Older blog entries for dmarti (starting at number 534)

From inside the filter bubble

(This is feedback for my filter bubble tool, which lives here: read the whole thing. You've probably seem most of these when they made the rounds.)

Sarah Green: Research: Cubicles Are the Absolute Worst

Remy Van Elst: DigitalOcean Sucks. Use DigitalOcean! - Raymii.org

Megan Garber: English Has a New Preposition, Because Internet

Mike Masnick: Microsoft Front Group Struggles To Find App Developers To Sign Letter Against Ditching Bad Patents

Margot Kaminski: The TPP and Copyright

John Gruber: Why an 80 Percent Market Share Might Only Represent Half of Smartphone Users

The Universe of Discourse: Insane calculations in bash

Janet Levaux: Pinball Museum Set for New Alameda Home

When We Lose Antibiotics, Here's Everything Else We'll Lose Too - Wired Science

Kevin Drum: Why Are American Doctors Paid So Damn Much?

David Heinemeier Hansson: Microsoft's dystopian pitch for remote work by David of 37signals

John Bergmayer: If You Love Fair Use, Give It A Day Off Once In a While

Why open-office layouts are bad for employees, bosses, and productivity

Michael Geist: The Trans Pacific Partnership IP Chapter Leaks: The Battle Over Internet Service Provider Liability

sogrady: The Difficulty of Selling Software

Columbia Journalism Review: The NYT's paywall overtakes digital ads

KillerMartinis: Why I Make Terrible Decisions, or, Poverty Thoughts

James Hamblin: The Fist Bump Manifesto

Andrew Raff: Google Book Search is a Fair Use

Staring Down The Taliban In The Race To Eradicate Polio

kohsuke: Summary Report: Git Repository Disruption Incident of Nov 10th

Mike Linksvayer: Upgrade to CC-BY(-(NC(-(ND|SA))?|ND|SA))?-4.0

Rich Miller: Intel: Pollution in Asia Shortens Server Component Life

Docker 0.7 runs on all Linux distributions – and 6 other major features | Docker Blog

Timothy B. Lee: Here’s why Obama trade negotiators push the interests of Hollywood and drug companies

Matthew Yglesias: Can't Talk San Francisco House Prices Without Talking Zoning

James Kwak: Why JPMorgan Is JPMorgan

Doc Searls: Marketing isn’t getting the market’s message

Ben Bajarin: Android is Eating the World

Ian Bogost: For Adults Who Want to Feel Good About Themselves

'Algorave' Is the Future of Dance Music (if You're a Nerd) - Creating Music With Computer Code | VICE United States

Chris Heilmann: Help me write a Developer Evangelism/Advocacy guide

John Hempton: Google Plus will get your children murdered

IPv6-only servers? - Nom de domaine et hébergement cloud - Gandi.net

xkcd.com: Git Commit

Matthew Yglesias: Conservatives' Curious Affection for the Doctors' Cartel

Dan Roberts: Elizabeth Warren challenges Obama to break up 'too-big-to-fail' Wall St banks

OK to clone software by testing it and reading the manual, rules UK court.

Order Of Truth: The great UK #government #internet porn filter con – what you are REALLY signing up to

Ernesto: What Piracy? Removing DRM Boosts Music Sales by 10 Percent

Stop Being A Bookstore Asshole

Guest Author: On Go’s Web Application Ecosystem

Bill Black: NYT: Not Prosecuting JPMorgan Proves DOJ’s Vigor ?!

Go 1.2 is released - The Go Blog

oliveremberton: The real reason we have meetings

Matthew Green: How does the NSA break SSL?

Patrick Stokes: The digital soul

Steven Rosenberg: I'm looking at the Fedora Power Management Guide

George Monbiot: The lies behind this transatlantic trade deal | George Monbiot

Matthew Garrett: Subverting security with kexec (via LWN.net)

Christina Farr: Swarm Mobile gets $3.5M to track shoppers in physical stores

Andrew Rossignol: A Testament to X11 Backwards Compatibility

Edward Hasbrouck: Witness in “no-fly” trial finds she’s on “no-fly” list too

Eli Dourado: New Dourado and Tabarrok Paper on Intellectual Property

Why you should use OpenGL and not DirectX - Wolfire Games Blog

Bruce Schneier: The Problem with EULAs

Mike Masnick: German Court Says CEO Of Open Source Company Liable For 'Illegal' Functions Submitted By Community (also Court: Open Source Project Liable For 3rd Party DRM-Busting Coding)

Tom Scocca: On Smarm

Welcome To The Memory Hole

Jean-Marc Valin's random rants on DSP, Speex, open-source: Opus 1.1 released

Jeff John Roberts: Supreme Court to review patents on software

Timothy B. Lee: The Supreme Court could abolish software patents next year. Here’s why it should.

