Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Google Trending and MGMT

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  • horse,

    I'm pretty much on strike with the iTunes Store unless it's iTunes Plus

    Abso-fricken-lutely. And why doesn't the itunes store have a preference to ONLY show Plus content?

    Palmerston North • Since Feb 2007 • 32 posts Report Reply

  • barnaclebarnes,

    I did a comparison to nzherald.co.nz and stuff.co.nz. It would also be interesting put that on a graph along with the comparative Nielsen data and see just how accurate they are for the bigger sites.

    Also the tv3 graph is really interesting - I think in the long run moving news away from the general tv content is a good thing for the user.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 88 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    you can't stop Google reporting it, and *even using your Google Analytics data*

    Isn't that, y'know, evil?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1096 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Withers,

    Music companies and their marketing restrictions have put me right off. I used to buy several albums / week, but I haven't bought an album for over a year.

    I never listen to music radio anymore. Too many ads, moronic DJs and far too much rap and hiphop - or whatever name they have for it now.

    I never watch music videos on TV anymore. Viewing rap-laden soft porn with my teenage daughters and spouse doesn't work for any of us.

    So I'm out of the loop. It's quiet here. I like it. No DRM. No DVD regions. Whatever culture I now consume isn't owned by anyone and I'm buying THEIRS any more. Not that I never will......but I'm sour enough on it right now that it feels like forever.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 280 posts Report Reply

  • James Green,

    I must have been hiding under a rock or something, but I missed the releases of Firefox 3. So I've downloaded, and just been pimping it out, with a new add-ons, including Lazarus by the team behind interclue. I really missed the form saving feature that disappeared sometime from Netscape, so I'm looking forward to having it back.

    Was initially a little freaked out by the new URL/awesome bar. As someone who mostly types web addresses rather than using bookmarks, it was being pretty painful. Turns out that's because it's still building it's frecency (frequency+recency) data. So when I typed 'pu' expecting to get publicaddress.net/system as my first result, I was a little freaked out. However, it seems after a little retraining it will be great. Especially if you you have slightly less intuitive URLs (it took me a while to get the hang of typing 'fl' rather than 'ai' to get grabaseat for example -- because it's flightbookings.airnewzealand)

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 689 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    So I've downloaded, and just been pimping it out, with a new add-ons, including Lazarus by the team behind interclue. I really missed the form saving feature that disappeared sometime from Netscape, so I'm looking forward to having it back.

    I shall tell the guy who built it when he gets home from work, he'll be dead chuffed.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4369 posts Report Reply

  • James Green,

    I shall tell the guy who built it when he gets home from work, he'll be dead chuffed.

    By all means do that. It had almost got to the point where I mostly couldn't be bothered interloaning items, because I couldn't be bothered filling out the form. Possibly the library found this a good thing. I'm sure they'd hate if someone had devised a widget that you could click on that would scrape bibilographic data from the webpage you're viewing and send it on to the library....

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 689 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Thomas,

    I never listen to music radio anymore

    bFM? They're still ok, mostly.

    i've installed Interclue. It's quite cool. Yay for firefox 3 and add-ons.

    I just got into MGMT this weekend as well. I think climate change awareness is giving rise to a new wave of hippie music. http://hypem.com/search/caribou/1/\caribou anyone?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 315 posts Report Reply

  • Rex Widerstrom,

    Russell, this might work for playing WMA files on a Mac: Flip4Mac.

    We use it a lot in our edit suite where we're running Final Cut Pro on multicore G5s and people womble in with stuff they've "helpfully" burned in some Windows-only format or other. It seems to convert just about anything to anything.

    Proviso: I don't drive it so don't know all the ins and outs; plus I'm not sure how it may or may not deal with DRM stuff because I just won't go there for broadcast stuff - too annoyingly complicated when there's libraries of royalty-free music around.

    Perth, Western Australia • Since Nov 2006 • 157 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Russell, this might work for playing WMA files on a Mac: Flip4Mac.

    Yep, I've got the paid version, and it lets me play and export lots of stuff via QuickTime

    But not if there's Windows Media DRM present. And the files are only 128k anyway. Screw that. Gimme proper.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18969 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    Isn't that, y'know, evil?

    Well, if you google "doing evil" the first page that comes up is some Corporate Information.

    Way down the list comes the astonishing news that "You can make money without doing evil.".

    What, you ask, defines "doing evil"? Well, it seems not being evil is:

    you may have never seen an ad on Google. That's because Google does not allow ads to be displayed on our results pages unless they're relevant to the results page on which they're shown. So, only certain searches produce sponsored links above or to the right of the results. Google firmly believes that ads can provide useful information if, and only if, they are relevant to what you wish to find.

    (please apply XOR to get values of evil)

    So, Lyndon, if the ad placement is relevant and not too flashy it's not evil. Something for would be "axis of evil" members to consider in their defence.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1616 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Isn't that, y'know, evil?

    I call bullshit on the idea that corporations come in evil/not evil varieties.

    All of them, be they Halliburton, Microsoft, Google, Apple, Body Shop or Neighbourhood Hippy Organics, Inc. are out to make money for shareholders any way they can. Some of them manage to do this in an ostensibly fluffier fashion, that's all.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4463 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    The "Don't be Evil" slogan was what I was thinking of.

    I recall an article that suggested 'evil' was there effectively defined as what the head of ethics said was evil.

    When they were originally debating the idea of corporations in the US someone (Andrew Jackson?) described them as having "no sould to damn and no ass to kick". This doesn't prevent us applying ethical standard to their actions, surely - it's just a matter of who one holds responsible.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1096 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    All of them, be they Halliburton, Microsoft, Google, Apple, Body Shop or Neighbourhood Hippy Organics, Inc. are out to make money for shareholders any way they can. Some of them manage to do this in an ostensibly fluffier fashion, that's all.

