* Posts by The Dark Lord

124 posts • joined 9 Apr 2008

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Amazon DROPS next day delivery amid Cyber Monday MADNESS

The Dark Lord

Patience Padawan

I ordered a bunch of stuff on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday (yes, yesterday). In each case, with the Free "whenever you like" delivery.

It's all been dispatched already. And I don't NEED any of it today. If I did, I would go to a bricks & mortar store.

Prime seems to be a good way to tax the impatient, to me.

However, it would be nice to understand why Amazon stole my daughter's £10.33 gift card balance... I don't think that the cash paid for the cards expired, so why should the cards?

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Apple's ONE LESS THING: the iPod Classic disappears

The Dark Lord

Re: Perhaps

Making statements like "Obviously there will be some nerd along to explain how much better lossless MP3s sound through their iPod headphones" is just adding to the corporate mantra of "just about good enough is what we strive for".

It really is terribly sad that the vast majority of digital music users have allowed themselves to be convinced to accept shoddy renderings of their favourite music, played through earphones which don't even get to the level of "crappy".

Where people attach pejorative terms to others who view quality as a good thing, we as a species suffer.

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New XSS vuln hits eBay as rubbish passw0rds persist

The Dark Lord

eBay PR

Based on the tweet exchange I had with them, I'm not sure whether eBay's staffers would pass a Turing Test.

They seemed unable to cope with the notion that the security of the user database was not dependent upon the newness of passwords contained therein, just kept repeating the "it's important for security to change your password" mantra.

Clearly, we can only assume that eBay itself has no confidence in the encryption mechanism used to store users' passwords. One could hope that the ICO will use this as an opportunity to gain some tax receipts from an obfuscated multinational, but I doubt that they have even the strength of will to achieve that, much less be a force for change in the security landscape.

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eBay faces MULTIPLE PROBES into mega-breach

The Dark Lord

I love the way the reaction to these data breaches is for the organisation to tell the users to change their passwords. Like that will solve anything at all!

And, why should I change MY password? It's not MY eBay account that spunked personal information on 145m people all over the internet.

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Xenon: Bitmap Brothers' (mega)blast from the past

The Dark Lord

Hardware required

I remember that Xenon 2 made microswitched joysticks pretty much mandatory, as you couldn't maintain the rate of fire required without them. I think that was the first time I ever bought new hardware specifically for a game.

Xenon 2 is definitely in my top 5 games of all time.

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Eight hour cleansing to get all the 'faggots' and 'bitches' OUT of Github

The Dark Lord

Priorities

I'm not going to say that I think this is a waste of time. But isn't there something more societally worthwhile that these people could be doing? Like rebuilding a community space, or planting some allotments, or doing a bake sale for charity?

This exercise seems like a self-righteous back-slapping party.

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Getty offers 35 MILLION images for free – if you jump (em)bed with it

The Dark Lord

Consumer/producer confused

As an amateur/hobbyist photographer, I would like to take advantage of some sort of microstock-like arrangement. I guess I have dreams of some day monetising this hobby to the extent that I can exit the day job. But it doesn't seem as if the content producers have any control over whether their images are "freely available" or not. And the discretion to add/remove images from the free bucket seems to be entirely in Getty's court. So does that mean the photographer cedes all rights to the image, gets it distributed, whereupon Getty thinks "Ooh, we can make some cash off this", raking it all in for themselves, with the 'tog getting nothing? I rather suspect so.

And as someone who runs a couple of blogs, I know how much a carefully curated image adds to the post. To date I've been making use of Creative Commons licensed work, but it would be good to have a ready-curated library of suitable works available. But then, what if Getty thinks "Ooh, we can make some cash off this", sending me a bill for using the image that had been free?

So, I may be doing Getty a disservice here, but it seems like they've dressed up a massive land-grab of licensing control as an apparently benevolent offer of making quality images available for authorised use without charge.

As a producer and user of photography, I'm out.

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But... you work in IT... Why aren't we RICH?

The Dark Lord

Friday Funny

Thanks for the chuckles, that was a great piece.

The only people I know who use WhatsApp use it as some kind of "stealth" messaging technology to speak to people they shouldn't be speaking to about things that wives/husbands/partners/parents may be upset to discover. So that's right up the swanny then! Way to use the world's media to kill your USP!

