24 Mar

CrunchGear – Record Industry: Limewire Could Owe $75 Trillion – Judge: “Absurd”

So we’re all pretty desensitized by now to the mind-blowing stupidity on display by the record industry in its foolhardy attempts at assigning damages in piracy cases — was anyone surprised when they told one woman, who had shared 24 songs, that she owed nearly two million dollars? Yes, ridiculous. But this — this is beyond ridiculous. This is… sublime.

The record companies suing Limewire were asked to estimate the damages that should be paid by the file-sharing service. Their estimate? $400 Billion on the low end, and at the high end — $75 trillion dollars. That’s more than the GDP of the entire world.

The judge, in a refreshing stroke of good sense, deemed these potential damages “absurd” and the plaintiff’s approach “untenable”. The $75tn figure relies on an interpretation of copyright law that provides statutory damages for each instance of copying, and with the numbers of downloads and individual songs the industry is alleging, the money adds up quickly. Even the $400bn figure is certainly grossly inflated, however “conservative” it may appear to Virgin, Atlantic, Sony, and so on

via CrunchGear – Record Industry: Limewire Could Owe $75 Trillion – Judge: “Absurd”. The judge has exactly the right idea, absurd indeed.

22 Mar

Lendle – Amazon revokes Lendle’s API access Update

Update, March 22nd, 2011: We’re thrilled to report that Amazon has reinstated our API access, and Lendle is back up and running. Welcome back, Lendlers!

Late today, we received an email from an Associates Account Specialist at Amazon informing us that their concern only relates to our Book Sync tool, which syncs a user’s Kindle books with their Lendle account. Amazon informed us that if we disabled this feature, our access to the API, as well as our Amazon Associates account, would be reinstated. We appreciate Amazon’s willingness to modify the original access revocation email and work with us to get Lendle back on line. We have complied with the request to disable the book sync tool (which was a very useful, but non-essential, feature of Lendle).

We’ve learned a lot through this process, and have come to realize we need to work towards a Lendle product that does not rely on APIs provided by Amazon or any other third party. To that end, we’ve already begun brainstorming the next version of Lendle. Suffice it to say, we’ll continue to make good on our promise to keep Lendle the easiest, fastest, fairest, and best way to lend and borrow Kindle books.

via Lendle – Amazon revokes Lendle’s API access Update. Let’s hear it, good job Amazon on getting in touch with Lendle and coming to a reasonable solution.

22 Mar

PHP Fog Blog – How We Got Owned by a Few Teenagers (and Why It Will Never Happen Again)

Hi, I am Lucas Carlson, founder and CEO of PHP Fog and the guy who hasn’t slept in almost 4 days. This is my story.

via PHP Fog Blog – How We Got Owned by a Few Teenagers (and Why It Will Never Happen Again). Incredible detail into what happened and thoroughly explained how it will never happen again and how they are much more secure moving forward. If I was using PHP Fog my faith in their service would be stronger because of this.

22 Mar

PLATO History – Yet another PLATO innovation ignored, this time patented by Google

Today the United States Patent and Trademark Office issued a patent to Google for its Google Doodles feature, wherein the company’s home page logo is customized on certain holidays or days to commemorate a certain person, place, or thing.

Problem is, this is not Sergey Brin’s or Google’s invention. It is PLATO’s. (And who knows, there might have been prior art even before the early to mid 1970s when the practice was commonplace on PLATO’s "welcome page.")

via PLATO History – Yet another PLATO innovation ignored, this time patented by Google. Even Google submits stupid and ridiculous patents, for stuff already “invented”.

21 Mar

Twitter – Lendle – Amazon has revoked Lendle’s API access

Amazon has revoked Lendle’s API access. This is why the site is down. It’s sad and unfortunate that Amazon is shutting down Lending sites.

via Twitter – Lendle – Amazon has revoked Lendle’s API access. It’s downright awful, Lendle was a great site where you could lend your Kindle books with people you wouldn’t even know. And the reason behind Amazon shutting down their account is lame:

According to Amazon, Lendle does not “serve the principal purpose of driving sales of products and services on the Amazon site.”

Lendle now has the full story posted.

21 Mar

Bloomberg – Apple Sues Amazon.com, Seeks Order to Stop Use of ‘App Store’ Trademark

Apple Inc. (AAPL) sued Amazon.com Inc., saying the online retailer is improperly using Apple’s “App Store” trademark for a mobile software developer program.

Apple, in a complaint filed March 18 in California, accused Amazon.com of trademark infringement and unfair competition and asked for a court order to prevent the company from using the “App Store” name, as well as for unspecified damages.

“Amazon has begun improperly using Apple’s App Store mark in connection with Amazon’s mobile software developer program,” Apple said in the complaint. Amazon also plans to use the name with a mobile software download service, the complaint states.

via Bloomberg – Apple Sues Amazon.com, Seeks Order to Stop Use of ‘App Store’ Trademark. Ughh when does it ever end.

20 Mar

Code Fast Die Young – Design annoyances

I’m not a designer, but I like to play one on the internet. Having spent a fair amount of time in front-end code, and teaching myself the basics through necessity, I think I have a decent sense of when something is amiss. So here are my short list of design annoyances. The frustrating (but also good) bit about each of these is how easy they are to fix. I’ve included relevant CSS where applicable.

via Code Fast Die Young – Design annoyances. Too true.

20 Mar

Marco.org – Why the Quick Bar (“dickbar”) is still so offensive

We don’t know Twitter’s true reason for adding the Quick Bar. Presumably, it’s part of a longer-term strategy. But today, from here, it looks like an extremely poorly thought-out feature, released initially with an extremely poor implementation, with seemingly no benefits to users.

This is so jarring to us because it’s so unlike the Twitter that we’ve known to date. Twitter’s product direction is usually incredibly good and well-thought-out, and their implementation is usually careful and thoughtful.

And in the context of this app, most of which was carefully and thoughtfully constructed by Loren Brichter before Twitter bought it from him, we’re accustomed to Brichter’s even higher standards, which won Tweetie an Apple Design Award in 2009. (I suspect he had little to no authority in the Quick Bar’s existence, design, or placement, and it’s probably killing him inside.)

The Quick Bar isn’t offensive because we don’t want Twitter making money with ads, or because we object to changes in the interface.

It’s offensive because it’s deeply bad, showing complete disregard for quality, product design, and user respect, and we’ve come to expect a lot more from Twitter.

via Marco.org – Why the Quick Bar (“dickbar”) is still so offensive. All true and wonderfully pointed, thanks Marco.

20 Mar

Jeffrey Zeldman Presents The Daily Report – You are all in publishing!

But right now (and always) there is a need for design to also be about the big strategic issues. And right now, as much as design is wrestling with open vs. proprietary formats and the old challenges of new devices, design is also very much in the service of applications and publishing. Who gets content, who pays for it, how it is distributed (and how evenly), the balance between broadcast and conversation, editor and user—these are the issues of this moment, and it is designers even more than editors who will answer these riddles.

via Jeffrey Zeldman Presents The Daily Report – You are all in publishing!. Working on the web, means you are in publishing.

20 Mar

NYTimes.com – Whatever Nuclear Power’s Threat, No Easy Alternatives

But the alarm in Japan and globally belies the fact that nuclear power plants, in the approximately half a century that they have existed, have caused fewer deaths than another common source of power production: coal.

via NYTimes.com – Whatever Nuclear Power’s Threat, No Easy Alternatives. Not typically known but true, especially when taking into account the pollutants that coal plants emit. It’s the whole thing of how the rare threat is scarier than the common threat.