Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:Try again... 4? (Score 1) 222

by thedonger (#49594785) Attached to: Grooveshark Shuts Down

I'm guessing you have never heard of mix tapes or mix cds? I imagine it even happened in the 8 track era as well, but I don't have experience back that far.

In the middle ages, it was common for music to be shared for free, what suddenly changed to make it so expensive? It has only gotten easier to reproduce music.

As I said, people tended to buy music once. Yes, there was pirating in the form of mix tapes, but I'm fairly certain it was not even a drop in the bucket of online piracy (to use the parlance of our time).

Comment: Re:Try again... 4? (Score 1) 222

by thedonger (#49593385) Attached to: Grooveshark Shuts Down

Why do people think all this music is Free?

Sure, musicians are being screwed over by the labels and publishers, but that's not a reason to outright steal it and deny the musicians the meager cash they are getting paid.

In the past, free (stolen) music was not common - relatively speaking - because the means of distribution were limited. The average consumer of music understood that the form factor - record, 8 track, tape, CD - required they buy it once. This set the bar for musicians (though let's be honest, record companies always made the lion share of the profit) to expect they could sell their music at a certain price.

Fast forward to our hyper-connected world, delivery seems effortless, or at least bundled with the monthly fee we pay our ISP. Stealing music no longer feels like actual stealing because it is all digital, and we're accustomed to sending and receiving bits without a thought to the huge amount of infrastructure and manpower required to create content and keep all those servers running. Additionally, the market forces dictate a new pricing structure because we're consuming music sans physical medium, so the expectation is that price will drop accordingly. But we have a decades old system predicated on the $10 - $15 price point (give or take inflation) for an album.

We have conflicting interests: Joe Musician still has to perfect his craft and write all those songs. He can engineer it at home, but let's be honest, that is often obvious in the end product. Either way, Joe still has the same level of effort to make an album, but the consumers now have the world at their fingertips and an expectation that with a widespread and immediate audience Joe will take a lot less for his record.

Note: This is not a new phenomenon, nor is it only in the digital space. Costco and Walmart have done the same thing for the cost of manufactured and farmed goods. Do those cheap chicken thighs really reflect the cost of raising chickens? They do if one is okay with cramming chickens into a factory farm. In this instance, the environment and well being of the animals suffer, so no one complains.

Comment: Re:English factory system (Score 1) 108

Now, the empires (corporations) want a factory system for creating creative people. Hence the coding intitiatives and STEM programs that governments are suddenly shoving down schools' throats all over the world.

At least in the United States, I feel the push for STEM programs is the politicians wanting to be perceived as doing something; and, as typically is the case with politicians, they are doing it wrong. Technically wrong, and for the wrong reasons. As for the "empires (corporations)," that is tracing the curve to its logical extreme, as if faceless corporations will take over the world and we will be powerless to stop them. As much as I love a good corporate apocalypse movie, it is only happening because we allow it, and continue to allow it because we accept the carrot that is leisure time in exchange for the freedom to decide -- because choice comes with the possibility of failure.

I have begun to think that maybe we deserve to be slaves. The divine right of kings was tossed on its head after centuries by the U.S. Constitution. And ever since we divested ourselves from it we have slowly moved back towards it. Our politicians have celebrity status. How long before another Kennedy clan arises, and we cheer as they crown themselves king?

Comment: Re:Don't put computer science in a box (Score 1) 84

by thedonger (#49585287) Attached to: White House Outsources K-12 CS Education To Infosys Charity

The use of information technology in areas of language, mathematics, science is fundamental to the way problems are approached in the real world and should be integrated into the curriculum in all subject areas.

Good point. When I was in high school (1980s) we weren't required to learn how to use a slide rule (although I owned one because nerd). Maybe now we shouldn't teach calculator and instead integrate Matlab or Mathematica into the learning process? A CS course should teach fundamentals, not functional programming or other highly abstracted languages. But applying computers as a tool to solve problems is an entirely different animal these days.

