* Posts by Big Catastrophe

4 posts • joined 15 Apr 2010

Fukushima on Thursday: Prospects starting to look good

Big Catastrophe
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Taking the middle ground

In trying to find the truth frmo any news nowadays, it requires effort. Generally this tends to be reading articles from 4 or 5 different sources and piecing together the truth from the opinion.

Many news articles only give the part of the truth that makes their stance on the story work, which means the final article often presents a distorted version of the full and true story.

It seems to me that this is also the case here: Most of the worlds media want to publsh their own version of a horror story in order to sell more and gain the attention of the public. Unfortunately, this gives very little opportunity for the casual reader, or even the more widely read, to piece together what is really going on.

What we have needed in this case, and what I believe this writer has given us, is a series of articles heavily slanted to the other side from the general media articles. By reading all together, I think we can finally begin to see what the true picture is.

I therefore believe that articles such as the three currently written by this author, are essential, as they present far more clear and researched facts overlaid with opinion than most others. Certainly they are biased towards the benefiots of nuclear, however unlike most other articles, the author is clear about this and is not hiding his views. This makes it far easier to disect fact from opinion.

I'm sure the author has missed some important facts and has probably presented some others in a manner which supports his opinion, however unlike most of the worlds media, at least he is making a good attempt not to sensationalise the story and is trying to get us all to think rationally about this.

I for one hate the disaster-centric reporting that we are generally subjected to and find this author's articles refreshing. I don't believe all that is written here, but am thankful for the way in which the information is presented that allows me to make my own decision about what I believe the true position is.

As with all news stories/articles, they may over time be proven to be incorrect/incomplete or perhaps even an accurate depiction of what actually happended. It's clear to me however, that the better researched, better referenced and sourced the information is, the higher the chance the article has of being proven accurate. This series of articles in my opinion has the highest incidence of referenced and sourced information of any I have read to date on this story.

Bravo.

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Prisoner of iTunes - the iPad file transfer horror

Big Catastrophe
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Great article

Loved the article John. A well considered piece. Rather than bashing the product or over praising it, you consider possible uses and flaws and examine where issues may lie and possibilities for solving them.

I wish more articles did this.

I'm considering an iPad and this is the sort of article that helps me make an informed purchasing decision. It sounds like you were unsure about the product but have ended up liking it, just hoping that Apple will learn quickly from feedback and address a few small but key issues that will aid more general adoption.

In my mind, to make it a better proposition, I agree that the iTunes aspect needs to be addressed. I's like the iPad to be completely independent from needing to be connected to other equipment, but with the option to link for certain functions such as file transfer (documents/media etc). The rest, I want to be able to do all from the pad itself.

I think Apple are close to having a great product, but as you note, I wonder if they concentrated on one area and missed a bit in doing so. I hope they've either already identified this, or will read your article and take your comments on board.

Keep up the good work.

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£15 a month for legal P2P?

Big Catastrophe

I don't like a fixed cost system

Everytime I hear about a fixed cost system, I think: Who does this benefit most? I think that this suits the record industry far more than it does the artist.

Think about this for a minute...The record companies must continue to exist to determine what cut each artist gets of the music/videos downloaded in a fixed cost system.

If however we promoted better value tracks (not the existing 99p per track which is exhorbitant), free of DRM, in a range of formats to suit users needs, then the profit could go directly to the artists.

In this modern world the only use fopr a record company is to promote an artist and help get them gigs. This could be done on a percentage of take rather than by tying them to the current format of contracts.

I buy very little music or DVD's at the moment purely on cost grounds. What I do buy, are DVD's once they're in the £3 price range rather than the initial £17 'newly released' cost and as for music, I buy this when I find an appropriate offer - never iTunes, sometimes Amazon but more often online shops seeling discounted CD's.

How it can be than I can purchase a CD, have the physical thing mailed to me and get higher quality music at a massively reduced cost than buying it on iTunes is beyond me - example 12 track album recently purchased online for £2.79 on physical CD compared to iTunes cost of £11.88 - is the world insane?

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US gov cries foul on MPAA piracy claims

Big Catastrophe

Every side shouts from their own standpoint of motivated self interest

I buy CD's/DVD's/Games etc, where I believe they represent good value for my hard earned money and where I have an understanding of the content and of it meeting my tastes.

I use many factors in determining what meets my taste, and one of these is the opinion of friends. Some of those slate some products and I will as a result avoid them, others recommend and I may therefore spend.

In my opinion, most of the above products when first released are rarely worth the price they are marketed at: £12.99 for a CD; £17.99 for a DVD; £45 for a game. So I often wait just 3 months and see prices plummet. If you wait 12 months, the prices plummet further.

The record industry often said since the 1970's things such as: home taping is killing the industry/CD's are expensive to produce/We change a fair price that the market is prepared to pay. All of these are untrue. Home taping has gone and the record industry is still here; CD's earned the industry both more as a % of sale price and more in terms of £ per copy that either records or tapes ever did; the advent of torrents has simply served to more openly demonstrate that the market is not prepared to pay the prices being charged. Only a small percentage of the market is content with the existing price structures.

What we appear to have is a series of industries which managed a long time ago to create a cash cow: Little effort and a lot of profit. I suspect that the majority of creative people by their nature are not structured thinkers in terms of contract negotiations and long term market views. The industries that are supposed to however are. The result is that with an exception of a few creatives, the majority are screwed over and receive a far smaller percentage of sale revenue that in my opinion they should.

I think that like many people, I would love to be able to pay the artist directly in order to receive the product of their creativity. Slowly (far too slowly) this is starting to be possible, however the Music/Film industries are railing against this and unfortunately have the money/power to influence people to support their continued existence.

At present an average artist (music) I believe gets around 11% of the sale value of a CD/song/mp3 or whatever. If they could receive let's may 50% for example, with the seller and a middle man making up the rest, then to get the same earning as they do now, they could in theory reduce the selling price from99p per track to 20p. I'm guessing that if the cost of music changed that dramatically, they'd sell one hell of a lot more and a great number of those currently obtaining music for free would be encouraged to pay for at least some music.

I don't think we can address this overnight, but we must beat down the entrenched and out of date positions of scared industry middle-men in order to both support creatives and ensure the market if offered products which genuinely represent value for money.

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