Posts filed under “Technology”

G2P: Who will the RIAA sue over this?

While many people are rightly watching MySpace’s plan to to sell music from unsigned artists directly to consumers, they may be overlooking another challenge to the major labels: G2P

What? Never heard of G2P? You will. It is a form of "Google Hacking" used to locate MP3s on various systems left open to the internet. The initial site is G2P.org (http://g2p.org/), which launched early this Summer.

The coding isn’t terribly complex, and we should expect other sites could follow. How hard would it be to set up the same hack for video:  Windows Meida Player (.WMP) or Quicktime (.MOV)?

The G2P hack’s author describes is as follows:

"Think of P2P file sharing, except Google is one of those people. Using some very special searches, we are able to search for specific files (and file types) using Google. We have covered most of the searches this in the previous article Google Hacking. What G2P is currently tuned to find is MP3s, eBooks, and gives the ability to use Google as a Proxy. These searches alone are nothing secret, but G2P puts them easy to use (and remember) interface."

G2p_1So far, knowledge of G2P has been limited to only a few geek enthusiast sites: iHacked, Digg, P2P webblog, Binary Revolution. Given that colleges are now back in session, I susupect that we will see a rise in G2P activity over the next few months. 

What about the legality of this? Any IT professional will tell you how much "private" data, files, passwords, and information people accidentally leave exposed to the world. "Always on" broadband has many people not realizing how much they are incidentally revealing to the world.

G2P takes advantage of that, as well as the Google-bot spidering of servers. According to the Peer-to-Peer Weblog, the G2P hack "uses a default behavior of the Apache webserver to identify pages that have been indexed in Google containing the standard Apache boilerplate that is generated when a published directory has no index file."

Its hard to see how anything left in a public space where it could be easily found and copied is illegal. And, since G2P is not limited to searching only copyrighted media, it has "substantial non-infringing uses."  That’s the key legal test from the Sony VCR decsion, to the more recent Grokster case.

Given all the music on the net legally placed their by artists who are looking for exposure and buzz — the entire success of MySpace is essentially one giant non-infringing use – its apparent this will pass the test that Grokster failed.

Even if it turns out that there is some technical crime committed — something I highly doubt at this moment — good luck prosecuting it. Google does a few gazillion searches a week, and if Justice Department Porn freaks couldn’t demand to see their logs, I doubt any broad fishing expedition from the RIAA will be tolerated. "Um, can you give us all the searches done with the phrase "MP3" in it, right away? Thanks."   

>

There are two morals to this: First, the major label business model of selling polycarbonate discs — as opposed to marketing Music — remains dubious at best. As Jeff Howe noted in Wired earlier this month:

"The music industry is suffering. The major record labels – which rely on CDs for most of their revenue – are in decline. CD sales in the US have dropped more than 20 percent from a peak of $13.4 billion in 2000.

But don’t be fooled: The market for music is thriving. With the rise of peer-to-peer networks, the iPod, and other digital technologies – plus a 100 percent jump in concert ticket sales since 1999 – the world is awash in music. The industry now has more sources of revenue – ringtones, concert tickets, license agreements with TV shows and videogames – than ever before."

The 2nd moral is even simpler:  Don’t leave your personal diary on the luncheonette counter when you leave . . .

 

Sources:
MySpace to sell music from nearly 3 million bands

Yinka Adegoke
Sun Sep 3, 12:20 PM ET

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060903/wr_nm/media_myspace_songs_dc_1&printer=1

G2P : Finding Mp3s Using Google
Posted Jun 19th 2006 11:09AM by Grant Robertson
http://p2p.weblogsinc.com/2006/06/19/g2p-finding-mp3s-using-google/

MySpace butts into iTunes’ turf
Jefferson Graham
USA TODAY, 9/6/2006 1:24 AM ET
http://tinyurl.com/m7sq8

No Suit Required
Jeff Howe
Wired, Issue 14.09 – September 2006

http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/14.09/nettwerk.html

The Infinite Album 
Issue 14.09 – September 2006   
http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/14.09/beck.html

Category: Music, Technology, Web/Tech

My head is a box filled with nothing

Category: Music, Technology

Coming Soon from Amazon: Unboxed Videos

Category: Film, Technology, Television

Monitor Lust

Category: Technology

Follow up: Look Out Below

Category: Media, Technology, Trading

Speaking of Big Cap Tech Disasters: Dell

Category: Corporate Management, Earnings, Technology

Category: Corporate Management, Earnings, Investing, Psychology, Technology, Web/Tech

Sitegraphs: Websites as HTML graphics

How cool is this?

