AllofMP3 set to close News - PC Advisor

AllofMP3 set to close News - PC Advisor
Russia has agreed to US demands to close the popular music website Allofmp3.com. The US wants the site closed to fight music piracy, and Russia has agreed to improve its chance of gaining membership of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

I probably have $.50 left in my account over there. I guess I should hurry up and use it.

Interestingly, the only things I ever bought from AllOfMP3.com were things I couldn't find here. I would have thought the cheap price would have made me a regular customer, but I wasn't.

I won't particularly miss AllofMP3.com. I find that strange, somehow. I would have thought price would have been a bigger issue but apparently it's not.

Hormel's official position on the term 'spam'

RE: SPAM: SPAM and the Internet:
You've probably seen, heard or even used the term 'spamming' to refer to the act of sending unsolicited commercial email (UCE), or 'spam' to refer to the UCE itself. Following is our position on the relationship between UCE and our trademark SPAM.

Use of the term 'spam' was adopted as a result of the Monty Python skit in which our SPAM meat product was featured. In this skit, a group of Vikings sang a chorus of 'spam, spam, spam . . . ' in an increasing crescendo, drowning out other conversation. Hence, the analogy applied because UCE was drowning out normal discourse on the Internet.

We do not object to use of this slang term to describe UCE, although we do object to the use of the word 'spam' as a trademark and to the use of our product image in association with that term. Also, if the term is to be used, it should be used in all lower-case letters to distinguish it from our trademark SPAM, which should be used with all uppercase letters.

So be careful before you photoshop up a picture of SPAM to go with your article on spam.


My Wii Mii

Stephen Clarke-Willson's Wii Mii

... as designed by my kids ....

© 2006 Stephen Clarke-Willson - All Rights Reserved.


Baby Boomers and TV

Baby Boomers unhappy with TV offerings:
A significant number of baby boomers - 37 percent - say they aren't happy with what's on television, according to the study.

'The amount of people dissatisfied with television overall was a pretty big eye-opening thing for us,' said Larry Jones, president of the TV Land cable network, which commissioned the study.

I was thinking about this last night while watching Saturday Night Live. I realize the TV people want to capture the youth market ... but guess what - big hunks of the youth market aren't even watching TV.

I realized that on Monday, today, after watching SNL, that there was no one at work that watched the show. It's a younger crowd where I work. Or I'm getting older. I have a sneaking suspicion that I'm the oldest person in the building.

And it's not just some kind of culture gap where SNL is no longer cool. Many of the people at work don't watch TV at all. Obviously they play games, and probably more than the average person, but they also get their news from the Internet, and they watch TV series by buying whole seasons at a time on DVD.

Rick Lambright pointed out to me that for the cost of a single cable subscription with HBO, you can buy two whole seasons of a show on DVD. I mentioned this to some of colleagues at work and a couple of them said, "Yeah, duh, that's what we do." These, ah, "kids", have no cable subscription at all!

Holy moly.

And, as I mentioned some time ago, DVDs are trivial to share. Do you really care if your buddy borrows the whole box set after you've watched the first season of 24? And your other buddy and your other buddy and your other buddy? This is completely legal. Share these DVD sets with your friends, who are also buying and sharing DVD sets, and pretty soon the cost per season of a show is about $10.00. There are no commercials, the quality is better than just about anything (maybe even better than HD in terms of compression artifacts), and you can watch at your own rate.

As your library of DVD sets grows, your ability to trade with your friends grows, so there is the "fax machine" effect, where the more people that do this, the better it is for everyone.

I don't know how TV will survive. It will, of course, just as radio survives, but I think it will be in some different form than we know now. I guess eventually it will consist entirely of cheap-to-produce reality shows. Certainly the long format series is becoming an increasingly rare commodity - they are just too expensive to produce and there is too much risk the show won't "hit" right away.

Sure, Seinfeld was nursed along until it "hit", but the costs were also very low, and there were far fewer distractions like the Internet and games competing for TV viewer's attention.

The media business changes so fast now.

Holy moly.


GameDaily BIZ: iSuppli: The PS3 is Costly, but an 'Engineering Masterpiece'

GameDaily BIZ: iSuppli: The PS3 is Costly, but an 'Engineering Masterpiece':
What's so impressive about Sony's console? According to iSuppli, consumers are getting 'supercomputer performance at PC pricing.' All of this performance comes at a great cost to Sony, however. iSuppli's analysis indicates that the Blu-ray drive, Cell processor and other components yield a total production cost of $805.85 for the 20 GB model and $840.35 for the 60GB model.

And that doesn't even factor in added costs for things like the controller, cables and packaging. The end result is that Sony is losing over $300 per 20 GB console sold and more than $240 per 60 GB console sold. As iSuppli points out, 'With Sony taking a smaller loss on the higher-end model, it's not a surprise the company is steering customers to the 60Gbyte version.'

I've heard through the grapevine that Microsoft is already making $75.00 per Xbox360 console after a couple of cost reduction efforts. Microsoft can lower the price anytime they want to kick Sony in the head.


Zune Revenue Sharing

Long Island Press:
The Zune is different in other ways, too. The record labels get a portion of each Zune sold, a revenue model they started years ago by arguing that everything from blank cassettes to DATs would be used for piracy, so they should get a cut. It’s an odd revenue model, arguing you should get a cut of someone else’s product. But record companies threatened to not license music to the Zune unless they get a percentage of sales. It’s a bit of desperation from an industry that has fought every technology that has made it more money.

Supposedly Universal Music is getting a about a dollar for each Zune that is sold.

I bet they are going to be really excited when they get that first check for $10.00!



We'll be getting our Wii shortly, which is very cool.

Since I believe the family that plays together, stays together, I ordered six controllers! Four wireless controllers with numchucks and two classic controllers. Holy moley.

Hey, does anyone out there know the performance difference between the PowerPC in the Gamecube and the PowerPC in the Wii?

© 2006 Stephen Clarke-Willson - All Rights Reserved.


Laptop Battery Fire Video

Laptop Battery Fire Video

This is a pretty amazing video - the guys forced a laptop battery into an "unstable configuration" and then shot video of the ensuing explosion and fire.

On a separate but related subject, it was announced today that Amaze Entertainment was bought by Foundation 9.

Foundation 9 Amazed

I like this:
GS: Have you depleted the Francisco funding, or is there more to work with? What else do you have your eyes on in terms of acquisitions?

JG: Depleted? I actually don't think that's possible. These folks need to sew extra pockets in their trousers to hold all their cash! That is a joke, of course, because they are generally vain dressers and wouldn't commit that kind of sartorial faux pas. That's also a joke. The point here is only partially to sidestep the question: Francisco has made an initial financial commitment to us--large by anyone's standards--and as long as we can find investment opportunities which accrete value, whether internal or external, Francisco will be there to support our efforts. Deploying capital is their business, not holding on to it.



3500 junk emails since September 16, 2006.

Holy crapola!

Spam Bayes has been doing a pretty good job for me (and a great job for my wife) but I've started getting those annoying spam emails where the text is encoded as an inline picture in the email. Spam Bayes isn't so good with those.


© 2006 Stephen Clarke-Willson - All Rights Reserved.