Critical Section


Thursday,  07/24/03  10:31 PM

Scoble: Linux is not Microsoft's enemy.  "OK, dummy, so if Linux isn't the main enemy of Microsoft, what is Microsoft's biggest enemy?  Analog thinking."  I hate to disagree with Robert, but I doAnalog thinking is the opportunity, not the enemy.  Digital solutions are the future in many fields, offering efficiency and functional advantages, and the competitor in providing many of these solutions is Linux.

Robert was commenting on Doc Searles' "Saving the Net" article, which is well worth a read.  Doc is a little hung up on the "who owns what" issue - this has been a longtime theme for him - but it has definitely been brought into sharp focus by the SCO lawsuits.  (There are actually big companies hesitating to deploy Linux now for fear of being targeted by SCO, which is [I'm sure] exactly what they were hoping for...)  Doc also discusses the infamous "Eldred" case.  "I believe Hollywood won because they have successfully repositioned copyright as a property issue."  I hadn't thought about it, but Doc is exactly right.

In other digital-rights news, Disney announced a distribution deal with Movielink to make recent Disney flicks available online.  Looks like the studios are learning from the record companies' experience!

On the other hand, the RIAA has gone crazy; they are now issuing subpoenas for parents and grandparents of suspected file-traders.  Ottmar Liebert says he's embarrassed to be a musician, but having enjoyed his work I think he should be very proud; it is the silly crazy weird RIAA which purports to represent the artists that should be embarrassed...

Robert X Cringley thinks the solution is Snapster (Son of Napster).  This sounds a lot like what MP3.com tried to do a while back; buy a bunch of albums, keep them online, and let people who already owned the albums listen to them.  He for sees a market cap of $33B...

Steven Den Beste in WSJ: We won't back down.  "The real reason we're in Iraq--and why we will stay."

deficit wracked MarylandThe Onion has a great parody: Deficit-wracked Maryland calls it quits.  Of course this could be written about California with no parody at all; our $38B deficit is not even funny.  And it looks like Governor Davis is going to be called on it...

David Burbridge discusses the social issues of "growing old".  This is actually the main reason why declining birth rates don't imply declining population growth.  The U.N. usually misses this in their press releases about worldwide population...

If you want to see how this plays out in the U.S., check out this cool interactive map from USAToday, which shows state-by-state breakdowns of demographic information from the 2000 census.

Are senses a zero-sum game?  This post on GNXP suggests that humans lost their sense of smell to make way for more acute vision...  Interesting.  Clearly senses are not quite zero-sum, but there is a "cost" associated with each sense and anything which was not helpful to survival would get selected out.

quantum soccerBored with conventional sports?  How about quantum soccer?  "the aim is to shape the wave function of a quantum-mechanical “ball” so that the probability of it being inside one of the goals rises above a set threshold."  And I thought Quiddich was cool :)

Southeast Airlines is offering free in-flight WiFi!  Talk about the wave of the future.  They are a small charter airline based in Largo, Florida.  As part of the same service they are offering in-flight cell phone usage.  This seems like such a no-brainer, I could easily see business travelers going well out of their way and paying significantly more for these services in-flight.  [ via Boing Boing ]

Andrew Anker writes about the importance of PR.  "... since PR has a difficult to prove ROI, it is becoming an unused tactic in these capital constrained times."  A great point.  And yet, getting "buzz" around your company and its products is as important as it always was.

And over here we have Darwinian Poetry.  I am not making this up.

Adam Curry's QOTD from Sir Winston Churchill:  "There are a terrible lot of lies going around the world, and the worst of it is half of them are true."  And the other 90% are not!

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