The economics of software piracy

Software piracy exists because-

1) Lack of appropriate technological controls (like those on DVDs) or on Bit Torrents (an innovation on the centralized server like Napster) or on Streaming etc etc.

Technology to share content has evolved at a much higher pace than technology to restrict content from being shared or limited to purchasers.

2) Huge difference in purchasing power across the globe.

An Itunes song at 99 cents might be okay buy in USA, but in Asia it is very expensive. Maybe if content creators use Purchasing Power Parity to price their goods, it might make an indent.

3) State sponsored intellectual theft as another form of economic warfare- this has been going on since the West stole gunpowder and silk from the Chinese, and Intel decided to win back the IP rights to the microprocessor (from the Japanese client)

4) Lack of consensus in policy makers across the globe on who gets hurt from IP theft, but complete consensus across young people in the globe that they are doing the right thing by downloading stuff for free.

5) There is no such thing as a free lunch. Sometimes software (and movie and songs) piracy help create demand across ignored markets – I always think the NFL can be huge in India if they market it.Sometimes it forces artists to commit suicide because they give up on the life of starving musician.

Mostly piracy has helped break profits of intermediaries between the actual creator and actual consumer.

So how to solve software piracy , assuming it is something that can be solved-

I dont know, but I do care.

I give most of my writings as CC-by-SA and that includes my poems. People (friends and family) sometimes pay me not to sing.

Pirates have existed and will exist as long as civilized men romanticize the notion of piracy and bicker between themselves for narrow gains.

  1. Ephesians 4:28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.
  2. A clean confession, combined with a promise never to commit the sin again, when offered before one who has the right to receive it, is the purest type of repentance.-Gandhi
  3. If you steal, I will wash your mouth with soap- Anonymous Mother.
  4. You shall not steal- Moses
  5. Steal may refer to: Theft, the illegal taking of another person’s property without that person’s freely-given consent; The gaining of a stolen base in baseball;

 

 

Interview Rapid-I -Ingo Mierswa and Simon Fischer

Here is an interview with Dr Ingo Mierswa , CEO of Rapid -I and Dr Simon Fischer, Head R&D. Rapid-I makes the very popular software Rapid Miner – perhaps one of the earliest leading open source software in business analytics and business intelligence. It is quite easy to use, deploy and with it’s extensions and innovations (including compatibility with R )has continued to grow tremendously through the years.

In an extensive interview Ingo and Simon talk about algorithms marketplace, extensions , big data analytics, hadoop, mobile computing and use of the graphical user interface in analytics.

Special Thanks to Nadja from Rapid I communication team for helping coordinate this interview.( Statuary Blogging Disclosure- Rapid I is a marketing partner with Decisionstats as per the terms in https://decisionstats.com/privacy-3/)

Ajay- Describe your background in science. What are the key lessons that you have learnt while as scientific researcher and what advice would you give to new students today.

Ingo: My time as researcher really was a great experience which has influenced me a lot. I have worked at the AI lab of Prof. Dr. Katharina Morik, one of the persons who brought machine learning and data mining to Europe. Katharina always believed in what we are doing, encouraged us and gave us the space for trying out new things. Funnily enough, I never managed to use my own scientific results in any real-life project so far but I consider this as a quite common gap between science and the “real world”. At Rapid-I, however, we are still heavily connected to the scientific world and try to combine the best of both worlds: solving existing problems with leading-edge technologies.

Simon: In fact, during my academic career I have not worked in the field of data mining at all. I worked on a field some of my colleagues would probably even consider boring, and that is theoretical computer science. To be precise, my research was in the intersection of game theory and network theory. During that time, I have learnt a lot of exciting things, none of which had any business use. Still, I consider that a very valuable experience. When we at Rapid-I hire people coming to us right after graduating, I don’t care whether they know the latest technology with a fancy three-letter acronym – that will be forgotten more quickly than it came. What matters is the way you approach new problems and challenges. And that is also my recommendation to new students: work on whatever you like, as long as you are passionate about it and it brings you forward.