Comment: Re:Infosys, Really? (Score 1, Insightful) 84

by thedonger (#49585207) Attached to: White House Outsources K-12 CS Education To Infosys Charity

why in the hell would they choose to partner with Infosys on this initiative?

Because Infosys stepped forward with the money in hand.

Why would they outsource healthcare.org to a company that didn't know what they were doing and charged (at least) 10 times what it should have cost, when there were US-based companies with the expertise who could have rolled it out faster and with far less issues? Because it is about greasing palms and returning favors.

Comment: Re:And when capped internet comes then people will (Score 1) 279

by thedonger (#49536911) Attached to: German Court Rules Adblock Plus Is Legal

I didn't realize they had that. It is a start. What I would really like is a la carte channel packages instead of bundles. But I know that isn't likely to happen any time soon because so many channels would be free-marketed into oblivion when ad revenue plummets because only a tiny fraction of the consumers want them.

On the other hand, maybe the lack of cheap accessibility is good. If the bar of media consumption is lowered too much, we may see a generation of people completely give themselves over to leisure.

The further removed we are from having to work hard, the more we forget what was sacrificed for the free time we enjoy.

Comment: Re:And when capped internet comes then people will (Score 1) 279

by thedonger (#49527725) Attached to: German Court Rules Adblock Plus Is Legal

Caps are important to them because they see their cable monopoly slipping away as Netflix, HBO, et. al. offer a la carte purchase options that bypass their subscription based model.

If only content creators truly were providing a la carte content. HBO Go requires a subscription to a traditional service provider. Hulu is artificially restricted, and has ads. Netflix is marginalized by content providers striking deals with Amazon, Apple, and others, making their best content Korean action films and their original series. In the sports world, ESPN streaming requires subscription to a traditional service provider, and Fox Sports, the only one that offers their service separate from a traditional service provider (at $20 per month), was priced out of the Premier League market by NBC -- whose sports service requires subscription to a traditional service provider.

Comment: Re:Wonderful. (Score 1) 255

by thedonger (#49527601) Attached to: Twitter Rolls Out New Anti-Abuse Tools

Spend any amount of time on Twitter and it is clear that "abuse" in forms other than malicious is rampant. For example, the guy with 17k followers who follows 18k people. His whole Twitter ring is a meaningless bunch of follows/followers/retweets designed to make people look (or feel) popular. In the end, it is just noise.

Unless I missed something, that was pretty much a synopsis of the Twitter business plan.

I think they thought it would be neat for people to be able to let others know they were pooping and whatnot. But then people with lots of followers started making money off of the resulting notoriety, and suddenly a cottage industry of allegedly helping people make money off it sprang up.

I've seen Twitter accounts that do nothing more than re-tweet. I don't get it.

Comment: Re:Wonderful. (Score 4, Insightful) 255

by thedonger (#49521851) Attached to: Twitter Rolls Out New Anti-Abuse Tools

Spend any amount of time on Twitter and it is clear that "abuse" in forms other than malicious is rampant. For example, the guy with 17k followers who follows 18k people. His whole Twitter ring is a meaningless bunch of follows/followers/retweets designed to make people look (or feel) popular. In the end, it is just noise.

Comment: Re:...Coming Soon (Score 3, Funny) 406

Drug sniffing dogs are no more addicted to drugs than bomb sniffing dogs are addicted to explosives, cash sniffing dogs addicted to cash or cadaver sniffing dogs addicted to dead people. Seriously, dogs have keen noses and will find whatever they are trained to find. The rumor that dogs are turned into drug addicts in order to find drugs is pure unadulterated bullshit.

Except this one cash sniffing dog I saw -- gold grills; Rolex; diamond studs in his ears as large as dog biscuits...

A committee is a life form with six or more legs and no brain. -- Lazarus Long, "Time Enough For Love"

Working...