A Lesson To Be Learned From RIM…

One mans Black Berry is another mans iPhone...

On the heels of a major European outage, and with Senior Executives at a trade show in the Arabian sub continent they announced they are placing their full support behind their PlayBook tablet.  To further this, they went on to say that the reason for the slow sales was due to having miss focused the marketing [assumingly at iPad buyers] and they need to refocus on their Black Berry fan boys if you will.

However to me this was a WTF moment as who is a Black Berry Fan Boy anymore?  Come on guys, is the air that thin up there as your handset sales suck too and your fan base is a captive audience because of corporate America and push mail.  Their app ecosystem is lame at best, and their handset design thrill Gen-Y about as much as a cold sore does.

So how can they have their heads stuck so far in the ice (hey it gets cold up there) to not see the hand writing on the wall.  As steering a ship is not an easy task as turning on a dime just doesn’t happen.  Yet lying to oneself is a sure sign the end is near as a result of creating a self full filling prophecy and this is a lesson we should learn from as leaders.

As first, when the educated buying public as myself see this, it fuels the concept they are on the way out.  Therefore, it’s very unlikely they will get any more of my money.  Second people spread word of mouth (even blog posts such as this) to others further tainting purchasing decisions. Neither of these have positive results and once started, it will take twice the effort to turn around, meaning each day the hole gets twice as deep as the day before.

Then there are the internal aspects of what is happening inside the company (RIM) as when management starts fooling themselves, then change becomes twice as hard each day as with customer perceptions.  Too, as management fools themselves, they distance themselves from staff who are closer to the real world again sending them faster and faster into the abyss of becoming one with yesterday’s news paper.

With all of these things looked at as a whole, its clear RIM has gone down on the one, count now on the two.  So therefore they only have the “three” left before they fade into the obscurity of technological history and are remembered alongside the Motorola brick phone as Gordon Gecko called and wants his phone back…

Do They Have Us By The Short Wires…

Our world is a different world then that of our fathers...

A recent Wired article indicated that someone (insert name of a foreign government here) has us by our short wires so to say the least.  As it appears that a computer virus of sorts has infiltrated and infected the remote cockpits of America’s new darling weapon system, yes a scary thought isn’t it?  That “someone” has the ability to compromise a US military weapon system right under our nose.

As its appears now that the famed Predator and Reaper drones systems we’ve reading so much about lately seem to have been compromised with software that is logging the remote pilots’ every move as they fly missions at a distance over Afghanistan and other war zones.

Its reported that this virus, first detected nearly two weeks ago by the military’s Host-Based Security System, under what conditions of discovery is not clear.  However the infection has not prevented pilots at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada where the drones are piloted from, from flying their assigned missions overseas. Nor have there been any reported incidents of classified information being lost or sent to an outside source which is confusing as if it snuck in with them not knowing how can they be so sure nothing is getting out?

Additionally, it appears the virus has resisted multiple efforts to remove it from Creech’s computer systems making it one thought bug per network security specialists charged with exterminating it.  Yet the infection itself underscores the ongoing security risks involved with what has become the US military’s most important weapons system in the war against terror.

It also high lights the risks in general to the world as, in the past Information Technology [IT] systems where enablers to the process or function.  However today they are the process or function itself, as no longer is the task separated from the technology which performs the “task” as now both are one in the same.  As with the compromise of the drone system, industry must be concerned with the same so much of what they all do courses thought the arteries of various “open” networks including the internet and too many firms (including the US government) poke their heads in the sand and hope for the best.

Yet the world is a far different place with again far different set of hoodlums many of which are back by the power and money of nation states as the game is far past that of the  Mathew Broderick’s days of “Let’s Play a Game, how about Thermonuclear War?  As today the game is real and not just on the motion picture screen for entertainment, as it invades our life’s far deeper then we care to think…

Let’s See Virgins, Gangs and a Lawyer in Virginia…

Its been said "I know Art When I See it" as well as "Stupid is as Stupid Does"...

In Richmond, Virginia  you might find D. Wayne O’Bryan walking the streets with his dog, he might even be your neighbor, or that guy sitting next to you in church on Sunday morning.  However what you may not know is Wayne happens to be a member of the world’s second oldest profession, as yes he is a lawyer.   If you look at his website he says his offerings are, “a small law firm designed for personalized and professional legal services for dog attack injury and negligence claims.”.  Which makes O’Bryan look a lot like one of those ambulances chasing lawyer who advertises during the day time soaps to catch the attention of the unemployed who wish to make a fast buck for nothing more than faking a fall in the local super market.

