The scalpers’ days may be numbered, though. Ticket resellers are moving out of the shadows and onto Web sites that aim to serve as trustworthy marketplaces for fans with tickets they can’t use or resellers who buy in bulk.
[W]ith new technology that can send individualized ads to cable boxes, candidates will soon have an unprecedented ability to send their images into voters’ living rooms while tweaking their voice, appearance and policy focus to match each viewer’s predilections.
In short, voters’ race, income, marital status and favorite brands could soon determine exactly what they learn about political candidates while watching cable TV.
And some wishful thinking?
The degree to which candidates can vary their messages is likely to be limited by an increasingly watchful blogosphere, says Tobe Berkovitz, an advertising professor who teaches political campaigning at Boston University.
“That’s the thing about this modern, interactive, blogged, YouTubed environment,” he says. “You can’t send messages that conflict.”
When people are given the opportunity to create a fantasy world, they can and do defy the laws of gravity (you can fly in Second Life), but not of economics or human nature. Players in this digital, global game don’t have to work, but many do. They don’t need to change clothes, fix their hair, or buy and furnish a home, but many do. They don’t need to have drinks in their hands at the virtual bar, but they buy cocktails anyway, just to look right, to feel comfortable.
Second Life residents find ways to make money so they can spend it to do things, look impressive, and get more stuff, even if it’s made only of pixels. In a place where people should never have to clean out their closets, some end up devoting hours to organizing their things, purging, even holding yard sales.
“Why can’t we break away from a consumerist, appearance-oriented culture?” said Nick Yee, who has studied the sociology of virtual worlds and recently received a doctorate in communication from Stanford. “What does Second Life say about us, that we trade our consumerist-oriented culture for one that’s even worse?”
The House approved the most sweeping changes to United States patent law in more than half a century on Friday in a victory for computer companies like Microsoft and finance companies like Goldman Sachs.
The legislation, approved 220 to 175, would make patents harder to obtain and easier to challenge and is intended to curtail litigation by limiting where patent owners can file suit and how much they can collect in damages.
[…] “It is a horror story for American inventors and a windfall for thieves,” said Representative Dana Rohrabacher, Republican of California. “Foreign and domestic technology thieves are licking their chops.”
[…] In litigation, it would limit where patent suits could be filed so that cases are not concentrated in court districts deemed favorable to plaintiffs, create a new way to calculate damages to reflect the contribution of the invention to the overall product and allow immediate appeals of court rulings on the interpretation of patent terms while cases are proceeding.
Piracy is, of course, a huge problem, wrote Nate Anderson of Ars Technica (arstechnica.com). “It’s just that the level of concern is out of proportion to how well the industry is actually doing.” Studios, he added, should “make it easy for users to buy and use the legitimate product.”
“Think of how much more they could earn by adopting smarter business models to combat piracy in the marketplace, rather than the courts.”
It’s the principle of the thing, right?