Older blog entries for dmarti (starting at number 418)

Security links

Some recent thought-provoking articles on security.

Instead of annoying CAPTCHAs, try "Design, Limit and Trapdoor" to limit damage from problem users: DLT is better than CAPTCHA

Roll your own middlebox: Low power silent firewall (and maybe help fix the broken Internet).

DRM is not really security, but often mixed up with it. Must-read from Charles Stross: More on DRM and ebooks. Joe Brockmeier: Publishers Starting to Reject e-Book DRM

Mozilla Persona gains features: Streamlining Login with Privacy Policy and Terms of Service APIs

Pay attention to that Persona thing. Doing passwords right is hard. Everything you ever wanted to know about building a secure password reset feature, How Companies Can Beef Up Password Security

Steven M. Bellovin on government-backed malware: Flame On! Two from Brian Krebs: EU to Banks: Assume All PCs Are Infected and How to Break Into Security, Schneier Edition.

This looks like a lot of work to do within existing web frameworks: Database level security in webapps (so do we need better frameworks?)

Syndicated 2012-07-19 23:58:51 from Don Marti

Advertising link frenzy

Some links that came up in a recent email thread on Internet advertising, and some more that should have.

Start with Charles Stross: The inadmissible assumptions. "All advertising tends towards the state of spam." (I would disagree with this as long as there are advertising media that can be made scarce and expensive. The challenge is how to make that possible. In my humble opinion, you can't de-spamify Internet advertising, and thereby make it valuable, without massive improvements in privacy tools. Quora thread: What is the percentage of Internet users that employ AdBlock Plus or similar ad blocking plugins?)

Good counterpoint from Terence Kawaja: The Golden Age of Advertising Technology. From the inside, it looks as if all is well. Local maxima or bust!

Somehow, it looks as if Microsoft, of all companies, is starting to get the online advertising problem. All I can see from the outside is a promising combination of Tracking Protection and other privacy-enhancing measures on the browser side, and utter FAIL on the advertising side. Anybody any closer to making sense of this? Or are the browser and ad tech groups so separated that it's pointless to talk about "Microsoft" as a decision-making entity here?

Zeroing in on DNT:1

Do Not Track: It’s the user’s voice that matters

IAB’s Rothenberg: ‘Microsoft’s DNT Reversal Makes No Sense’

SOURCE: Microsoft May Abandon The Ad Business Over IE10 Fiasco (MSFT)

The Display Ad Market Is In Big Trouble

Enough about Redmond, Washington. No discussion of advertising on the Internet would be complete without some mention of the ad-infested Android platform.

Two useful pieces from Horace Dediu: Android Economics and The Android Income Statement

If you're not at the table, you're on the menu. Don Norman: Google doesn’t get people, it sells them.

Not all bad news, though: Android's Overblown Fragmentation Problem by Nick Bradbury makes a good point.

Get your head out of phone space anyway. Try The Phone Stack.

Some good discussion of that company your creepy ex-co-workers haven't killed yet. Michael Wolff: The Facebook Fallacy. "Facebook not only is on course to go bust but will take the rest of the ad-supported Web with it." Three follow-ups:

Doc Searls: After Facebook fails

Richard Stacy: Doc Searls, Michael Wolff and The Facebook Fairy

Benjamin Mako Hill: Why Facebook's Network Effects are Overrated

Robert Bruce says every company is a media company: Traditional Advertising is Truly Dead

Henry Blodget: Don't Mean To Be Alarmist, But The TV Business May Be Starting To Collapse - Business Insider

Think Different: Orbitz Discriminates Against Mac Users ... Just Like It Should Be Doing

Jerry Neumann breaks down the money in targeting: Your personal data is not worth anywhere near what you think it's worth

This makes sense to somebody, I guess: A Framework For The $10B+ Native Advertising Market. "Native advertising is defined as ad strategies that allow brands to promote their content into the endemic experience of a site in a non-interruptive, integrated way."

At least we have some promising news from the Journalism front. Frédéric Filloux: Lessons from ProPublica and How ProPublica changed investigative reporting. Just to show a good example of a ProPublica story: Inside the Investigation of Leading Republican Money Man Sheldon Adelson. Your winnings, sir.

Syndicated 2012-07-18 14:44:31 from Don Marti

Original Alt-Tab behavior in GNOME 3

As we should all know by now, Alt-Tab should cycle among open windows, not applications. GNOME 3 by default does the Wrong Thing, Mac OS style.

How to fix?

