Blog imitates blog; apropos of pissing Paul off

Too lazy for a real post, but here’s the latest Eve patch’s worst kept secret:

Members of NPC corps are now taxed at 11%. This is an attempt to get new players to stop hiding in their safe NPC corps and get out into nulsec, where they have no free CONCORD protection, can be wardec’d on a whim, suffer more complicated pvp than canflipping and still need to pay taxes (from the player corp they’ve just joined). I was hoping they would make joining a player corp more enticing instead of staying in an NPC corp less enticing.

I hope everyone is excited about getting shit on by goonswarm!

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Divergent Evolution

Foreigner
M.O.P Starsplash
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Lucid Lynx

Oh Mr. Shuttleworth, you so crazy.

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“Deep down inside, I’m just a regular guy consumer,” says Sweazey

Introducing DPP:

Digital personal property (DPP) is an attempt to make consumers treat digital media like physical objects. For instance, you might loan your car to a friend, a family member, or a neighbor. You might do so on many different occasions and for different lengths of time. But you are unlikely to leave the car out front of your house with the keys in it and a sign on it saying, “Take me!” If you did, you might never see the vehicle again.

It’s that the ability to lose control over property that is central to the DPP system. DPP files are encrypted. They can be freely copied and distributed to anyone, but here’s the trick: anyone who can view your content can also “steal” it irrevocably. The simple addition of a way to lose content instantly leads consumers to set up a “circle of trust” that can be as wide as they like but will not extend to total strangers on the Internet.

They could have at least done better with the acronym. DPP? Seriously? And you thought ‘digital restrictions management’ was scathing…

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11 Different Things

  1. Big Huge Thesaurus: Synonyms, antonyms, and rhymes (oh my!)
  2. Distributed Raytracer | PeterBraden.co.uk
  3. [EBANK] Account Freeze
  4. Flickr: Mark.Weaver’s Photostream
  5. Issue 18385 – chromium – Head in place of close button
  6. Kill or cure?
  7. Learning Curves of Popular MMORPGS
  8. MIT Guide to Lock Picking [PDF]
  9. Mr. Lee Pet Technologies: CatCam Photo Gallery
  10. Pterodactyl Squad – A video game music netlabel – Releases
  11. repeated diverted … basic simple
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Just one thing

I may rant about Santa Monica later, but just one thing I think is worth mentioning:

iMac Pro, Santa Monica: $US2499 (NZ$3661)
iMac Pro, Auckland: $NZ5119

Hmmm…

(for those following along at home, that’s the 15″ 2.8Ghz Mac book with a 128GB SD drive instead of a 500GB HDD, US, NZ)

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War. War never cha— wait, wrong franchise…

Still hard to tell whether it’s going to anything other than Quake 4 with a larger driving segment and more pretty.

Actual gameplay footage though, finally!

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12 Different Things

  1. You’ve got 20 minutes, haven’t you? Here’s some opera. | MetaFilter
  2. My First Cigarette, and My Last – The New York Times
  3. Ten things everyone should know about lockpicking and physical security [PDF]
  4. MEAT CARDS
  5. On Water, part 1, part 2
  6. AjaxTerm
  7. Abstruse Goose » Electromagnetic Leak
  8. X1Hi1
  9. Claire Morgan
  10. b r e e d
  11. Telescopic Text © Joe Davis 2008
  12. Amusing ourselves to death
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Legal music and the still-round world

The World is Flat sounds like a fascinating read. It argues (according to the featured review on Amazon):

…the lowering of trade and political barriers and the exponential technical advances of the digital revolution that have made it possible to do business, or almost anything else, instantaneously with billions of other people across the planet.

Sound exciting! The idea of technology liberating entire nations from poverty, or obscurity, or at the very least allowing them to participate in our global society is truly awesome.

And you don’t have to look hard to see this concept in action. Twitter is a global phenomenon, providing a simple and unified soap-box for all who’ll speak to any who’ll listen. Wikipedia is a global encyclopædia, YouTube is a global TV station, iTunes is a global jukebox.

It’s all true, and it’s all awesome.

Except for that last one. iTunes.

It sucks.

Balls.

For the past little while I’ve been on a quest to buy music, legally, online.

If I lived in the US, I would be done by now and relaxing with a nice cup of tea. That flat world of ours though; it’s still round, and it’s still fucking my day.

See, the music industry hates to make money. No, don’t laugh, it’s true. It must be true. Why else would they be shooting themselves in the foot like this?

It must be true, it must be.

I mean, we know that purchasing music online instead of in CD form makes more for the record label than it does for the artists. A lot more:

If your deal with your record company is like The Alman Brothers, then you’re getting something like $315.50 for those same 1,000 songs (83.3 CDs worth). That works out to $0.31 cents per song, instead of the $0.045 on a digital download.

