Saturday, September 26, 2009

Did Microsoft Just Blink in Deal with O'Reilly Media?

(First draft published 9/25/09 @ 10:38 AM)

One of Microsoft's cornerstone principals - and the reason it flourished out of the split with hardware developer IBM - was that it maintained propriety rights over the software it developed. "IBM chose not to build the operating system and microprocessor internally, rather it sourced these vital components from Microsoft and Intel respectively." says Wikipedia. Or in other words Microsoft - kept hidden and profited from - owning and selling software. It was their business model then as now, and a very profitable one.

The software development community has always been larger than Microsoft's staff of developers; but Microsoft played an important part it's expansion and nurturing. But the 'Open Source Community' understood that the technology was only taking it's first steps of a jouney up a mountain, and that keeping software hidden from each other would only slow the journey. They saw the web as part of the biosphere, a nature out-growth of the culture of humans rather than a trade-able commodity. Now here we are, the top of the mountain no where in sight but the road in front of us is incredible and peculiar in ways no one could have guessed.

On September 24, 2009 Microsoft partnered with O'Reilly Media to publish both ebooks and hard books; as part of the deal Microsoft relinquished Digital Rights Management going forward.

Microsoft in my opinion just blinked, a crack has appeared in fortress Microsoft, they have admitted their business model may not be progressive - playing well with others maybe essential to a growing, healthy Microsoft, and the industries as a whole.

Which goes to show, you Can go home again.

Welcome home Microsoft.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Spectacle Of Me

Monetizing content in Web 2.0

"I don't care what is written about me so long as it isn't true. "

Dorothy Parker (1893-1967)

The other day I accidentally 'reTwittered' a Tim O'Reilly Tweet with out crediting the source. In his retort to the reTweet he directed me to an article he'd written in 2002 entitled "Piracy is Progressive Taxation, and Other Thoughts on the Evolution of Online Distribution"- quoting his opening discourse to make his point: "Obscurity is a far greater threat to authors and creative artists than piracy".

I wrote an apology tweet, and then read the article.

Aside from learning the Latin derivatives of several words; I've been churning the following idea...

I edited these lines out of "Lesson 5: File sharing networks don't threaten book, music, or film publishing. They threaten existing publishers." I think this synopsis synthesizes the point I'm trying to spot-light.

(my high light)

"Millions of buyers and millions of sellers cannot find one another without one or more middlemen...".

"In fact, there is usually a rich ecology of middlemen. Publishers aggregate authors for retailers. Retailers aggregate customers for publishers. Wholesalers aggregate small publishers for retailers and small retailers for publishers."

"The means by which aggregation and selection are made may change with technology, but the need for aggregation and selection will not."

"If we take the discussion back to first principles, we understand that publishing isn't just about physical aggregation of product but also requires an intangible aggregation and management of "reputation." "

From P2P, Tim O'Reilly.

A friend came up to me the other day and said "Your a genius..."

Fishing for compliments? I thought

"..I was reading your blog," she continued, "and wow..."

I always avoid the 'G' word it supposes your one and in this smart-centric culture, we're headed down a slippery/stupid slope. The number of subject areas I tackle impresses people. I have a well informed and up to date opinion on many subjects (thanks Google Search Engine), and if I'm not well versed in an area I'll say, 'I haven't done my research on that yet', rather than 'I don't know' .

"Thank you" I said, "but no, I just put the work in".

In 2006 I wrote a piece entitled Web 2.0 where I attempted to gather my impressions - from my limited reading - of this new 'Web 2.0' idea. I surmised that as the content silo got higher and higher and with the cost of production falling, the price of content would eventually shrink to it's cost of production (very near Zero in my case).

So it's not the content that going to pay the rent eventually - it's a personality cult - The Spectacle of Michael Holloway. When a piece "goes viral" - when the artist makes money - the number of people who've gleaned a deep understanding of the work is few relative to the pop audience; so it's not What you write, but what people Think you write that gets you on Letterman or in the Ideas section of the Toronto Star.

I think my hero Dorothy Parker understood O'Reilly's point about obscurity when she said, "I don't care what is written about me so long as it isn't true. ".

Dorothy Parker Quotes


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Do YOU Want To Shock Girls? Add Inches?

No I don't, and I don't want to shock Women either.

And what would I be doing pulling down my pants in front of two young girls who appear to be under 18 years of age?

But this ad company thinks pushing this ad down my throat for the last two weeks will make me want to buy this product called Vimax Formula. So I thought I'd do some research on this new 'power' pill.

Here's the spiel at their website Pills Expert (pill-sex-pert; ya, I get it):

"Being a high class company, our team of doctors is always looking for ways to make a better product. Our latest achievement is a new Vimax Formula for better, faster and greater results. Instead of our old formula, the new one is more concentrated, that makes it possible to take only one pill per day instead of two and achieve even better results. Other companies make you take as many as 3 pills per day. This is ridiculous!!!. No wonder why we are rated #1."
The first line says it succinctly "Being a high class company...". Boy these guys have the best writers! Looks like a grade 8 education level to me.

Wikipedia article on Vimax says the stuff is being marketed by an "affiliate network" company based in Montreal. Affiliate network is an Aggregator company that clusters website owners together and packages the group to interested wholesalers.

Almost every site I browse these past few weeks up pops this same annoying ad, it's an indication of how hard the times are in the advertising revenue stream. The affiliate network promises websites owners half the total sales that happen on a click through on their site - a nice deal - and an indicator that the ingredients are worth very little.

I looked up Vimax in the FDA's (USA's Food & Drug Administration) Approved Drug Products website there was no result which I assume means the product was not approved by the FDA or they don't consider it a drug.

