December 14, 2006

Gartner Prognosticates [9:59 am]

And predicts unhappy things — or is it just wishful thinking: Gartner predicts Vista to be last major Windows

Gartner said it believes that by 2010, 60 percent of worldwide mobile phone users will be “trackable” via an emerging “follow-me Internet” technology as growing demands for national safety and civil protection relax some privacy limitations.

Marketing incentives will also push users to forgo privacy concerns, it said.

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MP3 Patent Fight [9:56 am]

SanDisk shrugs off Berlin court ruling in MP3 spat - pdf

Memory card and MP3 music player producer SanDisk said on Thursday a legal battle with MP3 patent holders is ongoing and shrugged off a statement from a patent pool firm claiming a judicial victory.

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Some Cultural Forensics at Tower Records [7:42 am]

Lessons from Tower’s leftovers - pdf

As its going-out-of business sale enters its last throes, 40% off on all CDs has given way to 70% off. Prices may go even lower before the flagship store closes its doors for good, perhaps as soon as this weekend.

[...] Why is Michael Bublé’s shelf stripped bare and Barry Manilow’s chock-full? Did Bublé write the songs that make the whole world sing? Imagine getting a hip replacement and being replaced by some hip replacement. Oh well. In the volatile world of pop music, you have to be strong. You have to be invincible. So why is Helen Reddy still up for grabs?

Barbra Streisand — available!

Paris Hilton — sold out! (In more ways than one.)

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“Cool!” — But How Does It Work? [7:25 am]

And why I should care: Nike+iPod raises RFID privacy concerns

“Basically, the kit contains a transmitter that you stick in your sneakers and a receiver you attach to your iPod. This allows you to track things like time, distance, pace and calories burned. Pretty clever,” Schneier wrote on a blog post titled “Tracking People by their Sneakers,” published Tuesday. “However, it turns out that the transmitter in your sneaker can be read up to 60 feet away.”

[...] “To me, the real significance of this work is how easy it was,” Schneier said. “Unless we enact some sort of broad law requiring companies to add security into these sorts of systems, companies will continue to produce devices that erode our privacy through new technologies. Not on purpose, not because they’re evil–just because it’s easier to ignore the externality than to worry about it.”

Related, from yesterday’s Globe: Locating pals at MIT, privately - pdf - the iFind site

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Trying To Prise Open The Oyster [7:21 am]

I don’t recall that Bayh-Dole was a university initiative, but I haven’t really focused on its legislative history, either: I.B.M. and Universities Plan Collaboration

The initiative, which I.B.M. is expected to announce today, is a break with the usual pattern of corporate-sponsored research at universities that typically involves lengthy negotiations over intellectual property rights.

The projects are also evidence that American companies and universities are searching for ways to work together more easily and less hampered by legal wrangling about who holds the patents to research. Those negotiations, according to specialists, can take a year or more — slowing the pace of innovation and prompting companies to team with researchers in foreign countries.

[...] “Universities have made life increasingly difficult to do research with them because of all the contractual issues around intellectual property,” said Stuart Feldman, vice president for computer science at I.B.M.’s research laboratories. “We would like the universities to open up again.”

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Targeted, Viral Marketing [7:18 am]

Continuing to push the envelope cited in Turow’s Niche Envy: Online, P.& G. Gets a Little Crazy

Marketers are eager to experiment with those new methods because it is increasingly difficult to get the attention of busy, jaded consumers with conventional television commercials and print advertisements. Also, nontraditional campaigns can use technology that enables them to be aimed more precisely at the audiences that would most appreciate them — and avoid those who might not get the joke.

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