Robert complains bitterly that no bloggers called him about the Podtech story which was doing the rounds.
Interesting post from Scott Karp on local blogging, newspapers, and the development of different “tiers” of journalism.
Here’s a typical Apple grace note: You can tell just by looking at a PDF file’s icon whether it’s longer than one page. The icon for a one-page PDF has a curled upper-right corner. But on a multi-page PDF, only the first page’s corner curls down. And in the gap it reveals, you can see a tiny bit of the *actual* page 2 showing.
At the CTIA show, Facebook and BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion have just announced Facebook for BlackBerry Smartphones.
Setting up Gmail’s new IMAP service (not yet available on my account, dammit) so that it syncs the deleted mail, drafts and trash too.
"The best part of the story is that the BBC’s competitors — namely The
Guardian, in the guise of the British Internet Publishers Alliance
(BIPA) — being upset by this decision. The Guardian also gets a decent
chunk of its online traffic from outside the UK,
so this move will bring them strong new competition. But BIPA claims
it’s not upset over the prospect of lost revenues, but rather that this
move will undermine the BBC’s "worldwide reputation for integrity and
impartiality." How sweet of them to look out for the Beeb like that."
This makes a point that I’ve made before quite succinctly: the BBC is constantly assailed by commercial companies which, having failed to compete by producing enough original quality content, think they can complain to the government that it’s all "not fair".
Of course, a decent, bullish BBC director general, being a leader (as opposed to manager) would be manning the ramparts and pointing this out. Nothing would give me greater pleasure than for a BBC DG to come out and say "Actually, ITV, The Grauniad et al have spent millions trying to get online right, and none of them have got within a light year of the work we do. Will someone please call them a waaaaahmbulance?" Sadly, Mark Thompson isn’t the man to do it.
One of Nate’s other comments, though, is well wide of the mark:
"The Beeb, of course, can’t run ads in the UK, where they already
collect a licence fee on every household with a TV. But despite
collecting I think 3 billion pounds in free money each year, the BBC
still claims it’s got a 2 billion pound shortfall, and they recently cut 2800 jobs. (This seems to be primarily the result of bad planning and silly, wasteful decisions. 18 million pounds last year to have Jonathan Ross lisp bad film reviews on Friday nights? Surely you’re joking.)"
Actually, it’s got a lot more to do with the fact that the government has shafted the BBC over its involvement in the switch over to digital TV. Not only does it have to bare its own costs (including launching flagship digital channels which it otherwise wouldn’t have to create), it also has to spend large amounts ensuring that every over-75 year old person in the UK can get digital TV; finance the body which is doing the marketing for the scheme (Digital UK); and actually build the DTV infrastructure country-wide. It is now even being forced to pay £14 million to cover the switchover costs of Channel 4, one of its main competitors. Channel 4 chief Andy Duncan was, unsurprisingly, "delighted" about this.
The whole lot comes to about £800 million over seven years, and amounts to about a 1% increase on the license fee. The BBC’s recent license fee settlement was for 3% in 2008 – which effectively means that the BBC has been given no increase at all once you account for digital switchover costs and inflation, while being expected to introduce new services like iPlayer, podcasts and so on. In future years, the picture actually looks even more grim, with 2% increases in 2009-11 and something between zero and 2% in 2012, depending on the final costs of digital switchover.
A 2% year-on-year increase in the element which provides the majority of your revenue would be viewed by any large commercial organisation as the kind of figure which is unsustainable if you want to grow the business. If inflation increases, it will wipe out that figure entirely – leaving the BBC with no money to fund pay increases, which in an organisation based on a model of collective yearly incremental increases with no money to fund them.
The BBC is, overall, not a great company to work for if you want money – virtually everyone I’ve known who has worked there has been paid quite a bit less than the commercial rate for their job – and if its pay rises fail to keep in touch with the rest of the industry, it will lose even more of its talent.
And I’m not talking about the Jonathan Ross’s of this world here, but the ordinary employees – the ones who have been producing the quality content which The Guardian and others have been complaining about.