Yet,   it makes perfect sense for him to take up the rightful protection of virgins who wish to gang bang by filing a federal copyright lawsuit on their behalf this summer.  However  luckily O’Bryan met another prominent Irish man by the name Murphy as his cases went [terribly]  wrong as a federal judge demanded that O’Bryan “show cause” for why he should not be sanctioned [read as kicked in the ass] by the court for running a “shake down” on the anonymous defendants.

As O’Bryan filed the cases on behalf of the defenseless virgins at K-Beech, Inc the makers of this ground breaking documentary film which is in question.  To do this he sued a few dozen IP addresses for allegedly sharing the film on BitTorrent networks.  To help his cause he even tried to cover his bases a bit by using some of that new fangled geolocation technology to ensure that the anonymous defendants actually lived in Virginia.

However how can you sue an “anonymous” defendant?  As isn’t this just the abuse of the offices of the Court as an inexpensive means to gain the “anonymous” defendants’ personal information and extort payment from them under duress.  As O’Bryan in fact also has no interest in actually litigating the cases, but simply using the Court along with its subpoena powers to obtain sufficient information to firmly sake down the virgin loving John Does.”

However Judge John Gibney, Jr. severed all of O’Bryan’s cases to a single defendant yesterday, saying that the Doe defendants were improperly joined in the case then went on to say that “the plaintiffs’ conduct in these cases indicates an improper purpose for the suits.” As in most “mass-copyright lawsuits” of this kind, the plaintiffs file lawsuits using only IP addresses, get permission to subpoena Internet providers for the real names and addresses of those users, and then attempt to settle with defendants for a few thousand dollars.

As what’s refreshing to see here is that the judicial wing is finally pushing back on this non-sense as while pirating is a bad thing, it’s a bad thing in a way in most people miss.  While this is a long discussion, the point is if there is a high level of piracy [as there will always be some level] this is a sign of a flawed business model and not a court case.   As to make the field equal, say you where to sue each and every person which pirated something, the system would implode and this mental proof, proves out the concept that the issue is miss laid with the court system.  It’s further worth noting that one too many (one plaintiff to many defendant)  is far different then class action where there are “many” plaintiff’s and only one defendant.

In the end the message is clear, as the record industry discovered you can sue some of the people some of the time, however you can’t sue all of the people all of the time.

The Passing of an Icon…

Time is Marked, An Era Ended...

The day sits in my mind very clearly, it was August 16 1977 that Elvis Presley died when we were on a family holiday in Northern Michigan and I was in a small party store running an errand for my mother.  On the radio it came , the news that the King had died, while not an Elvis fan myself, my mother and aunts (who were with us) were and sure enough by the time I had made it back to our cabin all were in tears as an social Icon of a time had passed.

In the future the same would repeat as the day it was announced that John Lennon had been murdered,  it was during the school day and the female teachers of the era wept at their desk, while the males sat quietly staring off into the distance seeking their own solitude or maybe truth to the moment.  While not a big Beetles fan, I also understood the iconoclastic impact John Lennon brought to the world and the void his passing would leave behind in the hearts of society.

Maybe it’s from events such as these and many others that followed which has developed into a weekly habit of when the Economist comes out, I first turn to the Obituary section as this  week its headlined by Tiger Pataudi, the King of  Indian Cricket.  Next week it will assuredly be someone else, as that is the only real guaranty in life, is the finality of death.  With this it seems to be the one moniker which is forever and therefore a solid marker of the passing of time.

However next week I will be saved the chore as the name is already known as they will list the name of Steve Jobs in that section and time will once again be marked with a life passed on.  However this one much like the priors mentions not only mark time however because he touched so many people with his vision and no nonsense compromise [or lack of] will leave a quiet void in the hearts of society.

As here time is once again marked, and as in the Annie play says the sun will come up yet again tomorrow and more Apple products will be sold.  Yet somehow they will be different, as with the world as a whole and this time it’s not my mother’s turn, or my teachers turn, it is my turn to remember, it is my era, my icon which is passing on …

Apple Disappoints…

Introducing the iPhone 4S, oh wait, maybe its the just the "4", I cant tell! Oh well buy it any ways its got the Apple Logo on it!

Well the big day has come and gone that being October 4th, as there were hopes around the world that this day would leave another “mark” in the tree of technological revolution.  However at best it provided no more then maybe a “nick” on the evolutionary walking stick, and even one could say just another ho-hum day in the Silicon Valley.  As what was their big news, well of course the iPhone 4, oops meant to say iPhone 4S.  Wow (insert yawn here), a faster processor yippee now we are competing with the PC market where we whip it out to see who’s transistors are bigger (in numbers of course).

