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"Screw you Apple, I'm porting Watson to Windows" (Page 2)
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Ibson
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Aug 27, 2002, 07:12 AM
 
It's a common misconception that Watson simply uses XML webservices to grab its data. That's isn't the case. It actually downloads the *normal webpages* you access in your web browser, and parses them based on rulebooks. I've written my own engine to do that in Cocoa, and although it isn't too hard, it still requires more work than a simple AppleScript. On a side note, I've never actually liked Watson as I find its interface shocking. Was the developer playing "how many drawers can I cram into a window" game? Also small things, like using Helvetica instead of Lucida Grande, and others. But it's certainly obvious the *interface* of Sherlock 3 was "inspired" by Watson.
     
dfiler
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Aug 27, 2002, 08:21 AM
 
Originally posted by Brazuca:

Apple takes away Watson's uniqueness (why would you pay for Watson when you can get it for free with your OS) and cuts down it's ability to make money. They do that by blatantly copying Watson. To argue otherwise is ridiculous (don't tell me that this was an inevitable progression on Sherlock. Sherlock was a search engine, Watson is much, much more).
...
How can so many people be so blind? Watson was never unique. There were many search applications that wrapped web content before Sherlock 3 or Watson. I even wrote my own parser to steal and reformat movie schedules for my zip code.

Yes, Watson was well done. Unique? Definately not.

Anyone claiming that one 'blantantly' copid the other is ignorant of what is actually going on in the software industry. Just go to download.com and try out some of these applications that predate Watson.
     
mrchin
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Aug 27, 2002, 08:47 AM
 
You know, it is possible that he knew someone at Cup that had a hand in on Sherlock, then he copied even the new features into a Watson app prior to Sherlock 3 coming out. It's not like Apple made Sherlock just 3 months ago. They could have been working on it since 10.0.
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Gul Banana
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Aug 27, 2002, 08:58 AM
 
Originally posted by Spliffdaddy:
I don't blame the guy for not wanting to work for Apple.

As sleezy as they've been acting lately, he'd likely get fired before he got his first paycheck.

I wouldn't work for Steve Jobs if you paid me a million dollars.
I would. You wouldn't have to work for him for very long, after all - a million dollars is pretty good for a day or so's work, don't you think?
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Cipher13
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Aug 27, 2002, 09:10 AM
 
I don't blame him.

_He makes Watson
_Apple takes Watson, makes it Sherlock 3
Offers to *let* him 'work on' Sherlock 3

What an insult - copying his work (I know, lets not get into the whole 'Watson isn't original' thing), and then asking if he'd like to work as a part of the team.

Heh.
     
OverclockedHomoSapien
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Aug 27, 2002, 10:23 AM
 
I just don't get some of the arguments here. Apple gave Mr. Wood. recognition for his talent, they gave him time to make some dough with Watson, and they offered him a job!

Worst case scenario: Sherlock 3 puts Wood's shareware business under. Apple clearly considered this, and they offered him a job as compensation. Based on what I've heard and read, a job at Apple is among the most coveted positions in all of silicon valley. The pay is excellent and working conditions are fair and fertile for creativity. Rumors about Jobs firing employees in elevators aside, most Apple employees never even meet Jobs.

So what's this guy's beef? He says a job at Apple would constrict his creativity too much? So where are all these creative apps he's talking about? Watson isn't creative, it's a spinoff of Sherlock. Without Sherlock, Watson wouldn't even exist. So how is this guy so creative again?
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Brazuca
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Aug 27, 2002, 10:48 AM
 
Originally posted by OverclockedHomoSapien:
I just don't get some of the arguments here. Apple gave Mr. Wood. recognition for his talent, they gave him time to make some dough with Watson, and they offered him a job!
Yeah...how nice of them. I wonder if Gates ever offered Steve a job for stealing the MacOS features. That would make it all fine I suppose.

Considering how many companies Apple has been buying lately, do you think it would be too difficult for them to purchase Watson outright?
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bewebste
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Aug 27, 2002, 11:06 AM
 
I highly doubt that Apple saw Watson and thought "Wow, what a great idea, let's do that and give it away!" First of all, the time constraints for such a scenario just don't quite work out. Watson was released November 27th 2001. Even if Apple started Sherlock 3 on the 28th, it would take a lot of effort to have developed it from the ground up to be released just a few days ago. I suppose it's plausible if you're willing to stretch, but I'm pretty confident that work on Sherlock 3 started long before Watson was released.

Also, even though both applications function very similarly on the surface, the technology behind them differs by quite a bit. Watson downloads Cocoa bundles to your hard drive and loads them dynamically into the program to run them. The bundles consist of code written in Objective-C and various resources such as images, nib files, etc. Sherlock's channels consist of a single nib file and a set of XML files. Some of the XML files are simple config files, but others contain the actual code for the channel, written in a combination of JavaScript and XQuery, an XML based query language. The channels are actually run by a runtime implementation of these two languages, along with a bridge that allows them to communicate with the interface.

IMHO, Apple and Karelia simply had the same idea, both building upon Sherlock 2. They implemented them independently and each came up with their own way of going about it. They both followed the Mac's interface guidelines fairly well, resulting in a very similar look. No one ripped anyone off, at least not on purpose.
     
[APi]TheMan
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Aug 27, 2002, 12:48 PM
 
Originally posted by Adam Betts:


Dan Wood said that it will happen
Good for them. I don't give a crap about Sherlock or Watson, I've never used either in 10.x.

I know there are some people that are upset about this, but heh... for those of you that care, that sucks

I would never deny Apple like that..
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CheesePuff
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Aug 27, 2002, 12:56 PM
 
Originally posted by Cipher13:
I don't blame him.

_He makes Watson
_Apple takes Watson, makes it Sherlock 3
Offers to *let* him 'work on' Sherlock 3

What an insult - copying his work (I know, lets not get into the whole 'Watson isn't original' thing), and then asking if he'd like to work as a part of the team.

Heh.
You *always* have something bad to say about Apple. Sheesh, take a break from the damn forums already.

