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Showing posts from June, 2006

Patents spooky side

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Ahhh.. Patent trolls. It takes one of the big brains who've made millions and left MicroSoft to do it at this level. I had a very interesting experience from my time at Motorola that was similar to this. I'll go into more detail after you read this

From TechDirt (www.techdirt.com):

Nathan Myhrvold's Bait And Switch Plan On Patent Hoardingfrom the can-you-say-greenmail? deptWe've written about Nathan Myhrvold's dangerous plans to put hundreds of millions of dollars into hoarding patents many times before. Business Week is now running yet another article that tries to get to the heart of Myhrvold's plans -- though his company, Intellectual Ventures is being quite secretive. The article does discuss his "invention sessions" where he brings together a bunch of smart folks to brainstorm -- where the whole conversation is recorded and monitored by patent lawyers looking for anything they can file patents on. However, what's much more interesting is the…

Raising Money for an internet startup...

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This should be interesting. Our company, ClickCaster, has taken a slightly different route when it comes to how we fund outselves.

We looked at going the venture capital route late last year and talked to a couple of dozen VC's. We even had some indepth talks with 3 or 4. The conclusion we came to was, it just didn't make sense to take VC money.

Much has been written about this by various bloggers, but experiencing it first hand was particularly interseting. We looked at what it would take to build a Web 2.0 type company, in our case, a podcasting business focused on directory services and creation tools with a social networking wrapper and we decided that we'd have a hard time spending $5M (or $3M) of VC money. At least, if we were being responsible.

It just doesn't take that much money to do this anymore.

And once you take that money, you start to trap yourself into high valuations to get the kind of returns those VC's are looking for. That, in turn, limits our…

Will a spiky-haired, camera-toting super-heroine... restore decency and common sense to the world of creative endeavor?

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A documentary is being filmed. A cell phone rings, playing the “Rocky” theme song. The filmmaker is told she must pay $10,000 to clear the rights to the song. Can this be true? “Eyes on the Prize,” the great civil rights documentary, was pulled from circulation because the filmmakers’ rights to music and footage had expired. What’s going on here? It’s the collision of documentary filmmaking and intellectual property law, and it’s the inspiration for this new comic book. Follow its heroine Akiko as she films her documentary, and navigates the twists and turns of intellectual property. Why do we have copyrights? What’s “fair use”? Bound By Law reaches beyond documentary film to provide a commentary on the most pressing issues facing law, art, property and an increasingly digital world of remixed culture. This book is available under a Creative Commons Attribution-
NonCommercial-ShareAlike license
.


I'm all for intellectual property. People that create should be compensated. But what…

All Your Data Are Belong To Us... -AT&T

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From today's Wall Street Journal, stalwart of the business elite of America, comes the news that AT&T is changing it's privacy policy to explicitly allow them to share your private data with the US Government (or anyone they damn well please, thank you very much).

See http://online.wsj.com/home/us (subscription required)AT&T Revises Privacy Policy,
Says It May Share Personal DataBy DIONNE SEARCEY
June 22, 2006

AT&T Inc. said it clarified its privacy policy for Internet and television customers to state explicitly that subscriber information is a business record belonging to the company and may be turned over to law enforcement in some cases.AT&T also indicated that under its revised policy, which takes effect tomorrow and is being emailed to its more than seven million Internet customers, the San Antonio company plans to track customers' TV viewing habits. Some privacy advocates said they were troubled that t…

Another reason DRM is a bad idea

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This quick tidbit, from TechDirt, outlines yet another reason DRM, in it's current incarnation(s) is a bad idea.

Besides locking people into hardware (iTunes/iPod) and making it difficult to USE equipment you own (try moving a DRM's .WMA file to your MP3 player sometime), what if the store that 'validates' your DRM files goes away?

And Coke ain't no little company. It's just dropping this 'particular' business.

Latest Entertainment Digital Strategy: Incidental Obsolescencefrom the hmmmmmmm deptOne of the Guardian blogs has a post involving the demise of the MyCokeMusic download store, at one time the biggest download store in Europe. It raises an interesting question, though not one the post actually hits on -- what happens for consumers when a seller of DRMed media files shuts down? With things like cassettes, LPs or CDs, their obsolence can really be determined only by a lack of available playback equipment. But for locked-down digital files, particular…

Yes Virgina.. the Telecoms are screwing you

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This guy has written a book on just how badly we've been served by the telecom industry in the US.

For a SHORT TIME a download of the book is free (Till June 26th) at this link:

http://www.teletruth.org/docs/BROADBANDSCANDAL.pdf

It's big. 400 plus pages. But it makes the very clear case that our telecommunications companies can't be trusted to serve the public in any way other than maximizing profit.

Now, I have NOTHING against profit (or maximizing it). But if you're lying and stealing to do it.. well, not so much. If you take, you should also give. It's a balance (karma?) thing.

The Net Neutrality debate falls squarely into this area as well. Not only have these companies been scewing your for decades, they want still more.

Here's short overview of the book:
Bruce Kushnick, bruce@teletruth.org 718-238-7191 To Read this as a PDF fileSummary:$200 Billion Broadband ScandalThis book documents the largest fraud case in American …

Do you care about Net Neutrality? You should.

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What's the big hoopla about Net Neutrality? Why should you care?

Well, you should. It means less choice and less competition, especially in our world (internet startups).

It's very likely that ClickCaster, a podcasting company based in Boulder, CO. would not exist if we had to pay 'extra' fee's beyond the costs we currently pay to provide our service. Frankly, if low cost high speed bandwidth hadn't been available when we started ClickCaster... well, we simply wouldn't have started it.

The low (relative) cost of bandwidth, and the fact that we're on a level playing field with Apple’s iTunes, Google, Yahoo and Comcast (as far as the internet is concerned) is what enabled us to start the company.

Take that away, add additional costs to getting the company started, and it's possible and even likely we just wouldn't have done it at all.

Here's a quick overview of something in USA Today that sums it up nicely:Internet Fast Lane Marginalizes Smaller…

Denver #6 per capita for Starbucks

Let Starbucks Find You a Place to LiveIt seems that every week some organization or another comes out with a list of American’s best cities. These lists go by different names (Most Livable Cities, Best Places, whatever), but some how they all end up with similar content. They have Seattle, San Francisco, Boston, Portland, and the like near the top of the list, and Detroit and New Orleans near the bottom (here’s a good recent example, the Sustainable Cities list).These lists are good and useful, but it turns out that if you just list cities by the number of Starbucks locations per capita, you get a pretty similar result. Here are the largest US cities from most to fewest Starbucks per person:Las VegasSeattlePortlandSacramentoWashingtonDenverAtlantaSan FranciscoSan DiegoCincinnatiFor the entire list (and the rest of this blog post).. go to: http://www.citytowninfo.com/wordpress/2006/06/05/let-starbucks-find-you-a-place-to-live/
technorati tags:, Blogged with Flock

Denver/Boulder- One of the best places to do a startup company

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Paul Graham recently did an essay on what it takes to create an environment like Silicon Valley (Boulder and Portland were ID'd as top candidates).

Some additional data is coming out, in particular, Tim O'Reilly's blog (click on the title of this entry to go directly to his post).

What's interesting is the above chart.

Apparently, we're number 5 for startup oriented hires in the US. Not bad for a region that's smaller (by millions) than the 4 above it.

So, if you're interested in starting a company, and you don't want to deal with Silicon Valley, it doesn't get much better than Boulder.