Category Archives: Networks

Boomer reflections on the Hippie Era? Count me out.

I wish the authors of these Boomer disavowals would just replace his “There were” and ‘they’s with an honest ‘I’.

[T]here were gentle people, awash in new ideas, fresh attitudes, boundless energy and free love. There were also grimy, seedy, drug-addled loners and drifters who used the spirit of the Summer of Love as an excuse to avoid responsibility. There were all kinds, who gathered at the epicenter that was San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district. That’s what happens when tumult envelops a nation with a population at the time of about 200 million…

That’s what what?

But the Summer of Love was about a mindset, which lingers today in both the idealistic twentysomethings of 1967 who are now wistful sixtysomethings, and in the heirs to that revolution of thinking and behavior. The Summer of Love continues, fresh flowers and all.

Methinks thou doth project too much.

We see the Boomers without your personal emotional investment in that moment and that revolution. The new platforms for community and networking popular among our generation are a backlash or counterpoint to 1960s youth movements, leveraging your successes, trying not to perpetuate your failures. We are not a mirror, or a monolith, and we are not your heirs.

For a more thorough perspective on our generation worldviews, see the Pew survey on young voters which points to several fault lines and details a real libertarian streak among younger Americans.

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How to rationalize not buying an iPhone

I love myPod but if this is what it takes, I’ll wait to upgrade, thank you very much.

Scholars and Rogues offers more useful rationalizations. For frustrated consumers:

[W]hen you sign up for an iPhone, you’re not just getting a phone from Apple–you’re locking yourself into a two-year exclusive contract with AT&T, the sole carrier of the iPhone at present. The phone carries a hefty price tag, and you’ll incur an equally nasty $175 termination fee if you decide to break your contract early. Most people I know don’t have the scratch to pay as much as $675 for testing a phone, so you’re pretty much stuck with it.

And for activists:

And that means for the next two years or so, your bills are going to support a company that is turning over your calling records to the government without your knowledge or consent. AT&T also provided extensive assistance to the NSA in developing and facilitating its massive illegal wiretapping initiative, which violates everything from FISA to the Constitution.

Not to mention, it might not work:

You finally get your iPhone (after maybe waiting HOURS) and what happens during activation? Error city! Many people are reporting various errors… the one I have seen a couple of times is the following:

We’re sorry, AT&T has determined that your current account cannot be used with the iPhone.

Other people are seeing this error:

Your activation requires additional time to complete.

Somewhere, PC Guy is smiling smugly. His army rejoices:

Now granted I am sure Apple tech support is extremely busy however it would seem this is just a minor (little sarcasm there) oversight on Apples part…

If you have Windows Vista 64bit edition (possibly Winsows XP 64bit) [sic] and would like to use your iPhone in combination with iTunes, forget it! At least for the time being. I could reinstall Windows XP or Vista 32 bit I guess, but then again I shouldn’t have too!

Still, I’ve got a feeling this will be the eventual C.W.

The other American cellular companies are in big trouble.

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Apple (II) Records

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Reuters reports that Apple is now the U.S.’s third largest music retailer, with 10% market share (behind only Wal-Mart and Best Buy).

NPD said the iTunes digital music store had benefited from sales of Apple’s iPod digital music player during the holiday season. The vast majority of digital songs and albums bought on iTunes will only play on iPods, as well as the iTunes PC application.

Yes, the iPod drives Apples retail music market, but iTunes downloads offer significant advantages over retail shopping :

Selection

Though Wal-Mart is the top U.S. music retailer, it carries a relatively narrow selection of CDs. Some analysts believe its rivals are likely to consider a similar strategy.

Why should these companies stock up on inventory on artists whose popularity they can’t predict? iTunes requires only that the artist offer their music. No physical inventory, fewer middleman, and less reliance upon retail gatekeepers.

Every Song is a Single

Selling songs individually as if each were a single: Are you likelier to download a single song from an unknown artist than get the entire album.?There is a always surplus of material to listen to. I’d rather start with a smaller chunk and make a smaller investment.

Popular artists with new releases will still have multiple songs that chart, but the burden of that falls on the artist to actually scrape together a few good songs every few years. Unless your are an entrenched industry star with a vested interest, how can this be bad?

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State of the Arts

Music and Game Design

Synthopia: Brian Eno and Will Wright on Generative Systems in Music and Game Design

Sims
designer Wright (r.) enlists Eno to collaborate on his new game Spore. Here, Wright and Eno discuss their creative processes.

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Contemporary Art

The New Criterion: Why the Art World is a Disaster
Sight and Sound: Art on the Cutting Edge?

Roger Kimball bemoans the decoupling of artistry and craft in the contemporary art scene. Brigitte Werneburg asks what contemporariness means in the art world today.

contemporary art cartoons, contemporary art cartoon, contemporary art picture, contemporary art pictures, contemporary art image, contemporary art images, contemporary art illustration, contemporary art illustrations

Global Hip Hop

Arena: Aboriginal Hip Hop
New Music Strategies: Case Study: Indonesian Hip Hop

American hip hop reaches some of the globe’s least likely corners.

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Between a Rock and a Hard Place

The Idolator: Alt-Rock Radio is in Sort of an Icky Place Right Now
Commercial rock radio stations struggle to set tastes in the new media era.

NYT: The Boys in the Band are in AARP
How the garage band replaced the trophy wife and the sports car as the ultimate midlife crisis.

band

The Daily Record (UK): Kids Don’t Need Music
Meanwhile, the kids just don’t dig it anymore, Noel Gallagher bitches (for a change).

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Bankrupting internet radio

Rotting George

Administrative costs” might be the worst rationale the RIAA has to seek $1B in reimbursements from major Internet radio providers like Pandora. Are administrative costs the legal fees incurred while chasing down (away) music consumers?

The Internet is a revolutionary distribution tool because of its low distribution costs. Beyond the bandwidth, what administrative costs factor into internet broadcasting?

Legitimate property rights are at stake in this debate, but there this move reeks of a mugging.

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