A similar search of the Canadian Government website ---> Health Canada ---> Therapeutic Products Directorate ---> Drug Product Database ---> Drug Product Database Online Query ---> enter the product name in the appropriate box (whew! - the sites are SO un-friendly) found no result.

Perhaps if I think it will work...

The ads Properties info:




Thursday, September 17, 2009

Twitter Beginning To Define Itself

The social networking site Twitter seemed innocuous even irrelevant when I first went there. What grabbed me was the idea of a Timeline.

(click to see Twitter Timeline, a complimentary application written by Andy James Davies.)

One of the qualities of the web 2.0 world is the multi-dimensionality of it. Unlike tv - which set the time and date - requiring you had to make it home in time to watch your show - the pc in web 2.0 gives you the ability to choose not just when and where to watch, but also record, edit, create, download, upload, post, or delete!

Now along comes twitter with a real time network that has, due to each entry's brevity, an historical dimension as well. It's not just 'What are you doing?', but by scrolling back you can easily see the forth dimension as well, time. What WERE you doing, who were you following, who did you stop following, and what were the ones you follow doing when you were doing?

Alexa Traffic Stats - Daily Reach for Twitter, Blogger, and Facebook over one year.

A Tweeter shitmydadsays is one of Twitter's exploding (see graph) address's with 347,276 Followers. His bio says it all:
"I'm 29. I live with my 73-year-old dad. He is awesome. I just write down shit that he says."
Funny as hell.

I'm using Twitter to tell people what I've just posted on FilterBlogs (my Blogger account), Twitter then automatically posts to my Facebook 'Wall' - thus informing both my friends (who love me) on Facebook and my 'Followers' who found me through Subject, on Twitter.

In the future I see a new social networking site that includes all the bells and widgets from all these sites (+Youtube) in one. It could be a further developed Facebook - as it has open code - but Facebook still lacks a lot of the widgets in Blogger that I find really useful. Facebook also seems to have core software problems, it is almost as slow as many Microsoft applications, indicating to me it will have to be re-written from the bottom up at some point.

Twitter is becoming a regular 'came from' entry in my blogs STATCOUNTER widget, an application that lets me know how many visitors have been to my site, and where they came from. It helps me learn how to optimize my wording for search engine hits and to see what topics my readers are interested in. The combination of Twitter and Facebook are bringing more readers.

(You can view Twitters effect on FilterBlogs by clicking on the StatCounter icon in the sidebar. ---->)


Saturday, September 12, 2009

CBC Radio Comedy Is King Again!

All right, I've been keeping WireTap with Jonathan Goldstein a secret from all you out there in Webville, but I guess the time has come - after 5 seasons I'm pretty sure now this show will not let me down [like the Airfarce, The Frantics or As It Happens (sigh)]. Enough of me alone with my radio, laughing out loud (LoL), it's time to share this treasure I've found. This is the best comedy show CBC has ever produced! (or had someone else produce)

Download the new seasons first episode "A Better You". (mp3 file: runs 24:30)

Not only that but it has a video presence on youtube; and all the shows are available as podcasts.

WireTap with Jonathan Goldstein for you people who like frequency and amplitude modulation, is on free radio - CBC Radio One - 1:30 p.m. on Saturdays and 11:30 p.m. on Thursdays.

Photo Credit: CBC

Host, Writer and Genius,
Jonathan Goldstein

Illustration by Jack Dylan


Trouble Shooting. Sounds Technical but...

From the WEBCOMIC xkcd.
Always in Filterblogs Sidebar---->

Click on image for larger size.

This works with any technology.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Bike Courier Darcy Allan Sheppard Killed In Toronto's Own Real Life 'Bonfire of the Vanities'.

Master of the Universe Former Attorney General of Ontario, Michael James Bryant Charged.

Photo Credit Facebook/CBC

As a veteran of the automobile/bicycle courier wars I thought this paragraph of the MSN/CBC/Canadian Press sums it up pretty well...

"Police said they believe the incident was likely sparked by a minor collision in which it appears Sheppard's bike was damaged.
Witnesses reported that Sheppard left his bike after the collision and somehow hung on to Bryant's car. Bryant allegedly yelled at Sheppard to get off the car as it moved along Bloor Street.
Police said Sheppard sustained severe injuries after striking a mailbox and a tree while still hanging on to the car. The courier, who grew up in Edmonton, died later that night in hospital."

Source: MSN/CBC News and The Canadian Press

Sounds to me like the bicycle and the car had an accident; the driver of the car tried to leave the scene of the accident(perhaps he was frightened of the vibrant adrenaline sweating man).

Sheppard requiring satisfaction, his means of income lying bent and useless on the road - perhaps $300.00 for a new bike to work with the next morning - tried to stop Bryant from leaving.

Bryant out of his element and neurotically frightened - like the Sherman McCoy character from the Tom Wolfe novel 'The Bonfire of the Vanities' - freaks, and while trying to escape decides to brush the disgusting sweaty thing off his fine automobile with a post box and a tree!

A CBC News Story quoted police; "The witnesses said it appeared as though Bryant was attempting to knock Sheppard off the car by brushing against trees and mailboxes on(the opposite side of) Bloor Street"!!

Michael James Bryant is a Harvard-trained lawyer who clerked at the Supreme Court of Canada and later taught law at the University of Toronto, Osgoode Hall and King's College, London.

Life Imitates Art; death imitates Art.

Stranger than the fiction so far.

Natasha Gordon has set up a place for words and condolences on Facebook.

A Fundraizing effort to pay for Darcy Allan Sheppard's funeral has been set up by TOBMA-Toronto Bike Messenger Association on Facebook.