Tag: internet

The Problem with Free

 

Damn, I must read Chris Anderson’s book Free: The Past and Future of a Radical Price. Based on the WNYC video (below) and Q&A—”The Gift Economist”—in the July 19, 2009 the New York Times Magazine, I must disagree with Chris’ concept of free as applied to digital products. Free and the Internet go oddly together, and not necessarily well together.

Chris may be right, but for other reasons than he presents here. In the video above, Chris asserts that on the Internet “free really can be free.” Nobody has to pay. He presents his view, which does allow for combo free and paid models, by way of marketing and economic history and theory.

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Spoof Me, To Hell With You

I have reached a point where managing a domain is becoming too arduous—at least from Webhost Yahoo!. There has been a marked increase in comment spam. Worse, yesterday my domain was spoofed by spammers.

Around 3:12 p.m., my inbox started filling up with returned e-mail from my domain name at my domain name. No such e-mail address exists. Someone had spoofed that address off my domain to make it seem like spam messages were coming from me. The returned messages probably represent a fraction of the thousands sent out over the last 24 hours. 

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Keep the Net Open

With each passing day, I find myself at odds with Washington policy. As if immigration wasn’t bad enough, now it’s Net neutrality.

Today, largely splitting along party lines, the House Commerce Committee whacked an amendment that would have guaranteed Net neutrality. I’ve long opposed overregulation, but there are times when government oversight is appropriate. Given ongoing FCC deregulation, which would no longer require large telecos delivering DSL to let competitors use their lines, and ongoing efforts to prioritize access, the government should take action to guarantee neutrality of the Net.

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MySpace Isn’t the Problem

Shoot, will people lay off poor MySpace. Today the company hired a new Chief Security Officer, in response to a bunch of news stories about kids online safety. Yesterday, my mom called to make sure that I didn’t miss a Dateline story about the dangers of MySpace. Sorry, Ma. I spent time with my daughter rather than watch about parents that weren’t looking after their kids.

The problem isn’t social networking sites, but unmonitored kids and their uninvolved parents. In December I warned of kids risky, online behavior. But the greater risk is from the parents. C’mon, if kids are posting on public blogs, why should predators be reading them and not the parents? 

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The Chair

In the winter of 1996, the World Wide Web had drawn big attention, but few businesses opened online shops. I placed an order that thoroughly amazed me, and later disappointed, because this one outfit did so well and I’ve rarely seen such good service since.

My family lived in northern Maine, returned home for what would prove only to be an 18-month adventure. I needed a new chair for my office, and the local stores sold selection that, well, failed to impress. Catalog ordering meant three weeks to delivery, according to the local office supply store, and I was too impatient. 

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Whatever Happened to the Free Spirit that spawned the Modern Internet?

This afternoon, I was reading a story about cancelled flights—more concerns about terrorist threats—over at MSNBC. The story included an interactive element that lets the reader try out being a baggage screener for two minutes. Beneath the interactive element, “Can You Spot The THREATS?” is this option: “License this Interactive for your Web site.” Clicking through leads to Rights Links (powered) by Copyright Clearance Center, Inc. The cost: $99 for a single Website. Yeah, you read that right. MSNBC is charging for that interactive element.