4.3 billion, adjusted to 2005 figures) of his wealth.[27] At his death, his last $30,000,000 was given to foundations, charities, and to pensioners

John D. Rockefeller [wikipedia.org] ?

Rockefeller's fourth main philanthropy, the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial Foundation, was created in 1918.[80] Through this, he supported work in the social studies; this was later absorbed into the Rockefeller Foundation. In total Rockefeller donated about $550 million.

Re:Disagree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39235075)

Have to disagree, do some basic research, and youll see his 'giving' money away had some ties,
  Of course, they try to keep that kind of info away from prying eyes, so you dont question just how good a person he is.
  As for me, i equate it to legal blackmail.

Re:Disagree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39235127)

Proof?

Re:Disagree (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39235347)

Proof? This is THE INTERNET!!

Re:Disagree (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39235573)

Like the parent poster said, do some basic research. This took me 30 seconds to find:

  http://www.badseed.info/GMO-genetically-modified-crop-news/35309_bill-gates-ties-up-with-monsanto.html

Re:Disagree (0, Troll)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 2 years ago | (#39235361)

Not that it matters.
All of the money comes from shady and downright unethical and illegal business practices.
Even if he gave every single cent away that would only make him neutral in ethics.

Re:Disagree (2, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#39235089)

required Apple to innovate one way or another to succeed.

Except that Apple did not "innovate," but rather used the innovations of others, and dressed those innovations up to be more marketable. In 1997 Apple was still shipping a cooperative multitasking OS, and used the "innovative" approach of using the Mach microkernel, using the same sort of "hybrid" design as BeOS and Windows NT (oh the irony...). Apple has not really been an innovative company since the 1970s, at least in the sense of innovative companies advancing the state of technology, but they are pretty good at selling innovations to the general public.

Re:Disagree (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39235165)

Some would call those "dressed those innovations up to be more marketable" to be innovations themselves.

Re:Disagree (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 2 years ago | (#39235249)

They're more design and user experience innovations than science and engineering ones.

But that's the case with any business. Even if you do a lot of research (think Microsoft), you can't research everything, you read up on the literature on what other people are doing, copy the ideas you want and package it up (copying may include paying for it in some form).

Of course the design and user experience innovations don't mean anything without the science and engineering ones. Bill Gates was telling us for years we'd have tablets and slates that we could carry around with us, and the concept was proliferated and demonstrated before him on Star Trek which got it from other sources etc. etc. etc. It took Apple to realize the key technology innovation was touch sensing for both phones and slates, and to package that up into a computing device that's named for a teen girls first feminine hygiene product. Without touch sensors slates would still probably be a dead end, regardless of how good the vision of what they *could* do was.

Re:Disagree (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 2 years ago | (#39235267)

Bill Gates was telling us for years we'd have tablets and slates that we could carry around with us, and the concept was proliferated and demonstrated before him on Star Trek which got it from other sources etc. etc. etc.

Or by Apple, with the (highly innovative, at the time) Newton.

Re:Disagree (2, Insightful)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 2 years ago | (#39235193)

Apple has not really been an innovative company since the 1970s, at least in the sense of innovative companies advancing the state of technology

Since the 1970s? In other words, there was nothing innovative about the Macintosh or any product Apple has shipped since? That's just absurd.

Apple has been and continues to be a highly innovative company. The fact that you had to cherry-pick some random example like the Mach kernel (which Apple really only got on board with when it acquired NeXT) demonstrates how full of it you are.

Re:Disagree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39235571)

I agree. I don't like to use Apple products, but they do have a lot of innovations, such as packaging an excellent user experience with a solid piece of hardware. Their marketing department is fantastic at knowing what people want. As well, Steve Jobs is purported to have had a plastics team on site in Cupertino so that he could test mock-ups for look and feel. Apple's designs are very innovative, and they do a good job of communicating a sense of purpose for their devices. For example, the iPad requires dongles for everything because including ports for things like USB and HDMI would have made the device considerably thicker, which would diminsh the sense of delicacy that the device gives you when you hold it.

They do a good job at the things they want to do a good job at.

Re:Disagree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39235195)

I tend to agree that they don't "innovate", but they are masters at polishing technology. As far as I'm concerned, OS X is what Linux On The Desktop should have been.

Re:Disagree (5, Informative)

HappyEngineer (888000) | more than 2 years ago | (#39235201)

You're trying to define innovate to mean the same thing as invent. That's not what it means. It means "Make changes in something established, esp. by introducing new methods, ideas, or products.". It's hard to argue that Apple doesn't do this. They find markets where there's room for improvement in the products and then release a product which is better is some way.

Re:Disagree (5, Interesting)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 2 years ago | (#39235341)

You're trying to define innovate to mean the same thing as invent. That's not what it means. It means "Make changes in something established, esp. by introducing new methods, ideas, or products.". It's hard to argue that Apple doesn't do this. They find markets where there's room for improvement in the products and then release a product which is better is some way.

I agree, but then there's the stuff that Apple plain invented. FireWire? ADB? AppleTalk? TrueType? Even the PowerPC wouldn't exist without Apple's involvement. This idea that Apple doesn't create anything is frankly bizarre, and I think it must just be sour grapes, because it has very little basis in reality.

Re:Disagree (4, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#39235475)

Not to mention everyone seems to forget Gates' main contribution was to calm a spooked market that was filled with "Is this the death of Apple?" articles that had investors spooked and developers abandoning the platform. When gates came out and said "We will have not only Office but a division working on mac products because we think it has a future" the investors said "hey, if Gates thinks there is money to be made, maybe there is" and the same thing happened with developers.

Remember folks it didn't have squat to do with the money, jobs could have pulled 150 million out of his ass. What mattered was WHERE the money was coming from and WHO was investing it. At the time Win98 was everywhere and WinNT was pretty much THE business OS, so to have its CEO say a company has a future, well that was good enough for many.

Re:First post (1)

durrr (1316311) | more than 2 years ago | (#39235241)

At the end of the day, BillG is alive and SteveJ is not.

Re:First post (4, Interesting)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 2 years ago | (#39235417)

At the end of the day, BillG is alive and SteveJ is not.

A few years, and we'll say: At the end of the day, MacOS X is alive and Windows is dead :-)

Seriously, Apple just pulled off the mother of all trolls: They made Microsoft believe that Mountain Lion would be a merge between MacOS X and iOS, and promptly Microsoft responded with Windows 8, which _is_ a merge between a desktop and a phone OS.