This isn't the biggest damn problem in the world.
     
surfacto
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Aug 27, 2002, 01:04 PM
 
I don't know who copied whom, but I hope Karelia keeps supporting Mac OS. Watson still has better tools than Sherlock (version tracker, weather, TV). Until Sherlock gets those, I will stick with Watson. Hell, I'll probably stick with Watson regardless, since I already payed. And who cares if the guy wants to port it to Windows? He sees his market disappearing on the Mac as Sherlock develops. Working for Jobs sounds like it would be fun for a while, but I wouldn't want to be the guy to get the axe for disagreeing with him. It's the smart move. Why shouldn't Windows users get to use this great App? flame on...
     
DaveGee
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Aug 27, 2002, 01:09 PM
 
I am so very very sick of hearing about this crybaby author who wrote a program BASED ON sherlock who is now pissed off because Apple has updated Sherlock to the next level of features.

Fact - Watson is a RIPOFF (with more features) of Sherlock
Fact - Watson STEALS it's content from web sites.
Fact - Apple has done the right thing and LICENSED the content.

Go ahead tell me I'm WRONG about any of this stuff.

Mark my words... If the author of Watson makes any more noise about this the sites that his PAY FOR program is STEALING content from are going to notice his little money making enterprise and have a few lawyers pay him a visit.

Hey imagine if YOU had a web site and someone wrote a program (and sold it) that stripped everything but the raw content (ad's etc). Tell me you wouldn't be just a tad pissed off.

Don't get me wrong... I'm sure the program is very nice but in the end it's a COPY of sherlock and the developer took the easy way out and just STEALS content... Then *HE* gets all up in arms when Apple does the next step with Sherlock AND does the right thing WRT licensing official content.

Well sorry buddy but I'm not about to rush to your defence like some would.

Just my 2

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OAW
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Aug 27, 2002, 01:21 PM
 
Originally posted by DaveGee:

Fact - Watson is a RIPOFF (with more features) of Sherlock
Fact - Watson STEALS it's content from web sites.
Fact - Apple has done the right thing and LICENSED the content.

Go ahead tell me I'm WRONG about any of this stuff.
Point 1 - WRONG. As I mentioned before Sherlock THREE is more similar to Watson than Watson is to Sherlock TWO when it comes to Channels and GUI design ... aspects which define the application from a user's perspective. All this talk about "downloading Cocoa bundles" and "Javascript on a central server" is completely irrelevant from the user's point of view. See my previous post for details.

Point 2 - I'm not a lawyer and I don't know all the legal technicalities, but you might have a point here.

Point 3 - I don't know if Apple has a licensing arrangement with the websites which provide the content or not. Regardless, one can't deny that Sherlock 3 provides much more visible "credit" to the source of the content than does Watson.

OAW
     
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Aug 27, 2002, 01:28 PM
 
Originally posted by DaveGee:
Mark my words... If the author of Watson makes any more noise about this the sites that his PAY FOR program is STEALING content from are going to notice his little money making enterprise and have a few lawyers pay him a visit.

Hey imagine if YOU had a web site and someone wrote a program (and sold it) that stripped everything but the raw content (ad's etc). Tell me you wouldn't be just a tad pissed off.
I would certainly be pissed off, but the question is whether that is illegal or not.

I mean, all web browsers copy the content (in RAM at least) and display in various different formats depending on the user's choice (different font size, with or without images, with ads blocked, as source, custom colors etc.)

Watson does basically the same thing just a little bit more radically reformated. For private use this might be covered by fair use.

A user certainly could print out a website, take scissors, cut out the information he's interested in, and paste them together onto a new piece of paper. So why should it be illegal for him to automate that with a computer program (being the electronic equivalent of scissors and glue)?
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Adam Betts  (op)
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Aug 27, 2002, 01:38 PM
 
How is it possible that Apple copied Watson if the GUI is too *general*?
     
Adam Betts  (op)
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Aug 27, 2002, 01:55 PM
 
Originally posted by Brazuca:
Yeah...how nice of them. I wonder if Gates ever offered Steve a job for stealing the MacOS features. That would make it all fine I suppose.
Bill Gates did offered him to license MacOS

Originally posted by Brazuca:
Considering how many companies Apple has been buying lately, do you think it would be too difficult for them to purchase Watson outright?
If they bought Watson, they would have *little* uses for it. Sherlock 3's engine is FAR superior to Watson. Don't understand? Okay...

Watson's engine is "PlayStation 1" while Sherlock 3 is "GameCube". If you bought both system, how can you improve "GameCube" with "PSone"'s engine?
     
cpt kangarooski
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Aug 27, 2002, 02:45 PM
 
I have to agree with kmkkid here. UI isn't a contest. The best outcome is for everyone to win. Porting Watson to Windows helps out many more users than if it remained only on the Mac. It's a good thing to do, and of course, it's his option.

I mean, I'd certainly be interested in working for Apple's HI Group if an offer were given (it wouldn't be -- I'm in a different field now anyway) but unless I felt that it would really be worthwhile, i.e. that the HI Group could override Steve, I wouldn't bother.
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Gee-Man
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Aug 27, 2002, 03:11 PM
 
Originally posted by OAW:
Point 1 - WRONG. As I mentioned before Sherlock THREE is more similar to Watson than Watson is to Sherlock TWO when it comes to Channels and GUI design ... aspects which define the application from a user's perspective. All this talk about "downloading Cocoa bundles" and "Javascript on a central server" is completely irrelevant from the user's point of view. See my previous post for details.
No, it's not irrelevant. People can debate the UI side of this all day, but the details about the "underpinnings" of the software goes directly to a point that you and others have repeatedly made, that Apple directly ripped off Watson. If the programming structure of Sherlock 3 clearly indicates a much longer development process within Apple than the few months it would have taken to simply "steal" the idea from Watson, this makes the application's programming methods extremely relevant to this discussion.

Just because you don't know anything about programming, don't dismiss it just because it doesn't fit into your predetermined opinion. Just for the record, I too bought Watson because I thought it was a cool implementation of Sherlock's idea - and I'll continue to use it alongside Sherlock 3 because they each have features that the other doesn't. However, I don't feel that Dan Wood has much of a leg to stand on here, he didn't invent the idea nor are most of his UI ideas truly groundbreaking. Yes, they're nicely done, but not groundbreaking - for example, there's nothing earth-shattering about using Apple's column view for browsing movies, you know, and the content (previews, summary, etc.) was already provided to him by moviefone.
     
OverclockedHomoSapien
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Aug 27, 2002, 03:43 PM
 
Some of you need to face up to the reality that if not for Sherlock, Watson would never have been made.

