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News Content As a Resource, Not a Final Product

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the also-the-book-is-a-hat dept.

The Internet 156

Paul Graham has posted an essay questioning whether we ever really paid for "content," as publishers of news and music are saying while they struggle to stay afloat in the digital age. "If the content was what they were selling, why has the price of books or music or movies always depended mostly on the format? Why didn't better content cost more?" Techdirt's Mike Masnick takes it a step further, suggesting that the content itself should be treated as a resource — one component of many that go into a final product. Masnick also discussed the issue recently with NY Times' columnist David Carr, saying that micropayments won't be the silver bullet the publishers are hoping for because consumers are inundated with free alternatives. "It's putting up a tollbooth on a 50-lane highway where the other 49 lanes have no tollbooth, and there's no specific benefit for paying the toll." Reader newscloud points out that the fall 2009 issue of Harvard's Nieman Reports contains a variety of related essays by journalists, technologists, and researchers.

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156 comments

'Good' people still go to that 1 toll booth (0, Troll)

Mouldy (1322581) | more than 4 years ago | (#29482837)

Because despite it being slower, having longer queues, only being open at specific times and any money raised from that booth goes to "the man" - it's the legal route. So while it would certainly be easier, better, more convenient and arguably more morally just to go to any of the 49 other lanes - legally, you'd be in the wrong if you did. So unless "the man" says it's OK to use the free routes, wear a balaclava as you speed past the losers who obey the law.

Re:'Good' people still go to that 1 toll booth (3, Insightful)

JanneM (7445) | more than 4 years ago | (#29482861)

"So while it would certainly be easier, better, more convenient and arguably more morally just to go to any of the 49 other lanes - legally, you'd be in the wrong if you did."

When it comes to news, the other 49 are just as legal. There is no benefit - moral or otherwise - for me to go to a pay site for news over going to, say, the BBC, NHK, NPR or SVT or any other public service website, or to the New York Times, Dagens Nyheter, Asahi Shinbun or any other of the thousands of completely legal and moral free to read commercial news websites out there.

Re:'Good' people still go to that 1 toll booth (3, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 4 years ago | (#29482967)

For the moment, yes, the news is available for free elsewhere so why pay? The entire question is whether there will continue to be 49 free lanes on the highway. Some, like Rupert Murdoch, believe those are going broke, creating a better value proposition for fee-based services. Obviously this won't be all-or-nothing; there will always be some free lanes, the only question is how many, and in what state of disrepair. IMHO we really need to create a financial incentive for good reporting without blocking access to that reporting through inconvenience and expense - not an easy problem to solve.

Re:'Good' people still go to that 1 toll booth (3, Interesting)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483119)

What am I supposed to pay for, exactly? What is the value they bring to my news-reading experience that is so good that the free sites can't keep up? And if the free ones start to disappear, a fully distributed p2p news network isn't hard to create. All you need is to combine rss with a p2p protocol and throw in some search and filter options.

News is cheap. You don't need a whole website for 300 words of text and maybe a link to an image hosting site or youtube.

Re:'Good' people still go to that 1 toll booth (3, Insightful)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483163)

News is cheap. You don't need a whole website for 300 words of text and maybe a link to an image hosting site or youtube.

Spreading news is cheap. Gathering news is expensive.

Hypothetical example: how much might you expect to pay someone to spend 3 months undercover in North Korea, that they might write a double page spread on the subject? Remember you need to find someone with an engaging writing style, an insightful eye, the ability to go indetected, the guts to take on the danger, you need to pay their traveling expenses etc.

Re:'Good' people still go to that 1 toll booth (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483313)

Spreading news is cheap. Gathering news is expensive.

You might want to decide which side of the business you are in, and how much profit you expect from it. News is by definition severely affected by the internet, and will change along with it.

Twitter spread the panic about swine flu much faster than any news site, maybe we can recreate the effect without panic.

Re:'Good' people still go to that 1 toll booth (3, Insightful)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483371)

I don't call the "OMG THE FLU IS COMING GET DOWN" and stuff like that "news". News are supposed to be well written, complete and verified. More: besides news, there reporters who write investigation articles. You wouldn't have found out about Watergate or similar cases by Twitter.

Re:'Good' people still go to that 1 toll booth (2, Interesting)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483427)

You wouldn't have found out about Watergate or similar cases by Twitter.

You probably would. But crucially, that tweet would contain a URL pointing to a mainstream news site.