Re:First post (2)

an unsound mind (1419599) | more than 2 years ago | (#39235529)

Do you have Netcraft confirming that Windows is dead?

Because every OS out now has been "dead" according to the internet since it was made.

Patent Troll? (3, Insightful)

Denis Lemire (27713) | more than 2 years ago | (#39234867)

Don't you have to be a bottom feeding shell corporation with no actual products to be a patent troll?

Not sure Apple fit this definition at any stage of it's history.

That's like saying... (5, Insightful)

denzacar (181829) | more than 2 years ago | (#39234965)

Don't you have to be a bottom feeding shell corporation with no actual products to be a patent troll?

Not sure Apple fit this definition at any stage of it's history.

"Don't you have to be poor, with no actual possession, to be a crack addict?"

Patent trolling is an act, not a profession. Though some people/companies do base their business around that single act.

Re:That's like saying... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39235065)

I think the moment you have real products you're not a patent troll. Not saying every patent has merit just because you have a product built around it... but the concept of patent troll I have in my head is far more parasitic. Certainly not an entity that contributes to society in any way shape or form. Scums siphoning capital from the legitimate success of other organizations.

Maybe my definition is narrower than most.

Maybe it all makes sense when we separate the noun and the verb...

ie) Apple is not a "patent troll" in the noun sense, but can certainly "patent troll" another in the verb sense.

M'eh.

Re:That's like saying... (4, Insightful)

Tharsman (1364603) | more than 2 years ago | (#39235105)

The common accepted definition of "patent troll" is:

Patent troll is a pejorative term used for a person or company who buys and enforces patents against one or more alleged infringers in a manner considered by the target or observers as unduly aggressive or opportunistic, often with no intention to further develop, manufacture or market the patented invention.

(Taken from wikipedia) [wikipedia.org]

Another trait of patent trolls is they want to make sure you stay in business, albeit with low margins, since you going out of business means you cant pay licenses.

Apple's patent wars have never been done with the goal of get licensing fees from anyone. Their goal is almost always to kill products they despite (for one reason or another, but are mostly motivated by personal company grudges.)

I'm not saying Apple is a nice kid playing by the rules, but they are far from being a patent troll.

As for the article itself... what retard wrote that, and how am I not shocked it's posted in Forbes? Yes, Apple (not jobs, the lawsuits had been going for years and Jobs had just returned) was running a legal battle against Microsoft at the time, but as Jobs said, Apple was going to go under way before they were able to win or lose. And to be honest, Microsoft had the money to even pay if they ever won.

Losses were not what was in Gate's mind at the time. The reason Gates actually bailed Apple out was that Apple going out of business would had been horrible for Microsoft's defense in their anti-trust monopoly abuse case since Apple's competition was one of the points that was constantly brought up by the defense during the case.

Actually... (1, Insightful)

denzacar (181829) | more than 2 years ago | (#39235499)

That Wikipedia quote, while it does have a leg to stand on, its one leg is not in any remotely good condition and it is missing several toes.

It cites an article where it is said the following, about patent trolls:

"The long-anticipated eBay case gets to the heart of the debate over so-called patent trolls â" companies that obtain patents only to license them, often using the threat of an injunction to extract a high price from infringers." Woellert, L.: eBay Takes on the Patent Trolls. Business Week, March 30, 2006.
One of the arguments that eBay made was that non-practicing inventors, quaintly nicknamed "patent trolls," should not be entitled to an injunction as a matter of course.

Oh, my! Now non-practicing inventors are "patent trolls" too.

And then it goes further along that way:

Who are these evil âoepatent trollsâ anyway? The term was first coined by Intel, whose in-house counsel was quoted to have said, âoeA patent troll is somebody who tries to make a lot of money off a patent that they are not practicing and have no intention of practicing and in most cases never practiced.â(TM)â Sandburg, B.: Inventorâ(TM)s Lawyer Makes a Pile from Patents. The Recorder, July 30, 2001. According to this definition, a non-practicing inventor is a patent troll.

And there is more:

Later, the definition of âoepatent trollâ was modified to describe those who buy patents, which they do not practice, for the sole purpose of assertion. Under this definition, to be a troll one needs to (a) buy a patent, (b) not practice the patented invention, and (c) assert the acquired patent. As I have argued in Making Innovation Pay â" Turning IP into Shareholder Value (B. Berman, ed., John Wiley & Sons Publishers, Inc.) (2006), this definition is patently absurd.

And in the end, the author decides that there is no such thing as a patent troll at all:

To summarize, the so-called "patent trolls" are stuff of myths and legends, not of sound reason.

So, you saying that "they are far from being a patent troll" makes sense - but only because "patent trolls" don't exist according to all those definitions above.
Particularly the Wikipedia's "common accepted definition", which is "patently absurd".

ON THE OTHER HAND...
Taking in account that "patent troll" is first and foremost a pejorative term (think of the first racial slur that comes to your mind) used to describe a perfectly legal, though sometimes morally questionable ACT, well...

Apple has been "patent trolling" many times. Or "asserting a patent".
It's all in the eye of the beholder.

As for the article itself... what retard wrote that, and how am I not shocked it's posted in Forbes? Yes, Apple (not jobs, the lawsuits had been going for years and Jobs had just returned) was running a legal battle against Microsoft at the time, but as Jobs said, Apple was going to go under way before they were able to win or lose. And to be honest, Microsoft had the money to even pay if they ever won.

Losses were not what was in Gate's mind at the time. The reason Gates actually bailed Apple out was that Apple going out of business would had been horrible for Microsoft's defense in their anti-trust monopoly abuse case since Apple's competition was one of the points that was constantly brought up by the defense during the case.

I concur. On all those points.

Re:That's like saying... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39235335)

No, it's not like saying that *at all*. "Patent troll" and "Patent trolling" have always been exclusively a term for companies or people who own patents for the express purpose of commanding lawsuits and licensing fees from others, with no intention of using the patents in an actual product.
I don't even like Apple, but the amount of people who misunderstand this term is astonishing. Apple, under no correct sentence of the word, is not a Patent Troll.

Re:That's like saying... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39235351)

"Don't you have to be poor, with no actual possession, to be a crack addict?"

Well... yes? Until then it's just a hobby.

Bill Gates: Alive and well (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39234881)

Steve Jobs: wormfood.

I don't think Jobs is the one to laugh last.

