Category Archives: Political Squawking

Bending Phones and Unwanted Music

Something not worth complaining about.I damn near deleted this blog this evening. It came really close.

I was frustrated by all the people out in Internetville spending an amazing amount of time and energy arguing and worrying about expensive phones bending if you’re dumb enough to sit on them, or complaining that a company spent millions of dollars to give them music they don’t want. People, we have a whole lot more important things to focus our brainpower on.

I came out to this humble little blog of mine to vent about this, and then realized how much time and energy I’ve spent here basically doing the same thing. So, in frustration, I thought … this blog is going bye bye.

But I was taking one last look down through the articles still left here (I’ve culled this blog several times, and it needs it again) and realized there’s actually some things worth keeping. I’ve shared some good things from time to time. And while traffic to this blog is only a fraction of what it used to be, there are still people trickling in to read it. And, so…

I didn’t hit the delete button.

If nothing else, it serves as a good reminder of how much I change from year to year.

And, just for the record, Consumer Reports completely debunked this iPhone “bendgate” bullshit.

Also, when someone gives you a gift, the proper thing to do (if you were raised correctly) is to thank the giver whether you like the gift or not.

Should the DOJ Drop the Apple eBooks Price Collusion Suit?

This one tugs at me from both directions. I like Apple. I like Amazon.

I like lower eBook prices. Not as a writer, but as a consumer. How did I feel when Apple made the deal with the big publishing houses, which resulted in eBook prices going up?

I was pissed off. I sided with Amazon. Now Senator Chuck Schumer (Dem., NY) is asking the DOJ to drop the suit and leave the market alone, and my reaction is, initially, that Apple and the big publishers have this guy in their pocket. Especially spouting seeming nonsense like this: “The suit will restore Amazon to the dominant position atop the e-books market it occupied for years before competition arrived in the form of Apple.”

Excuse me? Amazon is still the dominant position atop the eBook market. Why? Because it created the eBook market. The publishing industry did not want eBooks because it screwed with their dominance, so it sabotaged every attempt that came before Amazon’s — but Amazon was big enough, and had enough clout, to force the new market into existence.

But, on the other hand, did Apple actually collude to fix prices? The more I read about it, the more I have to say, “No, they did not.” Now, that’s not to say that the big publishing houses didn’t act to collude. I’m inclined to think that they did, and for that reason I would like to see this trial move forward and settle the question.

But here’s another quote that bothers me: While the claim that the publishers colluded to raise prices “sounds plausible on its face,” [the Senator] writes, it ignores the underlying dynamics of the e-book market and threatens to “wipe out the publishing industry as we know it.” [Quote from Fortune.CNN.com]

So this is to say that, through innovation, we’ve changed the market but … instead of allowing the market to change, and changing and adapting with it, we need to take drastic actions to prop up an outdated, superseded business model?

Is that called progress?

No. It’s called stupid.