Ouch! It turns out you were being more than kind to that fan by telling him to buy either format he wanted, you’re losing $0.265 cents per song! . If all of your fans bought through iTunes rather than buying CDs at the record store you’d be looking at an overall reduction in income of 85%

We also know that people who buy music prefer to buy it online:

Unsurprisingly, BI [Norwegian School of Management] found that those between 15 and 20 are more likely to buy music via paid download than on a physical CD, though most still purchased at least one CD in the last six months. However, when it comes to P2P, it seems that those who wave the pirate flag are the most click-happy on services like the iTunes Store and Amazon MP3. BI said that those who said they download illegal music for “free” bought ten times as much legal music as those who never download music illegally

Sure, online music costs less per album than CDs, but it’s also costs the label far less. No physical CDs, no shrink rap, no shipping, just cheap, cheap, bandwidth.

We also know (somewhat tangentially I admit) that lower price points can do wonders for your sales:

It’s not just Valve games that see benefits from discounting games on Steam, as Newell also explained that an undisclosed third-party title saw a 36,000 percent jump in sales over a similar weekend.

So obviously, the best way to make money would be to allow any and all, come hell or high water, to be able to purchase the music you, as a label, own, in the simplest, most hassle free, interoperable, stable and long lasting way possible.

Which is how I came to my previous statement, which I’ll solidify now with the help of my friend <strong>: the music industry wants to fail.

If you’re bored, or you’ve got the point, you can stop reading now.

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.

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Still here? Onward then.

Story time: Once upon a time some of my friends and I tried to enter a rather swanky club. I learned later that it was well above my station in life, but we’ll get to that in a moment.

As I walked up to the door, the doorman looked at me with a sort of faux-polite disdain.

I was dressed fine: I had the shoes, the casual-yet-smart pants, the shirt with an actual collar complete with generic non-offensive vertical blues lines imprinted upon it. I even had friggin product in my fairly-recently cut h… wait, no, fairly recently styled hair. I’ll spare you a full recount of my sobbing, crying and pleading, but in the end I was politely denied access.

Well, until my friends convinced the door man I was in a band visiting from Aussie, but that’s another story…

See, I wasn’t good enough for that club. Maybe I didn’t hold myself right, or there were already too many guys in there, or someone in there was wearing the same shirt as me, or something.

For some reason, entirely internal to how that club wishes to operate, I wasn’t good enough for them.

And fair enough. They wish to, as a club, exude a certain feel, a certain style. They want to attract a certain crowd of people, so they must only accept a certain crowd of people.

So what does this have to do with purchasing music online? Well, whenever I navigate to one of these online music stores and attempt to give them my fucking money, I feel just like I did when I walked up to that club.

Unwanted.

Unwelcome.

Cock blocked.

The phrase “N/A Region” and its variations have been, over the course of the last couple of weeks, burned into the backs of my retinas.

This kind of bullshit makes no sense for an online music store. No one has to see me buying music, I don’t affect the landscape for anyone else. All they’re doing is losing money.

I feel like I’m in some kind of fucked up coming of age novel, where I’m the uncool kid just starting out in a new town and a new school, desperately trying to be accepted.

“I’m sorry, loyal customer“, said eMusic with an annoyed frown (and no detectable sense of irony), “as you don’t live in one of the handful of small countries that we support we’re afraid you can go fuck yourself, loyal customer.”

“… what are you doing here?”, Amazon smirked from behind his Kindle. “We’re here for the US. The You. Ess. As in, us, not you.”

“Oh, look, just ignore them”, iTunes implored, putting his arm (a little forcefully) around my shoulder, “They’re always like that around new kids.”

“Yeah, don’t worry about them, we’ll take care of you”, Amie Street said with a sexy smirk. “We’ve got lots of music for you, come check it out!”

“Wow… this looks great!”, I stammer, staring at the giant list of artist names flying by. “The choice is amazing!”

“Yeah, it is isn’t it. You know, it’s DRM-free too!” chimes in iTunes. “Sign in, give it a whirl.”

“Yeah”, winked Amie, “come on, just log on. While the rest of the guys are watching. That’ll show them!

“Oh wow, this is… wait. I just signed in. This is… is different. Where did all the choices go. What is all this ‘region’ stuff? Why are most of the artists I care about greyed out?”

Amazon bursts into an uncontrollable fit of laughter.

“Hahaha… you thought…. ahahahha… you thought that we would actually let you in!? Let you in!?

iTunes and eMusic are laughing now, tears streaming down their faces.

“You’re… ahaha… from NEW ZEALAND!”, iTunes said gleefully. “I’m surprised you even have the Internet!”

As they walk away I shoot a desperate glance at Amie. She’ll understand. She’s an independent, a hippie. Her music starts as free for Christ’s sake, how stuck up can she be?

“What did you expect?”, Amie says with a derisive snort, walking away, holding her copy of Adventures in Foam by Cujo tightly in her hand.

“You’ll never fit in.”

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One of these things is not like the other

Soldier with manly tattoo showing Soldier lifts weights Soldier listening to Limp Bizkit Soldier reading A Thousand Splendid Suns

[source part 1, part2]

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