So, I have a backup box running Microsoft (MS) Windows 7. Yesterday, I installed the first service pack for the OS. No biggie.
The first time I fired up the Windows Media Player, however, things got odd.
The service pack must have updated the player (I can’t find the version – there is no “about” link), so I had to again agree to use this as default for videos/music etc.
*Sigh* – but, again, no biggie.
But the default option – selected – included sending song/music info to Microsoft. FAIL!The custom setup (that I chose, of course), had sending music/video to Microsoft checked as default. The notes said the info would not be associated with me blah blah (wish I had taken a screen shot; I can’t replicate the preferences), but yeah. Want to bet?
You think at some point MS will get a subpena from the RIAA, the MPAA or the police, and suddenly what I’ve listened to/watch will go through this filter, and I might get nailed. And I could get nailed by mistake – the checksum of some video/song I played matches that of a piece that is, in some way, illegal (pirated, for example). If that happens, at the end of a legal battle I can’t win, the worse-case scenario for the subpena wielders is they go, “Whoops. Our bad.”
But my reputation and bank account will have been trashed at that point.
I don’t pirate music/video, and I understand MS’s reason for wanting to collect this info – to see how the player is being used so they can put their efforts for the next version in the places it will matter.
But make that data collection opt-in, not opt-out.
That’s just evil.
Evil Deux: Let’s gaze upon these nuggets from an MG Siegler techcrunch article: Microsoft’s Android Plan: Evil Genius Or Just Evil?
Buried in all the intrigue surrounding the Nortel patent auction was an interesting tidbit: Microsoft did not have to bid on the patents, but they did anyway. Why? As far as I can tell, it’s one of two reasons. One is evil. The other is evil genius. Either Microsoft really wants to kill Android. Or, if Android continues to thrive, Microsoft wants to be the ones that make billions of dollars off of its success.
Microsoft’s intent here is pure evil genius. “It’s not like Android’s free. Android has a patent fee. You do have to license patents,” Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said last year. What he didn’t explicitly say is that you’d have to pay Microsoft and not Google for those patents. Think about this for a second: it’s entirely possible that Microsoft is going to end up making more money — perhaps significantly more — from Android than Google will. A year ago, such a statement would have seemed like a joke. But now it’s becoming reality. And it must be the ultimate nightmare for Google.
This is another reason for cleaning up the patent system.
And another reason to call MS evil. I know it’s just business and maximizing revenue for your stockholders, but geez.
Innovate. Don’t litigate.