A Positive Outcome from the Apple Ebook Judgement

Say what you will about the ruling in the Apple e-Book price fixing case, at least one outcome will be beneficial to actual humans:

Apple will have to let rival retailers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble include links to their online bookstores from inside their apps under the terms of a Department of Justice proposal that was published on Aug. 2. Apple does not allow apps to link to outside stores.

Buying Kindle books on iOS has been the user experience equivalent of being flogged with a rubber hose since Amazon was forced to take out their store link a year or two back. 

Instapaper or Pocket

Instapaper is a better reading experience.

Pocket has a better user experience.

Instapaper lets you share articles without promoting itself.

Pocket has a better sharing feature set but uses branded URLs and mentions itself when sharing.

Instapaper charges a buck for the full feature set.

Pocket must be a front for the mafia or some kind of human smuggling operation. Because it’s free.

Instapaper feels like it got a little stale but could become even better if Betaworks does a good job.

Pocket feels modern but will likely have to make changes to make money.

Instapaper is used by the Head Nerds.

Pocket is used by the proletariat.

Guess I’ll just play Clash of Clans.

Neocities is the New Geocities

Remember Geocities? Remember when you made fun of Geocities after it went away and we were all so smug and advanced and didn’t need Smashing Pumpkins Webrings anymore? Then remember how everything got really boring? Kyle Drake does: 

We used to call it “surfing” the web, and that was actually a good way to describe it. There was a certain adventure to the activity – a fun and excitement in exploring the unknown.

Go to a Facebook profile, and ponder what we have now. Instead of having adventures into the great unknowns of the web, we instead now spend most of our time on social networks: boring, suburban gated communities, where everybody’s “profile” looks exactly the same, and presents exactly the same content, in the same arrangement. Rarely do we create things on these networks; Instead, we consume, and report on our consumption. The uniformity and blandness rival something out of a Soviet bloc residential apartments corridor. And now adding to that analogy, we’ve found out that our government is actually spying on us while we’re doing it, in ways the Stasi could only dream of. The web we have today is a sad, pathetic, consumption-oriented digital iron curtain, and we need to change that.

His solution is to create a new version of Geocities. A place where people have complete control over what their website looks like and their privacy. His full rantifesto can be found here.   

Hat Tip: Bud

Your Personal Data Isn’t Worth Jack

The Internet is great for things like sending email, looking up sports scores, and maintaining hugely overinflated egos.

It’s also a place where you can shamelessly self-promote using other people’s hard work. A place to show-off the wing of the plane you’re flying on, to humble brag about slow service at the BMW dealership, and to otherwise output the random sloshing of chemicals in your head as expertise.

WingShot + City Scape Bonus Points

But now that you know SUPER SECRET GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATIONS will stop at nothing for your data, it’s tempting to start thinking big. Maybe head over to ebay. Maybe start franchising. How fresh is your personal logo? Is it the right time to sell? After all, we are Superstar Interneters. Probably only one or two tweets away from hanging with Kanye in the South of France or speaking at Tedx Deluth. If Obama doesn’t read my updates first thing in the morning, he’s surely gotten there by noon…

And then you find out that everything you’ve ever poured into the Internet is worth less than the resale value of a Safeway coupon. And you get back to filling out your TPS reports like a good drone.

General information about a person, such as their age, gender and location is worth a mere $0.0005 per person, or $0.50 per 1,000 people. A person who is shopping for a car, a financial product or a vacation is more valuable to companies eager to pitch those goods. Auto buyers, for instance, are worth about $0.0021 a pop, or $2.11 per 1,000 people.

NSA Leak Could Be Bad Business For U.S. Tech Companies

People around the world now know that these companies are turning over to the government some of the personal data they have gathered during the course of doing business. Their reputations may suffer as a result.

“The dream is over,” says Richard Stiennon, an industry analyst who covers American technology companies. “The era of U.S. tech dominance in everything from servers to routers to the cloud is facing a crisis of confidence,” Stiennon wrote in a recent column for Forbes magazine.

So … I guess now would be a bad time bring up privacy and Google Glass?