Thursday, 4 July 2013

All your vinyl belong us

I've still got a shelf-full of fine vinyl; all the Floyd's early albums, everything by Bowie pre-1990, all the old standards and a good selection of embarrassments (Shakatak?). There's no question in my mind that it's all mine - subject to fair restrictions, of course. It's fair to digitise it so I can listen to it on different machines. It's not fair to sell copies on the interweb, or even to give copies away anonomously. 

I'd be pretty miffed if the record companies wrote to me to say that Oh no, I didn't actually own that music at all; and that to continue to hold onto my vinyl, I must pay an annual license fee or give the records back.

But this is exactly the pricing model that the information industry is now working towards. The first step is 'cloud' computing - moving both programmes and data from your own magnetic memories to their server farms. Then instead of buying a programme you'll pay an annual fee instead to use the latest version - Microsoft has already gone over to this for new Windows versions. When sufficient people have signed up they'll implement a no pay - no access policy - guaranteeing them an enhanced and secure revenue stream.

And they're all at it. Google Chrome's thuggish and crooked efforts to install itself covertly on my machine every time I updated some other programme, or the efforts of some positively repugnant search engine called 'Babylon' to replace Google as my default did neither any favours in my mind. I have become more committed than ever to open-source software running from my own hard drives. You can't trust any of the buggers.


Scrobs... said...

Those blasted search engines which slide in unawares are a menace. All I wanted was some benign programme, and finished up with two spyware SEs, 'Delta' and 'Iminent'.

They just can't be deleted, and are a total pest!

On the other hand, I'm going to digitise all my old cassettes soon, and at last count there were over three hundred...

Ian Hills said...

I'm beginning to wonder if Google is really Cyberdyne Corporation, and that its servers are packed with advanced neural net CPUs.

Perhaps its SkyNet software began learning at an exponential rate after Google + was launched, and has now become self-aware.

Now I just need to convince some blonde that her son sent me back in time to protect her from a malevolent Chromebook...and to make love to her.

Anonymous said...

My system in knackered, my connection is poor, in a fit of pique at Firefox and a frenzy of quite illogical impatience - I installed and then quickly de-installed [so I thought] Chrome, I can't truly clean my system, although new Firefox now works OK.

Dumb move, and realisation at my stupidity - it's never going away!

Anthem said...

It is all moving more and more towards digital downloads so that, in future, we won't even have physical copies of the products we purchase.

The next generation of games consoles look like they could be using this model.

What you will be purchasing is a "Serial Number" which, when entered, allows you to download the game onto your machine.

All well and good but the aim is also to prevent re-sale of the item.

When people have finished playing a game they often sell them on and the second-hand market is a thriving industry in itself.

If this new model comes into effect then the second-hand market will cease to exist and everyone will have to pay full price and it won't even be possible to lend books, records and computer games to your friends (or even to your kids).

As there will be no costs such as physical storage, distribution and packaging, it should mean that things get cheaper but, by all accounts, things are likely to stay the same price or even get more expensive (consider the price of a paperback book compared to the Kindle price - there's often very little in it).

I suspect something will have to give.

Anonymous said...

If you ever wish to dispose of your vinyl... you know where I am :-)

G. Tingey said...

Then, when MicroShaft abandon WinXP, I suggest going over to a LINUX o/s of some sort & use Libre Office / Open Office for your internal filing.
You'll still have to use someone's browser, though ....

Tcheuchter said...

Never mind vinyl, I still have loads of shellac.

Anonymous said...

"The first step is 'cloud' computing .."

Anyone who puts their personal information or come to that critical operational information onto the cloud - should know that that's exactly where MI5, the CIA, the FBI, the HLS, MI6, MOSSAD, want you to put this stuff.

After recent revelations, Cloud computing should be dead.

Nick Drew said...

everyone who can, always moves to ongoing fee-charging instead of one-off up-front (once could cite Adobe as another obvious example at the individual level)

it's worse than that, though - whenever they can assess the value of what you are doing they will charge a % of Value-to-You

Esatate Agents have always done this - it's so easy to assess the value. Ditto 'wealth managers'. Solicitors are increasingly moving to this model, e.g. for dealing with estates. Google effectively tries this with the fees it charges advertisers. I could go on

FrankS said...

Entirely agree - open source gets my vote. Open Office seems to does everything MS Office does and costs nowt. What puzzles me is, what's in it for the open source suppliers? A lot of it, like Open Office, looks and seems "professional", not the work of benevolent amateurs. Why and how do they do it?

Budgie said...

Linux is an open source spin off from Unix. Unix started at Bell Labs (AT&T) and has a complex development history. OpenOffice (Libre- Star- Office) is an open source spinoff of Star Office (Star, then Sun, then Oracle). That's why they look professional - they are.

I prefer the Ubuntu version of Linux. It is free, easy to use and regularly updated. The latest version may have some problems with older ATI (now AMD) video cards if you have an older pc. Ubuntu can be dual booted with Windows.

Cloud computing is asking for trouble, has no ownership, and is open to surveillance and abuse. Steer clear of it.