Michael Nielsen: How the Bitcoin protocol actually works (via Marginal Revolution and Schneier on Security)

BBC News - World: More men chat in girls' 'dialect'

Mike Masnick: Patenting University Research Has Been A Dismal Failure, Enabling Patent Trolling. It's Time To Stop

Justin Ellis: The Guardian experiments with a robot-generated newspaper with The Long Good Read

Charlie Stross: Lovebible.pl

Simone: Radio Arcala Antenna Collapsed

Florian Mueller: Federal Patent Court of Germany invalidates Microsoft FAT patent, appeals court may disagree

Restaurant on Google Glasser: Man-child stinking up the joint | Technically Incorrect - CNET News

Carmel DeAmicis: The last person on Earth not burned by Facebook’s privacy settings realizes her entire wall is public

etbe: A Basic Income for Australia

Mike Masnick: The USTR's Revolving Door With Copyright And Patent Maximalists Removes All Credibility

Adele Peters: Turning Vacant New York City Office Space Into A Fun Pop-Up Hotel

Dan Gillmor: Six months after NSA story broke, Edward Snowden looks even more patriotic | Dan Gillmor

Denis Duvauchelle: The most valuable lessons I learned from managing a virtual team

steveblank: When Product Features Disappear – Amazon, Apple and Tesla and the Troubled Future for 21st Century Consumers

jdieter: Multiseat in Fedora 19 and Setting up a multiseat system

Richard Posner: Raise the Federal Minimum Wage (But Not Too Far)—Posner

There’s a 1,200-year-old Phone in the Smithsonian Collections | Ideas & Innovations | Smithsonian Magazine

Michael Geist: The U.S. Stands Alone: How the U.S. Is Increasingly Isolated on Intellectual Property Policy

Anil: Learn to Code Switch Before You Learn to Code

Adrianne Jeffries: CyanogenMod rolls out encrypted text messaging by default

Tom Morris: Why I'm turning JavaScript off by default (via Tobie Langel)

How journals like Nature, Cell and Science are damaging science | Randy Schekman

Jeff Jarvis: Eight tech giants have sided with citizens over spies, but it's not enough | Jeff Jarvis

Sean Hollister: One standard to sync them all: AllSeen Alliance forms to accelerate Internet of Things adoption

Ed Felten: How to stop spies from piggybacking on commercial Web tracking (via Deeplinks)

Planet PostgreSQL: Josh Berkus: Meet your new NoSQL Database

Joshua Koran: Reports of the Cookie's Death Are Greatly Exaggerated -- and That's Good

Charlie Stross: Trust Me (I'm a kettle)

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Beta - Red Hat Customer Portal

Adi Kamdar and Rainey Reitman and Seth Schoen: NSA Turns Cookies (And More) Into Surveillance Beacons (via Schneier on Security)

How AT&T;, Verizon, and Comcast are working together to screw you by "Discontinuing Landline Service" | Timmins.net | The personal website of Paul Timmins – Telecommunications expert, father.

UPDATE 3-New U.S. FDA rules aim to cut antibiotic use in farm animals | Reuters

Eugene Kaspersky: Top-10 tips for fighting patent trolls. (via nonpracticingentities)

Chris Roberts: Fedora 20 final status is a go

News is bad for you – and giving up reading it will make you happier | Media | The Guardian (via ploum.net)

Jeffrey Zeldman: This is a Website (via Adactio, Mike Linksvayer, willnorris.com)

Jim Motavalli: Driving VW's Astonishing 200 MPG XL1

Charlie: Stainless steel, the metal bacteria love.