I was working on a lengthy set of instructions here, old-school style, with "apt-get" and stuff, and it would have been pretty awesome as such things go, but it turns out that the answer is:

  1. Go to this web page: AlternateTab

  2. Flip the little switch thingy from "off" to on".

  3. If you're curious about how or why this works, read this LWN article: Managing GNOME shell extensions.

To conclude, I would like to say: get off my lawn.

Syndicated 2012-07-15 14:55:37 from Don Marti

Rise of the New American Hipstertarian Consensus

Everybody go subscribe to Timothy B. Lee's blog on forbes.com (full feed available). Tech policy, zoning laws, politics, good stuff. A few recent items...

Social Distance and the Patent System: "Successful software entrepreneurs are a small fraction of the population, and most likely no judges of the Federal Circuit have close relationships with one. In contrast, every judge on the Federal Circuit knows numerous patent attorneys."

Dense enough to make traffic a mess, but not dense enough to support frequently-running transit: Silicon Valley Is Stuck In An Uncanny Valley Of Density

How Strong Property Rights Promote Social Equality: "People get to veto their neighbors’ land use decisions, and they’ve used that power to effectively prohibit anyone poorer than themselves from living in their neighborhoods."

Common sense on network policy in Adam Thierer, Infrastructure Socialist . "I think there’s less difference than Adam would probably like to admit between policies that force Verizon to 'share' its lines with other utility companies and policies that force Adam to 'share' his front yard with utility companies."

Corporations are groups of people with meetings and politics, not individuals of species Homo economicus. (Why this has to be news is another story) Seeing Like a Cable Company

Free the apartment builders! Are Growth Boundaries Responsible For High Housing Costs?

Arrr! Me gold! The Myth Of The Free-Market Gold Standard

Syndicated 2012-07-10 13:52:06 from Don Marti

d3wd will u teach me how 2 signal?

Russell Coker posts about advertising and signaling: Targeted Advertising.

User-targeted advertising is counterproductive because it fails to send a signal (More details: part 1 part 2).

The DNS Changer mess is an extreme example of low-value advertising—you can think of it as targeted to users of specific malware—but the same principle applies to all advertising that's tied to the user instead of the content. It's worth less and less as the targeting gets better.

So if targeting to users reduces signal, how can we increase signal?

Well, first of all we could increase the production values of the advertising itself. Advertising that clearly requires expense and skill makes a great signal.

The second way to signal, which is to attach the advertising to a resource that's difficult to produce, is probably generally the most useful. Russell suggests "sponsoring people who produce free things." This is what TV advertisers do. The resource doesn't even have to be free of charge. Readers pay for magazines that have a majority of ad pages. Because print ads are difficult to target by user, they're great signal, and people will pay money to get them. (Try that with online ads.)

Finally, we can send a signal by putting the advertising in front of a large audience. Buy a static billboard, TV commercial, or other medium that isn't easily targeted to individual users, and you're sending an difficult to fake, costly signal.

Any more?

Syndicated 2012-07-09 14:58:37 from Don Marti

Sunday morning good reads

Aaron Bialick: SF: Transbay Transit Center to Fill Downtown With People, Not Cars "The new Transbay Transit Center is expected to transform San Francisco’s downtown core by focusing new development around a massive regional transit hub in eastern SoMa."

Headline Snapshots: Supreme Court Health Care Decision How headline writers and web designers saw it.

Raw deal: Maine residents’ fight for unregulated food draws crackdown by David Gumpert at Grist. Eight Maine towns have "passed ordinances that explicitly allow local farmers and ranchers to sell their food — meat, eggs, unpasteurized milk, honey, veggies — directly to consumers within town borders, without state or federal licenses, permits, or regulations.

Scott Adams on an idea for an online system for organizing facts to debate about: Fact Bubbler

Mike Doughty on the economics of tour support for bands: Radiohead wouldn't exist without early major-label funding. The future won't bring new Radioheads. All I want to say here, truly, is: let's get used to it.

How environmentalists win by Bill Scher for Grist: "throughout American history, liberal advancements have been mainly achieved with corporate support, and not without."

How software-defined radio could revolutionize wireless by Timothy B. Lee. "Software-defined radio will make it possible to use the electromagnetic spectrum in fundamentally new ways" and here's a company that's working on it.

Office Buildings Add Cash Crops To Their Balance Sheet by Michael J. Coren at Co.EXIST. Rooftop gardening startup reports breaking even.