Journalist gathers news. Newspaper distributes news. Word of mouth (or tweet of Twitter) spreads awareness of news.

Re:'Good' people still go to that 1 toll booth (1)

daveime (1253762) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483733)

are supposed to be well written, complete and verified

Well that leaves Murdoch out in the cold anyway.

You wouldn't have found out about Watergate or similar cases by Twitter

Yes, I can just imagine The Sun's version ... "Tricky Dicky bares all on Page 3".

Re:'Good' people still go to that 1 toll booth (1)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483407)

I think you're confusing "news":

TweetFreak69: RT @HeadlineBoy app. Mexico City is in quarantine with some kind of superbug

... with what (quality) newspapers sell. Detailed information, from eye witnesses, experts, and yes, biased yet entertaining opinion columnists.

Sometimes (often, even) newspapers screw it up, but when they succeed, it's better than what amateurs could achieve, and I for one want continued access to that sort of material.

OTOH I don't think charging the consumer for it at the point of access is a winning formula.

Re:'Good' people still go to that 1 toll booth (1)

Jared555 (874152) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483231)

Or a much more simplified idea, use something that has been around for a long time such as usenet.

Re:'Good' people still go to that 1 toll booth (2, Insightful)

ultranova (717540) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483581)

What is the value they bring to my news-reading experience that is so good that the free sites can't keep up?

Well, for-pay news sites can be monopolized just like any other business, giving Mr. Murdoch control over what you see and hear and thus your opinion. Getting to rule the world is quite valuable.

Or did you mean value to you?

Re:'Good' people still go to that 1 toll booth (2, Informative)

siloko (1133863) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483215)

For the moment, yes, the news is available for free elsewhere so why pay? The entire question is whether there will continue to be 49 free lanes on the highway.

Well I guess some free sites may hit the buffers in the future but given the BBC is the world's oldest [wikipedia.org] broadcast organisation I don't see it going out of 'business' any time soon . . . I put business in quotes because it is publicly funded and only part [wikipedia.org] of the BBC exists to make a profit. I think the model is sustainable, especially considering the high esteem in which the BBC is held both within Britain and throughout the world, it benefits no-one apart from the Murdoch's of this world to let public funded broadcasting go to the dogs.

Why pay, when available for free elsewhere? (1)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483373)

yes, the news is available for free elsewhere so why pay?

There are some good reasons:

  • To support the 'good cause' of gathering news. For example: I much like the British BBC for their high quality documentaries. The making of these involves lots of research, putting people on the ground in conflict zones, undercover operations, etc. I would not mind paying a small amount each time I watch one of these documentaries, just to support putting them together. Surely I'm not alone there.
  • Added value, personalization: to get the news earlier than others, filtered/sorted according to personal preferences, adds removed, DRM-free downloadable format, etc, etc, you name it.

Personally I think just as big an obstacle for paid content on the web is a good payment system. You'd be talking very small amounts per use, and it would have to be secure, easy, reliable and available everywhere. PayPay isn't it (has some restrictions on use, eg. use for porn sites isn't allowed), credit cards are no good (not everybody has one, filling out credit card details for each use is too much hassle, subject to fraud) and other systems are supported on just a few sites. It's just too clumsy to use a different procedure on every paysite.

With an easy, universal micro-payment system in place, paid content on the web would be much more feasible.

Re:Why pay, when available for free elsewhere? (1)

daveime (1253762) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483743)

I much like the British BBC for their high quality documentaries. The making of these involves lots of research, putting people on the ground in conflict zones, undercover operations, etc. I would not mind paying a small amount each time I watch one of these documentaries, just to support putting them together. Surely I'm not alone there.

If you live in the UK and own a television receiver, you already *do* pay a small amount (about 30 pence a day in licence fees), whether you watch it or not.

Re:'Good' people still go to that 1 toll booth (3, Insightful)

plover (150551) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483015)

It's not that it's legal, it's that you're paying for the content, so you would have a higher expectation of getting a quality product.

People seem to be ignoring that if news gathering becomes a volunteer-only effort, we're going to get crappy, slanted news -- far worse than anything we see today. Anyone with an agenda is going to put "reporters" on the scene who will deliver precisely the message they want you to hear, dressed up as "news".

"Today an eight car pileup on the freeway left four people paralyzed. The four, who were insured through the Federal Government, had to wait an hour for an ambulance. The other four people, who were insured by Gekko, were rapidly whisked away to the hospital where they are recovering. Bob, how's the weather looking today?"