Peter Eckersley and Peter Eckersley: Google Removes Vital Privacy Feature From Android, Claiming Its Release Was Accidental (via John Battelle's Search Blog and Global: Dan Gillmor | theguardian.com)

Zev Winicur: (Gluten-Free) (Vegetarian) Tamale Pie

Keith Packard: xserver-warnings

Johannes Ernst: There are only Three Base Business Models

CoreOS Blog: Running etcd in Docker Containers

Daniel Kahn Gillmor (dkg): OpenPGP Key IDs are not useful

Charlie Smith: How US News Organziations Should Respond to Censorship in China

Bruce Schneier: World War II Anecdote about Trust and Security

DigitalOcean's guide to using Docker on their hosts (via taint.org: Justin Mason's Weblog)

Doc Searls: Fred Wilson’s talk at LeWeb (via Marc's Voice)

Robinhood The world's $0 commission stock brokerage.

Benjamin Meyer: Large Git repositories

Colin Ian King: Detecting System Management Interrupts

Tantek Çelik: XFN 10th Anniversary (via Mike Linksvayer, Marc's Voice, and The Promised Planet)

Tobie Langel: "Counter intuitively, it may be better not to sit with your developers, you may get a better idea of..."

Mike Hadlow: Are Your Programmers Working Hard, Or Are They Lazy?

Kevin Drum: Repeat After Me: There's No Such Thing as Socialsecurityandmedicare

Ardi Kolah: Marketers face ‘double legal whammy’ on DM activity in 2014

Tom Philpott: Will Factory Farms Finally Have to (Gasp!) Get a Vet's Approval to Use Antibiotics?

Ronald Bailey: Kill Off Software Patents

Switch to open source successfully completed, city of Munich says | PCWorld

RT: Uruguay faces UN backlash for legalizing pot

BBC News - World: Moon rover sends back first photos (via SWJ Blog and Core77)

dotCore: Simple Binary Encoding, a new ultra-fast marshalling API in C++, Java and .NET

Kent Anderson: Print’s Retreat — Are the New Metrics of Online Actually Devaluing Publications?

Jan De Deken: The Architect of Uruguay's Marijuana Legalization Speaks Out

Caleb Garling: A modest proposal: Lose the tint, Tech Buses

John Brownlee: This Genius Spoof Rebrands Santa For The 21st Century

Matthew Yglesias: Central Planning in America (via Moneybox)

Andy Greenberg: ‘A Genius Among Geniuses’ (via Standblog and Nieman Journalism Lab)

Beat the Press: Paul Krugman and TPP (via Crooked Timber)

News You Can Bruise: Markov vs. Queneau: Sentence Assembly Smackdown

Baylen Linnekin: Small-Town Raw Milk Farm Faces Dubious Attack in Massachusetts

Svati Kirsten Narula: Americans Still Care About Their Public Libraries (via The American Conservative)

Joey Hess: completely linux distribution-independent packaging

Sean Gallagher: Update: NSA surveillance critic Bruce Schneier to leave post at BT (via Schneier on Security)

Matthew Yglesias: You Can't Talk Housing Costs Without Talking About Zoning

Matthew Yglesias: How To Save Money on Amazon With a Fake Baby (via Ars Technica)

Elsevier steps up its War On Access | Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week (via Hack Education)

rob: Less is exponentially more

On undoing, fixing, or removing commits in git (via taint.org: Justin Mason's Weblog)

Mark Dominus: Moonpig: a billing system that doesn't suck

adamw: PSA: Use Fedup 0.8 for Fedora 20 upgrades

Inside the Saudi 9/11 coverup | New York Post

The Mission to De-Centralize the Internet : The New Yorker (via Planet Intertwingly and O'Reilly Radar - Insight, analysis, and research about emerging technologies)

Daniel Genkin, Adi Shamir, Eran Tromer: RSA Key Extraction via Low-Bandwidth Acoustic Cryptanalysis (via Schneier on Security and Planet Intertwingly)

Sean Gallagher: NSA leaks blamed for Cisco’s falling sales overseas (updated)

Charlie Stross: Why I want Bitcoin to die in a fire (via amor mundi and see shy jo)

Dean Takahashi: Google’s Niantic Labs formally launches massive mobile game Ingress

UPDATE 3-Saab wins Brazil jet deal after NSA spying sours Boeing bid | Reuters (via Cato @ Liberty)

Timothy B. Lee: Obama administration sued over its secretive trade negotiations

Kashmir Hill, Forbes Staff: Data Broker Was Selling Lists Of Rape Victims, Alcoholics, and 'Erectile Dysfunction Sufferers'

jbat: Facebook Must Win The Grownup Vote

sogrady: DVCS and Git Usage in 2013

Nathaniel Mott: Why the HP Chromebook 11′s exploding charger is its best feature

Moxie Marlinspike >> Blog >> A Crypto Challenge For The Telegram Developers

David Kendal: Block-chains and Bitcoin

Gregory Ferenstein: Tim Draper Wants To Split California Into Pieces And Turn Silicon Valley Into Its Own State (via TechCrunch)

