Free music in the 21st century?

Currently, every 10 year old kid with a computer and iPod is downloading and sharing unlicensed (i.e., illegal) music.

Because it is so easy to download and share music, the music industry is understandably concerned about lost revenue, and everybody with a single illegally obtained MP3 (i.e.,: most of us) is technically a criminal. This is clearly a loose-loose situation.

So, how can we turn it into a win-win situation. The only way that I can see involves two key points:

  1. the music industry make the revenue they require
  2. people can download as much music as they want – at no (or very little) cost

Here are two suggestions.

Free Music
How about getting the music industry to partner with some of the large social networking sites such as FaceBook or MySpace? Make the MP3’s available at no cost on these sites, but share the advertising revenue that is generated between the music and the websites.

The free MP3’s will drive huge traffic to the sites, and they will allow for highly-profiled advertising to be served to the users (aside from existing profile info they already have).

So, the users are happy- they are getting free music, the music industry is happy – they are getting (advertising) revenue due to the online music, and on top of it the websites are getting revenue due to the additional traffic.

Really Cheap Music
The second suggestion is to pay a monthly subscription for your music. So for example, you pay $29.99 per month, which gives you access to whatever music you wish to listen to. So, you are not actually paying for the music, you are paying for the right to listen to it.

This is similar to a mobile phone contract, in which you are paying for the right to make a telephone call, regardless of if you make any calls or not. You could possibly extend this analogy and say that you pay 10c for each song you listen to – equivalent to paying for each phone call that you actually make.

Whatever option happens, I am convinced that the “goto a retail store and buy a CD” model is on the way out.

The Global Advertising spend was worth $358 billion in 2004.
The global music industry spend was $12,4 billion in 2005.

34 things to do when stuck in bed

I have been stuck in bed for over two weeks now, and while Lois and everybody is being really wonderful, I am board!

So, here are 34 things to keep you busy when stuck in bed!

  1. Catchup on your reading
  2. Surf the net
  3. Catchup on your newsfeeds
  4. Phone all your friends
  5. Cleanup your mailbox
  6. Download and play with virtual lego
  7. Arrange your MP3 collection and create new playlists
  8. Try to understand what the globs on your MRI scan actually mean
  9. Create lists of things to do when stuck in bed
  10. Check your e-mail about 100x per day in case anything interesting has happened since the last time you checked
  11. Change the colour scheme on your computer
  12. Figure out if downloading the 3gig installation for the trial version of Warcraft is really worth it
  13. Read more books
  14. Play online tetris
  15. Google everybody you know
  16. Play on Facebook
  17. Play on LinkedIn
  18. Create Christmas Shopping Lists
  19. Research every medical procedure known to man – just in case
  20. Write aimless blog posts
  21. Update the layout of your website
  22. E-mail all your friends
  23. Stare out of the window
  24. Google your doctor
  25. Shout at the cat for "bathing" on the bed
  26. Read even more books
  27. Wonder which book to read next because by now you have read all the good ones
  28. Cleanp your desktop (on your pc)
  29. Sleep
  30. Play every game that came free with your computer, and realise why they are free
  31. Defrag your harddrive
  32. Read even more books…
  33. Google your pets
  34. Order warcraft online because the download is too big

What have I missed, I am sure I will be adding to this list shortly…?

Watch out for the next installment of this exciting drama – alternative treatments recommended to me (by non-experts) for a slipped disc!

No unauthorized weddings on the Tower!

I was cleaning up my study, and I found the old ticket stubs from our trip up the Eiffel Tower in Vegas. Ok, so this wasn’t the real tower in France, it was only a 1/2 scale model, but it was still 540 feet (164m) tall, and it was pretty impressive.

Walking through the Paris hotel is really like walking through the streets of Paris – complete with sidewalk cafe’s, accordion music & cobbled streets. I really felt like I was back in Paris.

However, what really amused me was the warning on the ticket  – “no unauthorized weddings”.  Where else would you find that warning? I suppose that if you are going to do a Vegas wedding, the top of the Eiffel Tower is as good a place as any  – good thing Lois and I are already married!

I still think that Vegas is a great place to get married – you can have a drive trough wedding, the reception at the MacDonalds drive through, and even see a show afterwards!

Don’t forget – no unauthorized weddings!

Arizona temperatures & self-checkouts

Cds 2007 08 19 17 54 48 Canon Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XT
Sadly, our time in Vegas came to an end, and our time came to leave for Phoenix. This was after a great last evening when I finally figured out the Rolette machines, and won a total of about $40 on the $5 tables – not bad for a beginner.

So it was a 4:30am start to get to the airport by 6 in time for our 8am flight – which incedently was only 45 minutes long.

We are at our hotel in Phoenix – the JW Marriott Desert Resort and Spa, prepering for the Toastmasters Annual Convention. Arizona is exactly like in the old cowboy movies – with barren landscape and the cactus plants holding their hands in the air like on cheap tequila bottles. I beleive that the bigger cactui can hold 5 tons of water – enough for 5 years of drought. The land also reminded me of the Pielandsberg mountains – except with the cactui.

Today I bought a couple of items in the supermarket, and I did something that I have never done before – I used the self-checkout. With nobody supervising, I scanned the items, paid into a machine, collected the change and left! Just like that. Imagine that in SA.

I thought that Vegas was hot, but I had no idea! The temperature yesterday was a min of 28, and a max of about 42 deg C – so hot that the shops give you free water when you leave. Unbeleivably hot, so we will be spending much time indoors.

Off to bed now, will update you soon.


PS – Karen I hope you luggage arrives soon!

France, New York and Shopping

Cds 2007 08 08 17 59 36 Canon Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XT

Today we went up the Eiffel Tower in the Paris Hotel. The tower is a 1/4 side scale model, but almost as impressive as the real thing. You get a great view of the strip from the top – it is about 20 stories or so high.

The Paris Hotel is really impressive – filled with little sidewalk cafe’s and Parisian architecture and landmarks and architecture.

We had a drama in the lift when a woman collapsed, but the hotel handled it quickly and I did not have to practise my first aid skills, but it was still a scary experience. My first thought was ‘what about liability?’. If I get involved – not how can I help her? It was quite a panicky situation, but it all ended well.

We went to the M&M shop, which is three floors of M&M (smarties) merchandise, everything from shirts & caps to cushions, games (they had a M&M monopoly set), and an entire floor of just M&M’s. This is where we bought most of our gifts.The shop is a scary combination – kids and candy!

We had a Mexican supper at the Treasure Island Hotel – great restaurant – first restaurant to serve reasonable sized meals. Most places serve HUGE portions, but here they were perfect. They served a free plate of home made plain nachos with three dipping sauces for free (note: many restaurants in Nevada and Arizona seem to do this). They were home made and very yummy. We asked for an extra hot chilli sauce, and we found one that was scary – but we made a good dent in it none the less!

BTW: at most fast food joints you can buy 4oz cokes, which is over 1 litre, and people do.

Finally, just got back from New York New York hotel, listening to live rock (ok no surprises there) – heard a great band. It was them or the country band, so on arguments there. We have now heard two country bands which both do both kinds of music – country and western! The hotel is an authentic representation of the New York skyline – complete with Status of Liberty and Empire State Building. All in all we got to hear about 7 bands on our trip.

All of the hotels are next to each other – but the distances are deceptively far, so I have sore legs, and Lois has sore feet!

Bye for now!

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