Google News shuts down in Spain →

December 11, 2014 |

Google Europe Blog:

But sadly, as a result of a new Spanish law, we’ll shortly have to close Google News in Spain. Let me explain why. This new legislation requires every Spanish publication to charge services like Google News for showing even the smallest snippet from their publications, whether they want to or not. As Google News itself makes no money (we do not show any advertising on the site) this new approach is simply not sustainable. So it’s with real sadness that on 16 December (before the new law comes into effect in January) we’ll remove Spanish publishers from Google News, and close Google News in Spain.

How disgraceful. The new law not only forces publishers to charge aggregators — the tax is mandatory — but they’re actually consolidating the collection of profits into a legal entity, sort of an association of publishers.

This effectively means that if a small publisher is not affiliated with this entity, they will collect payment on her behalf and split it among their affiliated members, and the original publisher won’t see a dime. And since it is mandatory, the tax will always be collected, even if the publisher releases her work under a Creative Commons non-commercial license. That’s about how much sense this law makes. It’s just ridiculous.

This poorly-thought joke of a law is nothing but a desperate attempt by traditional newspaper owners, who are colluding with the government to save their own lazy asses. But if they think this is the way to survive in the digital era, they’re in for a rude awakening.

As a Spanish citizen and Internet publisher, I’m deeply ashamed of this law. I’m also way too angry to write a measured article about it right now, so let’s leave it at that.

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The Talk Show Bond Anthology →

December 11, 2014 |

“Underscore” David Smith has put together all the Bond segments from The Talk Show:

The James Bond movies are some of my favorite movies of all time. I remember very fondly following along with Dan and John each week as they made their way through the first twenty three films. Those conversations still stand as one of my favorite podcast series.

In 2012 (just before Skyfall came out) I had the notion to go back and re-listen to them all. Unfortunately since they were done as a segment inside of regular Talk Show episodes it was initially a bit tricky to find them all. However, once I was able to isolate them the re-listen was worth it.

This compilation is a small treasure for all Bond fans out there. Much like David, I look back on those segments of The Talk Show with incredibly fond memories, and I’m really glad they’re now even more accessible. I can’t wait to re-listen to each one of them — with the obligatory movie re-watch, of course.

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The state of Twitter clients in 2014 →

December 10, 2014 |

Just when you thought you were about to catch up to your Instapaper queue, Federico Viticci goes all Siracusa on us to analyze the three most popular Twitter clients for iOS: Tweetbot, Twiterrific and Twitter.

This amazingly detailed review is well over 20,000 words long. It would totally make sense as a standalone Kindle book.

Way to go, Federico. What an awesome piece of work.

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The Mesmerizing Architecture of Mosques →

December 10, 2014 |

Doug Bierend:

Iranian photographer Mohammad Reza Domiri gives us an opportunity to see the entirety of these incredible spaces all at once. His fully panoramic, expansive photographs of centuries-old mosques reveal the genius of their geometries and complexity. The effect is dizzying in a different way, like some kind of fractalized religious hallucination.

There are some jaw-droppingly beautiful images in here.

Also, you may want to check out this Flickr search with many more equally-amazing pictures of the Mosque-cathedral of Córdoba, Spain, an Islamic mosque from the Middle Ages that was later converted into a Catholic Christian church, but still keeps most of its Moorish heritage intact:

Panorámica de la Mezquita

Photo credit: Big Max Power (BMP)

Just gorgeous. Via Coudal.

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Before Andy Baio let his son play any modern videogames, they played through 25 years of gaming history together. In order. →

December 10, 2014 |

Andy Baio:

I love games, and I genuinely wanted Eliot to love and appreciate them too. So, here was my experiment:

What happens when a 21st-century kid plays through video game history in chronological order?

Start with the arcade classics and Atari 2600, from Asteroids to Zaxxon. After a year, move on to the 8-bit era with the NES and Sega classics. The next year, the SNES, Game Boy, and classic PC adventure games. Then the PlayStation and N64, Xbox and GBA, and so on until we’re caught up with the modern era of gaming.


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SOARING: Lights Over Norway →

December 10, 2014 |

Ole C. Salomonsen:

SOARING is a shortfilm showing what is keeping many photographers sleepless through the winter nights in the arctic landscapes and rural areas of northern Norway; the northern lights. The film was shot this autumn from late august to mid november in and around the areas of the city of Tromsø, as well as on the beautiful island of Senja.

All sequences are realtime video, no timelapse used.

Via Laughing Squid.

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The Pirate Bay returns with new Costa Rican address after raid by Swedish police →

December 10, 2014 |

Rich McCormick, The Verge:

Infamous torrent site The Pirate Bay was taken offline on Tuesday after a raid by Swedish police. Officers investigating the decade-old file-sharing portal’s alleged copyright infringements targeted a server room in Stockholm, seizing “several servers and computers,” according to veteran file-sharing case prosecutor Fredrik Ingblad. The site only reappeared hours later, at a new address hosted in Costa Rica, and with regular 500 internal server error codes. At present, searching or browsing for torrents on the new site is impossible.


TorrentFreak says The Pirate Bay might not be the only casualty of this most recent crackdown on the sharing of copyrighted material. The torrent portal’s forum, Suprbay, and a number of other torrent-related sites have also gone down, including EZTV, Zoink, and Torrage.

It always amazes me how sites like The Pirate Bay manage to keep going after being raided by the police. It’s impressive.

UPDATE: According to TorrentFreak, reports of TPB’s resurrection may have been greatly exaggerated:

Only adding to the excitement (or perhaps causing it), plenty of posts appeared on Reddit trumpeting this domain as the site’s new home. Sadly, however, these reports are wide of [sic] the mark. is a Pirate Bay proxy/mirror service (it’s listed by Proxybay) and as such relies entirely on The Pirate Bay for its torrent content. Currently it has none. The site appears to be operating out of the Netherlands and only became widely available in October.

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Judge orders Uber to cease all operations in Spain →

December 10, 2014 |

The precautionary measure was taken by the judge without hearing the arguments of Uber, given that the company is based in the US tax haven of Delaware. The judge’s writ also instructs telecommunications and electronic-payment firms to stop processing transactions for Uber in Spain, as well as no longer hosting its software and applications.

Ouch. This could be the beginning of the end for Uber in Europe. If the rest of European courts follow suit — and they often do — they’re going to have a hard time turning this around.

Personally, I’m conflicted. On one hand, I’m not a fan of countries using legal measures to hamper innovation and limit competition, and I feel tech companies face more than their share’s worth of legal troubles. On the other hand though, Uber is a particularly sleazy company: no insurance of any kind for their drivers, no respect for their users’ privacy, you name it. It’s hard to feel sympathetic towards them.

Of course, this may be news today, but disruption always wins in the end. Even if it takes a while, it’s simply inevitable. A service mostly like Uber will probably exist sometime soon and become the new normal. But it won’t be Uber, at least not in its current incarnation. And I may be wrong, but I believe that’s a good thing.

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Chris Gonzales on Day One and the Journaling Habit →

December 09, 2014 |

I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with journaling, as in, I love the idea of it, but I just can’t bring myself to actually do it.

In this article, Chris Gonzales shares some great tips on how to get into the habit — not to mention why — as well as a thoughtful review of one of the most popular digital journaling apps out there: Day One.

I really enjoyed this piece, and I think it’s a fantastic aid for those of us who can never seem to get enough traction for it to stick.

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