Dylan Love: BitTorrent Is Building An NSA-Proof Chat Product

Dan Brekke: Bus Vandalized as Protesters in S.F., Oakland Target Silicon Valley Shuttles

Kyle: Using Copyright to Keep Repair Manuals Secret Undermines Circular Economy

Dan Brekke: Google Bus Protesters’ Manifesto: ‘Get Out of Oakland!’

doingitwrong: When “Life Hacking” Is Really White Privilege — Medium (via Chris Hanel)

Sam Biddle: Tech Titan: Let's Break Up California and Make Silicon Valley a State

BitTorrent secures and open-sources DHT bootstrap server

Francois Marier: Creating a Linode-based VPN setup using OpenVPN on Debian or Ubuntu

BBC News - AK47 assault rifle designer Kalashnikov dies at 94

Mikko Hypponen: An Open Letter to the Chiefs of EMC and RSA

Mike Masnick: RSA's 'Denial' Concerning $10 Million From The NSA To Promote Broken Crypto Not Really A Denial At All

The Tech Block: Edward Snowden, after months of NSA revelations, says his mission’s accomplished (via WIL WHEATON dot TUMBLR and Firedoglake)

Jason: Ho Rudolph


Molly Samuel: The KQED Blog Posts That Just Won’t Go Away

samzenpus: Interview: Bruce Sterling Answers Your Questions (via Giles Bowkett)

Paul Nijjar's Internet Landfill -- Firehose: Why Libraries Still Matter

Guy Somerset: Manufacturing Outrage

Matt Blaze: How Worried Should We Be About the Alleged RSA-NSA Scheming?

Krzysztof Kotowicz: Rapportive XSSes Gmail or have yourself a merry little botnet...

Network & Infrastructure Blogs: Offshore Cloud Services: Who's in control?

Derek Jones: How to use intellectual property tax rules to minimise corporation tax

Marco.org: → iA makes patent threats (via Prolost and And now it’s all this)

Platypus Reloaded: Data Extortion

Steve Kovach: Why Your Android Phone Will Always Be Out Of Date

Felix Salmon: Why cab drivers should love Uber

Mat Honan: Generation X Is Sick Of Your Bullsh*t

Eric Blattberg: Apple-backed Rockstar group reportedly hawking its patents

essjaybee: Philip Guo - The Two Cultures of Computing (via Bucktown Bell)

Jeremy Stieglitz: Monster Madness – creating games on the web with Emscripten (via Standblog)

Arik Hesseldahl: Talk of an RSA Boycott Grows After Reports It Colluded With the NSA (via AllThingsD)

On Hacking MicroSD Cards « bunnie's blog (via LWN.net)

67p – British government porn filters block EFF, Linux, Amnesty and more

Catalog Reveals NSA Has Back Doors for Numerous Devices - SPIEGEL ONLINE

Syndicated 2013-12-30 02:40:27 from Don Marti

Good news, bad news

You want the bad news first, or the good news?

All right, let's start with the bad news.

Censorship in Airstrip One: Content filtering by UK ISPs (via taint.org: Justin Mason's Weblog)

Office sprawl is still a thing: Why Apple's Suburban Spaceship Could Lose The War For Tech Talent (via Samizdata)

And so is income inequality: The Second Class Citizens of the Google Cafeteria

And this guy: Jesse Willms, the Dark Lord of the Internet - Taylor Clark - The Atlantic (via taint.org: Justin Mason's Weblog)

Speaking of people not in prison who probably should be: Outrageous HSBC Settlement Proves the Drug War is a Joke | | Rolling Stone (via Eschaton)

Good point from Andrea Peterson: 2013 is the year that proved your ‘paranoid’ friend right

And the news is bogus anyway: The Year We Broke The Internet (via WIL WHEATON dot TUMBLR) addictive, and bad for you in general.

Ready for the good news?

Bill Gates on progress fighting polio: Good News You Might Have Missed in 2013

One of the dumbest and most politically connected US policies may finally be going down:A Bipartisan Group Of Lawmakers Is Out To Kill The Corn-Based Ethanol Mandate (but wait, Sen. Feinstein is for it...what's the catch?)

