RizWords – Daily Politics and Tech
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In our ongoing coverage of the Vonage Crap stuff:

Verizon prior art found on Usenet
The quest for prior art in the Verizon/Vonage patent fight continues. Last week, I wrote about formal discussions regarding VoIP technology from 1996 and 1997. But the Internet never forgets, and someone has found a 1995 Usenet post that pretty much describes the interconnection and control of voice calls bridged between an IP network and the PSTN. It was posted on the TELECOM Digest, a highly respected moderated newsgroup; if you were in telecom in the mid-90s, you were either reading that newsgroup or you were faking it. Vonage’s trial, as discussed previously, never really delved into the matter of the Verizon patent’s validity. It’s not clear right now where or how that discussion will take place.

For more about prior art affecting the Verizon patents:
– see the newsgroup posting from TELECOM Digest

The war is LOST! We’re doomed. DOOOOMED!:

The Senate majority leader Harry Reid drew criticism from Bush and others last week when he said the war in Iraq had been lost. He did not repeat the assertion in his prepared speech, saying that “The military mission has long since been accomplished. The failure has been political. It has been policy. It has been presidential.”

In a large segment of the show in which we covered Advertising and Dying Old Media:

Clear Channel Continues To Cut Away At Ad Spots
A couple of years ago, Clear Channel announced that it would limit the number of commercials its stations aired in a bid to stay competitive with other modes of listening to music, like satellite radio and iPods (yes, they do compete). Clear Channel’s experiment, however didn’t have the brightest results as fewer commercials translated to lower profits, despite efforts to charge more on a per ad basis. Still, even as the company was reporting lower revenue, it promised to maintain its limited number of ads. Now it looks to be going further in this direction, as one of its stations in Dallas will go completely commercial free. Instead of running 30 second spots, the station will make money by having companies sponsor blocks of time, with the promise that their product will be talked about in some way. Again, the station will probably see a revenue hit, but what choice does it have? As long as competition continues to take its toll on Clear Channel’s bottom line, it might as well take an aggressive, proactive stance. It’s also likely that the company will be criticized for not drawing a bright line between content and advertising, since the DJs will be talking about the sponsor company. But the company will be clear that the company is a sponsor of the programming, which should ameliorate these concerns. Furthermore, there’s always been a blurry line separating advertising and content, as the best advertising is that which makes for good content in its own right. As long as the company is being forthright, this should be a worthwhile experiment.

And this from Mark Cuban:

Ripoff Commercials = Stupid TV Stations and Networks

Its hard to turn on the TV today and not see commercials for some of the biggest ripoff schemes in existence. From Get Rich Quick schemes around the internet, around trading stocks, around real estate and anything else scam artists can think of, to get fit, get trim, get pretty, get studly, get this, that and the other, rip off commercials are in full force these days.

Why are they on TV ?

There are few rules in business that are simpler and easier to understand than “DONT RIP OFF YOUR CUSTOMERS”. Why is it that TV stations and networks and I need to include radio as well, have no problem running commercials that are blatant hustles of one sort or another ?

If you ever need an example of short term thinking at the expense of long term value, this is it.

Here we are at a point in time when the value of the traditional 30 second ad is being questioned and reconsidered because of industry wide fears that consumers will just TIVO right past them, yet the same industry places and runs commercials with a guy in a dollar suit sign running around selling a book that is questionable at best on how to get money from the government. Why ?

How stupid can you be to run these commercials ? Do you not realize tha

t its not a commercial for the product, its a commercial to reduce the value of the brand of your station or network ?

HDNet wont run informercials or any ripoff commercials. We don’t need or want their money and I would rather go without commercials than run them. My viewers are my customers. For some reason that is a strange concept to stations and networks these days. They would rather squeek out a commission on herbal enhancement pills and end up with a poorer, upset viewer than run a show without commercial breaks. Thats ridiculous. Its a brand killer

How about this for a concept: If you havent sold a commercial, dont run a commercial. The lack of a spot will hurt your bottom line far less than running a spot to ripoff your customers

And in somehow, less interesting news:

Mozilla Releases Thunderbird 2
Thunderbird version 2.0 has been released today. As MacWorld reports, Thunderbird 2 adds message tagging, improved searching, as well as enhanced spam and phishing protection.

And finally, in the death of Vista News:

Dell Bringing Back Windows XP For An Encore
Last year, when Microsoft announced that Vista would be delayed for the umpteenth time, there was some fear that by releasing it after Christmas, it would result in a significant lull in computer sales. But this thinking assumed that people were actually enthusiastic about Vista and wouldn’t want to buy an older version of Windows with a new one coming out soon. In retrospect, that assumption seems to have been quite misplaced. Not only is Vista not leading to higher computer sales, but there’s a significant subset of consumers that actually would prefer to buy an older version of Windows. This demand has prompted Dell to start selling a few PC models preloaded with Windows XP, which the company had discontinued earlier this year. This can’t please Microsoft, which would like to concentrate, as much as possible, on supporting its new operating system. But with so many complaints about the resource demands of the operating system, and the amount of crapware that it comes bundled with, it’s no surprise that many people are happy to go with the old system.