News From the Starred Folder

January 31, 2007

screenhunter_009.jpgLike everyone I often mark news items and blog post that I want to follow-up on but unless I do it within 12 hours its unlikely I’ll ever get to it. Since the exception proves the rule, I offer two exceptions.

The first is a report put out by our Cannuck friends at Solutions Research tantalizingly entitled Movie File-Sharing Booming. The report is based on phone and online surveys of some 2600 Americans and offers some interesting findings. For example they estimate that some 20 million Americans are regular downloaders of full-length movies, more then 80% of which is from P2P services. There is lots of interesting tidbits in the report but the essence is that people are both interested in and willing to watch full-length movies online. Like the music industry before them most cablers and studios have deluded themselves into thinking that people are not willing to watch full-length movies online. According to this report thats a self-serving delusion that will be increasingly hard for content producers to maintain.

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From WordPress.com to WordPress.org another Odyssey

January 31, 2007

Last week I was inspired by the progress of my ultra-secret project to register a domain name for the project. Thats right my ultra-secret mission now has an ultra-secret domain name to go along with it. Anyway while I was getting things set-up I decided to register a vanity domain and upgrade my blog to what I thought was a more robust, full-featured version of WordPress.

Needless it to say it has been an educational and humbling experience. I’ve been using wordpress for almost a year and I was growing tired of all the hand-holding and restrictions. I wanted to play with some of the plug-ins and widgets Guy Kawasaki is always touting and maybe add some to my blog. Heck, I’ve had an Adsense account for more then a year but I havent collected any of the millions Google is doling out to Dalit bloggers like myself. So, I registered siddiqbello.com, installed the WordPress 2.1 on the server, imported everything from the old blog and flipped the ON switch.

Your reading this on the old blog… Nuff said.

See, what people leave out when they talk of beauty of having ones own installation of wordpress, running on ones own domain, is that with all that freedom comes very little else. I’ve spent the better part of this week trying configure the themes, plug-ins and widgets that make this site run on my new server, while simultaneously trying to understand and configure a bunch of new themes, plug-ins and widgets. Its no easy task.

Check my progress (or lack thereof) here and feel free to let me know what you think. When I have it in a usable form I’ll switch over, but until then its free wordpress all the way.


Linden Labs Does Right By Parody Second Life Site

January 22, 2007

I’ve played with Second Life on and off for a little over a year and have been as underwhelmed by the experience as I’ve been overwhelmed with the passion of its users. Some folks “grok” Second Life and some folks dont. I’m definitely one of the donts. To me SL is just D&D 2.0 with a larger percentage of girl geeks. Enter, GetaFirstLife.com, a great send-up of SL by Darren Barefoot, a canuck techie and Shakespeare fan.

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Surprise, iPhone is a Business not a Charity

January 19, 2007

https://i1.wp.com/images.techtree.com/ttimages/story/78379_bigiphoneinhand.jpgI didnt want to comment on Apple’s Blessed iPhone until I either personally had one in hand to play with or had more information then warmed over press release and pundit blathering to chew on. So why am I know posting about an heavily hyped, pre-launch, consumer product thats 5 months away from hitting stores?

Because iSuppli’s tear-down analysis has exploded all over the web, like the bits of your $600 phone will when it first drops to the pavement as you get out of a cab. The report suggest that for the 4GB model, which will cost around $499, you’ll be getting about $245 worth of software and electronics, the remained is in the hardcore geek-porn factor of the device itself. For the 8GB model you’ll get about the amount worth of software, electronics and “geek porn” factor but you’ll just have to pay more for it.

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Frankly Awesome

January 18, 2007

screenhunter_017.jpgI’m a big fan of Ze Frank. From the unblinking monologues to the zanny assignments, The Show is one of the best Vlogs (video blog), that doesnt include a beautiful 20something named Zadi (Mmm, Zadi!). Anyway, you have to check out this video, it’s one of the funniest and most creative skits from Ze this year. Watch for the invisible adult Street Chickens towards the end of the show and dont let the Park Slope scenery get you all home sick.


No Fun for Gary Fung as ISOhunt Goes Down

January 18, 2007

logo.gifISOHunt, one of the top BitTorrent search engines was taken off-line by its ISP  two days ago. Although there has been no word that the taken down was directly related to the lawsuit by Gary Fung and crew against the MPAA, its probably a safe assumption. The game of whack-a-mole continues and the moles keep getting faster, Gary says the team will have the site back up by Friday.


IFPI: Digital Musics Gonna be Big

January 17, 2007

screenhunter_014.jpgThe good folks at the IFPI released a report (pdf) today which pegged the size of the digital music industry at $2 billion. This is double the size it was in 2005 and while thats great news, but still doesnt cover the homaging in the rest of the industry. Music sales are expected to continue its on going decline by another 3% drop in global music sales this year. Besides the news that “digital is big and growing”, the most interesting bit of info in the report was the split between online and mobile, which music was generally evenly split 50/50 online/mobile. Who knew? The only other bit of the report worth reading was the quotes from various music industry executives.


How The Pirate Bay could save AllofMP3 and go Legit

January 16, 2007

The image “https://i2.wp.com/static.thepiratebay.org/doodles/sealand.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.The swash-buckling lads at the The Pirate Bay have started taking donations to buy a bankrupt, burnt-out, rusting hull in the North Sea off the coast of Britain called Sealand. The sheer audaciousness of the move is matched only by the opportunities it presents for the development and proliferation of new models in the sale and distribution of digital media, unfettered by the protectionist inclinations of dying industries. If the good folks at the Pirate Bay expand their plan and get the cash rich but time poor AllofMP3 involved it could usher in a new era of big media hand-wringing and headline worthy law suits.

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Porn Industry Bigger Then Music Industry (Supprised?)

January 8, 2007

What would you rather do, pay a few bucks to watch a hot independent sex worker play with her naughty parts? Or would you rather pay $15 but to hear a manufactured sex worker sing about playing with hers? Well, according to a two reports that came out last week, many Americans frequently indulge in the former and are increasingly foregoing the later.

Yes that’s right folks the porn industry, at just under $13 billion, is officially bigger then the music industry which according to the RIAA’s most optimistic estimates is probably closer to a mere $11 billion dollars. Variety delivered the bad news to the music industry and AVN gave the good tidings to the folks in adult entertainment last week.

Adult entertainment is an industry faced with rampant copyright infringement, innovative competition in every area of its business, tremendous public pressure and fierce governmental oversight. Despite all this, porn continues to embraced the Internet, experiement with new products, focus on serving paying customers (while outpacing the rippers), and so they have thrived… Perhaps there is an obvious lesson in this that the music industry can hire a bunch of really smart consultants to analyze into obscurity.


Album Sales Down, Digital Saves The Day

January 4, 2007

Variety has an interesting story about album sales dropping for the 7th year in a row. Interesting highlights from the story include the fact that “High School Musical” was last years top selling album and even worse it only sold 3.7 million units (both CD and digital). The full SoundScan report will be out later today with everyone from Billboard to USA Today weighing in.