FryUp: Social media down the plughole

This is the end, my network friend, the end; for HADOPI too, while TSO must go

End of Social Media

There is no business model for social media. Well, not beyond having lots of people use it because they think it’s fun or cool or a tool to spam the masses with. Then you can talk page impressions with advertisers silly enough to believe that kind of stuff. Trouble is, it won’t last, as Murdoch’s multi-million dollar munted Myspace is finding out. At some point, any social media phenomenon becomes uncool and boring, and people go elsewhere. Facebook and Twitter will go down the same plughole too. Besides, Trent from NIN has dumped social media.

Trent Reznor Quits Social Networking

MySpace prepares for massive layoffs

HADOPI’s had it

Surprise, surprise: that bill of rights drawn up in 1789 turns out to be useful 220 years later, preventing Sarkozy from setting up an Internet Gestapo entitled to cut off citoyens accused by the entertainment industry of illicit file sharing. Sadly, we, the populace of New Zealand, didn’t manage to get S92A (or S92C for that matter) out of our law books, despite all the noise made earlier this year. It is still on the cards, and may be re-introduced in a different format. Could our Bill of Rights help here? Section 2 says: You have the right to: Freedom of expression; Freedom of peaceful assembly; Freedom of association; Freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief. Shouldn’t those principles apply to the internet as well? Then there’s section 5, Criminal Procedure, which clearly states we all have the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty and guarantees a fair trial. Plus, you can defend yourself. Is a S92A type statute that ignores the above really compatible with the Bill of Rights? France’s S92a equivalent declared unconstitutional Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen The New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990

TSO still must go

I see that Minister Joyce is intent on keeping the “free local calling” in the Telecommunications Service Obligation review, which is quite frankly a huge mistake. Obviously, if you have to pay between $38.30 to $46.35 a month for phone service, it’s not free calling. Unmetered local calls would be the right term to use, but it should also be recognised as rather poor deal for low-income customers especially. Without “free local calling”, you could probably get away with paying half of the current landline charges, or maybe two-thirds if you talk a lot, with metered calls. Why? Because the cost of voice minutes over fixed lines has dropped massively — we’re talking a few cents a minute. Also, Telecom leases out landlines to ISPs at something like half the retail price, and still makes a profit. Second, charges for landlines that can only go up and never down contribute to the high cost of broadband over DSL in New Zealand. DSL-only lines should be commonplace by now, but they’re not, and you can imagine why that is. Joyce and National have a chance to stop this shocking drag on the national economy once and for all by radically reforming the TSO, but I doubt they’ll have the gumption. Labour never dared to, and you have to wonder why because they were told many times and in great detail just how wrong the TSO is. Ralph Chivers: Towards a new, contestable Kiwi Share Joyce: no plan to axe free calls or throw Telecom to Johnny Foreigner Antonios Karantze - Naked DSL: not quite the early panacea

XKCD Android girlfriend


Robert X Cringely

Facebook and Twitter name names

News that Facebook will be passing out 'vanity URLs' this weekend has the blogosphere's collective boxers in a bunch. Does having your 'real' name on your Facebook or Twitter page really matter to anyone with an actual life? Tick, tick, tick, tick. Two days, 13 hours, and 58 seconds, as I write this. That's how much time you have left before you can claim your own personalised Facebook URL. On June 13, at one minute past midnight eastern time, Facebook will unveil a "username" service that lets you assign the name your parents gave you to your Facebook home page. In other words, instead of, I can be -- but only if I get there first. (Otherwise that other guy might snag it. Shhh, don't tell him.) This news comes via a Facebook Blog post from someone called Blaise DiPersia (like that's a real name), and judging by the giddy reaction from the blogosphere, you'd think it was raining donuts on Christmas morning. Yes, those of us with mostly virtual lives do get excited over stupid things. This is a first-come first-served, take-no-prisoners/get-your-low-latency-lines-installed-now kind of deal. I predict a small tsunami of HTTP calls that will look a heckuvalot like a DDoS attack over at right around 12:02 am. The problem, of course, comes when your name is Robert Smith. There can only be one. And there are only so many variations of Bob, Bobby, Rob, Robbo, Smitty, etc., until you just say the hell with the vanity URL and go back to id=666784098. What exactly is the point of having a nom de Facebook? In the future, when everything converges and there is only one social network (let's call it FaceTwitSpace Live!), it will make life slightly easier if all your identities converge under your actual name. And of course, it's really helpful for stalkers. Aside from that, it's just more digital narcissism. (Which doesn't mean I won't be in there with everybody else, desperately trying to tear off my own little corner of Facebook.)

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