OPLIN 4cast #438: Instant Articles

May 20th, 2015

Facebook logoLast week, Facebook launched Instant Articles, putting entire news stories from nine news organizations inside Facebook’s mobile app where people can read them rather than going to a website. Facebook says one of the main reasons for this arrangement is speed: articles delivered through Facebook’s mobile app supposedly load as much as ten times faster than the same article from a website. But some writers who offer commentary on the implications of technology changes think they see something other than just more speed going on here.

  • Is Facebook a partner or a competitor for media companies? Yes. (Fortune | Matthew Ingram)  “What Facebook wants is to deepen and strengthen its hold on users. In that sense, news content is just a means to an end. And the risk is that if it stops being an effective means to that end, then Facebook will lose interest in promoting it. But in the meantime, Facebook will have solidified its status as the default place where millions or possibly even billions of people go to get their news.”
  • First Click: The inevitability of Facebook instant articles (The Verge | Thomas Ricker)  “For the Facebook user, the benefit is clear: get the stories they’re already clicking on faster. For publishers though, it’s fraught with risk as they relinquish the distribution platform in order to meet readers where they are. It’s a return to Aol’s walled garden only with Zuck as its topiarist.”
  • The walled gardens of the Web are growing (ReadWrite | David Nield)  “With 1.4 billion users and growing, Facebook has a much better chance [than AOL] of becoming the Web for the majority of people who use it. That may do wonders for page loading times and tilt-to-pan photos, but it means we’re all playing by Mark Zuckerberg’s rules, both publishers and readers alike. That’s not a privilege that Facebook, Google or anyone else should have.”
  • 6 reasons the media insiders panicking about Facebook Instant Articles are wrong (Vox | Timothy B. Lee)  “The big worry of Instant Article skeptics is that users will get used to the fast loading of Instant Articles, and that this will have two negative effects. First, as the experience of reading news on Facebook improves, more people will do it, further expanding Facebook’s market share and — therefore — its power. And second, users will become more reluctant to click on links to outside articles and wait several seconds for the article to load. This argument doesn’t take the welfare of Facebook users seriously. The several-second delay between the time a user clicks on a link and the time she’s able to read an article is a real problem.”

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OPLIN 4cast #437: USB-C

May 13th, 2015

USB-C cableThere’s a new Universal Serial Bus showing up on some high-end laptops, called USB-C. The new Apple MacBook, for example, has only one hole in its side (other than the headphone jack), and it’s a USB-C port. USB technology has been around for a long time, in various versions (3.1 is the newest), and USB is the most useful and popular port on today’s computers. USB-C now seems poised to become the one port that will do just about anything on any device, and that’s something to keep in mind as you shop for new computing devices for your library.

  • What is USB-C? An explainer (PCMag | Joel Santo Domingo)  “Yes, the USB-C connector looks like a micro USB connector at first glance, but it’s slightly thicker to accommodate its best feature: like Lightning and MagSafe, the USB-C connector has no up or down orientation: as long as the connector is lined up right, you won’t have to flip the connector to plug it in! The cables also have the same connector on both ends, so you won’t ever have to figure out which end to plug in, unlike the older USB cables we’ve been using for the past 20 years.”
  • 6 things to know about the USB-C port in the new MacBook (PCWorld | Agam Shah)  “But the faster USB 3.1 port is significant because it will also be used to recharge the MacBook, as well as to connect to a wider variety of peripherals such as monitors, external storage drives, printers, and cameras. The MacBook is one of just a few devices to carry the new USB port. USB 3.1 can technically transfer data between the host computers and peripherals at maximum speeds of up to 10Gbps (gigabits per second), which is two times faster than the current USB 3.0.”
  • USB Type-C explained: What it is and why you’ll want it (How-To Geek | Chris Hoffman)  “The USB PD specification is also closely intertwined with USB Type-C. Currently, smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices often use a USB connection to charge. A USB 2.0 connection provides up to 2.5 watts of power — that’ll charge your phone, but that’s about it. A laptop might require up to 60 watts, for example. The USB Power Delivery specification ups this power delivery to 100 watts. It’s bi-directional, so a device can either send or receive power. And this power can be transferred at the same time the device is transmitting data across the connection.”
  • USB-C vs. USB 3.1: What’s the difference? (ExtremeTech | Joel Hruska)  “The ability to provide 100W of power, as opposed to 10W, however, means that nearly every manufacturers could ditch clunky power bricks. There would still be concern about ensuring that connect points were sufficiently reinforced, but provided such concerns can be accounted for, the vast majority of laptops could switch over to the new standard. Hard drives and other external peripherals could all be powered by single wires, as could USB hubs for multiple devices. The higher bandwidth is nice, and a major selling point, but the flippable connector and the power provisioning will likely make more difference in the day-to-day reality of life.”

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OPLIN 4cast #436: IoT security

May 6th, 2015

graphAs more and more specialized electronic devices automatically connect to Wi-Fi wherever they can find a node, comprising the so-called Internet of Things (IoT), the people who install and maintain wireless access points in libraries will encounter more and more concerns. For one thing, designing a wireless network for the IoT requires a shift in thinking, from providing big bandwidth for a few devices that patrons are using to “read” the Internet, to providing small bandwidth for a multitude of devices that they happen to be wearing in the library. But an even larger concern may be network security, since many of these devices have been designed with little or no thought given to protections against hacking and viruses.

  • Internet of Crappy Things (Kaspersky blog | Alex Drozhzin)  “In general, the problem is that those who develop home appliances and make them connected face realities of a brand new world they know nothing about. They ultimately find themselves in a situation similar to that of an experienced basketball player sitting through a chess match with a real grand master. Things get even worse when it comes to the users of connected devices. They don’t bother with security at all. For an average user, a connected microwave is still just a microwave. A user would never imagine it is a fully-equipped connected computer which has means of influencing the physical world.”
  • Prepping WLANs for the Internet Of Things (Network Computing | Marcia Savage)  “IoT security is a top concern, [director of product marketing at Aerohive Networks Abby] Strong said. Oftentimes the devices have custom operating systems, so antivirus can’t simply be installed on them. ‘There are few best practices for how to handle IoT systems,’ she said. ‘And absolutely no standardization. The industry doesn’t even know what the risks are yet.’”
  • Are we creating an insecure Internet of Things (IoT)? Security challenges and concerns (Toptal | Nermin Hajdarbegovic)  “[Federal Trade Commission chairwoman Edith] Ramirez went on to say that developers of IoT devices have not spent time thinking about how to secure their devices and services from cyberattacks. ‘The small size and limited processing power of many connected devices could inhibit encryption and other robust security measures,’ said Ramirez. ‘Moreover, some connected devices are low-cost and essentially disposable. If a vulnerability is discovered on that type of device, it may be difficult to update the software or apply a patch – or even to get news of a fix to consumers.’”
  • ‘Internet of Things’ gets watchdog: Report calls for extra security to prevent hacking of smart gadgets in homes (Daily Mail | Victoria Woollaston)  “Last year, the FTC studied 12 mobile fitness apps and found they shared data with 76 separate entities. Ms Ramirez continued: ‘If I’m wearing a fitness band that tracks how many calories I consume I wouldn’t want to share that data with an insurance company.’ The FTC report made no specific legislative recommendation for IoT but said ‘there appeared to be widespread agreement that companies developing IoT products should implement reasonable security.’”

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OPLIN 4cast #435: Stick computers

April 29th, 2015

Intel Compute StickComputers-on-a-stick are not this year’s favorite cheap toy that you can win at the county fair, but real things made by some serious companies (Intel and Google most recently) that may, or may not, be the next big thing in computing. The basic concept is simple: Build a computer that will fit in your pocket with a protruding plug you can stick into the HDMI port of a standard display. Actually building a computer that small that people will actually want to use is the tricky bit, but some pundits claim these little devices will be big in education and business. It’s possible they might make their way into libraries, too, either in patrons’ pockets, or as something you just hand a patron when they ask to use a computer.