As for Apple buying Watson, why should they when Sherlock is their own creation? Sure, Apple bought Soundjam (and hired it's creator), but iTunes IS soundjam, it uses much of the same code.

An analogous situation would be if a shareware author released a spinoff of iTunes TODAY, and then a year later Apple released a superior iTunes 4.
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Rickster
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Aug 27, 2002, 04:14 PM
 
On http://www.thinksecret.com/news/hardwaredvd.html, Apple's Mac os X Product Manager is quoted: "Watson came out at a time that we were busy working on Sherlock 3." I believe that -- it's consistent with their usual software development schedules.

Similarities of interface are inevitable... some of the best Mac software out there tends to (intentionally or unintentionally) imitate what Apple would do if they were to enter a given product space. What this whole fiasco shows is that Mr. Wood did a great job of thinking like Apple in that regard.

As for similarities in the "channels" offered -- look at the popular Web services out there right now. If you were to make an app that distilled those into a Mac interface, which services would you choose? There aren't a whole lot of popular, easily "Mac-ified" web services out there beyond what's in Sherlock 3 and Watson right now, so a high degree of overlap is to be expected.
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Aug 27, 2002, 04:21 PM
 
Originally posted by OAW:
[B]

Point 1 - WRONG. As I mentioned before Sherlock THREE is more similar to Watson than Watson is to Sherlock
That is simply not true.

Lets think about it here a second. Would Watson ever even came out if it wasn't for Sherlock? I doubt it. He got the idea from Apple. Tried to make it his own, and it came back to bite him.
     
Brazuca
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Aug 27, 2002, 05:29 PM
 
Originally posted by Adam Betts:


Bill Gates did offered him to license MacOS



If they bought Watson, they would have *little* uses for it. Sherlock 3's engine is FAR superior to Watson. Don't understand? Okay...

Watson's engine is "PlayStation 1" while Sherlock 3 is "GameCube". If you bought both system, how can you improve "GameCube" with "PSone"'s engine?
Adam,

I'll concede these points since I really don't understand too much about programming. But regardless of when someone starts working on something, Watson was out the door first. Too bad for Apple. The whole "but we wanted to be first, we just got caught up" defense is childish. Unless they had a copyright/patent before Watson, it looks like Apple is bullying a small software developer out of a market that he had created (he indeed was the only app that did what it does, that's why it was so popular). This is not what we traditionally think of as being "a nice way to play". Definetely a lot like M$. But then again, look at .Mac, the new PMs, Jaguar, etc....

I can start work on os XI now but I won't have it out before Apple will. Does that give me the right to publish my version of XI and drive Apple out of the market (if I could)? No.

About Watson stealing content. If the people who publish these sites don't have a problem with it, it means that they publish their content and allow apps like Watson to use it. It is very easy for any one of these sites to either block Watson's access or to legally sue them to stop. Guess why they didn't??
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sambeau
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Aug 27, 2002, 06:03 PM
 
Originally posted by OAW:
Dan Wood stole the idea for Watson from Sherlock...
First of all,...
Now let's juxtapose ...
Let's be real about this people! Even Stevie Wonder...
The bottom line is....
Having said all that...
Now did Apple...
Period. Dot. End of sentence.

Absolute piffle. Especially the bits in bold.
Period. Dot. End of Sentence.

(which is a sentence with two dots at the end)
     
sambeau
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Aug 27, 2002, 06:06 PM
 
Originally posted by DaveGee:
I am so very very sick of hearing about this crybaby author who wrote a program BASED ON sherlock who is now pissed off because Apple has updated Sherlock to the next level of features.

Fact - Watson is a RIPOFF (with more features) of Sherlock
Fact - Watson STEALS it's content from web sites.
Fact - Apple has done the right thing and LICENSED the content.

Go ahead tell me I'm WRONG about any of this stuff.
Fact 1. Correct.
Fact 2. Correct.
Fact 3. Correct.

Nope. Nothin' to correct there..
     
sambeau
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Aug 27, 2002, 06:07 PM
 
double post. (why doesn't delete work?)
     
krove
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Aug 27, 2002, 06:16 PM
 
Originally posted by Brazuca:
But regardless of when someone starts working on something, Watson was out the door first. Too bad for Apple. The whole "but we wanted to be first, we just got caught up" defense is childish. Unless they had a copyright/patent before Watson, it looks like Apple is bullying a small software developer out of a market that he had created (he indeed was the only app that did what it does, that's why it was so popular). This is not what we traditionally think of as being "a nice way to play". Definetely a lot like M$. But then again, look at .Mac, the new PMs, Jaguar, etc....

I can start work on os XI now but I won't have it out before Apple will. Does that give me the right to publish my version of XI and drive Apple out of the market (if I could)? No.
Umm, yes, you have every right to do that as long as your software is unique (both in code and interface). Granted, Watson and Sherlock share similar interfaces, but in working with Aqua to present movie times by theater, how many different possibilites are there? Probably not that many to do it intuitively. This whole situation is called capitalism, and that's how things work. This isn't some "Well, my fellow Apple employees, some other guy was also developing an app to do what Sherlock 3 is going to do, and he got to market first. I know that our engine is far superior and in no way a copy of his software, but I guess we'll have to stop development and leave users who aren't going to buy Watson with Sherlock 2. It just wouldn't be fair to the other developer" economy. Welcome to the real world...

Originally posted by Brazuca:
About Watson stealing content. If the people who publish these sites don't have a problem with it, it means that they publish their content and allow apps like Watson to use it. It is very easy for any one of these sites to either block Watson's access or to legally sue them to stop. Guess why they didn't??
Maybe because Macs only make up 5% of the market and only 5% or Mac users actual use Watson? Do the math, 5% of 5% is what? Too small to care. Port it to Windows, and they'll probably start having issues.

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Brazuca
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Aug 27, 2002, 06:56 PM
 
Originally posted by krove:


Umm, yes, you have every right to do that as long as your software is unique (both in code and interface). Granted, Watson and Sherlock share similar interfaces, but in working with Aqua to present movie times by theater, how many different possibilites are there? Probably not that many to do it intuitively. This whole situation is called capitalism, and that's how things work. This isn't some "Well, my fellow Apple employees, some other guy was also developing an app to do what Sherlock 3 is going to do, and he got to market first. I know that our engine is far superior and in no way a copy of his software, but I guess we'll have to stop development and leave users who aren't going to buy Watson with Sherlock 2. It just wouldn't be fair to the other developer" economy. Welcome to the real world...



