2012年10月29日

Diigo, a social bookmarking and annotation site, is finally back online 50 hours after the domain was first hijacked. It’s an incredible story that involves crisis management, blackmail, investigative research, payoffs, a clever thief, and points to potential problems with the domain name registry system that could affect anyone with a website. Diigo’s co-founder called it a nightmare and crisis that he’d like to help other companies avoid.

Diigo has 5 million registered users. For two days this week, they couldn’t access the site. The service is both a collaborative research tool, and a social content site. TechCrunch called Diigo “a research tool that rocks”, back in 2006. I’m a big fan and started using Diigo (pronounced Dee’go) to bookmark websites after Yahoo shut down its popular bookmarking site Delicious.

What Happened To Diigo.com

This past Wednesday, I tried using Diigo’s browser bookmarklet to save a site to my library. But, it didn’t work. I went to the Diigo.com site and it got one of those junky parked domain pages that you see when you mistype a URL. My first thought was, did the site close or perhaps their domain name expire? I checked Diigo’s twitter account and learned their domain was hijacked. The twitter account directed users to anemergency announcement that was put up at diigo.net, notdiigo.com.

“Dear Diigo users,

We’re terribly sorry to inform you that we’re experiencing domain hijacking, ie. someone gained access to our Yahoo domain registrar account, and illegally hijacked the domain, www.diigo.com. Very soon www.diigo.com may not be accessible to you until this issue is resolved.

But please rest assured that all our servers and user data are NOT compromised…”

The message also included a way users could help:

“Meanwhile, if you’re an avid Diigo/ twitter user, plesae (sic) help RT and speed up the recovery. Thanks!

@Yahoo @YSmallBusiness, pls help prevent the stealing of http://diigo.com , as done here http://bit.ly/Xqi6Ki …! pls RT!”

On Friday afternoon, after 50 hours, the Diigo.com came back online.

Diigo posted an update saying:

“After an unbelieveable 48 hours roller coaster ordeal, Diigo.com is back! While all our servers and user data were completely unaffected during this time, our domain name registered through yahoo domain service (completely separated access from Diigo servers / user data) was “hijacked” for the past 2 days (no, our domain didn’t expire, but was literally stolen and illegally “transferred out”. According to Yahoo’s log, the thief even called into Yahoo and pretended to be the owner to inquire the transfer, if you can believe that!)

Simply looking-around the web shows that domain theft / hijacking has been causing a lot of disruptions and economic damage. During this ordeal, we have learned some valuable lessons to share with you all. Stay tuned after we get some much needed rest first!”

The Backstory

I contacted Wade Ren, Diigo’s Co-founder and Executive Chairman to get the details of what happened. He agreed to share his story in the hope that other companies will learn some valuable lessons and not have a similar crisis.

Ren told me “it’s a nightmare since it was unexpected. It was a crisis because it may damage Diigo the brand if it isn’t resolved quickly. And it was an ordeal to go begging for help and getting frustrating go-arounds.”

The Diigo team learned their site was being redirected Wednesday morning. They did a WHOIS search and learned their domain was moved from their Yahoo domains to another domain registrar called Aust Domains.

Ren called Yahoo to find out what happened. Ren says he had several calls with Yahoo over the course of 30 hours, but Yahoo staffers repeatedly told him they couldn’t do anything to help. They insisted the only option was to file a police report, which Ren knew, at best, would take a long time to get his domain back.

Ren also discovered Yahoo is not an official domain name registry operator, like GoDaddy, eNom, Tucows, and Melbourne IT. It turns out Yahoo is a domain reseller, and anyone using Yahoo Domains really uses a third party DNS registry operator. Ren’s account used Melbourne IT Ltd., based in Australia.

I discovered that Yahoo discloses this in the fine print in our Small Business Terms of Service

In section 1.3,

“Certain Services that You purchase or receive from Yahoo! may be provided by one or more third-party vendors, contractors, or affiliates selected by Yahoo! … Currently such third parties include: Melbourne IT Ltd for Yahoo! Merchant Solutions, Yahoo! Web Hosting, Yahoo! Business Email, and Yahoo! Domains customers.”

Ren discovered that the actual DNS registry operator, Melbourne IT, would need to get involved to get this resolved. After much pleading, a Yahoo staffer called Melbourne IT to help, and was told that since the domain was transferred out, there was nothing they can do.

