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Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

This Is WAR: Spotify Tells Subscribers Not to Pay Apple's 30% Cut... - Digital Music NewsDigital Music News - 0 views

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    "Want to enjoy Spotify on your iPhone, a platform that Apple built? Then you have to go through the App Store, where Apple takes 30 percent of the monthly subscription price. That is, unless you go around Apple and its terms of service regarding subscriptions. Here's an email that Spotify just sent to subscribers, telling them how to circumvent that and the extra charge Spotify added on to pay the 30% cut."
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    "Want to enjoy Spotify on your iPhone, a platform that Apple built? Then you have to go through the App Store, where Apple takes 30 percent of the monthly subscription price. That is, unless you go around Apple and its terms of service regarding subscriptions. Here's an email that Spotify just sent to subscribers, telling them how to circumvent that and the extra charge Spotify added on to pay the 30% cut."
Gary Edwards

MS finally to bring Office to the Web, Windows smart phones - NYTimes.com - 0 views

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    Last week, Microsoft reported that revenue from the Microsoft business division (MBD) grew 20% year over year to US$4.95 billion in the most recent quarter. That is more than Microsoft's client division, which makes Windows. Most of MBD's revenue comes from Office, though Microsoft doesn't break out an exact percentage. Windows has 1 billion users. Office has only 500 million. Consumers will be able to subscribe to Office Web and even get it at a discount price, provided they are willing to view Web ads. Business customers seeking "more manageability and control" will be able to buy subscriptions to Office Web similar to the subscription Microsoft offers for a bundle combining Web-based versions of Exchange and SharePoint. That costs $3 per user per month. Enterprises may also get Office Web through conventional volume licensing software contracts, which will allow them to either install Office on desktop and other client PCs, or have Microsoft host it on their server. Unlike non-Microsoft products (Google Docs - ZOHO - BuzzWord), Office Web will guarantee that the "viewing experience is fantastic" and that formatting and meta data from Office documents don't "get munged up,". Office Web will provide a superior "end-to-end solution" by letting users view and edit documents whenever they want to, including browsers such as Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari and Windows Mobile smart phones. The Office Web focus will be on business productivity according to Chris Capossela. The Office Web experience can be enhanced by Silverlight (Microsoft RiA).
Paul Merrell

Google bulges old time news archive | The Register - 0 views

  • Google is redoubling efforts to offer a digital archive of the world's newspapers. Two years ago, the search giant began indexing the existing digital archives of papers like The New York Times and The Washington Post, and today, with a post to The Official Google Blog, the company said it's now working with other publishers to bring a much broader range of old newsprint into the project.
  • In addition to the old ads, you'll find new ads. Digitized papers will be joined by familiar AdSense text, and Google will split the revenue with the papers' publishers.
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    There's a change in Google's business model indicated by that last paragraph, sharing Google ad revenues with publishers. Publishers have been suing Google in Europe and the U.S. for indexing their web site news content. Is sharing Google Ad-Sense revenue with publishers the compromise that will bring the world an explosion of information previously unavailable online in easily searchable form? Most newspapers' archives are not available online and with far too many that are, subscriptions are required to search a single newspaper's archives; e.g., the New York Times. Sounds like Google may have its sights set on eroding the information subscription business model that the news business -- along with advertising -- has been built around for centuries. This announcement might mark a paradigm shift.
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Most Top Films Are Not Available on Netflix, Research Finds | TorrentFreak - 0 views

    • Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.
       
      # Anotheer sample of the cultural market manipulation...
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    [ Ernesto on September 26, 2014 C: 0 [Breaking A new study published by research firm KPMG reveals that only 16% of the most popular and critically acclaimed films are available via Netflix and other on-demand subscription services. ] [# ! ...The '#Magnificent' #Entertainment #Industry #Strategy: # ! A new envelopment for '#Their' #censorship. # ! Wanna #Thrive? #monetize (fairly and proportionally) #Free # ! #FileSharing (through ISPs, non-invasive advertising and, of # ! course, a little help from #governments, that already collect a lot # ! of Aficionados/consumers'/taxpayers'/citizens' #Money... )]
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    [ Ernesto on September 26, 2014 C: 0 [Breaking A new study published by research firm KPMG reveals that only 16% of the most popular and critically acclaimed films are available via Netflix and other on-demand subscription services. ]
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Study: Cable Cutting To Continue, Especially As Millennials Age | Techdirt - 0 views

