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November 17, 2005

Searls’ On Metaphors, the Internet and Fighting for the Future [8:29 pm]

This is too long to excerpt from, but it’s (changed my mind)

Worth reading more than once: Saving the Net: How to Keep the Carriers from Flushing the Net Down the Tubes

To sum up, the Net has all these natures:

  1. transport system (pipes)

  2. place (or world)

  3. publishing system

–and others as well. But those aren’t at war with one another, and that’s what matters most.

Right now #1 is at war with #2 and #3, and that war isn’t happening only in the media and in congressional hearing rooms. It’s happening in our own heads. When we talk about “delivering content to consumers through the Net”, rather than “selling products to customers on the Net”, we take sides with #1 against #2. We unconsciously agree that the Net is just a piping system. We literally devolve: our lungs turn to gills, our legs turn into flippers, and we waddle back into the sea–where we are eaten by sharks.

What I’m talking about here isn’t “just semantics” or trivial in any other way. It’s fundamental, especially to lawmaking and regulation.

[...] Advocating and saving the Net is not a partisan issue. Lawmakers and regulators aren’t screwing up the Net because they’re “Friends of Bush” or “Friends of Hollywood” or liberals or conservatives. They’re doing it because one way of framing the Net–as a transport system for content–is winning over another way of framing the Net–as a place where markets and business and culture and governance can all thrive. [...] Freedom, independence, the sovereignty of the individual, private rights and open frontiers are a few among many values shared by progressives and conservatives. All are better supported, in obvious ways, by the Net as a place rather than as a transport system.

[Via Slashdot's Flushing the Net Down the Tubes]

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Be Afraid. Be Very, Very Afraid. [8:07 pm]

Real Story of the Rogue Rootkit

The story to pay attention to here is the collusion between big media companies who try to control what we do on our computers and computer-security companies who are supposed to be protecting us.

[...] What do you think of your antivirus company, the one that didn’t notice Sony’s rootkit as it infected half a million computers? And this isn’t one of those lightning-fast internet worms; this one has been spreading since mid-2004. Because it spread through infected CDs, not through internet connections, they didn’t notice? This is exactly the kind of thing we’re paying those companies to detect — especially because the rootkit was phoning home.

But much worse than not detecting it before Russinovich’s discovery was the deafening silence that followed. When a new piece of malware is found, security companies fall over themselves to clean our computers and inoculate our networks. Not in this case.

[...] What happens when the creators of malware collude with the very companies we hire to protect us from that malware?

[...] Who are the security companies really working for? It’s unlikely that this Sony rootkit is the only example of a media company using this technology. Which security company has engineers looking for the others who might be doing it? And what will they do if they find one? What will they do the next time some multinational company decides that owning your computers is a good idea?

These questions are the real story, and we all deserve answers.

Slashdot’s Real Story of the Rogue Rootkit; also GrokLaw’s MS’ Reaction to Sony’s Rootkit Raises Some Questions; also Slashdot’s DVD Jon’s Code In Sony Rootkit? (also Did Sony ‘rootkit’ pluck from open source?

CNet’s summary page for their coverage: Will Sony’s DRM nightmare affect future policies? (we can hope!)

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Forbes Reports iTunes Flat Pricing To End? [8:02 pm]

EMI Says Apple’s Jobs Will Change ITunes Pricing [pdf]

Today EMI Group boss Alain Levy said at press conference today that he believed Jobs would introduce multiple price points for iTunes music within the next year. Apple (nasdaq: AAPL - news - people )officials were unavailable for comment. If Levy is correct, the new pricing scheme would mark a turnaround for Jobs, who has argued that a buck a song was an easy to understand proposition for consumers and a victory for the music business, which has been calling for the move for the past several months.

Slashdot’s Apple iTunes to End Flat Fee Pricing?

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