Archive for April, 2007

As far as compressed, downloadable music is concerned, today Jobs said that "The subscription model has failed so far". Really, and for true? The current purchasing model that iTunes employs equates to an average of just 25 songs purchased per iPod purchased…does this madman think HIS model has been a success?
 
Think of it this way: you buy a $300 CD player back in the late-80’s…and then you purchase only TWO ALBUMS for it. And everyone else does the exact same thing. Would the recording industry consider this to be a resounding success? Hell, no. The compact disc platform would have died a swift, horrible death. We’d all still be using vinyl and tape for our music.
 
Now, I’m not into the subscription model myself, so I would agree with Jobs as far as the fact that I want to purchase my music. But I also see the value in the subscription model for others. But I’ve never seen the value in paying for crappy-sounding, compressed music…even if it were DRM-free.
 
But back to the point: selling an average of only two albums per customer isn’t exactly something to crow about while you’re bashing a different download model.
There have been tons written about the first five or ten picks, both the players and the teams that own those picks. We all remember how Houston had a brain-fart at #1 last year…will it happen again this year? A few years ago, San Diego scored HUGE by drafting Eli Manning #1, so it does pay to pick someone you don’t need…or even want.
 
Let’s begin by noting that every expert and every team believes WR Calvin Johnson is the ONLY can’t-miss draft prospect. The Redskins and the Bucanneers are both salivating for him (several other teams only have their tongues hanging out with hopeful anticipation he’s still available when they pick). But nobody wants to trade up to get him…yet. And the Redskins SHOULD NOT trade up because it would kill them both in later rounds, the salary cap and the next two drafts…but they’re always crazy at this time of year.
 
Here’s what could probably transpire, if some teams were smart and others were desperate:
 
With the #1 pick, Oakland needs to get a decent QB. They definitely do NOT need another receiver. Smart money sez they will go with QB JaMarcus Russell (they could take QB Brady Quinn, but regardless, they need a QB). Now, at the #4 slot Tampa Bay is counting on the first three picks to be two QBs and a defensive end…leaving Johnson available for Tampa to just scoop away, no muss, no fuss. And Tampa’s not willing to trade away the pick, they really want this guy.
 
If Oakland were smart: pick Johnson. That will royally piss off the Bucs…they will be on the red phone within seconds. And if there’s one thing Al Davis likes to do, it’s pissing people off. Tampa won’t even watch numbers two and three, because this is going to set off a wildfire of calls from other teams, and clocks will run to the last second because of offers flooding in.
 
Outcome: Tampa Bay will trade their #4 and their early second round pick to Oakland, plus a pick from next year, saving the Raiders about $20 million dollars, getting them another high draft pick, and they will likely get Russell anyway at #4 (the Bengals at #3 seem set to take QB Brady Quinn…if they take Russell instead, Oakland goes with Quinn, everybody’s happy).
 
Risk: if Detroit were smart in this scenario, they would reject all offers and take JaMarcus Russell at #2. This would guarantee that Quinn is taken at #3 by the Bengals, which would royally piss off Al Davis…Oakland has #4, but all the good QBs are gone.
 
Risk outcome: Oakland gets on the phone with Detroit, trades them the #4 pick and the second rounder for Russell, but keeping next year’s extra pick. Now Detroit gets the defensive end they need at about a $15 million savings, and another pick (which they desperately need).
 
Short line: everybody’s happy. Except Al Davis, who now has to pay #2 money instead of #4 money and lost a second round pick, but at least he’s not paying #1 money to the guy he wanted anyway.

Awaiting A-Rod’s meltdown

Posted: April 21, 2007 in Uncategorized
But I can wait until October. There is no love lost for A-Rod in Seattle: he left the year before the Mariners won 116 games for a fat contract with a last-place team, and one of the nicer things he said on his way out was that the Mariners weren’t willing to pay him what he was worth. Would the Mariners have won the World Series that season if A-Rod got less food on his table? Who knows. So it was with great satisfaction to see him wallow in Texas. It was somewhat stunning to see someone win an MVP award while playing for a last-place team, but we in Seattle took solice in the fact that MVP didn’t make last-place any better for ol’ A-Rod.
 
Then the Yankees picked up his contract. Yikes. Ye team of the bottomless wallet. Surrounded by future Hall of Famers. A storied franchise, with a legendary history in the biggest sports market in the world. But Seattle took solice that A-Rod didn’t show up after game three in the 2004 ACLS, and the Yankees suffered a reverse-sweep to Boston…the biggest upset in baseball history.
 
New York hated A-Rod.
 