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    "from the streaming-away dept In all of the discussions about cord-cutting, it seems like many times we get lost in the weeds of specific details on certain angles or certain perceptions. Occasionally lost in all of this is the simple fact that the public ditching their cable TV subscriptions is happening and the pace at which it's happening is rising." [# ! … wants to #choose # ! by themselves… # ! …and not another TV # ! Stop #contents #restrictions and #You'll see… # ! #Give The Pe@ple what they want, what they deserve… # ! … and a #new -#fairer- #business #model will #rise.]
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Everything we know about Tidal, the artist-owned music streaming service - 0 views

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    "1. What is Tidal? Tidal is a music subscription service for audio and video files. The focus is on sound quality; Tidal also promises exclusive songs and videos from artists."
Paul Merrell

Hyperlinking is Not Copyright Infringement, EU Court Rules | TorrentFreak - 0 views

  • Does publishing a hyperlink to freely available content amount to an illegal communication to the public and therefore a breach of creator's copyrights under European law? After examining a case referred to it by Sweden's Court of Appeal, the Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled today that no, it does not.
  • One such case, referred to the CJEU by Sweden’s Court of Appeal, is of particular interest to Internet users as it concerns the very mechanism that holds the web together. The dispute centers on a company called Retriever Sverige AB, an Internet-based subscription service that indexes links to articles that can be found elsewhere online for free. The problem came when Retriever published links to articles published on a newspaper’s website that were written by Swedish journalists. The company felt that it did not have to compensate the journalists for simply linking to their articles, nor did it believe that embedding them within its site amounted to copyright infringement. The journalists, on the other hand, felt that by linking to their articles Retriever had “communicated” their works to the public without permission. In the belief they should be paid, the journalists took their case to the Stockholm District Court. They lost their case in 2010 and decided to take the case to appeal. From there the Svea Court of Appeal sought advice from the EU Court. Today the Court of Justice published its lengthy decision and it’s largely good news for the Internet.
Paul Merrell

Federal smartphone kill-switch legislation proposed - Network World - 0 views

  • Pressure on the cellphone industry to introduce technology that could disable stolen smartphones has intensified with the introduction of proposed federal legislation that would mandate such a system.
  • Pressure on the cellphone industry to introduce technology that could disable stolen smartphones has intensified with the introduction of proposed federal legislation that would mandate such a system.
  • Senate bill 2032, "The Smartphone Prevention Act," was introduced to the U.S. Senate Wednesday by Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat. The bill promises technology that allows consumers to remotely wipe personal data from their smartphones and render them inoperable. But how that will be accomplished is currently unclear. The full text of the bill was not immediately available and the offices of Klobuchar and the bill's co-sponsors were all shut down Thursday due to snow in Washington, D.C.
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  • The co-sponsors are Democrats Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Mazie Hirono of Hawaii. The proposal follows the introduction last Friday of a bill in the California state senate that would mandate a "kill switch" starting in January 2015. The California bill has the potential to usher in kill-switch technology nationwide because carriers might not bother with custom phones just for California, but federal legislation would give it the force of law across the U.S. Theft of smartphones is becoming an increasing problem in U.S. cities and the crimes often involve physical violence or intimidation with guns or knives. In San Francisco, two-thirds of street theft involves a smartphone or tablet and the number is even higher in nearby Oakland. It also represents a majority of street robberies in New York and is rising in Los Angeles. In some cases, victims have been killed for their phones. In response to calls last year by law-enforcement officials to do more to combat the crimes, most cellphone carriers have aligned themselves behind the CTIA, the industry's powerful lobbying group. The CTIA is opposing any legislation that would introduce such technology. An outlier is Verizon, which says that while it thinks legislation is unnecessary, it is supporting the group behind the California bill.
  • Some phone makers have been a little more proactive. Apple in particular has been praised for the introduction of its activation lock feature in iOS7. The function would satisfy the requirements of the proposed California law with one exception: Phones will have to come with the function enabled by default so consumers have to make a conscious choice to switch it off. Currently, it comes as disabled by default. Samsung has also added features to some of its phones that support the Lojack software, but the service requires an ongoing subscription.
Gary Edwards

