The last thing I recall buying with the Sony name on it was a PS2. (I don't count Sony movies since they own so many different studios).
The last straw for me was MiniDiscs. I was a big user of MDs, with more than 80 discs in my collection. I used them to copy all of my CDs so I could sell the CDs; no since taking up space since I move so often.
I posted my encounter with Sony customer service to a forum after it happened. In a nutshell, my request was to open up their MDs to upload back to computers and use other operating systems; they considered it a tech support issue and kept sending me what was effectively a form letter saying my problem was a tech support issue.
That's when I realized Sony doesn't care about their customers, just the money. Then, they had the rootkit fiasco and the DRM-encumbered Blue-Ray tech and it just reinforced the fact that Sony doesn't care about customer service.
There are too many other companies that want my money and make as good, if not better, items for me to bother with Sony.
Just wanted to say that your site is almost exactly what I have been looking for to publish my ebook. It's simple, easy, and free. I'm looking forward to uploading my book (and future writings) to your site.
Seriously, it's digital. Conversion software shouldn't be that difficult to work with, unless you're fighting with XML schemas.
When I wrote my ebook, I used LaTeX to convert it to PDF. However, I can also export it to HTML, DOC, RTF, etc. With the tools available from other places, e.g. Stanza, it's nothing to convert most formats to one of the "ebook standards". (Why we need so many ebook standards when PDF should be fine, I don't know).
So, it sounds like the publishing industry is artificially making things difficult for themselves, or they are just incompetent. Granted, I'm not in the industry and don't know the details but I do know computers and programming. From what I know, it shouldn't be as difficult as they make it out to be.
In general, it would be a good idea. There are many times when I am not near a WiFi spot or otherwise would prefer to have a non-electric reading device. Having current articles to read would be nice.
However, I also like to read the comments on web sites. If an on-demand paper could incorporate these, allowing a reader to read the comments then when at a computer later to post a follow up comment, that would be another useful addition.
Clarification: I didn't mean to imply that libraries need to be paying the authors directly every time the book is checked out.
When the libraries purchase their books, obviously the publisher gets the money and then doles it out to the author. Whatever the author's contract states is what he is paid; no "double dipping" by having extra cash every time someone borrows a book.
I believe libraries have the same sort of contracts as movie rental stores: they pay a different price vs. standard retail, usually more to compensate for the payback in rentals. Hence, I suspect authors actually get a larger paycheck when libraries buy their books.
I wrote a book last year and, though it would be nice to make money off it, I haven't. Because the book is about programming, the market is pretty saturated. When I contacted a publisher about printing it, I was told there just wasn't a market for an intro to programming book like mine. This is after I spent 9+ months researching, writing, and creating code examples.
So, I self-published it online as a free ebook, even putting it on The Pirate Bay and Mininova as a torrent. It's been downloaded more than 6000 times and I have received no money from it. Naturally it would be nice to make some money but I feel it's more important to share the knowledge and give back to the Internet community where I learned to program in the first place.
Maybe when I revise the book I will set up some way to make it financially beneficial to me. But, I certainly don't think people are stealing from me; I borrowed plenty of ideas from other programming books and web sites.
And that's where Mr. Edwards runs into a vicious cycle: in his world, would I be responsible for paying the authors of my research data, especially web sites? Obviously any library books should be providing a cut to the authors but what about all the "free" tutorials on the web? I would suspect that Mr. Edwards feels that ad-supported sites aren't enough and anyone that gained knowledge from a site should chip in with a donation, just to ensure the author can make a living.
I wrote my book on my own time; I have a "real" job in the military. As a matter of fact, I wrote my book while deployed to Iraq; I didn't have a nice, cozy little house to stay in while writing. It may not be a professional book with paid copy editors, but it was a work of love, if you will, not greed.
It would be nice to be paid to spend just a couple hours a day writing and then do whatever I wanted for the rest of the time, because that's exactly what I did while writing my book. I'm not a professional but there is simply no way someone can spend a full work-day writing. In reality, Mr. Edwards probably made $40000 for 4-6 hours a day of work for 6 months. Not that bad.
Simply put, I feel no sympathy for these so-called "struggling artists". If you aren't making enough money, then get a real job and write in your spare time. I did, in a war zone even, so it can be done.
ESPN makes a killing on sports related topics, both on TV, Internet, and even print. It has a niche market and can capitalize on it.
I believe that is the "secret" to making money for newspapers. Find a niche and fill it well. General news is not money making, especially with the many outlets to getting "standard" news. Most news outlets simply carry AP feeds, which can be found nearly anywhere, especially online.
Personally, I haven't picked up a newspaper for years. There's simply no reason too, except for convenience when I'm not near a computer or WiFi point. Normally, for general news info, I just turn on my Wii and look at the News Channel.
However, I have no interest in sports and most business news. In many papers, that's 1/3 to 1/2 of the paper. Local sections sometimes have useful info, but frequently it seems to be filler.
I am interested in technology and science, which is very under-covered with traditional media. Hence, most of my news interests have to filled online.
Ergo, as the parent stated, specific data are more of a marketable idea than general news. Heck, I can go to the BBC and get better news coverage than I can w/ most American media, so newspapers have already lost the battle for general news. They simply don't offer anything that can't be found elsewhere; charging for it will only make it worse.
Or they could realize that legislating morality is as effective as legislating stupidity and eliminate vice squads.
