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"Big Content" is strangling American innovation
Topic: Intellectual Property 1:39 pm EDT, Apr  4, 2011

Okay, so the Harvard Business Review is finally taking notice that big content providers are doing their best to prevent any new technology from entering the marketplace.

I think that's short-sighted of them to say. I'll say it more accurately.

Big content is doing their best to prevent any new technology from entering the marketplace unless and until they get a cut, preferably the lion's share of profits, and in some cases, even more than that. Nevermind that in all cases they've done nothing to invent or promote the technology, they just feel like they should be the ones to profit from it first and foremost, above all else.

One really shining example is the massive fees associated with "broadcasting" music online. Transmitter fees included, it's now cheaper to run a terrestrial radio station than it is to run an online streaming site by far, simply because the fees that online sites have to pay are massive in comparison to what a terrestrial radio station pays, and massive in comparison to almost any other market. That change spelled the end for a great many "web radio" stations, and is slowly strangling the life out of the rest of them.

Another great example is the recent s**tstorm Time-Warner incurred by merely attempting to facilitate streaming of a few channels that, let's face it, not that many people care about (I'm looking at you, HGTV.) to the iPads of customers of Time-Warner cable. The only thing this amounted to was Time-Warner attempting to provide a value-add to their customers by letting them watch some channels on their iPads in addition to their televisions, but HGTV (among others) threw a complete fit about it because basically... they weren't getting paid for that value-add.

Nevermind that they weren't being asked to lift a finger, promote it, or otherwise invest one single penny in it, nor did they have anything to do with developing the iPad app that would make it happen, or pay for the hardware or maintenance that Time-Warner was eating... They refused to allow it because they weren't getting paid more for something someone else was doing to make their existing viewers happier.

They didn't invent it, they didn't help make it, they didn't even concieve of it. Why should they be paid for it at all?

"Big Content" is strangling American innovation

The American Dream
Topic: Current Events 12:26 pm EDT, Mar 16, 2011

So if you've been wondering how it is that we can somehow accumulate public debt faster than we could private debt if we were given a stack of credit cards in someone else's name... this video will explain some things.

Some very upsetting things. It was linked from yesterday as a part of their Bank of America leak campaign.

Still, it's a cartoon, so aside from some language towards the end, you should probably have your kids watch it.

The American Dream

The fix is in.
Topic: Surveillance 1:57 pm EST, Nov 24, 2010

This article is just saddening. Apparently Senator Joe Lieberman and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano are getting lobbyist money from the companies making the highly expensive strip-search scanners currently being sold and deployed in airports, because they seem to think these things might be necessary for rail and bus lines as well--nevermind that those kinds of delays would likely be a death blow to those industries in some places.

I can't think of any other reason to even be considering this in light of the kind of pushback they're receiving from the new electronic strip searches at airports. (Yes, I'm fully aware the fapping scanner operator story was a hoax, but it illustrates that this is a real problem if the very idea upsets people that greatly--call it what you like, but citizens are being strip searched, facilitated by technology.)

Sounds quite a bit to me like the manufacturers of the electronic strip search devices have decided to hedge their bets on future sales by trying to get inroads into other transportation systems.

The fix is in.

More TSA failures
Topic: Surveillance 1:30 am EST, Nov 24, 2010

Now... just in case you needed a better example of how gloriously a system designed to give people something to do to avoid blame fails utterly when used in an attempt to provide security, we now have Adam Savage of MythBusters, who apparently violated the galloping thunderfuck out of their security cordon this week.

Wanding, patting down, and the strip search machine failed to notice the two FOOT LONG RAZOR BLADES HE WAS CARRYING.

So... If you think more onerous measures mean more security, well...


More TSA failures

The TSA's continued failure
Topic: Surveillance 1:27 am EST, Nov 24, 2010

Well, if you needed a reason to get upset about the highly expensive (but thoroughly efficient) strip-search machines the TSA has deployed, look no further!.

Apparently travelers caught an employee at DEN fapping while operating the scanner. *facemelt*

The nerve of some people... couldn't he have just taken copies of the pictures home with him like everyone else does?

...and if you still think their system for mindlessly avoiding blame at all costs is working... check my next link.

The TSA's continued failure

Turning network latency directly into money?
Topic: Security 6:53 pm EST, Nov  7, 2010

This is a pretty interesting article. Apparently some guys from MIT realized that you might be able to exploit network latency on the markets by picking and choosing where you connected to, assisted a bit by geography.

This is pretty much the exact same thing that was being done in the IRC wars of the 90's, with clonebot connections and nick collisions instead of money.

I wonder, does ChAoS count as prior art? ;)

Turning network latency directly into money?

WikiLeaks finally publishes Iraq War Logs as promised
Topic: Current Events 8:23 pm EDT, Oct 22, 2010

At 5pm EST Friday 22nd October 2010 WikiLeaks released the largest classified military leak in history. The 391,832 reports ('The Iraq War Logs'), document the war and occupation in Iraq, from 1st January 2004 to 31st December 2009 (except for the months of May 2004 and March 2009) as told by soldiers in the United States Army. Each is a 'SIGACT' or Significant Action in the war. They detail events as seen and heard by the US military troops on the ground in Iraq and are the first real glimpse into the secret history of the war that the United States government has been privy to throughout.

The reports detail 109,032 deaths in Iraq, comprised of 66,081 'civilians'; 23,984 'enemy' (those labeled as insurgents); 15,196 'host nation' (Iraqi government forces) and 3,771 'friendly' (coalition forces). The majority of the deaths (66,000, over 60%) of these are civilian deaths.That is 31 civilians dying every day during the six year period. For comparison, the 'Afghan War Diaries', previously released by WikiLeaks, covering the same period, detail the deaths of some 20,000 people. Iraq during the same period, was five times as lethal with equivalent population size.

Sh*t, meet fan.

If that 60% figure doesn't do it for you, there's plenty of other things in there that will. Things like there actually has been a count of civilian deaths, despite officials from multiple governments repeatedly denying it. Things like we've apparently made it official policy to not investigate when accusations of some completely abhorrent things are directed at the Iraqis we're supposedly training to keep the peace over there.
Things that make even those little tidbits seem tame.

WikiLeaks finally publishes Iraq War Logs as promised

Repeat after me
Topic: Politics and Law 11:06 pm EDT, Sep 28, 2010

Gentlemen of the UK, please repeat after me:

"My reputation has been tarnished by the release of my name and address associated with the trading of this disgusting pornography. I demand compensation."

ACS:Law is screwed and I don't mean that in the sense of those videos that they've been blackmailing 4,000 people for downloading (and have now leaked the names of).

Repeat after me

Greed of the Music Buisness, part ad nauseam
Topic: Media 6:29 pm EDT, Sep 23, 2010

Pandora is abandoning plans for a launch in Canada, because basically Re:Sound (the agency that collects the fees) wants the greater of two amounts...

45 per cent of the site's gross revenues in Canada or 7.5-tenths of a cent for every song streamed

I don't know about you but I don't really know of any business that could survive being asked to turn over nearly half or more of their gross revenue. Profit margins just generally aren't that large outside of certain branded luxury goods or completely monopolized markets.

Greed of the Music Buisness, part ad nauseam

So, what about
Topic: Current Events 7:00 pm EDT, Sep 14, 2010

So, if these Attorney's Generals are actually interested in stopping online prostitution, why've they not said anything to yet? Three times in the last year I've read about three different sting operations being done against that site, and I don't see any big movement to smear their reputation, although the prostitutes on that site aren't exactly being subtle.

Shame on CNN for exploiting underage girls for a story.

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