Maybe because Macs only make up 5% of the market and only 5% or Mac users actual use Watson? Do the math, 5% of 5% is what? Too small to care. Port it to Windows, and they'll probably start having issues.
Actually, in the "real world" companies that feel they have been ripped off have the option to sue. Capitalism does not mean that you get to do whatever you want and let the market decide. There are laws and regulations (not to mention ethics) which dictate the limits of "laissez faire". When Apple sued eMachines (I think) for copying the look and feel of the iMac they were behaving according to what we all saw was right. In your "real world", that iMac rip-off would have every right to be produced, which is not consistent with our notions of intellectual property rights etc.

I don't know if the maker of Watson got a copyright/patent for his work. Lets assume that he did. It would not matter when Apple started work on Sherlock3. If Watson got there first, Apple would be legally forced to not distribute their software (if it infringes on Watson's patents/copyrights). In the "real world" Apple would indeed be out of luck.

If the roles were reversed, you would see the Apple legal team jumping down the throat of the Watson creator to stop publication of its software. They are the big guys with the army of lawyers and the small publisher is SOL.

However, I'm not arguing the legality of Apple's move, just the ethical problems with having a large company bully a small developer by integration of extra features into the OS, much like Microsoft was found guilty of doing. Don't forget, Apple does have a monopoly in the Mac market.

As far as the whole "theft" issue, it is legal until proven otherwise. If you show me that Watson is violating the websites' copyrights by downloading and displaying their content, I would gladly concede the point. Right now I don't see them doing anything more than what a browser does.
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sambeau
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Aug 27, 2002, 07:16 PM
 
Originally posted by Brazuca:
If the roles were reversed, you would see the Apple legal team jumping down the throat of the Watson creator to stop publication of its software. T
I think this is the point that many of us are trying to make here:

When I first saw Watson I expected Apple to act in this way. It was a quick-n-dirty logical extension of Sherlock, right down to the derivative name. But Apple didn't bother. In fact they did the opposite and welcomed the competition.

Are we to expect the Interachy team to sue because apple is adding ftp disks to the finder? Or indeed any manufacturer of an ftp app?

No. Watson built upon Sherlock upwards - not sideways. Apple was always going upwards and everyone knew it. Why Dan Wood was suprised is beyond me.

And as for windows.. M$ has no interest in Sherlock, and neither should the windows community. It has .NET which allows anyone and their auntie with half a brain and a C# compiler to knock together another Sherlock in a weekend.
     
DaveGee
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Aug 27, 2002, 08:06 PM
 
Originally posted by Brazuca:
As far as the whole "theft" issue, it is legal until proven otherwise. If you show me that Watson is violating the websites' copyrights by downloading and displaying their content, I would gladly concede the point. Right now I don't see them doing anything more than what a browser does.
Ummm a browser displays the web page to best reproduce how the provider of the service chose to make the data available including ADs and other texts. Watson strips anything it feels like and shows you what's left.

As far as needing proof:

--------------------------------------------------------
16. YAHOO'S PROPRIETARY RIGHTS

You acknowledge and agree that the Service and any necessary software used in connection with the Service ("Software") contain proprietary and confidential information that is protected by applicable intellectual property and other laws. You further acknowledge and agree that Content contained in sponsor advertisements or information presented to you through the Service or advertisers is protected by copyrights, trademarks, service marks, patents or other proprietary rights and laws. Except as expressly authorized by Yahoo or advertisers, you agree not to modify, rent, lease, loan, sell, distribute or create derivative works based on the Service or the Software, in whole or in part.
--------------------------------------------------------

I think this about covers the proof:

"Except as expressly authorized by Yahoo or advertisers, you agree not to modify, rent, lease, loan, sell, distribute or create derivative works based on the Service or the Software, in whole or in part. "

I think the Watson application taking information from Yahoo and stripping everything but the RAW MEAT ('meat' that Yahoo *is* paying someone for) and then re-rolling it for it's own use (displaying in a window of it's own) would fall under 'MODIFY' as well as 'CREATE DERIVATIVE WORKS' and maybe even 'distribute' depending on how the lawyers use (and defend) that term but I admit that last one would be a bit of a stretch.

Make no bones about it... Watson is making money by stealing data. As for Sherlock... If anyone REALLY thinks that Apple didn't get 'EXPRESSED WRITTEN CONSENT' from each and every service provider they are using you're crazy. Remember when Sherlock first came out and Apple didn't have an 'OKAY' from eBay? I do and there was a HUGE stink (from eBay) until Apple finally worked it all out. From that point on I think it was painfully clear that the web wasn't as 'free' as people thought and you still needed to get 'okays' even IF you thought you were doing another site a favor (in that case pushing more people to the eBay site).

[edit]

Okay to be fair... here is what the CBS Marketwatch web site says (and maybe this is a reason why that site is used for getting stock data).

------------
Terms and Conditions of Use of Comstock Information

All information provided by S&P ComStock, Inc. ("ComStock") and its affiliates (the "ComStock Information") on CBS MarketWatch.com World Wide Web site site is owned by or licensed to ComStock and its affiliates and any user is permitted to store, manipulate, analyze, reformat, print and display the ComStock Information only for such user's personal use. In no event shall any user publish, retransmit, redistribute or otherwise reproduce any ComStock Information in any format to anyone, and no user shall use any ComStock Information in or in connection with any business or commercial enterprise, including, without limitation, any securities, investment, accounting, banking, legal or media business or enterprise.
------------

"any user is permitted to store, manipulate, analyze, reformat, print and display the ComStock Information only for such user's personal use."

Now that would sure sound like using Watson (or Sherlock) to grab data from that site is A-OKAY but then we have this:

"no user shall use any ComStock Information in or in connection with any business or commercial enterprise, including, without limitation, any securities, investment, accounting, banking, legal or media business or enterprise. "

Every site is different but any service based on Yahoo sure seems pretty cut and dry. The CBS Marketwatch site is a little harder to tell one way or the other.

Dave
( Last edited by DaveGee; Aug 27, 2002 at 08:22 PM. )
     
Brazuca
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Aug 27, 2002, 08:37 PM
 
Originally posted by DaveGee:


Ummm a browser displays the web page to best reproduce how the provider of the service chose to make the data available including ADs and other texts. Watson strips anything it feels like and shows you what's left.

