Dreaming of …

IMG_0348, originally uploaded by dfb.

Starting at 9 o’clock: pierogis, cucumber salad, buttered vegetables with dill, mashed potatoes, golabki (stuffed cabbage), and roast pork. This was my meal for Easter of ’05. We made everything but the kielbasa ourselves.

dragon

IMG_5976, originally uploaded by dfb.

This was taken at the San Francisco Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade this year. It is a blurry photo of the long dragon at the end of the parade.

reminder of University policy on sharing copyrighted materials- increase in notifications

It appears the RIAA is about to come after students at SCU. It amazes me that they (RIAA) don’t more heavily promote the music rental services like Rhapsody, Yahoo! Music, and the new Napster. Instead they make rental more costly by forcing additional charges to upload songs to MP3 players (notice the payment structure for the three services) and in general make it more difficult for everyone.

“Dear Students:

I am writing to remind you about Santa Clara’s policy regarding sharing of copyrighted materials such as music, videos, and software – such sharing is illegal, in violation of the University’s Network and Communications policy (http://it.scu.edu/policies/NetPolicy.shtml), can lead to disciplinary action by the University, and can place you at risk of financial and criminal sanctions.

More than 20,000 people have been sued by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for illegally sharing copyrighted music.

The potential financial exposure is up to $150,000 per song, video, or program obtained or shared in violation of copyright. Santa Clara is required to comply if it receives a subpoena requesting identification of someone suspected of such sharing via University computer networks.

Recently, RIAA has announced that they will be targeting university students with 400 monthly *offers to settle* in advance of suits.

This reminder is motivated by a dramatic increase in notifications of potentially illegal file sharing received by the University. This academic year we have already received nearly three times the number of notifications received all of last year, including eight in the past 24 hours. At some other institutions such a surge has preceded receipt of subpoenas.

Regardless of your personal view of the ethics related to file sharing of copyrighted materials, it is an illegal activity, one with potentially serious criminal and financial risks, and possible repercussions for your relationship with the University. Please be aware of these possibilities and conduct yourself accordingly.

I*d be happy to discuss file sharing, or other technology issues, at any time: [email], or [phone#].

Ron Danielson
Vice Provost and CIO”

Google to acquire DoubleClick for $3.1B – Yahoo News

Although I need to work on a brief for, I can’t help comment on Google buying Doubleclick which it appears was just announced today.

Google to acquire DoubleClick for $3.1B – Yahoo News
Seeking to expand its already well-honed ability to sell targeted Internet advertisements, online search leader Google Inc. said it has agreed to pay $3.1 billion in cash to acquire ad-management technology company DoubleClick Inc.
The two companies announced the deal after the markets closed Friday. The boards of both companies have approved the takeover, which is expected to close by the end of the year.

New York-based DoubleClick helps its customers place and track online advertising, including search ads, which Google â?? more than its nearest search competitors Yahoo Inc. Nasdaq:YHOO – news and Microsoft Corp. â?? has turned into an extremely lucrative business.

This is a strange pairing for three reasons although there are obvious attractions. First, Google built itself on a promise not to use banner advertising, a business Doubleclick helped pave the way for. Sure, Google has been testing graphical ads for a few years now, but those were limited. With Doubleclick in the family, Google will be fully reliant on the banner ads they spurned for so long. When the going gets tough, and it will in the cyclical advertising market, will Wall Street force Google to utilize the Doubleclick relationship to place branded, graphical advertising all over its site? Is it already too late for them? This will be the most interesting aspect of this engagement to watch from the sidelines.

Second,does this mean Google didn’t have the engineering experience or expertise to build out a branded advertising unit. I find this interesting and somewhat strange because they already have most of the things needed for a branded advertising network. They have ad targeting technology used for adwords, they have relationships with most major advertisers, and they have an extensive network of publishers, many of whom will consider putting branded advertisements on their site for the right price.

Third, Google holds itself above the rest with regards to privacy. On the flip-side, Doubleclick has been a privacy pariah since 1999 when it purchased Abacus Direct, an offline direct marketing company, and promptly announced it would combine anonymous profile information collected though its adservers with personally identifiable information collected by Abacus. The result is history. After lifting the lid on their plans, Doubleclick was quickly scalded by public and government reaction that saw it investigated by the FTC and several states, forced them to withdraw those data merging plans, and eventually the parting of ways with the Abacus Direct unit.

It’ll be interesting to see how users react to the change in ownership. My guess is that most people are now used to being profiled and tracked and that will shrug their shoulders. This isn’t 1999 when tracking and profiling online was new and most people said “Huh? Who!?” when they first read or heard about Doubleclick and Abacus. Now, Google is a trusted company with obvious brand recognition. Others may sound concerned but will quickly trade privacy online for the free products they’ve become accustomed to. The rest use AdBlock Plus and regularly clear cookies.

BTW: There are Google cookies on this page. I use the Google Analytics product for audience measurement.