  • 3 things you need to know about Google Inc.’s tiny new Chromebit computers (The Motley Fool | Daniel B. Kline)  “‘By simply plugging this device into any display, you can turn it into a computer,’ Google engineer Katie Roberts-Hoffman wrote in a blog post. ‘It’s the perfect upgrade for an existing desktop and will be really useful for schools and businesses.’ The idea of a computer that slips into your pocket is not completely unique — Intel showed one at the Consumer Electronics show this year — but Google’s has the potential to establish the category as viable.”
  • Intel compute stick review (Digital Trends | Matt Smith)  “So-called Stick PCs running Android have been around as long as media streamers, but their inability to handle Windows severely limits their appeal. Now computers of the same size have become powerful enough to handle a full install of Windows 8.1. […] While a number of small manufacturers rushed to market first, Intel was the inspiration for the surge.”
  • Intel and Google sticks unlikely to revolutionize computing (Seeking Alpha | Daniel James)  “Users expecting a high-powered USB stick PC will be disappointed. Intel has suggested the stick be used for ‘light productivity, social networking, Web browsing, and streaming media or games.’ Also, it could provide a low-cost solution for business computing. However, there doesn’t seem to be a specific niche that the product is filling. The fact that it still needs a screen and a range of peripherals to operate means that it takes up roughly as much space as a small notebook. If you add up the price of all these components, it isn’t actually much cheaper than a small notebook.”
  • Your quick guide to stick computers and what they’re good for (ReadWrite | Brian P. Rubin)  “The good news is that there will probably be even more options before too long, since we’re only at the beginning of the stick computer movement—if it does turn out to be a movement, that is. It’s still entirely possible that these HDMI dongles will fail to catch on, and we’ll toss stick computers away in the same dustbin as the world’s discarded netbooks.”

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OPLIN 4cast #434: Using a smartphone for Internet

April 22nd, 2015

smartphoneThe Pew Internet folks released another of their surveys at the beginning of this month. This one is about U.S. Smartphone Use in 2015, and it seems like it ought to have some useful information for public libraries. But we’re not really sure what it means for libraries. At first glance, it appears to indicate that there is still a need for lots of public computers in libraries, since about 10% of Americans own a smartphone but do not have any other form of high-speed Internet access at home. After further reflection, however, it could mean just the opposite, if the web is becoming so friendly to mobile devices that a smartphone is enough. It does seem to contain a clear warning to libraries that do not yet have mobile-friendly websites: A significant and growing number of your patrons will probably not bother to use your website.

  • Introduction (Pew Research Center | Aaron Smith)  “Other surveys have found that around one in ten Americans own a smartphone but lack traditional home broadband service, and that roughly one in five cell phone owners conduct most of their online browsing using their cell phone, rather than a computer or similar device. This report builds on this existing body of research by conducting a deep examination of the state of smartphone ownership in America today.”
  • Chapter One: A portrait of smartphone ownership (Pew Research Center | Aaron Smith)  “Some 13% of Americans with an annual household income of less than $30,000 per year are smartphone-dependent, and 9% of those with a high school diploma or less fall into this category as well. By comparison, just 1% of Americans from households with an annual income of $75,000 or more depend on their smartphone for internet access to a similar degree. Fully 15% of Americans ages 18-29 are heavily dependent on a smartphone for online access (20% have a smartphone but not traditional broadband service, and 25% have a smartphone but have relatively limited options for going online otherwise). 12% of African Americans and 13% of Latinos are smartphone-dependent, compared with just 4% of whites.”
  • Chapter Two: Usage and attitudes toward smartphones (Pew Research Center | Aaron Smith)  “Where lower-income and smartphone-dependent users stand out primarily when it comes to using their phone for job resources and information, young adults incorporate mobile devices into a host of information seeking and transactional behaviors at a higher level than older users. Three-quarters of 18-29 year old smartphone owners have used their phone in the last year to get information about a health condition; seven-in-ten have used their phone to do online banking or to look up information about job; 44% have consumed educational content on their phone; and 34% have used their phone to apply for a job.”
  • Chapter Three: A “Week in the Life” analysis of smartphone users (Pew Research Center | Aaron Smith)  “For example, 100% of 18-29 year old smartphone owners used text messaging at least once over the course of the study, but so did 92% of those 50 and older. These age-related differences are even more modest for email (91% of 18-29 year olds and 87% of those 50 and older used email at least once) and voice/video calling (93% of 18-29 year olds did this, as did 93% of those 50 and older). Internet use, though quite common among older adults, is near-ubiquitous among younger users — fully 97% of 18-29 year old smartphone owners used their phone to go online at least once during the study period, compared to 80% of those 50 and older.”