As far as needing proof:

--------------------------------------------------------
16. YAHOO'S PROPRIETARY RIGHTS

You acknowledge and agree that the Service and any necessary software used in connection with the Service ("Software") contain proprietary and confidential information that is protected by applicable intellectual property and other laws. You further acknowledge and agree that Content contained in sponsor advertisements or information presented to you through the Service or advertisers is protected by copyrights, trademarks, service marks, patents or other proprietary rights and laws. Except as expressly authorized by Yahoo or advertisers, you agree not to modify, rent, lease, loan, sell, distribute or create derivative works based on the Service or the Software, in whole or in part.
--------------------------------------------------------

I think this about covers the proof:

"Except as expressly authorized by Yahoo or advertisers, you agree not to modify, rent, lease, loan, sell, distribute or create derivative works based on the Service or the Software, in whole or in part. "

I think the Watson application taking information from Yahoo and stripping everything but the RAW MEAT ('meat' that Yahoo *is* paying someone for) and then re-rolling it for it's own use (displaying in a window of it's own) would fall under 'MODIFY' as well as 'CREATE DERIVATIVE WORKS' and maybe even 'distribute' depending on how the lawyers use (and defend) that term but I admit that last one would be a bit of a stretch.

Make no bones about it... Watson is making money by stealing data. As for Sherlock... If anyone REALLY thinks that Apple didn't get 'EXPRESSED WRITTEN CONSENT' from each and every service provider they are using you're crazy. Remember when Sherlock first came out and Apple didn't have an 'OKAY' from eBay? I do and there was a HUGE stink (from eBay) until Apple finally worked it all out. From that point on I think it was painfully clear that the web wasn't as 'free' as people thought and you still needed to get 'okays' even IF you thought you were doing another site a favor (in that case pushing more people to the eBay site).

[edit]

Okay to be fair... here is what the CBS Marketwatch web site says (and maybe this is a reason why that site is used for getting stock data).

------------
Terms and Conditions of Use of Comstock Information

All information provided by S&P ComStock, Inc. ("ComStock") and its affiliates (the "ComStock Information") on CBS MarketWatch.com World Wide Web site site is owned by or licensed to ComStock and its affiliates and any user is permitted to store, manipulate, analyze, reformat, print and display the ComStock Information only for such user's personal use. In no event shall any user publish, retransmit, redistribute or otherwise reproduce any ComStock Information in any format to anyone, and no user shall use any ComStock Information in or in connection with any business or commercial enterprise, including, without limitation, any securities, investment, accounting, banking, legal or media business or enterprise.
------------

"any user is permitted to store, manipulate, analyze, reformat, print and display the ComStock Information only for such user's personal use."

Now that would sure sound like using Watson (or Sherlock) to grab data from that site is A-OKAY but then we have this:

"no user shall use any ComStock Information in or in connection with any business or commercial enterprise, including, without limitation, any securities, investment, accounting, banking, legal or media business or enterprise. "

Every site is different but any service based on Yahoo sure seems pretty cut and dry. The CBS Marketwatch site is a little harder to tell one way or the other.

Dave
Indeed, you are correct. It sounds like Watson is doing something fishy.

Now that that point is resolved, lets tackle the Sherlock Vs Watson issue. Imagine that Winamp suddenly looked just like iTunes, including the playlists etc. Imagine that the underlying technology is very different. Imagine that Winamp makers argue that they were just evolving their software. Would that be fine with you or Apple?

It does not matter what Winamp's intentions were while there were creating their player. If it infringes on iTunes' legal protections, it is illegal.

However, I am not arguing the legality of Apple's move. I'm sure they covered themselves. However, the move is at the very least unethical. It reminds me of how Microsoft took over the browser market by incorporating a browser into its OS. It was deemed to be illegal, but it was a very technical case. We all saw Microsoft's tactics to be very "rude". And this is not the Apple that I used to be proud of supporting.
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Aug 27, 2002, 09:12 PM
 
Originally posted by Gee-Man:

No, it's not irrelevant. People can debate the UI side of this all day, but the details about the "underpinnings" of the software goes directly to a point that you and others have repeatedly made, that Apple directly ripped off Watson. If the programming structure of Sherlock 3 clearly indicates a much longer development process within Apple than the few months it would have taken to simply "steal" the idea from Watson, this makes the application's programming methods extremely relevant to this discussion.

Just because you don't know anything about programming, don't dismiss it just because it doesn't fit into your predetermined opinion. Just for the record, I too bought Watson because I thought it was a cool implementation of Sherlock's idea - and I'll continue to use it alongside Sherlock 3 because they each have features that the other doesn't. However, I don't feel that Dan Wood has much of a leg to stand on here, he didn't invent the idea nor are most of his UI ideas truly groundbreaking. Yes, they're nicely done, but not groundbreaking - for example, there's nothing earth-shattering about using Apple's column view for browsing movies, you know, and the content (previews, summary, etc.) was already provided to him by moviefone.
I'll debunk this foolishness in a few points ...

1. You can talk all you want about "programming structures" ... but when you get done talking you will be faced with these facts. Watson was released in November 2001. OS X 10.1 was released in September 2001. We are talking about a difference of two months here. You and others are trying to say that the "programming structures" of Sherlock 3 are so "sophisticated" that Apple must have been developing it prior to the release of Watson. First off, can you or any others who make this point produce any evidence of first hand knowledge of Apple's Sherlock development cycle? Or are you just talking? Furthermore, if Apple has the capability to take an entire OS from version 10.1 to 10.2 in just 12 months ... then I daresay it wouldn't take Apple 10+ months to develop a single application!

2. The fact of the matter is that no one on this board has produced any evidence of when Apple started development of Sherlock 3 ... nor of when Dan Wood started development of Watson. All we know for a fact is that Watson was out the door first with a specific set of Channels and a particular GUI design. Then several months later Apple "previews" Sherlock 3 with essentially the same set of Channels and a practically identical GUI design. As I mentioned in a previous post, the GUI design of Sherlock 2 was to present information in a simply summary list that you double clicked to open a browser to see the details. Watson presented a much more elegant and detailed interface which practically eliminated the need for the browser. Now if you want to pretend that these two approaches are basically the same and that Watson "copied" Sherlock simply because it uses "channels" ... then hey, whatever. All that demonstrates is that common sense isn't always that common.