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MtGox boss vows to keep going despite $429 MILLION Bitcoin 'theft'

The Dark Lord

I'm no Frontiersman

Seems like cryptocurrency could be the next gold rush, but at the minute it very much looks like the Wild West. And (per title), I'm no Frontiersman.

People who are OK operating in such high risk spaces deserve the returns they get for their preparedness to trade on those terms. But it's not for everyone and it's not for me. Rather than laughing at the misfortune of people losing money through MtGox though (as some seem happy to do), I'm just content that these ructions are validating my position of sitting out the game.

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Not even 1.4m users can save 4Chan founder Chris Poole's startup

The Dark Lord
Coat

Re: Problem is simple...

e.g. Insurance comparison app for the over-50s?

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ASA slaps down BT over 'misleading' broadband claims

The Dark Lord

Locking the stable door

Once again, the ASA bans an ad AFTER it's been shown to the public.

When is it going to implement pre-approval for all telco ads? The industry seems to be riven with persistent lies in advertising, and any sensible(*) supervisory organisation would have mandated pre-approval by now.

(*) Yes, yes, I know that the ASA has consistently shown itself not to be a sensible organisation...

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Anglo-Australian cricket brawl spills over into coding clash

The Dark Lord

Re: What is the job of the publisher?

I'm guessing the publisher released it after an argument with the developers. Now they're having a discussion along the lines of "See? Everyone hates it. We told you it was shit!"

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We flew our man Jack Clark into Facebook's desert DATA TOMB. This is what he saw

The Dark Lord

Expansion

If the existing SMR drives are so sensitive to vibration that other drives spinning freak them out, then how does FB manage installation of new racks? Do they have to shut down whole racks of disks?

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Coroner suggests cars should block mobile phones

The Dark Lord

Both drivers...

Are at fault here. The car driver in front for slowing without valid reason or indication to use a mobile phone while driving. And the lorry driver behind for driving too close and/or without sufficient attention to crash into the back of her.

The fix for this is proper education backed with intelligent enforcement. Not mindless signs and speed cameras and driver's licenses on the back of cereal packets.

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GTA V Online hits speed bumps: Short wait before you can rough up that hooker

The Dark Lord

Re: Designed for online?

> But then, if you do like driving, why are you not able to use a steering wheel controller in GTA?

>

> In fact, I could happily lose most the shooting and punching activities if I was allowed to

> use a wheel to drive around Los Santos.

Rockstar used to do a spin-off of GTA with just the driving in it. It was called Midnight Club. Pretty good fun for an arcade driver. They've cancelled the series now, which seems a shame, as it must have been a reasonably cheap game to produce, what with most of the content having been pre-built in the GTA product.

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Storage rage: Like getting a nice steak and being told to only eat 80% of it

The Dark Lord
Thumb Up

Hear hear

About time someone spoke up about this nonsense.

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Headmaster calls cops, tries to dash pupil's uni dreams - over a BLOG

The Dark Lord

Police Involvement

I'm rather heartened in reading this story that the police's involvement in the matter has amounted to "Meh." Perhaps that Paul Chambers laddie has had an effect after all.

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Ministry of Sound sues Spotify over user playlists

The Dark Lord

MoS Shovelware

Given the number of adverts I see for MoS compilations, they should be treated in the same way as patent trolls.

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Vodafone flashes bulging package at Brits: New 4G service to rival EE, O2

The Dark Lord

Price vs. Quality

"So the UK's second 4G operator to publish its pricing has pegged the cost around the same as the first (EE), choosing to bundle more data and value-added services rather than compete on price. That's probably good news for those hoping for rapid rollout and ubiquitous coverage - even if it's less good for those hoping for cheap 4G."

Hopefully the shocking state of the country's 3G network will make most people realise that it's better to pay a little more for something that works than it is having the operators cutting our service along with our bills.

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Yahoo! announces! plan! to! change! logo! 30! times! this! month!

The Dark Lord

Re: Yahoo = Malware

Funnily enough, they've done the EXACT same thing to Flickr. Damn Yahoo! toolbar at the top of the page.

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How Novell peaked, then threw it all away in a year

The Dark Lord

Fond Memories

I jumped ship to Microsoft at around NetWare 4.12 stage. A shame in many ways because NetWare and GroupWise were pretty lean and effective products. When I think of the amount of hardware required to run an enterprise e-mail system these days, it was remarkable what could be achieved with a single 200MHz Pentium Pro based server.