At the same time, Ren called and sent an email to Aust Domains, where diigo.com was now registered. His email, titled “high traffic domains stolen, please help!” got a boilerplate reply from customer support saying:

“In this case, you will need to contact your domain registrar (Yahoo) to submit a complaint to Verisign (Global domain registry).

Once we receive the formal decision from Verisign, we will take the further action.”

Aust Domains and Yahoo weren’t going to help Ren get his domain back quickly. But then Ren was contacted by someone who could. The thief.

The thief, who had a yahoo email address, wanted money in exchange for Diigo to get their domain back. Ren says the thief bragged about how he had done this many times before and was very careful.

Of course, Ren in principle didn’t want to do business with a cyber blackmailer. But, he wanted to get his site back as quickly as possible for his users and didn’t want to deal with this problem much longer. He said the thief was well aware of the timing. He said the criminal knew it may still take 2 weeks for Diigo to get their site back even with the help of Yahoo, and it would be a lot quicker to pay him to get the domain back, otherwise known as blackmail.

Weighting options, Ren decided to pay the money and was given the account information at Aust Domain so Diigo could get their site back, by pointing the DNS settings back to his servers. Ren doesn’t want to disclose the exact amount of the payment, but it was in the 3-figures.

Searching the web, Ren found many cases of domain hijacking, and in one case, by the same hijacker at HowardForum.com, the thief was paid $400. You can read the timeline of that attack here.

In that case, the website owner says his registrar, GoDaddy, worked with Aust Domains to get the domain back. It took 13 days. Howard shared some of the emails he got from the thief:

Hello, I’m ready to sell that domain for 400 $. let me know if you are interested so we can talk about the transaction method.

My offer is valid for 12 hours anyway. Good luck.

I’m not looking for any trouble, You pay and I’ll provide you the info instantly after payment

The important thing is I’m the owner of this domain at this moment and after few weeks I decided to sell this domain…. you are wasting my time by asking unrelated questions.

Back to Diigo, Ren says that at the same time he was in contact with the criminal, a more senior person at Yahoo got in touch with him. This person was much more eager to help.

I sent requests via email and phone to Yahoo for comment. After 22 hours, Yahoo’s PR department told me they will look into this. I’m still awaiting their reply and will update this post with any response.

Lessons Learned

Ren says he’s learned several lessons this past week that he wants to share.

Ren isn’t sure how the thief got the account’s password. He speculates it could have happened on some public wifi network and was perhaps sold to the blackmailer. But, all the thief needed to transfer the domain was his email and password.

The thief was very careful according to Ren. He doesn’t let his target know that he’s hijacking their domain until it’s too late. The thief didn’t change his Yahoo account password. He just took actions to transfer the domain to the new registrar.

Since the thief still had access to the Yahoo account’s email, Ren suspects the thief was watching his emails and quickly deleted ones that might have warned Ren of the domain transfer. This wasn’t Ren’s main email account so he didn’t check it as often.

He says 2-step verification of logins could have prevented all this. Yahoo offers 2-step verification where “any sign-in attempt Yahoo! deems suspicious will require a second verification, either answering your account’s security question or entering a verification code we send to the mobile phone or non-Yahoo! alternate email address we have on file.”

Ren says that unfortunately, this security feature is still in beta and does not seem to work as promised. After the hijacking happened, Ren says he tested his account and was surprised to find that he could still login without the verification step. When Ren told Yahoo about this problem during the hijacking, they asked him to fill out a bug ticket to report it.

Would the domain locking featured offered by Yahoo and other registrars have helped? Ren says no, it only provides false hope. Since the thief had access to his account, the thief was simply able to turn domain locking off. And the thief was able to get the domain transferauthorization code, designed to prevent fraudulent or unauthorized transfer, because he had access to the account.

Ren says he’s learned it’s better to use a domain name registry operator, rather than a reseller.

Based on his experience, Ren says the the domain name registry system is flawed and it needs a system to freeze a domain transfer and revert the domain to its pre-transfer state, immediately after a transfer dispute is submitted, pending further investigation.

Ren makes a comparison to the online banking industry. If someone steals you financial account, you have more recourse and security since further verification steps are typically required. But even though your website might be your most business important asset, you don’t have the same protection from your domain host, and there ought to be better procedures and recourse in place to prevent this from happening.

