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Comment: Re:A Mature Local Machine Product vs Immature Clou (Score 1) 346

by mr.hawk (#42418661) Attached to: Google Docs Vs. Microsoft Word: an Even Matchup?

Sad to hear. It's all too common to hear "we can't be at the mercy of single individuals" as an argument to invest in expensive systems provided by a vendor. In my experience this only means the company is at the mercy of the vendors instead and the vendors are often notoriously bad at retaining skills themselves. So you get a situation where you're relying on a single or a few inhouse individuals who interface with the vendor and the vendor in turn rely on a few individuals to keep track of your requirements and history. It's a double fail and costs skyrocket.

In the end it's about avoiding personal risk. If the inhouse staff solves the problem directly, inhouse, they are solely responsible for it and any problems/further needs that arise falls on their lap. It's far more convenient to shift that responsibility to someone else. That way inhouse staff can grab credit for successes and shift blame to the vendor when things go pearshaped.

Comment: Re:A Mature Local Machine Product vs Immature Clou (Score 5, Insightful) 346

by mr.hawk (#42402575) Attached to: Google Docs Vs. Microsoft Word: an Even Matchup?

Spot on. I see this all the time. The company buys application X to do task A. X does A well but can also do B, C & D well with proper configuration and some glue in place. Now company realizes they need to do B. In comes application Y which does task B well but also can do A, C & maybe even D if properly configured, yadayada...

Buying tools is easy and FUN. Using them requires skill. Skill is hard to to acquire and takes time away from shopping around for tools.

Comment: Re:Weren't the earlier betas much faster? (Score 2, Insightful) 821

by mr.hawk (#27861765) Attached to: Windows 7 "Not Much Faster" Than Vista

Of course they can. Just reinstate XP as an option and inertia will keep the money rolling in. Honestly, I kind of wonder why they bother trying to develop "the next windows" instead of just polishing what they have. Maybe they should try a "plus pack" if they're yearning for upgrade cash.

Comment: Re:Economics, not discrimination (Score 1) 329

by mr.hawk (#27327009) Attached to: Last.fm To Start Charging International Users

I'm inclined to agree with you here.

It just boggles the mind how incredibly narrow minded and short sighted the music industry is.

Here's a service that has the potential to increase paid streaming, sales through downloads and physical goods as well as promoting events to an international audience. All with the help and contribution of the actual consumers.

What do they do? Rigidly try to enforce rules to adhere to some artificial market they created fifty years ago!

Sad, really.

Comment: Re:Spotify (Score 1) 329

by mr.hawk (#27326957) Attached to: Last.fm To Start Charging International Users

Spotify and last.fm aren't even that similar.

What sets last.fm apart is the great community effort and recommendation engine. I use it all the time to find and - actually - BUY new music as well as finding out about events that I might otherwise have missed.

Spotify is great when you already know what you want to listen to but I find the music discovery factor of Spotify to be sorely lacking.

Can't wait 'til Spotify provides an open API and someone provides a nice mashup to stream my last.fm recommendations through Spotify!

(I've seen some hacks based on Spotifys Google Docs spreadsheets providing parts of this functionality already.)

As it stands, EUR 3 for last.fm recommendations and free radio streaming is just "OK". Spotifys EUR 10 for on-demand streaming is also just "OK".

I'd pay last.fm EUR 10 a month in a heartbeat if they'd combine their recommendation with Spotifys ad free on-demand streaming.

A partnership brewing, perhaps?

Comment: Re:Huge database (Score 2, Insightful) 329

by mr.hawk (#27326867) Attached to: Last.fm To Start Charging International Users

I'm located in Sweden but regularly buy CDs from Amazon.co.uk after following links of recommendations on last.fm.

That's a referral, isn't it?

Besides, I just can't believe event promoters aren't flocking to the service and then paying last.fm based on the number of "I attended this event" or some such.

Considering the potential gold mine that last.fm surely must be I can only speculate that this move was intentional to avoid hefty infrastructure investments for markets with only marginal direct contribution to the bottom line.

Short term - great move.

Long term - it'll be just another MTV.

What the world *really* needs is a good Automatic Bicycle Sharpener.

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