Websites as graphs displays your website as a graph of colored, connected dots representing the various HTML entities.

Below is a graph of the Big Picture:

Bp_as_graph


via Web log tools collection

After the jump, I grabbed a bunch of other sites for comparison purposes:

Read More

Category: Technology, Web/Tech, Weblogs

Microsoft is in crisis?

I frequently discuss Microsoft, and for many many reasons: They are a tech bellwether, a huge part of the S&P and Nasdaq 100 (and a smaller part of the Dow). They have also been a thorn in the side of new technology development and innovation, but now that so much of it has moved to the web, its gotten away from them.

This is a good thing.

One of the commenters said some time ago that I was "irrational in my hatred for Microsoft." That’s hardly the case; Microsoft has put a lot of cash in my pocket, so at worst, I should be grateful to them for the windfall.

However, I am still an objective observer, and I believe that Mister Softee is not what most investors think it is: They are hardly innovators; rather, they copy other people’s work relentlessly, until by default they own the standard. Their products are kludgy, bloated and anti-instinctive; They are hardly the elegant, easy to use software first dreampt up by science fiction writers decades ago.

From an investing standpoint, their fastest growth days are behind
them, yet they are hardly a value stock — yet. (Cody and I have disagreed about this for some time). The leaders of the last bull Market are rarely the leaders of the next. Despite this, Wall Street still loves
them, with 28 of  32 analysts rating them a "Buy" or "Strong Buy." (BRThat was 2 months ago; Its now down to 21 "Buy" or "Strong Buy," 10 "Hold," and 2 "Sell" or "Strong Sell." ) They
are widely owned by active mutual fund managers and closet Indexers.

Many people think of them as this well run money machine; In reality, they are very poorly managed by a group of techno-nerds with very little in the way of management skills. Even their vaunted money making abilities are profoundly misunderstood: Its primarily their monopolies in Operating Systems (Windows) and Productivity Software (Office) that generates the vast majority of their revenue and profits. Their Server software and SQL Database make money, but hardly the big bucks of Windows or Office. MSN is a loser, MSNBC is a dud, their Windows CE is hardly a barn burner — even X-Box has cost them billions more than it is likely to generate in profits over the next 5 years.

Lest you think its just me who thinks this way, consider no less an authority than Robert X. Cringely. He is the author of the best-selling book Accidental Empires (How the Boys of Silicon Valley Make Their Millions, Battle Foreign Competition, and Still Can’t Get a Date). He has starred in several PBS specials, including Triumph of the Nerds:  A history of the PC industry.

After Gates resignation, Cringely wrote this:

Pulp"Microsoft is in crisis, and crises sometimes demand bold action. The company is demoralized, and most assuredly HAS seen its best days in terms of market
dominance. In short, being Microsoft isn’t fun anymore, which probably means that being Bill Gates isn’t fun anymore, either. But that, alone, is not reason enough for Gates to leave. Whether he instigated the change or someone else did, Gates had no choice but to take this action to support the value of his own Microsoft shares.

Let me explain through an illustration. Here’s how Jeff Angus described Microsoft in an earlier age in his brilliant business book, Managing by Baseball:

"When I worked for a few years at Microsoft Corporation in the early ’80s, the company had no decision-making rules whatsoever. Almost none of its managers had management training, and few had even a shred of management aptitude. When it came to what looked like less important decisions, most just guessed. When it came to the more important ones, they typically tried to model their choices on powerful people above them in the hierarchy. Almost nothing operational was written down…The tragedy wasn’t that so many poor decisions got made — as a functional monopoly, Microsoft had the cash flow to insulate itself from the most severe consequences — but that no one cared to track and codify past failures as a way to help managers create guidelines of paths to follow and avoid."

Fine, you say, but that was Microsoft more than 20 years ago. How about today?

Nothing has changed except that the company is 10 times bigger, which means it is 10 times more screwed-up.

Read More

Category: Corporate Management, Investing, Markets, Psychology, Technology

Google vs Microsoft: Part II (NYT’s Version)

Category: Corporate Management, Investing, Technology, Web/Tech