    I disagree. I think Halliburton/KBR is objectively much more evil than Google; its repeated instances of war profiteering and bogus invoicing being representative of that. Monsanto (and I'm not anti-GE) behaves evilly a lot.

    There's an obvious border crossed when a company goes public and thus assumes a duty to its shareholders -- and that was certainly an issue for Google. But Google has an interest in, so far as possible, not being evil. (1) It is good for recruiting -- many of the smartest people Google employs are there because of the cultural fit. They feel it is in line with their beliefs. (2) And more importantly, Google needs us to continue to place trust in it, or its business is damaged, perhaps fatally.

    So, obviously, it's an enlightened-self-interest version of non-evil, but I think it's more than fluff too.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18969 posts Report Reply

  • Jake Pollock,

    I'm sure they'd hate if someone had devised a widget that you could click on that would scrape bibilographic data from the webpage you're viewing and send it on to the library....

    There is Zoterp, which will take all the bibliographical information for you, but I don't think it has a 'send the librarians to work' function yet. Actually, I think it's secretly trying to put the librarians on the dole line.

    Raumati South • Since Nov 2006 • 489 posts Report Reply

  • Jake Pollock,

    Zoter__o__

    Dammit.

    Raumati South • Since Nov 2006 • 489 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    Also re: having a duty to your shareholders - if it's wrong to do, it's wrong to do on someone else's behalf.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1096 posts Report Reply

  • Sethop,

    Russell has a sound understanding of Google's position - they have many staff with strong intuitions about what is evil and what is not, and if they're not already millionaires via stock options then they certainly have the talents to get a new job almost instantly, so if Google want to hang onto those staff they had better *stay* on the non-evil side of the fence. A lot of the code they work with is open source, and their APIs are relatively open as well, so a lot of those staff really have quite portable skillsets. Also, they're under more scrutiny than ever from the pundits and "screechy monkeys" of the social media landscape, so any sign of evil gets magnified into a PR disaster. At this stage, losing the "do no evil" reputation would result in massive destruction of shareholder value, so they're quite protective of it.

    Ta for mentioning Interclue. We're really happy about how things have gone since the Firefox 3 launch. 40,000 new users in 6 days...a few more than we were expecting...not that we're complaining!

    South Island • Since Jan 2007 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    On accessing music: I can't make that first step towards music downloads--legal or illegal. iTunes doesn't seem to have much of interest and I have some sort of moral block on illegal downloading. Is that quaint, or something?

    So, I continue to buy CDs (the new Al Green and Death Cab for Cutie most recently), preferably from independent local outlets (eg SmokeCDs). Then I transfer them to my iPod/dock system and store the CD away, with only occasional outings on my stereo. Is that crazy economics, or what?

    I do feel that someone has to keep these local outlets going, and presumably else must be buying as well as me.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2318 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    On accessing music: I can't make that first step towards music downloads--legal or illegal. iTunes doesn't seem to have much of interest and I have some sort of moral block on illegal downloading. Is that quaint, or something?

    So, I continue to buy CDs (the new Al Green and Death Cab for Cutie most recently), preferably from independent local outlets (eg SmokeCDs). Then I transfer them to my iPod/dock system and store the CD away, with only occasional outings on my stereo. Is that crazy economics, or what?

    I do feel that someone has to keep these local outlets going, and presumably else must be buying as well as me.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2318 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    Cripes, this my 100th post to PAS. Do I get a certificate or a badge or something??

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2318 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    aren't we over DRM yet?

    ..............???

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    I was going to say, why would you say something as uninformed short sighted and stupid as that but then I realised you were probably bored and baiting me, nice try mr brown, I'm not falling for it.

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • Hannah Sarney,

    You're missing out if you settle with a digital version of Fleet Foxes new album, the packaging is beautiful.

    Since Jun 2008 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I was going to say, why would you say something as uninformed short sighted and stupid as that but then I realised you were probably bored and baiting me, nice try mr brown, I'm not falling for it.

    No, not baiting you. Although I'm slightly surprised it's taken this long for you to turn up.

    Look, music DRM is effectively over. It'll revise that view if something huge happens (I'm not sure what would actually change the market to that extent), but it got that way when Sony BMG put its catalogue on Amazon MP3 in January, meaning that all the major labels were now selling their music as 256k MP3 files, without DRM.

    Amazon is teeing up its European launch now, via the UK. It will roll out into other territories after that. Maybe we'll see it next year.

    It's a shame it's not here now, because I love the way Amazon is meshing with communities like Hype Machine, and I've love to be able to use it. I want to buy music after sampling it. It'd be cool to get the innovative pricing Amazon is introducing.

    Also, even as an Apple fanboy, I really don't like the iTunes Store. The interface sucks, you're not getting real community value (especially compared to eMusic), and the fixed pricing system doesn't make sense. And I hate being stuck with 128k files. On the upside, actually buying music is really easy, and I'd use it more often from Hype Machine if it offered a better product.

    So for me, DRM isn't actually the major issue, just a symptom of a political battle I wish was just over already. Apple and the majors (EMI excepted) need to sort this shit out and stop making me, a lifelong customer who wants this to work, the meat in the sandwich. It is not there to prevent piracy: it's there because the majors are at loggerheads with Apple and no one's blinked yet.

    If the majors thought they were gonna die without DRM, would they really have given Amazon five millions tunes to sell without it?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18969 posts Report Reply

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