Internet

Nationalize the last mile? Breaking the telco monopolies for superior consumer choices

Phone pole with phone and mainly electric lines

Image via Wikipedia

During this whole debate about usage based billing, one idea that’s popped up is the idea of nationalizing the “last mile”, that bit of cable running between the home and the local phone service central office. Of course, the idea of nationalizing any service raises concerns about competition and limiting user choices. What I’d like to put forward is an idea that saves competition, while preventing the anti-competitive practices of current last mile operators/ILECs such as Bell Canada.

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Facebook buys FriendFeed – is this the end of a good thing?


Image via FriendFeed

Bret Taylor of FriendFeed broke the news today that the social aggregator service has been purchased by none other than Facebook. In the short term, things will remain the same as they've always been. But Bret's post on the company blog suggests that plans are already afoot to integrate FriendFeed into the current black hole of social networking.

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Just when I thought Blip.fm could solve my music woes, it too starts to hate non-Americans

Image representing Blip as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

I was recently introduced to Blip.fm, a service TechCrunch proclaimed a "Twitter for music" – find songs you want to hear, and play them with a short message. After Last.fm decided to hate on anyone not in the US, UK, or Germany, I thought that Blip.fm would be a better way to find new music to enjoy. But nope!

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The numbers game and asocial media

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 25: In this photo illu...

Image by Getty Images via Daylife

When is social media no longer social? When you're playing it for the numbers. It seems the great promises of social media have fallen by the wayside, as users play a game of one-upmanship with each other, trying to have the most followers, tweets, comments, what-have-you. You know what? That's not social media. That's asocial media.

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Hashtags are dead. Long live real-time search and filtering!

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I don't know if Scoble will beat me to the punch (he's blogging this too) but I got to say this: You don't need hashtags any more. The reason? Real-time search and filtering exists and works well in the places where hashtags are primarily used. If you don't get it, dwell on that for a bit. Once it sinks in, you'll know.

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Perhaps it's time to abandon Twitter

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

We all know that Twitter has jumped the shark. The recent additions of the suggested users list, the influx of celebrity and brand accounts (and all the silent, creepy stalker accounts that follow them), and the incredible gaming of the friend/follower system demonstrates that quite clearly. But that's not why I say it's time to take our tweets and go elsewhere.

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Real-time: Web 2.0 for headache-inducing

BloodShot

Image by mattbatt0 via Flickr

FriendFeed 2.0 came out in beta today, the social aggregator showing off a number of changes to its service. It's a lot nicer than the classic FriendFeed, but I'm not here to talk about what's new and improved; half the blogs out there have already covered that ground. Instead, I'm going to complain about the move to real-time.

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Six Degrees of Robert Scoble

Photo of Robert Scoble, cropped from original.

Image via Wikipedia

I know, I know. "Not more about Scoble!" you cry out, glancing at the title of this blog post. Or perhaps you're thinking, "first Kevin Bacon, and now this?"

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FeedBurner: The blogger's latest whipping boy

Image representing FeedBurner as depicted in C...

Image via CrunchBase

There's been a lot of grumbling about FeedBurner lately. The service, which provides statistics and ad injections for website feeds, was purchased back in mid-2007 by Google. After about a year of mostly ignoring the service, Google finally began integrating it with the rest of their other services. And here's where the trouble begins.

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Plinky: a toy for bloggers, but not all that useful

Image representing Plinky as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

Launched just a day ago was Plinky, a service that bills itself as "a service that makes it easy for you to create inspired content". I heard about it on FriendFeed, and based on the promotion of the service, believed it to be a tool for helping bloggers with writer's block. Obviously, I signed up within minutes of its official launch.

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