Steve Jobs fears Nation of Bloggers

I'll save you, media!


A free and open professional media is essential to democracy, Steve Jobs said yesterday at the All Things D conference.

"I don't want us to become a nation of bloggers myself. I think we need editorial more than ever right now.

"We have to get ways of people to start paying for this hard earned content... Anything that we can do to help the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and other news gathering organisations to find new ways of expression, so they can afford to get paid, to keep their news gathering operations intact, I'm all for."

You may afford yourself an ironic chuckle at this point. The amateur Mac press is every bit as supine as its mainstream counterparts, and has more time to spend drooling.

Ironic too, because if Apple's lawyers had their way, the 'free' in 'free press' would take on an entirely new meaning. For example, journalists should be compelled to reveal their sources, if Apple asks.

Of course as with anyone who's trying to selling you something, the pitch is self-serving. Via the App Store, he has lucked upon a promising channel for persuading people to part with their money.

But fortunately for Jobs, on this question he's right, and the tide is turning in his favour. According to a recent Pew survey, 99 per cent of links in the most popular blogs were commentary on professionally-created stories with 80 per cent of the links pointing to just four sources, the Times, the Post, CNN and the BBC.

The iPad and iPhone do create enough artificial scarcity - you're paying for convenience, and thanks to the space this generates (I believe the buzzword is still 'attention', unfortunately), a bundle can be recreated.

The only wrinkle in this picture, as I pointed out a little while ago, is that newspapers may not be up to the challenge - the challenge being presenting us with fresh, interesting and well-written things every day that we'd never otherwise have thought of reading. Instead, they've responded to the abundance of news by ditching the people most likely to pique our interest - subject specialists and good writers - preferring to employ monkeys capable of little more than hitting Ctrl-V for paste, or condensing a Twitter feed.

But you can't blame Steve for that. ®


Other stories you might like

  • Will this be one of the world's first RISC-V laptops?
    A sneak peek at a notebook that could be revealed this year

    Pic As Apple and Qualcomm push for more Arm adoption in the notebook space, we have come across a photo of what could become one of the world's first laptops to use the open-source RISC-V instruction set architecture.

    In an interview with The Register, Calista Redmond, CEO of RISC-V International, signaled we will see a RISC-V laptop revealed sometime this year as the ISA's governing body works to garner more financial and development support from large companies.

    It turns out Philipp Tomsich, chair of RISC-V International's software committee, dangled a photo of what could likely be the laptop in question earlier this month in front of RISC-V Week attendees in Paris.

    Continue reading
  • Did ID.me hoodwink Americans with IRS facial-recognition tech, senators ask
    Biz tells us: Won't someone please think of the ... fraud we've stopped

    Democrat senators want the FTC to investigate "evidence of deceptive statements" made by ID.me regarding the facial-recognition technology it controversially built for Uncle Sam.

    ID.me made headlines this year when the IRS said US taxpayers would have to enroll in the startup's facial-recognition system to access their tax records in the future. After a public backlash, the IRS reconsidered its plans, and said taxpayers could choose non-biometric methods to verify their identity with the agency online.

    Just before the IRS controversy, ID.me said it uses one-to-one face comparisons. "Our one-to-one face match is comparable to taking a selfie to unlock a smartphone. ID.me does not use one-to-many facial recognition, which is more complex and problematic. Further, privacy is core to our mission and we do not sell the personal information of our users," it said in January.

    Continue reading
  • Meet Wizard Spider, the multimillion-dollar gang behind Conti, Ryuk malware
    Russia-linked crime-as-a-service crew is rich, professional – and investing in R&D

    Analysis Wizard Spider, the Russia-linked crew behind high-profile malware Conti, Ryuk and Trickbot, has grown over the past five years into a multimillion-dollar organization that has built a corporate-like operating model, a year-long study has found.

    In a technical report this week, the folks at Prodaft, which has been tracking the cybercrime gang since 2021, outlined its own findings on Wizard Spider, supplemented by info that leaked about the Conti operation in February after the crooks publicly sided with Russia during the illegal invasion of Ukraine.

    What Prodaft found was a gang sitting on assets worth hundreds of millions of dollars funneled from multiple sophisticated malware variants. Wizard Spider, we're told, runs as a business with a complex network of subgroups and teams that target specific types of software, and has associations with other well-known miscreants, including those behind REvil and Qbot (also known as Qakbot or Pinkslipbot).

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022