e dot dot dot
a mostly about the Internet blog by

May 2021
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
           
         


This Week In Techdirt History: May 2nd - 8th

Furnished content.


Five Years AgoThis week in 2016, we were pleasantly surprised when an Australian government commission spoke out about the harms of bad copyright law and bad patent law, while the University of North Dakota was teaching a student all about trademark abuse. The DOJ was issuing new rules on espionage investigations in the apparent hopes of avoiding embarrassment, while at the same time deploying some very questionable legal arguments in defense of the FBI's hacking warrants, and the National Intelligence Office's top lawyer was stepping up to defend bulk surveillance and the third-party doctrine. We also took a look at how the proper channels for whistleblowers were still a joke, as was the proper channel for requesting government records.Ten Years AgoThis week in 2011, Righthaven's woes continued as unsealed documents in one case had other judges questioning the legitimacy of their lawsuits, while the infamous John Steele also got slammed by a judge for a fishing expedition, and Perfect 10 sued the Usenet provider Giganews. Meanwhile, the White House published its obnoxious annual Special 301 naughty list of countries with IP laws the US doesn't like, and we took a look at just how dangerous the USTR's approach to naming-and-shaming could be.But the biggest news of the week didn't have much of a Techdirt angle — until we saw the story of the man who unknowingly live-tweeted the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden.Fifteen Years AgoThis week in 2006, there was growing buzz about whether software-as-a-service would kill piracy, while evidence continued to show that the war on movie piracy wasn't working. Epson was engaged in the fight against off-brand ink cartridges and the Supreme Court took a sudden interest in patent cases. The content industries were playing their game of sneaking bad rules into treaties, while we looked at the constitutionality of the RIAA's per-song fines. And it's always interesting to see a quiet, simple mention of Section 230 back before it was known to everyone, in this case in a post about all the lawsuits targeting Google.

Read more here


posted at: 12:00am on 09-May-2021
path: /Policy | permalink | edit (requires password)

0 comments, click here to add the first



Stadia Exodus Continues As Product Head For Stadia Exits

Furnished content.


The troubling signs for Google's video game streaming platform Stadia continue. While I have to admit that I had really high hopes for Stadia, nothing about this has been smooth from launch to its current state of, well, who the hell knows what is going to happen to it. From a poor initial reception to questions about failed promises on performance, the conversation about Stadia quickly focused on the platform not offering much in the way of an actual game catalogue to play. Less than a year later, Google made this problem even worse by disbanding its own in-house game developers, leading to more fallout when Stadia could suddenly not support its own internally developed game.And, as I mentioned above, the issues continue. Stadia's product head, John Justice, has left Google entirely.

Another executive has left Google Stadia, and this time it's John Justice, vice president and product head of Stadia at Google. Along with Phil Harrison, Justice was the face of the project, frequently giving interviews and talking to the press. Justice hasn't updated his LinkedIn profile yet, but following a report from The Information, Google told 9to5Google, "We can confirm John is no longer with Google, and we wish him well on his next step."This latest departure is just another sign that Google's game-streaming service is circling the drain. A Bloomberg report from February revealed that the service missed Google's internal sales estimates by "hundreds of thousands" of users. Shortly before the release of that report, Google shut down its in-house game studio, Stadia Games and Entertainment, after less than two years of operation, citing the high cost of operating it. This move led to Stadia's other high-profile departure, the exit of Assassin's Creed co-creator Jade Raymond.
On some levels, this all feels a bit silly. Google has enormous resources from which to draw and game streaming is certainly going to become a massive force in the future of the gaming industry. It appears to certainly be the case that Google flubbed the Stadia launch and let that flub linger. But there is zero reason why Google should let this "circle the drain" if that is in fact what they're doing. Instead, it would be nice if, for once, Google did the un-Google thing and bulwarked a project like this with more resources, seeing it to fruition.And, to be fair to Google, perhaps they do have a coherent plan for Stadia. They lightly hinted as much in a blog post recently.
After shutting down its game studio, Google seemed to hint at a change of strategy for Stadia. Google's blog post said the company is looking for a "path to building Stadia into a long-term, sustainable business that helps grow the industry," which indicates that the current strategy of selling games to customers was not a "sustainable business." The post highlighted Google's "platform technology" that could help studios deliver games "directly" from publishers (as opposed to through the Stadia store?) and that Google saw this as "an important opportunity to work with partners seeking a gaming solution all built on Stadia's advanced technical infrastructure and platform tools."
If I'm reading that word salad correctly, this is hinting that Stadia might be less the gaming industry's version of Netflix and more about building a platform that works with game developers so that they can offer cloud-gaming experiences directly to customers. Perhaps that's the right way to go, though I still can't see why a service like Stadia, were it actually running properly and populated with a good catalogue of games, can't work.In fact, it seems somewhat obvious that that's the future, though it may not be a future run by Google.

Read more here

posted at: 12:00am on 08-May-2021
path: /Policy | permalink | edit (requires password)

0 comments, click here to add the first



Content Moderation Case Study: Google Removes Popular App That Removed Chinese Apps From Users' Phones (2020)

Furnished content.


Summary: An app that allowed users to moderate content residing on their own phones was given the boot by Google after it was determined to be in violation of Play Store rules.The self-explanatory "Remove China Apps" app was developed by Indian engineers residing in Jaipur, India in collaboration with One Touch App Labs. The app was created in response to growing backlash against China during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, after early reports showed visitors to a seafood market in Wuhan, China had contributed to the spread of the virus.