Now what our venerable friends in Cupertino missed is it’s not how big their thing is, rather how it is you use their “thing” which counts.  Ok, fair enough you say this was all done for the love of Siri right.  Well, maybe however, remember Siri has been out on the now legacy iPhone 4, so to me Apple simply used this as a reason to create traffic to a not so much needed upgrade path so why do it rather than waiting for the real iPhone 5 to show up?  You know the one with all the tear drop cases floating around China, oh wait they must be for the new Samsung phone, yea that’s it let for it instead!

Also, yes I know Christmas is coming and there has not been a good Apple buzz since March with the launch of the iPad 2, however how much hype can you have before it’s no more than crying wolf?  Watching the keynote, the crowd was truly stunned in the unveiling of the latest darling and not in a good way!  If I was in the crowd my thoughts would have been “how in the hell am I going to explain to my boss the cost of this trip as there is no story here”!

What would have been interesting is to do a Tweet info-graphic of all the Twitter Tweets fleeting the room as bet you dollars to my favorite donuts that the number 1 word on the list would be “Lame” followed by “waste of time”!  Well Apple if you’re listening chalk this one up with Mobile Me & Ping while slapping the big “L” (sign)to the forehead as this one is a Big Loser! Let’s hope your next try is better, as Windows 8 Metro might not be looking so bad any more…

The HP Revolving Door at the Top…

Corporate Culture is so "Selectric" it isn't funny! Can you say "Old School"?

I’m sure everyone has heard the news that the Beanie Baby hawking auction Queen Meg Whitman now holds the former CEO “Carly” (Fiorina) seat which was simply being held warm by a few successors.  However an Economist article got me thinking as they fault the [HP] board for hiring yet another outsider supposed “Superstars” instead of hiring from within as culture is key, or at least so says the Economist brain trust.

However the HP life style is something I do know a little about and while it’s been three years since my departure, I’m sure it’s maintained the course [southward] as the same as when I’ve left it. As also in my time there, I got to meet Lou on his way out, and Carly on the way in.  In addition, had spoken with Carly several times afterwards on business topics (one was not so positive, least you think these were all fun town hall meetings).

Yet one of the interesting points is that of “culture” as after the sale of Agilent (the former test and measurement group), life changed.  Then came the Compaq acquisition, where the [culture] change was even more stark as we went from a long haired hippie commune culture, to that of a button down ruthless business environment.  As this is the point, “culture” no longer exists as a whole in corporations, as in today’s world the concept of “Corporate Culture” has gone the way of the Selectric typewriter replaced instead by discrete “cultural environments”.

As when I entered corporate America, you typically didn’t hear from the CEO save for once in a blue moon via a corporate (printed) news letter.  Therefore the “word” made it down the chain via the “telephone” game from manager to underling.  It’s here where “Corporate Culture” played its role much as “social norms” do in the [efficient] conveyance of information.

Fast forward to today, where the CEO sends out emails to the entire company, has a blog and even responds directly to employee communications.  It’s much like the weather, that we can now attain a more affective distribution of “culture to task” rather than one painted with a broad brush.  This in turn improves the overall effectiveness of the company by allowing the various units to adapt as needed instead of being shoe horned into a one size fits all model.

While I’m not sure of what Ms. Whitman’s success will be, as she appears to be more of a start up gal, then “run and grow” juggernaut. However the jury is still out till she gets a couple months under her belt, yet believe the Economist has it wrong when it comes to culture as those days have gone the way of the typewriter…

The US Gets Left Behind (Again)…

The End of a Legend...

As since the 1980s, the  Chicago based Fermilab has been the leader of high-energy physics, in large part thanks to the Tevatron which was the first machine which reached the energies to discover the last quark in the elusive Standard Model.  However the Tevatron has come to the end of its life as at 2pm on Friday September 30th, it will be shut down for the last time.

This move will shift the focus of physicists’ to across the Atlantic, and on  the new darling being the shiny Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN. As the LHC is likely to enjoy a long life at the top of the particle physics heap, however in time it too will be superseded by the next big thing.  However what is it that might come next?

With any luck the now unemployed Fermilab scientists might get their way as particle physics could migrate from the world of hadrons to that of muons.  Yet the path to getting there will take not only time, along with serious research, but also one of my favorites being the application of time-dilating relativity.

