aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
YouTube breaks into the top 50
Youtube.com broke into the comScore Media Metrix Top 50 for the first time, debuting at number 40 with 16 million visitors, a 20-percent increase versus June. Video-mania also drove a two-fold increase in traffic to MySpace Videos, which had 20 million visitors, trailing only Yahoo! Video with 21.1 million visitors (up 28-percent from June).
A podcast by any other name would be much sweeter
I am of the opinion that one of the smartest things Apple has done, ever, was to embrace podcasting by incorporating it into iTunes. Podcasting is cool… the iPod is cool… pure Apple marketing manna from heavan. We might as well call it “Applecasting.”
Somebody ought to tell the lawyers! Those creeps:
Apple has laid legal claim to the word “Pod,” arguing that other companies that use the word as part of their product names risk infringing the trademark of its popular iPod music player.
The legal campaign, which in recent days has drawn challenges to products with names such as Profit Pod and TightPod, reflects a broader attempt by some of the most successful consumer technology companies to prevent their best-known product names slipping into common useage beyond their control.
At a Duke University Podcasting Symposium last September Jonathan Sterne spoke out against the term “podcasting.” He argued - persuasively - that we should rightfully call it “broadcasting” and that what we have come to believe is broadcasting should rightfully be called RCAcasting: It’s a centrally controlled corporate model that explicitly excludes anyone who is not professional. While…
...in the early days of radio it was dominated by amateurs and… hobbyists and it was somewhat chaotic. People did what they wanted… But between about 1922 and 1934 RCA’s model of broadcasting gets defined as the natural model for radio… Receiving only sets...became the dominant form of radio that people acquired, purchased, and encountered in their every day lives. The other thing is that amateur broadcasters were edged out by stations that had larger transmitters and by regulators that gave most of the spectrum to professional broadcasters. So in other words, whereas in 1925, professional broadcasters might shut down in a city on Tuesday night for amateur night… by 1929 that didn’t happen anymore.
Apple’s going to use us up then toss us out too! Before they do let’s scream to high heavens that podcasting has absolutely nothing to do with iPods!
Sterne’s is a message of cautious optimism for the future of peer-produced media; and he’s confident we won’t be calling it podcasting:
Can the name be changed? Yes and it probably will be if history is any indication. Podcasting is a year old. Let’s talk about other media techniques when they were a year old… Radio didn’t become radio until the 1920s, actually quite late. People called it wireless for some time. So will it stay podcasting? No, not necessarily. And one of the reasons it’s important for me to come to a podcasting conference and call it broadcasting is maybe some podcasters will go back and start calling it broadcasting. And say all we’re doing is broadcasting on the Internet and we have the same rights and should have the same legitimacy as the people who previously held the monopoly on the term.
Let’s let ‘em have it!
The Patriot Project
Their anti-Swift-boater mission:
Freedom of speech and the right to dissent are cornerstones of our democracy.
The Patriot Project will defend any man or woman, regardless of party or affiliation, who is attacked or defamed and whose patriotism is questioned simply because they exercise their rights as Americans.
This is our mission.
Via Crooks and Liars.
Coming out is good for you
Even if it’s motivated by a cynically expedient political calculation:
In the 24 months since his declaration, [former NJ Governor James] McGreevey has gone from closeted to out. From married to partnered. Shunned to accepted. Conflicted to content.
“He’s a totally different person,” said state Sen. Ray Lesniak, McGreevey’s friend and colleague for 25 years. “He is so much more comfortable with who he is—you can see it in his body language.”
With a new house, a still-new relationship with Australian financial adviser Mark O’Donnell and a new book about to be released, McGreevey seems to have found his stride.
RELATED: I remember then.
The dopes passed DOPA!
The House passed the Deleting Online Predators Act (DOPA) last week by an overwhelming 410-15 majority last week. Now it moves to the Senate where it is expected to pass.
“This unnecessary and overly broad legislation will hinder students’ ability to engage in distance learning and block library computer users from accessing a wide array of essential Internet applications including instant messaging, email, wikis and blogs,” said ALA president Leslie Burger. “Under DOPA, people who use library and school computers as their primary conduits to the Internet will be unfairly blocked from accessing some of the web’s most powerful emerging technologies and learning applications. As libraries are already required to block content that is “harmful to minors” under the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), DOPA is redundant and unnecessary legislation.”:
Via Henry Jenkins:
USA Today can’t resist jumping on the DOPA bandwagon though, tossing off in the middle of an article otherwise concerned with youth engagement with social networking the following:To deter predators, the House late Monday overwhelmingly passed a bill that would keep libraries and schools from allowing children to access social networking sites, as well as chat rooms. It now goes to the Senate.
