Flipboard – but is it legal?

I only caught the last part of last night’s TWiT (#259, Next Stop, Gilbert Arizona) but did come across an interesting snippet of information about iPad darling app du jour, Flipboard.

According to Baratunde Thurston of the Onion, the app goes beyond aggregating RSS feeds and “de-uglifying” them and seems to be using machine and/or human based scraping to pull in third party content from publishers. In doing this, ads placed on the third-party sites are removed. Flipboard has stated that it will enter into revenue sharing arrangements with the content publishers as it will be including it’s own ads, which will allegedly deliver ten times the amount of advertising revenue that publishers currently receive. Further details of these arrangements have yet to be revealed.

Whilst the app itself looks pretty and their team have done a masterful job of seeding it through the early adopter community, this (if true) is a step backwards into an issue that seemed to already been resolved. It also means that publisher’s shaky online advertising revenues may be squeezed even more.

Audio via twit.tv (1:51:28, iPad and Flipboard segment starts at around 1:23)


Jesse Schell: Visions of the Gamepocalypse

This talk is long (90 minutes, with another 20ish minutes for questions and answers with Kevin Kelly) but very worthwhile, and in no way solely related to games. Anyone interested in a particular vision of the future based on technology should give it a listen. Put your feet up, although as the player is a Flash player you won’t be able to listen to it on your iPad whilst lounging on your couch …

Message 1: people like shiny things such as filling progress bars and unlocking achievements.

Message 2: the prediction threshold is creeping in so much that many people are abandoning the idea of crystal-ball gazing.

Message 3: the explosion in Facebook gaming is in large part because people can now play games at work. No arguments from me there. 

Message 4: every technology will experience a trough of disillusionment followed by a slope of enlightenment.

Message 5: virtual economies are powerful, and advertisers will be more than happy to trade virtual currency for attention and association.

Message 6: stereoscopy was invented in 1849. 3D is a novelty best reserved for certain places.

Message 7: you could be eating your face right now.

Message 8: incurious people may be left behind, as curiosity will deliver significant advantages due to the massive availability of information to the curious people.

Message 9: things are really going to change when games can listen to people.


Audio via the Longnow Foundation