Why is Google getting a good probing? Why is your Windows Phone 7 all blocked up? And who wins the Patent Troll of the Week Award?
First up, Google is going to have the US government get up close and uncomfortably personal with their hot, sweaty, Street View feature. We’ve already mentioned how Germans, who for no explicable reason dread autocratic organizations, are running in fear from Street View, but this is the first we’ve heard of the federales getting on Google’s case.
It’s not because somebody threw a fit over being caught letting their dog crap on a lawn, it’s because the Google cars, for no particularly good reason, were outfitted with antennas to pick up minor details, like your email address, your passwords, and so on. Sure, it was only via open Wi-Fi networks, and really, how dumb are you that you have one of those, but still, we have Democrats in office, so you can’t just publicly crap all over everybody’s privacy like that without so much as a warning. You have to buy a bottle of wine and, apparently, also be willing to take one for the team. Google has admitted its mistake in public, at least, and we’re sure it and the government will at least cuddle after the probe is done.
Hey, speaking of inserting things and awkward segways, remember Windows Mobile? Yeah, Windows is still on cell phones! I know, right, it’s like the 20th century never ended. Anyway, Windows Mobile was really hoping to be like the two OSes on the market people actually care about and be able to update itself over the network you pay a fortune to be on in the first place, but apparently your cell phone operator wants to be able to keep you from upgrading the software.
You know, on the phone you paid a hundred bucks for, and use on the network you pay them a hundred bucks a month to maintain. That network.
We don’t get it. If anybody is used to bursting into the room, ordering people around, and twisting their arms until they cry, it’s Microsoft. Granted, this isn’t the heady days when they owned everything and Apple was just some hippie company crying in the corner of the stock market, but come on, guys, at least threaten to “upgrade” their systems to Vista or something.
And speaking of aggressive actions and even more awkward segways, Rembrandt IP Management has decided it wants to jack up the price of your hard drive, so it’s suing over a patent it bought, specifically to sue Seagate and Western Digital. We’d be impressed, if it weren’t so utterly evil.
- How are obscenely rich people wasting their money this week, while children starve? On gold temporary tattoos! Stay classy, Dubai! (Yahoo! News)
- But there’s somebody looking out for the little guy: judge Helmut Knoener has let 42 speeders in Germany off the hook with no charges. Zip, zero, nada. He thinks the fines are just the state collecting money, not for anybody’s actual protection. We’re just wondering, having been there, what it takes to actually get a speeding ticket in Germany. Boston drivers are sedate next to those people. (Reuters)
KNOW YOUR STATS
- Which US city would Judge Knoener hate the most? Chicago, with its 406 traffic cameras. Also, they apparently can’t take a photo of a hot chick that can fit into a 150 by 150 square. (TheAutoInsurance)
- Still not as bad as Washington, D.C., which back in 2003 has 78% of its population ticketed! Really, they should be given a medal: considering traffic in DC, speeding there is a real achievement. (TheNewspaper.com)