Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Tuesday, December 06, 2021

free killer
When your basic business model is described as “parasitic”, you wouldn’t expect much in the way of meaningful dialogue. Yet some sabre-rattling out of the European Publishers Council over the numbered days of free content on the Web elicited a familiar defense from Google’s standards-and-practices guy:

“It is fascinating to see how these companies ‘help themselves’ to copyright-protected material, build up their own business models around what they have collected, and parasitically, earn advertising revenue off the back of other people’s content,” [EPC head Francisco Pinto Balsemao] said.

“This is unlikely to be sustainable for publishers in the longer term.”…

Responding to Balsemao’s remarks, Google spokesman Steve Langdon said: “Search engines do not reproduce content. They help users find content by pointing to where it exists on the Web.” Google removes websites from its news index if a publisher doesn’t want the content listed, Langdon said.

Once again, Google’s approach to content use is take first, solicit reaction later. It’s a classic technocratic attitude: If it’s there for the taking, it ought to be taken, and permissions be damned.

It’s a curious way to build up a business. If eBay routinely put up items for auction of its own volition, without asking the owners of said items if they wished to have them auctioned off… Sort of the same dynamic here. Long-term, it’s a handicap when doing business.

I also see parallels with Wikipedia’s recent fallout over a publicized false biography, in that the operating principle puts the onus on the victim to participate and correct the situation — a patently unfair system.

I guess this calls into question the nature of content on the Web in general. Should stuff online be assumed to be free for the taking, simply because of the medium from which it’s accessible? Is that implied rule to being on the Web? How does the commercialization of the Internet change this?

Probably worthy of further thought.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 12/06/2021 11:15:51 PM
Category: Business, Internet, Media
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News that the U.S. Postal Service has achieved debt-free status for the first time ever does not make me wonder about the usual postal-related things, like how much a stamp’s going to cost next year (39 cents — like it matters, as I can’t remember the last time I sent a letter) or whether or not Saturday postal delivery is still subject to being cut.

No, I’m wondering about my friend and former roommate, Schmu. He’s been working as a high-rolling consultant for the USPS for the past couple of years. I imagine one of his objectives was to get the operation out of the red. Could Schmu have been behind this stunning turnaround? If so, I’m sure to hear about it.

(No, I’m not going to reveal his real name here. But if you’re really interested…)

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 12/06/2021 10:37:16 PM
Category: Business, College Years
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Maybe I should start watching MSNBC… At least whenever Norah O’Donnell is on, and is in the vicinity of the White House.

I wonder if this is the real reason for MSNBC making Bill O’Reilly’s enemies list?

(Via nicoleMART)

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 12/06/2021 08:30:34 PM
Category: Comedy, Media
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Spied at work just now, in big bold lettering on a small truck parked in front of the building:

ON SITE CLEANING
BLIND CLEANING ALSO AVAILABLE

Am I the only one who sees a pun lurking here? “On site”, which can be construed as “sight” or “sighted”, as opposed to “blind”, which I’m sure is actually intended to refer to those pesky dust-collecting window blinds… So, this is a cleaning service that offers both blind and non-blind cleaning crews…

“Oh, the blind cleaning guys are cheaper? What the hell, I’ll take them, they’ll do a good enough job!”

Eh, maybe I’m reaching.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 12/06/2021 01:24:44 PM
Category: Business, Comedy, Florida Livin'
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