3. As for me supposedly "not knowing anything about programming", for your information I have been in the IT field for over 13 years. I wouldn't be surprised if you haven't even finished school yet. But let's not go there. My point remains. An application from the user's perspective is defined by its functionality and its GUI. In other words, the user experience. Certainly programmers and others in the "geek" crowd concern themselves with "behind the scenes" considerations like an application's technical architecture and/or development platform. But again, to the typical user this is irrelevant! The typical user could care less whether Watson or Sherlock uses "Cocoa bundles", or "Javascript on a central server", or even "screen scraping off a mainframe". All s/he cares about is the user experience.

And speaking of "behind the scenes" considerations, anyone with any experience in IT knows that one of the principles of modern application design is to separate the GUI from the "back-end" or "business" logic. This is why you can develop a distributed application that uses the same business logic and for both a thin and fat client. So the fact that Sherlock has an altogether different "business logic" design does not prove that they didn't jack Watson for the GUI design.

So hopefully now you can see why people are "debating the UI side of this all day". No one has said that Apple co-opted the back-end web service design of Watson. The BusinessWeek and other similar articles that reference this situation, along with the numerous posts on various Mac related message boards clearly demonstrate that the controversy is about the GUI. So if you insist on pretending that it is not, then go ahead and knock yourself out.

The position that you and others take in this debate reminds me of the old saying ....

"Who are you going to believe ... me or your lying eyes?"



OAW
     
Clive
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Aug 27, 2002, 09:27 PM
 
Originally posted by spectre:
You would think that he would make more money by working at Apple then porting a shareware application to Windows.
I don't know what the score is at Apple, but I know someone who works for Adobe and he's contract basically says anything he does belongs to them - inside or outside the office.

I can't really imagine Apple letting anyone in their team "freelance" on other projects. Even in realatively "normal" jobs it's common to have a no "freelance" agreement.
     
King Bob On The Cob
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Aug 27, 2002, 10:38 PM
 
Lets look at what's similar program wise
The toolbar - used in alot of apps following the Apple Guidelines. (Proteus, Fire, Acquisition, Download Wizard, OmniWeb, ect...)
A few of the toolbar items - The ones that Apple used were used by Apple in the first place.
Channels - Sherlock had these.
Plug-in Architecture - Sherlock also.
The channels are all designed differently and Watson (IMHO) uses drawers to it's advantage of what should be hidden.
Really, Is Watson more than just a Sherlock 2 with more channels and that follows Apple's set out guidelines better than Apple itself?
     
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Aug 28, 2002, 12:58 AM
 
I can't agree with those who find something unethical in Apple's using Watson like capabilities in Sherlock 3. Apple is merely adding features to their operating system. What is wrong with that? If they started with the premise that the cannot add any feature offered by a 3rd party software company, OS X 10.x would have hardly any of the features that make it notable. Can't have smb browsing or the ability to share files with Windows computers because that's a rip-off from Dave. Can't have dao burning in iTunes and multi-session burning through diskcopy because that harms Roxio's Toast. Can't offer Appleworks with every purchase of a Mac because that's hurts Microsoft Office, etc. etc. Any time Apple adds features to their OS, some 3rd party vendor is going to be affected. But is that any reason not to add the additional features? When Apple adds these features, they usually add what amounts to a "lite" version of the original 3rd party app. While you can do multi-session burning with disccopy, it's a heck of a lot easier to do it with Toast. Appleworks does many of the things that MS Office does, but MS office is clearly more powerful. And while Sherlock 3 has some of the features of Watson, Watson has a lot more plug-ins and is still does what it does better than Sherlock 3.

I'm not pleased to hear that Watson will be ported to Windows. The fact is, Watson does enable one to gather useful information from websites without having to endure the adds and other junk. If Watson takes off on the Windows platform and a lot of people are using it to bypass adds, those websites affected will take steps to stop it. Everyone who uses Watson or Sherlock 3 on a Mac will lose as a result of this.
     
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Aug 28, 2002, 06:55 AM
 
There are already several programs for windows that do what watson and sherlock 3 do. He won't make any money.

As far as websites taking action to stop these browsers (which is all they are really) from displaying / rearranging their content; most of these sites have output specifically designed just for this purpose. Yahoo for instance doesn't have a search engine, they have a deal with google and repackage their output.

If the landscape changes Apple as a large corp. can set up deals or licenses as needed, something 'the watson guy, shareware author' just would not be able to do.
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Aug 28, 2002, 08:18 AM
 
Everyone who uses Watson or Sherlock 3 on a Mac will lose as a result of this.
Not true. Sherlock uses authorised content. It is fed the content required directly by the websites. It doesn't download a page and rework it.

Amorya
What the nerd community most often fail to realize is that all features aren't equal. A well implemented and well integrated feature in a convenient interface is worth way more than the same feature implemented crappy, or accessed through a annoying interface.
     
Brazuca
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Aug 28, 2002, 09:07 AM
 
Originally posted by machiavel:
I can't agree with those who find something unethical in Apple's using Watson like capabilities in Sherlock 3. Apple is merely adding features to their operating system. What is wrong with that? If they started with the premise that the cannot add any feature offered by a 3rd party software company, OS X 10.x would have hardly any of the features that make it notable. Can't have smb browsing or the ability to share files with Windows computers because that's a rip-off from Dave. Can't have dao burning in iTunes and multi-session burning through diskcopy because that harms Roxio's Toast. Can't offer Appleworks with every purchase of a Mac because that's hurts Microsoft Office, etc. etc. Any time Apple adds features to their OS, some 3rd party vendor is going to be affected. But is that any reason not to add the additional features? When Apple adds these features, they usually add what amounts to a "lite" version of the original 3rd party app. While you can do multi-session burning with disccopy, it's a heck of a lot easier to do it with Toast. Appleworks does many of the things that MS Office does, but MS office is clearly more powerful. And while Sherlock 3 has some of the features of Watson, Watson has a lot more plug-ins and is still does what it does better than Sherlock 3.

