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Comment: Re:Charity doesn't exist. Love doesn't exist. (Score 1) 294

by jgalun (#28818599) Attached to: Free Web Content a "Myth," Claims Barry Diller

If I said that all content must be charged for regardless of type or quality, I'd be a nut. Yet on Slashdot we regularly have people saying that no content should be charged for, which is just as crazy.

The Internet has changed the game. There are many types of content which you used to be able to charge for that you no longer can. For example, there is almost no sports coverage you can charge for because there are 10 zillion sports fans will to provide almost as good coverage for free.

But there is plenty of content that "charity and love" have not and will not ever produced. Open source projects have produced amazing operating systems, servers, etc. - but have not yet produced a single World of Warcraft or Wii Sports. We've seen a lot of funny YouTube videos, but no one is producing the next Batman movie for free and posting it to YouTube.

Comment: Re:Duh, Mr Diller forgets... (Score 3, Interesting) 294

by jgalun (#28818559) Attached to: Free Web Content a "Myth," Claims Barry Diller

It's amazing that the same people who say that the advertisers should pay for the whole system are also the ones trying to cut advertising out of their feed - who use AdBlock, who listen to XM because they can't stand constant advertisements, who use DVRs to skip past ads, and who get movies on NetFlix because watching them on TV have too many ads. And the same people who also think that the prices of media content - like DVDs - are way too high and need to come down.

Well, guess what. Free content and no ads means no content. Free content and ads means a LOT of advertising. You want the next movie you see to be interrupted by an ad every 2 minutes?

A lot of people on Slashdot want to eat their cake and have it too. Content should be free and supported by ads - but we should get to block/skip ads!

Comment: Re:Diller is full of it (Score 4, Insightful) 294

by jgalun (#28818469) Attached to: Free Web Content a "Myth," Claims Barry Diller

Do me a favor and call me when someone posts a home-made movie on YouTube that is, I dunno, let's say 10% as well-made, written, and acted as Star Trek.

People are willfully misrepresenting what Diller is saying. Diller is a media executive. He's not talking about Slashdot or your blog. Believe me, Diller doesn't give a shit if you keep posting reviews of local restaurants or Linux tips on your own web site, just like media executives 20 years ago wouldn't give a shit about a local church newsletter.

What Diller is talking about are things that are not so easily produced by "a thousand people putting out far more content for nothing." And the truth is, 1,000 people putting out content for nothing are still not going to produce Up!, or put out a daily newspaper with world-wide investigative reporting.

His point is that there are too many of those "premium content" services chasing too few advertising dollars to be free. Just like cable or print newspapers, we're going to need to move to a mixed advertising and fee-for-service model.

Comment: Re:Why? (Score 5, Insightful) 294

by jgalun (#28818387) Attached to: Free Web Content a "Myth," Claims Barry Diller

Are a lot of local newspapers going out of business because the Internet has destroyed the model of simply reprinting the AP feed in order to sell classified ads? Absolutely. You can get the AP feed from tons of web sites, and classified ads have been taken over by Craigslist.

Maybe AP content will continue to be free on the web, if enough web sites see a traffic boost from it worth the cost of subscribing, then the cost of generating AP content can be kept low by spreading it across many web sites, and end users won't have to bear it.

But Diller is absolutely right that premium content will be paid for one way or another. There is simply no model right now that supports the free distribution of movies that cost $140 million to make and would additional require huge amounts of bandwidth to distribute. There is no model that will support free access to quality content like the Christian Science Monitor, The Atlantic Monthly, New Yorker, or Wall Street Journal.

Music may be an exception to this. Bands may make enough money from touring to view albums as free advertising. And music production has come down so much in cost that there may be enough people creating music that the supply essentially prevents anyone from charging for it.

Nevertheless, I think Diller is absolutely right that we are moving away from the free model for many types of content. The free content to generate advertising model has been tried twice now, and it's failed miserably both times.

Comment: Re:Um, news? (Score 2, Informative) 120

by jgalun (#28366395) Attached to: You're (Probably) Not Going To Be a Pro Blogger

This is impressive. Not only didn't you read the RTFA - which doesn't discourage people from blogging, but instead interviews someone who has successfully created a career from blogging - you didn't even RTFS, which is attacking the WSJ for saying that you can make money just from ad-blogging

Jesus. Forget about engaging brain before posting. Engage eyes before posting!

