Posted: February 17th, 2012 | Tags: Business, DRM, Intelectual Property, Usability | No Comments »
“But that’s not even the interesting part. The movie goes out to theaters, DVD, and high-definition cable TV – all on the same day. [...]
WIRED: Why did you decide to release Bubble in all formats at once?
SODERBERGH: Name any big-title movie that’s come out in the last four years. It has been available in all formats on the day of release. It’s called piracy. Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings, Ocean’s Eleven, and Ocean’s Twelve – I saw them on Canal Street on opening day. Simultaneous release is already here. We’re just trying to gain control over it.”
My God man, Sanity! When will this end?!
Posted: February 17th, 2012 | Tags: Business, DRM, Intelectual Property, Usability | No Comments »
“Give us convenient content at a reasonable price, and we’ll buy it. Sell the stuff without DRM, for a few dollars. Make it available to everyone, worldwide, at the same time. Then take the massive, unending pile of money, forever.
Or keep doing what you’re doing, and enjoy your ceaseless war of attrition, ever-rising tide of negative public opinion, and eventual forced irrelevance. And get fucked.”
You should really the full article. Nothing that hasn’t been said endlessly but it’s a good summary of the subject. And the “piracy threshold” chart is also interesting as a tool for further business approaches to the subject.
The most strange think that i can’t understand is: if there are endless stories about how “easy and convenient and just” made people pay for their content, why is that some media executives never get to find it? Is the Internet Browser on their computers riddled with DRM to prevent them from ever reaching sane conclusions?
Posted: February 17th, 2012 | Tags: Business, Microsoft, Productivity | No Comments »
“Like the curtain finally falling from the Wizard of Oz to find just a small, frail, man pretending to be far more powerful and relevant than he really was. Microsoft’s biggest miss was allowing the world to finally see the truth behind the big lie — they were not needed to get real work done. Or anything done, really.”
Exactly! I also think/thought that MS should have put Office everywhere, and not a minute too late, but as stated by Patrick’s insightful wife, every minute they wait their mindshare erodes more and more.
That being said, i don’t think that there are a lot of good alternatives for Office right now. I like Libre/OpenOffice but it has so much limitations and just plain bad design (aesthetically and functional) that is hard to recommend it for other than the small “domestic” work. I do have high hopes for the IBM Lotus Symphony though.
Posted: January 29th, 2012 | Tags: Business, DRM, Intelectual Property, Liberty | No Comments »
Megaupload made a LOT of money distributing content which they did not hold the copyrights for. Which means, THEY made money, the authors and publishers and illustrators and musicians – DID NOT.
You’re also wrong about the ownership of ideas. True, one person cannot ‘own’ an idea, but he does own the rights for the manifestation of that idea. If you wrote a book – even if it’s the same old story – it’s still something you’ve created for other people to enjoy… if you want to do it for free, it’s your choice! But the world should not FORCE you to do so. That’s why there are copyright laws – we are going to see a whole lot less quality content because of two very big movements:
from Pachino on a comment on Paulo Coelho’s blog
You’re missing the point there. Yes, megaupload made money of allowing the download of “free” works. You’re absolutely right on that. And yes, no one paid the authors. Yet why didn’t the authors, publishers & producers got in on megaupload model of business? They could perfectly well have said: “here’s our works, sell them as a part of a cheap 20$ for 25GB of download up to 3 months, no DRM. Pay us the percentage of income.” or even just the percentage of the advertising business.
That would be a simple deal. The consumer knows he’s doing a “legit” business, paying the persons he respects and admires, megaupload would get paid by providing the interface, and the sheer convenience of the whole thing would make people join the idea and spend their money there.
I prefer ten thousand times to pay for my content and get it all nice and clean and properly tagged, with a nice pdf booklet or stuff and to go somewhere “nasty”, full of popups and strange hacks, and never having certainty of what i’m downloading.
But you know what i don’t like? being treated like a criminal moron. Having to spend 10 minutes reading FBI warnings, about me pirating the movie i just bought, or watching unstoppable & unskippable trailers. Or waiting 2 years for the movie that i want to see becomes available in my “geographical dvd” area. Or paying over 25$ for the recording of a music performed by a maestro, orchestra and composer dead over decades¢uries ago. Or not even having the “privilege” to get those works because the editor, publisher or distributor couldn’t care less.