My own horror Novell experience came late one night in Lanarkshire. Our WAN provider had made changes to our router (on our request), but I had to back those changes out. The change involved removing IPX support. So I was forced to teach myself IPX routing in the middle of the night, to save my bacon. A bit of online research, and a few wild guesses later, and that was the IPX routing back on line.

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Australia threatens Adobe, Apple, with geo-blocking ban

The Dark Lord

Currency conversion

Creative Cloud price in Australia: $49.99

Creative Cloud price in UK: £46.88.

At current rates the Australian price is £30.06.

The Australians are worried about international gouging???

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T-Mobile to let US customers swap phones twice a year

The Dark Lord

ARPM

This is nothing more than a ploy to increase the Average Revenue Per Month from customers.

The mobile market is broken, and we customers are implicit in that. By expecting handset subsidies we allow the phone manufacturers and the wireless carriers to obfuscate the market and impose draconian terms (such as the 24-month contract).

If we were collectively more mature about it we'd disaggregate the process of buying the phone and the airtime, and be able to make our own choices on both when it suited us.

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Apple threatens ANOTHER Samsung patent lawsuit

The Dark Lord
Flame

Patents Damage User Experience for All

I don't really care who copied whom. My problem with all these obscure patents is that they harm the usability of devices. When one firm tries to claim that their "swipe" is in some way their legal property, it means that another firm has to think of something different. The users are screwed, because they have to remember two gestures and which gesture belongs to which device.

So while the lawyers have their high priced pissing contest, users are stuck with needlessly obscured functionality for which they've had to pay over the odds in order to pay for the lawyers that nobody in the whole fucking world actually wants.

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Michael Dell: 'Cash in your shares, we are in a mess'

The Dark Lord

Re: trying to get the share price down?

He's not trying to get the price down - the price is fixed. He's trying to get investors to choose his path. Of course, talking down (probably fairly realistically) the company brings the current price of the shares below his offer price, making it look more attractive to investors.

I've had a lot of exposure as customer and support engineer to Dell products in the last 15 years, and most of their kit has been good quality stuff. Hopefully the company will be able to come back to life in the way HP hasn't, and BlackBerry & Nokia won't.

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Not cool, Adobe: Give the Ninite guys a job, not the middle finger

The Dark Lord
Meh

Not exactly in defence, but...

This is a problem endemic with Adobe's free products. They're crap, and they come with crap that you don't want.

But shell out for their headline apps, like Photoshop, Lightroom, Dreamweaver etc, and what you find are highly polished, highly capable products that do what they're meant to do, and with aplomb.

Adobe's business model seems to be a living parable for "you get what you pay for".

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Why you need a home lab to keep your job

The Dark Lord
Stop

Creeping Death

I agree with the posters who've said that this is yet another way in which companies take the piss out of their employees. And some employees actively encourage it. I know several people who have home labs that they spend the weekends working on.

And it's work. Not even hobbyist tinkering, it's proper work. They then get a significant advantage during the working week because they're making the rest of us (those with families, hobbies, etc) look like we're thick. We're not thick, we're just not donating two days a week of free labour to the company.

It pisses me off, and it pisses me off that managers then EXPECT that out-of-hours working from everyone. In this timesheet-obsessed cost-cutting world, personal development is long gone. Companies obsessed with growth need to do some of the nurturing that growth requires. And employees with home labs need to understand that they're undermining their colleagues and themselves.

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Analysts slash Ultrabook sales estimate by over 50%

The Dark Lord
Holmes

Ultrabook Spec

In my view, ultrabooks won't succeed until they have touchscreens installed. users graduating from tablets to something with a proper keyboard spend ages prodding the screen and getting frustrated with it. I can only imagine that this will become unbearable on Windows 8.

So, OEMs: Make an ultrabook in the same form factor but touch-enable the screen. And yes, when I say "the same form factor" I do mean "don't delete the trackpad you cheapskates".

OEMs are also being pretty dim generally. With BYOD becoming increasingly prevalent, OEMs need to appeal to individuals, which means sexy designs, not corporates and their relentless bottom-line chasing.

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It's Lego's 80th birthday party, but only the boys are invited

The Dark Lord

Two problems...

I played with LEGO a LOT as a child, but my elder sister wasn't interested. So I don't think it's a new phenomenon.