Meet OX Text, a collaborative, non-destructive alternative to Google Docs - Tech News and Analysis - 0 views

  • The German software-as-a-service firm Open-Xchange, which provides apps that telcos and other service providers can bundle with their connectivity or hosting products, is adding a cloud-based office productivity toolset called OX Documents to its OX App Suite lineup. Open-Xchange has around 70 million users through its contracts with roughly 80 providers such as 1&1 Internet and Strato. Its OX App Suite takes the form of a virtual desktop of sorts, that lets users centralize their email and file storage accounts and view all sorts of documents through a unified portal. However, as of an early April release it will also include OX Text, a non-destructive, collaborative document editor that rivals Google Docs, and that has an interesting heritage of its own.
  • The team that created the HTML5- and JavaScript-based OX Text includes some of the core developers behind OpenOffice, the free alternative to Microsoft Office that passed from Sun Microsystems to Oracle before morphing into LibreOffice. The German developers we’re talking about hived off the project before LibreOffice happened, and ended up getting hired by Open-Xchange. “To them it was a once in a lifetime event, because we allowed them to start from scratch,” Open-Xchange CEO Rafael Laguna told me. “We said we wanted a fresh office productivity suite that runs inside the browser. In terms of the architecture and principles for the product, we wanted to make it fully round-trip capable, meaning whatever file format we run into needs to be retained.”
  • This is an extremely handy formatting and version control feature. Changes made to a document in OX Text get pushed through to Open-Xchange’s backend, where a changelog is maintained. “Power” Word features such as Smart Art or Charts, which are not necessarily supported by other productivity suites, are replaced with placeholders during editing and are there, as before, when the edited document is eventually downloaded. As the OX Text blurb says, “OX Text never damages your valuable work even if it does not understand it”.
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  • “[This avoids] the big disadvantage of anything other than Microsoft Office,” Laguna said. “If you use OpenOffice with a .docx file, the whole document is converted, creating artefacts, then you convert it back. That’s one of the major reasons not everyone is using OpenOffice, and the same is true for Google Apps.” OX Text will be available as an extension to OX App Suite, which also includes calendaring and other productivity tools. However, it will also come out as a standalone product under both commercial licenses – effectively support-based subscriptions for Open-Xchange’s service provider customers – and open-source licenses, namely the GNU General Public License 2 and Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License, which will allow free personal, non-commercial use. You can find a demo of App Suite, including the OX Text functionality, here, and there’s a video too:
Paul Merrell

Surveillance scandal rips through hacker community | Security & Privacy - CNET News - 0 views