You know what else i don’t like? That if i develop a new combustion engine, or a new cancer vaccine or a new pain killer, or even a new kind of prosthetic material, i get to have the “monopoly” of those “idea fixations” for exactly 20 years. no more. And i have to pay for them in every country in the world. And if it is health related, i will probably spend half of those 20 years doing mandatory safety tests. And somehow, this other guy that “recycles” a impossible love story into book or films, a little folk tune in to a techno music gets to have his life plus 70 years. I’m sorry can you somehow explain to me what possible benefit can came to society from that aberration?
And now you say, “well it’s our god given right! to the ownership of our creations!” Well, sorry, it’s not. The intellectual property laws were enabled and created by the Society, to promote the general development of arts and science because that would in turn benefit the Society. The purpose of the intellectual property laws is not to pamper rock stars or authors or even geeky engineers and chemists, but to benefit the society! That is its ultimate goal. The way how it is done, is a reflection of the ways available on their time.
And here we are, somewhere on the fifth/sixth millennium of human civilization, provided with the most magnificent tool of creativity and information distribution since the Gutenberg’s Press or the alphabet and writing, and there’s some ten thousand schmucks (all of the antiquated publishers and some silly artists) trying to stop the movement and development of rest of the seven billion of us. How do you guess that’s going to end?
Posted: January 29th, 2012 | Tags: Business, DRM, Intelectual Property, Liberty | No Comments »
“When you’ve eaten an orange, you have to go back to the shop to buy another. In that case, it makes sense to pay on the spot. With an object of art, you’re not buying paper, ink, paintbrush, canvas or musical notes, but the idea born out of a combination of those products.
‘Pirating’ can act as an introduction to an artist’s work. If you like his or her idea, then you will want to have it in your house; a good idea doesn’t need protection.
The rest is either greed or ignorance”
Artists are (usually) not the main problem here, the intermediaries are. They are the ones afraid of losing the power and revenue that comes of mediating between artists & idealists and the world.
The sad part is that they could change as well and get the best spot on the new land grab, but they are just too dumb to see it. So they will wither away, mourned only by the sounds of an angry crowd armed with pitchforks.
Posted: January 24th, 2012 | Tags: Apple, Business | No Comments »
Apple’s 2011 Q4 results. Guess there was no problem relating to the Thailand floods…
It’s also interesting to note that the iPad is already a bigger business in revenues than the Mac, a “premium” computer line. Not sure if i actually like that but it is undisputedly a sign of the times.
Posted: January 24th, 2012 | Tags: Business, Consumer, DRM, Intelectual Property, Internet | No Comments »
“However, the attempt to ban cars caused Petro Dale to wake up to the threat of railways. They realized that even though much more commerce took place with cars and roads, and even though railways were becoming increasingly irrelevant, they would remain a potential regressive threat. In the past Petro Dale had sought to do business with the incumbent food network distributors, suggesting ways of taking the mass market food produce and distributing it to new franchises like mobile food trucks and fast food restaurants. They were spurned. Now they realized that trying to work with Fernforest was not just futile but harmful.”
How the internet displaced/will displace the old media distributors/publishers, in a nice metaphor story. The funny bit is even if the current MPAA, RIAA and their associates management personnel read it, they wouldn’t understand it.
Posted: January 20th, 2012 | Tags: Business, Consumer, DRM, Intelectual Property | No Comments »
“The MPAA studios hate us. They hate us with region locks and unskippable screens and encryption and criminalization of fair use. They see us as stupid eyeballs with wallets, and they are entitled to a constant stream of our money. They despise us, and they certainly don’t respect us.”
Posted: January 19th, 2012 | Tags: Business, Consumer, Culture | No Comments »
“Wait, but what about the bookstores’ owners and employees—aren’t they benefitting from your decision to buy local? Sure, but insofar as they’re doing it inefficiently (and their prices suggest they are), you could argue that they’re benefiting at the expense of someone else in the economy. After all, if you’re spending extra on books at your local indie, you’ve got less money to spend on everything else—including on authentically local cultural experiences. With the money you saved by buying books at Amazon, you could have gone to see a few productions at your local theater company, visited your city’s museum, purchased some locally crafted furniture, or spent more money at your farmers’ market. Each of these is a cultural experience that’s created in your community. Buying Steve Jobs at a store down the street isn’t.”
