Jason Buberel's Techdirt Profile

Jason Buberel

About Jason Buberel

Jason Buberel's Comments comment rss

  • Dec 30, 2010 @ 01:44pm

    The 'Front Door' problem

    Ever since the advent of news aggregation (Google News, Yahoo! News, etc.) there has not been a newspaper or magazine whose front page has been able to reclaim the status of 'Front Door' or 'Starting Point' for my news consumption.

    Even those magazine that I do subscribe to, I never read every article in them. They are more useful to me when their content is accessible from many entry points and aggregation sites.

    By transitioning to an app-format publication, these publishers are making the assumption that I consider them my starting point.

    Personally, I would prefer to see a (I know, dreaming...) micropayment network that would allow me to access my content on multiple devices and via multiple aggregators (including RSS feeds with Netvibes/Google Reader).

  • Dec 01, 2010 @ 12:46pm

    Re: Re:

    While I regret the chilling effect this will have on the sharing of information between diplomats, I too would prefer to err on the side of too much exposure:

    "The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter."

    --Thomas Jefferson to Edward Carrington, 1787.

  • Aug 16, 2010 @ 04:54pm

    Re: More danger from within

    A recent Cato.org podcast focused on this very topic:


    In the future, military planners must assume that they will not be able to enforce secrecy to the extent that they've historically done. Given the proliferation of communication mechanisms (email, IM, social network, USB thumb drives), it will be impossible to prevent illegal releases of information.

  • Jun 14, 2010 @ 11:57am

    Re: facing the wrong way

    Excellent point. In the years I spent at Motorola developing mobile phone software, we launched several (mostly for European markets) phones with front-facing cameras for video calling. Not one of them led to widespread adoption.

    But the ability to quickly/temporarily 'show something to the other person' could open up all sorts of compelling uses in medicine, technical support, etc.

    To be useful, it would require being able to turn the camera on/off easily during the call ("Just a sec, let me show you what I see...") and to use both front and rear cameras.

  • May 04, 2010 @ 01:42pm

    A straight-forward market-based solution

    Although I know this is just wishful thinking...but the insurance industry could play a powerful role. Imagine if your driver's insurance carried a clause that stated:

    - No coverage will be provided if it can be shown that a mobile communication device was in use at the time of (or within X seconds) the incident.

    In other words: If you were talking, texting, or browsing when the accident occurred, your insurance company would provide you with no coverage.

    It would not force people to modify their behaviors, but it would provide a very powerful incentive to behave in accordance with your best financial interests.

    Just a thought.

  • Mar 23, 2010 @ 08:31am

    Re: Talk about a misnomer...

    I disagree about the inapplicability of the DMCA's anti-circumvention provisions to CAPTACHA.

    The anti-circumvention clause of the DMCA was intended to criminalize attempts to remove or bypass any security scheme from a digital product in order to gain unlawful access to a product.

    This has been applied to the reverse engineering of hardware and software in the last few years. Although originally intended to protect entertainment media (music, movies, books), there is no reason the protections could not in principle be extended to a service such as Craigslist.com.

    Or so I think. But I am not a lawyer.

  • Mar 23, 2010 @ 08:23am

    Re: Craigslist

    Same goes for those epic failures, Apple and Intel :)

    While I do agree that in some cases, litigation can be an indicator of desperation, Craigslist.com is by no means desperate or failing.

  • Mar 16, 2010 @ 09:49am

    Universal Service Obligation

    For more information on the federal law requiring the USPS to provide service to every address in the USA:


    It was part of the bargain they got when the USPS was granted a monopoly status exemption.

  • Feb 04, 2010 @ 10:41am

    That was enough to get me to buy a t-shirt

    Reading through that document was enough to get me to plunk down $20 on one of their t-shirts.


  • Feb 01, 2010 @ 04:49am

    For more info on Resale Price Minimums

    And their legality in the US (apparently, they are legal): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resale_price_maintenance A manufacturer is allowed to contractually stipulate minimum prices charged by their retailers/resellers.

  • Jan 15, 2010 @ 05:48pm

    Douglas Preston and "Impact"

    I was recently engaged in a long-winded comment thread on Doug Preston's new book, "Impact" in which some Amazon customers decided to use the book rating to protest just this problem:


    I decided to protest the use of ratings - which are meant to indicate how much you enjoyed the book. Then the author himself got involved:


    He says "I just write the books" in his retort, which I take to be truthful (at least until proven otherwise).

    I instead directed people to use the discussion forum for the book instead, where several other Amazon.com customers had already voiced their anger over the delay of the Kindle edition.