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OPLIN 4cast #433: This .sucks

April 15th, 2015

sucks stampBeginning a little more than a year ago, the Internet Corporation For Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) began implementing a plan to expand the number of generic top-level domains (gTLDs) on the Internet – domains like .com, .net, and .org – from 22 to (eventually) over 1,000. The first seven new gTLDs added in early 2014, for example, were .bike, .clothing, .guru, .holdings, .plumbing, .singles, and .ventures. One gTLD that’s about to be launched is causing concern: The .sucks gTLD is commanding very high prices, as big companies and celebrities pay top dollar to keep the general public from buying top-level domains like <celebrityname>.sucks. In retrospect, it’s hard to see how this gTLD could not have turned out badly. Fortunately, libraries do not suck.

  • Internet naming body moves to crack down on ‘.sucks’ (Associated Press)  “The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, on Thursday sent a letter to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and Canada’s Office of Consumer Affairs to see if the actions of company Vox Populi Registry Ltd. are illegal. ICANN initially approved of the so-called top-level domain name, among nearly 600 it has added recently to expand beyond common names such as ‘.com,’ ‘.org’ and ‘.us.’ But it is backtracking after an advisory panel made up of industry groups and companies like Microsoft, Verizon and eBay complained last month.”
  • Internet naming group asks FTC to investigate .sucks controversy (Yahoo! Finance | Aaron Pressman)  “The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a non-profit that sets policies for the global domain name system, said in a letter to the FTC and Canada’s Office of Consumer Affairs that companies have complained the system is ‘predatory, exploitive and coercive.’ ICANN asked the regulatory bodies to determine whether any laws had been broken. ‘ICANN is concerned about the contentions of illicit actions being expressed, but notes that ICANN has limited expertise or authority to determine the legality of Vox Populi’s positions, which we believe would fall in your respective regulatory regimes,’ the group said in the letter.”
  • “.sucks” registrations begin soon—at up to $2,500 per domain (Ars Technica | Lee Hutchinson)  “The pricing situation around .sucks domain names is complicated. Companies with registered trademarks will have to pay an astounding $2,499 to register their trademarked names in .sucks. Registration of non-trademarked names during the ‘sunrise’ period (March 30 until June 1) before .sucks goes live will cost at least $299 per name, while the standard registration fee after June 1 goes to at least $249 per name. Companies are typically hyper-sensitive about brand usage, and few will want their .sucks domains under someone else’s control.”
  • New .sucks domain stirs up storm over free speech (The Star Online)  “John Berard, chief executive at Vox Populi, told AFP the new domain is something that companies can use to engage with consumers, and that he sees the word ‘sucks’ as ‘edgy’ but not pejorative. ‘We think we’re creating an opportunity for interaction that is meaningful,’ he said. ‘If a company were to establish its own .sucks site and drive that discussion to a centralized location it might be quite a valuable asset.’ Berard added that the pricing ‘reflects what we believe to be the value of the names.’”

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OPLIN 4cast #432: You want privacy?

April 8th, 2015

keyholeJust about everybody would like to feel that the things they do on the Internet remain private, at least sometimes. In reality, many of us, according to the Pew folks, expect that someone in the government will be snooping on us, or we assume that someday, some hacker will break into a company’s data and get information about us. But we also assume that when a company says it will keep our data private, it will at least try to protect our privacy. Judging by a couple of recent news stories, that does not always happen.

  • Report: Facebook tracks all visitors, even if you’re not a user and opted out (Ars Technica | Glyn Moody)  “This newly found tracking, used to provide targeted advertising, is carried out through Facebook’s social widget, the Like Button. A cookie is placed in the browser when someone visits any page in the facebook.com domain, including sections that do not require an account. For visitors that are not Facebook users, the cookie contains a unique identifier, and it has an expiration date of two years. Facebook users receive additional cookies that identify them uniquely.”
  • Facebook ‘tracks all visitors, breaching EU law’ (The Guardian | Samuel Gibbs)  “EU privacy law states that prior consent must be given before issuing a cookie or performing tracking, unless it is necessary for either the networking required to connect to the service (‘criterion A’) or to deliver a service specifically requested by the user (‘criterion B’). The same law requires websites to notify users on their first visit to a site that it uses cookies, requesting consent to do so.”
  • RadioShack’s bankruptcy could give your customer data to the highest bidder (Bloomberg Business | Joshua Brustein)  “RadioShack’s customers—even those whose most recent purchase came years ago—could also find themselves sold off in the deal. The company included personal data in its bankruptcy auction as its own asset class. A website maintained by Hilco Streambank, which is serving as an intermediary for RadioShack, says that more than 13 million e-mail addresses and 65 million customer names and physical address files are for sale.”
  • How safe is your information when a company goes bankrupt? (Dallas Morning News | Michael A. Lindenberger)  “As with many bankrupt firms, that list would have been worth a fortune to the right buyer, especially if the data could be sold free of any obligation to keep it private. Like most large and reputable companies, RadioShack had promised customers not to sell the data it collected to third parties. But bankruptcy court is a unique setting in American law, and one of its chief purposes is to maximize the value of a bankrupt company’s assets even if it must sever otherwise valid contracts.”