Food Safety Modernization Act and "Ag Gag" would have been gifts to big rent-seeking agribusiness, but they're not doing so well: Food Freedom Dodged Bullets in 2013

All aboard: BART, Unions Reach Deal in Contract Dispute

Forgotten? Not if you're from Northern Indiana. The Largely Forgotten, Cynical Genius Behind A Christmas Story

Who knew "stunts your growth" was a marketing lie? The Devious Ad Campaign That Convinced America Coffee Was Bad for Kids

Syndicated 2013-12-29 16:31:14 from Don Marti

Surveillance marketing meets sales norms

Where does the surveillance-marketing complex get all these wonderful ideas?

A little while ago we had the follow people through stores startup, and now there's a company that wants to keep track of your stuff in your house.

Adaptly CEO Nikhil Sethi, in The Future of Advertising Hinges on Understanding Identity:

Imagine that after continual usage, your fridge begins to understand what foods you consume and when. It then can make sure you have a full stock of the products you like. At the same time, these interconnected fridges are able to tell broader organizations what kind of local demand exists for certain produce, making sure the right deliveries are scheduled accordingly.

Or better yet, the count of cold beers in that fridge went down from 12 to 1, and the user is home alone web surfing. How much would an advertiser pay for that information?

Or, Let's introduce our new product to people who buy ice cream and never even put it in the fridge. People who take it straight from car trunk to couch to recycle bin.

Sethi writes, A clear value exchange to the consumer will be important for ads to move from the creepy factor to the wow factor.

But that's the problem. There is no valley of creepiness to get through. One-sided information just keeps getting creepier and creepier the more one-sided it is.

Connecting with the consumer?

You know the "consumer" side of me? The slothful, covetous, money-wasting side of my personality? The one who wants to buy some new shiny object, then play with it for a half hour and just leave it to clutter up the place?

I hope you haven't met him. If you're trying to sell me something, I don't want to let him talk to you.

Don Corleone said to Sonny, Santino, never let anyone outside the family know what you are thinking. And when I face down the marketing-surveillance complex, which side of me gets to do the talking? That's right. The Hmm, that's an interesting concept but I think I can fulfil that need with my existing devices side, not the NEW SHINY THING ME WANT side.

So, Internet of Things and Targeted Advertising are both hot concepts, but combining them? If it doesn't work, it's just a privacy hole for no benefit. If it does work, that's even worse. It would go around the public business personality to the private, stuff-handling personality.


Somehow the industry needs to learn norms about selling things to people, not just technological possibilities.


Fuller Brush Man comic

I had an interesting conversation with a California resident a few days ago. A door-to-door sales rep had just come by, and as soon as he left, she called the police. The non-emergency police number, but still.

It turns out that other people in the neighborhood had also called. We've gone from a society in which door-to-door sales was totally normal, even the subject of underground NSFW comics, to something that regular people call the police about.

So where are we with web ad targeting?

Well, just like everything else in the IT business, at every level from hardware random number generators all the way up to cloud computing contracts, there's a Snowden document for that. It turns out that the NSA uses Google cookies, so you can't really split the surveillance-marketing complex, much as some people would like to.

Bruce Schneier says, There are a lot of technical things we can do. The goal is to make eavesdropping expensive. That's the way to think about this, is to force the NSA to abandon wholesale collection in favor of targeted collection of information.

We can't fix half of the privacy problem. There's no way to be secure in your persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures from the government, while at the same time giving up your personal info to the marketing side. Because the government can just get the marketing data. Even if they have to threaten to close some of the tax loopholes that the Internet companies use, they'll get it.

Or worse. Somebody else's government will.

Yes, people are going to get post-Snowden privacy tools. (Disconnect Search is my favorite.) But fixing privacy is actually going to be good for business. Details in Targeted Advertising Considered Harmful.

Bonus links

Why Mozilla Was Right: GCHQ & NSA Track Cookies

Martin Fowler: Bliki: Datensparsamkeit

Syndicated 2013-12-27 16:13:32 from Don Marti

My chair

I went to a trade show and sat down in a chair in a company's booth.

Then one of their marketing people started giving a demo. Right in front of MY chair! Don't they have any respect for their users? I was so mad I almost walked out!

Actually, not really.

Last time I went to a trade show I knew enough about how this stuff works to realize that the chairs in the booths are "free" because the company paid to have them there, to try to sell me stuff. I went to the booth anyway, but I didn't move in.

