sábado, octubre 21, 2006

Rough Type The piecemeal economy

In his column in today's New York Times, Daniel Akst does a nice job of illustrating the fundamental tension on the internet: that between convergence and anti-convergence, or bundling and unbundling, or centralization and decentralization. The "bundling of the world's computers into a single network," he writes, "is ushering in what may be called the unbundled age." Apple's iTunes has unbundled music, making it easy to buy by the song rather than the album. Amazon has announced plans to unbundle books, selling them by the page. The head of the FCC is lobbying the cable industry to allow people to subscribe to individual channels rather than big packages of channels. With RSS, you can subscribe to stories by your favorite writers rather than buying entire newspapers or magazines.

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