Quotw This was the week when Nokia took some acrimonious advice from shareholders at the AGM, one of whom suggested the firm was on its way down to the pits of doom. Tired of the firm's direction and the absence of the much-promised turnaround, shareholder Hannu Virtanen told chief exec Stephen Elop:
You're a nice guy ... and the leadership team is doing its best, but clearly, it's not enough.
Are you aware that results are what matter? The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Please switch to another road.
Analysts, meanwhile, were no less unkind to Elop and also dismissive of the phone firm's partnership with Microsoft. Magnus Rehle, senior partner in Greenwich Consulting, said:
He's managed to decrease costs but not to increase market share.
Maybe they could go back to Google and say we also want to go with Android? Even if it hurts. Microsoft, they've had their chances, and are not managing to take off.
Microsoft finished up the migration of 300 million active Hotmail users to Outlook over the last week or so and is hoping that those who stuck with Hotmail all these years despite arguably better options for their mailing needs will "come to love" their new inboxes. However, there are already those who have articulately disagreed on Twitter:
Let me be honest with you Hotmail - ever since you changed to Outlook, you've been a massive prick.
And the firm has also been forced this week to backpedal furiously on its Windows 8 UI. "Key aspects" of the software would be changed, head of marketing and finance for Microsoft’s Windows group Tami Reller was forced to admit, saying:
We feel good that we've listened and looked at all of the customer feedback. We are being principled, not stubborn.
... Rather glossing over the fact that Redmond has been ignoring the cries of torment since the operating system first debuted and forced users to go "tablet" whether they wanted the desktop look or not. But she did admit:
It’s very clear we could and should have done more.
Meanwhile, tip-top Googler Eric Schmidt has suggested that what the internet really needs is a big ol' delete button. For the sake of folks' privacy, particularly kids who are going to be bitten on the ass by the junk they post online now, people need to be able to flush their presence offline, he said:
In America, there's a sense of fairness that's culturally true for all of us. The lack of a delete button on the internet is a significant issue. There is a time when erasure is a right thing.
In the storage world, HDS veep of product planning Michael Hay had this baffling, possibly coded message about what was coming soon from the firm:
So this week if you’re spellbound by a ringleader’s sizzling showmanship while he announces the latest hijinks of the Bourne clown troupe masquerading as a fire brigade to “save the storage world as we know it,” pause and ask: “Where’s the beef?” If you ask this question, and I believe you will, I have an answer for you and it is coming later this month.
He was referring to his company's Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform and Hitachi Unified Storage VM, and Bourne storage-maker EMC'S latest product, ViPR, though what he was talking about is another question entirely.
And finally, one judge in the US has clearly had enough of patent trolls like Prenda Law, which filed reams of suits against individuals it accused of downloading copyrighted X-rated movies in the hopes of getting them to cough up some cash or be outed as the kind of person who would torrent porn. In a Star Trek-reference-heavy ruling, US District Court judge Otis Wright said he had passed information about the firm along to various agencies for investigation.
Plaintiffs have outmaneuvered the legal system. They’ve discovered the nexus of antiquated copyright laws, paralyzing social stigma, and unaffordable defense costs. And they exploit this anomaly by accusing individuals of illegally downloading a single pornographic video. Then they offer to settle — for a sum calculated to be just below the cost of a bare-bones defense.
For these individuals, resistance is futile; most reluctantly pay rather than have their names associated with illegally downloading porn. So now, copyright laws originally designed to compensate starving artists allow starving attorneys in this electronic-media era to plunder the citizenry.
Wright also accused lawyers connected to Prenda Law of lies, fraud, forgery and ignoring court orders:
There is little doubt that Steele, Hansmeier, Duffy, Gibbs suffer from a form of moral turpitude unbecoming of an officer of the court. To this end, the Court will refer them to their respective state and federal bars.
And said that the porno troll's data would be passed along to other agencies:
Though Plaintiffs boldly probe the outskirts of law, the only enterprise they resemble is RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act).
The federal agency 11 decks up is familiar with their prime directive and will gladly refit them for their next voyage.
The Court will refer this matter to the United States Attorney for the Central District of California. It will also refer this matter to the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service and will notify all judges before whom these attorneys have pending cases. ®