Until that happens, criminals will still be out there taking advantage of the situation and prying on unsuspecting website owners.

Via TechCrunch

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As e-book publishers and Apple face an antitrust lawsuit over pricing, magazine publishers are now looking into an alternative solution to the digital pricing dilemma: being able to extricate themselves from Apple’s grip entirely. A startup called Netizine, makers of a new, tablet-ready social magazine platform for publishers is currently in talks with seven of the ten top global publishers, we’re told, including three of the top five in the U.S.

And what is Netizine offering? Only a fully functional, HTML5-based tablet application that turns digital magazines into social networks…networks that run outside the App Store, that is.

Magazine publishers’ efforts, to date, have been a mixed bag. Some are OK, while others have been pretty awful,  basically turning their content into slow and heavy apps that take up more than their fair share of the iPad’s disk space. Their early failure on this front has left room for startups likeFlipboard and Zite to innovate and build new ways to consume news in a “magazine-like” interface.

Enter Netizine.

The company, now in closed beta with an early launch scheduled for summer 2012, is an entirely new take on how magazines can operate in the new digital, tablet-focused computing age. And it’s all about social.

Netizine CEO Jonathan Harris, a self-described “print guy,” the former GM of a large publishing business (Africa’s Media24), explains that today’s “social magazine apps” are not really social.

“I’m a big consumer of Flipboard, but I do not define that as a social magazine.” he says. “The reason it’s labeled a ‘social magazine’ is because when it started, it aggregated my social feeds and turned that into a magazine experience.”

“But social is broadly limited [in Flipboard] to a page-to-many experience – i.e. share the page, tweet the page – which is pretty much a commodity these days, and a fairly standard experience across the board.”

With Netizine, however, publishers have the tools to build an entire social network within their magazine, in order to allow readers to socialize around content. It’s a more in-depth an experience that something like the community solutions designed for websites – like Disqus, Badgeville, or Livefyre, for example, which are mainly focused on commenting, user profiles, and reputation management.

Netizine builds an entire network, with a robust feature set that includes not just profiles and commenting, but also tools to share, bookmark, favorite, and rate articles, plus live chat, one-to-one instant messaging, groups (similar to LinkedIn), both the ability to friend other readers as well as the ability to follow them (one-way friendships), support for check-ins (!), integrations of the publishers’ and advertisers’ social presences from Facebook and Twitter, support for reader blogs, and more.

Publishers can pick and choose which of the tools they want included, of course, and they’re all customizable. And while for readers, the additions may just be seen as fun new ways to interact, for publishers, it’s all about building up the demographic profiles of their audience, which can then be sold to advertisers. (Sound familiar?)

One example of how this would work: magazine ads may show readers a “check-in” option (with optional sync to Foursquare) in exchange for some sort of deal, discount or coupon. Readers, wanting the deal, then do so, providing the publisher with details as to where they are located and what they were reading at the time.

The numerous social features aren’t provided solely to allow readers a new way to socialize around the magazine’s content or for better analytics, though – they also make it possible for the magazines to introduce new ways to navigate through content.

Instead of trying to reproduce the print magazine in digital format, with Netizine, the solution is to use social metrics as a way to present a magazine’s articles. For example, readers can dive into the “most commented,” section first, or the “most bookmarked,” “most shared,” or “highest rated.”

But the entry of Netizine raises the question: what of Next Issue Media, the magazine industry’s joint venture to build a “Hulu for magazines,” (involving Conde Nast, Hearst, Meredith, News Corp., and Time Inc.)? Some of those players are also looking at Netizine, it seems.

Explains Harris, “these guys are cognizant of what happened to the music industry, which is the creation of the dominant intermediary – more money being in music today, but not the music companies making it – so what they’re doing is toeing the water,” he says.  ”[Next Issue] is a really good first attempt…I think they’re experimenting. And for us, it’s the best news we could ever hear of, because it gives us channel we didn’t have a couple of weeks ago.”

