Well, tomorrow, we’re planning to head off to the San Diego area to visit relatives. This means tomorrow is baby-on-the-plane-in-our-laps day. Hopefully we can get through that without headaches. 🙂 We’ll be returning by September 1st.
I think it’s amusing how discussion sites like slashdot (and even myself) said, “nobody will buy DRM.” (encrypted music files) Yet, teenagers are buying itunes in droves. “Nobody will buy overpriced Sony UMD movies for PSP when it’s such a ripoff.” These are also selling well enough for Sony to release a lot more. I agree with the silliness of these formats, but I think savvy nerds underestimate general consumer ignorance. Sure, some minority of nerds are going to insist on open formats. Savvy Nerd wants to freely copy mp3s and videos between several computers without restrictions or any special itunes program. But Jane Teenager just wants to easily get a 3 Doors Down single on her ipod and doesn’t care if it’s all locked up in DRM. Jane Teenager outnumbers Savvy Nerd by far. Guess whose money companies will listen to? At this rate, with more evil cooperation on the hardware side, I wonder if proprietary DRM formats might eventually win. I mean, they’re even going to lock down monitors and TVs at the hardware level! We’re getting beyond the days of just encasing a chip in epoxy so the customer can’t look at it. Companies are getting better at locking up their stuff, trying to get from a platform of selling things for a one-time fee to a platform of selling subscriptions for continual fees. There is growing proof that the majority of customers just don’t care. 🙁
I was just chatting with my cousin about the “cloneburbs” in the US. All new housing developments around the US are being built in the same way. He told me he’s getting a new house in San Antonio. I asked him, “Home Depot or Lowes and Target or Walmart nearby? Minor architectural differences between one house and the next?” “Yeah, somewhat.” There’s also usually a community center nearby with a park and gym. I think it’s funny that I can look at my neighborhood in Albuquerque and predict what a new suburb in Idaho will look like. Sure, they’ll use wood instead of stucco and grass instead of gravel, but that’s about the only difference.