I'm not pleased to hear that Watson will be ported to Windows. The fact is, Watson does enable one to gather useful information from websites without having to endure the adds and other junk. If Watson takes off on the Windows platform and a lot of people are using it to bypass adds, those websites affected will take steps to stop it. Everyone who uses Watson or Sherlock 3 on a Mac will lose as a result of this.
Of course Apple has the right to add features in their OS. What I find wrong is when Apple's features look like a direct copy of a solution that was already there.
No one is saying that Sherlock 3 can't have similar functionality to Watson, but why does it look like a copy?

Appleworks has similar functionality to other suites, no one is complaining. But if it looked just like Word, you bet that M$ would sue Apple. And if someone added features in their MP3 player that made it look just like iTunes, Apple would sue them.

Remember what Microsoft did that got them in trouble. They "added features" to their OS (IE) that took Netscape out of the competition. They used their market power to drive a competitor out of business. What do you think will happen to Watson now that Sherlock 3 is there? What does Watson have to offer that Apple didn't copy and incorporate into Sherlock?

If you can't see these points, maybe you should be arguing that it is ok for large companies to "add features" regardless of any competitors. Fortunately there are laws against what Microsoft did for a reason. And Apple does also have a monopoly in the Mac market, so one could easily argue that Apple is using its monopoly position to drive away competition. Not very nice from our favorite fruit company, is it?

Hell, Apple should make a browser that looks just like OmniWeb!! How great would that be for Omni??
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xenon
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Aug 28, 2002, 09:11 AM
 
Originally posted by Amorya:


Not true. Sherlock uses authorised content. It is fed the content required directly by the websites. It doesn't download a page and rework it.

Amorya
Not true. Sherlock does download normal webpages (with Apple an authorized account mostly) and pulls information out of them.
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Aug 28, 2002, 09:36 AM
 
Originally posted by Brazuca:

And if someone added features in their MP3 player that made it look just like iTunes, Apple would sue them.
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Aug 28, 2002, 09:42 AM
 
This looks like a MacNN Lounge thread to me.
     
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Aug 28, 2002, 12:53 PM
 
Originally posted by Developer:

hmmmm... version 0.17....freeware/shareware? Commercial? is this on Fink? I did use the example of Winamp for a reason. Apple has to consider this a threat to care about it.

The same if WMP was changed to look just like QT. Or RP for that matter.
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Aug 28, 2002, 01:54 PM
 
Originally posted by Developer:

<shudder>
     
Nonsuch
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Aug 28, 2002, 03:02 PM
 
Originally posted by Brazuca:
Remember what Microsoft did that got them in trouble. They "added features" to their OS (IE) that took Netscape out of the competition. They used their market power to drive a competitor out of business. What do you think will happen to Watson now that Sherlock 3 is there? What does Watson have to offer that Apple didn't copy and incorporate into Sherlock?
Your analogy is way off-base. MS threatened computer vendors with Windows license audits (basically, prove that every copy of Windows you shipped on a system was purchased from us, a process that takes months and costs lots of money) or other, worse things (the termination of Mac Office in Apple's case) if they didn't make IE the default browser on their systems ahead of Netscape. MS also wormed some IE code into the OS itself, insuring that IE loads and runs faster on Windows than Netscape. Nothing there is remotely analogous to this Sherlock/Watson nonissue.

Originally posted by Brazuca:
If you can't see these points, maybe you should be arguing that it is ok for large companies to "add features" regardless of any competitors. Fortunately there are laws against what Microsoft did for a reason.
Yes, but see above. MS didn't get in trouble for "adding features" to their OS.

Originally posted by Brazuca:
And Apple does also have a monopoly in the Mac market, so one could easily argue that Apple is using its monopoly position to drive away competition. Not very nice from our favorite fruit company, is it?
For god sakes, Apple does not have a "monopoly" on Macs. The Macintosh is a single product made by a single vendor (Apple) competing in a larger category (personal computers); of course Apple is the only one who makes Macs, that's what a Mac is (a computer built by Apple running an Apple OS)! Volkswagen doesn't have a monopoly on Beetles, Sony doesn't have a monopoly on PlayStations, and Apple doesn't have a monopoly on Macs. There.

Originally posted by Brazuca:
Hell, Apple should make a browser that looks just like OmniWeb!! How great would that be for Omni??
Who would give a rat's ass? I use OmniWeb for the attractive way it lays out pages--its functionality--not because its icons look a certain way. (Actually I now use Chimera 'cause it's faster, but the point stands.) If Apple's browser were slow and didn't display pages correctly no one would use it, no matter how nice it looked. Likewise, whether or not Sherlock looks like Watson is a distant second to how well each program works; that is what ultimately ensures user loyalty.
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Aug 28, 2002, 04:08 PM
 
Apple copied Watson -- is that so shocking? I mean, this is the company that walked into Xerox PARC and ripped off everything they could lay eyes on. As much as I'm a fan of Apple, this company has thrived not only through its own creativity, but by being "inspired" by what others have done. Watson is no different.

For the critics of Wood, let's not forget he named it "Watson" for a reason -- he was willing to give credit where credit was due, and sold his app as a companion to Sherlock. That's a helluva lot more than Apple ever did in recognizing Watson's contribution to Sherlock 3. When I look at Sherlock 2 and then Sherlock 3, I find it pretty hard to argue they are evolutionary pairs without the "Watson" missing link.


According to Dan Wood (and I cite the "Power of X" presentation with Phil and Avie given in January of this year -- http://www.apple.com/quicktime/qtv/powerofx -- for the Watson demo, fast-forward to the 43rd minute), the Cocoa APIs increased his productivity by a factor of four. He was the lone programmer on Watson, and he started working on it in June 2001, and released his first version in November 2001. So one guy took about six months to come up with Watson. Now would the rest of you nay-sayers please tell me why Apple's team of engineers would need all this "lead-time" to come up with Sherlock 3 that you keep alluding to -- you know, the "parallel development" thesis?

Legally, Apple's in the free and clear, especially after their claim of GUI infringement against Microsoft was rejected in court a few years ago (http://www.cyberlaw.com/cylw994.html) since the court ruled it was not "protectable." Ethically, it's up for grabs.
( Last edited by The Evener; Aug 28, 2002 at 04:33 PM. )

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sambeau
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Aug 28, 2002, 04:17 PM
 
Originally posted by The Evener:
Apple ... is the company that walked into Xerox PARC and ripped off everything they could lay eyes on.
That is just complete and utter nonsense...

