January 2004 Archives

"Impending heat-death of nutch" Redux

Tim says I missed his point , but I think he's the one who's just off center here. When I say "The Man" I don't mean the advertiser but the engine. Google and Yahoo! are The Man.

Furdlog point to this essay that makes the interesting claim that copyright is more like real property than some of us like to think.
Tim Oren asks an interesting question about the viability of nutch, an open source search technology project:
Can a pro bono effort hold its own indefinitely against the grind of standing off those with an ongoing monetary incentive to do ill by polluting metadata?

BoingBoing: Buy Open

Scoble's found the magic formula for traffic: poke the hornets' nest of open/free computing and Apple fandom with a Microsoft-brand stick. Ouch. Still, it has a welcome side-effect: it gets Cory to write things that I believe, but don't really have time to say.

Scoble drives a Yugo and uses Linux

Robert Scoble uses his blog to remind us that Microsoft is actually a collection of human beings. In this post reminds us why geeks don't make great consumer products.

RipDigital's been getting some play in the blogosphere today, thanks to a Wired News article. They exist to serve the busy music-lover with more CDs than time by offering to rip your collection to MP3. It's some of their less-publicized services that interest me.

More RSS from Apple

Apple has a handy bunch of product support RSS feeds. Nice.

Andy Herzfeld's Folklore project is currently hosting people's recollections of the making of the original Mac.

One good use for DRM?

Companies with something to sell want to be able to target individuals with their advertising. Companies that gather an audience (like Google) want to know everything about you. What if your data had the same kind of DRM as a digital download from iTunes.

BuzzMachine's Jeff Jarvis has a good idea for a new kind of Friendster ripoff.

Sincerest form of flattery?

Anil says "there's an icky sheen of me too-ness to " this, but that seems harsh.

Complementing their Orwellian vision for self-destructing, self-policing content, the mothpieces of big content have an incredible capacity for Orwellian doublethink. This time the RIAA tries to spin a rise in file sharing as a validation of their endless war on consumers.

The importance of open history

I don't usually blog the political stuff (unless some pinhead in government is doing the bidding of Big Content) but this piece about the Bush administration's propensity to rewrite history to suit its needs got me thinking.

Check This Out!

Some people never give up on a magnificent obsession, including some friends and former colleagues from the heartbreak that was OpenCola. They've put some of the lessons from the original OC to good use in a new crazy idea: Dude, Check This Out!

Part blogging tool, part social network, part plot to take over the world, it's a way to harness your interests and connections to suggest new and cool things.

It even allows you to post to your MT or Blogger blogs, like I'm doing right now.

For Sale: defunct hipster label

Fascinating bankruptcy auction of Beastie Boy-run label Grand Royal.

DMCA shyster now running USPTO

Things are looking grim for intellectual property policy. The new acting head of the USPTO is one of the prime culprits behind the DMCA, and the PTO's proud as heck.

Why does Big Content suck?

Because people like this braniac are in charge:
"It's kind of a chess match to see who blinks first."

Microsoft: Options "Limit Choice"

Funny addendum to the Apple/HP hPod and iTunes deal: a Microsoft media exec's saying that the deal will limit choice.

Congressmen to Big Content: Drop Dead

Several legislators used this week's CES as a venue to express their positions on some important consumer technology issues, including Big Content's propensity to sue their customers. A couple of Republican congresscritters put the RIAA on notice for their abuse of the DMCA.
Apple, not known to be a big player as either a licensor or in the Windows software world, has swung a pretty big deal with HP. HP's digital music efforts will essentially be built around a re-branded iPod player and the iTunes for Windows jukebox and Music Store.

The sound and the fury

There seems to be a lot of discontent among bloggers with yesterday's Stevenote at Macworld Expo SF 2004. Specifically, people are steamed that the iPod mini is $249. I actually think the product's going to be a huge seller.

DRM battle lines drawing up (again)

Like 1913 Europe (or a 1970s key party) technology companies are constantly coupling and decoupling into grand alliances designed to dominate the market for copy protection and transaction management.