Dropbox TOS vs. Others TOS

ECtimes posts an excellent analysis of why Dropbox’s TOS situation continues to be a problem for its users–and compares the current (revised several times since Friday) wording to the wording of some other, similar services. Worth a gander. —addendum— There are more updates on the Dropbox situation at my new …

You Are Not the Customer–You Are the Product

My gripe session about Dropbox’s new TOS and my presentation (wherein I all but came out and shouted that it’s stupid to use a free cloud-based backup service) understandably rankled a healthy percentage of the commenters. My fellows in the hacking community, who eat, sleep, and breathe security issues, described …

Update on the Dropbox Situation

Dropbox has posted a public explanation for their rapid TOS changes today. As suspected, the email they’ve gotten from concerned users hasn’t gone unnoticed–that’s a good thing. Am I now recommending them? Hell no. Assuming the best of intentions, I think they are in error about the kind of license …

Put it in the Cloud? Are You Nuts?

Note: The situation in the following post has been resolved for now. Dropbox has taken everyone’s outrage seriously, and has fixed the problem. More information here. I am leaving this post and the follow-ups up because it contains a good deal of information on how to protect yourself and your …

Podcasting 101: The Basics (Recording)

From time to time, people ask me about how to produce the audio for a basic podcast. If you’re considering doing this, here’s a basic tutorial: 1) You’ll need a good recording device. The most cost-effective and technically simplest way to do it is to pick up a Zoom H2 …

Principles of Contracts: Embrace Your Inner 2 Year-Old

— — — — Previous chapter: Everybody Knows Peggy Lee (Or Should) — — — — Implicit in the early installments in this series was the assumption that when you do a business deal, both parties have something to gain and something to lose. It follows then, that all other …

Principles of Contracts: Everybody Knows Peggy Lee (or should)

Preface: I mentioned this in the first post in this series, but because I’m going to be talking about some specific points of law in this post, I need to reiterate: I am not a lawyer, am not qualified to dispense legal advice, and none of what follows should be …

Smashwords and OpenOffice

Smashwords, for all its good points (and they are many), suffers from a singular lack of support for open formats where their Meatgrinder software is concerned. This has caused a hue and cry from those of us who prefer to author our own epub and mobi files, and from those …

Sawyer’s First Law

If 2007 was the year I got serious about writing, then 2010 was the year when attitude and education caught up with intent. Think of it as the difference between declaring a major (2007) and doing your first internship in a Ph.D. program (2010). Up till this year, I did …

Why I Don’t Drive an Automatic

I’ve taught about a dozen people to drive so far, and it’s not because I’m an adrenaline junkie or a glutton for punishment. It’s because, all things being equal, I prefer the company of people who are competent, empowered, and self-possessed, and there are few things in this world that …