Vog's Favorite Techdirt Posts Of The Week

from the stay-classy dept

Hello, Vog here, but I guess you probably already know me, sort of. It’s been a busy news week on several fronts, and there’s been no shortage of interesting articles to pick favorites from here on Techdirt. So get comfortable, pour some Kool-Aid, and check out these developments you might have missed.

Regardless of which set of political beliefs you subscribe to or which business models you value, encouraging innovation and allowing for the development of emerging technology is crucial to advancing not only business, but our culture, society, and species as well. If you have to rest on your laurels, at least sleep with one eye open towards the future. It was great to hear the results of the Insight community making some recommendations for a government innovation agenda, which is an endeavor we should all support for our common good.

Of course, those advancing our common good are occasionally those diametrically opposed to our government; members of the hacking Operation AntiSec allegedly “obtained” personal information on 12 MILLION Apple product users from the laptop of an FBI cybersecurity recruiter, a feat the FBI naturally denies. The group released just over 1 million of these as proof of possession and as a warning against government data collection. While we wait for the outcome of the other 11 million IDs, satisfy your remaining Internet bad-boy quota for the week by having some “lulz” at 4channers potentially lining up Taylor Swift for a concert at Horace Mann School for the Deaf.

On the private sector front, we have an insightful article explaining the economics of how businesses with open systems can still make money in these days of larger pies (mmm… pies…), if your business focus is on expanding your base and appealing to as many people as possible. Since technology has progressed to the point where the cost of duplication is trivial, perhaps legacy business models used by the entertainment industries should be updated to match the shifting markets and changing times. Some record label executives are figuring this out, but I won’t be so quick as to call it a turnaround.

Other things to not call turnarounds: Wells Fargo recently firing an employee for fraud that was unsuccessful, a half-century ago, and for 10 cents; also, a project to end malaria started by Intellectual Ventures for the purposes of PR grandstanding, theoretically legitimizing their own existence, and having a totally sick riposte for critics (at least in Myhrvold’s mind).

Things to actually call turnarounds: HBO offering a standalone streaming service to Scandinavia (can we please have some, too?) and Ubisoft finally reversing its historical trend of overzealous DRM. I’m glad their fiery rhetoric portraying their customers as a “pirate nation” is no longer part of their core, uh, creed.

Speaking of targeted assassinations, two drone strikes this week included a video stream of the Hugo Awards and the official stream of the Democratic National Convention (insert political joke here). The culprits in both cases were automated systems designed to protect copyright holders by checking site content for infringement; instead, they prevented access to cleared, legitimate streams. See, if only the streams had shown their papers, there wouldn’t have been a problem.

Two more surprising bits this week, for very different reasons: an expedient and reasonable end to e-book price-fixing schemes, and some digging into the steps the GOP would have to take to actually cause the end of the porn as we know it. After all, the internet is for freeloaders, not porn. That’s what I’m told, anyway.

Big shout out to bob for being a seriously cool dude; to all the other Techdirt readers: stay classy.

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