Re:Bill Gates: Alive and well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39235489)

Bill Gates built the Microsoft empire by crushing competition and flooding the market with low-quality products and not letting hardware companies offer any alternatives. Most people use Windows and Office because "everybody else uses that". Even today, in 2012, you'd have a hard time finding a company willing to sell you a non-Apple computer without Microsoft Windows pre-installed.

Steve Jobs wanted to change the world. And he did, with good products that people want to buy and use.

well, clearly (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39234885)

Anyone who has been on the Internet more than 6 months remembers the "$150 million for Apple from MS" thing. It usually brings the Apple fanboys out of the woodwork insisting that neither the investment nor the promise of continued support were relevant for Apple's success and anyway Apple had SO much tech that MS was copying and MS would totally have had to pay out billions otherwise. (This implies that SJ willingly turned down the opportunity at several $billion out of the kindness of his heart, which is hilarious.)

Re:well, clearly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39234951)

+1. This isn't news; in Internet time, it's ancient history.

Big Deal. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39234887)

Who fucking cares.

So sick of these two schmucks.

Of course he's responsible for it. (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 2 years ago | (#39234891)

Yes. By focusing on creating products that are "good enough", he enabled someone else to easily produce something better and rake in billions of dollars.

Patent Troll Nothing... (4, Informative)

BWJones (18351) | more than 2 years ago | (#39234907)

Patent troll nothing. Microsoft was caught red handed with code lifted *DIRECTLY* from the Quicktime codecs. This was not trolling with a concept or buying patents to then leverage against someone else, this was outright plagiarism.

Re:Patent Troll Nothing... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39234943)

Patent troll nothing. Microsoft was caught red handed with code lifted *DIRECTLY* from the Quicktime codecs. This was not trolling with a concept or buying patents to then leverage against someone else, this was outright plagiarism.

Evidence, please. Every Apple fanboy comes out with this and points out how TOTALLY destroyed Microsoft would have been had it gone to court, yet mysteriously Apple didn't go to court but settled for $150M of *investment* and continuation of a product which probably would have been continued anyway.

Re:Patent Troll Nothing... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39234973)

Your evidence, courtesy of some reporting by The Register in 1998.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/1998/10/29/microsoft_paid_apple_150m/

"However, although Intel certainly knew that Canyon had developed key parts of the code for Apple, it did not specify that this must be undertaken in a clean room, which is a damning condemnation in view of Intel's experience of such matters following its own litigation with AMD. A month later, Canyon delivered the program to Intel containing code that was an exact copy of the code that it had previously delivered to Apple. Intel gave this code to Microsoft as part of a joint development program called Display Control Interface."

Re:Patent Troll Nothing... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39235013)

That's not saying anything about Microsoft copying Apple's source. That's merely saying that Canyon developed some product for Apple and for Intel and that the two products shared source code.

The two things are completely different in moral and in legal terms.

Put another way, what action against Microsoft do you think Apple would have been entitled to take, and for what amount or other specific remedy?

Re:Patent Troll Nothing... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39235103)

Given that Microsoft accepted and shipped the code to their developers (and from a number of reports, did so knowingly), then I think Apple was entirely justified in adding Microsoft to the list of defendants in the case.

As to what amount or specific remedy Apple should've received, I can't say. First, because I'm a physicist and not a lawyer. And secondly, because I'm Canadian and not American. You folks love your crazy-ass lawsuits down there.

Re:Patent Troll Nothing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39235239)

Consider any possible accusation you can think up on anything big, and "a number of reports" across the vast and insane Internet will insist it to be true. We must differentiate justice from hearsay and rumour by the prejudiced, for the prejudiced.

So, again: 1) which code certainly belonged to Apple (as opposed to a third party)? 2) in what way is it evident that Microsoft knew this? 3) if Microsoft knew it, why did they re-distribute to developers? What was so great about this code that it was worth risking so much over?

I'm English - our system is closer to yours than theirs, but we're still all mostly singing from the same adversarial sheet. There must be some fairly incredible losses that Apple suffered, and these losses must be covered by something in legislation or common law which cause Microsoft to become liable to Apple. But what? The question's directed at anyone who can give me an answer, as ~15 years after this happened, no-one has supplied an answer to me.

Re:Patent Troll Nothing... (4, Informative)

BWJones (18351) | more than 2 years ago | (#39234977)

Re:Patent Troll Nothing... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39235005)

so the San Francisco Canyon Company actually stole the code. Microsoft & Intel used the software they produced AND *ALLEGEDLY* (a word that every Apple fanboy really needs to learn) knew that the company was stealing the code. You may say, why did MS threaten Apple if it weren't true and the answer is that litigation would have been more expensive, whether or not Apple was correct.

Re:Patent Troll Nothing... (5, Insightful)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 2 years ago | (#39235449)

so the San Francisco Canyon Company actually stole the code. Microsoft & Intel used the software they produced AND *ALLEGEDLY* (a word that every Apple fanboy really needs to learn) knew that the company was stealing the code. You may say, why did MS threaten Apple if it weren't true and the answer is that litigation would have been more expensive, whether or not Apple was correct.

Copyright infringement. Doesn't matter too much whether you know about it or not. By hiring a company that stole the code, and using the stolen code, Microsoft became legally responsible. Not morally, assuming they didn't know anything about the code theft (and they would have had to be bloody stupid to buy the code if they had known it was stolen).The same principle that allows the BSA to make a company pay big time if an employee, with or without knowledge of his superiors, uses pirated software.

Re:Patent Troll Nothing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39235209)

Wikipedia? Did you write the article? Watch me delete it.

Re:Patent Troll Nothing... (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#39234975)

this was outright plagiarism.

Which has nothing to do with patents.

Re:Patent Troll Nothing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39235039)

Which actually did.

The Worlds Most Valuable Company (1, Troll)

koan (80826) | more than 2 years ago | (#39234909)

That makes nothing you need.

Re:The Worlds Most Valuable Company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39234941)

It makes me a lot of money that I can exchange for goods and services I do need, though.

RIP "Apple Computer" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39235017)

It made me a lot of money too. I left when it was still "Apple Computer". "Apple, Inc." doesn't make anything I want to buy.

Re:The Worlds Most Valuable Company (0)

wjcofkc (964165) | more than 2 years ago | (#39235023)

To be fair none of us *need* technology at all unless it is medical related. Oh wait, aren't a lot of doctors in hospitals using iPads to streamline their workflow these days? All the same I respect your ID so you can have my last mod point as interesting.