Let’s see if this statement might even remotely make sense if we rephrased it in response to another medium:
To prevent false advertising, the House late Monday overwhelmingly passed a bill that would keep libraries and schools from allowing Americans to read magazines and newspapers.
Nope, I didn’t think so.
How about this one:
To deter pornographers, the House late Monday overwhelmingly passed a bill that would keep libraries and schools from providing books, magazines, and other printed matter to their patrons.
Hmm. Funny, that one doesn’t make a lot of sense either.
ABSOLUTE MUST READ: The danah boyd and Henry Jenkins public statement of the reasons they think DOPA is a really bad piece of legislation.
Property Rights Management
Ed Felton gave an invited talk at the Usenix Security Symposium. I was fascinated by his first observation - “the DRM policy debate will come unmoored from copyright” - and completely persuaded by his second, Property Rights Management:
The second trend I identified in the talk was toward the use of DRM-like technologies on traditional physical products. A good example is the use of cryptographic lockout codes in computer printers and their toner cartridges. Printer manufacturers want to sell printers at a low price and compensate by charging more for toner cartridges. To do this, they want to stop consumers from buying cheap third-party toner cartridges. So some printer makers have their printers do a cryptographic handshake with a chip in their cartridges, and they lock out third-party cartridges by programming the printers not to operate with cartridges that can’t do the secret handshake.
Doing this requires having some minimal level of computing functionality in both devices (e.g., the printer and cartridge). Moore’s Law is driving the size and price of that functionality to zero, so it will become economical to put secret-handshake functions into more and more products. Just as traditional DRM operates by limiting and controlling interoperation (i.e., compatibility) between digital products, these technologies will limit and control interoperation between ordinary products. We can call this Property Rights Management, or PRM.
(Unfortunately, I didn’t coin this term until after the talk. During the actual talk I used the awkward “DRM-like technologies”.)
Where can PRM technologies be deployed? I gave three examples where they’ll be feasible before too many more years. (1) A pen may refuse to dispense ink unless it’s being used with licensed paper. The pen would handshake with the paper by short-range RFID or through physical contact. (2) A shoe may refuse to provide some features, such as high-tech cushioning of the sole, unless used with licensed shoelaces. Again, this could be done by short-range RFID or physical contact. (3) The scratchy side of a velcro connector may refuse to stick to the fuzzy size unless the fuzzy side is licensed. The scratchy side of velcro has little hooks to grab loops on the fuzzy side; the hooks may refuse to function unless the license is in order. For example, Apple could put PRMed scratchy-velcro onto the iPod, in the hope of extracting license fees from companies that make fuzzy-velcro for the iPod to stick to.
Will these things actually happen? I can’t say for sure. I chose these examples to illustrate how far PRM micht go. The examples will be feasible to implement, eventually. Whether PRM gets used in these particular markets depends on market conditions and business decisions by the vendors. What we can say, I think, is that as PRM becomes practical in more product areas, its use will widen and we’ll face policy decisions about how to treat it.
Dell battery recall
Details are still thin about the specific models affected by this latest battery recall, but it would appear Dell is working with the Consumer Product Safety Commission in recalling what’s been said to be “the largest safety recall in the history of the consumer electronics industry.” We’re talking 4.1 million units installed in Dell machines sold between April 2004 and July 18th, an absolutely mind boggling number compared to their last recall, which was in the thousands. The kicker here is the batteries were actually contracted out to Sony for manufacture, meaning of course that anyone else using Sony-built batteries, like, say Sony (and Apple, should we be looking your way?) may also have their units taken back. While we are a little wary of one Dell exec’s statement that they’re “getting ahead of the issue,” which in our opinion would have actually been issuing this recall four months ago, we’re glad they’re finally taking care of business before someone actually gets hurt.
Meanwhile I’m grateful to be back up and running on a borrowed MacBook Pro. Word from Apple (second hand) is that my own won’t be in until late this week or next. Today is 12 business days and counting.