The AP Crackdown

There should be an image here!While I am not really much of a fan of the AP, I cannot say I blame them for being cheesed off when people stoop to stealing their content. I have gone through this enough myself, so I can understand their perspective there.

But to say you want to prevent the “headlines” from appearing in search engines borders on the insane. Clearly, the AP is living in a bizzaro universe as I don’t believe the Web works that way.

See, when I publish something such as this post, I realize that someone might very well link to the headline or Google will index this piece. It’s not a big deal. Wonder why the AP is making it into one?

AP and Google Butting Heads

According to an article over at Forbes, the chief of the AP is making threat towards Google to cut off their copy, soon. The AP has been around for about 163 years or so and has held the newspaper companies hostage by limited the news that can be printed. In the digital age, with television, radio, satellite communication is the AP even still needed?

Maybe I am just naive, but aren’t there other ways to get the news besides the AP? Does modern communications today need an old system of news reporting? According to Forbes it states:

The AP and Google have been debating content and compensation issues for months. In an interview with Forbes on Wednesday, Curley warned that if Google doesn’t strike the right deal with the AP soon, “They will not get our copy going forward.”

The threat follows Rupert Murdoch’s accusation earlier this month that Google is committing copyright thievery when it borrows material from news stories to assemble search rankings. A few days later, the AP weighed in with a similar charge–though it did not mention Google–announcing a content protection initiative and threatening legal and legislative action against news aggregators.

The AP, a 163-year-old cooperative owned by news organizations, won’t discuss its talks with Google, but plans to create landing pages and Web-based “news maps” directing users to original AP stories (and away from secondary sources who post material “borrowed” from the AP). To do this, the AP needs Google’s help. Most likely that means Google creating search protocols similar to those created from the licensing deal the AP inked with Google in 2006.

I must admit that I do not know all of the ins and outs of news reporting, but I do know that Google is the primary search engine on the Internet. One would think they would be setting the terms and not AP when it comes to Internet reporting.

If the AP had their way we would all still be riding trains and airplanes would be outlawed. Isn’t it time that these corporate greed mongers be put in their place?

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Forbes article is here.

AP’s Chief Executive Is About To Be Taken To School

schoolClearly, the folks over at AP have never seen this video called Epic. The premise is simple – Google owns you, period. And this is especially true of how we retrieve our news. Flash forward to now, Google has survived as newspapers all over the nation are being handed their walking papers. And despite this rather stark taste of reality, part of the old media STILL does not get it.

AP and others, still are unclear that just because a search engine uses your content to highlight the news of the day, does not mean your content is now suddenly worth less. Rather, it means you need to rethink your business model in order to keep up. Apparently this has been lost in the AP’s 163 year lifespan?

If the AP follows through on its threats to black out the news from Google, they will open a black hole of problems so vast, that it will bite them in places they have yet to even discover on themselves. In short, the AP would take a HUGE hit online overnight. They are already becoming irrelevant, yet they still puff up like anyone really cares what they think. It’s cute, really.

AP Ready To Attack All Internet Users

In what some are saying will be an attack against ALL Internet users, it appears that the AP is ready to sue web sites that use its content without permission. In what appears as a shotgun approach to what AP sees as a problem, it is poised and ready to attack everyone, everywhere, who dares to use its content without permission. But what is confusing is how it self describes its motives for going into attack mode. In a recent news article at the N.Y. Times, the AP representatives spoke on their objectives, which seem unclear as to their purpose.

In the N.Y. Times article it states:

They said they did not want to stop the appearance of articles around the Web, but to exercise some control over the practice and to profit from it.

The group’s new stance applies to thousands of news organizations whose work is distributed by The A.P., as well as its own material, but the debate about unauthorized use has focused on newspapers, which are in serious financial trouble, and which own the A.P.

I can understand the purpose of their recent decision since it is newspapers that appear to be suffering the brunt of the economic downturn when it comes to news releases. It goes on to say this:

“This is not about defining fair use,” said Sue A. Cross, a senior vice president of the group, who added several times during an interview that news organizations want to work with the aggregators, not against them. “There’s a bigger economic issue at stake here that we’re trying to tackle.”

So the AP is not trying to define fair use. Then what is it trying to define by threatening lawsuits? It then does an about face and says this:

One goal of The A.P. and its members, she said, is to make sure that the top search engine results for news are “the original source or the most authoritative source,” not a site that copied or paraphrased the work.

So which is it? Is the AP targeting those that steal its stuff, at least in its eyes, or is it the lack of revenue it receives from search engines that do not show the original authoritative source? Or is it both?

Or it is the fact that the newspaper industry has seen its day and this is a last ditch effort to survive?

