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Old 07-22-2009, 10:45 AM   #1
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Why 2024 Will Be Like Nineteen Eighty-Four

How Amazon's remote deletion of e-books from the Kindle paves the way for book-banning's digital future.

http://www.slate.com/id/2223214/

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The Orwell incident was too rich with irony to escape criticism, however. Amazon was forced to promise that it will no longer delete its customers' books.

Don't put too much stock in that promise. The worst thing about this story isn't Amazon's conduct; it's the company's technical capabilities. Now we know that Amazon can delete anything it wants from your electronic reader. That's an awesome power, and Amazon's justification in this instance is beside the point. As our media libraries get converted to 1's and 0's, we are at risk of losing what we take for granted today: full ownership of our book and music and movie collections.
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Old 07-22-2009, 11:22 AM   #2
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The answer is simple. don't go tethered to a central server. Remote overrides can only work for devices that have a two-way communication connection. Break the link and no problem. But then you have no 1 button purchase ability, or other conveniences.

For example, there is a multi-room wireless audio server that you can buy, called Sonos. You can have multiple pickups in different rooms and each room can listen to different music at the same time. Very nice. Highly rated. I'd love to have it. But...it won't run without a hook-up to the Sonos corp over the internet, for automatic software upgrades. Which means they can look at what I'm playing, track my preferences, and do anything they want to the software without my agreement. I don't own it simply because of that hookup requirement....

The choice is yours....
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Old 07-22-2009, 11:41 AM   #3
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Scaremongering.

1. Amazon has promised there won't be a repeat occurrence of the recent debacle.
2. If Amazon breaks this promise there are half a dozen ebook reader sellers ready to take Amazon's customers.
3. There are already many tools to remove DRM and this can stop Amazon or anyone else remotely deleting a book you've purchased.
4. File sharing networks will make censorship of books and information increasingly difficult.
5. You can always buy a device that isn't permanently connected.

As companies experiment with new business models and new technologies there is bound to be tension over rights. As long as there is no deception over what customers are entitled to, there is no need for the new laws that Farhad Manjoo calls for. These would only restrict choice and block innovations which could deliver unforeseeable benefits to authors and book consumers.
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Old 07-22-2009, 11:44 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by RobbieClarken View Post
Scaremongering.

1. Amazon has promised there won't be a repeat occurrence of the recent debacle.
2. If Amazon breaks this promise there are half a dozen ebook reader sellers ready to take Amazon's customers.
3. There are already many tools to remove DRM and this can stop Amazon or anyone else remotely deleting a book you've purchased.
4. File sharing networks will make censorship of books and information increasingly difficult.
5. You can always buy a device that isn't permanently connected.
6. You can switch off the cellular radio if you don't want your Kindle to talk to Amazon's servers.
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Old 07-22-2009, 11:51 AM   #5
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Yes. But if you do, then you lose the convenience of the one button purchase from Amazon.

If you want digital privacy, today and tommorrow, you have to create it yourself. Maybe I'm just old and cranky, I don't believe in giving other people the ability to look over my shoulder, whether or not they use it....
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Old 07-22-2009, 11:59 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Ralph Sir Edward View Post
The answer is simple. don't go tethered to a central server. Remote overrides can only work for devices that have a two-way communication connection. Break the link and no problem. But then you have no 1 button purchase ability, or other conveniences.
How do you figure that the ability to make over the network purchases necessarily means the anybody has to have the technical means to interfere with the contents of your device?

There exists no such technical necessity at all, as legions of other network enabled devices demonstrate.

- Ahi
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Old 07-22-2009, 12:28 PM   #7
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How do you figure that the ability to make over the network purchases necessarily means the anybody has to have the technical means to interfere with the contents of your device?

There exists no such technical necessity at all, as legions of other network enabled devices demonstrate.

- Ahi
Any device with a two-way communication capability has the ability to receive an executable file. You may find that most devices with two-way comm link have executable support built into the firmware. A convenience for firmware upgrades. Otherwise, to upgrade firmware you would have to use another device (such as a computer on the internet) to download the firmware and flash it to some external device and connect the new firmware to the device in question and manually load the new firmware. If you don't have to do it that way, your network enabled device has executable support. And if there is executable support, any sort of software can be pushed onto the device by the vendor.

Whether or not a company decides to use such software for spying/remote control usage is purely discretionary. I merely point out it's there. Some are bluntly open about their control (a la Amazon or Sonos or Apple), others don't say anything.

No link (or a disconnected link - if it really stays disconnected. The games you can play at firmware level are amazing.), are the only way to be sure Cunning Corp (or Big Brother) is not watching over you.....

P.S. Did you know that software exists and is used for triangulating your location on a cell phone conversation? Used for 911 type cell phone calls...
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Old 07-22-2009, 01:02 PM   #8
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P.S. Did you know that software exists and is used for triangulating your location on a cell phone conversation? Used for 911 type cell phone calls...
Of course. It's how "Google Maps" marks your current location on the iPhone. It's not perfect, but it's reasonably good.
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Old 07-22-2009, 03:05 PM   #9
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*yawn* another alarmist media article, it must be Wednesday...

Someone wake me up when the US or Europe starts modeling their information and data transmission policies after China's.

Oh, and most new cell phones have GPS's in them, much more accurate tracking mechanism than using towers. Don't forget you can be tracked via EZPass and other automated car toll systems, and most electronic train/subway passes, too....
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Old 07-22-2009, 06:45 PM   #10
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Excellent article. I agree with him 100%.

Just because the device allows wireless connectivity doesn't mean the vendors require God rights to it. Customer's shouldn't have to disable wireless access to get vendors to respect their ownership of the data.

- RIM shouldn't be able to delete an email from my Blackberry because it contains illegal information
- Apple shouldn't be able to delete music from my iTunes library because Britney stole Madonna's melody
- Motorola shouldn't be able to delete illegal pictures that I took on my cell phone at a music concert

The issue isn't that Amazon tried to hit the "undo" button on the transaction and make it go away (although that was bad). It's also not a question if the book was legal or not. The problem is that they have the capability to do it and I'm glad to see all the articles questioning it.
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Old 07-22-2009, 06:47 PM   #11
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Transfer the books to your own PC after downloading. Then, if the book *does* get deleted, you can put it back on your Kindle.
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Old 07-22-2009, 07:32 PM   #12
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Of course. It's how "Google Maps" marks your current location on the iPhone. It's not perfect, but it's reasonably good.
Or on a Nokia phone and not just in Google map.

I think we need a standard for how to verify that the content on your ebook reader have not been changed. On you computer you can easily do this yourself but on a device were you cannot run your own programs there should be a standard.
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Old 08-07-2009, 03:19 AM   #13
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*yawn* another alarmist media article, it must be Wednesday...

Someone wake me up when the US or Europe starts modeling their information and data transmission policies after China's.

Oh, and most new cell phones have GPS's in them, much more accurate tracking mechanism than using towers. Don't forget you can be tracked via EZPass and other automated car toll systems, and most electronic train/subway passes, too....
Just another way to track what you do.
http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/...private-homes/
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