Re:'Good' people still go to that 1 toll booth (5, Informative)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483087)

It's not that it's legal, it's that you're paying for the content, so you would have a higher expectation of getting a quality product.

People seem to be ignoring that if news gathering becomes a volunteer-only effort, we're going to get crappy, slanted news -- far worse than anything we see today. Anyone with an agenda is going to put "reporters" on the scene who will deliver precisely the message they want you to hear, dressed up as "news".

"Today an eight car pileup on the freeway left four people paralyzed. The four, who were insured through the Federal Government, had to wait an hour for an ambulance. The other four people, who were insured by Gekko, were rapidly whisked away to the hospital where they are recovering. Bob, how's the weather looking today?"

I'd rather have fairly obvious slant that might encourage people to think more critically about what is being presented. To me, that is far better than knowing that shit like this [foxbghsuit.com] goes on under an appearance of legitimacy. It would be different if there were elements in the media that actively sought out and rooted out this kind of corruption, but there aren't -- those two reporters, as individuals, decided not to be intimidated, bribed, and silenced and that's the only reason why we know about this. It doesn't take much wisdom to know that most people would have caved. The questioning man wonders, for every example like that one that we do learn about, how many go on that we've never heard of, and of course under that assumed credibility that, as you point out, the established media commands? Say what you will of Internet bloggers and their political biases; they are unlikely to deliberately falsify a story in order to avoid losing Monsanto's ad revenue.

Re:'Good' people still go to that 1 toll booth (1)

webdog314 (960286) | more than 4 years ago | (#29484063)

It gets worse. Remember that in most cases, "free" news really isn't free for us in the sense that we are "paying" for it by being subjected to a literal overload of banner and text ads that are increasingly designed to look like a part of the actual news site (and as such are harder to ignore). Would we be given a "better", "cleaner" experience if we paid a monthly fee for our news? Maybe, but I haven't seen it in the past. Newspapers are still grossly plastered with ads, and we pay for that. Even a site like Salon.com, which offers a "premium" subscription, still has ads whether you pay or not.

I might pay for a site if it was TRULY just news. But as it is, I certainly can't trust someone like Murdoch to do that.

Re:'Good' people still go to that 1 toll booth (2, Insightful)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483125)

It's not that it's legal, it's that you're paying for the content, so you would have a higher expectation of getting a quality product.

People seem to be ignoring that if news gathering becomes a volunteer-only effort, we're going to get crappy, slanted news

This is a false dichotomy. It's not a clear cut choice between "paying for content" versus "news gathering becomes a volunteer-only effort". There are plenty of ways to turn news gathering into a profitable exercise, other than charging the consumer directly. The big question is, which method provides the sweet spot that suits consumers best, without the business going bust? It *might* turn out to be a model where the consumer pays directly. I suspect it'll be some other model - be it advertising/sponsorship, patronage, tip jars, merchandising, whatever.

Re:'Good' people still go to that 1 toll booth (2, Informative)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483161)

...except we're already getting news for free and it's already crappy and slanted.

"free news" has been around for over 50 years. It's nothing new. It's not a Frankenstein monster created by the internet.

The real problem of the internet is that it breaks down geographic
barriers both in terms of direct competition and what your customers
are exposed to. In short, you're customers are in a much better
position to realize that you are trying to sell 'shit on a shingle'.

Although media like newspapers were already in decline before "the
internet got to it". The bean counters and corporate vampires were
already feeding off of serious journalism.

Re:'Good' people still go to that 1 toll booth (2, Informative)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483241)

I live in a town with a mill that produces newsprint. It's been having on-and-off troubles in the newsprint division since the late 1980s, long before the Internet became a meaningful consumer product. And it's not the Internet that is causing the current woes, but an economic collapse. I'll wager plenty of newspapers went down in 1929-1930 as well.

Re:'Good' people still go to that 1 toll booth (4, Insightful)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483221)

Lets see Free [wikinews.org] vs Paid [foxnews.com] , I know which one I trust more.

Re:'Good' people still go to that 1 toll booth (2, Informative)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483765)

Wikinews' current top story: "Suicide bomber kills 30 in northwest Pakistan" is sourced from Al Jazeera and the New York Times. Both commercial news gathering organisations.

It's a great aggregation and distillation service, but it's not a replacement for traditional newspaper news gathering.