Bonus link: Instagram.

Syndicated 2013-11-14 15:29:36 from Don Marti

With decent algorithms, all user data is personal.

Adam Tanner asks, Where should companies draw the line in collecting information about us in their efforts to sell things? For example, should they catalog medical ailments or physical attributes such as obesity? What about religion, race, or sexual orientation?

Doesn't work. Writing codes of conduct for what's sensitive or secret information about a person, and what's not, is just a sacrifice of perfectly good carpal tunnels.

Once you turn the algorithms loose on a customer data set that's been carefully sanitized of anything medical, ethnic, or otherwise personal, they'll promptly reconstruct it.

It's the Other customers who have used their card at establishments where you recently shopped have a poor repayment history with American Express problem.

Syndicated 2013-10-31 13:55:07 from Don Marti

Adtech to cookie blockers: STFU, you're tracked anyway

Prediction from inside the Big Adtech filter bubble: Online Advertising, BATNAs & the Failure of Do Not Track by Blair Reeves.

The most promising of those methodologies rely on passive capture digital fingerprinting technology, which identifies the unique combination of your browser configurations, operating system features, font preferences, and dozens of other simple data points to identify a specific user, rather than using a (deletable) browser cookie which lives on a user's device. While this technology isn't widespread yet, it's only a matter of time.

Considering that Firefox has been slow so far to make progress on the fingerprinting problem, does he have a point? Will the browser bugs that allow for fingerprinting remain long enough for adtech to make a relatively smooth shift from cookies to fingerprints?

Spammers had a point about open SMTP relays, too. It took a lot of people a lot of time to close them, but eventually the level of annoyance got high enough that it happened. If I can play Internet optimist for a minute, it's hard to see how the same thing wouldn't happen with the fingerprintability bugs. (My best guess as to how this will play out is that Chrome and MSIE quietly get their bugs fixed first, because Google and Microsoft are both trying to promote their own proprietary user-tracking schemes in place of fingerprinting. Then, while Firefox catches up, those scary business-hating common-sense-norm-enforcing Eurocrats take advantage of the whole continent's breaking out in privacy freakdom to throw the book at the proprietary user-tracking schemes, forcing Microsoft and Google to make them optional. So we end up with the fingerprintability bugs fixed at some point, but with much drama beforehand. In the meantime, each old-school privacy nerd will try something totally different, making old-school privacy nerds the most trackable people of all. And fraud rings will take advantage of confusion of the switch from cookies to fingerprinting to increase their already massive rip-off of the adtech business.)

It's fun to see Reeeves bringing up the old Activists want to block creepy advertising, but consumers love it meme again. I remember when Sanford Wallace was telling us the same story about email spam: how mail server administrators would be forced to take down their spam filters when their users complained about missing all those valuable offers.

I don't know why the refractions from adtech's filter bubble keep making regular people look like exhibitionist "consumers", but that point of view doesn't seem to match up with the data. Maybe we should ask Sanford Wallace where he found his silent majority of email spam fans.

Web ads don't have to participate in the same cycle of growth and senescence as junk faxes and email spam, though. Peak Advertising has a bunch of examples of this kind of slash-and-burn marketing. A new ad medium has great results, then volume and response rates fall as volume and annoyance rise. But in an environment where tracking of individual users is not possible, web ads can become just as powerful and sustainable as print.

Bonus links

What not to do when buying lists Today the U.S. Direct Marketing Association (DMA) spammed a dirty list. (This kind of thing is why legit advertisers need new industry organizations that haven't been captured by creepy Big Data intermediaries, but you knew that.)

Bruce Schneier: The Battle for Power on the Internet On one side are the traditional, organized, institutional powers such as governments and large multinational corporations. On the other are the distributed and nimble: grassroots movements, dissident groups, hackers, and criminals. Initially, the Internet empowered the second side. It gave them a place to coordinate and communicate efficiently, and made them seem unbeatable. But now, the more traditional institutional powers are winning, and winning big.

Syndicated 2013-10-29 13:32:36 from Don Marti

Tough week for creepy marketing

This hasn't been a good week for the surveillance-marketing complex, has it?

Experian Sold Consumer Data to ID Theft Service — Krebs on Security

Google pulls all Android apps linked to adware badness THAT MUST NOT BE NAMED (Is it just me, or did you just blow away all your ad-supported Android apps too?)

