The car in front of you has four wheels and goes “beep.” For a certain fee, its driver will pick you up from where you are now and will shortly thereafter drop you off at the place you want to go. Twenty years ago, that car was an ordinary taxicab that you called on a landline. Now, it’s an Uber you summoned with an app on your smartphone. What’s the difference? In the world of regulation, everything. [More]
A new study finds that the mobile devices are excellent virus vectors, harboring 18
% times more bacteria than a typical men’s bathroom flush handle. Furthermore, “If you put virus on a surface, like an iPhone, about 30 percent of it will get on your fingertips,” said the study’s co-author. And, “a fair amount of it may go from your fingers to your eyes, mouth or nose.” Next time you borrow someone’s cellphone, you might want to bust out the rubber gloves and Lysol first. [More]
FileFront isn’t shutting down after all! The original founders decided to buy back the company from Ziff Davis Media after learning that the service was to be shut down at the end of March. [FileFront] (Thanks to Bob!)
David Pogue thinks the Pleo dinosaur is meh. He’s seen it all before with Aibo, and despite all the “it’s so lifelike!” ad and editorial copy devoted to it, the charm wears off pretty much the same day you buy it: “My surprise, though, was my kids’ reaction. They thought it was really, really cool—for the first half-hour.” He’s proposed a new website idea where you’d sign up for the latest Hot New Thing coming out of CES, Toy Fair, Macworld, etc., then pay an ever-shrinking percentage of the original sales price to own it when your turn came in line.
We were looking through the Freakonomics blog this morning when we came across this post from Dec 18th, concerning Harper Collins contacting the ISPs of customers thought to be sharing of illegal copies of the book Freakonomics. The post had a link to a letter that a customer received after illegally downloading the book.
The MPA has a new public enemy: guitar players. Yes, those scurrilous knaves who share how to play popular songs through secret code, called “tablature.” These heinous n’er do wells notate songs or copy them from song books and share them online. For free. Shudder.
The Canadian Record Industry association have done some research and concluded that file sharers are great for business. According to their study, file sharers buy more music than the average customer and try the vast majority of songs they eventually buy.