Re:'Good' people still go to that 1 toll booth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29484105)

Wikinews: Suicide bomber kills 30 in northwest Pakistan [wikinews.org]

Sources?

"Deadly blast in Pakistan market [aljazeera.net] ". Al Jazeera, September 18, 2009
Pir Zubair Shah "Suicide Blast Kills 30 in Pakistan [nytimes.com] ". New York Times, September 18, 2009

Who paid for it? It wasn't free.

Re:'Good' people still go to that 1 toll booth (2, Interesting)

Znork (31774) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483289)

so you would have a higher expectation of getting a quality product.

In my experience quality correlates much less with price than with recommendations, and I certainly cant say pay-for news is among the areas where the players have created such expectations.

we're going to get crappy, slanted news

Two crappy slanted articles disagreeing with one another often leave you with a better understanding of reality than one high quality (less obviously slanted) article. And anyone with an agenda can publish anything they want; that doesn't mean anyone will actually read or care about what they publish.

"Today an eight car pileup"

Today, going by the average numbers, 136 people were killed in traffic in the US. Does putting those accidents in the news actually add anything of interest or is that a typical example of excessive creation and dissemination of information in a distributed world? Does anyone not personally affected care at all? About one of them, about all of them? Is it so important that we should, as a society, use artificial economic barriers to promote the production and distribution of such information?

Information is no longer a scarce product in almost any sector, in fact, the readers time is most often much more scarce. News media needs a huge, massive die-off (or people need vast amounts of more free time), or there simply won't be anywhere near the demand levels needed to motivate any kind of beyond-market incentive for news production.

Re:'Good' people still go to that 1 toll booth (5, Informative)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483379)

People seem to be ignoring that if news gathering becomes a volunteer-only effort, we're going to get crappy, slanted news -- far worse than anything we see today. Anyone with an agenda is going to put "reporters" on the scene who will deliver precisely the message they want you to hear, dressed up as "news".

Anyone with 5 minutes, a major historical news story and google news archive [google.com] can demonstrate the fallacy in your argument. You have described _exactly_ the state of mainstream news today - crappy, slanted news delivering the message they want you to hear (i.e. profitable to special interest groups). Pick any of the most significant events in the last decade where powerful special interest groups had a firm position, and the mainstream news has rolled over to shaft their viewer/readers with exactly the wrong message to suit their corporate masters position, flooding the media echo chamber [wikipedia.org] with the deceptive message in the process. Check it for yourself in the archives.

Pre-Iraq war - news message: weapons of mass destruction ("we must invade, there is no other choice"). Special Interest Group: The MIC. [wikipedia.org] .

Financial Crisis pre-2008 - news message: Money supply increases, what money supply increase? M3 discontinued [marketoracle.co.uk] , its not important... move along nothing is broken here as reflected in the total absence of mainstream news coverage [google.com]

The majority of news sources that told it how it turned out (in retrospect), were non-mainstream news sources - and thanks to services like google news archive it can easily be demonstrated. You did not hear significant anti-war positions [wifr.com] from the mainstream news cool-aid stand, which remained completely silent [google.com] . You also could have also known well in advance that inflation was heading for the moon, and where and why to best place your hard earned savings [billcara.com] for the coming economic storm from independent professionals not driven by increasing the bottom line, but instead in delivering accurate high quality news.

Publishers of mainstream news can't cut it on the internet, because they cannot compete with free high quality alternatives from motivated professionals.

Re:'Good' people still go to that 1 toll booth (1)

jc42 (318812) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483695)

People seem to be ignoring that if news gathering becomes a volunteer-only effort, we're going to get crappy, slanted news -- far worse than anything we see today.

Oh, I dunno; it seems to me that the news from "professional" sources has long had a reputation for biased, slanted news. It has mostly been in the form of quietly ignoring news that their employers and the advertisers don't want people to know about. Less often, it has been outright lies, though we saw a good example of this a few years back when the US media almost universally supported and pushed the idea that Iraq was the source of the attack on the World Trade Center. This was quite successful, as survey after survey showed that a large majority of Americans accepted the lie and the Iraq war.

We've also had a number of surveys before the last few US elections saying that the people who can correctly answer questions about candidates' policies are mostly the people who follow various political blogs (and the Daily Show and Wait Wait Don't Tell Me ;-). Those who get most of their political information from "professional" sources somehow haven't been nearly as good at correctly answering the surveyors' questions.

