Google's backdown doesn't bode well | Bangkok Post: opinion

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Google's backdown doesn't bode well

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The internet should be free and there are few areas that I believe should be filtered or banned. Freedom of speech and freedom of expression are two of the most important elements of any kind of free system. Services like Google's YouTube should not be selectively filtered just because one ideology says so. People living in southern Thailand are very familiar with this scenario as it has caused many problems there. A case in point is a third-rate movie called The Innocence of Muslims which is being used to justify violence across the world, including in Thailand. The governments of the US, Australia and other _ what would normally be called _"free" societies have demanded a ban on this film. Google initially resisted, but eventually bowed to the pressure and some access was restricted from certain countries, including even India. Free-speech advocates have criticised Google for doing this, and rightly so, because if this continues then all posts are at risk. 

It's hard to ignore the release of the iPhone 5. It is also difficult, after carrying out an objective review, to call it anything more than a 4ss. Let me explain. November was the release date originally given for the new phone. After the Galaxy S3 was released and Apple started losing market share, it tried to change that to August but the manufacturers said it wasn't possible, so the launch was brought forward to September. But to achieve this, a few bits and pieces had to be left out, like the bump and pay system based on NFC (near field communication). Apple justified this by suggesting that its own solution was a better, long-term strategy; in other words, yet another attempt to justify a proprietary technology. Hours after I wrote the above, shipping estimates for all models ordered online were pushed back two weeks from the expected 21st. So you have to have it immediately, the only way is directly from a store.

There's an advertisement seen worldwide with the heading "It doesn't take a genius ...", showing a side-by-side comparison of features. The only categories in which the iPhone 5 has any advantage is in weight, thickness and pixel density. In all other areas the Samsung Galaxy S3 wins out in an honest comparison. This is, of course, a problem for Apple where each new phone it released was normally well ahead of the competition. This time, however, there are many Apple users who don't see the point of jumping to a 4ss when it was supposed to be a 5. There are plenty of first-time buyers, but that's always a given. It will be the sales figures a month from now that will tell the real tale; and I don't think the switch in the connectors or the introduction of yet another SIMM format will help at all. Me, I'm excited about the Galaxy S4 rumours _ the ones that turned out not to be true, that is.

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