Tag Archives: Wired

Things I Learned this Week

Among the things I learned this week:
* Crane and Co. provides the paper used for USD. (Courtesy: Wired)

* The ream of b.s. technicalities insurance companies send you in the form of their policy isn’t all bad; they’re great for smashing gigantor weirdo bugs. (Courtesy: Personal experience)

* Kunqu opera. (Courtesy: New York Times)

MySpace.com Backlash

I meant to post a note about the backlash against MySpace.com, which I have written about before, in early February but I forgot. Wired, however, has not, and they include an article about the backlash and a guide for parents.

While in Orlando, I heard on CNBC that MySpace.com subscriber growth was 165,000+ per month, and growing significantly. I am defintely bullish on MySpace.com, but I have not seen “active account” numbers reported. For every new band that is created, who knows how many break up, die, or some other way go inactive. And with non-music people joining MySpace.com, how often is everyone active? Inactivity will probably increase, as the buzz dies around the community; how does this impact growth numbers, account numbers, and News Corp’s bottom line?

The same CNBC report, as well as reports elsewhere, began noting parental concerns of the social networking community. While I suspect it is probably one parent in the Midwest who is concerned, the backlash is interesting in that it represent a shift from MySpace.com being on the edge of US culture to being having a more central position; after all, if parents and the mainstream media know about it and report on Web site regularly, it must be well known.

Another sign of MySpace.com’s significance appeared as part of a conversation I had with a friend (KP). He mentioned that, through MySpace.com, he had re-established contact with a friend from a long time ago. That friend now lives in the same city/town/area I do. I mentioned that he should pass on my e-mail address, as there aren’t many young people in the area, and it would be nice to have someone with whom to grab coffee. He told me my best bet would be to create a MySpace.com account, because using its IM features comes off as less weird/stalky then passing a phone number or e-mail address. Reminds me of the comment about Korea’s equivalent to MySpace.com.

De-Geekify Tech and Law

One of the largest problems we face is a lack of organized lobbying on behalf of the everyday tech industry. The amount of ignorance–and not malicious intent–is stunning and contributing to dangerous trends. Here’s a quick round-up of some of the most recent mind-blowing examples of what I mean:

  • The US Air Force issues DMCA take down notices for a promotional video: Um, it’s a promo video guys. And don’t forget the government can’t copyright anything.
  • The FBI has unlimited access to cell phone data: There is an assumption underlying the debate about US wiretapping authority that the US government can either have unfettered access (That’s why the telecoms need immunity!) or none (Those who want to limit government wiretapping abilities are terrorists!). Have that many people forgotten we have process in place that allow the government access when established criteria are met and that both companies and the government should be punished when they do not operate within those processes and meet those criteria?)
  • TSA Specs for a Safe Bag for Bringing Laptops on Planes: Here are some terror-fying Soviet-like design specs for a bag the TSA would approve so you don’t have to drag your laptop out of its case upon search.