Comment: Re:Well It's a Long Painful Death For ... (Score 2) 453

by jgalun (#27861349) Attached to: News Corp Will Charge For Newspaper Websites

Do you understand that it's a long, painful death for all newspapers right now? And that includes all those newspapers whose web sites are free to the public (the New York Times almost closed the Boston Globe last week!).

Murdoch - who has built a multi-billion empire from a start in newspapers - may actually understand the newspaper business better than you do. My guess is that he is counting on most newspapers to go out of business. The advertising model is simply not profitable enough to support most newspapers. Once the news industry has shaken down to far fewer sources of information, then a hybrid subscription + advertising model actually becomes quite plausible again. You have a few sources doing real investigative journalism (in the US, let's say that we are left with four daily newspapers - the Washington Post, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times) and those who care about the news subscribe to one of the four of them on their Kindles. Subscription costs can be lower, because: A) Newsprint makes up 20% of newspaper costs; B) They will gain subscribers at the cost of their defunct local competitors and their readers who used to use their free sites, and spread the fixed reporting costs across far more subscribers.

Seriously, once the Boston Globe goes out of business, are all the people in Boston who are used to reading the newspaper every day going to stop reading the news? Or are they going to find another newspaper to read? And when there are only 4 major newspapers, will those 4 still feed into the AP to provide free news through Internet feeds? Or will they decide to control their own business model?

Comment: Re:Unclean? (Score 1) 369

by jgalun (#27861147) Attached to: Unclean Military Hard Drives Sold On eBay

even the DoD is fine with 7 passes.

Funny that, I know SIGINT (Australian signals intelligence) don't trust ANY form of drive erasure, with the cost of drives, they just burn them.

Considering the amount of budget these departments, why would they take the risk?

I'm not so sure the original poster is correct that the DoD is fine with 7 passes. Consider ISL 2007-01. It says that "Sanitization of memory and media is required when the memory or media is no longer needed to store classified information. Clearing is required before and after periods of processing as a method of ensuring need-to-know protection, and prior to maintenance."

And if you look at the matrix on page 19, overwriting is not acceptable for sanitization. Only degaussing or destruction are acceptable. It sounds like whoever disposed of this hard drive just did not follow guidelines, or that the drive was disposed of before ISL 2007-01 was released.

Comment: Calling all Slashdot Geniuses (Score 4, Insightful) 293

by jgalun (#27488855) Attached to: AP Says "Share Your Revenue, Or Face Lawsuits"

So far, as expected, every comment is about how stupid these old media dinosaurs are to repeat the mistakes of the RIAA/MPAA.

Let me ask a question. If the newspapers that create the AP content are going out of business, where will the content come from? And if everyone simply copies the AP articles without paying for it, where will the revenue stream come from to pay the writers?

I know, I know, everything on the Internet is a commodity now. But tell me - what happens when there is no one left to produce that commodity?

At some point the Slashdot crowd is going to have to face up to the fact that content producers need to get paid if they are going to continue producing. Just like movies - it's easy to criticize the MPAA, but who is going to pay the millions of dollars to shoot a major movie if everyone simply copies content without paying for it?

Comment: Re:Great (Score 2, Interesting) 273

by jgalun (#27171333) Attached to: Firefox 3.1 Beta 3 Released

Since I don't have a subscription to one of the browser market stat vendors, and Google removed their browser stats in 2004, I don't know the answer to this question. But I doubt you do either. I can't prove that it's a significant number. But you can't prove that it's only a vocal minority of cranks either.

But we do know that:
1) There was a LOT of complaining about the AwesomeBar when it came out;
2) User experience can make a huge difference in market share (see, Apple)
3) At least some people have stuck with 2.0 because of it;
4) At least some people have switched to Opera because of it.

But the best proof we have that it's not just a small number of cranks? The fact that Mozilla decided to expend effort to allow people to go back to the old location bar in Firefox 3.5. If this were only important to a very small number of people, they would not have bothered. I'm sure they have lots of other code to write over at Mozilla. But they chose to dedicate resources and time to fix this. We may not have the statistics at our fingertips, I'm sure that Mozilla does track browser usage very closely, and knows exactly how their upgrade rates compared to previous upgrades.