    I still stand by my position - that book ratings should not be used as a form of protest against the book. Unless and until it can be shown that the author does have control over the timing, I do not thing their works should be punished.

  • Jan 14, 2010 @ 08:13am

    Hopefully, Rhapshody.com will continue to flourish

    In light of some services like MOG, Lala and Spotify, I am a bit unsure of Rhapsody.com's future. That being said, for about $10 a month I have on-demand access to a library of abour 6,000,000 tracks. And when I combine it with my Logitech Squeezebox, I can pipe that directly to home stereo equipment.

    If they do release their Android app (in beta now) for streaming audio, I'll be in geek heaven.

    So despite many of their shortcomings, I would be very disappointed if Rhapsody.com were to fade into oblivion like so many of the earlier Real.com initiatives.

  • Jan 12, 2010 @ 10:25pm

    Re: Ridiculous

    But what if your monthly bill fell to half its current value as a result of your being switched to a metered plan? What would be so bad about that?

  • Jan 07, 2010 @ 05:01pm

    Re: Ad disabled when warranted


    I'm glad to hear that I am not the only person who follows that practice - block everything by default, and un-block selectively on those sites I enjoy where the ads are their only source of revenue, or where the ads are not obtrusive.

    However, I suspect we are in the minority. Once a user installs AdBlock Plus (or AdThwart on Chrome), it probably remains 'enabled' everywhere, all the time.

  • Dec 12, 2009 @ 06:54pm

    Nice find - a good read

    Thanks for pointing this one out to us Mike - a nice find. I especially enjoyed the grim-sounding names that were used to describe each phase of the lifecycle :)

  • Dec 05, 2009 @ 07:34pm

    Re: Re: Shifting Paradigms

    Perhaps we should be using crontab notation:

    * * * * * johnqpublic /usr/bin/consuming-news-content

  • Dec 04, 2009 @ 10:11am

    Re: Re: Ditto on Salon

    Google isn't making a huge mistake - they are just helping to speed up the inevitable outcome. News Corp. and others are going to implement paywalls of one form or another no matter what Google does. Despite the general consensus that it is a 'bad idea', what Google is doing will all some of that contact to still appear in Google search results despite those paywalls.

    Google is, as a good for-profit business should, acting in its own self-interest.

  • Dec 03, 2009 @ 08:19am

    What I just sent to Feinstein

    FWIW, here is the quick letter I just dashed off the Senator Feinstein, my elected representative:

    Drop your proposed amendment to the Federal Journalism Shield Law!

    S. Feinstein:

    You have recently sponsored an amendment with S. Durbin that would strip non-professional journalists of the same level of protections that are enjoyed by paid journalists working for 'recognized' media companies.

    Consider the citizen of a small town who is investigating fraud at the level of their local city council. What are the chances that an 'officially recognized' media company or 'officially licensed journalist' will cover the story? If that citizen then writes up her findings on her own weblog, should she be denied the same protections?

    With the rapid shift of the work of journalism from old-media to new-media, it is more important than ever to be inclusive. We need more people, not fewer, to consider themselves journalists and to be confident that they will not be safe in the ability to publish - via email, on a personal weblog, via Facebook, and Twitter - their findings.

    Please drop support of your amendment! You should be looking for ways to promote citizen participation in the world around them, not thwarting it.

    Jason L. Buberel

  • Nov 18, 2009 @ 06:43pm

    Re: Brilliant

    Both academic and public librarians just need to understand where and how the provide value to their customers:

    Travel Agents: They once thought their only value was to enable access to the back-end ticketing and booking systems for air, hotel and car rental. Wrong.

    Real Estate Agents: Once thought that their only value was providing access to listing databases to help clients search for homes that are on the market. Wrong.

    Librarians: Need to think hard about where they can continue to provide value in a world where the access costs to books and other media is shrinking. A librarian who thinks that their only role is providing access to expensive books, they are on a path to extinction.

    Services like children's reading programs, puppet shows, and yes - free internet access for low income users - are all part of that value chain. The migration path librarians is all about focusing on where they add real value.

    I'm sure there are some smarties in that bunch who'll figure it out.

  • Nov 18, 2009 @ 06:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: libraries obsolete = librarians obsolete


    If you want to gauge just how obsolete libraries have become in your community, try this experiment:

    Show up at the next city council meeting and demand that all library funding be withheld on the grounds that they have been rendered obsolete. Just remember to wear a bullet-proof vest when you do.

    Although people like me and you may not have set foot in a library since we were children, they are still seen as very useful and cost-effective (in terms of return on educational investment over the long term) resources in many communities.

More comments from Jason Buberel >>