Displaying items by tag: Consumer

windows-phone-7Microsoft is once again betting on a losing horse. After failed attempted to form HDCP (High-Definition Content Protection) into every aspect of the Desktop with Windows Vista and failing to motivate people to buy the OS they are now pushing a UI that has failed to capture the markets imagination. The funny thing is that they are admitting to this and still cannot see what they are doing. As we have told you before, Microsoft tends to ignore what the public actually wants and seems to make business decisions based on what they think “should” work.

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SWITCH_Hands2_LoversInMorningI'd like to think I've got a couple of average teens, but I'm told the mere fact that they're growing up with an uber geek (not myself, but thanks) means they're not average when it comes to technology desires. Regardless, what follows is a quick run-down of their favorites.

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animal_farm-pigsThere is only one constant in the universe and that is change. Although things may seem static and unmoving they are not. This chaotic nature extends from the largest black hole to the tiniest particle. Everything is in constant motion and everything is working against everything else. Even our societies exhibit this behavior; as one event happens the people in it change to adapt to it. Just look at the Internet. This giant amorphous mass (represented by a cloud) has more cultures and sub-cultures than you can find on a map of the world.

Unfortunately just like the many cultures that exist in the physical world, the online cultures are very misunderstood. Too many corporations and groups seek to control it or nail it down. Thankfully, and also unfortunately doing this is about as easy as holding water in your hand (or attempting to heard cats).

The most obvious example of this is online file sharing. Here we have watched as countless laws, rules and restrictions have been put in place. Companies have published the numbers or alleged losses to file sharing (while posting record quarters) and yet it does not seem to stop. Even the crazy (and borderline unethical) lawsuits that are files in the US court system has not been a deterrent. All that has happened is this culture has adapted and changed their tactics and method. Where before communications between groups were open now many use encrypted VPN (Virtual Private Network) connections. Sites that catalog the available shares are using SSL certificates (often self-signed to avoid being tracked back) to keep the unwanted out. Memberships are becoming invitation only to keep the eyes of the MPAA and RIAA out.

This is not to say that the stragglers won’t still get caught. There will always be the little fish that mess up and end up on the kitchen table, but the people that develop the content are extremely sophisticated and are becoming more and more difficult to find. The guys over at TorrentFreak liken this to viruses Vs. medication. Personally I like to think of this more in line with Prohibition and the costly (and widely ineffective) war on drugs in the US.  During prohibition the US spent millions of dollars fighting a losing battle. No matter what they did they could not keep liquor out of the US. The more they tried the more sophisticated the people importing the liquor became. It only stopped when they re-legalized alcohol and taxed it.

There is a growing movement to do the same thing with some of the drugs that are being brought into the US (although there are still some that really need to be controlled).  They say that History can be a great teacher for those that are willing to read it, but for some reason I think that too many people want to ignore the lessons available there. The media and software companies really need to take a look at the mobile market to see what can be done. Although there is still piracy at this level it is much less rampant. People are willing to pay the money to get the apps they want. The reason is that these apps are (for the most part) reasonably prices; unlike the hugely disproportionate prices seen in the PC, Console, and DVD/BRD world.  If these companies could finally work out a fair pricing structure (meaning the CEOs and other execs would need to get paid a little less) and a good method for content delivery then you would finally see piracy decline. It will never go away as that is part of the Internet Culture, but the number of people taking that risk would drop off as it would not be seen as “worth it”.

It really is sad that the greed of a few people (this included the actors getting pair tens of millions for a single movie) is what fuels much of the file sharing and piracy out today. Maybe one day we will see a change here, but I have a feeling that the culture that runs the show will never allow that.

Source TorrentFreak

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17So today most of the big companies had their quarterly earnings calls. We heard from Intel, Microsoft, Apple, and many others.  Most had both good news and bad some of this was surprising, some not so surprising. Despite assurances that Intel will “atomize” us (thanks for that one Francois) Intel reported that sales of the Atom CPU have dropped off. One of the big reasons for this is the increase in ARM’s presence in the market and a small showing by AMD with their new E350 CPUs.

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