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OPLIN 4cast #431: Morphing antennas

April 1st, 2015

Wi-Fi routerEthertronics Inc. got some attention in the technology media about a month ago when they announced that they had developed a chip for wireless routers that changes the radiation pattern of the router’s antennas to fit the characteristics of a space. Ethertronics (and some other companies) have previously been doing work in the area of developing “reconfigurable” antennas for mobile phones and tablets, and at least one university is also doing research in this area, reportedly with military funding. Reconfigurable antennas in routers could improve wireless performance substantially and might alleviate the need for multiple wireless routers in some places.

  • Wi-Fi signals can now penetrate thick walls and cover long distances (Deccan Chronicle | Francis D’Sa)  “The chip enables Active Steering technique (signal steering) by monitoring the RF link performance and uses a closed group of predictive algorithms to select the best antenna radiation and pattern for superior performance. The technology works best with 802.11 ac devices and enables wireless signals to penetrate thick walls, ceilings and alike to reach further distances, where conventional routers cannot today.”
  • Active antennas could mean more powerful Wi-Fi networks (GigaOm | Kevin Fitchard)  “Ethertronics has designed the antenna technology that has gone into more than a billion mobile devices (if you own a Samsung Galaxy device chances are you’re talking and surfing through an Ethertronics rig), but its active steering technology hasn’t yet made it into a mobile device, though it is engaged in several trials with carriers. [Chief Scientist Jeff] Shamblin, however, thinks that that the technology stands a good shot in the Wi-Fi market as we increasingly hook more devices into home wireless networks from TVs and stereos, to wearables and smart home appliances.”
  • Ethertronics goes for WiFi (Electronics Weekly | David Manners)  “The technology allows three physical antenna to act as 12 virtual antenna. ‘We take one antenna and by changing the radiation pattern of the antenna we can generate multiple radiation patterns from a single antenna,’ [COO Vahid] Manian told EW.  Beam steering, by sampling and switching between the multiple radiation patterns, selects the antenna radiation pattern that provides the best RF link performance. This delivers, says the company, improvements in range, data throughput, interference reduction, robustness in multipath environments, and connection reliability.”
  • Wi-Fi beam-steering tech could kill off fixed home networks (Faultline [via The Register] | Peter White)  “The system also comes with some predictive algorithms so that once it has worked out which is the best way to deliver a particular signal, it gets better at finding the most effective radiation pattern more immediately. The company already sees future markets for active antennas in hospitals, inventory tracking, traffic control, car-to-car control, metering, cameras and Internet of Things sensors.”

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OPLIN 4cast #430: A different approach to stopping piracy

March 25th, 2015

ICANN logoAny library that has a sizable number of patrons using the library’s public Internet computers has probably seen more than a few copyright infringement notices. (They’re often passed along to the library through OPLIN; we get them because we’re on file as the “owner” of most Ohio public library IP addresses.) It’s inevitable, given enough people, that someone in the library is going to download something that is supposed to be protected by copyright from downloading, and the companies that are paid by the movie and music industries to watch for illegal downloads then issue an infringement notice. Now the entertainment industries are suggesting a different technique and would pressure the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to unregister websites that the industries feel are distributing pirated materials.

