Military spending

Look, I realize this is obvious, but US military spending makes no sense. There is no adversary and no threat. You could argue that military adventurism serves American business and thus the American economy. But I’ve never seen credible evidence of this. Do you know anybody who got a job off the Iraq war? There […]

Compass sense

North Paw compass anklet is a transhumanist hack to augment your sense of direction. A North Paw is an anklet that tells the wearer which way is North. The anklet holds eight cellphone vibrator motors around your ankle. A control unit senses magnetic north and turns on and off the motors. At any given time […]


Sonos’ MacFarlane on near-term issues for streaming music services: 9.99 is not a mass market price point, somehow (bundling, discounts, pricing innovation, partnerships etc) that price must come down to drive wider adoption. Also the value chain must work out a transparency solution that can work within the restrictions set by commercial relationships. Artists may […]


Is Creative Commons marketing pixie dust? Does it really do anything for musicians? On big centralized content repositories, it does have concrete value. Publishers who need non-infringing music will go to trusted distribution points like Soundcloud, Freesound, Jamendo, CC Mixter, and Free Music Archive. These sites have standardized license terms, so that potential users don’t […]


1709blog has a breakdown of Psy’s revenues from Gangnam Style, which they fisk to disprove TechDirt’s point that copyright is unnecessary for exploiting global successes like Gangnam Style. They break it down to about $4.6 million that doesn’t depend on copyright, $3.5 million that does. Clearly the part that does depend on copyright is enough […]

Google’s operational ability to process DMCA takedown notices is a business advantage. As far as I know it has no competition. Nobody does it as well, at anywhere near the same scale. Google couples that with a licensing business that enables copyright owners to monetize unauthorized distribution. Again, it has no competition. Licensing is the […]

Music Industry Blog did an insightful breakdown of the Spotify numbers. The key point is that royalties for downloads and streams are much closer than the current debate suggests… Downloads are thus 5 ½ times more valuable to artists than streams.. (The difference is normally assumed to be in the hundreds). This feels credible to […]

Passwords on backups

Stop Lengthening your Passwords. It’s futile: You can increase the number of characters in your password all you want; some guy is just going to … crack it next week. The solution is multifactor authentication. But then what about backups? Encrypting files with a password that’s long enough NOW doesn’t prevent them from being decrypted […]