The new platform, which is built with HTML5 and CSS3 for responsive design (meaning screen size doesn’t matter), can be used in two ways by publishers. For those behind on the HTML5 “trend” (sadly, that’s many), Netizine can convert their PDFs to HTML5 for them, wrap the social layer around the content, and return to them, in a couple of hours, their brand wrapped in social. Alternately, publishers can choose to take their own HTML pages and use Netizine as more of a white label service. Regardless of which option they take, however, Netizine hosts the content, giving the publisher a URL.

Netizine plans to take its cut off as a “small percentage” off the magazine’s app’s subscription price, which, not surprisingly, will be lower than Apple’s.

It remains to be seen which publishers end up launching on Netizine later this summer, of course. But Harris says he believes this is the future. “Our bet is that the social magazine space is the next big space, and the native, enriched app was a stepping stone.”

In other words, it’s a big bet that magazine publishers will pull out of the iTunes App Store, and move to the web instead, lest they risk splitting their audience into the countable, social group and the native-based, less social demographic. While publishers may be willing to take this shot, whether users will follow them – especially when there are other great apps for browsing news and features (like Flipboard!) – definitely remains to be seen.

Netizine is currently self-funded. Interested parties can sign up here.

Via TechCrunch

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by Jonathan Harris

Jonathan Harris is CEO of Netizeen, a company which offers software to add social features to magazines.

Jonathan Harris

Two years ago, Steve Jobs stood in front of a room packed with self-confessedApple fanatics and held up the iPad, the most “magical and revolutionary device” in the history of the company,” he told the audience.

Among those hanging on every word were magazine publishers who believed they now had the tool needed to give them a competitive edge. Their readers finally had a lean-back digital option. A page could be turned with the swipe of a finger. Though cautiously optimistic, publishers were hopeful that this new device would offer their readers a magazine experience that would propel them into the digital age. They also hoped it would rescue what was rapidly disappearing from their back pockets.

Fast forward two years, and publishers find themselves fighting even harder to compete in a rapidly-changing digital ecosystem. While Apple has made good on its basic promises, mainly delivering a device-driven audience and facilitating bulky back-end micropayments, it has also consolidated its role as the dominant intermediary, edging publishers closer to a state similar to that of the music industry. It has fostered a reliance on its closed platform and ultimately stifled innovation.

If publishers want to stay in the game and establish a future for magazines that is less uncertain than the one they are currently facing, they must embrace options outside of the current Apple-dominated landscape and hedge against its control of both the end consumer and the content delivery mechanism.

Here’s how.

  • You’re Only As Good the Data You Keep

You don’t have to be the smartest kid in Silicon Valley to know that the absence of customer data hurts brands. In my discussions with advertisers, the number one reason for their lack of investment, or in some cases dis-investment, into tablet editions is too little data that comes too late.

Ironically, publishing has always been about packaging and selling audience data, so there’s a natural affinity with the concept. But in a digital era, it is the depth, quality and timeliness of audience data that is separating the winners from the rest. This is where publishers are falling increasingly far behind as they are left scrapping for relatively low quality subscription data from Apple.

From the beginning, iPad magazine development was approached from the wrong angle, driven by Apple-centric thinking that only addressed the question of what can we do for readers rather than what they can we do withreaders. There is an important difference between enrichment (adding videos, images and graphics to the page) and engagement (establishing a meaningful contact or connection). Engagement appears to have been ignored altogether and the result has been apps that focus on leveraging the operating system more than they do the connectedness of the device.

Publishers must consider new ways for readers to consume – and connect around – magazine content. They need to design and track content experiences that are more socially driven, building new direct channels of engagement and extending the touch points of readers with content and each other.  As advertisers increasingly demand that publishers move upstream with their businesses around data, providing more granular insights about their audiences is going to be a necessity, not a choice.

A new data-driven business is needed to gain greater control of future revenue growth. This upstream model is within the reach of publishers today, and those that are able to develop – and own – their brands’ engagement data will not only survive … but thrive.

The takeaway: Sell your data, you earned it.

  • Native Apps Are Counterintuitive For Content

Magazines were one of the earliest mechanisms for social grouping, and before the onset of the digital age, publishers were very good at building and monetizing highly valuable networks of similar people built around different content verticals. But as the business model of online content has evolved, publishers have seen this position erode and with it, their revenue.

We are now at a tipping point and if publishers want to claim any meaningful portion of future digital revenue, they need to make a decision about whether a magazine is a container or a connector. The definition makes all the difference.