Sorry, lobbyists! Europe’s post-Snowden privacy reform gets a major boost (via taint.org: Justin Mason's Weblog)

This Beheading Video Is Brought to You By Nissan

Chrome for the slurp-weary: Cookie-binning Aviator browser arrives

One bright spot is this site, whose ads I see because they're first-party. And it turns out that they have a magazine-line ad sales model, too. The Quartz Way (2) (via Digiday)

Bonus links (making the rounds, but you need to read the whole things)

Stallman: How Much Surveillance Can Democracy Withstand?

A Court Order is an Insider Attack

Syndicated 2013-10-24 13:19:00 from Don Marti

An argument for targeted advertising

Corrin Lakeland has an interesting argument for targeted advertising. A niche vendor might not be able to justify the expense of a non-targeted campaign, even if there happens to be a great fit between that vendor's product and a subset of the audience. Someone who goes with just the advertised mainstream brand will end up with a suboptimal choice.

Won't somebody please think of the small businesses?

Unfortunately, even though this is a real problem, the more targeted that advertising gets, the less it helps. I like small businesses, but I'm still running Disconnect to block most targeting and tracking. Why?

Let's use Lakeland's example of carpet. I can go carpet shopping at the store that's been paying Little League teams to wear its name for 20 years, or I can listen to the door-to-door guy who shows up in my driveway and says he has a great roll of carpet that's perfect for my house, and can cut me a deal.

A sufficiently well-targeted ad is just the online version of the guy in the driveway. And the customer is left just as skeptical. Speaking of skeptical customers, Eaon Pritchard looks back at the famous McGraw Hill Man in the Chair ad (read the whole thing), and writes, What this ad is about resonates with me when placed in context of the great digital divide - ie on the one hand the school of advertising, online in particular, that favours the hyper-targeted, 'personal' and data driven tactics that are manifest in the near subterfuge of cookies, tracking and all manner of 'behavioural' targeting. And on the other the approach that favours strategies that contain content, usefulness, values-based communication, involvement, storytelling etc to name but a few.

People have learned to be suspicious of door-to-door home improvement sellers and telemarketers. And people ignore email spam, and choose email services based largely on spam blocking. Now, we're finding targeted web ads "creepy." And when your creepy marketing alarm goes off, that's because your inner economist pulled it.

Are there direct mail and email spam campaigns with good ROI? Yes, but direct marketing is a never-ending parasite/host game. People discard mail printed "bulk," you get USPS to change it to "Standard". Spam filters block one variant of a message, you get crazy with the Unicode and send different ones. Meanwhile, when people don't take advertising personally, it works—and not just as a response rate to a cold call/direct mail/junk fax/email spam/targeted web ad, but as a real signal that will influence people years later.

Non-creepy advertising isn't perfect, and doesn't solve all the customer/vendor match-up problems in the world. We have a lot of non-advertising tools for that. But it's a fallacy to say that just because non-creepy ads have a problem doing something, creepy ads are any better.

Bonus link: The Amount of Questionable Online Traffic Will Blow Your Mind by Mike Shields at Adweek. (via Bob Hoffman, Ad Contrarian)

Syndicated 2013-10-21 04:25:28 from Don Marti

QoTD: Michael Tiffany

The fundamental value proposition of these ad tech companies who are de-anonymizing the Internet is, Why spend big CPMs on branded sites when I can get them on no-name sites?

Michael Tiffany, CEO, White Ops

Syndicated 2013-10-17 13:59:57 from Don Marti

Five-cent guide to how to be a top one percent freelance writer without having to learn to write very well

  1. Always turn in your stuff on deadline, at the right length, in the correct format. Read the contributor's guide and do the basics of what it says. Don't spell anyone's name wrong. Welcome to the top 20%.

  2. Learn your subject to the point where you know more than 3 out of 4 members of the audience. This might be hard or not depending on the subject and how many stories you can sell on related subjects. Get the facts right and answer the questions that an informed reader would ask. Welcome to the top 5%.

  3. Don't just write down a bunch of stuff, tell a story. This takes practice, but there are basic plots that people don't get tired of hearing so you can borrow one of those.

Now you've done it. Congratulations. You're still not getting paid, because some adtech weasels are going to track the people who read your stuff and sell them ads on cat GIFs, so the advertisers can pay some bottom-feeder site instead of the original content site that you write for. But congratulations.

Syndicated 2013-10-16 14:38:02 from Don Marti

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