Google gave ‘the ultimatum only a monopolist can give’

Google gave ‘the ultimatum only a monopolist can give’: For me, the testimony of Yelp’s Stoppelman and Nextag CEO Jeff Katz was the most compelling, because it came from Web-based entrepreneurs who know all too well how the game is played.

Here’s the crux of the story Stoppelman told the senators: 

“The experience in my industry is telling. Google forces review websites to provide their content for free to benefit Google’s own competing product, not consumers. Google then gives its own product preferential treatment in Google search results.

“Google first began taking our content without permission a year ago. Despite public and private protests, Google gave the ultimatum that only a monopolist can give: In order to appear in Web search, you must allow us to use your content to compete against you. As everyone in this room knows, not being in Google is equivalent to not existing on the Internet. We had no choice.”

Google softened its stance, according to Stoppelman, only after the FTC announced an antitrust investigation, the states’ attorneys general took notice, and the Senate antitrust committee proposed this hearing.

The text of Stoppelman’s written testimony is available here.

[The usual mess…]
Source: FORTUNE: Apple 2.0

How we would be

Noah reminds me, most days, to live closely to who you are. And sometimes you try on new things and see how they work.

Some of this is a question of perspective. I once took a short hike, but it was my turn to carry the load… literally. I carried a large day pack and had food and water and extra clothing for all of us. Not too far in to the wilds of New Hampshire a couple comes hiking down the trail, and we meet over the tussle of who’s coming up, who’s going down, and stepping around the usually close trail.

What they saw was a guy on an adventure… backpack, walking stick, etc. Where’d you camp they asked? Where are you staying tonight? I granted their confusion… I’ve been that guy, I’ve done those things enough for authenticity to remain in evidence. But still, I was not that guy that day. But it was clearly exciting for them to meet someone that was doing that… like they wanted to but hadn’t got there yet.

We see who and what we want. We see problems if that’s what we want. We see Truth if that’s what we need. The power of seeing is in allowing room for others to be seen as they wish, rather than what we wish for them. By seeing, actually seeing, people as they are, we can empower them to live as they choose… or as they wish to, even they’re not there yet.

Changing settings give people that freedom. Move to a new place where no one knows you and it is easy to weave a new story if you choose. The trick, as it were, it to get people to see you as you wish to be seen without that fresh start. Evolving a story is more complicated and requires permission and time.

But don’t let any of this stop you from living how you choose, with a vision for yourself as you wish it to be. Just realize that it may take a long time for others to see it as well. It doesn’t make it less true. People who you see as they wish to be seen could well see you as you wish to be seen. And may help you get where you want to go.

On Netflix

Folks keep asking why the old DVD service will gain a new company name… Qwickster

My take? They’re just “riding down” the DVD through the mail thing until infrastructure and services support streaming for us all… and by then Netflix will be a “cable company”. Therefore, they don’t want that “ebbing” business associated with the Netflix brand. Hmmm.

Streaming in some forms works very nicely. One version provided by Cablevision (much as I can’t stand them) which I’ve only tried on the smallest of screens (my phone), has an app that while you’re on your home network will allow you watch whatever is “on the air” so to speak. It works nicely.

To rely on that same net connection (amazing that it can be so poor at some things and yet manage the above) for a more generalized stream of HD movies etc. is to plan long in advance, be uncertain of your plans, and hopeful that streaming means “local caching”. If doesn’t, it doesn’t really work.

That said, I almost never watch a movie… so none of this really impacts me.

All in all, Netflix clearly made a mistake when they gave streaming away for free. There ain’t no thing… etc.

The Age of Mechanical Reproduction

The Age of Mechanical Reproduction:

Paul Ford, back in July, a lovely gut-wrenching piece for The Morning News. Read it, you won’t regret it. Then, when you’re done, read today’s postscript.

[Many years ago I had a discussion with Lisa about “how far to go” to have a baby. What interventions were cool, and what was “it wasn’t meant to be” for us. This brought all of it back… and 6 years of incredible joy. I wonder if my answer would be different knowing what I know…]
Source: Daring Fireball

I am a job creator who creates no jobs

I am a job creator who creates no jobs: I should add that I am in no danger of being caught in the net of President Obama’s proposed millionaires’ tax. I pay the accountants a few thousand dollars, and they make sure I am not paying more in taxes than I should be. (Note to the IRS: They do this in ways that are conservative, entirely above-board and so innocuous that they should not attract your interest in the slightest.)

While there is something absurd about being a one-man corporation, it’s a rational response to an irrational tax code. If lawmakers got serious about tax reform that removed loopholes, the money spent on accountants and actuaries (valuable though they are) could instead be used to grow the economy or to pay the federal debt. But that’s a matter for another day.

At the moment, the Ink-Stained Inc. case study, should the Harvard Business School wish to study it, is a reminder to be skeptical of the “job creator” argument in the tax debate. “It’s a good example of the murkiness of what we mean by small business and the connection to jobs,” William Gale, co-director of the Urban Institute and Brookings Institution’s Tax Policy Center, told me. “There’s sort of this notion of small-business innovation and job creation that just doesn’t necessarily hold.”

That’s even more so with Obama’s “Buffett Rule,” under which millionaires would have to pay a higher tax rate than a typical middle-class worker. As a practical matter, most already do. Gale said the rule would raise the taxes on only a few thousand people, perhaps as few as 1,000.

In a nation of more than 300 million, that’s not going to make a dent in job creation. Even the data analysts at Ink-Stained Inc. could figure out that one — that is, if we had any data analysts.

[It comes down to… if politicians are talking… they’re lying.]

You Have Every Right to Photograph That Cop

You Have Every Right to Photograph That Cop: “Taking photographs and video of things that are plainly visible in public spaces is a constitutional right — and that includes the outside of federal buildings, as well as transportation facilities, and police and other government officials carrying out their duties.

However, there is a widespread, continuing pattern of law enforcement officers ordering people to stop taking photographs or video in public places, and harassing, detaining and arresting those who fail to comply. The ACLU, photographer’s groups, and others have been complaining about such incidents for years — and consistently winning in court. Yet, a continuing stream of incidents of illegal harassment of photographers and videographers makes it clear that the problem is not going away.”

[It’s a huge mess. From my perspective this problem has grown greatly over the years…]