Ajay-  How is the Rapid Miner Extensions marketplace moving along. Do you think there is a scope for people to say create algorithms in a platform like R , and then offer that algorithm as an app for sale just like iTunes or Android apps.

 Simon: Well, of course it is not going to be exactly like iTunes or Android apps are, because of the more business-orientated character. But in fact there is a scope for that, yes. We have talked to several developers, e.g., at our user conference RCOMM, and several people would be interested in such an opportunity. Companies using data mining software need supported software packages, not just something they downloaded from some anonymous server, and that is only possible through a platform like the new Marketplace. Besides that, the marketplace will not only host commercial extensions. It is also meant to be a platform for all the developers that want to publish their extensions to a broader community and make them accessible in a comfortable way. Of course they could just place them on their personal Web pages, but who would find them there? From the Marketplace, they are installable with a single click.

Ingo: What I like most about the new Rapid-I Marketplace is the fact that people can now get something back for their efforts. Developing a new algorithm is a lot of work, in some cases even more that developing a nice app for your mobile phone. It is completely accepted that people buy apps from a store for a couple of Dollars and I foresee the same for sharing and selling algorithms instead of apps. Right now, people can already share algorithms and extensions for free, one of the next versions will also support selling of those contributions. Let’s see what’s happening next, maybe we will add the option to sell complete RapidMiner workflows or even some data pools…

Ajay- What are the recent features in Rapid Miner that support cloud computing, mobile computing and tablets. How do you think the landscape for Big Data (over 1 Tb ) is changing and how is Rapid Miner adapting to it.

Simon: These are areas we are very active in. For instance, we have an In-Database-Mining Extension that allows the user to run their modelling algorithms directly inside the database, without ever loading the data into memory. Using analytic databases like Vectorwise or Infobright, this technology can really boost performance. Our data mining server, RapidAnalytics, already offers functionality to send analysis processes into the cloud. In addition to that, we are currently preparing a research project dealing with data mining in the cloud. A second project is targeted towards the other aspect you mention: the use of mobile devices. This is certainly a growing market, of course not for designing and running analyses, but for inspecting reports and results. But even that is tricky: When you have a large screen you can display fancy and comprehensive interactive dashboards with drill downs and the like. On a mobile device, that does not work, so you must bring your reports and visualizations very much to the point. And this is precisely what data mining can do – and what is hard to do for classical BI.

Ingo: Then there is Radoop, which you may have heard of. It uses the Apache Hadoop framework for large-scale distributed computing to execute RapidMiner processes in the cloud. Radoop has been presented at this year’s RCOMM and people are really excited about the combination of RapidMiner with Hadoop and the scalability this brings.

 Ajay- Describe the Rapid Miner analytics certification program and what steps are you taking to partner with academic universities.

Ingo: The Rapid-I Certification Program was created to recognize professional users of RapidMiner or RapidAnalytics. The idea is that certified users have demonstrated a deep understanding of the data analysis software solutions provided by Rapid-I and how they are used in data analysis projects. Taking part in the Rapid-I Certification Program offers a lot of benefits for IT professionals as well as for employers: professionals can demonstrate their skills and employers can make sure that they hire qualified professionals. We started our certification program only about 6 months ago and until now about 100 professionals have been certified so far.

Simon: During our annual user conference, the RCOMM, we have plenty of opportunities to talk to people from academia. We’re also present at other conferences, e.g. at ECML/PKDD, and we are sponsoring data mining challenges and grants. We maintain strong ties with several universities all over Europe and the world, which is something that I would not want to miss. We are also cooperating with institutes like the ITB in Dublin during their training programmes, e.g. by giving lectures, etc. Also, we are leading or participating in several national or EU-funded research projects, so we are still close to academia. And we offer an academic discount on all our products 🙂

Ajay- Describe the global efforts in making Rapid Miner a truly international software including spread of developers, clients and employees.

Simon: Our clients already are very international. We have a partner network in America, Asia, and Australia, and, while I am responding to these questions, we have a training course in the US. Developers working on the core of RapidMiner and RapidAnalytics, however, are likely to stay in Germany for the foreseeable future. We need specialists for that, and it would be pointless to spread the development team over the globe. That is also owed to the agile philosophy that we are following.