N.Y. Times source

Why Bloomberg & Reuters Are Superior to AP

The Associated Press have dug themselves a hole, which can be best described as their own grave. One would of thought that the Associated Press would of  not pissed off the bloggers of the world in their attempt to regenerate revenues that they themselves are losing. Here is the real scope on why AP is acting so erratic these past few weeks.

It seems that AP woke up one morning and took notice that when a story was run through Google, they were not coming up at the top of the list. It was also being noticed by some newspaper folks that they were getting better local news coverage from other internet sources and not from AP.  Yes, the bloggers were doing a better job that AP. So a number of newspapers apparently made mention of this:

A few weeks back the editor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, on “On the Media”, talked about how newspapers in Ohio were reaping great benefits trading material, and linking and cross linking. More importantly, she said she was no longer reliant on The Associated Press for her stories from the region but instead was getting the original versions direct from other sources around the state rather than paying “a big chunk” of her budget, about $1 million, for rewritten AP stories. Picking up directly, on the Web, and putting other papers’ stories directly in the newspaper was also better quality, she said, and readers were noticing:

“I mean, we’ve always had access to news from all over the state. It was just, you know, it went through the AP mill. I frankly think we’re getting better, more distinctively written stories because they’re not going through the AP mill.”

If local papers skip the AP, that means the core constituency is in revolt. That will potentially be more corrosive than the fight with the blogosphere over fair use. “As long as there are are two papers to trade articles, the AP will exist,” one rake at the wire service — where I worked for seven years on the international desk and as a foreign correspondent — quipped to me once. But what if the members form their own cooperatives and cut out the AP as middleman?

So AP retaliated against the blogging community and decided to charge for their quotes, attack those who would quote them and also decided to have their own set of rules that they would have in place to circumvent the fair use policies.

Which comes to the title of this article. Why is Bloomberg and Reuters better than AP? Neither Bloomberg nor Reuters is supporting AP nor are they attacking the bloggers of the world. As of this moment, both are respecting fair use. With this in mind the blogging community should use Bloomberg and Reuter sources and not use any AP sources in any of their stories.

Comments welcome.


AP Now Wants To Charge Us For Quoting Them

Today we enter into a new type of business model in which us bloggers are now going to be held for ransom if we dare utter any words from the Associated Press. It appears that in their wisdom AP has chosen a policy in which we will be charged, as one source put it, ‘$12.50 to quote 5 words from them.’

Which now poses another dilemma.

Let us say I write a story, such as I did yesterday, about Britannica allowing the public to write articles on their site. Let us say I write 5 words that just happen to match 5 words that AP may have written about the same thing. i.e., I say something like:

Britannica To Allow Public Access

If these 5 words just happen to match what AP says, do I owe them money?

Am I going to have to check on every AP article in advance to make sure I am not using any of their words in advance to posting anything here?

This reminds me of the music industry who sue kids for downloading stuff, in which their parents had to pay. I recall one case in which a kid had downloaded 800 songs valued at $3,000+ a song. Mom was in shock when hit with a $240,000+ judgment. Though the kid and Mom did receive their 15 seconds of fame on CNN, I personally would rather not be on CNN or any other news agency.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.


Wireless Antenna Diversity

The animated TECHTip Tutorial is available here.

Antenna Diversity is an AP [Access Point] with two antennas. This is the default setting on most APs designed to select the signal from the antenna that receives the strongest signal. If the AP has two fixed (non-removable) same-type antennas, this setting is recommended for both receive and transmit.

If, because of the application, a higher-gain antenna is used for either Tx [Transmit] or Rx [Receive], then this option may not be desirable. Each antenna listens for (receives) both signals. The AP selects the stronger signal for DSP [Digital Signal Processing] and transmission to other devices. RF [Radio Frequency] waves may be absorbed by objects such as buildings, mountains, etc.; however, these objects do not reduce the signal speed which is 300,000,000 meters per second, or the speed of light, 186,000 miles per second.
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Wireless LOS [Line-Of-Site Or Sight?]

The animated TECHTip Tutorial is available here.

RF [Radio Frequency] waves travel in a straight line – what is called LOS [Line-Of-Sight]. This means the user must be in a straight line from the antenna for optimum performance. In addition, obstacles such as other AP [Access Points], buildings, and other objects absorb radio waves. Users may often receive radio waves which are reflected from other objects called multi-path. Multi-path radio signals are generally not as strong or as reliable as direct LOS [Line-Of-Sight].
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The animated TECHTip Tutorial is available here.

TECHtionary Tip: Signal interference can be from other AP [Access Points] or other devices using the same frequency such as cordless telephones, buildings, mountains, electrical interference from vending machines or other problems.
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