Re:The Worlds Most Valuable Company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39235073)

All the same I respect your ID so you can have my last mod point as interesting.

You do realize that you commented, which means you can't give that mod point to this thread, right?

Re:The Worlds Most Valuable Company (1)

philip.paradis (2580427) | more than 2 years ago | (#39235197)

Maybe he's got another account that has mod points. I disagree with such practices, but some folks roll that way.

Re:The Worlds Most Valuable Company (1)

koan (80826) | more than 2 years ago | (#39235285)

*Warning Warning* sarcasm detected.
You know any pad would do for doctors, a Kindle Fire would do the job and be a lot less $'s, again while they make things we can use, they make nothing we actually need, so in that light don't you find it odd a company that makes nothing we need is the "Most Valuable"?

I do.

Re:The Worlds Most Valuable Company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39235313)

Take this further. We don't need anything. Need in common speech is a conditional which has an assumed antecedent. People think it is correct to say we need food, medicine, cars, roads, houses, and so on because they assume we need to live and live well. But that simply adds to the infinite regression of assumption. Why do we need to live? What antecedent affirms that? The truth is that we don't need to live. There is no such necessity or absolute requirement. Instead, what is true is that we want to live.

I'd ignore that distinction as being pedantic, but just reading the comment replied to shows that this is more than just semantics. It is a fundamental misunderstanding of one small bit of reality, and it lets people get away with all the most bizarre sorts of arguments one could imagine. In this instance, it creates a fictional barrier between different types of businesses. Ones that we 'need' and ones we do not. Thus it impedes ones ability to recognize that we have a scale of preferences that rank(ordinal) some industries more urgent, but none categorically different. So what seem like just annoying and bitter statements about a company that makes things a person finds superfluous, is actually the basis of entirely false justifications for a whole host of policies, utility laws being an obvious one.

Re:The Worlds Most Valuable Company (1)

EliSowash (2532508) | more than 2 years ago | (#39235059)

But makes so many products [you] WANT. A laptop's a laptop, and an MP3 player's an MP3 player, and a smartphone's a smartphone, but the macbook and ipod and iphone are sexy. I will say, I appreciate apple's whole approach. 'Windows' is a platform, on which to assemble the tool you want for the job. Be it gaming, productivity, etc. It's utilitarian. Linux is a development environment, where the capable user 'builds' the tool they want. Kinda lump Droid into this catagory. MacOS, is ... enclosed. Not closed like closed-source, neccessarily - but the box is well defined. This you can do, this you can't do. Can't change the hardware. Can't modify much of the OS. The entire user experience is controlled. iphone apps work the same way. Unless you break into your phone, you get the programs we say are OK, from our appstore. I don't know that I agree with it, but I don't know that I disagree either. I appreciate it, though.

Re:The Worlds Most Valuable Company (0)

koan (80826) | more than 2 years ago | (#39235307)

So being sexy makes you the most valuable company? It isn't the crap they make it's the fact they make crap we don't really need AND are the "most valuable".

Fucking pathetic.

Re:The Worlds Most Valuable Company (2)

PNutts (199112) | more than 2 years ago | (#39235079)

That makes nothing you need.

In your prejudice, did you mean computers, laptops, smartphones, media players, tablets, and online music sale/rental stores? Or were you referring to Apple's products specifically? My other snarky comment is that assuming your statement is directed at Apple and it's true, they do a bang-up job of making things people want.

Re:The Worlds Most Valuable Company (1)

koan (80826) | more than 2 years ago | (#39235327)

30 years ago we didn't need any of this, that said I enjoy it, what bothers me here isn't that Apple makes computers, but that they have become "most valuable" for making the same shit as everyone else albeit with a better design factor.

I think it's a strong statement on what we value.

Re:The Worlds Most Valuable Company (0)

koan (80826) | more than 2 years ago | (#39235287)

Modded down by fanbois, modded up by?

Re:The Worlds Most Valuable Company (2)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 2 years ago | (#39235547)

Modded down by fanbois, modded up by?

...fandroids. Kinda the flip side of the coin.

trolled? What does this guy know about IP law? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39234929)

Who evers written this is a 5 year old kid knowing absolutely nothing about IP or IP law.

'trolled'. Get a life.

Enough Already (5, Insightful)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 2 years ago | (#39234949)

Oh my f'ing gawd! If you're going to use the term "patent troll", make damn sure you know what it means. When a company infringes a patent and is sued for doing so, the suing party is _NOT_ a patent troll. When the CEO of a suing company opens a dialogue and negotiates a settlement that is mutually beneficial to both companies, that is _NOT_ a patent troll.

A patent troll is a company that makes nothing of note (typically nothing at all) yet sues other companies for patent infringement. In fact, it can be best summed up that a patent troll's business model is generating revenues from suing other companies for patent infringement. Now, before anyone tries to be witty and claim that describes Apple, pull your head out of your ass and be honest - Apple makes BILLIONS of dollars _MAKING AND SELLING ACTUAL PRODUCTS!_ They invest a massive amount of money into R&D and thus have numerous patents covering their inventions. Thus, when a company infringes one of those patents, it is entirely within their right and understandable that they would sue for infringement but APPLE IS NOT A PATENT TROLL.

Seriously. You may not like their actions; you may not like Steve Jobs; you may think everything related to Apple is crap but be honest and understand what a patent troll is and recognize Apple is NOT a patent troll.

The major issue I have with people watering down the meaning of the term is that it weakens the debate against actual patent trolls who are leaches of the worst order. When you use "patent troll" to describe Apple, just because you don't like them, you weaken the ability to rightly vilify the real patent trolls.

Apple is NOT a patent troll. You don't have to like them - hate them all you want - but be honest and recognize they are NOT a patent troll.

Re:Enough Already (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39234969)

I don't understand. are you saying Apple is NOT a patent troll? If you are it in no way came across in your post.

Re:Enough Already (0)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | more than 2 years ago | (#39234999)

Judging by the amount of vitriol on your rant, it seems you got ... *snigger* ... TROLLED.

Re:Enough Already (2)

russotto (537200) | more than 2 years ago | (#39235133)

A patent troll is a company that makes nothing of note (typically nothing at all) yet sues other companies for patent infringement. In fact, it can be best summed up that a patent troll's business model is generating revenues from suing other companies for patent infringement.