Ingo: Simon is right, Rapid-I already is acting on an international level. Rapid-I now has more than 300 customers from 39 countries in the world which is a great result for a young company like ours. We are of course very strong in Germany and also the rest of Europe, but also concentrate on more countries by means of our very successful partner network. Rapid-I continues to build this partner network and to recruit dynamic and knowledgeable partners and in the future. However, extending and acting globally is definitely part of our strategic roadmap.

Biography

Dr. Ingo Mierswa is working as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Rapid-I. He has several years of experience in project management, human resources management, consulting, and leadership including eight years of coordinating and leading the multi-national RapidMiner developer team with about 30 developers and contributors world-wide. He wrote his Phd titled “Non-Convex and Multi-Objective Optimization for Numerical Feature Engineering and Data Mining” at the University of Dortmund under the supervision of Prof. Morik.

Dr. Simon Fischer is heading the research & development at Rapid-I. His interests include game theory and networks, the theory of evolutionary algorithms (e.g. on the Ising model), and theoretical and practical aspects of data mining. He wrote his PhD in Aachen where he worked in the project “Design and Analysis of Self-Regulating Protocols for Spectrum Assignment” within the excellence cluster UMIC. Before, he was working on the vtraffic project within the DFG Programme 1126 “Algorithms for large and complex networks”.

http://rapid-i.com/content/view/181/190/ tells you more on the various types of Rapid Miner licensing for enterprise, individual and developer versions.

(Note from Ajay- to receive an early edition invite to Radoop, click here http://radoop.eu/z1sxe)

 

RapidMiner launches extensions marketplace

For some time now, I had been hoping for a place where new package or algorithm developers get at least a fraction of the money that iPad or iPhone application developers get. Rapid Miner has taken the lead in establishing a marketplace for extensions. Is there going to be paid extensions as well- I hope so!!

This probably makes it the first “app” marketplace in open source and the second app marketplace in analytics after salesforce.com

It is hard work to think of new algols, and some of them can really be usefull.

Can we hope for #rstats marketplace where people downloading say ggplot3.0 atleast get a prompt to donate 99 cents per download to Hadley Wickham’s Amazon wishlist. http://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/1Y65N3VFA613B

Do you think it is okay to pay 99 cents per iTunes song, but not pay a cent for open source software.

I dont know- but I am just a capitalist born in a country that was socialist for the first 13 years of my life. Congratulations once again to Rapid Miner for innovating and leading the way.

http://rapid-i.com/component/option,com_myblog/show,Rapid-I-Marketplace-Launched.html/Itemid,172

RapidMinerMarketplaceExtensions 30 May 2011
Rapid-I Marketplace Launched by Simon Fischer

Over the years, many of you have been developing new RapidMiner Extensions dedicated to a broad set of topics. Whereas these extensions are easy to install in RapidMiner – just download and place them in the plugins folder – the hard part is to find them in the vastness that is the Internet. Extensions made by ourselves at Rapid-I, on the other hand,  are distributed by the update server making them searchable and installable directly inside RapidMiner.

We thought that this was a bit unfair, so we decieded to open up the update server to the public, and not only this, we even gave it a new look and name. The Rapid-I Marketplace is available in beta mode at http://rapidupdate.de:8180/ . You can use the Web interface to browse, comment, and rate the extensions, and you can use the update functionality in RapidMiner by going to the preferences and entering http://rapidupdate.de:8180/UpdateServer/ as the update server URL. (Once the beta test is complete, we will change the port back to 80 so we won’t have any firewall problems.)

As an Extension developer, just register with the Marketplace and drop me an email (fischer at rapid-i dot com) so I can give you permissions to upload your own extension. Upload is simple provided you use the standard RapidMiner Extension build process and will boost visibility of your extension.

Looking forward to see many new extensions there soon!

Disclaimer- Decisionstats is a partner of Rapid Miner. I have been liking the software for a long long time, and recently agreed to partner with them just like I did with KXEN some years back, and with Predictive AnalyticsConference, and Aster Data until last year.