However as enticing this may be, it has been preceded by a series of bad options starting with the cancellation of the American Superconducting Supercollider (SSC) in the 1990s which gave particle physics here the states a solid kick in the man jewels.  As even with CERN taking the lead,  It still took over a decade for the next big accelerator (LHC) to be built.  Yet even when it reaches the ability to operate at maximum power, it still won’t reach the energies once planned for the mighty SSC.

Additionally the LHC is also fundamentally restricted as its built in tunnels originally designed for an earlier collider and required financial input from just about every country with a physics program to speak of.  Which leaves us with  the harsh question which is whether any machine more powerful than the LHC can or will ever be built.

Yet necessity is also the mother of invention as It has also forced scientists to ponder other new and interesting ways to get particles up to high energies using approaches which are out of the box from the ones used by their forefathers.

Yet all of this is still well off into the future and if it took over a decade to build the world’s largest machine (LHC) then should America want to jump back in with the SSC, it would not be seen in the life time of many reading this post.  However you know what this means?  Yes we are now a “follower”, we are no longer a leader as over the past several decades we have let go of our leadership reins.  While yes you can’t always be the leader all the time, and in everything.  However as a world leader you must be a leader in many things and often (this is what makes you a leader).

Also Mr. Obama, science is the great economic engine of a country, not road construction, or public welfare programs as yes a project like the SSC comes with a major price tag!  However it also comes with major returns as this will lead to high paying domestic job growth, which will lead to foreign investment as they won’t want to be left out of the discoveries, which means money coming back to American shores as Mr. Obama this is why capitalism works and socialism fails as those who do are reward and those don’t and sit on the obese backside to enjoy the Jerry Springer show should not…

The US Gets Left Behind (Again)…

The End of a Legend...

As since the 1980s, the  Chicago based Fermilab has been the leader of high-energy physics, in large part thanks to the Tevatron which was the first machine which reached the energies to discover the last quark in the elusive Standard Model.  However the Tevatron has come to the end of its life as at 2pm on Friday September 30th, it will be shut down for the last time.

This move will shift the focus of physicists’ to across the Atlantic, and on  the new darling being the shiny Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN. As the LHC is likely to enjoy a long life at the top of the particle physics heap, however in time it too will be superseded by the next big thing.  However what is it that might come next?

With any luck the now unemployed Fermilab scientists might get their way as particle physics could migrate from the world of hadrons to that of muons.  Yet the path to getting there will take not only time, along with serious research, but also one of my favorites being the application of time-dilating relativity.

However as enticing this may be, it has been preceded by a series of bad options starting with the cancellation of the American Superconducting Supercollider (SSC) in the 1990s which gave particle physics here the states a solid kick in the man jewels.  As even with CERN taking the lead,  It still took over a decade for the next big accelerator (LHC) to be built.  Yet even when it reaches the ability to operate at maximum power, it still won’t reach the energies once planned for the mighty SSC.

Additionally the LHC is also fundamentally restricted as its built in tunnels originally designed for an earlier collider and required financial input from just about every country with a physics program to speak of.  Which leaves us with  the harsh question which is whether any machine more powerful than the LHC can or will ever be built.

Yet necessity is also the mother of invention as It has also forced scientists to ponder other new and interesting ways to get particles up to high energies using approaches which are out of the box from the ones used by their forefathers.

Yet all of this is still well off into the future and if it took over a decade to build the world’s largest machine (LHC) then should America want to jump back in with the SSC, it would not be seen in the life time of many reading this post.  However you know what this means?  Yes we are now a “follower”, we are no longer a leader as over the past several decades we have let go of our leadership reins.  While yes you can’t always be the leader all the time, and in everything.  However as a world leader you must be a leader in many things and often (this is what makes you a leader).

Also Mr. Obama, science is the great economic engine of a country, not road construction, or public welfare programs as yes a project like the SSC comes with a major price tag!  However it also comes with major returns as this will lead to high paying domestic job growth, which will lead to foreign investment as they won’t want to be left out of the discoveries, which means money coming back to American shores as Mr. Obama this is why capitalism works and socialism fails as those who do are reward and those don’t and sit on the obese backside to enjoy the Jerry Springer show should not…

German Pirates Ahoy…

The "new" face of leadership...

