Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Wednesday, June 06, 2021

In alphabetical order, Anaheim comes first among National Hockey League cities.

Now, it comes first for more a substantial reason: Tonight’s 6-2 win over Ottawa clinched the Ducks their first-ever Stanley Cup championship.

Congrats to Brian Burke and crew for delivering on expectations that were set in the preseason. The Ducks were built to go the distance, and they went the whole way. (By the way: Thanks to Burke’s prominence as the face of the Anaheim brass, has there ever been a more invisible Stanley Cup-winning head coach than Randy Carlyle?)

I’m sure this sticks in the craw of the Canadian media markets, who detest the idea of yet another Sunbelt city hoisting the Cup. They can go suck it. Besides, they’ll get a follow-up wallop in the next couple of months when the Predators sale to Jim Balsillie falls apart, thus evaporating the pipedream of another NHL squad in Ontario.

But for tonight, Orange County, California is party central. Wish I could join them!

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 06/06/2021 11:26:27 PM
Category: Hockey | Permalink | Feedback

The discovery of user name and email information being embedded into the new iTunes Plus DRM-free music tracks normally would bring knee-jerk howls of protests from “information wants to be free” boosters.

But while concerns have been raised, Apple’s a long way from being universally vilified. Partly it’s because there’s some speculation that the measure was unintentional (an overlooked remnant from DRM-enabled file preparation, although I doubt this). Partly it’s because lifting the DRM restriction is such a boon that it more than makes up for this apparent counterweight.

Mostly, though, it’s because any strenuous argument against the embedded tag info puts electronic rights proponents on awkward ground:

“I think it’s more of a way of retaining a proof of purchase,” [JupiterResearch analyst Michael Gartenberg] said, adding how the identifying tags on copy-protected tracks likely facilitated Apple’s ability to approve user upgrades to previous song purchases.

“‘DRM-free’ means I’m not restricted from putting the songs on other devices anymore, but it doesn’t give users a license for piracy,” he said.

Ultimately, whether it’s intentional or just an inadvertent deterrent for the illegal sharing of digital tunes, Gartenberg predicts other major online music retailers will similarly embed user tags once they, too, start to introduce DRM-free songs.

“I think everyone is going to have to do this as some way for tracking purchases,” he said.

[Blogger/author Erica] Sadun agreed.

“It’s a brilliant compromise,” she said, “between the forces of the music industry which have been too heavy handed and the forces of consumers who perhaps have pulled too far toward information freedom.”

You can certainly argue against the tagging on privacy principle alone. But the neat trick: That privacy isn’t compromised if the intended use of the music files holds, i.e. for use and portability among personally-owned platforms and devices. It’s only compromised if, yes, you put it on a P2P network, where it’s disseminated to the unknown masses. The risk enters the picture only through unauthorized use.

Sure, you can go through the re-burn steps to erased the data, and a number of in-the-know power users will do it. But as with any hack, it’s irrelevant for the real preventative target: Mass audiences who don’t know/don’t care about the under-the-hood issues (and thus might be easier targets for any RIAA tracking, anyway).

All in all, a deft way to balance the rights-management issue. Still doesn’t mean I’ll be ponying up an extra 30 cents for an iTunes purchase.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 06/06/2021 10:54:14 PM
Category: Tech | Permalink | Feedback (2)

There’s way too much focus on the supposedly inflated pricing, but this little trade-rag opinion piece on how the comic book industry marginalized itself is thought-provoking:

On the surface, giving the best customers what they want makes sense. However, convoluted stories that required encyclopedic knowledge of series and higher prices pushed casual fans out of the clubhouse. Comic books had made their best customers the only ones.

The lesson of the comic book industry can also be illustrated in a March 2006 article from www.searchcrm.com. A pipe distributor used activity monitoring software to determine that the customer that generated the most revenue was not the most profitable, thanks to all the extra work that went into pleasing it. Repeated site visits and last-minute orders were just two of the ways this customer was costing the company money. Just like in the comic book example, what was best for the minority of devoted customers was not best for the company.

And, since as I write this I’m watching the Anaheim Ducks wrap up their first-ever Stanley Cup, I can’t help but note how interchangeable the word “hockey” is with “comic book” in this example (contrary to popular belief).

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 06/06/2021 09:28:29 PM
Category: Publishing, Hockey, Business | Permalink | Feedback (2)