Monthly Archive for November, 2004

Has the entertainment industry completely bought out the government?

The entertainment industry is big, and it’s powerful, but I never thought they ran the United States. Even when the DMCA was passed I didn’t think so. But today I read two news stories that make me wonder.

The first one is so absurd you really have to read it twice to believe it. It seems the FCC is claiming it has authority to regulate all instrumentalities, facilities, and apparatus “associated with the overall circuit of messages sent and received” via all interstate radio and wire communication. That, btw, includes personal computers, PVRs, and any other device that could receive digital TV signals now or in the future. FCC’s basis for this argument is that they have to do it to make HDTV adoption happen. This is why the FCC now thinks they can dictate what you can or, rather, can not do with your audiovisual gadgetry.

The second item comes straight from the lobbying arm of the RIAA and MPAA via your friendly entertainment industry representatives in the US Senate. It seems like there’s a new copyright bill in the books every week. This time it’s something called the Intellectual Property Protection Act (HR2391). Now, it has all the usual “share music or movies online and go to prison for the rest of your life” stuff all the other bills have, but this bill goes even further. It actually has the audacity to prohibit skipping commercials or other promotional announcements when recording movies for home viewing. At least they let you skip the commercials when viewing the recording though, for now.


I knew there was a reason why I hated Electronic Arts

I have a love/hate relationship with Electronic Arts (EA).

I’m an avid gamer. Have been so since my teenage years, over 20 years ago. I especially enjoy sports games.

I used to own a Sega Genesis – or Sega Megadrive as it was called in Europe – when it was the height of video gaming universe. It’s around that time when EA started their long running sports game franchises based on the professional sports in the United States. Their hockey games on the Sega Genesis were especially good. I bought almost every version they published, and they published one every year. Allowance money was gone very quickly on those games.

Fast forward to XBox and XBox Live! times. Well, EA decided not to grace us mere mortals with games that would play on XBox Live! That didn’t sit too well with most of us, and by this time Sega’s ESPN sport franchise games had caught up or in some cases surpassed the quality of the EA games. I was happy to flip the finger at EA, and put my money on Sega’s games. This decision was made even easier when Sega decided to drop the price on all of their 2K5 games to $19.99, online play and all.

Now someone married to an EA employee posted a long article about the despicable working conditions EA is forcing on their employees. Read the story, it’s quite amazing, although familiar to most of us who at some point have worked for a publicly traded mega corp, how EA, which is by far the most successful and profitable game publisher out there, can treat their employees so badly.

You would think EA could afford to spend some of the roughly $1.85B they make in gross profit for the benefit of their hard working employees.


RIAA’s lies exposed by an internal study by one of the majors

RIAA has claimed, for years now, that p2p networks and other online “pirate” channels are killing the music industry and causing the majority of the decline of music sales for the past few years.

The Economist article linked references an internal study conducted by one of the major record labels. The article goes on to say:

According to an internal study done by one of the majors, between two-thirds and three-quarters of the drop in sales in America had nothing to do with internet piracy. No-one knows how much weight to assign to each of the other explanations: rising physical CD piracy, shrinking retail space, competition from other media, and the quality of the music itself.

The article also suggests most of the problem is due to the overall lack of quality and creativity in today’s music, and the major publishers’ focus on producing mega-hits instead of creating long-lasting careers for their artists. There appears to be some support to this theory from the major music publishers themsevels, as the article demonstrates.


Who votes for Bush?

A friend of mine sent me a link explaining why Bush won.


Bush 281 – Kerry 257

Bush will take Iowa as well gaining 7 more votes from my previous prediction.


Bush 274 – Kerry 264

Bush wins Ohio, Alaska and New Mexico, Kerry the rest of the remaining states.

4 more years of deceipt, lies and fear. Hurray!


Ohio is a dead heat

At the time of writing Florida appears to have gone to Bush, so Ohio is almost certainly the deciding state.

Right now the votes go as follows:

Bush: 2,245,388
Kerry: 2,112,297

But if you take a look at the county level votes Cuyahoga, the most densely populated county in the state is voting overwhelmingly in favor of Kerry, and only has 76% of the votes counted. Assuming the votes are being tallied at an even pace, there’s roughly 100,000 votes left in the county, of which roughly 65% will go to Kerry. That’s 30,000 more votes for Kerry than for Bush.

Bush will win Ohio by about 50,000 – 75,000 votes, and will get elected again.