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Google Files Antitrust Complaint Against Microsoft, Nokia 233

Posted by Soulskill
from the throwing-down dept.
x0d writes with news that Google filed an EU antitrust complaint against Microsoft and Nokia on Thursday, claiming they are using proxy companies to make smartphone-related patent claims in an attack on Google's Android business. From the article: "Google also plans to share its complaint about patent 'trolls' with U.S. competition regulators. The Internet-search giant alleges that Microsoft and Nokia have entered into agreements that enable entities such as Canada-based Mosaid Technologies Inc. to legally enforce their patent rights and share the resulting revenue. Google, which hasn't been sued by Mosaid or related firms, described its filing with European regulators as a pre-emptive measure against a developing legal hazard for Android partners. The threat is that if phone makers perceive a significant legal risk in using Android, they may opt instead for Microsoft's Windows Phone software."
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Google Files Antitrust Complaint Against Microsoft, Nokia

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  • Re:Hey (Score:0, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 01, 2012 @10:08AM (#40179547)

    Use Goolgle to find Motorola patent lawsuits. [google.com]

  • Re:Hey (Score:5, Informative)

    by squiggleslash (241428) * on Friday June 01, 2012 @10:17AM (#40179645) Homepage Journal

    Yes, blaming Google for the actions started years ago of a company they literally bought last week is sure to prove your argument.

  • Re:Distrust (Score:5, Informative)

    by IamTheRealMike (537420) <mike@plan99.net> on Friday June 01, 2012 @10:46AM (#40180067) Homepage

    Hi EzInKy,

    Beyond being an avid reader of Slashdot comments (10+ years now!), I also work on Google account security, so am quite familiar with the phone number prompts you're seeing. Let me give you some background and maybe you can at least see our perspective on why we're doing this and why it's not necessarily "evil".

    The traditional approach to handling users who forget their passwords, or otherwise need to be identified via a non-password based mechanism, is the secret question and answer. We have spent many years trying to make secret QA work. I myself wrote the code we use to correct typos, handle different abbreviations of street addresses, normalize unicode characters etc to try and increase the success rate. Other people have analyzed the types of questions/answers provided and encouraged users to select better ones. All to no avail. People just suck at choosing these options .... some people choose absurdly easy questions like "Do I like the incredible hulk?" or "In what month did I get married?". Lots of people forget the answer, even with the hint. The suggestions we provide (library card number, frequent flyer number) are often ignored as being too much hassle. Some questions looks superficially strong ("What is my mothers maiden name?") but we've seen fraudsters from Nigeria successfully research the answer to that question starting from nothing more than an email address! To top it all off, the success rate for good users is staggeringly low. Even with all the effort we put in to handling common mistakes, the success rate is rarely higher than 25%.

    So we gave up on it. New Google accounts do not prompt you for a secret QA. Instead we ask for a phone number. The reason is that it's a kind of "second password" that cannot be guessed by random strangers unless you happen to publish it on the web (happens, but rare), most people have memorized it, and if we need a strong proof of authentication - like if you forget your password - we make an automated phone call. We have also been asking users to provide a phone number for existing accounts for the same reasons, our stats show users with phone numbers are dramatically less likely to lose their accounts.

    You may think, well, I'll never forget my password so this is irrelevant. But nowadays we also use it as a second password in cases where we aren't sure a login is really coming from you (it seems unusual or suspicious in some way). You normally just have to type it in to confirm you know it. In very high risk cases, like using an IP that's been heavily abused before, we may want to send you a message.

    You're right that the UI strongly encourages people to provide a number although it's still optional. I'd personally prefer to have the UI you suggest. However that will lead to a lot of users getting locked out of their accounts, no two ways about it. The alternatives for proving your identity are just so much harder. So there are no ideal solutions here. The numbers aren't used for anything else (certainly not advertising or anything like that).

  • by recoiledsnake (879048) on Friday June 01, 2012 @10:56AM (#40180179)

    > Because last I checked this specific anti-trust complaint is about Nokia and Microsoft backing patent trolls.

    Did you really check it? Or are you just wearing your fanboy blinders?

      They're an investor in the biggest patent troll around, Intellectual Ventures.

    http://www.iam-magazine.com/blog/Detail.aspx?g=2f9ac708-83af-42b9-9d3d-5fdf39fdc482 [iam-magazine.com]

  • Re:Distrust (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 01, 2012 @11:05AM (#40180313)

    It takes an unreasonably large amount of technical prowess to actually eradicate all of Google's tendrils.

    DuckDuckGo [duckduckgo.com], NoScript [noscript.net], and OpenPGP [openpgp.org]?

    What am I missing? A robots.txt [wikipedia.org] file?

  • Re:Distrust (Score:3, Informative)

    by RivenAleem (1590553) on Friday June 01, 2012 @11:15AM (#40180435)

    I've used Google for years, and didn't know this was the reason behind the phone number (beyond being able to get a password reset sent to me by SMS). I've never received any unsolicited calls on my number, so I know it has not been used for marketing.

    Today was the first time they asked me to use the number for anything, when using Google checkout for the first time to buy the new Humble Bundle.

  • by recoiledsnake (879048) on Friday June 01, 2012 @11:33AM (#40180679)

    >They invested in "Defendant Invention Investment Fund I." which is an investment fund that invested in IV.

    Umm no. That fund is completely a part of IV. IV has various funds, and Google invested only in that fund. It's not like an general investment fund or mutual fund. And Google's investment was only revealed in a lawsuit or it would be hidden even now, just like Google wants it to be. Who's twisting the truth now?

    Why don't you get an account(or login to your real account) and dare to stand behind your posts instead of hiding like a coward taking potshots at me? Or are you a Google shill or employee trying to spin the facts and posting anonymously to hide?

  • Re:Hey (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 01, 2012 @12:28PM (#40181279)
    No, saying "You can ONLY use youtube.com and google.com IF YOU ARE USING CHROME" would be abusing their monopoly. advertising their own products (while not penalizing their competitors) is not abusing the monopoly.

Whenever a system becomes completely defined, some damn fool discovers something which either abolishes the system or expands it beyond recognition.

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