Tuesday, 28 October 2014

The Profits-Investment Disconnect

The Profits-Investment Disconnect - NYTimes.com: "Profits are very high, so why are companies concluding that they should return cash to stockholders rather than use it to expand their businesses?

After all, we normally think of high profits as a signal: a profitable business is one people should be trying to get into. But right now we see a combination of high profits and sluggish investment :  What’s going on? ... this kind of divergence — in which high profits don’t signal high returns to investment — is what you’d expect if a lot of those profits reflect monopoly power rather than returns on capital." 'via Blog this'

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Amazon’s Monopsony Is Not O.K. - Krugman

Amazon’s Monopsony Is Not O.K. - NYTimes.com: "The desirability of new technology, or even Amazon’s effective use of that technology, is not the issue. After all, John D. Rockefeller and his associates were pretty good at the oil business, too — but Standard Oil nonetheless had too much power, and public action to curb that power was essential.

And the same is true of Amazon today." 'via Blog this'

Saturday, 27 September 2014

No, I am not interested in joining your proprietary social network

No, I am not interested in joining your proprietary social network - mathew's web site: "What we need are social networks which are open, like e-mail and the web; where anyone who wants to can set up their own server (or pay someone else to do it) and join the conversation via a system they control. We need social systems which are decentralized, rather than centralized and corporate. Systems where at a minimum, there are multiple independent organizations running servers, and you can migrate if you decide you don’t like the one you’re relying on.

There’s a system which is built that way. It also has no ads, doesn’t require that you provide your “real” name or specify your gender, doesn’t aggregate your data for sale to corporations, and doesn’t run ads. It has per-post privacy settings, so you can share just with the people you trust. You can post pictures and comments, discuss things with friends in discussion threads, and do most of the other stuff you do on Facebook or Twitter." 'via Blog this'

Thursday, 4 September 2014

UK Culture Secretary: Search Engines Must Magically Stop Piracy Or Else! |

UK Culture Secretary: Search Engines Must Magically Stop Piracy Or Else! | Techdirt:

"Now, copyright law absolutely does enable one particular business model, but to argue that there would be no industry, no producers, no session musicians, no publicity and no artwork without enforceable copyright is just silly. And easily disproved since (1) there was plenty of artwork and music before that (2) there are still plenty of people who produce music without relying on copyright as a business model and (3) "session musicians" tend not have a copyright in the music they play anyway. They get paid session wages. That's not about copyright.

 Note how he insists that the recording industry is not in it for the money, but for the "passion." He's pretty sure of this, even though copyright has nothing to do with passion, and everything to do with money." 'via Blog this'

Friday, 8 August 2014

How We’ll Know the Wikimedia Foundation is Serious About a Right to Remember

How We’ll Know the Wikimedia Foundation is Serious About a Right to Remember - Concurring Opinions: "If the Wikimedia Foundation is serious about advocating a right to remember, it will apply the right to the key internet companies organizing online life for us. I’m not saying “open up all the algorithms now”, I respect the commercial rationale for trade secrecy. But years or decades after the key decisions are made, the value of the algorithms fades. Data involved could be anonymized. And just as Asssange’s and Snowden’s revelations have been filtered through trusted intermediaries to protect vital interests, so too could an archive of Google or Facebook or Amazon ranking and rating decisions be limited to qualified researchers or journalists. Surely public knowledge about how exactly Google ranked and annotated Holocaust denial sites is at least as important as the right of a search engine to, say, distribute hacked medical records or credit card numbers." 'via Blog this'

Monday, 28 July 2014

Daniel Ellsberg: Snowden Kept His Oath Better Than Anyone in the NSA

Daniel Ellsberg: Snowden Kept His Oath Better Than Anyone in the NSA - Conor Friedersdorf - The Atlantic: "people ask, is he a patriot or a traitor? That drives me nuts, the very thought that people could regard you as a traitor. The ignorance of the media and the congresspeople and the other interviewers who raised that question offends me as an American, that they think that it can be traitorous to tell the truth to your fellow countrymen. Here's the standard I would like to see set: "Snowden was the one person in the fucking NSA who did what he absolutely should have done."

How many people should've done what you did! I said this about Chelsea when that came out and I say it now.

We all took the same oath to protect and defend the Constitution. There are people who violate it all the time. There are people who are against it, like Cheney and some others. But when it comes to upholding that oath, no one in the U.S. military services including the commander in chief has fulfilled her oath to defend and support the Constitution like Chelsea Manning." 'via Blog this'

Thursday, 3 July 2014

EU's Almunia says could probe Google's YouTube dominance

EU's Almunia says could probe Google's YouTube dominance | Reuters: ""We are receiving more complaints, for instance the way Google leverages the search engine," Almunia told a Chatham House conference.

"YouTube for instance, it's another kind of activity where Google can also leverage their market power in search engine, and maybe this will give way to another investigation," he said.

Almunia said one issue was whether to extend the ongoing case against Google following new complaints or to open a separate investigation." 'via Blog this'