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Internet Geometry

If you are not living on the edge, you are taking up too much room.

When you are on the edge there are no sides.

Cookieless Monster Privacy Invasion

From the 2013 IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy, comes this report on browser fingerprinting.

Cookieless Monster:
Exploring the Ecosystem of Web-based Device Fingerprinting [PDF]

HatTip Metafilter

You can find out what information your browser shares with sites using Panopticlick Created by the EFF.
Panopticlick tests your browser to see how unique it is based on the information it will share with sites it visits.
Surprising amount of information.

If Only

Pavlov Poke
Hopelessly addicted to email, social networking, or other online distractions?
Robert R. Morris and Dan McDuff created Pavlov Poke to wean themselves off Facebook and finish their dissertations.

Got to Facebook get Electric shock……if only

The Amazon Washington Post

The news that Jeff Bezos whose Amazon.com has changed the face of retail marketing with books, music,DVD’s and now just about everything else including kitchen sinks,has bought the Washington Post has the Internet in an uproar.

My friend George Snell over at Hightalk.net made these observations:

Here are some facts about the news business that ALL of us are going to have to come to grips with:

Consumers, especially those under the age of 30, will no longer pay for news. Not in print, not even online. For them, news has always been free – a simple search and click on Google or a link embedded in their Twitter and Facebook feeds.

Consumers no longer care where their news comes from. They use search engines and social media channels to find and discover information. Fewer people are going directly to news destinations. This is why news sites that specialize in SEO – The Huffington Post and Buzzfeed – are soaring to the top while newspapers (which continue to put content behind firewalls) continue to lose.

Fewer consumers understand (or even care) about the difference between “reporting” and “journalism.” Or, in fact, between propaganda and news.

Brand marketing is how news is now delivered as the rise of talk radio, FOX News, MSNBC and blogging attest. Many consumers see little to no difference between getting “news” from Rush Limbaugh or getting it from the New York Times.

Nobody – not Google, not Amazon.com, not anybody – has figured out a successful and profitable business model for selling news and journalism in the age of the Internet. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, but right now there isn’t one (unless you count subsidized journalism like PBS and NPR).
Source: Hightalk.net

While George’s points are all valid, (considering I haven’t bought a newspaper in over 10 years,and unless it is online or in the real world, and the closest I get to newsprint for news are grocery circulars addressed to resident, which find themselves in the recycle bin, and I am light years past 30) I think that JB is looking at a different game.

One of the other things so many of the internuts and webheads either never learned, forgot, or ignore is the physicality and permanence of the printed word. Every word that you are reading is because someone put a book in your face and trained you to make connections between the characters to the thoughts you have. The next time you pick up that book it is the same. It hasn’t been edited, overwritten or deleted. Even today with the changing consumption of news, the printed document regardless of format, is still gold. Check your desk and tell me there is no paper.

The theories abound. All of the lunatic ravings that Bezos is gonna have a bully pulpit for some crypto liberal disgorgement of views opposed to reality is so much bullshit. That JB will drive the final stake into the heart of print journalism, which has with the help of the internet put newspapers on the endangered media list.

Newspapers have done it to themselves. Journalism especially in print has shot itself in the foot maintaining their ex catherdra pronouncements and writings with “we have seen the source, trust us”. We all know that we can fact check their ass six ways from Sunday. Guys like Jason Blair don’t help either.
As for journalists they are a glut on the market. content is not a problem. As for having journalists running the paper, having the inmates running the asylum comes to mind.

Bezos is a businessman. He wants to be in every home.
He started with tangible products, books, cd’s, dvd’s. yeah it killed the big bookstores, but outlet and remainder stores are moving right along. Hell you can even buy a kitchen sink at amazon.
He has already reduced the cost of delivery for amazon products to almost zip.

Will he kill the physical paper? Depends. Newspapers have just begun linking and presenting source materials to validate their stories. they ripped that off from us old linker’s and hippies:) The Post could become an Kindle Exclusive. Probably the worst outcome.

Newspapers have had an intimate relationship with the areas they have served.
The most valuable thing is the subscription data. Present and especially the past.
Names and addresses of everyone who ever ordered the paper.

The second most valuable thing is the physical distribution data. From press to doorstep. Like every other newspaper, the classifieds cash cow all went to craigslist. What does it really cost to print. What does it cost to get from the end of the press into your hand. vehicles, distributors, paperboys.

