thomashawk’s Techdirt Profile


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thomashawk’s Comments comment rss

  • Mar 24th, 2008 @ 1:37pm

    Billy Bragg is wrong (as Thomas Hawk)

  • Mar 17th, 2006 @ 9:47am

    Stock Picking Based on Digg (as Thomas Hawk)

    While the saying may go "buy on the rumor sell on the news," folks rarely get this right. Digg's amplification is no different than the amplification that stock message boards provide. Professional investors have largely learned to ignore these sources as investment research and recognize that people try to post stuff to influence stock prices all the time.

    While certainly some sucker may run out and go buy SUNW based on it appearing on Digg, they will get burned quickly if they consistently do this and quickly learn their lesson.

    Personally I think Digg is a great news source and find that as long as you take it all with a grain of salt that it is in fact possible to seperate the wheat from the chaff. It would be chilling to free speech to see a world where only edited news was allowed to be consumed en masse. It wouldn't be legal which is why stock boards flourish today.

    Fortunately free speech trumps the fear of stock price manipulation and Diggers will digg on.
  • Mar 13th, 2006 @ 1:40pm

    PriceRitePhoto (as Thomas Hawk)


    PriceRitePhoto very publicly changed their name to Barclay's photo on eBay. In my article I have a link to my article when this happened as well as an article by MediaPost covering the name change. eBay has documented that PriceRitePhoto and Barclay's are in fact the same company. The web address used by eBay is in fact the exact same web address used by the company on PriceGrabber and Yahoo! Shopping.

    Whether or not the company deserves the bad publicity or not is a different conversation entirely, but I think your statement that "the Thomas Hawk article doesn't provide much proof that this is really the same company at all," is off.

    Click through the link in the article or better yet, here is a direct link to their ID history on eBay. If this evidence is "not much proof." I'm not sure what kind of proof you are actually looking for.

    At this point though for me the story is less about PriceRitePhoto and more about Yahoo! Shopping and PriceGrabber. When Yahoo! Shopping and PriceGrabber let a retailer who registers their domain as "John Smith" no address out of Brooklyn (a suspect place for shady dealers) and can get relisted on these shopping comparison sites I think something is broken. It takes two seconds to do a "who is" search on a company's domain and it would appear that even this basic screening feature is not being done.

    People deserve to be protected from these individuals and if you read comments placed on PriceGrabber since I wrote my original story you will see that they are back to their old tricks again.

    While the vigilante justice conversation is an important one, if you read the comments at Digg it is interesting to see that with Digg's new comment moderation feature that in fact most of these vigilante comments are being modded down at the same time while attention is being given to the story.

    Of course I've yet to have heard from either Yahoo! Shopping or PriceGrabber on the matter at hand and don't suspect that I will. They should be held accountable though.

    If the above eBay "proof" is not enough for you, what kind of "proof" is it that you think needs to exist before reporting on something like this responsibly?
  • Feb 8th, 2005 @ 10:15am

    If you like pina colada (as Thomas Hawk)

    If you like pina colade, or getting caught in the rain, if your not into health food, if you have half a brain.
  • Nov 24th, 2004 @ 11:10am

    spyware (as Thomas Hawk)

    Uhhhh can anyone say Firefox?
  • Oct 4th, 2004 @ 1:06pm

    Balmer (as Thomas Hawk)

    Isn't it a tad bit hypocritical for Balmer to call iPod users theives just because they listen to illegal mp3s?

    Wouldn't the same percentage of people be listening to mp3s on their copies of Windows Media Player on their home PC? And wasn't it most likely a Microsoft operating system that helped them download the illegal file in the first place?

    It is nice to know that Microsoft has seen the power of insulting your users though. Seems to be working for the RIAA.
  • Sep 1st, 2004 @ 10:31am

    Re: Back Ups (as Thomas Hawk)

    For my most important documents I also keep a back up on the non-networked C: drive on my work PC. I also backup these documents to an external drive that I do not keep connected to any PC. I basically synch my important documents on my home PC to this backup drive and then take it to work and synch back. This way I always have one copy at home, one copy at work and one copy on the backup drive.

