January 2009

Being Obama: Products Rip Off the Obama Mystique

January 28th 2009

We’ve discussed how Brand Obama has been open to being appropriated by its supporters. Now other brands are jumping into what might be called the “O-conomy.” Here are some products drawing on Obama’s brand equity. In a Plea for Relevancy, Pepsi Steals Obama’s Logo Business Week‘s David Kiley writes, “This is a special time in America—difficult […]

Charles Nesson Puts Bee in RIAA Bonnet

January 27th 2009

It seems that Harvard Law Professor Charles Nesson has really put a bee in the RIAA’s bonnet. As part of the Sony BMG vs. Tenenbaum case, Nesson filed a motion to compel a deposition of Matthew Oppenheim, a legal heavy-hitter for the RIAA. As a result, the RIAA countered with the threat of certain sanctions under […]

Obama and Technology in the White House

January 26th 2009

Many have argued that the Internet put Obama over the victory threshold in the Presidential race. We’re starting to see this influence in the new administration’s policies and use of technology, which seem to recognize that people who use the web (and geeks) are a constituency. Change Geeks Can Believe In Jason Kottke notes the new […]

Google Offers Exchange for Worthless Employee Stock Options

January 23rd 2009

Yesterday, Google announced a limited time offer to bring its employees stock options back to par, by trading them for what their stock will be worth on March 2nd, 2009. About 85% of Google’s (remaining) employees have stock options with a value which is, well, below zero. That is, their exercise price is higher than […]

Monster Cable’s Trademark Case: Monster Pathetic

January 23rd 2009

Some months back, the Monster Cable company (not to be confused with Monster.com) filed a suit against Monster Mini Golf of Rhode Island. It seems that Monster Cable (not to be confused with Monster Energy Drinks) felt that the public would become catastrophically confused between “stereo cables” and a “chain of glow-in-the-dark wicked-cool mini-golf courses […]

Should Avatars Be Issued 1099-MISCs and Pay Taxes?

January 22nd 2009

Avatars may not be taxed directly yet, but their creators may soon be. China and Australia are already experimenting with taxation of sales in virtual worlds. Now, in the US, the IRS’s “taxpayer advocate” has encouraged the service to consider taxation in virtual worlds. The Washington Post suggests the IRS could improve voluntary tax compliance […]

The Era of Digital Fascism

January 20th 2009

It seems that only natural disasters happen suddenly. Man-made ones begin small. The EU is adopting policies that secretly allow the police to hack into personal computers anywhere, at any time, for any reason – all without any judicial oversight, which would be the start of a man-made disaster. According to the TimesOnline: The hacking […]

Quick Links: Cameras, Taxes and Trojans

January 17th 2009

Web Videos of Oakland Shooting Fuel Protests “The devices people carry in their pockets give them the ability to turn what would normally be a case played out in the courtroom into one in which anyone with an Internet connection can serve as virtual judge and jury.” This both shows how online movements start, and […]

Is Talking About Risky Behavior Online Risky for Teens?

January 15th 2009

Dr. Dimitri Christakis of Seattle Children’s Research Institute and Dr. Megan Moreno of the University of Wisconsin analyzed MySpace profiles of 18-year-olds. Better than half contained information about high-risk behaviors: 41 per cent mentioned substance abuse, 24 per cent sexual behavior and 14 per cent violence. Sex, drugs and violence on the minds of teens?  […]

Knight Rider Move Over

January 14th 2009

Lexus believes it’s a good thing to speak to its customers about certain things occasionally, and that’s usually an indicator of excellent marketing. But of course, choosing the right communication channel can make all the difference. USA Today reports: [Toyota] announced Wednesday that new Lexus vehicles will start being delivered later this year with a system […]