The internet was supposed to bring vast choice for customers, access to obscure and forgotten products – and a fortune for sellers who focused on niche markets.
But a study of digital music sales has posed the first big challenge to this “long tail” theory: more than 10 million of the 13 million tracks available on the internet failed to find a single buyer last year.
As far as I can read it, this actually confirms that the long tail works perfectly. After all, the Long Tail works on the hypothesis that if a middleman can profitably keep an immense inventory of anything that might sell can satisfy a significant part of the market. That’s exactly what happened. Also, Tthe long tail will not be proved or disproved based on how many songs sell. It will be proved or disproved based on how many songs sell that otherwise wouldn’t have even been put up for sale. It isn’t about “quality”. It’s about subjectivity.
A must-see picture set
In the Orbiter Processing Facility bay 2, technicians on the Hyster forklift maneuver main engine 1 for installation on space shuttle Endeavour on June 30th, 2008. (NASA/Jim Grossmann)
The Republican consultant accused of involvement in alleged vote-rigging in Ohio in 2004 was warned that his plane might be sabotaged before his death in a crash Friday night, according to a Cleveland CBS affiliate.
45-year-old Republican operative Michael Connell was killed when his single-passenger plane crashed Friday into a home in a suburb of Akron, Ohio. The consultant was called to testify in federal court regarding a lawsuit alleging that he took part in tampering with Ohio’s voting results in the 2004 election.
Pro-tip: if you have dirt on Karl Rove, stay out of private planes.
Jerry Scroggin, owner-operator of Bayou Internet and Communications, wants the music and film industries to know that he’s not a cop and he doesn’t work for free.
Scroggin, who sells Internet access to between 10,000 and 12,000 customers in Louisiana, heard the news on Friday that the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has opted out of suing individuals for pirating music. Instead, the group representing the four largest music labels is forging partnerships with Internet service providers and asking them to crack down on suspected file sharers.
According to Scroggin, if RIAA representatives ask the help of his ISP, they had better bring their checkbook–and leave the legal threats at home. (CNET News obtained a copy of the RIAA’s new notice to ISPs here). Scroggin said that he receives several notices each month with requests that he remove suspected file sharers from his network. Each time, he gets such a notice from an entertainment company, he sends the same reply.
“I ask for their billing address,” Scroggin said. “Usually, I never hear back.”
First, when a media company demands he kick a customer off the network, there is very little in the way of proof offered that the person in question has committed a crime, according to Scroggin. Yet, entertainment companies want Scroggin to simply wave goodbye to a customer who might have signed up for a three-year plan. At $40 per month, that customer is potentially worth $1,440 to Scroggin over the life of the plan. That, says the ISP owner, is unreasonable.
Next, it’s expensive and time consuming to ask highly paid technicians to chase down IP logs and customer IDs, Scroggin said, noting that it’s especially difficult nowadays because it’s extremely easy to spoof IP addresses.
And then there are the letters Scroggin receives from Hollywood that demand he act or else.
“I’m not doing anything to damage their business,” Scroggin said. “But somehow this 99-cent song is my fault.”
The digital collection of the Tokyo National Museum is full of wonder. TNM is the oldest museum in Japan and collects archaeological objects and art from Japan as well as other parts of Asia. The collection can be browsed by type or region. Here are some of my favorites: Buddha’s life, The name “Korin” given to pupil, Tale of Matsuranomiya, Coquettish type, Tea caddy in shape of bucket with handle, Mirror, design of sea and island, Traditionary identified as Minamoto no Yoritomo, Seated Monju Bosatsu (Manjusri) and attendants, Sword mounting of kazari-tachi type and (my current desktop background) Figures under a tree. This is but a small sampling of all that can be found in the digital collection
The saga of the shoe-throwing journalist and the following he has inspired continued Saturday. During a tense overnight sit-in at a Baghdad park in support of the reporter, Muntader al-Zaidi, who has been jailed since throwing his shoes at President Bush last Sunday, the Iraqi Army threatened to remove protesters by force but eventually allowed them to stay.
As many as 400 protesters gathered in the park near the Green Zone on Saturday afternoon, holding pictures of Mr. Zaidi and chanting: “Bush, Bush listen carefully! We bid you farewell with two shoes.”
Heavily armed soldiers surrounded the small park, and Iraqi Army helicopters circled overhead as the demonstrators were told to leave.
“I have told them I won’t move anywhere unless it is to my grave,” said Uday al-Zaidi, 32, one of the reporter’s brothers.
The demonstration, which began early Friday, continued the theme of presenting Mr. Zaidi, a Shiite television journalist, as a unifier of a fractured nation.
Signs pictured Mr. Zaidi, 29, in a traditional white Arab headdress, not commonly seen in Baghdad, proclaiming him in Arabic as “the son of Iraq” and “the humiliator of the occupiers.”