Syndicated 2012-07-08 14:19:13 from Don Marti

Hosting for non-PHP web applications

Did you know, that on the Internet, people who write like this: "saw yr pic!!! yr cute!!!" think I'm cute?

And, on the Internet, as Jeff Atwood points out, "If you want to produce free-as-in-whatever code that runs on virtually every server in the world with zero friction or configuration hassles, PHP is damn near your only option." No, wait, the cuteness one is bogus, and the PHP one is true.

Luke Plant writes, "It is perhaps the essential problem of PHP that a language that was designed to be a simple template language for non-programmers has turned into the work-horse of the web, and the network effects caused by adoption amongst amateurs have made it a language for professionals."

Want to code in something else? You can probably find Django-friendly hosts for not too much more than a decent PHP-only plan, but if you enjoy Go or another niche language, you'll probably need at least a virtual private server, which will cost you more, even from a low-priced source such as the new Google Compute Engine. No cheap hosting in this category.

After working through the installs for PHP and non-PHP applications, is PHP just easier to get set up? How much of PHP's popularity is from the network effect and how much is from the "FTP it into your DocumentRoot and change permissions until it works" deployment model? Heroku is teh awesome, but it's still harder than the screenshot-by-screenshot instructions on "Joe's $0.99 Web Hosting" for installing PHP applications.

Just for comparison, here are some good introductory non-PHP articles.

Introduction to Django

Python for the Web

On a repeatable dev project setup

Django Requirements for a project

Django Chuck: your powerful project punch button - Bastian Ballmann and Lukas Bünger

Static website generators

Schemaless Postgres in Django

Eleven Django blog engines you should know

I don't know. Is it network effect, or ease of deployment?

Bonus link: cgi-php: Well, that just about wraps it up for open-source

Syndicated 2012-07-06 14:38:38 from Don Marti

Here, Googlebot, have some links

(A bunch of articles that deserve a link, to feed the machines that help us find good stuff to read. Doing my part for semi-automated link propagation.)

Frequently Asked Questions About Filing for Temporal Bankruptcy by Curtis Edmonds

FBI: Smart Meter Hacks Likely to Spread

Open source is interoperable with smarter government at the CFPB

We Are Winning: How Pirate Parties Are Changing The World

Where's the Viewport Size Data?

Two Cheers for the JOBS Act

An Event Apart: Big Type Little Type

Simon Wardley on open source product strategy: Be Wary of Geeks Bearing Gifts

Mobile first frenzy: Why Jakob Nielsen Is Wrong About Mobile Websites Mobile Isn't the Lite Version Why We Shouldn’t Make Separate Mobile Websites

Save the Cato Institute, Save the World? - By Justin Logan

Collective Idea acquires Harmony from GitHub

Our take on Derby vs. Meteor

Property is Theft


Hyperaddictive stupid games.

Tech, Not Toys

Warren Ellis has guests: GUEST INFORMANT: Laurie Penny GUEST INFORMANT: Anonymous

Don’t Leave All the PR Work To Colombian Prostitutes

Why 500px Plus Has Photographers Fired Up

Why did MPAA exec join Internet Society?

Do Jubilee shares make any sense?

Rackspace Eats Its Own Dog Food With OpenStack

The Frand Wars: Who’s on First?

The Case for Crowdfunding

Working too Much is Stupid

The Prisoner’s Dilemma and the Folly of Keeping Technology Adoption Secret

‘Re-Platforming’ The Workplace: Welcome To Next-Gen IT

The Prison Labor Complex

Reports Reveal Two New Scandals in the Pepper-Spraying at UC Davis

Hardware Over People at the Pentagon (Again)

Review of “Version Control with Git” by Jon Loeliger

Programming fonts: proportional vs monospaced

Arctic Cable Could Cut Net Latency, Boost Profits

Court Won't Reinstate Suspended Sheriff

NYT Digital Lessons

The Future of Manufacturing is going all digital

Remember what happened after the Alamo: 18 Minutes On a Day in April

AT&T wields enormous power in Sacramento

Vast Mexico Bribery Case Hushed Up by Wal-Mart After Top-Level Struggle

Bullying the Nuns

Leave Your Cellphone at Home

Stop Shouting. Start Teaching.

A Closer Look At Font Rendering

Robert O'Callahan: Korea

University of Florida CISE: Now More Than Ever

Fuzzing for Security

Norway: Terrorism Fought With Song, Not Surveillance

Should Libertarians Chide Warren Buffett for Not Sending the Government Money?

