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Comment Re:Factually Incorrect Title: There Is No Retweeti (Score 1) 137

I hope that the NYTimes can find a business model that works on the web. I really do. I hope they manage to persuade people to pay for their journalism.

But, and I cannot stress this enough, I hope their model is one that works without having to make special arrangements with, or otherwise threaten and interfere with, other providers of content on the web and ISPs.

Their problem is that they want the promotion benefits of sites like Twitter, and they want to make the NYT free to people who come from there so that Twitter users don't complain that following a link has taken them up to their limit of free pages. But they also want to encourage users to come to them via other routes as well. This is so very much like wanting to eat their cake and have it to that it deserves to fail horribly.

What no one has managed to do is make a paywall that has the simplicity (and lack of commitment) of buying a paper newspaper. I was tempted to buy the London Times online, until I saw that I needed to sign up for a subscription and hand over my bank details first. Give me a way to pay 50p or 75c for my morning newspaper without any other fuss and I'll gladly pay the daily fee, as readily as I buy cheap iPhone applications. Not, of course, that I'm the first to think in these terms, though Apple for the moment are keeping their offering on the iPad.

Comment Wave's problems were about control and lack of it (Score 2, Interesting) 179

Google did a great job creating an open protocol. But they made two mistakes:

1. They were not open enough. Although they had suggested that people would be able to build their own clients (and demoed a curses based client) they never opened an API for writing a wave client. They wanted it to be a flagship web application - but just as people like all sorts of different clients for email (even if many now like web clients), they would probably have liked client choice for wave - especially if 3rd party clients had shown waves along side email and the like.

2. They were too open. Their programming model for wave (web-hosted applications with read and write access to your wave) had huge security implications. It was not clear from the UI who would have access to your data and when.

Both of these were things that slowed adoption of wave.

Comment This isn't a prediction, it is an admission. (Score 1, Insightful) 591

It is easy to decode what he was really saying What he says is not really a prediction, it is an admission that Google stores uniquely identifiable data about everything its users do. He is probably right that many of us have predictable search/browsing habits. He is offering to sell Governments a product that matches a browsing profile with users.

I have nothing that I can think of to hide, I think that this kind of thing sits poorly with Google's claim of not being evil.

Shall we all use Microsoft's search product instead?

Of course, it is hard to blame google. Most of us rely on an expensive service they produce for free, and have not been very picky about the terms of service before we have done so.

Comment Python, Perl, PHP (Score 1) 571

Reading the Fine Article, I'm very unclear whether his reading would also apply to any code running under an interpreter that was licensed with the GPL. Or perhaps even more than that.

We must recall all the FUD that used to be spread about Linux that said that any program made with gcc would also have to be licensed under the GPL. What is different about the reasoning here?

Which is not to say that the claims here are wrong, but just that I would be rather happier if he had not only said, "This is why I am right in this case" but also given a rather clearer line on "And if this were different I would be wrong..."

Comment What a perfect way to prove.... (Score 1) 95

What a perfect way to prove just how fundamentally broken the technologies of the web are. Content, arguments, scripts,'s all just one big mess. I got to the point about hosting content on separate domains to avoid some XSS attacks and thought: when the security *fixes* look like kludges, something is very, very wrong.

Comment Good Grief! (Score 1) 291

I was going to post a comment on their website, but they will only allow comments from "Supporters".

These guys just can't have it both ways. Either they want a licence fee that Google won't pay, in which case they must surely be happy to see the content blocked, or else they want to be on Google/Youtube's servers, in which case they are going to have to be flexible about the licence fee thing.

The completely unsustainable position is to say, as they seem to be, "you have to carry our content because that is good for our performers, but if you do you must pay this fee."

Computers can figure out all kinds of problems, except the things in the world that just don't add up.