Tag: Web

The Problem with Free

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMpwJn_4NtE]

 

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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Microsoft Has Lost Its Way Part 2

Microsoft has abandoned the fundamental principles that made it the most successful software company of the last decade and ensured its software would be the most widely used everywhere. But in just three years, since 2006, startups and Apple have set a new course for technology and how societies use it.

For Microsoft, this change is scarier than movie “Quarantine.” Without a course correction, Microsoft in the 2010s will be very much like IBM was in the 1990s. That’s no place Microsoft should want to be.

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Microsoft Has Lost Its Way, Part 1

Microsoft has reached a surprising, and quite unexpected, fork in the road to its future. Choices the company makes today and over the next 12 months will determine whether computing relevance shifts away from its products.

The company has abandoned the fundamental principles that made it the most successful software company of the last decade and ensured its software would be the most widely used everywhere. Understanding those principles, and how they shaped Microsoft’s past, are important for understanding what the future might be.

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Painful Changes

My blog relocation has turned out to be quite an exhilarating experience. On Saturday, I managed to delete all the content and my Movable Type export file. Everything was lost! Oh, it’s a harrowing tale.

Some background: I made the move on Wednesday to pmachinehosting, which a few days later changed its name to EngineHosting. I also moved from Movable Type to ExpressionEngine. I lacked two things: A new design and fix to a troublesome problem, that ExpressionEngine inserted index.php/comments in the path of posts (e.g., http://www.joewicox.com/index.php/comments/painful_changes. 

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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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We Should Do Something

Each year, Kensington, Md., holds an annual Labor Day parade. For pictures I took last year, I held back one of the best: A very young girl sitting next to an American flag. Her facial expression and composition evoked the patriotic sentiments of the day. But her tank top had partially fallen down to reveal a nipple. As much as I liked the image, I kept it from my online collection of the day. I know that out there, scouring the Internet, are pedophiles that get off on pictures of kids.

Millions of people use the internet each day to watch adult pornography which is perfectly legal, and because it’s so popular more and more free porn sites are now available ones like hdsexvideo, unfortunately there are those that use the internet for darker purposes and troll through social media sites looking for pictures of kids. You might think that posting a picture of your kid taking a bath on facebook is completely innocent and to you and many others it is, but there are some out there that if they saw that picture would look at it in the same way as a normal adult would look at a picture of a naked woman or man, you don’t want to think that there are people out there looking at a picture of your kid in a sexual way but unfortunately that’s the hard truth these days.

Today’s New York Times story “Using Nearly Nude Pictures, Child Sex Sites Test Laws” takes a stark look at this dark underworld of online predators. But the predators aren’t just pedophiles. The story looks at the lurid world of child modeling, which pictures skirt the definition of child pornography.

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SmugMug, Finally

Back in February I praised photo-sharing site SmugMug. I sporadically and half-heartedly uploaded photos there, as I pondered Flickr. I was strongly attracted to Flickr’s community—everybody seems to hang-out there—appeal. Last month, Thomas Hawk joined Zooomr, which created another quandary. Thomas’ Zooomr support simply couldn’t be ignored.

After weighing Flickr’s community and Zooomr’s Thomas endorsement,, I’ve decided to stick with SmugMug and really start using it. I spent part of the last two days adding new photos to my SmugMug site. The decision comes with angst, because Flickr and Zooomr also appeal to me, for different reasons. 

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Cancel Me, Cancel You

Ah, the power of the single voice, amplified by the reach of the World Wide Web. Today’s New York Times story, “AOL Said, ‘If You Leave Me I’ll Do Something Crazy’“, once again highlights the power of the Web, particularly Weblogs or content-sharing sites like YouTube. Randall Stross’ story is also a tell-tale account of how difficult can be account cancellation.

The story starts with a Bronx man’s 21-minute phone call seeking to cancel his AOL account: “Vincent Ferrari, 30, of the Bronx…recorded the five minutes of interaction with the AOL customer service representative and, a week later, posted the audio file on his blog, Insignificant Thoughts. Shortly thereafter, those five minutes became the online equivalent of a top-of-the-charts single”. 

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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.