If magazines compete as containers of editorially aggregated content then the future is pretty bleak. The digital content containers offered by aggregators like Flipboard and Zite are much more compelling than any single source alternative and fit far better with the nature of content consumption on the Web that is forming itself around streams. But if magazines are seen as connectors, bringing clusters of people together around well-defined special interests then publishers may have reason to be far more optimistic.

With the iPad, iTunes and subsequently Newsstand, Apple drove native app development as a strategy by connecting access to the marketplace to developing for device. Publishers happily took Apple’s lead without consideration for the new form and function of digital content threaded through the social Web. They began to replace one type of controlled distribution for another. And although in some cases what they delivered was a newly crafted content offering, this model did nothing to re-architect the proposition of magazines on a connected device.

Native siloed app development is simply not a good model for content. It’s completely counterintuitive to develop with greater consideration for the operating system than for the Web.

There is a potential future for magazines on the tablet that is more open, collaborative and connected, but readers, not the device or the marketplace, must be at the heart of the next evolution.

The takeaway: It’s an open Web, don’t build for a closed one.

  • So what does this all mean?

You may argue that the damage being done to publishers is self-inflicted; Apple gave them the tools and what they did with it was up to them. But actually the device Jobs introduced as the iPad was designed to effect control right from the start.

In a 2004 interview with Businessweek, Jobs said, “I’ve always wanted to own and control the primary technology in everything we do.” Owning the technology is one thing, owning the audience another.

To stay ahead of the game, publishers must think outside of the Apple box. They must take true ownership of their digital brands, regain the direct relationship with their customers and figure out how to increase revenues by putting the reader at the heart of their strategy. In short, if they are to flourish, they must take control of their three D’s – Data, Development and ultimately their Destiny.

Via Forbes

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摘要:从一开始,iPad杂志的开发就走向了错误的方向。究其原因,是因为在苹果主导的模式下,我们只解决了出版商能够为读者做什么的问题,而不是出版商能够与读者一同做什么。内容的丰富程度(添加视频、图片和图形)与交互程度有着重要的区别。内容与读者的互动如今似乎被出版商们忽视。出版商们必须思考新的内容消费方式,同时推出具有连接性的杂志内容。随着越来越多的广告主开始要求出版商提供上游消费者数据,提供更加深度的读者数据将成为必需而非选项。

北京时间10月29日消息,美国《福布斯》杂志网络版特邀撰稿人乔纳森·哈里斯(Jonathan Harris)发表文章称,两年前iPad发布时,许多出版商都曾对其充满期望,期望这款“神奇的设备”能够拯救日落西山的出版行业。但两年多之后,出版行业的处境并未有任何改善。相反,它们如今需要做的,是摆脱苹果的控制,以避免重蹈音乐行业的覆辙。

以下为文章概要:

两年前,史蒂夫·乔布斯(Steve Jobs)站在挤满苹果粉丝的房间里,用双手拿起了iPad,“iPad是苹果公司历史上最有魔力和革命性的产品,”他对观众说。

在众多关心iPad的人中,是那些杂志出版商们。他们相信,如今他们终于拥有了能够为其提供竞争优势的工具,读者终于有了一款纤薄的数字设备可供选择。只需轻轻地用手指一扫,电子书就会自动翻页。尽管抱着谨慎乐观的态度,但出版商对于iPad还是充满欣喜,认为这款新设备将为他们的读者提供优秀的电子杂志体验,带领他们进入数字时代。他们还希望iPad能够拯救岌岌可危的出版行业。

时间快进到两年后,出版商们发现,在如今飞速变化的数字生态环境中,它们的竞争处境甚至比以往更加艰难。尽管苹果基本兑现了其若言,带来了大量冲着设备而来的用户,整合了后端的小额支付系统,但该公司同样巩固了其作为媒体销售中介的主导地位,使得出版社的境遇更加接近于音乐行业。苹果已经培养出一个依赖其封闭平台的联盟,并最终阻碍了创新。

如果出版商想继续生存下去,并为杂志业务找到比如今更加确定的未来,它们必须拥抱苹果之外的选项,以对冲苹果控制终端消费者和内容分发渠道带来的风险。

掌握消费者数据

几乎所有的硅谷科技从业者都知道,缺失消费者数据将损害企业品牌。在我与广告主进行的讨论中,它们不愿进行投资的第一大原因往往都是因为平板上电子杂志的消费者数据太少而且获取得很慢。

