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MIN US$750k for NIN

Posted on March 5th, 2008 at 18:00 by John Sinteur in category: Intellectual Property

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The $300 “ultra deluxe edition” of , limited to 2500 copies, sold out in a couple days (I believe released Sunday, no longer available this morning). There are some manufacturing costs, but they don’t appear to be using any precious materials. So if an artist typically makes $1.60 on a $15.99 CD sale, profit from sales of the limited edition already matches profit from a CD selling hundreds of thousands of copies.

Then there are non-limited sales of a $75 merely “deluxe edition”, $10 CD, and $5 download, and whatever other products NIN comes up with around Ghosts.

And the album is traded on piratebay and similar p2p sites just as much as other albums, so it looks like NIN found a good business model…


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Quick! Follow that room!

Posted on March 5th, 2008 at 17:52 by John Sinteur in category: Great Picture

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BT targets 10,000 data pimping guinea pigs

Posted on March 5th, 2008 at 17:23 by John Sinteur in category: If you're in marketing, kill yourself

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BT is preparing to test Phorm’s advertising targeting technology on 10,000 of its customers this month, to gauge people’s reaction to their web browsing being exploited for extra revenue.

The trials will begin mid-March and guinea pigs will be drawn from BT Retail’s consumer broadband subscriber base. The firm believes customers will be impressed by what it calls a “safer, more relevant experience”.

Phorm will read the websites the test subjects visit and use their contents to serve up targeted advertising when that computer is used to visit other popular sites, including The Guardian and MySpace.

Don’t you just love it how these idiots always write “safer, more relevant experience” when they actually mean they’re going to stuff all the advertising crap they can down your throat whilst spying on you to better sell you to the advertiser?

They probably also define “safer sex” as leaving the curtains open so the neighbors can watch.


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Comments:

  1. Hi,

    I work for Phorm’s Tech team, and we’re keen to explain how the system works, and why and how it protects internet users’ privacy.

    There is lots of information about this at our website: http://www.webwise.com/

    There are also stories on this subject on the BBC website:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7280791.stm
    And the Telegraph website:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/connected/main.jhtml?xml=/connected/2008/03/08/dltrack108.xml

    We hope this is useful for people interested in this subject.

    Best

    Phorm Tech team

  2. Are you trolling all websites that report on the news – and do you actually answer any of the criticism on any of them?

  3. ISPs, portals, and ad networks have dropped the ball. They have allowed the behavior targeting debate to spin out of their control, leaving the conversation in the hands of privacy evangelicals that represent only a vocal minority. As a result, most consumers and law-makers have concluded that ad targeting is a consumer protection issue.
    My recommendation to ad networks, ISPs and portals is to take back the debate. With a modicum of marketing and consumer-friendly product offering, behavioral targeting can become the hero of its age, instead of the defiling villain.
    Read the analysis at http://www.BroodingSavage.com

Cartoons

Posted on March 5th, 2008 at 15:32 by John Sinteur in category: Cartoon

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A Wave of the Watch List, and Speech Disappears

Posted on March 5th, 2008 at 15:22 by John Sinteur in category: News

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Steve Marshall is an English travel agent. He lives in Spain, and he sells trips to Europeans who want to go to sunny places, including Cuba. In October, about 80 of his Web sites stopped working, thanks to the United States government.

The sites, in English, French and Spanish, had been online since 1998. Some, like www.cuba-hemingway.com, were literary. Others, like www.cuba-havanacity.com, discussed Cuban history and culture. Still others — www.ciaocuba.com and www.bonjourcuba.com — were purely commercial sites aimed at Italian and French tourists.

“I came to work in the morning, and we had no reservations at all,” Mr. Marshall said on the phone from the Canary Islands. “We thought it was a technical problem.”

It turned out, though, that Mr. Marshall’s Web sites had been put on a Treasury Department blacklist and, as a consequence, his American domain name registrar, eNom Inc., had disabled them. Mr. Marshall said eNom told him it did so after a call from the Treasury Department; the company, based in Bellevue, Wash., says it learned that the sites were on the blacklist through a blog.

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So that’s that. Register your domain name through a U.S. company and your business goes kaput if the U.S. Treasury Department decides it doesn’t like you. It doesn’t matter if you’re based in Spain, your servers are in the Bahamas, your customers are mostly European, and you’ve broken no laws. No warning. Just kaput.

Solution: make sure your business has as little connection to the U.S. as you possibly can. It’s just not worth the potential hassle. I’m sure the rest of the world is getting this message loud and clear.