Farhad Manjoo – Slate Magazine
Although i have a soft spot for a physical library and i romantically fantasize about them as a sort-of-temple of wisdom and knowledge, the hard truth is that i have hardly spent any time in one in the last years. I’ve purchased a couple of books online, received others as gift and read many stuff online or in my mac.
And when or if i resume to my voracious book devouring life of the good ol’days, it’s very probable that i will do so resorting to Amazon. You simply can’t beat those prices and as Farhad says, with the money i save there i can either buy more books or indulge myself in other cultural&local activities.
Posted: January 15th, 2012 | Tags: Business, DRM, Intelectual Property, Politics | No Comments »
“History shows us, again and again, that frontiers are lawless places, but that as they get richer and more settled, they join in the rule of law. American publishing, now the largest publishing industry in the world, began with piracy.”
A must read.
Posted: January 14th, 2012 | Tags: Apple, Business, Microsoft, Strategy | No Comments »
“At present, Microsoft has 14 retail stores and plans to open up to 75 more over the next three years, usually placing them as close as possible to Apple outlets. “Well, the traffic is going to be there, and we’ve got to beat them anyway,” Ballmer says with a shrug. “
Steve Ballmer Reboots – BusinessWeek
The Dark side.
“If we want to move forward and see Apple healthy and prospering again, we have to let go of a few things here. We have to let go of this notion that for Apple to win, Microsoft has to lose. We have to embrace a notion that for Apple to win, Apple has to do a really good job. And if others are going to help us that’s great, because we need all the help we can get, and if we screw up and we don’t do a good job, it’s not somebody else’s fault, it’s our fault. So I think that is a very important perspective. If we want Microsoft Office on the Mac, we better treat the company that puts it out with a little bit of gratitude; we like their software. So, the era of setting this up as a competition between Apple and Microsoft is over as far as I’m concerned. This is about getting Apple healthy, this is about Apple being able to make incredibly great contributions to the industry and to get healthy and prosper again.”
The wise side.
Posted: January 10th, 2012 | Tags: Blackberry, Business, RIMM | No Comments »
Verge’s Jacob Schulman has made a first review of the “new and improved” Playbook OS 2.0 and it’s give a perfect view of RIMM lack of direction.
Below are some snippets from Schulman article:
” The new Messages app is a central hub for not only email, but LinkedIn and Twitter as well. Twitter direct messages can be sent and received from right within the app, though you still need to use a dedicated app to reply to or compose a tweet.”
“As of now there’s no Facebook integration,[...]“
“You can’t open actual emails in multiple tabs; it’s restricted to drafts for the time being.”
*”The other missing item is true BES support, though BlackBerry Mobile Fusion is an ActiveSync solution that delivers the same functionality with equivalent encryption.”
And i strongly suggest you see the Verge Video. In it, the first 3 minutes is the RIMM representative showing off how you can use your handheld Blackberry to remotely control, open links and browse in your handheld 7″ Playbook…
The only feature in that set that i can find even remotely useful is the presentation remote control. And this only in a very limited set of situations. But why would i really really need a feature to allow me to open a link in a email on the Playbook? Hello? I can just pick up the Playbook, open the email and click the link there, probably the same if not less time spent. If RIMM did it somehow as WebOS did it, with the “Touch to Share” feature then i would see the added benefit, but as of now? It’s near useless.
And RIMM “management” just spent money, engineer’s work time and other development resources going for this instead of trying to fix the absence of the fairly standard features above. I just know they would be right at home in this non-amateur competition.
Posted: January 10th, 2012 | Tags: Business, DRM, Intelectual Property, Internet | No Comments »
Before I say anything else: It’s not you. It’s me.
I’ve changed over the years. I’m hardly at home. And when I am, it’s not live television I’m watching. It’s stuff that’s been queued up on my DVR for weeks. But mostly, when I’m on my couch with a remote in my hand, I’ve been…streaming. I know how wrong that must sound. But everyone’s getting their shows and movies through the Internet these days. I’m sorry. It’s just the reality of things.”
