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September 2007
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November 2007

October 2007

around the blogosphere : 10-26

  • This is too good.  Click through for the video, it's worth the click, trust me.  If your not satisfied after the click, full money back warranty!
  • And you can't view network content off their sites outside the US.  Obviously this will take longer to iron out, but isn't this what the internet is supposed to be all about?
  • so A VC got unlocked an iPhone.  Apple is now selling unlocked phones in France.  Will Apple embrace US usage of legally unlocked French iPhones, or will we see a second round of iBricking and even more POed users?

the legal rights of bloggers - under NY Law

Lawgavel Can a blogger be sued for defamation of character when stating an opinion?

The NY State Supreme Court says NO! (heads up, this is a pdf, for a press release click here)

So here's the story:

Background: Back in my hometown of Lawrence, NY,  there has been some intense strife over public funding of private schools.  While the Lawrence Public School System was once widely attended, changing neighborhood demographics have brought local public school attendance to an all-time low.   Almost all of the locals go to private schools.  The local public schools are swimming in funding but have to bus in students from other districts just to fill their classrooms.  Private school parents want their ridiculously high tax dollars to pay for busing, textbooks and other educational benefits commonly available to all public school students (for the private school children).  Public school advocates claim that by waiving their right to attend public schools, private school parents waive their right to funding.

This fight has become incredibly tense and bitter with the local school board pulling funding of many programs frequented by private school attendees.  School board elections have become intense battles with everyone in the community showing up and campaigning.  The school board is now composed of mostly private school parents.  Election fraud has even happened on occasion (I was not allowed to vote because they kept "misplacing" my voter registration).  In shot, it's gotten dirty.

The Story: A local blogger called "Orthomom" posted some of her opinions on the local politics.  Her commenter's weighed in and used some arguably harsh language in describing a certain local public school official.  A member of the school board felt wronged and defamed -  and sued Google to obtain Orthomom's identity for a further lawsuit.  The case has progressed over the past few years.  Yesterday, the NY Supreme Court upheld the privacy rights of Orthomom.

Today is a proud day for bloggers.  If we could be sued for writing our thoughts about others and their actions, we'd all be in trouble.

Way to go first amendment!

fun fridays... on Thursday

I know, it's not yet Friday, but I feel like starting the weekend early, so here goes... enjoy!

Just came across this awesome video.  Think - We Didn't Start The Fire goes 2.0 - with everything viral.  I think I recognize a few too many of these clips.

Kudos to Katie Konrath for her insightful post on innovative lessons learned from a shoplifting seagull.  Video below:

I don't know about you, but I think this (see below) is going to bring the Microsoft Surface functionality to an airport waiting area near you VERY soon (where else do you have time to stand around and interact with a wall?).  How cool would it be to play with a brand/read your news/watch video and create whole new worlds of as yet undiscovered interactions?  This may change the way we interact, the way we compute, the way we input, and the way we brandvertise. 

In other news, the TV show 24 posted their teaser for Season 7.  It looks like they ran out of plot lines, but this one looks compelling enough.  Where can they go from here?

around the blogosphere : 10-25

  • Andrew Sparrow makes some fantastic points around the legally questionable closing of tvlinks.  Here's to hoping content owners and the govt can work together to find a way to work with, not against users.

user-centric design

Shift Nothing is new.

We've all been there and done that.

Digital doesn't undo, digital doesn't destruct, digital brings to life!

We as users don't want more, we don't have any more room for more.

We want better.  We want easier.  We want simpler.

We want both simplistic and deep interactions and we want to decide when and where to interact with each.

So please, when you design a home page or a landing page, speak to why I came to you, not what you want me to do.  If you want to feature your added offerings or sell me on something new, do it in a way that respects the user.

In a grocery store you can put the milk in the back.  You wouldn't however - put a maze in the store - requiring shoppers to go up and down multiple isles to get to the milk.  The customers would leave and never return. 

So why do so many websites ignore this basic principle?

Ajax is nice, but only when it empowers a more streamlined, easy and accessible interface.

If you're marketing mantra is "always be closing" you might as well close.

If you're scared of something new, don't be.  The same rules that have always applied still do.  Digital media didn't reinvent humanity, it evened the playing field, opening new opportunities.


On that note: Amazon is, in my mind, one of the greatest sites at delivering you straight to what you're looking for, and only then following up the experience by making their additional pitch.

However, the recent buzz around some questionable practices is quickly killing the posititiy generated by their outstanding design and user experience. I don't care how smart your engine or platform may be, mess with your customers and they won't come back. Work with them, and you just may succeed in this wacky world of ours.

Update: though I didn't read his post until after I had already published this one, check out Daniel Cohen's similar and very well written post on this subject here. 

around the blogosphere : 10-24

  • Wow, when they said October, they really meant... October.  An earlier in the month delivery would have been a nice surprise, but at least they are meeting their deadlines.

digital media jam

Just picked this up off Scobelizer.  This may be a very long video, but I found much of it to be a worthwhile listen.  Check it out below:

Key Takeaways:

  • Users want to control all their digital media in the same way they control their DVDs. 
    • I can watch watch my DVDs at a friend's house without leaving a copy there.
  • BitTorrent has been successful because it enables and empowers content portability.  It's not all about the piracy, it's about access and delivery.
  • Your content is yours.  You want it to live as such.

For previous coverage of free-flowing-DRM (or liquid DRM) click here.

On that note, this Media Master System looks promising and truly liquid (liquid?).  If the pricing, connectivity and user interface are there, this could be huge!


- PS - Can anyone out there please explain what happened to Orb?  They nearly had a similar system built out YEARS AGO and haven't yet taken off!