"Today an eight car pileup on the freeway left four people paralyzed. The four, who were insured through the Federal Government, had to wait an hour for an ambulance. The other four people, who were insured by Gekko, were rapidly whisked away to the hospital where they are recovering. Bob, how's the weather looking today?"

We've had a number of discussions here on slashdot about a very similar sort of bias. This is the ongoing malware/hacking stories, though there's a difference in the media bias: The new stories almost never mention any brand name in the stories about the latest virus/worm/phishing/whatever attack. In almost all of the stories, the attack only affects Microsoft systems, although the media invariably reports it as affecting "computers". This looks very much like a case of not reporting bad news about a major advertiser, though it may be also a case of reporters not even knowing that there are different kinds of computers. Anyway, the effect is to convince the general public that it's "computers" that are having a problem, not specific brand of computer (hardware and/or software). It's interesting that in similar stories about other industry recalls, the media usually reports brand names, model numbers, etc. But with computers, it's just "computers", with no identification needed. If you want to know the brands and models, you have to go to "amateur" news sites (like slashdot ;-) for the specific information.

In any case, people are noticing a serious problem with "professional" journalism: Now that we have the Internet, you can all too often get the real information only online, from the non-professional sources. Professional sources tend to show the same problems online that they have always had in print, mostly because professionals are paid and their employers are corporations that don't want some kinds of unbiased reporting.

Not that a random non-professional news source is necessarily reliable, of course. We still have to learn to read critically, and check stories with several sources (with different biases) before believing them or acting on them.

Re:'Good' people still go to that 1 toll booth (1)

cosm (1072588) | more than 4 years ago | (#29482867)

True. But if you could just convince all those people in the 1 open lane to wear balaclavas and go speeding through the other 49 lanes, then maybe the man would realize, "Oh wait-maybe we're doing something wrong". And then they would realize they could open all the lanes, and charge a lower price! And then traffic would flow better and people would be happy with the man and the system.

Or they would just build 50 more lanes, have 2 out of 100 open, and fine the balaclava wearers! 1. Create system with potential.
2. Cripple it with bureaucracy, idiocy, & greed.
3. ???????????
4. PROFIT!!!!!!

Re:'Good' people still go to that 1 toll booth (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29482883)

so i'm breaking the law when i read the news online? or are you just stupid?

morality != legality (4, Insightful)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 4 years ago | (#29482885)

The constant attempt at various corporations to conflate morality with legality in the minds of individual citizens is very ironic in light of the fact they have no such confusion themselves. What is moral is irrelevant to them, and even the issue of legality is only addressed as far is it doesn't hurt profitability too much. They have the option of being able to easily change the legal goalposts when they find the legal issues too much of a hassle.

Morality and legality can overlap, but they are not at all the same thing, and any attempt to claim they are is only convincing to children.

Re:'Good' people still go to that 1 toll booth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29483003)

Good people will still go to that 1 toll booth...because it's the legal route.

No, truly good people will do whatever they believe is best for others. If your "legal route" is wrong enough to harm a lot of people, some of those good people might even decide that killing those who uphold the law is the most moral course of action.

It boils down to one thing: law has little to do with ethics, and you're niave to equate the two.

Re:'Good' people still go to that 1 toll booth (5, Insightful)

mangu (126918) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483069)

Because despite it being slower, having longer queues, only being open at specific times and any money raised from that booth goes to "the man" - it's the legal route

Do you think reading news that someone paid for and is willing to give away for free is illegal?

After all, it's not as if this were something new, newspapers have been distributed for free before the internet existed. Even today, I get far more newsletters in my snail mailbox than I want to. Ad-based revenue did exist before the digital age.

All the propaganda you read about the "pirates" is just greed trying to appeal to your honesty.

I never paid for content, I paid for the convenience and the format. I have always been able to read the headlines for free at the newsstand, why should I pay to read the headlines at the internet? I listened to music for free on the radio, I only bought records that had some particular appeal for me, or to give as gifts. Why should I pay for mp3 music? I watched films for free on the TV but paid movie tickets to see the big screen, then why should I pay for a scrappy 700MB DVD rip?

Getting stuff from the internet is not unethical. I'm not consuming anything, I'm not using other people's paper, or ink, or vinyl, or theater seat. If the content creators are too stupid to find a lucrative means of revenue, it's their problem, I'm not taking anything away from them.