David L. Schwartz: Prospectivity and Retroactivity in Patent Law

Matthew Garrett: Anatomy of a Fedora 17 ISO image

sigrok - cross-platform, open-source logic analyzer software with protocol decoder support

Interview: Libre Office is taking off 'like a rocket'

Microsoft and Barnes & Noble settle patent dispute; create new subsidiary

The Wal-Mart mess: Everybody does it (and we don’t mean bribery)

Lennart Poettering: The Most Awesome, Least-Advertised Fedora 17 Feature

Software industry reclaims open standards debate

Backroom Heroes – Are You One ?

Jim Gettys: Bufferbloat goings on…

Bliki: TestPyramid

Why the death of DRM would be good news

Debacle in Beijing

Bram Cohen: Engineering IP Telephony

Open Source Business: How to Support A Family of 5 By Running An Open Source Project

Asa Dotzler: The Firefox Roadmap: A Look at the Q1 and Q2, 2012 Goals

Charles Stross: The death of genre

Bram Cohen: TCP Sucks

Aaron Siego: new printer

My day doing everything the internet told me to

Fundamental Progress Solving Bufferbloat

Bitcoin Funded Debit Cards

Jeff Atwood: Please Don't Learn to Code

Robert Alsina: Hack English Instead

Jim Gettys: The Next Nightmare is Coming


Zero-Permission Android Applications part 2

Say No to Faux Bold

A Hippocratic Oath For Software Engineers?

U.S. Law Professors Cast Further Doubt on ACTA's Constitutionality - State Department Confirms No ACTA Pre-Review

How to write low garbage real-time Javascript

The Community Organizing Geeks Who Could Revolutionize Campaign Tech

IBM's Symphony code contribution

Move things with your mind: BrainGate robotic arm is controlled by brain waves

Three Days Before Elections, Largest German State Censors Pirate Party From The Net

Too hot for jobs


How to choose an Authenticated Encryption mode

Musings on the linux audio stack

Half the Battle Against DRM

See No Evil

Matthew Garrett: I've been a terrible person (and so have most of you)

US petition could tip the scales in favour of open access publishing | Dr Mike Taylor

A Glimpse Inside Google’s Data Centers

Jim Gettys: A Milestone Reached: CoDel is in Linux!

The Ada Initiative granted tax-exempt status in the U.S.

Supreme Court to Federal Circuit: Fix Ultramerical Decision

NTK, Fifteen Years On

BootlegMIC – A kick in the boot for your phone!

Can Private Equity Firms Like Bain Do Whatever They Want With the Companies They Buy?

Resilient Fitness: A Killer App for a Successful Life

Maybe it’s time to rethink how we fund broadband

Crowdfunding via customers is the new startup capital

Scott Adams: The Digital Crossover

Conservancy's Coordinate Compliance Efforts

Jonathan Coulton theme song to the new John Scalzi book: Redshirt

5 Predictions for the Future of Work and Happiness


VMDK Has Left the Building – Follow Up

Ron Paul Roundup: Paulites Cement Control in Nevada, More on Progress in Minnesota, Fed Audit Bill Up for Vote, and More

Senator Wyden Demands Access to Text of Secret International Agreements Regulating the Internet

Matthew Garrett: Implementing UEFI Secure Boot in Fedora

EP Committees Reject ACTA As Backlash Against Secretive IP Agreements Continues to Grow

Sweep the Sleaze: Critique

How Our Government Incentivizes the Overproduction of Junk Food

Ethiopia Introduces Deep Packet Inspection

SEO Isn't Magic - So Stop Doing SEO Tricks

Steven M. Bellovin on cyber warfare: Flame On!

Bruce Schneier: The Vulnerabilities Market and the Future of Security

What Is the Point of: Klout?

Critical vulnerability derails Ruby on Rails

Did Hollywood Not Use Available DMCA Tools Just To Pretend It Needed SOPA?

Open Goldberg Variations: free, open source recording and modern score of classical masterpiece

tl;dw: Stop mocking, start testing

Thoughts on Games

Unemployment Is Up. Why Is It So Hard to Find the Right Hires?