Not all trolls are non-practicing entities. A company which does make stuff, but makes a practice of filing broad patents on every aspect of what they make, however trivial, and then digs them up and uses them to extort payment from others is also engaging in patent trolling. Thus Unisys with the LZW patent, Microsoft with the various FAT long-file-name patents, etc.

Re:Enough Already (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 2 years ago | (#39235231)

A company which does make stuff, but makes a practice of filing broad patents on every aspect of what they make, however trivial, and then digs them up and uses them to extort payment from others is also engaging in patent trolling. Thus Unisys with the LZW patent, Microsoft with the various FAT long-file-name patents, etc.

But when do you get to use a loaded word like "extort" and when is it merely ordinary, run-of-the-mill patent licensing, which is very clearly part of the purpose of having patent law in the first place? IBM has one of the largest patent portfolios [ibm.com] in the world. Is it a "patent troll"? I hardly think so. Wall Street and economists don't appear to think so, either; IBM is considered a blue chip stock.

Re:Enough Already (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39235261)

Apple is a patent troll.

Re:Enough Already (-1, Troll)

inode_buddha (576844) | more than 2 years ago | (#39235281)

A couple weeks ago, while taking my asian girlfriend shopping at the local mall, I had to take a piss. As I entered the john, Steve Jobs -- the messiah himself -- came out of one of the booths. I stood at the urinal looking at him out of the corner of my eye as he washed his hands. He didn't once look at me. He was busy and in any case I was sure the security guards wouldn't even let me shake his hand.

As soon as he left I darted into the booth he'd vacated, hoping there might be a lingering smell of shit and even a seat still warm from his sturdy ass. I found not only the smell but the shit itself. He'd forgotten to flush. And what a treasure he had left behind. Three or four beautiful specimens floated in the bowl. It apparently had been a fairly dry, constipated shit, for all were fat, stiff, and ruggedly textured. The real prize was a great feast of turd -- a nine inch gastrointestinal triumph as thick as his cock -- or at least as I imagined it!

I knelt before the bowl, inhaling the rich brown fragrance and wondered if I should obey the impulse building up inside me. I'd always been a liberal thinker and had been an Apple customer since 1984. Of course I'd had fantasies of meeting Jobs, sucking his cock and balls, not to mention sucking his asshole clean, but I never imagined I would have the chance. Now, here I was, confronted with the most beautiful five-pound turd I'd ever feasted my eyes on, a sausage fit to star in any fantasy and one I knew to have been hatched from the asshole of Steve Jobs, the chosen one.

Why not? I plucked it from the bowl, holding it with both hands to keep it from breaking. I lifted it to my nose. It smelled like rich, ripe limburger (horrid, but thrilling), yet had the consistency of cheddar. What is cheese anyway but milk turning to shit without the benefit of a digestive tract?

I gave it a lick and found that it tasted better then it smelled.

I hesitated no longer. I shoved the fucking thing as far into my mouth as I could get it and sucked on it like a big half nigger cock, beating my meat like a madman, and thrusting my pink iPod Shuffle into my ass. I wanted to completely engulf it and bit off a large chunk, flooding my mouth with the intense, bittersweet flavor. To my delight I found that while the water in the bowl had chilled the outside of the turd, it was still warm inside. As I chewed I discovered that it was filled with hard little bits of something I soon identified as peanuts. He hadn't chewed them carefully and they'd passed through his body virtually unchanged. I ate it greedily, sending lump after peanutty lump sliding scratchily down my throat. My only regret was that Steve Jobs wasn't there to see my loyalty and wash it down with his piss.

I soon reached a terrific climax. I caught my cum in the cupped palm of my hand and drank it down. Believe me, there is no more delightful combination of flavors than the hot sweetness of cum with the rich bitterness of shit. It's even better than reading an Apple press release!

Afterwards I was sorry that I hadn't made it last longer. But then I realized that I still had a lot of fun in store for me. There was still a clutch of virile turds left in the bowl. I tenderly fished them out, rolled them into my handkerchief, and stashed them in my briefcase. In the week to come I found all kinds of ways to eat the shit without bolting it right down. Once eaten it's gone forever unless you want to filch it third hand out of your own asshole. Not an unreasonable recourse in moments of desperation or simple boredom.

I stored the turds in the refrigerator when I was not using them but within a week they were all gone. The last one I held in my mouth without chewing, letting it slowly dissolve. I had liquid shit trickling down my throat for nearly four hours. I must have had six orgasms in the process.

I often think of Steve Jobs dropping solid gold out of his sweet, pink asshole every day, never knowing what joy it could, and at least once did, bring to a grateful Apple customer.

Re:Enough Already (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39235497)

A couple weeks ago, while taking my asian girlfriend shopping at the local mall, I had to take a piss. As I entered the john, Steve Jobs -- the messiah himself -- came out of one of the booths.

It's true! Jobs is not dead, he's hanging out at the local mall with Elvis!

Isn't Enron... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39234985)

...the world's most valuable company?

Re:Isn't Enron... (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 2 years ago | (#39235381)

depends how you count it. And there are a lot of ways to count it.

Apple is highest total market cap regularly, (trading places the Exxon depending on share prices). It is no where near the largest assets or total employees. Though those don't count sub contracted employees (think foxconn) or intellectual assets.

I think it's most profitable, but it doesn't actually pay a dividend (yet), so other companies that do pay dividends are worth more in that respect. It's way down there on revenue, but profit per revenue it's probably towards the top of big companies, of course bigger companies can do more things to hide their obscene amounts of wealth, including paying principle shareholders fees as employees or contractors, for example imagine if Steve Jobs made a Company, named Steve's Job Company, and Apple payed Steve's Job Company 10 billion dollars a year for management services. Or more likely, Goldman Sachs will own 5% of the company, and is paid as the accounting firm for the company sort of thing. I can say a lot of bad things about steve jobs, but it doesn't seem like he ever tried to loot apple for his own purposes.

If you want to count state owned corporations it's still probably the largest, but not necessarily, the Saudi oil company, the UAE's various sovereign wealth funds etc. are all essentially corporations, but no one makes public how much money they have, the value of their assets, their revenue, or who gets the payouts.

No mention of patent trolling in the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39234993)

Looks like Soulskill did not RTFA.

really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39235035)

Soulskill you suck............this is a story? This was in the book that came out last year....what an idiot.

