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Comment: Re:What is wrong with scalping? Really? (Score 1) 425

by Eugene O'Neil (#32812032) Attached to: Paperless Tickets Flourish Despite 'Grandma Problem'

A lot of people have ridiculous magical beliefs about the power of the "free market" that just aren't true, but nobody can just stop obeying the ACTUAL law of supply and demand any more than they could just stop obeying the law of gravity.

Let's say you're throwing a concert in an amphitheater with a thousand seats, and thus you're selling a thousand tickets. That's your supply, and you'll note that at least in this case it isn't an abstract metaphor. You have an actual "supply" of stuff you're selling, and you can't sell more of it than you have.

Now let's say that you want to make these tickets affordable, so you set the price at ten dollars, just like concert tickets used to cost in the good old days. Furthermore, let's pretend you have some magical way to stop scalpers from buying the tickets and re-selling them for profit. What happens?

Well, let's say a hundred thousand people are ready, willing, and able to buy those tickets for ten dollars, for the simple, honest purpose of actually seeing the show. That's your demand for the tickets... and it vastly outstrips your supply. One way or the other, no matter what you do, only one thousand people can sit in your amphitheater and watch the show, leaving the other ninety-nine percent disappointed. There is no way for the supply to meet the demand at this price.

How do you intend to resolve this? You can't blame it on the scalpers. They have been magically banished from the picture, and yet you STILL end up with the vast majority of potential customers feeling frustrated and unsatisfied.

The real problem here was created by you, when you decided to sell your tickets at such a ridiculously low price. I can understand feeling sorry for "real fans" who barely have two pennies to rub together, but there are just too many people who want to buy ten dollar tickets for you to find them all an actual PHYSICAL place to sit at the concert.

That's the actual law of supply and demand in action, and pretending you're somehow above such worldly mercantile concerns won't make your amphitheater any bigger.

Comment: Re:They've got this one backwards. (Score 4, Informative) 900

by Eugene O'Neil (#30156794) Attached to: GIMP Dropped From Ubuntu 10.04

No, what it's REALLY about is the amount of space it takes up on an install CD, and the fact that even your proverbial Grandmother could figure out how to install it off the internet with one mouse click using Ubuntu's amazingly slick package management interface.

This story should have been titled "Ubuntu speeds up install process for people who don't select Gimp", except that would make it too obvious that there is no story worth writing about here.

Comment: Re:and piracy killed music (Score 1) 742

by Eugene O'Neil (#23724783) Attached to: Open Source Killing Commercial Developer Tools
The original article was talking specifically about developer tools, such as source code editors.

I use emacs to edit code. That's not to say I use every feature of emacs, just enough to get the job done. This works fine for me, and it's free. Why should I pay actual real-world MONEY for a text editor that I will never actually getting around to using half the features of, when I already have a source code editor I'm comfortable with that has more features that I need, and is completely free?

Maybe there are nooks and crannies of the computer industry where commercial software still has a genuine edge on free software, but NOT developer tools.

Those who can, do; those who can't, write. Those who can't write work for the Bell Labs Record.

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