One of the things that newspapers have is their archives. stories, pieces that printed, spiked stories, notes, photos, and work products that did not make it to the front page. This is worth the purchase price alone.

No what I think he is gonna do is look at getting subscription numbers up and offering discounts at amazon for subscribers and expanding the delivery role to include your purchases with your news.
He doesn’t have square miles of fulfillment centers to house products.

Buying the Washington post is a brilliant move, on a number of fronts. He now has access to the highest level of political power in this country as well as their spouses, and every federal dept, staff and aides, pages, and friends.
He can also expand the Arts and Entertainment Sections with robot puke QR squares for books music videos and so on from the print editions. Hell the WaPo can become an Amazon Affiliate and make some money for itself.

If he can do this in Washington, when these folks go back home they will remember and probably scream for it in their home towns.

I can see the Amazon Post Trucks(like the ice cream trucks do now) cruising neighborhoods selling papers and delivering products. In the afternoon for evening delivery.
If you want to see if this will work, watch for bezos ordering a 1000 vehicles for delivery. Manufacturers will be screaming for the business. An example is uhaul and ryder rental vehicles. They look like their civilian counterparts but are built differently. something i picked up in my wrecking yard days.

When amazon buys fedex, ups or privatizes the us postal service, remember you heard it here first.

Copyright, Click Wrap and the Fourth Circuit Court

Copyright in the United States was originally enumerated as a short term monopoly for authors as a method of defining ownership of ideas and concepts(aka ‘Intellectual Property’) and also creating opportunity for financial wealth for authors in the “short term” and increasing the intellectual wealth of the society as a whole upon expiration of its term, with assignment to the Public Domain. I use “short term” advisedly as US Copyright has been savagely extended for the benefit of the so called Entertainment Industry.

Click Wrap is the term used to define an electronic agreement between an owner and a user. Most commonly found on the internet when signing up for such things as social media sites like Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, and registration on sites that allow interaction like commenting, uploading images, and other forms of interaction. In the heat to become one of the cool kids and or join the gang, folks blow past these agreements in their rush to belong, assigning licenses and giving up rights to their individual property. This has happened time and time again.

These “agreements” all contain the following:

For content that is covered by intellectual property rights (like photos and videos), you specifically give us the following permission, you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to For content that is covered by intellectual property rights (like photos and videos), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use, copy, publicly perform or display, distribute, modify, translate, and create derivative works of (“use”) any content you post on or in connection with Facebook. of (“use”) any content you post on or in connection with (Insert Your Social Site Name Here).

Basically while you maintain ‘ownership’, these sites can use, copy, publicly perform or display, distribute, modify, translate, and create derivative works of any content you post Derivative Works can be as simple as resizing an image to just renaming it, which if you ever used Typepad was their MO. Also is the game of removing metadata in an image, further obscuring actual ownership. Also a claim can be made for Derivative work status, creating something that you cannot claim. Sort of like filing the serial number off a gun or changing the VIN Number of a car.

Also understand that these ‘agreements’ are subject to change at any time. Be aware that these fulfill all the requirement of a contract between you and them. And in almost every case You Lose.

Which brings us to this article from Copyhype:
Fourth Circuit: Clickwrap Agreement Fulfills Writing Requirement for Copyright Transfer

The important tidbit:

The underlying dispute in this case is between two competing real estate listing businesses, Metropolitan Regional Information Systems, Inc. (“MRIS”) and American Home Realty Network, Inc. (“AHRN”). Plaintiff MRIS, located in Maryland, maintains a database of property listings to which real estate brokers and agents subscribe. These subscribers upload their listings to the MRIS database, and they agree via acceptance of the website’s terms of use to assign ownership of the copyrights in whatever photographs they upload to MRIS. Defendant AHRN, located in California, operates a nationwide real estate search engine. MRIS alleges that AHRN displayed real estate listings that contained copyrighted photographs from the MRIS database, and it filed suit claiming direct and indirect copyright infringement by AHRN.

MRIS is a social network for real estate agents with one important distinction: Their click wrap agreement assigns copyrights to them. Which was used as club to sue AHRN for copyright infringement. Due to the nature of click wrap contracts MRIS won.

Your really need to read the whole thing.

You should be very careful who you play with.