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Month: August 2005

Flaws with the eBay Trust model

Ever since eBay’s conception, many have cited it’s user trust model as a cornerstone to it’s success. The theory goes, if someone conducts themselves well on eBay then their trust level will increase. Conversely, if someone behaves inappropriately then it will soon show as their rating is diminished. Buyers and sellers can use this rating to decide whether they want to do business with a given person.

However, I’ve always found it to be a shaky system at best – with a number of potential flaws. Recently I have fallen foul of some of those flaws…


Google News RSS opens up a whole set of rights issues

As you will no doubt be aware, Google have released an RSS and Atom service that outputs any Google News search or subject listing in RSS or Atom format. This is achieved by adding &output=rss or &output=atom.

The feeds themselves include a Google-produced summary (usually ignoring the provider’s summary) and the image associated with that story, not forgetting the obligatory headline and link to the story.

In addition to making this service available for newsreaders, Google have also created a licence to allow end-users to reproduce the RSS and Atom feeds on their own websites.

All well and good I guess. Except there are two potential issues here:

  • Most news providers have their own RSS terms and conditions, which may differ from the Google News RSS licence
  • The images included with the stories are usually agency stills (AP, Reuters, Getty,etc). These agencies exercise strict controls over the reproduction of their images and it’s not clear how Google can be in a position to sub-licence their reproduction on third party sites.