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Comments:

  1. Never ceases to amaze me how one little island can be such a huge threat to the US that it must waste all this time and money shutting down anything connected with it. Freedom is not something that the US has. They have some words in a document that they throw about a lot, but in reality they have far less freedom than most western countries.

    Even speech, which is all that document even claims to protect, is severely restricted in many places. I don’t think most Americans even know what the word means anymore.

Symonds had ‘right’ to charge streaker

Posted on March 5th, 2008 at 11:24 by John Sinteur in category: Great Picture

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ANDREW Symonds was in danger and had every right to defend himself by shoulder-charging a naked pitch invader during last night’s tri-series final against India, Cricket Australia says.
Symonds flattened Robert Murray David Ogilvie, 26, from Park Ridge South, who today pleaded guilty in Brisbane Magistrates Court to interfering with persons engaged in sport and wilful exposure.

CA official Michael Brown said Symonds had the full support of the governing body.

“He was dealing with self-preservation which we support 100 per cent,” Mr Brown told reporters in Canberra today.

more images, video


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Baby

Posted on March 5th, 2008 at 11:13 by John Sinteur in category: Great Picture, Indecision 2008

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Foreclosure-proof Homeowners

Posted on March 5th, 2008 at 10:48 by John Sinteur in category: News

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What is shocking, that in each and every case, I have been told by brokers and banks that the owners, have ceased paying their mortgages in some cases for nearly 2 years and have continued to occupy these homes. Now, these are homes in excess of $2,000,000 in the very best neighborhoods in South Florida. Brokers have added that these buyers further complicated things by putting huge home equity lines on top of their mortgages and now have no possibility of selling their homes for amounts needed to cover their accumulated debt.

This may not seem like news, but understand what this means: There is currently an 8-10 month wait to get a court date to have a foreclosure filing heard in Dade and Broward counties.

[..]

There is no clean way to sell the home that would guarantee “clean title” hence a foreclosure is the only means to separate the property from the dead-beat speculator/squattor. Banks do not want to spend the $50,000 required to take a home through a foreclosure and clear the title — only to put the house back on the market for a deeper loss afterwards. Most likely, they have not revealed these owner occupied defaults to their shareholders, thanks to the sheer numbers of non-performing loans on their balance sheets, and the daunting task of foreclosing on all of them. This is the ultimate seizure and full stop of the market whereby everyone is standing in a stalemate. As one broker said to me, “these bums sitting in $3,000,000 homes overlooking the water are likely to be left alone by the banks for 2 years before the banks even get serious about foreclosure.”

From the comments on that story;

My Mother tells me that, in the ’30s, in The Depression, most of the people in her neighborhood paid nothing to live in their homes, except utilities. When they lost ownership through foreclosure, they just stayed, with the bank’s blessing, because, by living there, the bank’s security was better protected than if they left. If they did leave, the bank incurred the increased cost of insuring an unoccupied building, the cost of boarding it up, and producing a general decline in local property values, including its own properties nearby.


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Hillary Supporter

Posted on March 5th, 2008 at 10:15 by John Sinteur in category: Great Picture, Indecision 2008

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Comments:

  1. No this is an Obama Supporter, its just a stealth tactic… I hope.

  2. He can be a Clinton supporter. But, if a nutcase goes out praising you, spouting bullshit, will you blame yourself, or the nutcase?

Mukasey’s Paradox

Posted on March 5th, 2008 at 10:04 by John Sinteur in category: News

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In his twisting of legal principles, the attorney general has succeeded in creating a perfect paradox. Under Mukasey’s Paradox, lawyers cannot commit crimes when they act under the orders of a president — and a president cannot commit a crime when he acts under advice of lawyers.


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Do Not Buy: Anti-Shark Device Eaten by Irony-Loving Great White

Posted on March 5th, 2008 at 9:55 by John Sinteur in category: Great Picture

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This is awkward…during the testing phase for the Shark Shield, an electronic device that is designed to go on the back of surfboards to keep sharks away, one of the devices was actually eaten by a shark.

Yeah, not only did this thing not keep sharks away, but it actually attracted the attention of a 12-foot great white enough that it mistook it for a tasty snack. Luckily, it was on a buoy and not a surfboard at the time.


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The dunce

Posted on March 5th, 2008 at 9:53 by John Sinteur in category: News

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“I don’t remember all the students in detail unless I’m prompted by something,” Tsurumi said in a telephone interview Wednesday. “But I always remember two types of students. One is the very excellent student, the type as a professor you feel honored to be working with. Someone with strong social values, compassion and intellect — the very rare person you never forget. And then you remember students like George Bush, those who are totally the opposite.”