He deserves zero credit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39235049)

Back then Microsoft was using their shear size to dominate other companies and it wasn't just Apple. I remember that little lawsuit with Stac Electronics. Microsoft basically bundled in Stacker and took the position of "what are you going to do about it"? They sued and won. Microsoft used to be infamous for lifting code and technologies then playing dumb. Even Vista, Win 7 and now Win 8 came under fire for being suspiciously like OSX. Microsoft seemed unbeatable a dozen years ago but they were never an innovator and that's where Apple blew past them. Also people keep forgetting Apple isn't a software company they are a hardware company that happens to make their own OS and some software products. Microsoft has always been the opposite.

Re:He deserves zero credit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39235139)

Apple isn't a hardware company, apple is a company that uses hardware other people make, puts special connectors on it so they are forced to buy through them, and then puts restricting software on the device... They are only assembling the completed hardware and putting their software on it... they don't make the hardware at all....

Not just patents... (4, Insightful)

rb12345 (1170423) | more than 2 years ago | (#39235053)

So, does Gates deserve any credit for helping create the world's most valuable company?

The reality is that he probably had little choice in the matter. Not investing in Apple would risk having Microsoft as pretty much the only operating system company in existence (OS/2, Solaris and others had virtually no market share, and Linux was not really a competitor on the desktop back then). With the IE antitrust suits just starting around that time, killing off Windows' biggest competitor was a bad idea. So, you could argue that keeping Apple alive was necessary for MS, even if it might cause future problems, and those could be minimised via network effects (people needing Windows to run their applications).

Re:Not just patents... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39235179)

But Apple's not going to survive that long if we're at war. I know that.

So thats just saying Microsoft could have kept up the lawsuits for enough years to destroy apple before apple could ever get a cent out of it. So yes, if they fought it out it would have been a Pyhrric victory for Microsoft since the anti-trust people would have gone after that.

mod parent up. it's the DOJ, stupid (1)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#39235251)

Microsoft did not get to be a monopoly by kowtowing to threats of patent lawsuits from failing competitors.

the DOJ lawsuits against MS had more to do with MS supporting Apple than, well, anything. The DOJ was about to get all into MS's business, with bizarre stuff like forcing them to ship Windows without the IE browser, and other harebrained schemes.

this experience it also probably kept MS out of the phone market and the retail store market, vertical integration, etc. - apparently someone didn't give Redmond the memo that regulation and the FTC died when George Bush came into office. The things that apple is doing are blatantly anti-competitive, and nobody is batting an eye.

Patent-troll? & Cash! (2)

SteveW928 (2030878) | more than 2 years ago | (#39235097)

First, a patent toll isn't a company protecting their intellectual property. A patent troll is a 'firm' that makes nothing, but simply collects patents and hires a lot of lawyers in an attempt to squeeze some cash out of the victims of such tolling.

Second, when you have BILLIONS of cash in the bank, a $150 million 'investment' is better called, a token gesture.

Re:Patent-troll? & Cash! (3, Interesting)

catmistake (814204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39235227)

$150 million investment that breathed new life into then-struggling Apple

when you have BILLIONS of cash in the bank, a $150 million 'investment' is better called, a token gesture.

This tiny detail of history is always presented wrong... but you have a wiff of the truth. Bill Gates' and Microsoft's $150 million investment was exactly that, a token gesture, and it is not what 'saved' Apple from bankruptcy. It was Jobs and his radical reshaping of the company, the elimination of failing product lines, and the introduction of the iPod/iTunes paradigm that probably saved Apple. Had that $150 million never changed hands, the result would not have been much different. Jobs wanted Microsoft's Office products for the Mac... that's ALL that was. Did MS Office save Apple? Fuck no... that's absurd.

ClarisWorks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39235125)

R.I.P. ClarisWorks, you were ever a thorn in Office's side.

Re:ClarisWorks (1)

ninetyninebottles (2174630) | more than 2 years ago | (#39235205)

R.I.P. ClarisWorks, you were ever a thorn in Office's side.

It still is. Now it is called "iWork" and iWork on the iPad is one of MS's more credible threats as it puts a competitor on a popular device and market subset MS hasn't been able to effectively target.

What I don't understand ... (1)

SwedishChef (69313) | more than 2 years ago | (#39235135)

Why would Bill Gates invest in Apple if Jobs admitted that Apple wouldn't survive long enough to win a patent lawsuit against MS anyway? Something's fishy. Gates could just wait 'em out and let Apple go away and gobble up the patents. Must be something more to the story.

But I have no trouble believing that MS was infringing... I don't think they (or, probably, anyone else back then) paid much attention to "patents". They were paying more attention to copyright but even then, not very much.

Re:What I don't understand ... (1)

Swampash (1131503) | more than 2 years ago | (#39235177)

Or Apple could have sold those patents for short-term cash to a third party that DID have the necessary longevity to win a billion-dollar settlement from Microsoft.

Meh. This whole article is just ad keyword spam. Any second now Slashdot's gonna start posting news from the fruit and produce industry just to ensure more of its articles contain the word "Apple".

Re:What I don't understand ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39235233)

Around the same time the first investigations into MS as a monopoly were happening Bill needed Apple around as a credible rival

Re:What I don't understand ... (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 2 years ago | (#39235253)

Why would Bill Gates invest in Apple if Jobs admitted that Apple wouldn't survive long enough to win a patent lawsuit against MS anyway?

You know the answer to that. Apple wouldn't survive as such, but the lawsuit would. See: SCO Group. Jobs was saying he had a strong enough case to win a massive settlement somewhere down the line, and Gates knew it. To get that settlement would take years, though, and investing Apple's resources in lawsuits while it struggled in the products market would probably mean the death of Apple's products business. The effect would be to take Apple the tech company and replace it with Apple-as-SCO-Group. Jobs was banking that Gates would see the wisdom of not just throwing one of the great, innovative American computer tech companies onto the scrapheap, and that there would be more value for both companies in cementing a closer partnership. He was right.

The role of Microsoft to Apple (5, Insightful)

cold fjord (826450) | more than 2 years ago | (#39235161)

Microsoft has played many roles over its long history with Apple. It has been benefactor, beneficiary, competitor, and on occasion extortionist.

As a benefactor, Microsoft has invested in Apple, more than once IIRC. They have also produced many solid productivity applications, and once upon a time a number of programming tools (MS Basic, QuickBasic, Fortran) for the Mac. Apple desperately needed applications for the Mac, especially during the early years when people were wrestling with the enormous increase in complexity that programming the Macintosh interface represented at the time.