Hog Wild: Hunting Boars With Congress' Most Conservative Member

25,000 signatures and still rolling: Implications of the White House petition

Animated solution to the "Never gonna give you up" program problem

‘People, not books, died in the fire’

Seth Godin on not feeding the trolls, even on the inside: The Milgram extension

Why we don’t need the government to protect us from online tracking

Facebook open sources internal C++ library

Mitt Romney’s inflated fearmongering

Small-Scale Slaughterhouses Aim To Put The 'Local' Back In Local Meat

Planting Entrepreneurial Innovation in Inner Cities

Maybe We’d Behave Better With Horrible Winters

Tor Books Announces E-book Store: Doctorow, Scalzi & Stross Talk DRM-Free

Death of the Queen's English Society

Netflix announces Open Connect CDN

The High Cost of 'Too Big to Behave' Banks

Obama’s and Brennan’s “Kill List”

Building Abundant Ponds, Chinese Wheelbarrows, and DiY Algae Reactors

The Great Wall of . . . Arizona (Miller)

The Problem With Public Sector Unions—and How to Fix It

Bringing the Battlefield to the Border

Australian Pirate Party Sets Course for Parliament

ObamaCare on Trial

25 Reasons This Is The Best Time To Be A Storyteller

CentOS Project Release Times

A Case for Responsive Résumés

Thomas Hodgskin: Libertarian Extraordinaire, Part 3

The Silencing of Maya

Conditional-tier rendering; The battle of Server + innerHTML vs. JS MVC + JSON

The Coming Age of the Context Engine

A New Privacy, Pt. 2: Disclosure (Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don’t)

Rich Bodo on job ads: Rock genre terminology considered asinine

Review of "The Little Book Of Semaphores" by Allen B. Downey

Jonathan Coulton on the ethics of copying: Emily and David

The Linux Graphics Stack

John Regehr celebrates a powerful testing tool, jsfunfuzz: 1500+ Bugs from One Fuzzer

Why Bad Jobs-or No Jobs-Happen to Good Workers

Spark update: responsive layouts in Drupal

Because Everyone (Still) Needs a Router

The First Draft of History – Will Be Vaporized

How to Bounce Back from Increasingly Extreme Weather Events

Optical Theremin – Demo

Freedom of Speech and Information Produced Using Computer Algorithms

Joey Hess: trying obnam

In Defense of Free Music: A Generational, Ethical High Road Over the Industry’s Corruption and Exploitation

The Guide to Developing a Content Strategy for "Boring" Industries

The Navy and a Sanctioned Class Divide

Gabriella Coleman: Helping Hackers Infiltrate Academia

The Developers Guide to PCI Compliant Web applications

Lennart Poettering: systemd for Administrators, Part XV

Pantheon Raises $5M Series A From Foundry

H & Ahem: Cheap clothing hurts the planet, the economy, and your style

Wellcome Trust to penalise scientists who don't embrace open access

Jamie and Jeff’s Birth Plan by Paul William Davies

Take That Crowdfunding Cynics! Rally Raises Largest AngelList Deal Ever

Why Don’t Americans Take More Vacations? Blame It on Independence Day

Syndicated 2012-06-30 15:54:12 from Don Marti

Science FAIL

Again with the hand-wringing over the fact that the social, SEO, and publicity power of alternative medicine is kicking Science's behind: Dr. Google and Mr. Hyde by David Gorski.

This makes zero sense. If Science matters, why are scientists sending important research to locked-down proprietary journals? The only information that the general public is going to get from that is, "I'm running a large scary organization, and I'm trying to do something evil to you in a sneaky way."

Prof. Peter Coles says it best: Open access will be crucial to maintain public confidence in science.

Stuart Shieber at Harvard (which has journal access problems of its own) has a helpful list: Editorial board members: What to ask of your journal

Common objections to Open Access answered: Persistent myths about open access scientific publishing by Dr. Mike Taylor.

Or what the hell, we could all just skip the Scientific literature and read some dude's blog about taking drugs to get smarter, or watch Science go the way of Art.

Bonus links: Open access is the future of academic publishing, says Finch report

Online education startups: a field guide

Air Conditioning Is Boiling the Earth and Making Us Weak: An Interview with Author Stan Cox

Timothy B. Lee: Two Views of Innovation

Science and Scientism by Paul Feyerabend

Notes on Douglas W. Allen's The Institutional Revolution from Jeff Jarvis: The (continuing) institutional revolution

Syndicated 2012-06-25 15:13:55 from Don Marti

The Intention Economy: bogus?

Just finished reading The Intention Economy by Doc Searls. Here's a good interview with Doc about the book. I've been a commenter and mailing list poster in some of the conversations with Doc that have led up to this book, and have written here about some related topics, so I'm mentioned a few times. (Hey, Googlebot, how much juice do I get for a URL in a hardcover from Harvard Business Review Press? I hope it's a lot.)