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Violence Leaves Young Iraqis Doubting Clerics

Posted on March 5th, 2008 at 9:50 by John Sinteur in category: Pastafarian News

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After almost five years of war, many young people in Iraq, exhausted by constant firsthand exposure to the violence of religious extremism, say they have grown disillusioned with religious leaders and skeptical of the faith that they preach.

In two months of interviews with 40 young people in five Iraqi cities, a pattern of disenchantment emerged, in which young Iraqis, both poor and middle class, blamed clerics for the violence and the restrictions that have narrowed their lives.

“I hate Islam and all the clerics because they limit our freedom every day and their instruction became heavy over us,” said Sara, a high school student in Basra. “Most of the girls in my high school hate that Islamic people control the authority because they don’t deserve to be rulers.”

Atheer, a 19-year-old from a poor, heavily Shiite neighborhood in southern Baghdad, said: “The religion men are liars. Young people don’t believe them. Guys my age are not interested in religion anymore.”


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Hillary’s Math Problem

Posted on March 5th, 2008 at 9:50 by John Sinteur in category: Indecision 2008

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I’m no good at math either, but with the help of Slate’s Delegate Calculator I’ve scoped out the rest of the primaries, and even if you assume huge Hillary wins from here on out, the numbers don’t look good for Clinton. In order to show how deep a hole she’s in, I’ve given her the benefit of the doubt every week for the rest of the primaries.

[..]

So no matter how you cut it, Obama will almost certainly end the primaries with a pledged-delegate lead, courtesy of all those landslides in February. Hillary would then have to convince the uncommitted superdelegates to reverse the will of the people. Even coming off a big Hillary winning streak, few if any superdelegates will be inclined to do so. For politicians to upend what the voters have decided might be a tad, well, suicidal.


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How about following it for a while?

Posted on March 5th, 2008 at 9:45 by John Sinteur in category: Pastafarian News

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Investigation Launched Into Vote Stealing

Posted on March 5th, 2008 at 9:44 by John Sinteur in category: Indecision 2008

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Voters reported being turned away from the polls, prompting a criminal investigation into vote stealing, Local 2 Investigates reported Tuesday.

The Harris County District Attorney’s Office confirmed it is contacting the victims, all centered around Precinct 219 in southeast Houston.

“I feel really hurt,” said Garland Boone, a voter in the Third Ward neighborhood off Yellowstone, where the scam was reported.

He said his neighbors who are victims “don’t have a chance to express their vote. Everybody needs to express their own vote.”

Precinct Judge Edna Russell told Local 2 Investigates that some senior citizen voters had to be turned away because absentee ballots had already been mailed in using their names.

“Somebody had already voted for me,” said Georgia Ireland.

She and the other victims reported that people were going door-to-door, offering help to seniors with filing voter registration forms.

Some victims signed the paperwork, while others did not, but the scammers then used the information to mail absentee ballots in their names, meaning their votes were stolen from them.

Every single time there’s a vote with some importance in the US, stories like this pop up. Perhaps we should send UN observers to support this flailing democracy…


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25 Brilliant Animated Short Movies

Posted on March 5th, 2008 at 9:33 by John Sinteur in category: Funny!

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Let’s take a look at the collection of 25 brilliant animated short movies. Among them you’ll find funny cartoons, typography-related movies as well as artistic masterpieces — hopefully everybody will find something interesting and unusual for his/her personal taste.

Here’s one of them:


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Should RIAA Investigators Have to Disclose Evidence?

Posted on March 5th, 2008 at 8:23 by John Sinteur in category: Intellectual Property

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“A technology battle is raging in UMG v. Lindor, a court case in Brooklyn. The issue at hand is whether the RIAA’s investigator SafeNet now needs to disclose its digital files, validation methodology, testing procedures, failure rates, software manuals, protocols, packet logs, source code, and other materials, so that the validity of its methods can be evaluated by the defense. SafeNet and the RIAA say no, claiming that the information is ‘proprietary and confidential’. Ms. Lindor says yes, if you’re going to testify in federal court the other side has a right to test your evidence. A list of what is being sought (pdf) is available online. MediaSentry has produced ‘none of the above’. ‘Put up or shut up’ says one commentator to SafeNet.”

“We have the smoking gun on Iraq, but we can’t show you until after we go to war.”

“We have the evidence to prove these guys are terrorists but we can’t show it to you. Disregard the Canadian.”


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