I still think Rapid Miner is a very very good software,and a globally created software after SAP.

Here is the actual marketplace

http://rapidupdate.de:8180/UpdateServer/faces/index.xhtml

Welcome to the Rapid-I Marketplace Public Beta Test

The Rapid-I Marketplace will soon replace the RapidMiner update server. Using this marketplace, you can share your RapidMiner extensions and make them available for download by the community of RapidMiner users. Currently, we are beta testing this server. If you want to use this server in RapidMiner, you must go to the preferences and enter http://rapidupdate.de:8180/UpdateServer for the update url. After the beta test, we will change the port back to 80, which is currently occupied by the old update server. You can test the marketplace as a user (downloading extensions) and as an Extension developer. If you want to publish your extension here, please let us know via the contact form.

Hot Downloads
«« « 1 2 3 » »»
[Icon]The Image Processing Extension provides operators for handling image data. You can extract attributes describing colour and texture in the image, you can make several transformation of a image data which allows you to perform segmentation and detection of suspicious areas in image data.The extension provides many of image transformation and extraction operators ranging from Wavelet Decomposition, Hough Circle to Block Difference of Inverse probabilities.

[Icon]RapidMiner is unquestionably the world-leading open-source system for data mining. It is available as a stand-alone application for data analysis and as a data mining engine for the integration into own products. Thousands of applications of RapidMiner in more than 40 countries give their users a competitive edge.

  • Data IntegrationAnalytical ETLData Analysis, and Reporting in one single suite
  • Powerful but intuitive graphical user interface for the design of analysis processes
  • Repositories for process, data and meta data handling
  • Only solution with meta data transformation: forget trial and error and inspect results already during design time
  • Only solution which supports on-the-fly error recognition and quick fixes
  • Complete and flexible: Hundreds of data loading, data transformation, data modeling, and data visualization methods
[Icon]All modeling methods and attribute evaluation methods from the Weka machine learning library are available within RapidMiner. After installing this extension you will get access to about 100 additional modelling schemes including additional decision trees, rule learners and regression estimators.This extension combines two of the most widely used open source data mining solutions. By installing it, you can extend RapidMiner to everything what is possible with Weka while keeping the full analysis, preprocessing, and visualization power of RapidMiner.

[Icon]Finally, the two most widely used data analysis solutions – RapidMiner and R – are connected. Arbitrary R models and scripts can now be directly integrated into the RapidMiner analysis processes. The new R perspective offers the known R console together with the great plotting facilities of R. All variables and R scripts can be organized in the RapidMiner Repository.A directly included online help and multi-line editing makes the creation of R scripts much more comfortable.

Youtube is coming Home

A continuing series on better design interfaces for my favorite music channel – You Tube

Some things I like.

The shrink- expand button.

The wasted space for advertisement – to the left of the video that is hugely static in terms of changes. It should be rotated more often.

The non existing average time of play- does everyone watch the whole video . or is the whole video watched 56 million times.

the inability to scroll and zoom into the video analytics.

the completely outdated comments button- which can be better used to create a SOCIAL community. but all it shows is top ranked comment, and click before dropping down. I liked the NYT approach to segmented comments including Editors Picks, Most Recommended, Highlights.

The video response feature that can be easily gamed to ensure video views /phishes.

The comments page numbers at the bottom instead of being at the top for the casual scanner of comments.

              Next

Facebook is the first button rather than second button in the minimum shared view list. Is that true? Can these buttons be self learning to my preferred social network instead of a default. (hint- use Google prediction API)

There is no provision to replay a video, unless you put into a playlist- which fortunately has been quite changed, even though the urls for playlists should have a separate url shortener than you.tube

A much better recommended playlist of related videos- they should be customized to the eclectic taste of the signed in user than the actual content. Maybe Try something like iTunes Genius feature.

No provision for a paid , premium channel even for countries that are blocked en masse from watching certain videos, hence depend on illegal video responses.

iTunes finally gets some competition ?- Amazon Cloud Player

 

An interesting development is Amazon’s Cloud Player (though Cannonical may be credited for thinking of the idea first for Ubuntu One). Since Ubuntu One is dependent on the OS (and not the browser) this makes Amazon \s version more of a  mobile Cloud Player (as it seems to be an Android app and not an app that is independent of any platform, os or browser.

