Beth Callaghan

Recent Posts by Beth Callaghan

Weekend Update, 8.29.09–The "Skank" Issue

skank-flyerAs of this week, pretty much anyone can tell you–“Skank” blogging just doesn’t pay. Unless your $15 million privacy lawsuit against Google ends up going your way, that is. Rosemary Port, the person who used Blogger to anonymously insult former model Liskula Cohen, was unmasked last week after months of speculation, and promptly sued Google (GOOG) for turning over her information. Hilarity ensued, complete with dueling morning TV appearances. More details on MediaMemo, though Peter doesn’t usually follow that kind of stuff. Looks like Amazon’s Kindle has a couple of new competitors. Sony’s (SNE) “Reader Daily Edition” and Barnes & Noble’s (BKS) and Irex’s as-yet-unnamed Kindle-like device will join the as-yet-unnamed Kindle-like device from Barnes & Noble and Plastic Logic on the playing field. Apple (AAPL) approved at least one app this week–the one for Spotify, which is rumored to be “the best streaming music service in the world.” But as MediaMemo points out, it’s worthless without any deals with big music companies.

The Open Book Alliance formally launched the manifesto this past week with which it’s challenging Google’s settlement with authors and publishers. The organization now has a Web site and quite an array of allies–which include, of course, Microsoft (MSFT), Yahoo (YHOO) and Amazon (AMZN). And as if Google doesn’t have enough on its plate, turns out that all along, Microsoft has been holding regular “Screw Google” meetings, the bastards. Uh, I thought that’s what people pay good money to learn in Business School. On a happier note, Howard Stern fans everywhere were happy to learn that Sirius XM (SIRI) has debuted a device that can turn an iPhone or iPod touch into a full-fledged satellite radio.

Over in Personal Technology, Walt reviewed Snow Leopard and found it to be an improvement on its predecessor, but with a lot of the upgrades under the hood invisible to most users. Not the typical object of desire we’re trained to expect out of Apple. In Mossberg’s Mailbox, Walt answers reader email about choosing a vendor to buy a computer online and setting parental controls in Firefox. In The Mossberg Solution, Katie Boehret explores the trials and tribulations of BlackBerry and iPhone users switching one for the other.

More next week.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work