具有讽刺意味的是,出版行业从来都是一个打包并出售读者数据的行业,这一概念与出版业有着天生的密切关系。但在数字时代,决定出版商成败的,是消费者数据的深度、质量和及时性。这正是出版商的弱点,因为它们只能从苹果的订阅数据那里获得一丁点的低质量信息。

从一开始,iPad杂志的开发就走向了错误的方向。究其原因,是因为在苹果主导的模式下,我们只解决了出版商能够为读者做什么的问题,而不是出版商能够与读者一同做什么。内容的丰富程度(添加视频、图片和图形)与交互程度有着重要的区别。内容与读者的互动如今似乎被出版商们忽视。

出版商们必须思考新的内容消费方式,同时推出具有连接性的杂志内容。它们需要设计和追踪内容体验,为读者提供更好的社交体验,建立与读者互动的直接渠道,扩大读者与内容以及读者之间的相互沟通。随着越来越多的广告主开始要求出版商提供上游消费者数据,提供更加深度的读者数据将成为必需而非选项。

为了获得对未来营收增长更大的控制权,出版商必需建立新的由数据驱动的业务。采取这种上游模式对于今天的出版商们并不困难。在未来,那些主动开发并掌控自己的品牌互动数据的出版商将不仅仅能够生存下来,而且将繁荣发展。

本地应用并非最佳的内容展示方式

杂志是现代社会最早形成用户社交群的机制之一。在数字时代尚未开启时,出版商就非常善于建立高价值的背景相似的读者群,并从中获利。但随着在线内容业务模式的进化,出版商们的这一地位日益遭到侵蚀,同时遭到侵蚀的还有其营收。

如今我们正处于一个关键的临界点上。如果出版商想获取未来的数字营收,他们必须作出决定,决定杂志到底是一个容器还是一个连接器。这两种不同的定义有着截然不同的含义。

如果杂志对自己的定位是各种编辑内容的整合,那么出版商的未来将会非常凄凉。数字内容聚合厂商如Flipboard和Zite等提供的数字内容整合应用远比任何单一的内容来源都更有吸引力,在内容消费者的方式方面也胜出一大截。但如果杂志的定位是连接器,即将拥有特定兴趣的用户群聚集起来的连接器,那么出版商或许就有理由对未来持有更加乐观的态度。

随着iPad、iTunes和随之而来的Newsstand,苹果将本地应用的开发作为核心策略,作为读者连接内容市场的方式。许多出版商傻乎乎地跟随苹果的引导,而没有对社交网络中的新形式和数字内容的新功能投入足够多的重视。出版商们开始用一种封闭的分发渠道替代另一种。尽管有时他们提供的内容的确非常新颖,但这种模式丝毫不能帮助杂志重新定位自己在一款联网设备上的角色。

本地应用开发并非最好的内容提供方式。这种模式是违反直觉的,其对操作系统的依赖程度超过了对Web的依赖程度。

在平板电脑上,杂志出版商获得未来成功的关键是,必须将更加开放、相互连接的读者群作为下一轮进化的核心,而非设备或分发渠道。

这一切意味着什么?

或许有人会辩解称,出版商们如今的困境是自己一手造成的;苹果给了他们工具,他们拿着这个工具做什么是他们自己的事情。但事实上,乔布斯推出iPad这款设备最初的设想,就是影响出版行业的控制权。

在2004年接受《商业周刊》采访时,乔布斯说,“我一直都想拥有并控制一切我们所从事的核心技术。”控制技术如此,控制用户群也是如此。

为了继续在出版行业中获得领先,出版商们必须跳出苹果设定的思维框架。它们必须真正夺回数字品牌的控制权,重新建立与消费者的直接关系,将读者置于未来战略的核心,并思考如何提升营收。简而言之,如果想要繁荣发展,出版商必须获得“三个D”的控制权–数据(Data)、开发(Development),最终则是它们的命运(Destiny)。(张和)

来源:腾讯科技

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2012年10月27日

The publishing industry, roiled by ebooks and Amazon’s behemoth behavior, has been the target of government price-fixing charges. The situation raises the question of whether books are a special cultural product that the law should treat differently than buttons or rubber boots.