Since Android and Ubuntu are both Linux flavors, I am not sure if Cannonical has an exiting mobile app for Ubuntu One. Apple’s cloud plans also seems kind of ambiguous compared to Microsoft (Azure et al)

I guess we will have to wait for a true Cloud player.

 

http://www.amazon.com/b/ref=tsm_1_tw_s_dm_liujd5?node=2658409011&tag=cloudplayer-20

How to Get Started with Cloud Drive and Cloud Player

 

Step 1. Add music to Cloud Drive

Purchase a song or album from the Amazon MP3 Store and click the Save to Amazon Cloud Drive button when your purchase is complete. Your purchase will be saved for free.

 

Step 2. Play your music in Cloud Player for Web

Click the Launch Amazon Cloud Player button to start listening to your purchase. Add more music from your library by clicking theUpload to Cloud Drive button from the Cloud Player screen. Start with 5 GB of free Cloud Drive storage. Upgrade to 20 GB with an MP3 album purchase (see details). Use Cloud Player to browse and search your library, create playlists, and download to your computer.

 

Step 3. Enjoy your music on the go with Cloud Player for Android

Install the Amazon MP3 for Android app to use Cloud Player on your Android device. Shop the full Amazon MP3 store, save your purchases to Cloud Drive, stream your Cloud Player library, and download to your device right from your Android phone or tablet.

compare this with

https://one.ubuntu.com/music/

A cloud-enabled music store

The Ubuntu One Music Store is integrated with the Ubuntu One service making it a cloud-enabled digital music store. All purchases are transferred to your Ubuntu One personal cloud for safe storage and then conveniently downloaded to your synchronizing computers. And don’t worry aboutgoing over your storage quota with music purchases. You won’t need to pay more for personal cloud storage of music purchased from the Ubuntu One Music Store.

An Ubuntu One subscription is required to purchase music from the Ubuntu One Music Store. Choose from either the free 2 GB option or the 50 GB plan for $10 (USD) per month to synchronize more of your digital life.

5 regional stores and more in the works

  • The Ubuntu One Music requires Ubuntu 10.04 LTS and offers digital music through five regional stores.
  • The US, UK, and Germany stores offer music from all major and independent labels.
  • The EU store serves most of the EU member countries (2) and offers music from fewer major label artists.
  • The World store offers only independent label music and serves the countries not covered by the other regional stores.

 

 

Youtube’s variance in interface/s for sharing

Youtube seems to have a different  interface for sharing a channel, a playlist or an individual song. Also it seems to be missing out on revenue from Itunes (or maybe it isnt). and it seems to promoting Facebook and Twitter to the expense of other social media sharing buttons which can be only seen when you click share more (or maybe the buttons/social media channels change based on sharing activity analytics 🙂 )

on a slightly different note read my techie tutorial on boosting your youtube channel views

https://decisionstats.com/2010/09/10/creating-an-anonymous-bot/

Creating an Anonymous Bot

 

See the following interface snapshots/views-

youtube song share expanded
youtube song share expanded

 

youtube song share
youtube song share default
youtube playlist share
youtube playlist share
utube channel share
youtube channel share

Youtube's variance in interface/s for sharing

Youtube seems to have a different  interface for sharing a channel, a playlist or an individual song. Also it seems to be missing out on revenue from Itunes (or maybe it isnt). and it seems to promoting Facebook and Twitter to the expense of other social media sharing buttons which can be only seen when you click share more (or maybe the buttons/social media channels change based on sharing activity analytics 🙂 )

on a slightly different note read my techie tutorial on boosting your youtube channel views

https://decisionstats.com/2010/09/10/creating-an-anonymous-bot/

Creating an Anonymous Bot

 

See the following interface snapshots/views-

youtube song share expanded
youtube song share expanded

 

youtube song share
youtube song share default
youtube playlist share
youtube playlist share
utube channel share
youtube channel share