Posted: January 4th, 2012 | Tags: Business, Intelectual Property, Internet, Liberty | No Comments »
“What GoDaddy did was support a bill that violates civil liberties and threatens the future of he Internet as we know it—the Internet that GoDaddy relies on for revenue. Supporting the bill demonstrates a major lack of understanding of how the Internet works, and a serious disregard for customers.
I’m sorry if I am not impressed that GoDaddy dropped its support for SOPA under duress. I’d rather do business with a domain registrar that didn’t have the audacity (stupidity) to support SOPA in the first place.”
Posted: December 28th, 2011 | Tags: Business, Microsoft, Usability | No Comments »
“Users: Own the disposable income. They don’t know what they hate. All they know is they buy phone service from mobile carriers and/or buy a phone from a carrier. They love speeds & feeds and will generally buy anything they are told to by television ads and RSPs (Retail Sales Professionals).“
Charlie Kindel – cek.log
I’m sure this guy is really nice and i’ll try to say this as un-offensive as i can: Only a Microsoft trained engineer/manager could say something like this…
It’s this blindness to the consumer experience and perception and their relentless faith in the virtues and powers of marketing & advertising that got MSFT where it is now. I somehow imagine Steve Ballmer visualizing himself as Obi Wan Kenobi waving his hand and saying to the consumer: “Never mind these overpriced toys. This is the phone you want.” – while handing them a WP7 phone. Somehow, on his head, this makes perfect sense.
What MS, Steve B. and Charlie Kindel should realize: People talk. People communicate. People exchange histories. And above all, People aren’t mindless consuming drones. If you give them crap, they might buy them first. But they sure won’t be faithful customers, or recommend it, or even stick with it much longer than a single product.
Google is learning this the hard way. Android is everywhere and yet, no one, and i mean, no one is talking about it. I have had exactly zero, zero discussions with non-geek consumers about android. I’ve not even once overheard someone recommending it. All that i’ve heard is something like: “i’ve got one of those new touch only phones”. And that’s about it.
But you know what else i’ve heard? In the last 3 weekly family gatherings that i attended (with a ~50 person family), there was a significant part of the discussion time talking about Apple products, Apple vision of the product/consumer, Steve J. attention to details and Apple customer support. I didn’t start them or did anything else than occasionally agreeing in those discussions. And for the record, i’m the established family tech-geek/support, everyone else is an aggregated fair sampling of the non-geek consumer pool.
I think this speaks volumes… One brand, with exactly zero money in advertising in Portugal has more mindset and people talking about it than everyone else. Know why? Because their products aren’t crap and they don’t think the consumers “will buy anything they are told to by television ads and RSP”…
Posted: October 16th, 2011 | Tags: Business, Usability, Windows | No Comments »
“This is post-Gates, 21st-century Microsoft at its very worst. Oh, sure, Windows 8 ought to be a great OS. The Metro interface looks fantastic, truly revolutionary and extremely attractive. And we’re sure that Windows 8 classic will build on the stability and success of Windows 7. This isn’t Vista. Vista was a disaster of a product that actually had some half-decent marketing and crystal-clear messaging.
No, this is the opposite of Vista. Windows 8 is a great set of products with lots of potential that Microsoft is likely to tank because it’s trying to cram way too many disparate pieces into one box. Why not have a tablet OS, a PC OS and a smart phone OS? Or one that runs them all but comes in distinctly different flavors? Why try to cram two PC OSes and a tablet OS — all of which to pretty notably different things and have pretty serious restrictions — into one “product?” Software is supposed to be easy to use, not frustrating and confusing. This is slick 2010s software with overcomplicated 1980s marketing. It just doesn’t make any sense.”
Redmond Channel Partner
Decisions, decisions.. They’re so hard to make. Specially when the man in charge doesn’t really understands what he is supposed to sell.
Posted: October 16th, 2011 | Tags: Business, Google | No Comments »
“The other big realization he had was that he can’t always build the right thing. I think Larry Tesler might have struck some kind of chord in Bezos when he said his mom couldn’t use the goddamn website. It’s not even super clear whose mom he was talking about, and doesn’t really matter, because nobody’s mom can use the goddamn website. In fact I myself find the website disturbingly daunting, and I worked there for over half a decade. I’ve just learned to kinda defocus my eyes and concentrate on the million or so pixels near the center of the page above the fold.