    This being said, this would not be practicle for large digital libraries, mp3s, video, etc. due to size but it works well for my 35,000 .jpgs (family photos, etc.) and all of my important scanned .pdf documents.
  • Sep 1st, 2004 @ 8:57am

    Back Ups (as Thomas Hawk)

    Forget about dvd, cd or (cringe) tape back up. Just toss it all on a trusty old 250 gig external hard drive.
  • Aug 31st, 2004 @ 7:34am

    Re: Talking with Valenti (as Thomas Hawk)

    Personally I think it was nothing short of amazing that J.D. was ever able to get the interview in the first place. Obviously Valenti doesn't know how to use Google because if he'd bothered to Google J.D. and read some of what his interviewer has written about in the past I'm sure he'd have had second thoughts.

    I think the interview actually went fairly well and I think that as an interview it was probably good that J.D. didn't go for the throat as some might be quick to discredit it with bias. No, I think it was better to let Jack hang himself with his own words and let the online community do the after-analysis. The important thing is that by getting the interview in the first place it brings to light once again the problems with the adversarial tactics of the MPAA and their cousin the RIAA.

    Below are my comments from the post at Engadget:

    "What would you say to a mom who wants to make a backup of her kids? DVD movies?

    When you go to your department store and you buy 10 Cognac glasses and two weeks later you break two of them, the store doesn?t give you two backup copies. Where did this backup copy thing come from?"

    Look, either you are selling content or you are selling physical goods -- you cannot have your cake and eat it too. When you buy a DVD you are buying content. The DVD is merely the delivery vehicle for the content. If I buy a tune from itunes and then burn it to my CD and it breaks, should I then also not be able to re burn it? It infuriates me that people like Jack Valenti have no problem gouging the public with expensive dvds and then when the medium is no longer useable try to compare it to a pair of cognac glasses.

    On Thursday night someone broke the window of my car at the West Oakland BART station and in addition to stealing the dvd player in the car stole all of my kids dvds -- about 20 of them which were hidden in the glove compartment. They stole the dvd player even though I had taken the face plate off and it is essentially worthless to them without it.

    Now Vallenti wants to tell me that I'm SOL and why don't I just go out and drop another $500 buying my content all over again -- and he has the audacity to speak about a "moral imperative."?!

    This guy is classic. How about this Jack. How about I just download everything I want for free and use any resource I have to avoid ever paying for another dvd for the rest of my life. How about I just copy everything to my PC and burn it to dvd for play in my car in the future and don't give you or your friends another god-damn dime. There is a reason that you are portrayed as a "villian" in cyberspace. And while you may have a modicum of power based on your previous position with the MPAA, the tide is turning and things like you opening your mouth and saying really stupid things will ony bring about both grass roots political change and technological pirating tools faster.

    You, my friend, are a hypocrite -- someone who talks about the value being the content one day and the form the very next.

  • Aug 5th, 2004 @ 7:22am

    Banning Cameras (as Thomas Hawk)

    I will no longer support events, concerts, clubs, parks, resturants, etc. that will not allow me to bring my camera inside. It's my way of objecting back. If a venue has a no camera policy I simply will not go and instead support a venue that does. If I like an artist and they perform with a no camera, or the venue they choose has this policy, I won't reward them economically with my money.

    In an extreme case of this while dining out with my family at PF Chang's China Bistro in Emmeryville this week I was asked not to take pictures in the resturant. Looks like I will not be going back there. I suppose there is probably a huge market on eBay for pictures of my two year old sitting in a high chair and enjoying some Chow Mein at PF Chang's.

    The food was actually really good but I think I'll just go back to Shen Hua in Berkeley where they have never asked me not to take pictures.

    Simply ridiculous.
  • Jul 14th, 2004 @ 11:36am

    Review on the fancy Media Center Edition vs. the n (as Thomas Hawk)

    I wrote a review comparring Microsoft's Media Center Edition software mentioned and Tivo's new HDTV (read Linux) box that just came to market on my blog at:

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