Re:'Good' people still go to that 1 toll booth (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483447)

Damn man, that's one powerful coolaid you had. Which flavor was it?

Re:'Good' people still go to that 1 toll booth (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483557)

My bad - your post (GP) reads like a sarcasm of sort.

Content value by their standards. (4, Informative)

cosm (1072588) | more than 4 years ago | (#29482847)

Q: " "Why didn't better content cost more?"
A: This is the media, if their content was better, they wouldn't need to force charge people for the vast sums of shitty content they spew in much higher proportions than the actual good content.

wonderful. (1)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 4 years ago | (#29482853)

Great... then print news can be more like TV - where "news" (and all other shows) aren't the content, they're just the bait.

Re:wonderful. (2, Interesting)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#29482871)

Well, HBO continues to exist, so I suspect you will still be able to buy print where you are mostly paying for the news, rather than the ads.

Re:wonderful. (4, Insightful)

FrkyD (545855) | more than 4 years ago | (#29482975)

It's been like that in printing for years. Publishers (at least of magazines and newspapers have been talking about selling "eyeballs" for years. Ever since I did my first production job the industry has known that issue and subscription sales have only just covered the printing costs. A decade ago no one in the print industry would have been able to maintain a straight face while saying the consumer neded to carry the cost.

And if you dont believe me, go take a look at an oldschool periodical publishing house and check out what their sales department does. In case you can't find one anymore I will tell you. They sell ads. Or rather adspace. Or rather, viewers. Just like broadcast TV.

The bigest problem with the news industry right now is that the online advertising market isn't able to subsidize their massive brick and mortar operations like a 4c backcover ad would have done. That's because their old scarcity model no longer applies. Advertising space is no longer hard to come by, distribution is easy and there is basically no barrier to entry. IN other words, potential competition is infinite.

Of course, like most of the content industry, the current publishing business structures are top heavy (as far as costs compared to value) or middle heavy (as far as number of non-productive jobs). We are seeing the death of the middlemen, NOT the content producers.

Unless the middlemen and non-productive types can manage to buy the legislation they need to maintain their old business models. If they can make it impossible for me to have access to distribution again, then they might be able to go back to business as usual.

Re:wonderful. (2, Insightful)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483157)

(Assuming your from the US*) That's the problem, If paid for content was more reliable/verified/trustable then people would be inclined to pay and get real news, unfortunately it seams quite the opposite is true, I trust content that's online for free BBC, wikinews, etc more than i trust print news.

*I should probably note that the TV news we get in the UK is much more trust worthy than the print media we get here.

Re:wonderful. (1)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483323)

(Assuming your from the US*) That's the problem, If paid for content was more reliable/verified/trustable then people would be inclined to pay and get real news

Nope. Lowest common denominator. One thing US news media has successfully shown is that when news is based on ratings and popularity, what you get is "news" that stokes people's fears, confirms their biases, tells them the lies they want to hear, and gives them a healthy dollop of tits and ass on the top.

IANAE (Economist) (4, Interesting)

paiute (550198) | more than 4 years ago | (#29482863)

But look at me this morning. I am reading the Boston Globe site, for which I pay (essentially) nothing. I am accessing this site via a Comcast connection, for which I pay waytoofarkingmuch per month. Yet I get a huge benefit from the Globe, information that is directly relevant to my daily life. From Comcast I get nothing but the passing along of the signal. There is something wrong with this picture.

If I were the Globe, I would think outside the newsbox. I would do something like set up a wireless network in and around Boston and sell internet access way under Comcast's price. The home page for this service would be boston.com or its descendant. The monthy access fee would cover the network costs and cover running the news organization.

There are probably technical problems to this fantasy, but IAANACSM (Also Computer Science Major)

IT'S MADONNA'S BIRTHDAY TODAY! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29482907)

MADONNA IS THE BEST! [madonna.com]
madonnanaked.jpg [google.com]

I made it through the wilderness Somehow I made it through Didn't know how lost I was Until I found you

I was beat incomplete I'd been had, I was sad and blue But you made me feel Yeah, you made me feel Shiny and new Like a virgin

Erotica, romance [repeat] My name is Dita I'll be your mistress tonight I'd like to put you in a trance

If I take you from behind
Push myself into your mind
When you least expect it
Will you try and reject it
If I'm in charge and I treat you like a child
Will you let yourself go wild
Let my mouth go where it wants to

Give it up, do as I say
Give it up and let me have my way
I'll give you love, I'll hit you like a truck
I'll give you love, I'll teach you how to ...