Some things in here seem bogus, but the book (and the long series of blog posts from Doc that led up to it) is really more just optimistic, and depends on some other important trends. Here are the main reasons why I thought the Intention Economy trend is, or at least has been, bogus.

Unintended buying: I can form the intention to go buy a hard drive, walk all the way to the back of Fry's, and pick up the drive, but then I have to walk all the way to the front of the store, past all the shiny stuff. Fry's is probably breaking even on the hard drive, since it was easy for me to shop on price before coming to the store, but how would they make a living just selling me the drive, and not tempting me into dropping some extra money on the high-margin items? Another way to express this problem is that the intention-forming self does not have appropriate purchasing controls in place over the money-spending self. So an initial reaction to this book could easily be something like: what, are you crazy, if we only sold what people intended to buy, we'd go broke!

Price discrimination: There are really three kinds: obvious, confuseopoly, and CRM-based*. The obvious kind is rules like "pay extra for a flight without a Saturday stay" or "get a free Git repository if it's public, pay to make it private." What Scott Adams calls confusopoly is making price and terms confusing enough that customers can't easily compare vendors. Finally, a company can practice price discrimination by just keeping a database of people and offering different prices based on what the company knows about the individual.

Intention Economy works great with the first kind of price discrimination. You can match up your conditions with published pricing and save a lot of shopping hassle. But it's pretty much the opposite of confuseopoly. For Citibank and AT&T, moving away from confuseopoly toward Intention Economy would just be leaving money on the table.

The second big problem with the Intention Economy is, if you're negotiating a transaction, doesn't the participant who has more information tend to get the better deal? What is the incentive for a customer to express intention? There's some basic information that you'd like to have the system distribute to vendors for you, just to save typing (for example, your pants size and shipping address) but the actual intention information could easily be something that you want the vendor to have wrong. From the buyer's point of view, the reaction could be something like, what, why should I tell the vendor that I really need something, when if I look like a semi-interested window-shopper, I might get a better offer?

Summary of obvious bogosity: So, two problems. First, if I'm selling stuff, I want to sell to the lower regions of the customer's brain, not just the top part that polices the making of lists and filling out of personal RFPs. (this is especially true for complex IT products that have the most logical-sounding marketing, but that's another story.) Second, I want to put the customer into a price discrimination bucket, accurately, and I don't trust customer-expressed intentions to make that work.

So, the Intention Economy not being bogus depends on a couple of other trends. First, mindful spending. Intention Economy gets a whole lot more relevant when people put in effort to make spending actually match intention. Dave Ramsey is the head spokesman for this promising trend, for now. Culturally, Dave talks the language of red-state suburban church-goers, so he may not play well in Cambridge or Santa Barbara. (Who's the hipster Dave Ramsey?)

The other trend that helps with the Intention Economy is the increased attention to Internet privacy. All of the popular browsers have a design problem that makes intrusive tracking easier than it needs to be. But more and more people are paying attention to this area, so we're likely to get improved browser security policies. Tracking is already getting harder. Today, ad blockers are the only practical web privacy tool, and one startup claims that 9.26 percent of all ad impressions are getting blocked. As tracking gets more expensive and less accurate, price discrimination based on it gets less and less worthwhile.

I have no idea what's going to happen around confuseopoly. One of the problems with online discussion moving to ad-funded sites is that online fora are a great way to break through confuseopoly, and big commercial social sites don't have an incentive to work on this. Will a social site catch on without the backing of confuseopoly-mongers?

Anyway, The Intention Economy is a solid book, but in order for what's in it to actually happen, we're going to need those other positive changes: more mindful spending, a shift back to the user side on Internet privacy, and stronger independent online fora.

  • Price discrimination is not necessarily a bad thing. Many products wouldn't exist without it. Let's say it costs $50 to sail a certain boat from one island to another. The boat holds 10 passengers. There are four people who are willing to pay $10 for a ride, and six who are willing to pay $4. If the captain sets a fare of $10, he gets four passengers, loses $10 on the voyage, and quits. If he sets a fare of $4, he gets 10 passengers, loses $10 on the voyage, and quits. If he figures out a way to successfully discriminate in pricing, and charge $9 to the people who are willing to pay $10, and $3 to the people who are willing to pay $4, he makes a $7 profit and everyone saves $1. "Freemium" is just the degenerate case of price discrimination.

Syndicated 2012-06-24 15:42:18 from Don Marti

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