Now I'm a parent, I've got two real problems with LEGO. Firstly, it's REALLY expensive. Any model of any substance is £25 or more. It makes it very difficult to buy as a birthday present for someone else's child, because it's too expensive. The smaller sets are incidental "stocking filler" types, but are still too expensive to be bought as an incidental thing like a bribe for good behaviour. These two factors combine to largely eliminate the mass-aggregation of sets that I had as a boy.

Secondly (and this is something James May commented on when he built his LEGO house) too many of the pieces are single-use. In order to provide visual richness to the end product, the typical set has many parts that are suitable only for that set. This further dilutes the original aim of LEGO of it being "a new toy every day." Every set seems to be a model, an end-goal clearly in site. I remember getting sets that were basically big boxes full of bricks with a few ideas. Now you have multi-page build manuals, bagged component groups and a over-reliance on the construction being a process that must be followed exactly to achieve a pre-determined goal, rather than it being general principles of construction that allow the child to make what he (or she) has in their head.

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Tech hacks should admit taking corporate coin, but don't start a witch hunt

The Dark Lord
Holmes

Getting to the point

Takes a long time for this piece to make the key point:

> Source aggregation and - where possible - hands-on testing is still vital for all of us who work in IT.

"Source aggregation" (not just reading things in one place and believing/disbelieving them) is the core of intelligent reading. No one journalist, not even one outlet (sorry El Reg) can be exclusively trusted.

Too few people do their own diligence these days. Far easier to allow themselves to have their minds made up for them.

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Facebook set to file motion: Will blame NASDAQ for IPOcalpyse

The Dark Lord
FAIL

Good money after bad

That's right muppets. You made a bad investment decision, and lost a trunkful of money. But instead of learning and moving on you're now going to spend MORE money on lawyers trying to get back that which you wouldn't have lost had you understood WTF you were doing in the first place...

Losing money hurts, but really, that pain should be a lesson to the loser, not reflected onto whoever's last in the firing line. Anyone who knew anything could see Facebook was a massive lose-lose risk.

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BOFH: Siri, why do users lie?

The Dark Lord

Top stuff

Happily bimbling along enjoying another BOFH, but then Simon goes and makes it all awesome right at the very end. Well done sir(i)!

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Google Drive Issues on Mac

The Dark Lord
Megaphone

Lucky escape

Frankly, if a piece of software designed to steal all my content didn't work properly, I'd consider that a lucky escape!

Why anyone's capitulating to this IP landgrab I really can't understand.

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Christmas headaches? We prescribe a year long course of BOFH

The Dark Lord

Short years at El Reg

First 2011 issue 11th Feb, last issue 18th Nov. I make that 10 months' of BOFH.

Christmas is my busiest time of the year while the clients panic to set everything up for the New Year. Is BOFH on holiday for two months?

Easy life...

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Ebooks must stay fat with VAT, blame the EU, MPs told

The Dark Lord
Unhappy

Nice green thinking by the Eurocrats there...

It's this sort of blithering idiocy that engenders Euroscepticism. A lovely anti-envrionmentalist policy for all.

I'm all in favour of charging a value-add tax on the reader, but on the content? It just betrays a complete failure to understand on the part of the politicians involved.

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Apple plugs iTunes Ghost Click hole

The Dark Lord
FAIL

iTunes update

10.5.1 also doesn't fix random UI pauses on high-spec Windows 7 machines.

But, unforgivably, it required a reboot! What is this, 1997? Christ Apple, get a freaking grip on your packagers!

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Too rude for the road: DVLA hot list of banned numberplates

The Dark Lord

Nannying

Up here in Edinburgh, the entire class "SN07" was not issued because someone in the DVLA thought "snot" was offensive.

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Apple recalls first iPod Nanos over battery flaw

The Dark Lord
Thumb Down

Customer service? Apple: Ha ha ha

"Six weeks later, you'll receive your replacement."

They want you to send your player off to them, and then SIX WEEKS LATER they'll send you an unbroken one? What are you supposed to do for those six weeks? Hum?

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Supersleuthing BOFHs could help crack cybercrimes

The Dark Lord

Well, duh

Does this wonk also recommend the use of warm water when trying to boil an egg?

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Which actor should play Steve in upcoming biopic?

The Dark Lord
Trollface

In Pixar's back catalogue...

... you see that they have already committed Steve Job's bio to silicon celluloid.

He is, of course...

SYNDROME!

Rejected in the youth of his career by his closest ally, then comes back all natty-dressed and laden with shiny gadgets. And quite evil & shouty with it.

