- RDF for Intrepid Unix Hackers — an interesting series, showing how to use common Unix tools to manipulate RDF data from the commandline. (via Edd Dumbill)
- How to Thrive Among Pirates (Kevin Kelly) — a look at how indigenous movie-makers make money in countries like China, India, and Nigeria where piracy is rampant. In short, they make cheap movies, sell near the price of inferior-quality knockoffs, and take advantage of unique experiences that movie theaters offer (e.g., air-conditioning).
- On Complaints (PublicStrategist) — a very good analysis of complaints departments and expectations of people who complain. But there is also a vital question of what the organisation thinks the purpose of a complaints process is. If it is a safety valve, a means of finding and correcting the most egregious failures or a means of channelling immediate anger and dissatisfaction into a swamp of unresponsiveness, then it can’t provide any broader value. That’s where the Patient Opinion model starts to look really attractive. It is deliberately and carefully constructed to elicit feedback, not just complaints. More than half the stories it gets told are positive, even some of the most harrowing, and it therefore creates a picture which is as clear about what is valued as it is about what is seen as in need of improvement.
Like it or not, push-button removal of ebook DRM is getting closer to reality.
Removing digital rights management locks from ebooks used to require technical wizardry, but new tools are lowering the barrier to entry.
Brian O'Leary on why publishers should tackle book piracy with open minds and lots of data.
Brian O'Leary, founder of Magellan Media and a speaker at TOC 2011, discusses the difficulties of measuring book piracy and the benefits piracy could create for publishers.
Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about building better (read: strategic) eBooks. The more that I’ve tried to wrap my head around what would work and what wouldn’t, I keep coming back to the idea of reversing self-imposed constraints and searching for opportunity in areas from which we’ve closed off opportunity. One such area is DRM. As a practice,…
HTML5 Widgets, RDF and Unix, Movie Piracy, and Online Complaints
Disaster SMS, Open Source Win, Confidence, Pirate Experience
- SMS in Disaster Response — Haitians SMS urgent needs to 4636, where they’re translated through crowdsourcing and acted on. All based on the Uhsahidi SMS engine.
- Inside Open Source’s Historic Victory — open source developer wins against someone who took his work, added it to an open patent application, and then sued the open source developer for violating his patent.
- What’s Wrong with Confidence (Pete Warden) — the lean startup approach and the scientific method. Good read, with two magnificent quotes: “Strong opinions, weakly held, and Confidence is vital for getting things done, but it has to be a spur to test your theories, not a lazy substitute for gathering evidence.
- If You’re a Pirate — the user experience of legitimate DVDs is shite. That’s not the only reason that people pirate, but it sure ain’t helping.
ISP Lockin, Warped Priorities, Government Data, and Book Piracy
- TrueSwitch — “the de facto proprietary API that all the big ISPs use to help users switch, a market opportunity that wouldn’t exist if they just opened up access to each other” in the words of Pete Warden.
- Free Publicity: Who Do We Help? (Anil Dash) — I love cool stuff as much as the next guy. What leaves me at a loss, though, is how many otherwise sane and sensible people give their time and energy freely to help support a company like Apple that, despite its elegant designs and generally excellent products (I use many of them), certainly doesn’t need free PR from some of the most talented people on the web.
- World Government Data — the Guardian build a meta-index to open government data from four countries and will add more as other countries build data.gov-like sites.
- Confessions of a Book Pirate — lots of insights into how guerilla book piracy happens. The scanning process takes about 1 hour per 100 scans. Mass market paperbacks can be scanned two pages at a time flat on the scanner bed, while large trades and hardcovers usually need to be scanned one page at a time. I’m sure that some of the more hardcore scanners disassemble the book and run it through an automatic feeder or something, but I prefer the manual approach because I’d like to save the book, and don’t want to invest in the tools. Usually I can scan a book while watching a movie or two. (via waxy)
Desirable Devices, iPhone Piracy Numbers, Internet Trend Numbers, Value of Privacy
- New Device Desirable, Old Device Undesirable — “I’m going to take my new device wherever I go,” said Larson, holding the expensive item directly in the eyeline of several reporters. “That way no one on the street, inside the elevator, or at my place of business will ever mistake me for the sort of individual who does not own the new device.” Added Larson, “The new device brings me satisfaction.” (via liza on Twitter)
- iPhone Piracy — over 70% of submitted game scores for this game were from pirated copies. Having seen our data and the fact that not a single pirate bought Tap-Fu after playing it, these arguments all sound a bit delusional to me. It seems like an attempt at trying to be legitimate while hiding the real reason. They should just change their page to say “We pirate because we can”. That seems to be a much more honest statement based on the data we’ve seen. (via timoreilly on Twitter)
- World Internet Project — global research into Internet adoption and trends. Found via the New Zealand partner who published their dataset in the New Zealand Social Science Datasets repository.
- The Eternal Value of Privacy (Bruce Schneier) — powerful notes about the right to privacy. Privacy protects us from abuses by those in power, even if we’re doing nothing wrong at the time of surveillance. […] Privacy is a basic human need. […] For if we are observed in all matters, we are constantly under threat of correction, judgment, criticism, even plagiarism of our own uniqueness. We become children, fettered under watchful eyes, constantly fearful that — either now or in the uncertain future — patterns we leave behind will be brought back to implicate us, by whatever authority has now become focused upon our once-private and innocent acts. We lose our individuality, because everything we do is observable and recordable.
Potty mouth, piracy, pointers to the future of the web, and Presidential technology woes, all in today’s link roundup.
- F*ck the Cloud – Jason Scott’s brilliant (and profanity-strewn) rant about cloud computing and the things people throw away without thinking about. Jason, an Internet historian, has a unique perspective and I think what he says makes a lot of sense. “[I]f you’re not asking what stuff means anything to you, then you’re a sucker, ready to throw your stuff down at the nearest gaping hole that proclaims it is a free service”.
- Pirating the Oscars – Andy Baio summarizes online piracy of the Oscar-nominated movies, as he has done since 2003. It’s interesting to see what’s new this year: movies are taking longer to leak, but more of them are being leaked.
- Webkit Owns Mobile – Alex Russell lays out the case that Webkit “has mobile all sewn up”. I’ve been saying for the last umpty years that the Web is at a Windows 286 stage of development–we need 3.1 to come along and standarize the widgets that presently everyone reinvents. I recognized that in this line from Alex: “If we look at the APIs of Dojo, Prototype, or jQuery as a set of suggestions for the APIs that the web should expose, then it becomes pretty clear that we’ve still got a long long way to go”.
- New Staff Find White House Tech in Dark Ages – they’ve gone from a startup to The Enterprise (not Star Trek, alas, just a big company) and now are learning the pain of IT rules that are bigger than they are.
No matter how strong the encryption, digital rights management can't block "analog hole" piracy.