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).
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."
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.
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.
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.
And their legality in the US (apparently, they are legal):
A manufacturer is allowed to contractually stipulate minimum prices charged by their retailers/resellers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.