Here is an interesting one as it seem the German arm of the International Pirate Party  won a momentous victory in last  week’s Berlin state elections,  taking 15 seats the Internet activist group did in a  regional parliament.  Internet and politics, what a combination  as the group  was originally founded to promote privacy, free speech (an interesting dichotomy when placed together) , data protection and get this file sharing online!  By walking away with 8.9 percent of the vote, they beat out chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition partner the Free Democrats who were able to only capture a mere 2 percent.  Wow what a message as with this win under their belts, the German Pirate Party will now have government funding behind them as well as a say in parliamentary matters.   As this means that 15 of the 130 seats in Berlin’s parliament will be filled by “Pirates” and while still a minority, they are an interesting one at that.

As while the “Pirates” begun as a way to promote their agendas as well as fight for file sharing and data protection on the Internet,  the party’s remit has now expanded to include education and citizens’ rights, along with ambitions to revamp patent and copyright rules.   They even seem to have their sights set plans for expanding “free” (is there really such a thing?)  wireless Internet.

This is clearly the biggest win for the “Pirates” to date since the European elections back in 2009, when their founding cousin organization, being the Swedish version of the party which was founded in 2006, to had won a seat in the European parliament.   From there, it was only a year later that the global coalition of Pirate Parties International was then officially formed as an entity in Brussels.

However one of the interesting pieces worth noting is the message from Swedish party founder Rick Falkvinge who left a message for his German Pirate Party supporters in a blog post.  As Falkvinge wrote, “we all stand shoulder to shoulder in fighting for the next generation—one of us succeeding is all of us succeeding.” Continuing  on with, “Tomorrow, people will look to your success, and the movement will grow yet more. You are the source of inspiration for the next wave of civil liberties activists.”

As least we think as Americans this isn’t coming it is, as the bulk of the “Baby Boomers” either die off or become disabled (both physical and technologically) thus unable to vote there will be a new world order as the minority will over night become the majority.  This new “order” is tech savvy and believes in the “literal” freedom of information meaning old economic models will die and fast, along with companies which haven’t found their way to new high ground….

IP by Any Other Name is a Copyright…

While the best mouse trap may win, the losers cry copyright/patent infringement.

An interesting quote from Californian Democratic Representative Zoe Lofgren caught my attention as she retorted to those who argue copyright laws must be further strengthened by saying: “I think if we were to do nothing on copyright law, we would be getting it just about right.

As Lofgren, represents  Silicon Valley, and spoke this week at a Breakfast Club in Washington, DC. meeting  on the topic of Intellectual Property,  Her  the Representative shared her typically blunt assessments of digital copyright making the argument that “the focus on copyright has almost been an impediment for content owners to really embrace streaming and to really understand how to make money utilizing the Internet.” Her view is that “copyright” is partially responsible for a mindset that focuses too much on “control” just as the Internet is offering a “new” distribution model to the masses.

Lofgren goes on to say; “I can remember arguing with people from the RIAA in the 1990s,” when she attempts to points out “Is Napster your enemy or your friend? Are you going to worry about controlling content or getting paid for content?” As in her view which for a capitalistic economy is correct , “getting paid is what it’s about, and the content industry should have embraced the creative chaos of the ‘Net by finding innovative ways to get paid for things like file-sharing”.

Yet instead of heeding the sound advice, the industry is still lobbying hard for stronger rights in bills like the PRO IP Act as well as pushed colleges to implement anti-file-swapping programs or risk losing federal money. However despite their efforts to ratchet up the copyright laws, which it says can always be made stronger we stand to witness this year’s introduction of the PROTECT IP Act and S. 978, which would make unauthorized streaming a felony! Talk about a pot of gold for the lawyers and major backlog for our already busy court system.

Here Lofgren hit back at both, calling them examples of the unhelpful “control” mindset as regarding S. 978, Lofgren say she sees “no need to turn most of the cases it would cover from civil disputes into criminal matters”.  As she goes on to point out that the bill “could be used by dueling giants in the tech world who are really having commercial disputes,“, if that isn’t enough she further points out; “ or in the worst case might end up targeting lip syncers and sites that stream video game footage”.

In reference to PROTECT IP Act, its impact on DNS site-blocking per Lofgren will be “a mess” and “a disaster” that will “do actual damage to the Internet itself.”

While we can all agree as Lofgren does that the support of copyright enforcement is important; it must be done effectively and in a way that doesn’t damage the Internet or general civil liberties. Yet the support for  PROTECT IP’s bill continues to grow. While the House is expected to introduce its own version of the legislation soon, though the Senate version continues to sit under a legislative hold by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR).

Here it’s time to take back the internet for what it was meant for, the sharing of information and not the hand ringing of content owners over the potential theft of their IP as its time for new economic models to be developed as this is a capitalistic economy so therefore the best mouse trap wins and the inferior ones cry copyright /patent infringement.