  • One security start-up that had an encounter with the FBI was Wickr, a privacy-forward text messaging app for the iPhone with an Android version in private beta. Wickr's co-founder Nico Sell told CNET at Defcon, "Wickr has been approached by the FBI and asked for a backdoor. We said, 'No.'" The mistrust runs deep. "Even if [the NSA] stood up tomorrow and said that [they] have eliminated these programs," said Marlinspike, "How could we believe them? How can we believe that anything they say is true?" Where does security innovation go next? The immediate future of information security innovation most likely lies in software that provides an existing service but with heightened privacy protections, such as webmail that doesn't mine you for personal data.
  • Wickr's Sell thinks that her company has hit upon a privacy innovation that a few others are also doing, but many will soon follow: the company itself doesn't store user data. "[The FBI] would have to force us to build a new app. With the current app there's no way," she said, that they could incorporate backdoor access to Wickr users' texts or metadata. "Even if you trust the NSA 100 percent that they're going to use [your data] correctly," Sell said, "Do you trust that they're going to be able to keep it safe from hackers? What if somebody gets that database and posts it online?" To that end, she said, people will start seeing privacy innovation for services that don't currently provide it. Calling it "social networks 2.0," she said that social network competitors will arise that do a better job of protecting their customer's privacy and predicted that some that succeed will do so because of their emphasis on privacy. Abine's recent MaskMe browser add-on and mobile app for creating disposable e-mail addresses, phone numbers, and credit cards is another example of a service that doesn't have access to its own users' data.
  • The issue with balancing privacy and surveillance is that the wireless carriers are not interested in privacy, he said. "They've been providing wiretapping for 100 years. Apple may in the next year protect voice calls," he said, and said that the best hope for ending widespread government surveillance will be the makers of mobile operating systems like Apple and Google. Not all upcoming security innovation will be focused on that kind of privacy protection. Security researcher Brandon Wiley showed off at Defcon a protocol he calls Dust that can obfuscate different kinds of network traffic, with the end goal of preventing censorship. "I only make products about letting you say what you want to say anywhere in the world," such as content critical of governments, he said. Encryption can hide the specifics of the traffic, but some governments have figured out that they can simply block all encrypted traffic, he said. The Dust protocol would change that, he said, making it hard to tell the difference between encrypted and unencrypted traffic. It's hard to build encryption into pre-existing products, Wiley said. "I think people are going to make easy-to-use, encrypted apps, and that's going to be the future."
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  • Stamos predicted changes in services that companies with cloud storage offer, including offering customers the ability to store their data outside of the U.S. "If they want to stay competitive, they're going to have to," he said. But, he cautioned, "It's impossible to do a cloud-based ad supported service." Soghoian added, "The only way to keep a service running is to pay them money." This, he said, is going to give rise to a new wave of ad-free, privacy protective subscription services.
  • Companies could face severe consequences from their security experts, said Stamos, if the in-house experts find out that they've been lied to about providing government access to customer data. You could see "lots of resignations and maybe publicly," he said. "It wouldn't hurt their reputations to go out in a blaze of glory." Perhaps not surprisingly, Marlinspike sounded a hopeful call for non-destructive activism on Defcon's 21st anniversary. "As hackers, we don't have a lot of influence on policy. I hope that's something that we can focus our energy on," he said.
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    NSA as the cause of the next major disruption in the social networking service industry?  Grief ahead for Google? Note the point made that: "It's impossible to do a cloud-based ad supported service" where the encryption/decryption takes place on the client side. 
Paul Merrell

FCC Putting Comcast/Time Warner Cable Investigation On Hold - 0 views

  • On Friday, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission said that it has extended its time to file responses and oppositions for the Comcast/Time Warner merger from October 8 to October 29. This is due to a motion filed by DISH Network, which said that Comcast didn't fully respond to the Commission's Request to Responses and Oppositions. The FCC is taking 180 days to determine if the Comcast and Time Warner merger will be in the best interest of the public. As of Friday, the investigation was at day 85, and it will resume once October 29 arrives. Originally, the investigation was expected to be complete on January 6, 2015. According to Reuters, a number of competitors and consumer advocates have rejected the merger, stating that the combined entity will have too much power over American consumers' viewing habits. Comcast disagrees of course, indicating that Time Warner is not a competitor and that their combined forces would bring better subscription services to a larger consumer audience.
  • Back in August, the FCC sent questions to both Comcast and Time Warner Cable asking for additional information about their broadband and video services, such as their Web traffic management practices. However, the FCC said on Friday that both companies failed to provide enough answers to please the merger reviewers. Comcast disagrees but said it will work with the reviewers to provide the missing information. "We will work with the staff to determine the additional information the FCC is seeking (including the document production that the FCC had asked us to delay filing) and will submit supplemental answers and documents quickly thereafter so that the FCC can complete its review early in 2015," Comcast spokeswoman Sena Fitzmaurice told Reuters.
  • Currently, the FCC is trying to retrieve Comcast's programming and retransmission consent agreements, but media companies have objected to the collection, saying that these documents are highly confidential. However, the documents have made their way to the Justice Department, which is conducting its own review for antitrust issues. The delay in the FCC's deadline also stems from a large 850-page document supplied by Comcast. The FCC indicated that this volume of information is critical to the investigation.
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Jay Z goes on tweeting spree to defend his Tidal streaming service - 0 views

Paul Merrell

Here Are All the Sketchy Government Agencies Buying Hacking Team's Spy Tech | Motherboard - 0 views

