Posts filed under “Web/Tech”

AOL Copyright Grab ?

Thrashing Through Cyberspace picks up on a stunning change in AOL’s terms of service for its Instant Messenger:

"Although you or the owner of the Content retain ownership of all right, title and interest in Content that you post to any AIM Product, AOL owns all right, title and interest in any compilation, collective work or other derivative work created by AOL using or incorporating this Content. In addition, by posting Content on an AIM Product, you grant AOL, its parent, affiliates, subsidiaries, assigns, agents and licensees the irrevocable, perpetual, worldwide right to reproduce, display, perform, distribute, adapt and promote this Content in any medium. You waive any right to privacy. You waive any right to inspect or approve uses of the Content or to be compensated for any such uses."

Imagine if FedEx or the US Post Office tried such a gambit.

I wonder if such boilerplate EULA can assign Copyrights (a Federal property right) without a genuine meeting of the minds . . . Any legal geniuses out there, please weigh in.

Will any firm that produces written content be able to continue using AOL IM anymore? I have to seriously doubt it.

>


UPDATE:  March 15, 2005 6:26am

AOL made a minor attempt to "quell the furor" by claiming in eWeek by "insisting the controversial privacy clause does not pertain to user-to-user instant messaging communication." In part, AOL states this is because the offending material is under the heading "Content You Post."

That’s somewhat ambiguous. If AOL really wants to resolve this, all they need do is add this paragraph:

"All AIM instant messages are private, and AOL does not monitor or filter instant messages. Any instant message communication betweem registered users remains the copyrighted material of those users."

Simply, easy, direct.

Sources:
AOL: AIM Conversations Are Safe
By Ryan Naraine
eWeek, March 14, 2005
http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1775743,00.asp

Category: Finance, Web/Tech

Brain Drain threatened

Category: Politics, Science, Web/Tech

Why I Don’t Do Social Networking Sites

Category: Web/Tech

VOTE: Best Financial Industry/Investment Blog

Category: Web/Tech

The idea factory

Category: Investing, Music, Web/Tech

Uh-Oh: Apple on the Cover of Fortune

Category: Investing, Media, Web/Tech

Video Game Industry Sales Reach Record Pace in 2004

Category: Music, Web/Tech

VOTE: Best Financial Industry/Investment Blog

Category: Web/Tech

Apple aiming for the sweetspot ?

Since we’ve been discussing the impact of Apple lately, I thought it worthwhile to point to a graphic depiction of Apple’s marketing strategy, as conceived by future Wired comtributor Paul Nixon.

I’m not sure I agree with Paul’s statement that "until January 2005,
Apple had no iPod that served the mass market
" givent he enormous sales
numbers the Pod has rung up. But the broader point of targeting the new devices
at truly mass entry level (i.e., cheap) is valid.

click for larger graphic

Apple_tipping_point_lrg

Check out the full size graph here:

Nice work, Paul

Source:
Apple’s Tipping Point: Macs for the Masses
Paul Nixon
Nixlog, January 12, 2005
http://www.nixlog.com/apple/

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Category: Finance, Web/Tech

Wall Street Remains Clueless as Ever as to Apple’s Products

From all the chatter I’ve heard on Wall Street, I get the sense that many PC analysts – long wed to the windows world – have no clue what to make of the mini Mac. I cannot say I am surprised.

Just last year, one PC analyst at a bulge bracket firm suggested Apple sell itself to Sony. Another suggested that Apple start producing Windows machines, or use Intel chips.

Umm, no.

This is part of a long term misunderstanding of Apple by the Street. Most of them don’t “get” Apple; They certainly haven’t been able to figure out Steve Jobs. And since all but one (that I know of) work primarily on a Windows machine, they never really understood what the fuss about the Mac was all about.

Until the iPod came along. Apple created a category killer by engineering a marvelous piece of user friendly technology made from essentially off the shelf components. The secret sauce was their terrific user interface. That forced some Analysts to start getting clued into what the cult of Macintosh was all about.

But what about this new Mac mini?

Understand what Apple is doing with the mini:

1) It’s a Windows replacement machine;

2) Geeks like it!

3) It’s potentially the centerpiece for a Home theatre

4) It’s a cheap 2nd Apple for faithful MacHeads

Let’s focus on #2 today (#1 will be the subject of a Street.com column later this week).

In the old days, geeks recommended Windows because they were a “standard,” they let admins under the hood pretty regularly  — and they were cheap.


Indeed, the original name for Windows 95 was “the IT department full employment act.”
It was buggy, difficult to maintain, vulnerable and crash prone – but
it was the industry standard. Any IT guy you spoke to in the mid 90s
would tell you how much cheaper the Wintel machines were to buy, how
much more software there was for it.


What
he didn’t tell you was how much higher the cost of ownership was –
namely his salary. Its eventually became his entire support staff’s
salary.

 

The result of that “bias” has been costly to maintain PC networks in most offices, and unsupported PCs in most homes. Every home PC user who has ever had a major Windows headache – security issues, virus infections, corrupted ini files, missing dll library – is desperate for an easy to use alternative.

Here we are a decade later, and a new generation of younger IT employees have inherited these headaches from their predecessors. And, to judge by the geek blogs and websites, they are none to happy about it. From Malware to spam hijacking to Explorer vulnerabilities, keeping a windows network running – or even a single internet connected machine – is a time consuming, frustrating job.

For what most people use their PCs for – email, internet surfing, music playing / CD burning, word processing – this is all the machine they need.

And Geeks like it! They really like it! — And they are key influencers of purchases by many people . . .

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Category: Investing, Web/Tech