As a beneficiary, Microsoft has reaped a nontrivial amount of money from sales of Microsoft products on the Macintosh platform. It also benefited from early exposure to the GUI ideas in the Macintosh and Lisa that popularized and built upon earlier work at Xerox. It could see the many interesting things Apple was doing with object oriented programming, multimedia, and other innovations.

As a competitor, Microsoft modeled Windows after Macintosh and used it to largely drive Apple from the market for many years. Microsoft used its position as the prime application vendor to shape how Macintosh was used, making it more difficult to use Macintosh in business by withholding key applications or dropping others. (Microsoft dropped Microsoft Project and Foxbase/Foxpro for Macintosh, and never produced Access.) Apple has repeatedly aided Microsoft through brilliance in conception, idiocy in execution, and almost non-existent follow through with future products - both hardware and software. (They are doing much better over the last 10 years.)

Business being business, extortionist may be too harsh a word, but Microsoft is rumored to have forced Apple to sell its marvelous Macintosh Basic to Microsoft for $1.00 [folklore.org] if it wanted to get another license for the Microsoft Basic in the ROMs of the Apple IIs - Apple's bread and butter money maker for years after the Macintosh was released. Funny how much Microsoft Basic -> Quickbasic improved around that time. I seem to recall that Microsoft stopped development on Macintosh applications when Apple sued them over the look and feel of Windows as being too close to Macintosh. I don't believe those were the only times that Microsoft played hardball with Apple either, although it probably went both ways at times.

The real reason Gates saved Apple (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39235167)

For the twenty year span 1985-2005, Microsoft used Apple as their advanced R&D lab. Apple would continually release cool products and technologies, but since it was locked out of the PC mainstream they had to settle for at most 5 percent market share. Then Microsoft would ape what Apple did and try to make incremental improvements, usually mucking it up because of the warring UI designer syndrome.

Microsoft had fine engineers but they seemed (then and now) unable to create anything original. They depended on other companies to innovate, including Netscape, Sun (for Java), Borland (for C++ class frameworks), Sybase, etc. But most importantly, they depended on Apple, because Windows was Microsoft's bread and butter product.

By 2005 the world had changed so that the PC was no longer the center of the consumer computing universe. Jobs struck with the ipod and the iPhone and Microsoft was unable to respond with its usual monopolistic hold. Apple had the prime mover advantage.

SHITTER WAS FULL! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39235211)

Article 1: Is The Philly Cellphone Jammer A Hero Or A Jerk?
Article 2: FCC Wants To Know If It Sometimes Might Be Okay To Jam Cellphones In Interest Of Public Safety
Article 3: FDA Adds Diabetes & Memory Loss Warnings To Statins
Article 4: Chase Plans On Caring Even Less About Customers With Less Than $100K In The Bank
----
Oops, did I intend to post this link?:
* http://www.ladyada.net/make/wavebubble/ [ladyada.net]

The world may never know...

Article 1: Is The Philly Cellphone Jammer A Hero Or A Jerk?
                      By Chris Morran on March 1, 2012 12:15 PM

# http://consumerist.com/2012/03/is-the-philly-cellphone-jammer-a-hero-or-a-jerk.html [consumerist.com]

"A man in Philadelphia decided he'd had enough with listening to his fellow bus passengers blab away on their cellphones. But instead of buying himself some noise-cancelling headphones or politely asking people to pipe down, he chose to fight back with a handheld device that jams their signals.

"I guess I'm taking the law into my own hands," he told NBC10, which caught him red-handed with the illegal jammer, "and quite frankly, I'm proud of it."

Those who ride the bus with the man say he should be ashamed, not proud.

"How dare you decide that I can't speak to somebody or I can't use my cellphone?" asks one passenger who spotted the man using the jammer on her way to work. "He's blatantly holding this device that looks like a walkie-talkie with four very thick antennae. I started to watch him and any time somebody started talking on the phone, he would start pressing the button on the side of the device."

Experts tell NBC10 that there is a good reason the FCC has made it illegal to jam cellphone signals: "With cellphone jammers you are limiting all types of communication tools that use the radio frequencies. You have the potential to cause a public safety disaster. Cutting off communication by not only our public officials to their dispatch centers but also cutting off the public's communication to 911 can be a dangerous thing."

When confronted by a reporter about the illegality of the device, the jamming gent said he believed it was "more of a gray area," but hours later contacted NBC10 to say that after further research he would get rid of the jammer." (Article includes video not linked here)

* View more videos at: http://nbcphiladelphia.com/ [nbcphiladelphia.com]
* http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Rider-Annoyed-by-Calls-Jams-Phones-on-Septa-Bus-140966733.html [nbcphiladelphia.com]

© 2005-2010 Consumer Media LLC except where noted.
--
Article 2: FCC Wants To Know If It Sometimes Might Be Okay To
                      Jam Cellphones In Interest Of Public Safety
                      By Chris Morran on March 2, 2012 3:30 PM

"Chief among the reasons given by the Federal Communications Commission for outlawing the practice of using signal-jamming devices for cellphones is public safety. With 70% of 911 calls now made on wireless devices, the FCC has argued that deliberately blocking cell signals could put people at risk. That being said, the agency is now willing to hear from people who think it might occasionally be in the public interest to jam wireless signals.

"While the important function that wireless service plays in protecting public safety is undisputed, some commentators, including some law enforcement personnel, have raised concerns that wireless networks can be used in way that put the public's safety at risk," writes the FCC in its notice to seek public comment on the matter.

Those in favor of the selective use of cellphone jamming say that wireless networks could be used to detonate an explosive device, or organize a flash mob â" not the "let's all do a stupid dance in the mall food court" kind of flash mob; the kind that result in looting and violence.

"We are concerned that there has been insufficient discussion, analysis, and consideration of the questions raised by intentional interruptions of wireless service by government authorities," explains the FCC.

The regulators are not currently interested in chatting about the use of illegal jamming devices â" like the one used by this Philadelphia man to quiet his fellow bus riders â" but are instead focused on situations where wireless carriers interrupt their own services in a specific area for a limited period of time period at the request of authorities.

FCC says that there is an existing protocol for governments to request service interruptions in case of emergency, but is asking for interested parties to answer a series of questions like:
*What public safety risks arise from intentionally interrupting wireless service? How are the activities of first responders and other emergency personnel and government authorities affected by an intentional interruption of wireless service? How are the activities of consumers affected by an intentional interruption of wireless service?

*Are there situations where the risk of interrupting wireless service will always outweigh the benefits?