1. Apple paid for what they used. I seem to remember them giving Xerox stock - I'm sure someone else will correct me. Maybe they didn't pay as much as the intellectual property was worth - but that was more likely because Xerox didn't realise the value of what they had.

2. Apple developed the Xerox ideas and used ideas (and staff) that had been working in this area long before Xerox.

M$ on the other hand just pinched it and paid no-one.

But this is an entirely different thread.
     
The Evener
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Aug 28, 2002, 04:19 PM
 
Originally posted by sambeau:


That is just complete and utter nonsense...

1. Apple paid for what they used. I seem to remember them giving Xerox stock - I'm sure someone else will correct me. Maybe they didn't pay as much as the intellectual property was worth - but that was more likely because Xerox didn't realise the value of what they had.

2. Apple developed the Xerox ideas and used ideas (and staff) that had been working in this area long before Xerox.

M$ on the other hand just pinched it and paid no-one.

But this is an entirely different thread.
Thanks for the clarification -- Apple paid for their Xerox "inspiration," and they didn't pay for their Watson "inspiration."

Also, if you read the link I provided, you'll discover that Apple originally provided a license to Microsoft for GUI elements. I guess Bill Gates deserves a break, too.

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Brazuca
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Aug 28, 2002, 05:53 PM
 
Originally posted by Nonsuch:


Your analogy is way off-base. MS threatened computer vendors with Windows license audits (basically, prove that every copy of Windows you shipped on a system was purchased from us, a process that takes months and costs lots of money) or other, worse things (the termination of Mac Office in Apple's case) if they didn't make IE the default browser on their systems ahead of Netscape. MS also wormed some IE code into the OS itself, insuring that IE loads and runs faster on Windows than Netscape. Nothing there is remotely analogous to this Sherlock/Watson nonissue.



Yes, but see above. MS didn't get in trouble for "adding features" to their OS.



For god sakes, Apple does not have a "monopoly" on Macs. The Macintosh is a single product made by a single vendor (Apple) competing in a larger category (personal computers); of course Apple is the only one who makes Macs, that's what a Mac is (a computer built by Apple running an Apple OS)! Volkswagen doesn't have a monopoly on Beetles, Sony doesn't have a monopoly on PlayStations, and Apple doesn't have a monopoly on Macs. There.



Who would give a rat's ass? I use OmniWeb for the attractive way it lays out pages--its functionality--not because its icons look a certain way. (Actually I now use Chimera 'cause it's faster, but the point stands.) If Apple's browser were slow and didn't display pages correctly no one would use it, no matter how nice it looked. Likewise, whether or not Sherlock looks like Watson is a distant second to how well each program works; that is what ultimately ensures user loyalty.
Like I said, the M$ case is a very technical one and they did a lot of things that got them in trouble. One of them was to incorporate IE as a browser into the OS, giving it an unfair advantage in the browser wars. Don't deny it cuz we are just going to get into a shouting match.

Apple DOES have a monopoly in the "mac market". I don't mean in the sale of Macs, I mean in the NON-PC market for hardware/software. You can't run windows (don't count VPC) on the mac. Only Mac OS (and linux). So, Apple has almost 100% of the mac market with its OS. Don't get that? Then go yell at someone else and take some more economics classes. Can you dispute that Apple has the final word on what works and what doesn't in its machines? If you don't like it you are SOL.

So, Apple can leverage its applications (like Sherlock 3) with its OS dominance, just like Microsoft was able to do with IE and Windows. Remember just before iPhoto came out, all the speculation of what it would be? Well, Adobe didn't like the idea of Apple releasing a bundled, free app that would compete against Photoshop. Once iPhoto was released it became clear that it doesn't compete, but Adobe was very upset at the possibility because they understand the power of bundled/free software made by the OS publisher.

In addition, if you don't care about what happens to OMNI, fine. I don't care what you care about. The issue was introduced as an illustration of the power that Apple has over software vendors. If Apple builds a browser into its OS that looks and behaves just like OW does, OMNI's browser will go the way of Netscape (but a lot worse). If you don't care, just shut up. The point is still valid regardless of what you care about.
( Last edited by Brazuca; Aug 28, 2002 at 06:03 PM. )
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Brazuca
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Aug 28, 2002, 05:57 PM
 
Originally posted by The Evener:


Thanks for the clarification -- Apple paid for their Xerox "inspiration," and they didn't pay for their Watson "inspiration."

Also, if you read the link I provided, you'll discover that Apple originally provided a license to Microsoft for GUI elements. I guess Bill Gates deserves a break, too.
Precisely. The developer of Watson is small and won't be able to afford to go to court. Apple just railroaded him and now wants him to jump on the train.... But in the eyes of some, Apple can do no wrong...
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sambeau
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Aug 28, 2002, 06:38 PM
 
Originally posted by The Evener:

Also, if you read the link I provided, you'll discover that Apple originally provided a license to Microsoft for GUI elements. I guess Bill Gates deserves a break, too.
Err no.
According to Sculley, Gates continued: "[I]f we are on a collision course, I want to know it because we'll stop all development on Mac products. I hope we can find a way to settle this thing." Sculley recognized that Apple could not sue its most important software supplier -- "the only company developing successful software for the Macintosh in a turbulent time." So they "hammered out a compromise license agreement, which," says Sculley, "was satisfactory to Microsoft yet protected the integrity of our Macintosh technology for Apple." Almost 10 years later, that Agreement insulated Microsoft from liability on copyright claims over the graphical user interface (GUI) in Apple's Lisa and Macintosh computers.
Microsoft had Apple over a barrel and threatened to pull all Mac development if Apple didn't sign a piece of paper promising not to sue them. That's more akin to you letting me steal your furniture as long as I don't burn your house down.

Hardly in the same league at all.
     
Amorya
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: England
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Aug 28, 2002, 06:42 PM
 
Originally posted by xenon:


Not true. Sherlock does download normal webpages (with Apple an authorized account mostly) and pulls information out of them.
You're wrong! Sherlock 2 did that, but sherlock 3 does NOT. I've been reading over the documentation. It has it's own data store, uses javascript code, and gets it's source data presented by the server in a specific format.

Amorya
What the nerd community most often fail to realize is that all features aren't equal. A well implemented and well integrated feature in a convenient interface is worth way more than the same feature implemented crappy, or accessed through a annoying interface.
     
 
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