And New York continued to hate A-Rod. Story after story talks about how he almost walked away this year, or will probably walk away at the end of this year. But now look what happened: this season A-Rod leads the league with 12 home runs in only 15 games, which is only the second time in history anyone has achieved this milestone. He also has 30 RBIs and 65 total bases. The man is on fire.
 
New York loves A-Rod.
 
But Seattle takes solice in the fact that he is still A-Rod. When crunch time comes, A-Rod will melt down again.
 
I can wait until October. I can wait to see New York hate A-Rod again.
Out of dozens of billions of people, only a few dozen individuals have actually seen Earth…from space, that is. It obviously leaves a rather lasting impression, when reading these quotes from those who have seen Earth for what it truly is. Many of them only saw it only once or twice.
 
The Mercury 7 pilots were the most famous, having gone first…but only Wally Schirra was also a pilot for both Gemini and Apollo projects as well. Somehow, he had the best quote of them all, even beating out John Glenn…
 
“I left Earth three times. I found no place else to go. Please take care of Spaceship Earth.”
 
Of course, I’m sure that smart-ass Buzz Aldrin will point out the moon was a pretty decent place to go…

Idiots of the day

Posted: April 20, 2007 in Uncategorized
Even Hardball’s Chris Mathews thinks this guy’s idealism is too extreme…a Florida attorney has been making a name for himself for the last couple of years blaming video games for real-life violence. So naturally when someone kills 32 students at Virginia Tech, this butthole immediately knows what caused it: video games.
 
Not only that, he also knows exactly which game is to blame: Half-Life: Counter-Strike. "This is not rocket science. When a kid who has never killed anyone in his life goes on a rampage and looks like the Terminator, he’s a video gamer" There are two problems with this butthole’s statement:
  • Most people who go on a shooting rampage have never killed anyone in their lives…they usually get locked up for killing somebody, so they don’t even get the opportunity.
  • A search of Cho’s dorm room found nary a single video game. Not even Zoo Tycoon. And his dorm mate said he never saw Cho play any video games.

He also says, "He might have killed somebody but he wouldn’t have killed 32 if he hadn’t rehearsed it and trained himself like a warrior on virtual reality. It can’t be done. It just doesn’t happen." Two problems with this statement:

  • There have been plenty of massacres committed by a single person throughout history…most of them before Pong was released.
  • Most victims at VT were shot at point-blank range. Unless your name is Greedo, training with a video game won’t be of much value.

So then this idiot sends a letter to Bill Gates, informing him that Microsoft may be legally liable for the massacre at VT by publishing a "killing simulator" that "trained (Cho) to enjoy killing and how to kill". There’s only ONE thing wrong with this statement: Counter-Strike is written by Valve and published by Vivendi-Universal…Microsoft only WISHES they had published this game.

But you might have noticed that the title was PLURAL…that’s right, the famous Dr. Phil also essentially blamed video games for the VT massacre on The Larry King Show.

Average: 25 per unit sold

Posted: April 9, 2007 in Uncategorized
Apple announced they sold their 100 millionth iPod. In passing, Steve Jobs mentioned about 2.5 billion songs have been purchased from iTunes so far. That works out to an average of 25 songs sold per iPod sold. The record labels keep the lion’s share of each 99-cent song. After distribution costs, etc, Apple is left with maybe 10 cents per track sold, which translates to making only an additional two-and-a-half dollars per unit sold on average. That totally sucks, but…
 
Even back in 2003, Jobs knew he would never make money on iTunes…but the profit they make on the players is doing Apple just fine.
 
Makes one wonder why Microsoft launched the Zune Marketplace…it’s so much money to build, maintain, the legal headaches, and totally offsets any profit at all they get from the Zune player…probably even putting them deep in the red.

Gettin’ rich on the po’

Posted: April 6, 2007 in Uncategorized
Ford Motor Co CEO Alan Mulally basically made 28 million dollars…for four months work. Damn, I am in the wrong business. Let’s put this in perspective, shall we…?
 
  • His base salary of 2M is TWICE as much as Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
  • His company lost 12 billion last year…Ballmer’s company MADE 12 billion last year.
  • His company is trying to fire 30,000 workers…Ballmer’s company has run out of room for their 30,000 Redmond workers, and want to hire even more employees so they can triple and quadruple people in their offices.
So why was Ford so generous to this guy? Here are a few theories:
  • He took the bus to work every day instead of driving his Lamborgini…just to show that not only was he a "Ford Man" but also just one of "the guys"
  • At his job interview, he demonstrated his skillz by kicking Agent Smith’s ass
  • He turned water into a lovely bottle of Bastor Lamontagne Bordeaux wine, vintage 2001
  • Not only was he the inspiration for Bill Belichick’s coaching of the New England Patriots, he was also Belichick’s fashion consultant
  • He coined the phrase "Mission Accomplished!" for President Bush