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Archive for March, 2007

Being Big But Doing No Evil?

Google Cookie

The eternal Google cookie leaves room for worries and doubt

A Guardian writer opines that Google’s growth will make it fearsome.

As the world’s biggest search engine starts to compete with old media it risks becoming the ‘Microsoft of the internet’. Richard Wachman reports

Media Becomes ‘Junks Food’ and Papers Go Digital

Vinyl record

HOW times are changing. One article which caught my attention suggests that the music industry is evolving from traditional album delivery to singles and ringtones. Can this supply the required revenue? It seems unlikely, but change is inevitable no matter how much they try to rewrite the law and litigate. On the textual publishing side—as opposed to media—yet another giant is giving up on paper distribution. It welcomes nothing but the digital era, which essentially means that its existence will be electronic. Again, revenues and jobs are unlikely to sustain their scale.

Starting next month, InfoWorld readers won’t be waiting for the postman to ring twice. Or even once, for that matter.

The tech publication is ditching its print version and will no longer be distributed via mailboxes, according to a blog posting by the vice president and general manager of Infoworld.com. Instead, the content will solely live online.

Netscape and Digg Kings of the Hill

Wikipedia statistics

WEB statistics/tracking services share some very encouraging figures which suggest that Netscape and Digg lead the pack of social-driven news sites. As I am active on both sites, I am more than pleased to see this. Some time this weekend I will have submitted my 10,000th story to Netscape.

Knowing that Netscape attracts roughly 5 million unique users per month, I am certain that my contributions have an impact. They primarily promote digital freedom — something which I passionately believe in and therefore perpetually promote.

Annual Rowing Competition Won

Roy as a baby
Photo from around 1984

LAST week I mentioned the rowing competition, which I completed quite some time ago. I can finally say with certainty that I have won. The time it took me to complete one mile (ergo, level 10, 1600 meters) was 5 minutes and 23.8 seconds. This is apparently a little step back, however, because I completed the same distance in just 5 minutes and 13 seconds when I was 20. Back then, however, I practised throughout and beforehand, making sure I was prepared for the challenge. I was possibly in a better shape as well, although I tend to doubt it. In any event, I have finally modified the sports page to mark the achievement.

Palm to Change Hands

Palm TungstenAccording to a new report, Palm is going to be acquired this week. Whether the absorber will be Motorola, or Nokia or somebody else, there’s no way of knowing yet. Apparently, several large companies are bidding to snap this stagnating giant. As a long-time Palm user, I wonder what the implications will be. As a Linux users, I am relieved to know about ALP, which is Linux-based, is also able to run legacy Palm OS applications. So Palm as we know it is unlikely to vanish. And old applications will continue to run.

Saving Internet Radio When Laws Are Changed

Girl covers ears

INTERNET radio is still in danger. The major record labels cannot cope with or accept disruptive technologies, so they decide to use money and power change rules (or more more precisely—rewtrite the law).

This is an interesting debate because the same thing has been happening with proprietary software vendors (even though it’s a lost cause). In the case of radio, broadcasters unite and fight back.

There is no greater enemy of the music business than the music industry itself. Never before in the history of mass entertainment have we witnessed an industry who worked harder to destroy itself. Maybe once upon a time, music companies tried to expand their business and reach wider audiences, but those days ended long ago…and if the RIAA has its way, they’ll be gone for good.

Good luck beating the RIAA. I bet they know many people in the Establishment, so this battle will be a hard one to win.

Google Honours (a Little More) Privacy

Googleplex in London
Image of Googleplex in London (from ZDNet gallery)

As you have probably heard by now, Google has taken baby steps towards not being quite so evil. Privacy concerns will be addressed by anonimising log files.

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Google, the world’s largest search engine, is dramatically changing the way it treats personal information.

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