"Going Google" Exposes Students' Email
Though Google Apps for Education is free, I'm guessing that Brown is paying for SLAs (and supposedly for enhanced privacy haha). Personally, I think this is pretty bad: college email accounts are supposed to be more-secure forms of communication than regular email (in that sensitive communication can go through them). It's a bit unacceptable to have this happen, even during rollout. Many people use their university emails for personal or professional purposes; I would be pretty upset if this happened to me.
Apple Rumored To Want To Buy Twitter
I think your general point has merit, but your examples might not be 100% correct.
We all know how profitable Skype has been for after eBay paid 2.6 Billion dollars for them.
Skype actually has been profitable recently. That said, Skype does not match up well with eBay's overall business model and I remember reading that they are looking to sell it.
Not to even mention how profitable Youtube has been since Google paid a mere 1.65 Billion dollars for them.
Could it be a branding/goodwill tool that also helps them drive users to their search? They certainly paid an exorbitant amount for the eventual profitability, regardless, but Google and YouTube are now both cultural icons.
"Authors Guild" Skims Half of Google Book-Rights Settlement
The article, frankly, seemed to be out in lala land, so I'm going to put it out to the general populance of slashdot: if your book is out of print, how can you still make money from it? Are you making lots of cash from residuals from online databases?
If you can't make much money from it or even if you can, doesn't this Google project offer you the chance of making a lot more money? Yes, the Author's Guild's skimming seems excessive, but at least they managed to put together a comprehensive deal to streamline copyright issues.
Now, if there's a whole source of money that I've missed, I withdraw my argument. But this seems like a good thing for out of print books, right?
Open Source In Public K-12 Schools?
If user accounts are set up properly, there is no need to lock the system down.[...] Linux would be ideal for such a case because students could be limited to low-privilege accounts where they wouldn't be able to tamper with anything.
Excellent point. I've been using OSX/Linux for a while and guess I forgot that the Windows user-privilege model was probably the reason for the lockdown. That said, I bet school principals will THINK that this is a big issue, so your point would be an excellent one to highlight and emphasize.
Open Source In Public K-12 Schools?
When I was in high school, all of the computers were extremely locked down (couldn't do anything except internet + word processing). It sucked. I'm not sure that schools would be willing to adopt a platform unless they'd be able to lock it down similarly (for reasons they'd cite as security, cost, whatever). Presenting up front the ways that you can control the user experience might be a good way to sell open source.
(to be really honest, my initial reaction was: no! open source software can't be locked down! school's will never use that! ... then I thought about it, and realized that someone had probably designed a way to do it )
Has Microsoft's Patent War Against Linux Begun?
One thing to add into this debate: Microsoft can have a big imposing patent portfolio and can patent something like the filename table mentioned above, but its patents *can* be bypassed by similar inventions. The original point of the patent system (as I understand it) was both to allow inventors to earn money from their inventions by giving them an exclusive right to them AND to give others an incentive to develop *new* mechanisms to work around patented ideas.
Basically, if your competitor had patented something and was successful, the only way you can make money is if you figure out how to develop around your competitor's patent (thus, supposedly spurring innovation). This is also, I guess, why software patents are significantly more difficult to administer than hardware patents.
It makes many patent cases (and patent portfolios) seem less intimidating when you look at them in this way.
The End of Native Code?
Huh...that sounds remarkably like the Chicago Tribune's attempt to simplify the Inglish Langwaj a number of years ago :-P. And, yes, it failed utterly...but it did give us "catalog"...thank goodness for that!