Apple Rotting?

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VLC is open and free. So that’s why Apple hates it? In the US, most of us have Flash or VLC alternatives that are not open-source installed on our machines. This isn’t true world-wide. The advantages of VLC are magnified in areas where connections are slow or sporadic, where people don’t have money to buy commercial software like Flash, or where they can’t afford huge memory on computers.

Tim Wu on Monopolies and Information Industry

Info-monopolies tend to be good-to-great in the short term and bad-to-terrible in the long term. For a time, firms deliver great conveniences, powerful efficiencies and dazzling innovations. That’s why a young monopoly is often linked to a medium’s golden age. Today, a single search engine has made virtually everyone’s life simpler and easier, just as a single phone network did 100 years ago. Monopolies also generate enormous profits that can be reinvested into expansion, research and even public projects: AT&T wired America and invented the transistor; Google is scanning the world’s libraries.

eBooks And The Ease Of Self-Publishing

Author tells why it was easier, faster, and can have bigger payback going with epublishing
Since professionalism is essential, we hired a cover artist and an ebook formatter. A publisher providing these services takes 52.5% of an ebook’s cover price, and the retailer gets 30% through the agency model. That leaves only 17.5% for the author. By absorbing these sunk costs ourselves, we’re able to earn the full 70% royalties and not have to share them with anyone. Though we’re splitting the profits four ways, we’re each earning only slightly less per copy sold (51 cents each) than we would on one of our own paperback books (64 cents each), and still only charging the reader $2.99.

Danilel X. O’Neil’s Primer on City of Chicago Contracting: Derivative Works (DXO)

Forget the foolish focus on “who” will be the new “Mayor Daley.” This focus on the what that goes on with each action and contract cuts to heart of the City’s problems. The wink and then the no bid contract to the friend, political ally, or somebody’s relative. It is not nickle and dime’ing us, it is dooming us. The last page of the contract (the one with a signature over the line marked “Mayor”) has a stamp on it that says, “Term Agreement/ Depends Upon Requirements” (that’s what “DUR” stands for). “Depends Upon Requirements” seems to be a magic phrase that allows all sorts of important things to get done without having to re-do contracts.

Virtual Goods Worth More than Real News: Curmudgeon 08/27/2010

in 2014 Americans will be spending $1.5 billion on online newspaper subscriptions and $5 billion on imaginary objects. Maybe I find this ridiculous because I’m a reporter and my sympathies lie with the newspaper industry. via MediaPost Publications Virtual Goods Worth More than Real News: Curmudgeon 08/27/2010. So this does sound like “amusing ourselves to death,” “fiddling while Rome burns,” doesn’t it? Folks will spend money in virtual worlds, to buy everything from a hot avatar to a pig for their Farmville, but they can’t or won’t pay for news.