A momentary lapse of reason

Apple and/or Emi obviously read my blog, since The Dark Side of The Moon re-appeared to iTunes Store. Currently listening to "The Great Gig in The Sky"...

Sun is the same in a relative way, but you are older

I occasionally get that "Why are they doing this?"-feeling when dealing with companies. Last month when Apple and Emi announced that they will start selling DRM-free track on iTunes that even have higher quality than DRM'ed songs, I jumped on the opportunity and downloaded "Wish you were here" by Pink Floyd. Whole album (even though price of individual songs was increased somewhat, the price of albums didn't change, so it makes more sense to get whole albums now), 256kbit/sec, DRM-free. And after spending some quality-time with that album (yes, it really is one of the greatest albums ever made), I decided that it's time to take one step further: Next download would be "The dark side of the moon".

Yesterday I decided that this is the time, and I launched iTunes. First sign of trouble: TDSOTM is indeed for sale in iTunes, but next to it are words "partial album". Um, did they run out of ones and zeroes, so they can't have the whole album in there? Why else would they be missing "Great gig in the sky" and "Us and them"? And not only that... There's no way to actually buy the album! What you CAN do is to buy individual track from the album, at 1,29e a piece. No, you can't buy the album for 9.99e. Not even the partial album.

And... Why do I get the feeling that the whole album WAS on sale not too long ago? And even if it wasn't... Why are they doing this? They have Pink Floyd in iTunes. All their albums. Except the one they are most famous for. How do consumers benefit from this crap? Seriously, answer me that!

What will I do now? I'll probably go to the library, loan the damn CD, and rip it to my computer. And I actually WANTED to buy it! But if think that they encourage me or others in to buying that album by omitting certain songs from it, and making us buy it one song at a time (so it will cost more) they are sadly mistaken. I will get it for free instead.

Here's a novel idea: Provide consumers with quality products for good price and people will pay for them. Screw them over and... they will not.

Yes, I'm now few moments older, and I spent that time cursing this crap.


It's interesting to see how same products are marketed in different regions. For example: I have a Canon Eos 400D DSLR-camera. And in Europe (and some other places as well) it's known as Eos 400D. What is it called in USA? It's Canon Digital Rebel XTi. Before 400D we had 350D. In USA it was called Digital Rebel XT.

Why do they do that? Obviousy because different people (in this case, Americans vs. Europeans) respond differently to branding. But I can't help but feel that the Eos's branding in USA is... silly. It's like they had Gillette handle the branding. I wouldn't be one bit surpised if Eos 450D was called "Digital Rebel XTi Turbo" in USA.

Related to this: reality does mimic fiction. It even has two strips!

Censorship or not

So Amnesty warns us about censorship in the internet. And while they are telling us that censorship is bad, they are also saying that some censorship is OK. According to Amnesty, it's OK to censor racist websites and the like. So... who exactly decides what is OK to censor and what is not? Governments (like in China)? Corporations? Some organisations (like Amnesty International or.... Aryan Nations? What? Why the former but not the latter?)?

So, are they against censorship or not? If they are against it, they should accept the fact that some people might say things that they disagree with. You are not really opposing censorship, if you are basically saying "you are free to say whatevery you please, just as long as you say things I approve of". And here we have Amnesty telling us that online-censorship is bad. Unless they are censoring things Amnesty opposes, then it's suddenly OK. I'm sorry, but it doesn't quite work that way.

If we agree that censoring racists and revisionists is OK, then we are basically turning them in to martyrs. And is censorship ever the right way to promote progress? What if the person we are censoring happens to be right, but his opinions and thoughts just happen to be not politically correct? No, I'm not saying that David Irving (for example) is right, but is it right or smart to say that "there is to be no discussion about the Holocaust. It happened, and everyone who disputes it will be thrown to jail!". The cynic in me could start thinking "why are they so serious about that? Are they trying to hide something?".

The best way to combat prejudices and ignorance is through facts. Yes, there are people who dispute the Holocaust. No, trying to force them to shut up does nothing to change their viewpoint on the matter, quite the contrary. The way to do that is through facts and open discussion. After all, if the history we know is true, what do we have to worry? We can just present the facts to the opposition. It's the same with racists and other weirdoes.

Speaking of laptops....

Apple just released their new MacBook Pro's. And I want one. No, I _desire_ one. I could go for the cheapest of the three models (with increased HD-space), but I'm still researching it. the price-difference between the low-end and middle-model is 400e if they both have similar hard-drives. For that money I would get 200MHz more CPU-speed and twice as much VRAM. I'm not sure that is it worth it, propably not.

Yesterday-evening I was at the Apple online-store, with my mouse-cursor hovering over the "Add to Cart"-button. But no, I need to wait a while longer. I have the money, I have been saving for it. But I must resist for a while longer...