Author Archives: Kevin A. Thompson

BitPass: Promising micropayment system for podcasting coming soon

I listened to an interesting interview with Kurt Huang of BitPass.com over at IT Conversations, part of the Web Talk series with Rob Greenlee. BitPass is a micropayment service, allowing small payments to be deducted from an account in order to pay for online content. Rob discussed the new proposed “BitPass Unplugged” service with Kurt, and while the details were sketchy (since it’s not yet available, looks like end of 2005), it sounded like a really neat application of RSS. Obtaining a subscription-based podcast via an RSS feed will deduct the payment from the user’s BitPass account automatically without any user intervention. If realized, this service could lead the way in allowing the podcasting phenomenon to really grow, since the monetization problem is what is keeping many of the bigger players away right now.

What a neat idea. I hope the final service works out close to how Kurt described it in the podcast.

Another reason to keep updating your security software

From CNet News:

The attackers typically lure people to the malicious sites by sending enticing e-mails and instant messages. When a victim clicks on a link, the computer becomes infected. In one case, a greeting card was displayed and a tune played in the background while spyware was being installed on the compromised PC,Websense said.

These sites are popping up in the blogosphere, taking advantage of the free hosting available at some of the free blogging sites. If you keep your malware detection software up to date and generally practice safe computing (don’t follow links in strange emails and IMs) you should be relatively safe.

Compelling Audio: an Extreme Blogger

Be sure to give the recently re-featured talk by Ben Saunders over at IT Conversations a listen. Ben is the ultimate in extreme bloggers – he updated his site from the North Pole, and kept his last expedition up to date with some makeshift electronic gear that he was flat-out advised by the manufacturers would… Continue Reading

U.S. Government announces it won’t release DNS to ICANN

A small but important development in the relationship between the US Department of Commerce, which used to directly regulate the Internet’s top level domains (.COM, .NET and .ORG) and ICANN, the group currently charged with the task. ICANN is the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers, the closest the Internet comes to having a… Continue Reading

MGM v Grokster

Rather than try to outwrite the law professors and pundits, I chose not to blog about the Supreme Court’s decision in Grokster right away. I agree that the Court has punted the hard decision of deciding how to apply Sony – the majority opinion avoids the issue, and the two concurring opinions take different stances.… Continue Reading

The Legality of Fan Fiction on the Net

Fan fiction is prevalent on the Internet, but is it legal? It turns out that’s a really interesting question. For the great majority of what is available, the answer is no. ISP’s that distribute these files and the authors of unauthorized works can both be liable for copyright infringement. What is fan fiction? Well, fan… Continue Reading

Musings on DMCA Takedown Provisions

Ernie the Attorney started the recent brouhaha over the notice and takedown provisions in the DMCA. You can read Ernie’s take here, with Denise Howell’s original take here. There are some really interesting comments in the discussion to Ernie’s post. So what do these provisions do? If you know that someone is using your copyrighted… Continue Reading

I’m back!

I’ve been offline lately, with lots of work and home activities intruding into my blogging time. Well, I’ve come back! In the interim, I’ve had some good ideas for posts that I hope to get up in the next few days. Continue Reading