Four tech spats that could be settled over a beer with Obama

From Microsoft and Yahoo to Amazon and Twitter, could presidential beer-fest settle problems quicker?

If  sitting down with the President of the United States and quaffing a few brewskis can really help tamp down controversy over a highly-charged race issue then perhaps the President could pull up a bar stool and settle some far less vital disagreements plaguing the tech industry. Here we go:

Amazon v. Justin Gawronski: This might be a very short meeting as Justin Gawronski is a 17-year-old Michigan high school senior and the drinking age is 21. Nevertheless, the student's contingent of lawyers could have a beer whilst the President served Gawronski some lemonade and heard his tale of woe, which involves his claim that Amazon deleted a copy of George Orwell's "Nineteen Eighty-Four" from Gawronski's Kindle and with it deleted the notes he had taken on the device for his homework.

Amazon has since refunded the purchase price of Orwell books to people whose copies it deleted, has already said it would not do it again. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has also apologized for the action, calling it "stupid, thoughtless, and painfully out of line with our principles."

Maybe the President can get Bezos to give Gawronski free Kindle books for life.

Microsoft/Yahoo v. rest of world: Ok, this one isn't really a dispute as much as a way to get Steve Ballmer drinking. Since inking a deal with Microsoft this week Yahoo's stock has pretty much stunk up the joint.  With the deal, Microsoft Bing, will become Yahoo's search platform. Widely panned however, the two companies have been trying to quell the tension over the deal between stakeholders and the financial community.  But Ballmer didn't help much this week when he told analysts: "Nobody gets it...."

So this Presidential sit-down might actually turn into quite the beer-fest with Ballmer on one side and a few financial analysts on the other.  They might even get into the tequila on this one.  In the end not much would be settled, though certainly it would be entertaining for the rest of us to watch.

Horizon v. Twitter: The President should take keen interest in this one as it is being played out in his hometown of Chicago.  Here we have the Horizon Group Management LLC  which has filed a libel lawsuit against former tenant Amanda Bonnen, claiming one of her alleged Twitter posts "maliciously and wrongfully" slammed her apartment at 4242 N. Sheridan and the company managing it.

Judging from some of the snarky comments made by the Horizon folk, such as "We're a sue-first, ask-questions-later kind of an organization," one would hope the President might discuss with Horizon the need not to burden our already overwrought court system with frivolous lawsuits.  He then might just refuse beer to the Horizon folks and ask them to just leave.   

Ebay v. Skype: This one would likely be the most boring of the beer-battles as it has to do with licensing agreements and such.  The story goes that Ebay has begun developing an alternative to the P2P technology used by Skype but a licensing dispute drags on and threatens to close the popular IP telephony service.

The bartender-in-chief might bring up free markets and might even be able to get into the P2P technology a bit, after all he is supposed to be somewhat computer-savvy.  But in the end he might just force these two to sit at the picnic table drinking Bud till they can agree on something.

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