So you can question my arguments, and I can question yours. But I think Mozilla's actions speak loudest of all.

Comment: Re:A simple suggestion for GM (Score 5, Insightful) 769

by jgalun (#27093701) Attached to: GM Cornered Into Defending the Volt

What the hell does that mean? GM doesn't have oil company representatives on their board. If you'd like to see, I suggest you Google search GM's board and check out the board member bios.

Also, if oil companies are stopping GM from bringing electric cars to market, then how do you explain GM betting the ranch on the Volt? Wouldn't GM have *accepted* this argument that electric cars don't make sense, rather than defend their electric car project?

But hey, didn't stop this post from being modded to 5. I guess any paranoia about oil companies automatically gets modded up...

Comment: Re:Full of shit you are, young Jedi (Score 5, Insightful) 600

by jgalun (#26669941) Attached to: Comrade, You Are So Not Getting a Dell

1) Putin did not address the economy well. Rising commodity prices addressed the Russian economy. No structural problems were addressed, and until they are, Russia will falter every time commodity prices go down. What happened to the scientific prowess of the Soviet Union? Putin has not restored that. Russia is not a leader in any high-tech industries, despite what Putin thinks.

3) Putin is asserting Russia's interests in a typically moronic Russian manner. That is to say, he is trying to set Russia up as a Great Power and an ideological competitor to the West. But it doesn't have the population, resources, or technology to do this, so all it is doing is spending its money wastefully on these vanity projects. I mean, take something like selling missiles to Syria. It gains Russia almost nothing (some small money in arms sales and close ties with an country that still leaves Russia without any real leverage in the Middle East), but Russia pursues it because it is a poke in the eye to America. Much of Russia's policy seems more geared towards annoying the US (to prove that Russia can do what it wants) than doing anything useful for Russia.

Let me put it this way. In 20 years, China and India will be rich and fully integrated into the global system. Russia, which 20 years ago was far ahead of both, will likely not be. For that, Putin needs to answer.

4) What Dell said is standard business/political talk. It's a polite way of asking, "Is there anything we can invest in that would make both of us rich?" That's why politicians go on foreign trips trying to drum up business from investors, and why countries fly their own investors overseas to meet with foreign countries to solidify relations. Even if there are no specific opportunities for Dell right now, it is incredibly stupid for Putin to respond this one. It just sends a message to foreign investors that they are not wanted in Russia (a message already sent by Putin's actions to seize foreign investments in Russia's oil). How does eliminating foreign investment help the Russian people?

Comment: Re:The Cold War Called ... (Score 1) 600

by jgalun (#26669703) Attached to: Comrade, You Are So Not Getting a Dell

I fail to see how a failure to address the real issue is representative of the American side of the Cold War. In case you didn't notice, America's economy grew massively throughout the Cold War, the highway system was built, the Internet was created, civilian space exploration stood up, civil rights and women's rights were achieved, etc. It's not like the US stood still during that time.

Comment: Re:And Michael Looked Back (Score 2, Interesting) 600

by jgalun (#26669659) Attached to: Comrade, You Are So Not Getting a Dell

If the advice of foreign consultants was so bad - why has it worked fine for the other members of the Eastern bloc? If the fault is of the foreigners coming up telling Russia what to do, then how did Poland end up democratic and prosperous while Russia is autocratic and at the whim of oil/gas prices?

Comment: Re:Why bother? (Score 1) 351

by jgalun (#26025071) Attached to: Firefox 2.0 Update To Remove Phishing Detection

I've been using Mozilla since M12 or so, but the awesome bar drives me crazy. If I start typing "nytimes," I want it to find www.nytimes.com. I don't want it to find a blog entry whose title is "NYTimes Fails Again" or some page at the nytimes that I visited more recently than the homepage (like www.nytimes.com/oped/krugman14.html).

I know the sites I browse to. I just want Firefox to autocomplete to the domain. I don't need it to search my browser history for me, because I know where I want to go.

I'm not saying that the Awesome Bar is bad, or attacking people who do like it. I just don't like it, and I finally decided recently to downgrade back to 2.0. I hope Firefox 3.1 gives us a lot more control over how the Awesome Bar operates.

In these matters the only certainty is that there is nothing certain. -- Pliny the Elder

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