What I Learned This Week (Part 9)

MagicJack sued Boing Boing to get them to shut up about MagicJack’s TOS. Of course, they want to analyse your calls…. much like how Google analyses your searches (and matches it to demographics). The fact that so many people are attracted to “free”, and are willing to give away privacy at the cost of nothing is a little disturbing. Of course, if MagicJack said it like that, chances are they wouldn’t be in business.

Much like the ideas about making sense from an abundance of information, that grew from the Connectivism theory, I’ve been looking for ways to delve through the 100,000 plus apps available in the AppStore. App Store Overpopulation points to a couple websites who do a good job with reviews of apps. iPhone Tiny is another website who review mostly new apps and rank them on a 5 star scale. The real great website would combine the 5 star ratings available in the AppStore, review sites and users experience. Certainly anywhere ranking is involved (especially with ranking where money is involved), there is a certain amount of gaming the system, so there would need to be some authority and reliability with this site.

A brief touch from Zeldman (via Craigmod) on media and how the iPad can change how we view “books”. I think digital books have always been seen as either inferior, or second class as compared to physical books. Certainly displaying information on screen presents a set of challenges with regards to fidelity and precision that can’t be functionally overcome… so I think we need a different understanding of what a “book” will consist of in the future. The linked Craigmod article posits that barriers to publishing are falling – we’ve seen this idea before, with bands, fanzines, oh yeah punk rock. Well, fanzines and DIY culture extends back to the 60′s, so really this is an old idea with a new platform. The problem is that we haven’t seen too many breakthrough incidents – not too many fanzines have grown big enough to break through to mainstream culture (perhaps some skateboarding mags started as fanzine endeavors – I’m thinking Big Brother as an example) and even then, nothing on the scale of People or Time. Any of the huge punk bands (Sex Pistols, Ramones, Clash) were already accepted by mainstream record labels. I don’t think the iPad will change access points for independent publishers, just add more books available to people. The mainstream will still only see the 99% pushed by mainstream publishers.