Thursday News: Verizon + Yahoo, Romance for Libertarians, and Alice in Wonderland
Verizon’s Yahoo Buy May Spark FCC Privacy Scrutiny – An interesting take on the acquisition of Yahoo by Verizon. The $4.8 billion deal is likely to be approved without much difficulty, experts claim, but the nature of the acquisition – that an ISP is acquiring such a data-rich resource – is likely to trigger more scrutiny from the FCC, which has been restructuring and expanding the rules around how ISP’s protect customer privacy. Despite Yahoo’s own financial difficulty, it is a very valuable resource for a company like Verizon, which is simultaneously building its customer base and its marketing opportunities.
Dan Jaffe, executive vice president of the Association of National Advertisers in Washington, said July 25 that the deal “clearly raises the stakes for Verizon” regarding the FCC’s ISP privacy proposal.
As an online content provider, Yahoo’s use of subscriber information would not have been affected by the FCC’s proposed rulemaking since it is not an ISP. “But Verizon taking Yahoo under its wing” changes the company’s ability to use that information, Jaffe said.
According to Jaffe, when the deal closes, a vast amount of information collected by Yahoo would become subject to the FCC’s rules—if they are enacted and survive legal challenges. And, Jaffe said, that will also change users’ experience using the web. “All consumers would be besieged by the opt-in notices,” he said. – Bloomberg BNA
Libertarians like their genre fiction just fine and read lots of it. Science fiction is a staple, from Ayn Rand’s Anthem to the works of Robert Heinlein to Joss Whedon’s dearly departed television series Firefly. Murray Rothbard is on record as a reader of detective novels. Rand praised Ian Fleming and Mickey Spillane for the rough heroism of their potboilers. Rose Wilder Lane’s and Laura Ingalls Wilder’s independence-minded stories of settlers on the frontier have been staples of children’s literature for generations.
But when it comes to romance novels, it seems as if fans of the free market aren’t buying what Fabio is selling. Hayek isn’t on record anywhere as a fan of Gone With the Wind. And Coase and Mises are strangely silent about the charms of regency romances and modern gothics. Maybe it’s the lurid covers, with their heaving bosoms and metallic lettering? Maybe there’s something to the stereotype of libertarians as emotionless rational calculators? I prefer a third thesis: Maybe libertarians just don’t know what they’re missing under these covers.
In fact, modern romance fiction is filled with lessons about the things independent thinkers value—or ought to value—most highly. If you’re a reader looking for novels that understand the importance of work and markets, that promote the bourgeois virtues, and that enthusiastically support Millian experiments in living, you should be reading romance. – Reason
65 Wonderful Stills From Alice in Wonderland on Its 65th Anniversary – Wow, I didn’t realize how old Disney’s Alice in Wonderland is – these stills are just so beautiful and impressive. Now I’m hankering to see the movie again (ah, the evil marketing genius of Disney!). – E! Online