By and large, prostitution is not a bad crime. Illegal prostitution is much, much worse than legalized prostitution. Legal prostitutes have to have regular medical checkups, have to practice safe sex (no paying extra to go condom-less), and the prostitutes are protected, legally and physically, from abuse and assault. Plus, the state can tax their income.
Illegal prostitution avoids all of that. Many of the women are regularly beat up, raped, or otherwise assaulted, but they can't go to the cops because then they will be busted for prostitution or told they "got what they deserved". STDs are much more likely because they can earn more if they don't practice safe sex. And illegal prostitution is also the realm of sex slaves and human trafficking.
Sex is a natural function. Humans are just different from other animals in that we can enjoy sex at any time because we don't have a "heat cycle". There is nothing sinful about it; that's just an artificial idea put to it by religion to control people.
If you think about it, if man was made in God's image (as claimed by the Bible), then the human sex drive is divinely given. Not having sex would be an affront to God, since He made us different from other animals. Heck, up until the late Roman times, and in some cases even later, there were temple prostitutes working for religious purposes. So it's not like there's a very valid reason for it to be illegal.
I don't know about nowadays, but back in the early 90s renting CDs was fairly easy in Japan. That's why MiniDiscs were so popular; people could rent CDs and copy them to MDs. It was nearly impossible to find a "pressed" music MD.
One thing I'd like to know though: how much illegal infringement occurs via mobile phones? And as others have asked, how can a DB know which songs are legal or not?
Re: How many times have we heard about brown M&Ms?
Yes, the real story is very interesting. Especially when read in context of a concert. If someone hasn't taken the time to actually read the contract, as evidenced by the M&Ms, then they obviously can't be trusted to have paid attention to details.
This is an extremely clever idea to ease the burden of double-checking people. If they took care of the M&Ms, then you can have a reasonable expectation that they took care of other details. If not, then you better start looking over their shoulder, quick.
You're not the only one. I haven't listened to radio for years, mostly since Clear Channel started buying nearly every station in America. I couldn't tell you anything about current music trends, except hip-hop is now so mainstream that it's disgusting.
This is true. For most applications, consistency is a highly desirable trait. I'm sure most people have used a program that didn't follow standard conventions and became extremely frustrated. Apple publishes a "standard" for designers so their applications appear like other Mac software (or reasonably so) to prevent users from being confused.
For many applications, there is essentially only one way of doing it. Consider spreadsheets; a table motif is about the only way they can be used effectively. At least, for 99% of projects.
I'm not denying that there may be better or different ways of doing the same thing, but you run into diminishing returns. Users have been trained for many years to accept a certain way of using computers. The biggest paradigm was moving form command line interfaces to GUIs. As mentioned in the article, the original GUIs were based off of PARC's research. Realistically, they haven't changed terribly much; they are still 2 dimensional, point and click interfaces.
Unless a program is doing something new or specialized, following the established format is more desirable. People know how to use spreadsheets, word processors, browsers, etc. Consider the backlash Microsoft had when it introduced the Ribbon interface w/ Office XP; though it may be better (that's still a hot debate), people didn't like it because it meant they had to relearn the program. One of the big gripes people have w/ switching to Macs is having to learn a whole new interface.
In general, copying software, especially if it's in the same field as what you're working on, is a good thing. Users are more comfortable with it and therefore more likely to give it a chance. That's why OpenOffice looks so similar to MS Office; it's easier for people to switch.
When I first read the story, it just sounded too good to be true. I'm not denying that an ex-musician, a black woman, or anyone else is incapable of earning degrees, especially a Ph.D. (I'm working on one myself). However, it seems odd that a music company would allow that clause to appear in a contract, much less let it stay upon signing. However, I believe the original article said, essentially, that Warner didn't expect it to be used.
It is interesting that this story spread so much, considering it's not true. She even admitted it wasn't true, though she still claims that she has degrees but there is no evidence of it. Obviously everyone wanted it to be true, whether as a story of the "little person getting one over on the big, faceless corporation" or because a "disadvantaged, inner city black woman makes good and helps others".
But I wonder how the story started and spread in the first place. She's not a Doctor, though she apparently claims to be one. She isn't licensed by the state and doesn't have a practice. That was another thing I thought was fishy; she has an "unconventional" clinic yet details weren't provided. What was so special about it?
All in all, there were a lot of problems w/ the original story that, obviously, fact checking would have uncovered. Essentially, the whole story is bogus. So where did it come from and why?
I recently wrote a book (plug:http://pythone-ebook.blogspot.com)and I debated for several weeks about how to license it. Because CC was the buzzword on the Internet, I seriously considered using a CC license. But I couldn't decide which one to use; at the time, the CC website wasn't easy to navigate nor figure out how each license worked.
Ultimately, I released my book under the GNU Free Document License. I know CC has a similar license but, honestly, I think the GFDL explains the reader's rights more succinctly. It doesn't use copyright but copyleft to ensure everyone has the same access to it, much like software. People are free to share it and improve upon it but they must provide their changes back to the community at large.
I am a firm advocate of this. Granted, creating a sudo account with this type of limited abilities us much easier using *nix or even Macs than trying to configure Windows this way. Windows prefers to make users Admins, limited users, or guests, by default. It's possible to create a limited user with install rights but it is such a pain that most people simply don't bother.