I’m not really sure how Bezos came to this realization — the insight that he can’t build one product and have it be right for everyone. But it doesn’t matter, because he gets it. There’s actually a formal name for this phenomenon. It’s called Accessibility, and it’s the most important thing in the computing world.
The. Most. Important. Thing.”
Unfiltered Opinion From Silicon Valley
You should read the whole thing. There’s a lot of good insight there, not only about Google, but about Business as a whole.
Posted: October 14th, 2011 | Tags: Business, HumanResources, Microsoft | No Comments »
“The problem isn’t individuals. We do hire some very smart and capable people, who I am sure all want to ‘do the right thing’.
The problem is the emergent behavior of all those individuals rushing around doing what they think they need to to get ahead. Somehow the whole is a lot less than the sum of its parts.”
Commentary | Mini-Microsoft
Mini-Microsoft comments section is basically “Microsoft under a microscope”. There you can witness the rants, complaints and Dilbert similarities of what goes on at Redmond. Sometimes i just take an hour or so and go to read the latest. Some comments aren’t from ‘Softies at all, but it’s fairly easy to figure out those. Some are just outsiders that would like to get an answer or give input. But you can find there a great picture of the human reality in Microsoft’s HQ.
I won’t say that i understand Microsoft HR evaluation scheme. I don’t. I find the whole thing a jigsaw puzzle of meaningless numbers where, between the time necessary for a new post, someone at the HR department decides to reinvent the wheel and introduces some “improvements”… And then I, the outsider, am lost again.
What i do understand is this: When you turn the assessment of individuals on the same team into a zero-sum game, you’ve just activated the self-destruct mode. No one can win in that game.
Microsoft is dying on its inside. It appears there’s only two types of MS employees. The ones utterly disappointed with MSFT current situation and absolutely despairing with the lack of direction from above; and the ones completely blind and with a zest of “we will prevail” zealot-fanatic style where the reality and visible trends are something that we shouldn’t pay attention to. There may be a “silent majority” there but, as usual, that majority, the ones who usually do the really good work, will just grow disenchanted with all the dirty politics and treachery going on and decide to depart to greener pastures, to somewhere where they are truly appreciated and they can feel that they do a good work.
Steve Ballmer may one day get fired but when that happens what will be left to rebuild MSFT with? One hundred thousand back-stabbing “politicians”? It barely seems a good fit for a technology company that produces the software the equips 90% of the world computers and basically 100% of the enterprise market.
I’m truly curious about the future.
Posted: October 12th, 2011 | Tags: Apple, Business, iOS | No Comments »
“But it goes deeper than this. Many reviewers don’t even realize what the product is. They still believe the iPhone or iPad is mostly a hardware product defined by its specifications. Apple has invested 10 times more R&D resources to create the iOS software and supporting eco system than its hardware. Apple didn’t design the hardware to match some feature checklist, they designed it to make their software amaze and delight customers, to create an emotional connection that effects peoples lives. To compare the iPhone or iPad to other products primarily on their hardware specifications is not representative of the quality of experience users are likely to have with the product.
What happens if you lose your phone or tablet or wish to upgrade to a newer model? Will all your applications and data move seamlessly? What if you want to share data with others or between your tablet and phone? Can your tablet be upgraded to the latest OS? Will the software you want be available and work smoothly on your new tablet? What about malware? What if something goes wrong? Is there a store where you can take your tablet to get help? These are important considerations consumers see clearly, but the tech press largely ignores.”
Sustainable Softworks Blog
Posted: October 10th, 2011 | Tags: Business | No Comments »
“It is clear that for many of our members two websites would make things more difficult, so we are going to keep Netflix as one place to go for streaming and DVDs.
This means no change: one website, one account, one password… in other words, no Qwikster.
While the July price change was necessary, we are now done with price changes.”
I couldn’t care less about this Netflix soap opera but there is something very interesting at a company that decides to annoy the hell out of its users with a bump and segmentation of price in July; split it’s business into two separate companies in September; and, after stock value plummeting and much public outcry about the obvious faults of their business division, decides in October that there will be no separation of the business lines nor another spin-off company.
Does the current management spend any time reflecting about the impacts of their decisions? Or is this just the “HP Board Of Directors” management style school taking pupils?