According to antitrust experts speaking at a New York book event this week, books should be treated like any other good in the market.

“There’s never been a defendant sued for antitrust who didn’t think their market was special,” said Chris Sagers of Cleveland State University, adding that “agency pricing” (a commission-style pricing system used by the publishers to check Amazon) is just another word for price-fixing.

And according to Ariel Katz, a law professor at the University of Toronto, publishers have been engaging in cartel-like behavior for more than a century. In 1908, for instance, a publisher sued the department store Macy’s for disobeying notices that required books to be sold for at least $1 (the publisher lost and the Supreme Court established copyright’s first sale doctrine).

The recent price-fixing charges, in which publishers allegedly ganged up with Apple in order to stop Amazon, also appear to be classic cartel behavior — meaning the government was justified to sue them to protect the free market. Yet, it also feels intuitively wrong to equate book publishers with oil barrons, AT&T or other antitrust villains.

This is because books are not oil or boots or buttons. They are the repositories of our collective knowledge and exemplify what is best about humanity. Nina Elkin-Koren of the University of Haifa, who also spoke at the event, questioned the antitrust experts about whether it is appropriate to leave something as important as books to the whims of the market.

In the language of economists, the question is whether books are a big enough “cultural externality” to justify interfering with the market through corporate protectionism or government regulation.

Sagers suggested that governments can indeed make economic policies to favor cultural and intellectual activities but that the right way to do is by favoring cultural creators directly — and not through intermediaries like publishers.

The antitrust experts make a compelling case for regarding publishers as just another cartel. It will be interesting to see if the theory continues to hold up as Amazon expands its ever-growing influence on the nation’s reading habits.

The experts spoke at “In Re Books,” a two-day conference on law and and the future of books held at New York School.

Via Paidcontent

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作为在阅读领域有多年丰富经验的阅读器,Anyview一直凭借着优秀的阅读体验和完全免费积累了不少粉丝。但是作为一块横跨多平台的阅读软件,早期的Java基础让其在主流的苹果商店中不能见到其身影,一直是iOS用户的遗憾。此次iOS正式版的发布不仅补上了这块拼图,同时也带来了新的功能。

一、界面依旧清新文艺

Anyview阅读器一直坚持走简洁、清新的风格,此次iOS正式版依然坚持了这个传统,并且在功能上重新进行调整,更加侧重简洁性和实用性,从首界面就可以将所有功能一览无余。在阅读体验方面,比起其他平台的以往版本,iOS正式版对EPUB的支持更加优秀。但遗憾的是,目前只支持上了txt和epub格式,还有待扩展。

二、功能精炼化

看起来正式版的功能虽然更少了,但实际上是设计师将大量的精力花费在了提升阅读质量上,甚至不惜剔除一些鸡肋功能。整个软件没有任何的广告,每个功能都是精简后的产物。正式版去掉了书城,所以主要的传书方式是通过iTunes和WIFI,使用WiFi传书,只需在浏览器里输入相应的ip地址,就可以向手机上传同步文件。

正式版中新添加了一个非常实用的功能——A盘,其主要用途同“Instapaper”一样,主要是用来离线阅读网页。只在要通过注册后在电脑浏览器上安装插件,就可以将网页内容生成一本epub书籍一键同步到云端,再进入Anyview中的“A盘”下载后就可以随时离线查看了,非常方便。

三、阅读精细化

通常要读完一本书,快则数小时慢则数天,所以一本书的排版和文字,对人的阅读影响是非常大的。Anyview在阅读设置上提供了不少选择,字体大小、颜色,到左右边距和上下边距,每一个设置都可以让用户根据自己的需要进行调节。在书架里更是添加了分类功能,方面用户对图书进行归类,不至于因为图书太多而出现找不到书的困扰。就连书签等小细节方面也让人觉得非常有设计感。

作为发布的首个正式版本,Anyview在阅读体验方面已经做的非常不错了,握在手中时真正的让人有一种想要“读书”的欲望,并能在其中感受到阅读的乐趣。尤其是其中实用的“稍后阅读”功能,在完全免费与阅读排版上,都不输于收费25元的“Instapaper”,成为云阅读又一个不错的选择。

App Store 下载地址

越狱版官方 下载地址

来源:雷锋网

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