Declan McCullagh writes:
Herb Vest believes that true love should come with a criminal-background check. Vest is the chief executive of True.com, an online dating service that pledges to verify whether your dream date is a convicted felon or, worse yet, already married.
"Although criminal-background screening is not entirely foolproof, we owe it to our members to provide a truly wholesome environment for online courtship," Vest said last year.
This would be an engaging but otherwise unremarkable business plan, except for one twist. Instead of competing head-to-head with his rivals in the business world, Vest has veered into the political world by pressing for new laws that would put True.com's competitors at a severe disadvantage.
Vest has managed to convince legislators in states including California, Texas, Virginia, and Michigan to sponsor bills that would target rival dating sites like Match.com, Yahoo Personals, Spring Street Networks, craigslist and eHarmony...it would regulate far more than just dating sites. The California bill introduced last week covers any Web site offering "compatibility" or "social referral services"--a sweeping definition that encompasses everything from high-school reunion site Classmates.com to a matchmaking site for a tennis doubles tournament.
Under the California proposal, social referral services Friendster.com and Google's Orkut.com would be on the hook for fines of millions of dollars a day if they declined to post a warning similar to the one above on California members' ads or profiles.
It’s the end of an era, sort of: Fraunhofer IIS, the developers of the MP3 audio compression format, announced that they are ceasing their licensing program. In a blog post, spokesman Matthias Rose says that it’s had a good 20-year run and is obsolete. But it’s also true that the decoding patents expired last year, […]
Freddy deBoer writes that he’s been telling the same joke for years about Silicon Valley’s only product, which might be universalized as “At last, a way to verb with nouns on the internet!” But the social-media techopoly is stable, now, and so the venture capitalists have moved on to the three terrible trends that will […]
Alex Wood is an addict but won’t give up his smartphone. But he has five strategies for limiting its control over him: “I used to wake up tired. My body would ache and my head felt sore, like waking up with a hangover. Finally, I took control, like attending an AA class for addicts, I […]
While some people still maintain that everything in Apple’s walled garden “just works” and is immune to the rampant malware of the Windows world, the reality is different. The Mac’s growing market share has made it a much more viable target for malicious actors, and its built-in tools aren’t always enough to fix things. Drive […]
Boasting an IPX6 waterproof rating, the Trakk Bullet Ultra Compact Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker resists dust and heavy rainfall. It’s currently available in the Boing Boing Store.The Trakk Bullet offers the same wireless convenience as other portable speakers, but few are built as tough as this one. Its utilitarian construction is designed to be a totally low-maintenance […]
The Ticwatch 2 Active Smartwatch is a simpler take on an active wearable that raised over $2m dollars on Kickstarter and is currently offered in the Boing Boing Store.Somewhere in between the single-day battery life and platform-specificity of the Apple Watch and Android Wear devices, there exists the Ticwatch. Instead of trying to shoehorn another […]