  • MPAA, RIAA urge ICANN to do more about copyright infringement (Techspot | Shawn Knight)  “Back in 2013 when ICANN opened up top-level domains, it included a provision in its contract with the registries of the new top-level domains called Public Interest Commitments. Part of that agreement mandated that they’d only do business with domain name registrars that prohibited its customers from distributing piracy, trademark and copyright infringement in addition to a hose of other nefarious activities. With that, ICANN suddenly finds itself in a sticky situation. If they are strong-armed into policing such sites, how do they go about doing it?”
  • Hollywood asks domain registrars to censor the Web for intellectual property infringement (Electronic Frontier Foundation | Jeremy Malcolm and Maira Sutton)  “The report goes on to claim that registrars are required, under agreements with ICANN, to take action by locking or suspending domains when they receive a notice about one of their domains facilitating illegal activity. This isn’t true, and by claiming it is, USTR [United States Trade Representative] is here repeating the United States entertainment industry’s current talking points. What is true is that the RIAA and MPAA have recently asked ICANN, the multi-stakeholder body that administers the global domain name system, to establish that domain registrars must take down websites over copyright infringement complaints.”
  • RIAA escalates piracy witchhunt, points its pitchfork at domain registrars (Digital Trends | Chris Leo Palermino)  “The US government…agrees with the RIAA’s stance that domain registrars should be responsible for court-ordered takedown notices. The report specifically mentions one domain registrar, Canada-based Tucows, as one that hasn’t taken action when notified of its clients’ infringing activity. Furthermore, ‘some registrars even advertise to the online community that they will not take action against illicit activity,’ according to the report. Even if domain registrars did follow court orders, the RIAA wants more: they want the domain registrars to take sites down when someone reports copyright infringing content — not just when the court tells them to.”
  • ICANN, copyright infringement, and “the public interest” (The Washington Post | David Post)  “In a sense, it looks harmless enough; if you want to register frabulous.app, or washingtonpost.blog, or dewey-cheatem-and-howe.attorney, or any other 2d-level domain in these TLDs, what’s wrong with making you promise not to engage in ‘piracy’ or ‘fraud,’ or any activity ‘contrary to applicable law’? Who wouldn’t promise such a thing? It is, however, anything but harmless – and the RIAA/MPAA letters show why. Registries and registrars will henceforth have to satisfy ICANN that they are taking appropriate steps to suspend end-users who engage in ‘piracy’ or any activity ‘contrary to applicable law’; if they do not, they risk losing their place in the DNS.”

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OPLIN 4cast #429: The tech blogging business

March 18th, 2015

typewriterWe read a lot of technology blogs every week, watching for things that might interest readers of this 4cast blog. Recently, a couple of the technology blogs themselves have become news, as ReadWrite was sold last month, and GigaOm announced last week that it was closing its business. Is this a trend? Possibly. The fact is, many mainstream news publishers now include a technology blog on their own websites, such as The New York Times’ Bits, the Wall Street Journal’s Digits, the Huffington Post’s HuffPost Tech, and any number of blogs associated with major local daily newspapers. It could be that we’re seeing the beginning of the end of the independent technology blog.

  • Gigaom shuts down in crowded tech media landscape (Wall Street Journal | Steven Perlberg)  “Gigaom’s fate had others in the digital media industry wondering if the event portended a larger ‘content shakeout,’ especially given that Say Media recently sold its own tech site ReadWrite. Executives in the media and venture capital worlds say it is quite difficult to be a self-sustaining site these days, considering the crowded tech media space. ‘When everybody from The Wall Street Journal to the New York Times to everybody else has doubled down on covering tech, what’s your value?’ said Rafat Ali, the CEO and founder of travel site Skift.”
  • Tech blog GigaOm abruptly shuts down (The New York Times | Ravi Somaiya)  “The site, long known for both its business and consumer-facing technology posts, had been open to experimentation in its business model. Like other media start-ups, Gigaom hosted a series of technology conferences that charged high prices for admission. The company offered a white-paper research business, and also sold advertising.”
  • Should we crowdfund ReadWrite? (ReadWrite | Owen Thomas)  “Our former publisher, Say Media, was prepared to shut us down if we hadn’t found a new owner. Wearable World is a good home for ReadWrite, and I’m energized by the conversations I have with our CEO, Redg Snodgrass, about our shared mission to democratize technology. Gigaom’s closure is a stark reminder, though, that the conventional advertising model, even when complemented by businesses like events and research, isn’t always enough to allow independent reporting about technology to thrive.”
  • Platishers, beware: Say Media gives up on publishing (Digiday | Lucia Moses)  “The latest pivot adds to the company’s already complicated story. It also serves as a warning to other digital natives like Vox Media, Business Insider and pretty much anyone with a custom CMS and a pile of VC cash that are trying to figure out how to be the media company of the future by marrying media and tech. It sounds good to say you’ll do both — and that’s probably what venture backers want to hear — but when it comes to execution, the demands of both businesses make a combination very difficult.”

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