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OpenMarket: Tech and Telecom

  • Typesetting and technology

    May 10, 2007

    Today the BBC's website has an article that caught my eye, “Helvetica at 50.” No, Helvetica's not a movie star or a rock band -- it's a type font and one of the most popular type faces currently used for logos and ad copy.

    The typeface, inspired by the 1896 font Akzidenz Grotesk, was designed by Max Miedinger in 1957 in conjunction with Eduard Hoffmann for the Haas Type Foundry, in Muenchenstein, Switzerland.

    The reason I was interested is part of the history of typesetting. When I started out in book publishing, hot metal type was used with Linotype machines, and a mixture of molten metals, including lead, was poured into forms with the type laid out. The typesetters were skilled and highly paid union...

  • MSYahoo Would Be Good for the Market

    May 4, 2007
    The New York Post is speculating on the possibility of Microsoft aquiring Yahoo! This deal would deflate the notion that Google is a monopoly as the combined company would be a formidable force in the online world. I also found this aspect of the story very interesting:
    Aside from cost savings, a deal would also create opportunities to use Yahoo! content on Microsoft devices, such as making music exclusively provided to Yahoo! Music available on Microsoft's Xbox game console and Zune music player.
    The online music point is important because currently the iPod enjoys a 70 to 80 percent market share. MSYahoo! would put the Zune on better ground to be a serious...
  • Amensty International Helps Fight to Free Kareem

    May 3, 2007
    Amensty International posted this summation of the injustice that has landed Karim Amer in prison for the next four years. Karim's 'crime' has been speaking out against the policies Hosni Mubarak, the president of Egpyt, and arguing for the expansion of many rights to women. Criticism of government is a reflex in the United States, especially for CEI, but it's still a distant hope for many in Egypt and throughout the region. I'm glad to see that AI is supporting the Free Karim effort. Karim is innocent of any real crime and should be immediately freed. To help Karim, visit...
  • The Digg Revolution?

    May 3, 2007
    Websters are calling the 'revolt' at Digg an online Boston Tea Party. This is offensive to anyone who knows the history of the Boston Tea Party. The Sons of Liberty destroyed someone else's property, a very non-libertarian thing to do, but they did so to protest the unjust taxation of their own hard earned dollars and the tyrannical British rule. Besides, the British East India Company was nothing like what we would call a private enterprise. Before it was dissolved in the middle of the 19th century the East India Company had many governmental and military functions and virtually ruled India. The revolutionaries were against this kind of government granted monopoly and unjust use of power...
  • AdSense Nonsense

    May 3, 2007
    Charges that Google is constructing a vast network of partners in order to monopolize the net betray that fact that most regulators and 'tech journalists' know nothing of how markets, or webpages function. I added AdSense ads to my webpage through a simple cut and paste into the code of my page. Websites that actually receive traffic, unlike my site, are run by CMS, or Content Management Systems. By seperating format and content, new websites can easily change their entire ad system from Google, to Yahoo! or any other online ad serving company. Right now Google does lead in text ads (though it's behind Yahoo! in graphical ads), but small adjustments in the margins of Google's competitors could give advertisers lower prices and affiliates a bigger pay-off. This would immediately nab revenue from Menlo Park and see it travling down the road...
  • Editing Isn't Censorship, Even for Digg

    May 2, 2007, the popular crowd-edited news aggregating site, has been the subject of online controversy as of late. Recently, a Digg user posted a story with a link to a site that contained a series of numbers. After receiving a record of more than 15,000 diggs, it was taken down. Why? Because the numbers were the proprietary key for HD-DVD encryption. With the key a knowledgeable nerd could do what so many knowledgeable nerds have already done with DVDs: copy it. But what Digg did in taking down the story wasn't censorship; it was an editorial decision by a private website. While Digg bases its success on crowd-sourcing the function of news editing, it does have the right to step in and take down other content. Digg's managers can't force anything off of another website, but their can surely take things down from their own. Yet Digg has plenty of reasons not to censor...
  • Supporting Online Gaming Is No Gamble

    April 27, 2007
    House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank has proposed repealing last Fall's ban on Internet gambling, though according to the punsters at the Associated Press, the bill could be facing "long odds":
    Supporters of the U.S. ban maintain that Internet betting can be addictive and potentially drain people's savings, a risk they say is especially acute for young people who are frequently online. Frank acknowledged that the Democratic leadership of the House likely would not support it. The Bush administration also could be expected to oppose the legislation. The vote for the ban in the House, for example, was 317-93 last year. Lobbying for it were the horse racing industry and professional sports leagues, which argued that Web wagering could hurt the...
  • Back to the Paleo Future

    April 26, 2007
    The delightful and fascinating blog Paleo-Future has some entertaining video clips up from a short film produced by AT&T in 1993, showing what the company thought the future of telecommunications would look like. The dramatization, titled "Connections: AT&T's Vision of the Future," features the story of a young woman about to get married, highlighting along the way all of the fantastic new technologies that people of the future (us, basically) would be using. Like most past visions of the future it was a bit off, in some rather amusing ways. First, everyone uses two-way video phones. Exclusively. Futurists have been predicting this for decades, never quite realizing that very few people want either to have to look at or be viewed by...
  • More on the Neutrality Battle

    April 26, 2007
    If this whole net neutrality thing sounds a bit complex, let The Simpleton's Guide explain it all. Because after all, simple is better:

    Binary Data
  • What's the Gift for a One-Year Lobbying Anniversary?

    April 26, 2007
    The inaptly named Save the Internet coalition is celebrating its first anniversary today, and Wayne is on the case:
    “We all can probably agree that we want tomorrow's Internet at the speed of light, not at the speed of government,” said CEI Director of Technology Policy Wayne Crews. “But a better starting point is to appreciate that we have no broadband today: cable and DSL are a trickle compared to the Niagara needed tomorrow. Freezing today's Internet into a regulated public utility via net neutrality's inevitable price-and-entry regulation would be the worst possible move, slowing investment and innovation, meaning fewer new companies, networking deals, products and technologies.” “Activists fear that not regulating network owners will leave the Internet at the mercy of a few large companies when, in fact, the...


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