Boalt Spyware Conference Recap

On Friday I attended the Spyware conference at Boalt. This was an outstanding conference—I learned a lot. You should take any opportunity to attend a Berkeley Technology Law Journal annual symposium in the future—their events are typically first-rate. Tutorial on…

Infomediaries–Where Are They?

I have been thinking a lot about “infomediaries.” If you’re not familiar with the term, John Hagel first described it in a 1997 Harvard Business Review article The Coming Battle for Customer Information (with Rayport) and then fleshed out his…

Getting Paid to Drive an Ad-wrapped Car

Do you remember the dot com boom phenomenon of turning cars into mobile billboards? Some great photos here. The model was that advertisers would give drivers a new car (or pay some amount per month) to drive around in a…

Targeting of Television Advertising

NYT article on new technologies allowing more precise targeting of television advertising. I think this sentence captures the evolving environment: “The television commercial – a blunt instrument that often reaches as many disinterested people as desired ones – is beginning…

DoNotCall.gov

Tonight I looked through donotcall.gov, the FTC-operated website where people can register telephone numbers for the Federal do-not-call list. Two observations: 1) There is zero authentication that the person registering a phone number actually is the subscriber for that number….

Eye-Tracking Studies and Mandatory Disclosures

In writing about the Eyetools eye-tracking technology, Chris Sherman says: “In one study, for example, Eyetools inserted gibberish into E*Trade’s homepage to illustrate that content in a “visual dead zone” doesn’t get read and might as well not exist. Some…

NY Times on Video News Releases from the US Government

If you want another good reason not to watch TV news, read this lengthy damning indictment by the New York Times. The article describes how TV news shows often broadcast video news releases prepared by the US government without clarifying…

FTC v. CartManager

The FTC obtained a settlement from CartManager. CartManager operates shopping cart functionality as a service for third party website customers. CartManager used personal information from the shopping carts in conflict with customers’ privacy policies presented to users. We have seen…

Penenberg on WSJ and Search Engines

Adam Penenberg argues that the Wall Street Journal eventually will become irrelevant because its subscription model (1) makes its content invisible to the search engines, and (2) prevents bloggers from linking to it. I think he’s right. Our assessments of…

Avoiding Attention Distractions

Katie Hafner writes a good article on the difficulties we have avoiding distractions when we use our computer. It’s so true! There are so many temptations and messages competing for our attention. I know I struggle with this—there’s always something…