After 6+ years of being the 'go to' site for must have content, BTJunkie has voluntarily closed up shop. It's hard to disagree with their reasoning, in that the current environment doesn't accept that sharing is caring. It is, however, saddening that all online content may end up as Google compensated and approved. Expect other torrent sites to go dark in the next few days as well.
I don't hold any ill will towards BTJunkie. They did the right thing. But it's next to impossible to not hold a grudge against western societies that ignore simple facts. With the prevalence of mobile devices and cloud computing distribution there is no possible manner in which the current business model for content distribution works. At middlin' we're giving away a potentially profitable business sector to the east. At best, we're leeching every damned dollar from anything ever created ever. At worst, we are willing to destroy the Internet to protect Disney's profits. That little movie they did about Hercules, or the one which dealt with Miles Standish and Pocahontas? Protected, effectively, into perpetuity. That little thing they did a buncha years back called "The Song of the South"? It is a true piece of Americana, American history, and we won't see it again because a piece that is considered racist will not be allowed to tarnish that Disney brand.
The worst attack against sharing was not the "Megauploads" arrest or even possibly the incident with The Pirate Bay. SOPA and PIPA changed the rules. The U.S.of A. threatened to break the Internet, and that should be no laughing matter to anyone. Kudos to the folk who called in; kudos to the Republicans who voted to kill these awful bills. They certainly didn't do it to favor anything other than the left being smeared by their own Hollywood supporters. Politics is grand ...
I'm all for creative types getting paid; a lot if they do good work. But the demand that a CEO of a megacorp makes his bonus, just rankles me when I can see a clear path to future profit and they can't. Pack people into noisy sweaty theaters, with $10 popcorn, screaming babies and a burning urge to see a movie again. Make people buy big CD's or purchase overpriced snippets online. Or ... allow people to purchase content with a distribution model that allows people the access they think they should have. When I was kid, I was willing to pay to see Star Wars about 12 times, though I saw it many more. The money was small because most of those were matinees, and one didn't have the opportunity to see these things at home or on a mobile. That world is not this world. I've purchased Star Wars on DVD, Now I can watch it with whomever I wish, whenever I wish. If the DVD goes bad, I should have the right to say that I've bought that content and it's mine. The law doesn't work quite that way, but it should.
Torrent sites could have been an extremely profitable manner for Hollywood or the music industry to control and profit from content. Instead, we're going to beat this dead horse until it's MORE dead. Via con Dios, BTJunkie.
I'll probably get a C&D order for naming this post after one of the worst sci-fi attempts in history, but at least my geek friends will be amused.
Make no mistake. In my real life job, that is the job I have, I am a corporal in a front line conflict of epic proportions. Some of y'all remain mistaken that the combatants are Microsoft and Apple. No. This is a two front conflict, and the players are MS, Apple and Google. And they are all evil. What, did I write that? Yup. Then whom do I serve? Apple, of course. It's all about the sales, baby, gimme gimme the sales. Never mind that Apple takes most of the gains, and if they could they would take them all. They still leave the crumbs upon which our troopers are fed, and continue another day to fight for the supremacy of Cupertino. Viva le' round fruity thingies! THAT. ARE. OHH. SO. COOOOL!
Microsoft is the old empire, and don't fool yourself. They aren't conceding anything to Apple anytime soon. Without Office, even for the Mac, business doesn't run in the way that business wants to run, which is then how business must run. Document must flow. It must, my precious. Windows is so much a given it might be considered a ubiquitous virus unto itself. You got Windows? Yeah, but the outbreaks are minor, and the doctor says it's nothing to really worry about.
Apple's greatest ally is, and has always been, Microsoft. Despite what many of the youngish retro-geeks think, the 1984 commercial (BEST MARKETING OF ALL TIME!) wasn't about Microsoft. It was slap in the face of IBM. Had IBM decided to take on the PC market, they would and could have crushed Apple like a bug. They didn't. What slapped IBM into weak submission was Microsoft. Apple was more than happy to declare war; it took MS to actually fight and win it. Apple just stood around looking good while the fighting took place. It's all they've really ever been that good at. That's why Jobs, the king of cool, didn't realize where the real fight lay until it was too late. And when Apple's market share was at 2.4%, it wasn't the gigantic visage of Steve Jobs we saw behind the diminutive Bill Gates. (That would certainly have been more attractive.) Don't get me wrong. This conflict wasn't so pretty. Way back in the day, Sun Microsystems, Borland and a browser few tech puppies have heard of of named Netscape had an ambitious plan to create an OS that would tie information to a browser. They challenged MS, and Gates crushed them like bugs. Sun still has relevance because they own Java. Netscape is no more, and Borland is an after thought. Despite the fact that MS had to pay lots of money in anti-trust suits, their victory was and is complete.
