Earlier this month I deactivated my Facebook and Twitter accounts. There are both personal and global reasons for my decision, and I don’t have anything particularly interesting to say on the topic other than I don’t miss those services and you can no longer find me there. This space will continue to be my online home, as it has been since 2005. I hope you’ll come see me.
“We’re disappointed in today’s decision, which allows the government to conduct intrusive searches of Americans’ laptops and other electronics at the border without any suspicion that those devices contain evidence of wrongdoing,” said Catherine Crump, the American Civil Liberties Union attorney who argued the case in July 2011. “Suspicionless searches of devices containing vast amounts of personal information cannot meet the standard set by the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures. Unfortunately, these searches are part of a broader pattern of aggressive government surveillance that collects information on too many innocent people, under lax standards, and without adequate oversight.”
Today we’re making our Street View coverage more comprehensive than ever before by launching our biggest ever update–doubling our number of special collections and updating over 250,000 miles of roads around the world. We’re increasing Street View coverage in Macau, Singapore, Sweden, the U.S., Thailand, Taiwan, Italy, Great Britain, Denmark, Norway and Canada. And we’re launching special collections in South Africa, Japan, Spain, France, Brazil and Mexico, among others.
In short, Maps is an appalling first release. It may be the most embarrassing, least usable piece of software Apple has ever unleashed.
When searching for movies in iTunes, Universal movies no longer have contain a warning that the movies are not available through iCloud, while Fox’s movies retain the warning…Previous movie purchases from Universal should now be available for redownload in your previous purchased menu on iTunes.
Fox is also said to be in negotiations with expectations that their movies would also become available through iCloud in the near future.
During a talk at SXSW yesterday, tech journalist Steven Levy talked about how he had once brandished an iPod with an external microphone to record an interview with Steve Jobs.
Jobs was horrified when he saw that Levy had a case on his iPod. Jobs asked Levy why he would choose to change the form factor on such a beautiful device.
“So I told [Jobs], but it’s beautiful! I don’t want to get scratches on it,” Levy said.
Jobs replied, “But that’s how you know it’s real, that it’s a real thing.”
The question of fact is difficult to answer as it is an attempt to prove a negative: How do we know how many copies of a work pirates would have bought if they hadn’t pirated? How do we know how many more people discovered and bought a work because it was pirated? How do we differentiate between shrinking industry sales caused by piracy or by a new abundance of competition?
The matter of principles is this: Where will the White House and government put their priorities: in protecting the interests of a shrinking industry or in protecting the interests of innovation, entrepreneurship, and economic expansion? Will they favor protecting the interests of a closed industry or the freedom of speech?
Bills like SOPA and PIPA don’t work because they are written by people who do not understand the Internet. SOPA was written by the entertainment industry as a catch-all maneuver to combat piracy.
The problem is that the bill is so vague that it allows for the take-down of legitimate websites and services and undermines existing provisions in the DMCA. It grants not only the government but also private organizations to block web addresses with little more than an accusation.
Without doubt, SOPA/PIPA will be be a devastating blow not only to the tech sector, but to jobs, security and innovation.
Also: End Piracy, Not Liberty