*Can wireless carriers implement a general service interruption, but still ensure that the public can make wireless 911 calls? Would a service disruption that permits wireless 911 calls, but otherwise prohibits voice, text, and data communications, achieve the same purpose as a blanket interruption? Would it pose any unique risks to persons with disabilities?

To read the entire FCC request for comment, check out the PDF here."

* http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2012/db0301/DA-12-311A1.pdf [fcc.gov]
* http://consumerist.com/2012/03/is-the-philly-cellphone-jammer-a-hero-or-a-jerk.html [consumerist.com]

© 2005-2010 Consumer Media LLC except where noted.
----
Are we being tested on with possible mind control (MK - MKULTRA) drugs without our approval?

Article 3: FDA Adds Diabetes & Memory Loss Warnings To Statins
                      By Chris Morran on February 28, 2012 3:44 PM

* http://consumerist.com/2012/02/fda-adds-diabetes-memory-loss-warnings-to-statins.html [consumerist.com]

"Widely used cholesterol-lowering statin drugs like Lipitor (atorvastatin), Crestor (rosuvastatin), Zocor (simvastatin), Simcor (simvastatin/niacin extended-release), Vytorin (simvastatin/ezetimibe) and many others will now have additional warnings on their packaging, according to an announcement from the Food & Drug Administration.

The labels will now have to reflect that some statin users have reported experiencing memory loss and confusion. FDA says the reports "generally have not been serious and the patients' symptoms were reversed by stopping the statin," but that patients should still tell their doctor if it happens.

Additionally, the labels will indicate that there is a small risk for increased blood sugar levels and of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

On the plus side, the labels will no longer state a need for routine periodic monitoring of liver enzymes in statin users.

"FDA has concluded that serious liver injury with statins is rare and unpredictable in individual patients," writes the agency, "and that routine periodic monitoring of liver enzymes does not appear to be effective in detecting or preventing this rare side effect.""

© 2005-2010 Consumer Media LLC except where noted.
---
You'll love our UPGRADES!

Article 4: Chase Plans On Caring Even Less About Customers With
                      Less Than $100K In The Bank
                      By Chris Morran on February 28, 2012 4:15 PM

* http://consumerist.com/2012/02/chase-planning-on-caring-even-less-about-customers-with-less-than-100k-in-the-bank.html [consumerist.com]

"Are you a JPMorgan Chase customer with less than $100,000 dollars deposited? Then you are not making the bank enough money and it probably wants nothing to do with you going forward.

Speaking to investors today, Todd Maclin, the bank's chief executive officer of consumer and business banking said that 70% of customers with deposits below that $100K line are not profitable for the bank after new regulations put a cap on lenders' fees.

Thus, Chase intends to focus on making nice with the wealthy customers.

"Lost revenue has to be replaced with higher share of wallet and customer penetration," Maclin explained. "You have to get your costs and where you spend your time, to the fullest extent possible, more in line with where the opportunity is."

According to Bloomberg, Maclin described a "significant opportunity to deepen affluent relationships" and a "limited opportunity to deepen relationships" with us poor souls who don't have six figures stashed away in the bank.

That being said, Maclin said will "celebrate" on the day it can charge $20/month just for having a checking account.

"When the world lets us charge something more akin to your gym membership or your card, we'll be right there with them," he told the investors. "In this environment, we're just not going to rock that boat, and we have a brand and a franchise where we can make it up other ways over time.""

JPMorgan Clients With Under $100K Unprofitable [Bloomberg]
* http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-28/jpmorgan-views-clients-with-less-than-100-000-to-invest-as-unprofitable.html [bloomberg.com]

© 2005-2010 Consumer Media LLC except where noted.
-----

Two-some in the Reality DIstorion Field (5, Funny)

NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) | more than 2 years ago | (#39235317)

This is best explained by analogy, and I will try to put it into a /. context. Here goes --

Professor Xavier (a.k.a. Jobs) once started a school for the gifted, called Apple Computer. There, he and his close associate, Beast (a.k.a. Woz), created a wondrous thing, the personal computer. Upon hearing about this thing, another mutant, Magneto (a.k.a. Gates), came to visit with his close associate, Sabretooth (a.k.a Ballmer), to find out more about Apple. Magneto wanted to plunder Apple but knew that Dr. Xavier had a mysterious 'reality distortion field' that could probe his mind. So Magneto took a special shell (called DOS) that kept Dr. Xavier from reading his mind (there was no point to reading Sabretooth's). Dr. Xavier thought that Magneto was fairly benign and agreed to supply Magneto with his new invention, the Mac. Magneto took the Mac back to his lair in Redmond, and invented 'Windows' (BTW, Sabretooth wanted to call it 'Doors').

Since that day, Dr. Xavier and Magneto would meet at trade shows and Davos, where Magneto would boast of how his mutant Windows had conquered the other OSes -- MVS, VMS, Unix, OS/2, and even the Mac OS. Then, one day Magneto left his helmet in his luggage on the way to Davos, and it was lost by United Airlines (how odd?^). Upon meeting Magneto at Davos, Dr. Xavier realized all the things that Magneto had been hiding from him. So, he cranked-up his reality distortion field to super-strength, entered Magneto's mind, and left thoughts of tax shelters, charities, and vaccines in his head, along with the 'brilliant idea' of turning Magneto's company, Microsoft, over to Sabretooth. And, to top it off, Microsoft would bite a chunk of Apple for $150 million plus promise to develop Microsoft Office for the Mac OS FOREVER.

With that, Magneto 'retired' to save the world from disease and left Microsoft in the hands of Sabretooth, who made Microsoft more profitable than ever AND more irrelevant than ever. The rest is history.

THE END

Apologies to Stan Lee

Wow; great way to generate a non-story. (1)

Lieutenant_Dan (583843) | more than 2 years ago | (#39235369)

The Forbes article is hardly any longer than this summary. It also does not substantiate the claim of patent troll for either MS or Apple (as mentioned ad nauseum by other posters).

Pretty sad attempt to generate some discussion. At least provide some substance.

FYI: MS no longer holds any of that initial 150 million investment; http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2010/05/apples-stock-rise-could-have-meant-5-billion-for-microsoft.ars [arstechnica.com]

Dirty deeds... (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | more than 2 years ago | (#39235495)

There is this famous song: AC/DC - Dirty deeds done dirt cheeps....
I could not tell my impression of this story more clear and in just one sentence...
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>