Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Google Explains the Newspaper Business to the Feds

Most important takeaway: We’re not the ones killing newspapers! Google’s 20-page lesson (via Jeff Jarvis) is a response to a Federal Trade Commission “how to save the industry” draft paper, and there’s nothing really new here. But it’s still useful if you’re looking for a good summary. Two sentence version: “The large profit margins newspapers enjoyed in the past were built on an artificial scarcity: Limited choice for advertisers as well as readers. With the Internet, that scarcity has been taken away and replaced by abundance.” Google’s real aim here, via its own summary: “We’re hopeful that our comments will help encourage policy makers to promote innovation and creativity rather than protectionist barriers.”

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik