... that's got more to do with demonstrating it to your mum:
"Cortana, open a web site I might like."
"OK, 'sex with vegetables' coming up."
Nobody ever reads click-through licences. Especially not on phones, where the legalese can run to hundreds of pages. But oh, what gems can be found in there. We found this by accident in the click-through licence to use the Windows Phone 8.1 Developer Preview. It refers to the new "intelligent assistant", Cortana. We think …
Where in any of the Microsoft EULA's does it say "We guarantee this software to be accurate, reliable and secure"?
All software EULA's and not just Microsoft EULA's are to protect the developer against legal action from providing software that is broken, fails to perform as can be reasonably expected or can easily be broken by normal usage.
Basically much of what an EULA states is that the developer is not responsible for the quality of the product and that if using the product causes any loss, it is then it is the fault of the end user.
Yes it does.
It also sounds like the As-Is clause in just about every software license. As someone indicated above the GPL, CDDL, BSD, MIT, X11, MPL, NPL, and probably just about every other obscure software licensing scheme that you can think of always disclaim that the developer isn't responsible if the software screws something up.
Imagine being able to sue someone for creating a software package with a chain of dependencies that breaks another package, or in the older eras of the Microsoft world being able to sue someone for creating a .dll hell situation on your machine.
How would you stop the information being inacurate or embarassing?
If you regularly search for pr0n on Bing, then it will probably start offering up sex sites and sex shops for you, even if you are in front of your boss or partner...
Microsoft, Google and Apple can't really do much about it, if you keep feeding their services with "misleading" information i.e. you privately search for things that you wouldn't want to turn up if other people are in ear shot. But the search engine probably can't tell whether you are on your own or it is about to embarass you in front of a bunch of people, because it offers up results about randy nuns to your request...
Did the PC Police come calling today?
What's wrong with 'colleagues'?
As I'm currently in the USA where the average IQ is about -100 and there are disclaimers for everything including a 2 page beast just so that I can go around a Railroad Depot on its one open day of the year. mind you touching anything is impossible as there are miles of Yellow 'Caution' tape everywhere that stop you from even getting close, I suppose they need it.
This is also the place where nearly everyone drive a huge pickup, many with rifle racks in the cabs behind the drivers that are also full with weaponry, you tend not to argue with anyone.
Land of the Free where just about everything is against the Law.
Kid you not, there is even a law in the next county prohibiting men from farting in Public. The penalty is 10 days jail.
I have a German friend who was an exchange student in California during the late 80s. Germany is known as being very officious, and there are a lot of rules here, but those rules tend to define freedoms, not take them away. He was amazed how many things he took for granted in Germany were illegal in LA.
"Kid you not, there is even a law in the next county prohibiting men from farting in Public. The penalty is 10 days jail."
I have a work-around for that:
1) Practice farting silently, until you are consistent.
2) Only fart in crowded elevators, and then, like everyone else, gaze around, in an attempt to identify the culprit.
The EULA has no legal backing. You can only agree to it once you have forked over the money and removed the shrinkwrap. Following where you are in the world, doing that can void your possibility of returning the software you bought.
Even if you can return it, you still cannot read the EULA before you have installed the product, making the EULA anything but a contract.
If you check up on your commercial law, I'm pretty sure that, whatever your country, you will find that a "contract" is an agreement between two parties to exchange goods for currency, or something approaching that. The key notion here "agreement" : you cannot agree to something you can't read before having already paid for it.
The fact that we're talking about EULAs at all is simply because, as of right now, nobody wants to enforce anything legal about them because doing so would require shops to house stacks and stacks of EULAs for their customers to read before making the purchase. And nobody wants that to happen.
I would say that your interpretation is a little off.
I would think it means, if you search a lot for porn on Bing, Cortana will start reminding you in a loud voice when the latest copy of buxom babes becomes available.
Or if you have been doing research for a medical condition for a relative, it might assume you have the condition, after all, you searched for "impotence," not "uncle Bob has impotence, what can be done about it?" (Probably watching more buxom babes)
Likewise, like Google Now, if you change jobs or move house, it will take a few days for it to register that you are now regularly driving to a different location.
The difference is that with the software you had the opportunity to read the EULA first. Although there is a comparison with those licence terms that unilaterally change after you've agreed them, leaving you to choose between agreeing to something you'd never have signed for in the first place, or dumping the whole deal and everything you've invested in it...
of crowdfunding, crowsourcing and crowd-bug-fixing, and business expense streamlining, I believe many free Cortinas (was it Cortina?) are employed, pardon me, offer their free support (no terms and conditions) to successful, world-renowned businesses, and both parties thrive. After all, if politicans can do it, why not businesses? Microsoft only follow the (twitter) trend.
Ah cool, I would never have figured out that was the gag the author was aiming for without your helpful assistance here. Could you explain the chicken-crossing-road joke again though, I still don't get it - something to do with the fact he is not on the other side at the moment!
Whenever my coworkers try to use one, they end up fighting it for a couple minutes because it can't understand them for one reason or another. Half the time it ends up calling random people we work with or adding appointments to their calendars. I usually just type whatever we are looking for into my phone and then just enjoy the Sisyphean display going on in front of me.
In general I tend to boil EULAs down to a simple sentence.
"Do you want to use <product>? Click Agree if you do, or Cancel."
There are a lot more specifics to it I know but ultimately that's what it comes down to in the end. Obviously if it's something important I'd try to skim it for glaring "You owe us your first born" points but that's my general way of dealing with EULAs.
You might not hire someone who says that as a personal assistant, but I'd expect more from a person I'm paying $50K a year (or whatever a personal assistant makes) than a free feature on a device I was going to buy anyway.
If I hired a researcher he'd do a lot better than Google searches do for finding what I want, but I'd be paying him a lot more too.
As I sometimes browse El Reg from the console (using w3m, as lynx suXX0Rz), or from otherwise image-impaired browsers, I very much appreciate the text subtitle. Now if we could have a (even brief) summary of the videos, I would be Bob's nephew (reading shorties in which neither the title nor the body of the article let you guess anything about the content of the video, which is the actual content of the article, is very frustrating!). I'm sure it could be done unintrusively thanks to that wonderful instrument included in standard HTML, "alt". I'm sure you've heard of it.
Most definitely NOT working for me; for example in the story
all I see in lieu of the video is the text "YouTube Video" (which is in accordance with the page source, if somewhat uninformative); no other info available.
I can follow the "YouTube Video" link; then on the YouTube page I can find the video description, but that's a bit complicated (made a bit worse by the fact that YouTube's website is not especially optimized for text browsers...).
Or did anyone else on seeing the visual representation of Cortana think "This was designed by boys"
Not the coders, the people who thought "What would really lift this over Siri - that's right tits!",
"and a skin tight suit! right boss?"
Little boys in suits, I tell you.
(edited to remove the word wankers)
At least the xbox/halo Cortana has a vaguely realistic human body shape. Reading up on it (like you do), apparently the latest version was designed by a female designer which may go some way to explaining why there's a hint of reality there.
Now if MS were to redesign the windows phone Cortana to be red and perhaps give it a theme song. Something appropriate like "Daisy, daisy..."...
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