Beware of Freeconomics

The quote below is from this post from ReadWriteWeb

While we are certainly seeing more and more examples of products being given away for free, it is not necessarily a good thing. There are different aspects and faces of free. The Flickr free, which Fred Wilson calls freemium, is the model where the basic version is free and the premium one costs money.This model is very different from the GMail model where the entire product, with full features, is completely free. The downside of freeconomics is a monopolistic market, with barriers to entry, and little incentive to innovate. In addition the middle-man and transactional complexities are the other side effects of this new economic trend.

(Read the whole thing: Beware of Freeconomics)

It is of course on a topic that I’ve written a lot about, so I won’t comment on it further, just that I agree 🙂

Originally posted on Mar 03, 2008. Reprinted courtesy of ReRuns plug-in.

[GEEKY] Can your current reader/aggregator do this?

Check out the latest summary of amazing feats by BlogBridge. I don’t want to be too cheeky, but there are some pretty cool things that you get from BlogBridge (for free) that you can’t get anywhere else.

BlogBridge is definitely a serious tool which is why I bit my tongue and marked this post ‘geeky’ but really it’s also, as you know, my labor of love, so I can’t resist showing it off. Hope you take a moment to try it!

Originally posted on Sep 25, 2007. Reprinted courtesy of ReRuns plug-in.

10 Commandments might apply to more than just Facebook!

Check out these 10 Commandments for Facebook Applications. They are pretty good commandments for software in general. I especially like:

“Make it simple. Users DO NOT read.”, from FaceReviews

Yup, I have seen that time and time again with BlogBridge. Hard to believe. But true. Of course there’s the 1 in a thousand who ask for more documentation, but they are very rare.

[if you are interested in Facebook, take a look at BlogBridge’s Guide of Facebook blogs and feeds]

Life Lock’s CEO Identity Stolen

Check this post Life Lock’s CEO Identity Stolen from MetaFilter:

Life Lock CEO’s Identify Stolen Remember all those commercials recently tell us to steal Life Lock’s CEO Todd Davis’ Identity? Well seems as though someone did.

This is funny to me, because I am a Life Lock customer, and by coincidence I just received their email asking me to renew. Of course I am not sure of the overall significance of this news story. I guess that the fear of idenity theft that superstition takes over and anything that might help even a little is very tempting!

Doomsday Cult

Scott Adams as usual is hillarious in this post Doomsday Cult from The Dilbert Blog:

"A Russian cult emerged from the cave they were hiding in while waiting for the end of the world.

http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2008/04/01/doomsday-cult.html?ref=rss

Allow me to give you some advice: If you ever decide to join a cult, the first thing you should ask about is the quality of their doomsday cave. A poorly constructed cave could kill you, and that would take most of the fun out of doomsday."

A True Horror Story About Why We Need Authentication Standards

I am constantly downloading applications and utilities off the web to try this or that out. I am as paranoid as the next guy so I do think about where this app came from and what havock it may or may not be planning.

Still, I often will choose to ignore my most paranoid impulses and go ahead. I came across a story of such a utility which in addition to doing something useful for the user, was stealing passwords.

It is altogether expected that this kind of thing is going on and still, it’s a chilling story.

This is an excerpt this post from ReadWriteWeb:

“…What I came across was quite shocking. [name deleted] the apparent creator, hard coded his username and password to his gmail account in source code. All right, not the smartest thing in the world to do, but then I noticed that every time a user adds their account to the program to back up their data, it sends and email with their username and password to his personal email box! Having just entered my own information I became concerned…”

(from: Your Email Password: A True Horror Story About Why We Need Authentication Standards)

Beware of Freeconomics

The quote below is from this post from ReadWriteWeb

While we are certainly seeing more and more examples of products being given away for free, it is not necessarily a good thing. There are different aspects and faces of free. The Flickr free, which Fred Wilson calls freemium, is the model where the basic version is free and the premium one costs money.This model is very different from the GMail model where the entire product, with full features, is completely free. The downside of freeconomics is a monopolistic market, with barriers to entry, and little incentive to innovate. In addition the middle-man and transactional complexities are the other side effects of this new economic trend.

(Read the whole thing: Beware of Freeconomics)

It is of course on a topic that I’ve written a lot about, so I won’t comment on it further, just that I agree 🙂

Brad Feld: “Why Am I Passing?” – At least you are passing

Brad Feld, famous Venture Capitalist writes an interesting post about how he might get to the point of telling an entrepreneur “we are passing” in this post from Feld Thoughts:

“We always try to be respectful of the entrepreneurs and pass as soon as we hit the “this isn’t going to happen” point. There are different triggers for each company and it’s not predictable. I imagine this can be frustrating for an entrepreneur because it feels like you are making process with us when we suddenly say “we are passing“, but I’d like to think it’s an efficient way for you since we unambiguously take ourselves out of the hunt when we realize we aren’t going to get there. Ultimately, this is better for you since you don’t have to consume a bunch more time with us on a low priority outcome.”

(from: Why Am I Passing?)

Couldn’t agree more! I’ve seen it happen more than once that people are just strung along and strung along and never actually get a “No” for all kinds of reasons. It’s refreshing and it should be appreciated when a potential investor reaches a definitive conclusion, even if it’s a “No.”

Virtual Cable takes your GPS and raises you a heads-up display

This is really cool! Check out this post from Autoblog:

Filed under: Safety, TechTwo things plague GPS users: being forced to deal with dubious direction vocalizations and the amount of time spent looking at the screen when you should be paying attention to the road. MVS is developing a solution and it’s likely the most revolutionary concept to date.

The system is comprised of a series of mirrors that project a three-dimensional line onto the windshield giving drivers a heads-up display of their intended path of travel.

(from: Virtual Cable takes your GPS and raises you a heads-up display)

The other really cool idea I have seen for making it easier to follow a route computed by the GPS is to project a virtual car on your windscreen which you are supposed to just follow. This was from an Engadget article about a Microsoft Patent.