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Disney's animated back-catalog gets re-released in 3D

The Dark Lord
Stop

Well I for one

... refuse to be gouged by this transparent money-grabbing tactic.

Honestly, Disney is a terrible company that exists only to fleece parents by continually releasing drugs for avaricious children (which is, let's face it, pretty much all of them).

And retro-fitting 3D to movies is just an appalling concept. I'm sure George Lucas is working on a 3D re-re-re-re-re-re-release of Star Wars.

I'd be fine with buying 2D Blu Ray remasters of some of the movies, but going to see it in 3D in the cinema? Forget it.

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Vodafone dishes out free unlimited data

The Dark Lord
Flame

Easy offer to make

"Unlimited" they say? Limited only by their utterly despicable data network, surely.

I think you'd struggle to hit your download cap even if you spent all month at it. Shocking service.

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IT boss jailed for plundering Scottish library

The Dark Lord

Not all of the story

And what became of the people who didn't check this man's work? An organisational structure that puts the keys to the cash register in a man's pocket and then turns away is at least as much to blame as the man who fails to withstand the temptation.

Meanwhile, doubtless, some clerk is having their £10 bill for office supplies mercilessly scrutinised.

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dabs.com says sorry for delivery debacle

The Dark Lord

I dropped them years ago

I dropped them years ago after they changed their transaction system. They did something that caused my bank to block my card every time I bought something from Dabs. The bank didn't really want to discuss the exact mechanics with me.

I tried to provide feedback to Dabs because I thought they might value it. They weren't interested. So now I use other suppliers.

It's a shame, because when they started out, they were excellent

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How to... change sleep-screen pics on your Kindle

The Dark Lord

Seems like a lot of effort...

... for precisely zero result. So _you_ can specify the image you look at for 3/10ths of a second while you're sliding the power switch? Is that really worth "jailbreaking" the device at the potential expense of warranty?

That being said, I too am confused as to why it doesn't sleep to the cover of the (last) active book.

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Huge fat pipe squirts mighty streams

The Dark Lord
Thumb Up

Nice to see...

... that on a day where I myself am having difficulty stringing sentences together, Lewis has no trouble with the mot juste.

"Smut hose". Funniest thing I've read in a long while.

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Star Wars: From dream sci-fi bride to perfect Blu-ray wife

The Dark Lord

I've already bought the first three twice

... and that's enough, thanks.

The more I watch them, the more I come round to Alec Guinness's way of thinking.

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Leicester unloses key data

The Dark Lord
WTF?

Please help calibrate my BS meter

"we ran a series of tests on it which indicated that the data on it has not been accessed during the period the device was missing."

Is this actually possible? It sounds like the just the kind of BS an organisation comes out with to provide some reassurance to an unquestioning idiocracy.

Of course, I could be being unfair...

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Microsoft cofounder Allen unloads on Gates

The Dark Lord
Troll

Lowest life form?

Err, once you've discounted all the genocidal maniacs running around the entire globe, all the despots and bandits in Africa, the drug barons in South America, and the rapists, murderers and paedophiles, I assume?

"Microsucks". Ha ha ha.

For heaven's sake, actually think about what you're writing before vomiting your patheic bile over all our screens. Troll.

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Channel VAT loophole shrunk, not shut

The Dark Lord

Tax exemptions

This is yet another example of how the panopoly of tax exemptions creates more harm than good. A simplified tax system will allow people to operate their businesses in a stable manner without worrying about protectionism being induced by special interest groups.

The High Street Music Stores only have themselves to blame. They have singularly failed to capitalise on their market advantage. Where Amazon et al can maintain massive inventories in warehouses, but the consumer still takes a risk on a purchase, the HSMSs could have pursued "try before you buy" models that would allow consumer certainty. However, by piling the latest chart trash into rack upon rack, they have neglected the opportunity of bricks-and-mortar to provide value-add to clients. They've taken on the distribution warehouses at their own game and have - by & large - lost.

If you look at successful retailers competing against the internet you see time and time again that customer service wins, especially if it is coupled with risk mitigation. Allowing a customer first hand experience of a product adds value to them, for which they will pay. Sure, for many customers, price remains the only consideration, but that is because they have not appraised or have devalued the risk element of an untried purchase.

While their businesses are under threat from internet retailers, you do see that camera and hifi shops are able to build sustainable businesses charging 20% more than the internet for the same thing.

At a lower price level, clothes retailers offer similar value to customers.

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