If you haven’t heard much about how takeover deals like Dunkin’ and KB Toys work, that’s because Mitt Romney and his private equity brethren don’t want you to. The new owners of American industry are the polar opposites of the Milton Hersheys and Andrew Carnegies who built this country, commercial titans who longed to leave visible legacies of their accomplishments, erecting hospitals and schools and libraries, sometimes leaving behind thriving towns that bore their names.
The men of the private equity generation want no such thing. “We try to hide religiously,” explained Steven Feinberg, the CEO of a takeover firm called Cerberus Capital Management that recently drove one of its targets into bankruptcy after saddling it with $2.3 billion in debt. “If anyone at Cerberus has his picture in the paper and a picture of his apartment, we will do more than fire that person,” Feinberg told shareholders in 2007. “We will kill him. The jail sentence will be worth it.”
What has developed in the content industries is a sense that copyright exists to support their businesses, so any new way they find to extract a little extra money from the rights they hold should be endorsed and protected by the courts. If you start from that premise, it makes sense to sue libraries for providing digital copies to blind people and professors for giving students access to short excerpts from a scholarly book because you believe you are acting from within the core purpose of copyright. But the premise is wrong.
Kevin Smith, Why Are Some Publishers So Wrong About Fair Use?, Library Journal
On Monday, Kit Kat will distribute six chocolate bars that have a GPS tracker inside them. Once they’ve been discovered by a hungry customer — and hopefully not via an emergency visit to a doctor after they’ve been digested — they can get activated. Then, a team will go out and deliver a 10,000 pound prize directly to him or her, wherever they happen to be.
OOH posters fitted with NFC touchpoints will let users check in on the competition as well, and find out, Willy Wonka style, how many GPS Kit Kats are left.
The New Aesthetic
The company’s use of analytic software to compile photographic archives of human faces, based on photos uploaded by Facebook’s members, has been problematic in Europe, where data protection laws require people to give their explicit consent to the practice.
Instead of using such an opt-in system, Facebook requires them to opt out instead.
The Hamburg regulator is demanding that Facebook destroy its photographic database of faces collected in Germany and revise its Web site to obtain the explicit consent of members before it creates a digital file based on the biometric data of their faces.
A new app is being tested in Nashville, Tenn., that can check in people on Facebook and send them offers using facial-recognition cameras.
Called Facedeals, the new service uses cameras installed at businesses’ front doors to read people’s faces as they enter. If the people who come in are users of the app, they will be checked in, and based on their “like” history, they would receive a customized offer.
It’s easy to be accused of scaremongering privacy concerns in 2012, but there is nothing but a hair’s breadth between this and CCTV networks’ ability to identify and target you wherever you stray into view by scraping vast quantities of facebook profile photos—which, let’s remember, are along with “real names” are the only facebook details you cannot hide from public view.
‘In the early 1920s,’ Bigend said, ‘there were still some people in this country who hadn’t yet heard recorded music. Not many, but a few. That’s less than a hundred years ago. Your career as a “recording artist”’—making the quotes with his hands—‘took place toward the end of a technological window that lasted less than a hundred years, a window during which consumers of recorded music lacked the means of producing that which they consumed. They could buy recordings, but they couldn’t reproduce them. The Curfew came in as that monopoly on the means of production was starting to erode. Prior to that monopoly, musicians were paid for performing, published and sold sheet music, or had patrons. The pop star, as we knew her’—and here he bowed slightly, in her direction—‘was actually an artifact of preubiquitous media.’
‘Of a state in which “mass” media existed, if you will, within the world.’
‘As opposed to?’
William Gibson, Spook Country, p.105