1) Amazon.com has been given a patent for a method getting purchasers of books to write reviews. Apparently, it invovles sending them an email and asking them to write a review. The "novel" and "non-obvious" part is that they claim to have an algorythm for figgering out precisely when to send the email.
2) Reality TV writers stormed a recent Network TV prorgamming presentation for critics (these "roadshows" are a standard way to generate interest) and demanded that they receive equal pay, equal benefits, etc. as writers of scripted shows. Apparently, it is just as hard to write "reality."
Am I the only one who is now praying for a Reality TV writers strike? I keep thinking about how the reality TV serieses would have to explain that they are now "real reality" because they have no writers. Then, of course, there will be the "striking reality TV writers" reality show. The camera will tak us on the picket line, into negotitations, to writers writing the next episode.
3) The result of the "Tussle In Tunis" over internet control is . . . another forum is set up for ongoing dialog. This is why I gave up on DNS politics. But the mind boggling thing is the number of folks I know who think this is a "significant event" and that the rest of the world won a "major concession" from the U.S. Oh yes, and the cost of this "major concession" was signing a statement of "consensus principles" that, despite everything we said before, ICANN works just fine and U.S. oversight of ICANN is super.
Why does the U.S. bully the rest of the world. Because IT ALWAYS WORKS! If every time Aaron wanted a cookie, I gave him one, why would I be surprised that he was overweight? OTOH, it certainly explains why we are unpopular in the rest of the world. Forget the Iraq war. The real problem is this:
Every other country in the World:
"We think that, now that we all rely and depend on the Internet, we think control should be opened up a bit. Right now, the U.S. Dept. of Commerce can control the internet addressing system, like it did when it instructed ICANN to give Iraq's .iq ccTLD to someone it unilaterally chose."
Rest of World: "Can we talk about this?"
U.S. "No. You guys should be grateful we invented this stuff in the first place. Now bug off or I will make you all dance the macarena."
RoW: "Ummmm.....right. [pause] Look, an increasing segment of our economies and communications infrastructure depends on this stuff and we're a little nervous about the fact that, at any time, you can assign control of it to anyone you want."
U.S.:"Trust us, we wouldn't do that."
RoW: "But you just DID that."
U.S.: "Did not."
RoW: "You just took .iq away from the people who were controlling it and gave it to your guys in Iraq!"
U.S.: "We are confident that decision reflected the consensus of the internet community."
RoW: (getting a little exasperated) "But you did it without telling anyone!"
U.S. "You want the terrorists to win?"
RoW: "Look, can we just talk about it?"
U.S. "No. Now dance for me!"
RoW: "We're not dancing. We put our foot dow...I mean, we're serious this time. We all agree on this. You are the only hold out. Open up! If you don't, we will make you open up!"
U.S.: (Lifts middle finger in international gesture of respectful disagreement). "Now dance!"
RoW: [Feet involuntarily taping nervously but staying firm] "We are going to be really really mad at you if you don't open up. We mean it! You've gone to far. We want shared control of the DNS right now. AND WE'RE NOT DANCING."
U.S. Wow, you guys are serious. [pause] O.K., we agree to talk about this stuff, provided you will sign this statement which says 'Everything has been hunky dory and wonderful and ICANN has done a super spluffty fanatstic job and we see no need to make any changes but we will go on yacking about it anyway.'
RoW: Are you nuts?
U.S.: I hope you brought your dancing shoes . . . .
RoW: O.K., we'll sign, but no macarena!
U.S.: You drive a hard bargain, and the folks on the Hill will hate that we gave in, but O.K.
ROW & US Joint statement: Parties achieve significant compromise and move forward in new agreement of consensus and understanding.
NGOs: Wow, no macarena! I knew we could get some serious concessions.