India's proximity to China intensified this backlash. How removing apps developed in China was supposed to stop the spread of the virus is best left to the possibly literally-fevered imaginations of the app developers and the millions of Indian users who downloaded the app.However questionable the motivation for the development and deployment of the app, it did allow Android users to easily identify apps developed by Chinese developers and remove them from their phones. However, this secondhand act of personal content moderation was soon hampered by Google, which dumped the app from its Play store, citing violations of its policies. Specifically, Google pointed to its "deceptive behavior" policy. App developers are forbidden from uploading apps that "encourage or incentivize users to remove or disable third-party apps."Decisions to be made by Google:
  • Should Google control how Android phone purchasers choose to use their phones?
  • Should Google be more concerned with possible exploitation of permissions to compromise phone users, rather than the ability of users to more closely moderate the content of their devices?
  • Is an app that openly states it will remove other apps actually "deceptive?" 
Questions and policy implications to consider:
  • Could apps like these serve a useful purpose, like giving Google a heads up on questionable apps/developers?
  • Does maintaining a blocklist for devs/users achieve the same objective without harming developers who rely on crowdfunding? 
  • Does pushing Android users towards sideloading apps do less to protect users than removing questionable apps that run afoul of rules rarely broken by app developers?
Resolution: Google has refused to reinstate the app. Android users are still able to sideload the app if they wish. The popularity of the app went further than India and the county's kneejerk reaction to developments in Wuhan, China.But Google still has a battle ahead of it. With it commanding nearly 95% of the Indian market, the demand for apps that (correctly or incorrectly) "punish" Chinese app developers remains a growth market.Originally posted to the Trust & Safety Foundation website.

Read more here

posted at: 12:00am on 08-May-2021
path: /Policy | permalink | edit (requires password)

0 comments, click here to add the first



Devin Nunes' Favorite Lawyer On The Hook For Over $20k In Sanctions

Furnished content.


Last month we wrote that Rep. Devin Nunes' favorite lawyer, Steven Biss, who has been filing frivolous, vexatious SLAPP suit after frivolous, vexatious SLAPP suit, was finally facing some sanctions. The specific case did not directly involve Nunes, but rather one of his aides, Derek Harvey, who had filed a ridiculous SLAPP suit against CNN. As we wrote last month, the court had easily tossed the original lawsuit and warned Biss not to file an amended complaint unless he had a credible legal theory. Biss did not have a credible legal theory, but he still filed an amended complaint. And thus, the court issued sanctions, saying that Harvey, Biss and other lawyers would be on the hook for CNN's legal fees.The latest filing in the case is the bill coming due. Harvey and Biss need to pay CNN $21,437.50 in legal fees (and an additional $52.26 in costs and expenses). That might not seem like that much in the grand scheme of things (especially for a lawyer who has claimed his client, Devin Nunes, is owed over a billion dollars for defamation, but it is still real money that someone is going to need to pay -- though it remains an open question as to who is actually going to pay it).There's not much to see in the ruling itself, as it basically says that the fees CNN's lawyers outlined are within the standards that the court's local rules say are "presumptively reasonable." The lawyers admit that they're actually asking for less than they normally charge in order to keep them "reasonable" in the Court's eyes, and the Court basically says "sounds good."It does often seem that lawyers who file tons of frivolous and vexatious lawsuits are able to get away with it for a while, with courts giving them many, many chances and being extremely reluctant to issue sanctions. And, even when sanctions are issued, they tend to be relatively low. However, with such repeat offenders, we've often seen that courts across the country take notice, and once one court has sanctioned this kind of behavior, it can open the floodgates. We'll see what happens in other Biss lawsuits.

Read more here


posted at: 12:00am on 07-May-2021
path: /Policy | permalink | edit (requires password)

0 comments, click here to add the first



May 2021
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
           
         







RSS (site)  RSS (path)

ATOM (site)  ATOM (path)

Categories
 - blog home

 - Announcements  (0)
 - Annoyances  (0)
 - Career_Advice  (0)
 - Domains  (0)
 - Downloads  (3)
 - Ecommerce  (0)
 - Fitness  (0)
 - Home_and_Garden  (0)
     - Cooking  (0)
     - Tools  (0)
 - Humor  (0)
 - Notices  (0)
 - Observations  (1)
 - Oddities  (2)
 - Online_Marketing  (146)
     - Affiliates  (1)
     - Merchants  (1)
 - Policy  (2405)
 - Programming  (0)
     - Browsers  (1)
     - DHTML  (0)
     - Javascript  (5)
     - PHP  (0)
     - PayPal  (0)
     - Perl  (37)
          - blosxom  (0)
     - Unidata_Universe  (22)
 - Random_Advice  (1)
 - Reading  (0)
     - Books  (0)
     - Ebooks  (1)
     - Magazines  (0)
     - Online_Articles  (4)
 - Resume_or_CV  (1)
 - Reviews  (1)
 - Rhode_Island_USA  (0)
     - Providence  (1)
 - Shop  (0)
 - Sports  (0)
     - Football  (0)
          - Cowboys  (0)
          - Patriots  (0)
     - Futbol  (0)
          - The_Rest  (0)
          - USA  (0)
 - Windows  (1)
 - Woodworking  (0)


Archives
 -2021  May  (14)
 -2021  April  (49)
 -2021  March  (48)
 -2021  February  (42)
 -2021  January  (46)
 -2020  December  (47)
 -2020  November  (46)
 -2020  October  (48)
 -2020  September  (49)
 -2020  August  (47)
 -2020  July  (46)
 -2020  June  (46)


My Sites

 - Millennium3Publishing.com

 - SponsorWorks.net

 - ListBug.com

 - TextEx.net

 - FindAdsHere.com

 - VisitLater.com