  • They say what goes around comes around, and there's perhaps nowhere that rings more true than in the world of government surveillance. Such was the case on Monday morning when Hacking Team, the Italian company known for selling electronic intrusion tools to police and federal agencies around the world, awoke to find that it had been hacked itself—big time—apparently exposing its complete client list, email spools, invoices, contracts, source code, and more. Those documents show that not only has the company been selling hacking tools to a long list of foreign governments with dubious human rights records, but it’s also establishing a nice customer base right here in the good old US of A. The cache, which sources told Motherboard is legitimate, contains more than 400 gigabytes of files, many of which confirm previous reports that the company has been selling industrial-grade surveillance software to authoritarian governments. Hacking Team is known in the surveillance world for its flagship hacking suite, Remote Control System (RCS) or Galileo, which allows its government and law enforcement clients to secretly install “implants” on remote machines that can steal private emails, record Skype calls, and even monitor targets through their computer's webcam. Hacking Team in North America
  • According to leaked contracts, invoices and an up-to-date list of customer subscriptions, Hacking Team’s clients—which the company has consistently refused to name—also include Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Bahrain, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Sudan and many others. The list of names matches the findings of Citizen Lab, a research lab at the University of Toronto's Munk School of Global Affairs that previously found traces of Hacking Team on the computers of journalists and activists around the world. Last year, the Lab's researchers mapped out the worldwide collection infrastructure used by Hacking Team's customers to covertly transport stolen data, unveiling a massive network comprised of servers based in 21 countries. Reporters Without Borders later named the company one of the “Enemies of the Internet” in its annual report on government surveillance and censorship.
  • we’ve only scratched the surface of this massive leak, and it’s unclear how Hacking Team will recover from having its secrets spilling across the internet for all to see. In the meantime, the company is asking all customers to stop using its spyware—and likely preparing for the worst.
Paul Merrell

Open Access Can't Wait. Pass FASTR Now. | Electronic Frontier Foundation - 1 views

  • When you pay for federally funded research, you should be allowed to read it. That’s the idea behind the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (S.1701, H.R.3427), which was recently reintroduced in both houses of Congress. FASTR was first introduced in 2013, and while it has strong support in both parties, it has never gained enough momentum to pass. We need to change that. Let’s tell Congress that passing an open access law should be a top priority.
  • Tell Congress: It’s time to move FASTR The proposal is pretty simple: Under FASTR, every federal agency that spends more than $100 million on grants for research would be required to adopt an open access policy. The bill gives each agency flexibility to implement an open access policy suited to the work it funds, so long as research is available to the public after an “embargo period” of a year or less. One of the major points of contention around FASTR is how long that embargo period should be. Last year, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee approved FASTR unanimously, but only after extending that embargo period from six months to 12, putting FASTR in line with the 2013 White House open access memo. That’s the version that was recently reintroduced in the Senate.  The House bill, by contrast, sets the embargo period at six months. EFF supports a shorter period. Part of what’s important about open access is that it democratizes knowledge: when research is available to the public, you don’t need expensive journal subscriptions or paid access to academic databases in order to read it. A citizen scientist can use and build on the same body of knowledge as someone with institutional connections. But in the fast-moving world of scientific research, 12 months is an eternity. A shorter embargo is far from a radical proposition, especially in 2017. The landscape for academic publishing is very different from what it was when FASTR was first introduced, thanks in larger part to nongovernmental funders who already enforce open access mandates. Major foundations like Ford, Gates, and Hewlett have adopted strong open access policies requiring that research be not only available to the public, but also licensed to allow republishing and reuse by anyone.
  • Just last year, the Gates Foundation made headlines when it dropped the embargo period from its policy entirely, requiring that research be published openly immediately. After a brief standoff, major publishers began to accommodate Gates’ requirements. As a result, we finally have public confirmation of what we’ve always known: open access mandates don’t put publishers out of business; they push them to modernize their business models. Imagine how a strong open access mandate for government-funded research—with a requirement that that research be licensed openly—could transform publishing. FASTR may not be that law, but it’s a huge step in the right direction, and it’s the best option on the table today. Let’s urge Congress to pass a version of FASTR with an embargo period of six months or less, and then use it as a foundation for stronger open access in the future.
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