Now that Cool is again cool, and Apple is oh so Cool, they are again making a bid for being the go-to product. But they haven't let go of the former war. The way to be the go to product is to force being the go to product, according to Apple. They have even slighted one of their staunchest allies throughout the corporate history of the tech wars, Adobe. So long and thanks for all the fish. Oh, and keep writing that professional software our platform needs to be viable ... KTHXBYE.
But. Like the Huns to old stylee Europe when Europe was all old stylee, there's a new force encroaching. That would be Google. Like Andre Linoge, Google has a simple request, insidious as it is undeniable. Give me what I want and I will go away. Except, Google never goes away. They have the drug that people need. Information, immediate and whole, right at the fingertips. So of course, they stand immediately against what Apple is doing. Apple seeks to corner the market, and Google seeks to profit from the market's size. Microsoft doesn't care. They own everything anyway, and will support whomever seems the stronger. So much for allies.
What inspired this post was a very direct treating of the conflict from mistermix at Balloon Juice.
Google is in business to sell advertising. Their goal is to serve me a
relevant ad everywhere I am. To do that, they want to know a lot about
me (where I am at the moment, and what I’m doing), so their software
needs to run on every device I own. They also need continuously earn my
trust, and the trust of every developer whose application serves me an
ad. I need to trust that the ad is relevant and useful, and that Google
won’t share too much of my personal information. Developers need to
trust that the Google ad won’t be so intrusive that it will drive users
away from their application or web page.
Apple is in business to sell hardware. They want me to buy one
Apple device after another. To do so, they’re always trying to devise
ways to lock me and developers to their device. They want to sell me
music I can only hear on their devices or using their software, and now
they are creating a bookstore that sells books I can only read on their
devices or with their software. They want developers to write software
that runs only on their devices, so Flash, for example, is forbidden on
the iPhone and iPad. They need to earn my trust once, then they’ll
lock me in with their Apple-only media and software.
Apple will lose this war. I know it right to my bones. So you may well ask why I am a corporal in the Apple army. That's simple. It pays. I am a mercenary in the tech wars. I will follow the money, win or lose. Google doesn't pay. Microsoft pays, but they aren't in this skirmish. Apple pays. It's that simple.
The only chance of winning that Apple has is to once again rely on their greatest ally and have Windows start blocking non-Apple appropriated product. The emperor won't do that. The emperor will wait to declare a victor and then buy them. I guess that then I will have a new task master.
The other morning, I had a brief conversation with my mother where I had to explain to her that a search engine is not a browser. I've seen that confusion a lot, given my job, but I really didn't expect that it was that prevalent. I now offer proof that it is, with very comedic results. When you read the comments to this post at ReadWriteWeb, all will become clear.
Facebook has kinda hosed me. I went to sign in from another computer a couple of weeks ago, and couldn't because my "email account was invalid". After jumping through hoop after hoop, I ended up creating a new account - with the same exact login information as the old one. So, now I have two accounts, one that has all my friends but can only be updated through the Typepad Facebook ap, and one that is essentially new.
Fortunately, I can still see the old account by copying and pasting the account number in the appropriate spots. But I do have to rebuild my friends list from that. So, if you get friend request from me, even though we are already friended, this will hopefully explain why.
Few things are more difficult than agreeing with a politician. You want to agree, really you do, but there's just so much to disagree with. Good reflexes, but maybe the reaction is all wrong? Nice idea, if maybe it was based in reality?
Internet predators, pedophiles, and child
pornographers are lurking in chat-rooms and on Web sites, soliciting
young kids and trying to peddle their smut over the World Wide Web.
Experts say more than 60 percent of all Internet traffic is related to
And the "experts have no fricking way of really knowing. This is fear-mongering, plain and simple. Let's assume, for a second, that Max's "experts" are correct. What constitutes "related to pornography"? If you say "scantily clad womens", I'd be likely to agree. If you say " Internet predators, pedophiles, and child
pornographers", I'm gonna tell you that you're overstating the issue to a gross and destructive degree. Now who's right? I haven't got those figures, and Max doesn't either. But that doesn't stop him from promoting fear, does it?
