Mail: Another Flaw For Cellphone Tracking

 Further on my posting about mapAmobile, the UK service that tracks the whereabouts of ‘loved ones’ via their handphone, reader Lynn Dimick points out quite wisely: “Why not just turn off the phone, and claim the battery died, if you don’t want to be monitored? I know that’s what my kids will do.”
 
How do you track someone who doesn’t want to be tracked?

Mail: More on Pirates

 More mail about online piracy and the music industry. I wrote earlier:  
 
I agree with you about people being upset, but I’m not so sure about the recording off the radio bit. Digital versions don’t have DJs interrupting before the end of the song, and they’re perfect copies, and can be copied perfectly and distributed easily. I can give you my whole music collection on a CD or two. That makes it a different ballgame…
 
Here’s Lynn Dimick again:
 
That’s true. The question I have is this: Is music swapping costing the industry money? Now, on the surface anytime you have a product being given away for free it is going to take away from sales. But, if the product is being given to a consumer who cannot or will not buy it, even if it cost $1 then there is no lost sale. My suspicion is that the music industry is producing music that is appealing to those who have less money and less inclination to spend than before. Even if music sharing were not available they would not be buying CDs.
 
 I am 43. I have well over 200 CDs in my collection that I have bought. But I haven’t bought a CD in the past 3 years. Why? Because they (the music industry) are not producing a product that I listen to. The demographics that I belong to (white male 40+) has more money than any other age group, especially the teenagers that seem to be doing all of the sharing.
 
I heard on the news this morning that Bruce Springsteen had a concert last night at the Meadowlands in New Jersey. 55,000 people came to see the show. He has 9 more dates there. Most of those attending are going to be my age and not teenagers. Who has the money and who is being ignored by the music industry?
 
Thanks for that. Thoughts, anyone? A friend recently forwarded me a piece from The Guardian on this very topic. My view is that the music world has splintered so effectively, hastened by the advent of the Net, that it makes it so much harder nowadays to find the music we want. There’s some very appealing stuff out there — my favourite of the moment is Lemongrass, for example — but you’re not going to find them in a CD shop. In a way this diversity is good but us busy folks (I’m no spring chicken either) don’t have the time or energy to look too hard for this kind of thing. I’ve found a sanctuary of sorts in Emusic where at least one can experiment legally without blowing a hole in the housekeeping.

Mail: Piracy and Poverty

 This in response to my posting about file sharing program Grokster offering an ad-free version, in which I asked:
 
I don’t want to get into the ethics and legality of MP3 swapping, but it strikes me that if folk are exchanging music for free online, they’re not likely to be the kind of folk to want to shell out $20 for software. And if they are, they can hardly plead poverty for their piracy, can they?
 
Lynn Dimick writes:
 
How many people are pleading poverty for piracy? It has been my experience that many people are upset with the music industry and their heavy handed price fixing methods. Right or wrong they feel justified in sharing music because they have been ripped off in the past. Also, is it really that different than recording songs off the radio like we used to do as kids?
 
I agree with you about people being upset, but I’m not so sure about the recording off the radio bit. Digital versions don’t have DJs interrupting before the end of the song, and they’re perfect copies, and can be copied perfectly and distributed easily. I can give you my whole music collection on a CD or two. That makes it a different ballgame…