March 2005

Piracy and Music sales

by Andy Polaine on March 24, 2005

Interesting post about music piracy realities from Richard over at the Gadget Lounge (and also cross-posted on the Gadget Show on the Podcast Network). It reveals some misleading ARIA stats regarding the decline in music sales of 5-6% (depending on the format). He notes:

Fortunately, we’ve got some very clued in researchers, just like Alex Malik. Malik is conducting research at the University of Technology, Sydney, toward his PHD, and being a former ARIA in house lawyer, happens to know the market well. His research, which uses ARIA’s own data, points out that the major labels have released 39% less albums and 42% less singles for the year when compared to 2003. No wonder sales have decreased.

Of course one might argue that the major labels have invested less because they are getting less return due to piracy, etc. But I would go back to an earlier point that Richard mentions – the music is crap. One commenter points to the X-Factor/Idol phenomenon for sucking the life out of the music industry, but perhaps it’s not just that the music is crap, but more that those shows reveal just what a sham and marketing scam 75% of the business is and we’ve all got a bit wiser as a result. I can’t imagine many people have been downloading pirate copies of Casey Donovan albums. This is exemplified by the fact that the independent labels doubled their album sales.

If it’s good and people are able to download it easily and legally, then they will. Has the music industry learned nothing from the iTunes Music Store? The kind of attitude ARIA are showing only drives people away from legitimate music because they resent the greed.

Killing trackback spam with MT-Moderate & co.

by Andy Polaine on March 18, 2005

Just installed Chad Everett’s MT-Moderate plugin in an attempt to cut down on Trackback spam, which has, let’s face it, been more than my real trackbacks. (Come on you three readers out there, give me a plug, a trackback or a comment for goodness sake).

Also MT-Ban-Numeric-Entities which should get rid of all those spam trackbacks that have numeric entities instead of ASCII to try and get past the filters.

Lastly, MT-Keystrokes which uses Javascript (okay standards purists, I know, but the spam is just too much, sorry) to make sure a human has typed into the comment fields.

Thanks to the ever wonderful Jay Allen for his tireless fight against spammers and whose MT-Blacklist already works tirelessly to keep spam from me. Occasionally I check the logs and send love into the universe for Jay and the amount of time he has saved me. Most of the time I don’t look at the logs, it’s too depressing.

Fastest robot in the East

March 16, 2005

Hitachi have just created the “fastest robot” called Emiew. The inventors want it to be able to keep up with people, hence the wheels. Pal, one of the other robots (Chum is the other one), had this to say: “I want to be able to walk about in places like Shinjuku and Shibuya [shopping districts] […]

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The phone is dead, long live the phone

March 16, 2005

So, the telcos are still banging on about how voice over IP (VOIP) won’t affect their business or that it will and it’s unfair (poor darlings). Yet Skype’s continual rise and the addition of SkypeIN numbers (so you can be called via a normal phone as well as calling to them with SkypeOUT) says different. […]

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The thinking behind Growl

March 15, 2005

Great interview over at Drunken Blog with Chris Forsythe, the lead on the Growl project. For those that haven’t checked it out yet, Growl is a notification framework for OS X. Now, that sounds really dull when you put it like that, but actually it’s an interesting interaction/interface development. Basically the theory is that you […]

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The King Has…

March 12, 2005

< p> Great new project from Krister Olsson over at Tree-Axis called “The King Has…” We all carry secrets we cannot reveal. Taking its name from the famous fable “The King Has Donkey’s Ears,” “The King Has…” Gives individuals an opportunity to unburden themselves of stressful secrets–be they their own or those entrusted to them […]

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Have surfboard, will travel – A classic Aussie sight

March 11, 2005

This drop-top car with a surfboard in the back passed me the other day in traffic. I couldn’t resist a quick snap, it seemed such a classic Aussie sight.

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Cameraphones as personal storytelling

March 9, 2005

Howard Rheingold has just written an interesting summary of a paper by Keio University researcher Daisuke Okabe. Okabe has made an ethnographic study of cameraphone usage in Japan. On the one hand, it’s what we already know ourselves (those who use them): We archive our lives, important moments, silly moments, etc. and we also use […]

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