Random Thoughts Back from vacation.

Random Thoughts
Back from vacation. A few random thoughts…
I read somewhere that Google is figuring out that the ads it places on affiliated (non-search) sites are yielding lower click-throughs than ads on the main Google site. That agrees with a hypothesis we had with ONElist/eGroups. The hypothesis was that people reading the emails and using the site were focused on their task and were not interested in: a) looking at ads which would distract them, b) click on something that would take them away from their task. On the other hand, search sites are a perfect place for ads, because we’re looking to go somewhere else.

AOL, Yahoo and Microsoft announced today that they were teaming up to fight the spam problem (I don’t have the link here, but the press release is easily findable). I read it as a two-pronged approach. One is to introduce accountability into email systems. One proposal for doing so is the Designated Mailers Protocol. What that is is a system to specify which machines for a given domain are allowed to send email. One of the big problems with email currently is that every machine on the ‘net can send email, and there’s not much one can do (reliably) to determine whether a particular machine should be sending email. The majority of spam is passed through third party relays, proxies, and other compromised machines; none of which should be sending any email.
The other part of their proposal is to develop a list of domains that send a lot of legitimate email. Sounds like a whitelist type system, of which there are several already, including Habeas and Bonded Sender.

Apple announced their on-line music initiative today. It’s less restrictive than others, in that you get unlimited burning to CDs. But it’s still not perfect. Each song is $0.99US. Pay-as-you-go, like other micropayment systems, will not suceed. People want flat-rate pricing. See Why the Internet won’t by metered for a good examination of this. My ideal on-line music system would be a flat-rate subscription service, something in the range of $20US/month. This would get me unlimited access to a vast catalog of in-print and out-of-print music, with unlimited downloads and unlimited burning to CDs. Yes, this is a scary prospect for the music industry. But I believe it’s the only proposal that has a chance against Kazaa, Gnutella, and the alt.binaries newsgroups.