Instead of putting our heads in the sand and hoping
cyber crimes go away on their own, as the Chronicle suggested in a
recent editorial, we must work together to fight back. We have to take
aggressive action to stamp out cyber crime and stop online predators
that target Montana's children.
We haven't even defined the scope of the problem, but that doesn't stop an inordinate reaction? It damn well should.
On Feb. 8, the Chronicle stated “The Internet is
doing just fine without Congress” and took issue with a proposal of
mine to establish a new .XXX domain name for adult-content Web sites.
Don't get me wrong. I think the proposal of the .xxx domain is a good idea, but obviously not for the reasons Max does.
It's hard for me to believe the Internet is doing
"just fine" when one out of every five kids gets an unwarranted sexual
solicitation. Every day children in Montana are being sexually
exploited online, some with tragic endings. I doubt that the parents of
those children would agree things are just fine.
The absolute proof that someone is overstating an issue is when they appeal to the worst case scenario as the norm. Every single day someone is infected with flesh eating virus. IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU!!! Do something, do it now!!! There are certainly tragedies that occur facilitated by internet access. That doesn't mean that the internet causes them, or that controlling the internet will solve them. And the worst part of this appeal is that he neglects that his "solution" to this undefined-in-magnitude problem will actually affect me, when the problem itself clearly doesn't. I've no stake in the problem, but I've clearly a stake in the "solution". Free speech? Anybody?
And let's not be naive. Most juveniles who are molested are done wrong by family or friends. Should we abolish family and friends? Does that make sense to anyone?
Nobody's talking about imposing strict new bureaucratic regulations on
the Web -- private business and enterprise will always be the vehicle
driving the Internet. My plan to establish a new .XXX domain name is no
different than our local communities passing zoning laws for adult book
A .XXX domain would simply section off a piece of the
Internet neighborhood to confine adult sites to a central location,
making it easier for parents to filter out smut on their home
computers. And it'll help schools and libraries do the same.
This is the part that makes sense, but makes no sense. Establishing a red-light district for the internets is a good thing. Everyone who wants such things will know where to find them. BUT, zoning laws against adult establishments are usually established after the fact: as in, we don't want you here so you must move. I'm sorry, but that smacks of fascism. If someone owns the lucrative domain "buttseks.com", then telling them to move is an affront to business, to liberty, and to the free dissemination of ideas. The .xxx domain is a good idea, but attempting to force business persons to use it is not.
In addition to establishing a new .XXX domain, my Cyber Safety for Kids initiative will help tackle cyber crimes by:
€ Giving law enforcement more resources to crack down on Internet predators.
How? This is undefined. Are Yahoo chatrooms all going to be moved to the .xxx domain? Of course not. It's a minor impediment to entry for the cyber predator. This would be, at best, useless.
€ Establishing a new Montana Cyber Crime Task Force.
I'm so sure that cyber crime is a huge problem in Montana. Save us, Max, save us. Look, we're special little snowflakes. Please reject this line of craptastic bull.
€ Providing educational resources and training for parents and teachers.
Now this might actually be useful. I suggest emphasis on the parents.
€ Requiring adult-content Web sites to use age-verification software to ensure viewers are 18 or older.
I couldn't agree more. And how will this be done? This is a worthy idea that has little hope of actual implementation.
Imposing a new 25 percent excise fee on adult-content Web sites, and
using the increased revenue to help fight back against Internet crimes.
Oh yeah, that's gonna provide incentive for business owners to move to the new domain. Sure, no problem. (/sarcasm). Max, that just won't work.
Look, an enormous majority of people want to do the right thing. And an enormous majority of people want pornography (of some form or another). Attempting to isolate porn in the .xxx simply won't work. The internets are vast and wide. They won't be molded or controlled. Educating parents is the only response that actually provide results. Anything else is a poor attempt at pandering to a public fear. And I don't think I've been real unclear about what I think of that.
I just had a comment fail to my own website. How odd! I'm signed in with TypeKey, and it just gives me an error.
Has anyone else encountered a problem commenting at Not Pillage? If you haven't, feel free to let me know in comments (duh). If you have, please email me. The email link is to the right.
Update: It appears to be fixed now, as is evidenced by this very post ... which kept erroring out while I tried to post it. Very very odd. However, my prime writing time is passed. No posting other than this today.
I had a former boss lady who could crash the company computer by touching the keyboard. At work, I frequently answer the tech distress beacon by simply approaching the vile machine ... and it works. Some of the folks I work beside actually believe that the machines are intimidated by me. Whatever works, I say. Read the article, though. It's ... interesting.