Well, this was inevitable: Starting September, Chicago will tax residents for using Netflix, Spotify and other streaming services. Next: enjoy the matching inevitable backlash!
Speaking of backlashes, Reddit execs continue to scarf down family sized portions of crow as venture capitalists offer unsolicited cash to the competition.
You know those crazy software licensing agreements that say you don’t actually own, say, Windows even though you spent a crapton of money on it? Good thing your car isn’t like that! Oh, wait…Automakers are arguing that they own the software running your car, and you just license it.
And finally…Here’s a headline I do not think can be improved: Russia warns its citizens that Selfies can be fatal.
What did you do, Daddy, in the Great Reddit Rebellion of 2015? Why I closed down my subreddit! Well, the subreddits are open again, but the questions remain: Can user communities like Reddit turn into actual companies with stuff like, ya know, profits?
Best-selling author Hugh Howey goes all in with Kindle Unlimited and asks if “Netflix for books” is now the future of publishing.
Speaking of that, is Kindle Unlimited by itself now bigger than the Nook store?
And finally…You can totally believe all those honest online reviews, as an Italian newspaper proved by using fake reviews getting TripAdvisor to name an imaginary restaurant the best eatery in town.
Think your cloud based business is immune from the vagaries of old-school political boundries? Think again! Greek companies are unable to pay for cloud services because of capital controls.
Last week I blogged that the television networks were in the same death spriral that claimed newspaper companies, just a half-decade behind. Comes now the news that the BBC, long thought invulnerable because it collects a fee for every television in Britain, is facing massive shortfalls and laying off 1,000 people.
The most terrifying position for a company to be caught in economically is to have an increasing share of a dying market. It makes you between doing suicidal stuff that loses your business long-term, or plunging revenue short term. Which explains why the Big 5 Publishing Houses colluded with Apple even though they knew it would increase piracy.
And finally…This should go well. Salon staff: “we believe in our publication and want it to be successful.” So much so that they have voted to unionize.
The television networks are collapsing the way the newspaper industry did, just 5 or so years later: Cable morning shows drop to their lowest ratings in 14 years.
Real estate is all about three things: location, location and location. But not geographically anymore; now its all about where you are on the Internet service map.
Just how much are you paying for all your digital services, anyway?
And finally…This is bound to end well. Scribd all-you-can-read ebook service users read a crap-ton of books (That’s the technical term); Scribd responds by dropping 80% of the books in several genres, including the most popular titles.
Apple keeps appealing, and keeps losing. The 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Apple conspired with book publishers to fix prices and violated federal antitrust law, and that the trial judge acted properly in imposing an injunction to prevent a recurrence. Next stop: the Supreme Court?
Ebook sales grew 35% in Japan and topped $1 billion for the first time.
Kindle Unlimited still makes sense for short fiction.
And finally…ABC adds two new medical reality series. Apparently, privacy is a really important issue…unless you can get on TV.
Stock analysts trying to figure Netflix’s value have calculated the streaming service’s ratings; the analysis shows Netflix neck and neck with ABC and NBC, and growing at a 40% rate that will leave the networks in the dust by next year.
A new study shows Google harms consumers by favoring its own services in search results. The study, funded by Yelp is support of its antitrust complaint against Google to EU regulators, does not address how consumers are affected by lawsuits and allegations that Yelp blackmails businesses into advertising.
The crisis in non-fiction publishing: Everyone wants to be Malcolm Gladwell.
And, finally…French gonna French, Part Deux: French taxi drivers riot, burn down half of Paris over competition from Uber, so the French police…arrest Uber executives.
Startups famously “pivot” as they look for a winning strategy. Failing startups pivot themselves dizzy. Medium: When we said Medium is a celebration of long-form narrative, we meant really long. Like 140 characters! You know…like Twitter.
Now this is brilliant marketing: Amazon now lets Kindle users send quotes and juicy excerpts to anyone – including people who don’t have Kindle.
Department of the only thing you should expect is the unexpected: Millennials the least likely to buy e-books.
And finally…Today: Movie database AI gets snotty with its programmer. 50 years from now: Skynet!
Say, why not get that HealthCare.Gov thing working right first? The former head of government technology under President Obama predicts government will insert itself into the logic of apps like Uber.
In our continuing effort to return to the 16th Century, Google is trying out replacing advertising with patronage for writers.
A study of 4.8 million tweets shows most people tweet between noon and 1 pm. Shockingly, the best time to get your tweet noticed is to send it early in the morning or late in the evening.
And finally…French gonna French: Uber releases a new app in France! French cabbies respond by…rioting and setting cars on fire all over Paris.
A discussion of the economic implications of Amazon’s decision to pay authors based on the number of pages read in lending books, instead of by the tome.
Not sure if this is an ad for the waterpark, the photo drones, the folks doing the shoot, or non-stop party people wearing barely there swimwear, but this is certain: Kids with 4K drones can now shoot video that leaves Michael Bay blushing with envy.
I kinda feel like this thing is akin to those Sony digicams you can stick on your smartphone: too expensive for how limited they are, and too limited for how expensive they are. That said, it’s interesting, but I’d rather have a Pentax Q7. And do. New $599 gadget turns your iPhone into an SLR...if by SLR you mean a camera with a fixed semi-wide angle lens.
And finally…Photography from Swinging 60s London, the Capital of Cool. Talk about branding…
Google launches News Lab, providing even more journalism data sources that no one will use. (No, I’m not bitter AT ALL.)
La plus ca change…Verizon network best in rural areas; AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon pretty close in cities; Spring network sucks everywhere.
You run anti-virus and anti-spyware software to…well, keep out virii and spies, no? Naturally, Our Government takes that as an invitation to spy.
And finally…I cannot decide which of the aspects of this story is more horrifying: the fact that the New York somehow fell for the hoax that Dylann Roof is a brony based on the word of a Facebooking 16-year-old Brit; the fact that said Brit’s reaction to mass murder was “Hey! Let’s connect this to My Little Pony!” Or the fact that Bronys are a thing – adult male My Little Pony culture. In Any Case, This Is Why Writing Fiction Is Futile.