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November 22, 2007

Jaron Lanier: 'Just say no' to 'Information wants to be free'


I wonder what Stewart Brand thinks about this apparent apostasy.

I'm with Lanier.

A penny a visit and I'd be in clover.

Here's Lanier's Op-Ed page piece from yesterday's New York Times.

    Pay Me for My Content

    Internet idealists like me have long had an easy answer for creative types — like the striking screenwriters in Hollywood — who feel threatened by the unremunerative nature of our new Eden: stop whining and figure out how to join the party!

    That’s the line I spouted when I was part of the birthing celebrations for the Web. I even wrote a manifesto titled “Piracy Is Your Friend.” But I was wrong. We were all wrong.

    Like so many in Silicon Valley in the 1990s, I thought the Web would increase business opportunities for writers and artists. Instead they have decreased. Most of the big names in the industry — Google, Facebook, MySpace and increasingly even Apple and Microsoft — are now in the business of assembling content from unpaid Internet users to sell advertising to other Internet users. (Disclosure: I’m the scholar at large for Microsoft Live Labs, and I once was part of a company that Google bought.)

    There’s an almost religious belief in the Valley that charging for content is bad. The only business plan in sight is ever more advertising. One might ask what will be left to advertise once everyone is aggregated.

    How long must creative people wait for the Web’s new wealth to find a path to their doors? A decade is a long enough time that idealism and hope are no longer enough. If there’s one practice technologists ought to embrace, it is the evaluation of empirical results.

    To help writers and artists earn a living online, software engineers and Internet evangelists need to exercise the power they hold as designers. Information is free on the Internet because we created the system to be that way.

    We could design information systems so that people can pay for content — so that anyone has the chance of becoming a widely read author and yet can also be paid. Information could be universally accessible but on an affordable instead of an absolutely free basis.

    People happily pay for content in certain Internet ecosystems, provided the ecosystems are delightful. People love paying for virtual art, clothing and other items in virtual worlds like Second Life, for instance. Something similar is going on for music within the ecosystem of the iPod. (I am an adviser to Linden Lab, the creator of Second Life.)

    Affordable turns out to be much harder than free when it comes to information technology, but we are smart enough to figure it out. We owe it to ourselves and to our creative friends to acknowledge the negative results of our old idealism. We need to grow up.

November 22, 2007 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack



From the website:

    StemGrip™ Dishwasher Wine Glass Rack

    Never break another glass in your dishwasher.

    StemGrip holds your glasses tight so they don’t bump, fall or crack.

    Attaches easily to any upright tine on the bottom rack of your dishwasher.

    Sturdy polypropylene and stainless steel, Stemgrip is designed to hold up through thousands of dishwasher cycles.

    Wash one glass or four, or get multiples to wash dozens of glasses at once, safely and completely.

    Each StemGrip has four removable grips that hold like a clothespin to a wine glass stem.

    You’ll never hand wash glasses again.

    Folds up flat for storage.

    7"H x 3-½"W x 3-½"D.


November 22, 2007 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

It was 44 years ago today...

The day the music died.

Odd, not a word in any of the papers about it.

Something exists only as long as its memory remains alive.

Note added at 3:14 p.m. today: I just happened on an Op-Ed page piece on the subject in today's New York Times.

Note added at 6:04 p.m. today: Dr. Michael Rack just pointed out — correctly — in a comment that "the day the music died was February 3, 1959."

November 22, 2007 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Cell Phoney — How to really liven up a crowded elevator


From the website:

    Cell Phoney

    Have some fun in crowds with the Cell Phoney.

    Just play one of the cell phone sounds and watch everyone reach for their phones!

    Six common cell phone rings, including the walkie-talkie tone.

    Includes key chain ring and replaceable batteries.


Perfectly named.


November 22, 2007 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Because something is happening here but you don't know what it is, do you Mr. joe?


Pretty much.

Last evening I was busy doing something close to nothing (but different from the night before) when I happened on the numbers up top.

What's this?, I said to myself — how can it be that the New York Times is sending people to bookofjoe?

I had my crack research team look into it (see, I was kind of busy, doing something close to... never mind) and they walked back the proverbial cat and found that the Times lists blogs that link to stories that appear in the paper.

My Tuesday post about the Korean Internet detox camps story made their cut (below)


and thus the link.


Like fog, it comes on little cat feet, does change, ever so quietly sometimes.

November 22, 2007 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Gummy Heart


Why wear yours on your sleeve when you can eat it?

From the website:

    Anatomical Gummy Heart

    Express your deep love and devotion in a creepy and disturbing way with a Gummy Heart.

    Each 4" tall, 80 gram piece of strawberry flavored gummy candy is realistically detailed to look just like a human heart!

    The package features a charming little rhyme:

    "My love is pure, my love is true, you can have my heart and eat it too!"



Somewhere Janis Joplin is smiling.

November 22, 2007 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Chew on this


Above, the front page of this past Tuesday's Washington Post Health section.

November 22, 2007 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

'Crime Scene Do Not Enter' Bandaids


From the website:

    Crime Scene Bandages

    Put one of these Crime Scene Bandages on your wound to scare off the germs.

    Each 3-3/4" tall metal tin contains twenty-five 3" x 3/4" latex-free, vinyl adhesive bandages with sterile gauze and a FREE TOY to take your mind off of the excruciating pain.


November 22, 2007 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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