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Spencer Brody
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Samsung Copied Apple and That's Why It Succeeded - Pundits

Apple fans say Samsung copied Apple and that's why Samsung is a loser.

Android fans say Samsung didn't copy Apple any more than Apple copied Samsung, and that Samsung is a winner.

But at least two pundits, +Farhad Manjoo  and +Robert Scoble, have an alternative opinion. Namely, that Samsung did in fact copy Apple and that's why Samsung is a winner.

These guys point out that the companies that didn't copy Apple (Nokia, RIM, Palm, Microsoft and so on) have become smartphone market also-rans.

Samsung, they argued, copied Apple. And while it cost them a billion dollars in "damages," that's lunch money compared to how much they're making quarter over quarter with their smart phones. 

(Manjoo points out that Samsung started out copying, but has evolved away from that and now innovates.)

What do you think? Is this the right view? Was copying Apple the winning strategy?

(Scoble pic props to +Guy Kawasaki: )

(Manjoo pic props to +New America Foundation: )
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Yo-yos in SPAAAAACE!!!!

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Okay, this is actually pretty awesome
Don't push the button. DON'T!
owkay.. you've pushed it...

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So cool! Google's experimental new augmented reality glasses.

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Beware the wrath of Grace Hopper

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Two things about SOPA/PIPA and then I'll shut up :)


The internet seems to ignore legislation until somebody tries to take something away from us... then we carefully defend that one thing and never counter-attack. Then the other side says, "OK, compromise," and gets half of what they want. That's not the way to win... that's the way to see a steady and continuous erosion of rights online.

The solution is to start lobbying for our own laws. It's time to go on the offensive if we want to preserve what we've got. Let's force the RIAA and MPAA to use up all their political clout just protecting what they have. Here are some ideas we should be pushing for:

* Elimination of software patents
* Legal fees paid by the loser in patent cases; non-practicing entities must post bond before they can file fishing expedition lawsuits
* Roll back length of copyright protection to the minimum necessary "to promote the useful arts." Maybe 10 years?
* Create a legal doctrine that merely linking is protected free speech
* And ponies. We want ponies. We don't have to get all this stuff. We merely have to tie them up fighting it, and re-center the "compromise" position.


The dismal corruption of congress has gotten it to the point where lobbying for legislation is out of control. As Larry Lessig has taught us, the core rottenness originates from the high cost of running political campaigns, which mostly just goes to TV stations.

A solution is for the Internet industry to start giving free advertising to political campaigns on our own new media assets... assets like YouTube that are rapidly displacing television. Imagine if every political candidate had free access (under some kind of "equal time" rule) to enough advertising inventory on the Internet to run a respectable campaign. Sure, candidates can still pay to advertise on television, but the cost of campaigning would be a lot lower if every candidate could run geo-targeted pre-roll ads on YouTube, geo-targeted links at the top of, even targeted campaigns on Facebook. If the Internet can donate enough inventory (and I suspect we can), we can make it possible for a candidate to get elected without raising huge war chests from donors who are going to want something in return, and we may finally get to a point where every member of congress isn't in permanent outstretched-hand mode.

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Time for a small rant. Since I work on Chrome, I tend to read a lot of news about it. People say a lot of ill-informed things about Chrome, and mostly they don't deserve a response, but I have one comment after reading MG Siegler's today.

From the conclusion: "One thing is certain: Google is not paying Mozilla a billion dollars out of the kindness of their hearts. Doing so would be irresponsible to their shareholders. Again, they’re paying all that money to a competitor."

People never seem to understand why Google builds Chrome no matter how many times I try to pound it into their heads. It's very simple: the primary goal of Chrome is to make the web advance as much and as quickly as possible. That's it. It's completely irrelevant to this goal whether Chrome actually gains tons of users or whether instead the web advances because the other browser vendors step up their game and produce far better browsers. Either way the web gets better. Job done. The end.

So it's very easy to see why Google would be willing to fund Mozilla: Like Google, Mozilla is clearly committed to the betterment of the web, and they're spending their resources to make a great, open-source web browser. Chrome is not all things to all people; Firefox is an important product because it can be a different product with different design decisions and serve different users well. Mozilla's commitment to advancing the web is why I was hired at Google explicitly to work on Firefox before we built Chrome: Google was interested enough in seeing Firefox succeed to commit engineering resources to it, and we only shifted to building Chrome when we thought we might be able to cause even greater increases in the rate at which the web advanced.

It's not hard to understand the roots of this strategy. Google succeeds (and makes money) when the web succeeds and people use it more to do everything they need to do. Because of this Chrome doesn't need to be a Microsoft Office, a direct money-maker, nor does it even need to directly feed users to Google. Just making the web more capable is enough.

So sure, Google gets some direct value out of Firefox users searching with Google by default. I'm not contesting that. But the whole "You're funding a competitor!!!" angle is misguided. Google is funding a partner. We and Mozilla are working together to make the web awesome.

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HEY! LISTEN!!! <--- what the creators of Zelda would say if they were marketing some music #wakawaka

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I'm torn between being happy that the republicans and democrats finally agreed about something, and thinking that they all need to take a chill pill.

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Absolutely amazing.
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