As a good example of this is iTunes with 0.99 cent songs, and now their music match service is taking the wind out of the reason to pirate so why can’t the rest of the world learn from this…

Free Speech, Well Sort Of…

Free Speech Makes Us America...

His Honor Richard A. Posner is not known for his friendly treatment of folks whose arguments he doesn’t agree with.  So when an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) started to make his opening statement at an oral argument, Posner cut him off at the knees after only 14 words!  His Honor boomed, “Yeah, I know,” in a dismissive tone. “But I’m not interested, really, in what you want to do with these recordings of peoples’ encounters with the police.”

On trial this day was the topic of the constitutionality of an unusually strict Illinois wiretapping law, which makes it illegal to record someone without his consent even if the recording is done openly and in a public place.  Here the ACLU was asking a panel of three judges from the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit to strike down the law on First Amendment grounds.

Yet the Judge wasn’t having it this day saying  “Once all this stuff can be recorded, there’s going to be a lot more of this snooping around by reporters and bloggers,” he said.

His honor was particularly worried that allowing recording would impact police work. “I’m always suspicious when the civil liberties people start telling the police how to do their business,” he shared.  His retort was in the form of speculation that gangs would love the ACLU’s argument because recordings would make it easier to discover and retaliate against informants.

Yet Posner in the end may find himself on the losing side of the argument as both fellow Seventh Circuit judges seemed more receptive to the ACLU’s argument.  As they reserved most of their fire for the government’s attorney saying the “The statute criminalizes any audiotaping without regard to expectations of privacy, even if those events that are being audiotaped occur in the open, in public, for anyone to see and hear and otherwise observe,” one of the judges stated as “It’s extremely broad.

Yet the governments lawyer with a straight face, argued that limiting recording actually protected speakers’ First Amendment rights by allowing them to control who heard their speech. However he is paddling up a stream with a broken ore in this case proposing for one to be heard, they must want to be heard.

As just last month, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit handed down a unanimous ruling in the Simon Glik case.  Here the case held that Glik had a “clearly-established” First Amendment right to record the actions of the police on the Boston Common, and that police officers should have known this when they arrested him.  With this there is hope by the Civil libertarians a second ruling in Illinois will help confirm the idea that audio recording is an activity protected by the First Amendment.  Because as it stands today, we are well past 1984…

Search Results and Wiretapping, a Match made in Heaven…

Ignore the man behind the curtain...

There is an interesting story about a company named Paxfire which has been accused of “hijacking” search results by placing a proxy server between users and major search engines and modifying some responses.   However once discovered, Paxfire and one of its customers, RCN, were soon hit with a class-action lawsuit claiming that the use of search hijacking violated the “Wiretap Act”, as well as the consumer protection laws, and RCN’s own contractual obligations.

As here is something to think about as more and more of life is based upon Google ™ there  appears to be a growing risk we may not be getting the real McCoy as how do you know that your search results are actually reasonably unbiased.  As even Google weights the responses so you will never fully see an unbiased list, yet in fairness you know this is the case when you press the search button,   however what if you didn’t?

As internet search shapes our life with the likes of Google ™, Yahoo ™ and others  entering the lexicon of not only Americana, however a lexicon on a global scale.  As could you even imagine trying to find something on the internet without one of these indexing giants to assist you? Wow those where the days of t old with “gopher” and the like which people type command line code into a console screen somewhat a kin to a voodoo doctor tossing the ashes of a dead chicken and chanting.

However Paxfire has fired back with a countersuit, charging the lead plaintiff, Betsy Feist, with slander, libel, and tortious interference with its business relationships. Here Paxfire strenuously attempts to deny that it shares user information with third parties. It argues that its actions don’t constitute interception of user communications under wiretapping law (interesting) and that users consented to Paxfire’s activities when they signed RCN’s acceptable use policy. With all of that said, Paxfire asked the court to award it compensatory and punitive damages of at least $50 million from Mrs. Feist.  Wow isn’t the legal system a great thing?

Yet folks joking aside this is  one case to watch as if Paxfire wins, it will open the flood gates for phony proxies and the like to snag your traffic as this will mean your searches are basically fair game.  As what is at issue is that firstly someone is looking at what your sending, secondly someone is now shaping your “response” which is double scary as pointed out they have had to look at it to determine how to shape it and third the response is a fake.  I guess if you can’t trust your internet search provider, then who can you trust…