Kiss of death, if you ask me.
File under “hurrah!”
Uncle Walt wants more freedom.
At first site, this new way to view news is even worse for human consumption than River of News. Yet, I think that it might prove to be more useful – as a method of quickly and easily viewing taxonomy-based information.
Good digging by ORG on the arrest of the owners of TV-Links.co.uk. It appears to be a trademark case, rather than copyright – for now.
Some really crappy marketing from Channel 4 and/or Zeppotron, plastering stickers around in a decidedly annoying fashion. It’s not edgy. It just makes you look like idiots.
Apple makes lots of cash, has lots more cash in the bank, and sells lots of Macs. There’s a bit of a “lots” theme going on.
No big surprise – Apple always made it clear that Boot Camp would be a feature of Leopard. What’s worth asking is if the same will be true of Safari 3 – in which case, Windows users will get something that old Mac users will not.
One in six iPhones bought to be unlocked? That’s a huge number, and could impact how much Apple makes over the coming years.
Securosis’ Rich Mogul explains all the new security goodies in Leopard
“While technically speaking Mozilla is a non-profit corporation, its most recent financial results indicate what a big operation it has become and its increasing importance to Google, whose search box comes included with the Firefox browser. For its most recent fiscal year (2006), Mozilla reported revenue of $66.8 million, up more than 25 percent from last year. According to Mozilla, 85 percent of that revenue came from its partnership with Google, who serves ads alongside the search results generated by the Firefox browser.”
At last, the Mozilla folk have managed to do something which Netscape never really managed: a significant revenue stream from browser software alone. If someone had told Netscape that the Mozilla would be hitting that much revenue, I wonder if it would have ever opened up the source code?
(Via Items shared by Robert.)
Michael Gartenberg poses a simple question – “Are OEM’s Hurting Vista?”:
“The notion of the OEM eco system has been integral to the success of the Microsoft’s OS strategies in the past but lately I’m wondering if some OEMs are hurting Microsoft’s efforts rather than helping them. I recently received a system from an OEM for review that was so loaded with junk, including ads in the sidebar that it took nearly four minutes to boot and more than 80% of the hard drive was filled. And I mean filled, including an install on SQL server on a consumer build (I’m sure there was a reason for it but it eludes me to this day), Other OEMs have audacity to CHARGE for not installing junk on their PCs, makes you wonder if Tony Soprano is in charge of marketing (pay us, or we’ll make your PC unusable). Other vendors ship machines underpowered for a particular Vista SKU or have buggy drivers installed. I’m fortunate to use Vista on several machines that have all be designed to work with the OS, have drivers that work and come from vendors who ship proper SKUs for the proper machine and don’t install a lot of junk. When you get that experience, Vista is great and a worthy upgrade to XP but that’s not the experience a lot of folks seem to have.”
This is a massive problem for Microsoft: it no longer has even a semblance of control over the user experience of its products. And no matter how much it attempts to encourage, cajole and even control its putative allies in the OEM business, the less they seem to respond to it.
The obvious contrast is with Apple which controls hardware and software and exerts huge (and occasionally not benevolent) influence over its software and hardware partners. This long-term gambit, one which steered the company into when he killed off the clone programme, is paying off.
“That said, the Apple zealots are really going on and on about that damn phone to the point of nausea. Despite the fact they’ve never tried more than a couple other phones in their lives, and probably never used a smart phone before, many of them are declaring the iPhone the best thing since sliced bread, and will do anything to make it seem that way. The latest news to make the rounds? The iPhone is the ‘fourth most popular phone sold’ in the U.S. right now.
What was the fourth most popular phone before the iPhone arrived? Who the fuck knows, because I sure don’t. And if I don’t know, pretty much no one knows, I’ll tell you that. So if the fourth most popular phone wasn’t news yesterday, why the HELL is it news today? Just because it’s Apple. Woop-de-doo. And seriously, is that even GOOD news? “