I'd like to put you in a trance, all over
Erotic, erotic, put your hands all over my body [repeat twice]
Erotic, erotic

Once you put your hand in the flame
You can never be the same
There's a certain satisfaction
In a little bit of pain
I can see you understand
I can tell that you're the same
If you're afraid, well rise above
I only hurt the ones I love

Give it up, do as I say
Give it up and let me have my way
I'll give you love, I'll hit you like a truck
I'll give you love, I'll teach you how to ...

I'd like to put you in a trance, all over
Erotic, erotic, put your hands all over my body [repeat twice]
Erotic, erotic

Erotica, romance
I'd like to put you in a trance
Erotica, romance
Put your hands all over my body

I don't think you know what pain is
I don't think you've gone that way
I could bring you so much pleasure
I'll come to you when you say
I know you want me
I'm not gonna hurt you
I'm not gonna hurt you, just close your eyes

Erotic, erotic [repeat several times]
Put your hands all over my body
All over me, all over me

Erotica, (give it up, give it up) romance
I'd like to put you in a trance
Erotica, (give it up, give it up) romance
I like to do a different kind of
Erotica, (give it up, give it up) romance
I'd like to put you in a trance
Erotica, romance
Put your hands all over my body

Only the one that hurts you can make you feel better
Only the one that inflicts pain can take it away

Re:IANAE (Economist) (1, Insightful)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483243)

It doesn't make sense.

You're suggesting that the Boston Globe sells "ISP + news" for cheaper than Comcast's "just ISP" service? How can they achieve that? If Comcast's rates are too high, why aren't rivals already undercutting them?

Would the Globe also close off access to their site from rival ISPs? Doesn't that undermine their advertising revenue from all those readers?

Re:IANAE (Economist) (1)

jc42 (318812) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483443)

Would the Globe also close off access to their site from rival ISPs? Doesn't that undermine their advertising revenue from all those readers?

Indeed; if your (near-)monopoly ISP service costs "waytoofarkingmuch", the solution isn't to install a second corporation that would act as a "gateway" with a strong motive to block access to their competitors. It's to end the regulation that maintains the local monopolies like Comcast, and/or replace it with regulation that strongly punishes the sort of blocking games that Comcast has become known for. More competition probably would drive overpricing down better than new regulation, but the bias/blocking problem can probably only be handled by legal means.

Re:IANAE (Economist) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29483693)

Comcast buys their rivals so they don't have to deal with the undercutting. Problem solved.

And here I was thinking, that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29482875)

newspapers had advertisements, in them, whether in paper or digital format.

If they're so money hungry, one scheme might be to ask for donations? Like... "Help us keep our site free by donating." or something.

Re:And here I was thinking, that... (1)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483039)

In the world of print magazines and newspapers, cover price is not much of an income stream. However, charging for the paper, or even better having plenty of paying subscribers, allows you to charge more for advertisers. It allows you to say "look, our readers are not just people who pick up a free rag on the bus, glance at it then throw it away. They're motivated, engaged readers who are so committed to our publication that they spend money on it.".

But, on the web, you can keep server logs to see how engaged readers are - so I guess there are better ways to convince an advertiser that ads on a particular site are worth paying more for.

And yes, there are plenty of other ways to bring in money. AFAIK tip jars have never been that much of a success. Sponsorship can work (a special kind of advertising), as can patronage (rich philanthropists keeping a publication going for the kudos it brings them)

Re:And here I was thinking, that... (2, Insightful)

multisync (218450) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483345)

one scheme might be to ask for donations

I support a commercial free, listener-supported Internet radio station [radioparadise.com] every month for the simple reason that I would be devastated by the loss if they ever went away (or * forbid, started playing commercials).

I think this model is workable, if your goal is to keep things simple and run it like a small business. I'm sure that's not what the big-money-media types want to hear, but simply asking people who value what you have to offer to voluntarily support you can do wonders. Look at how many people have an * to their user name here on Slashdot.

Re:And here I was thinking, that... (1)

daveime (1253762) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483819)

You know, I decided to pay for Sky Cable TV here in the Philippines for the exact same reason ... no commercials.

Now the bastards started sneaking them in as "sponsored by", "supported by", and "in association with" links, before, during and after every damn show and intermission. And it's not just *one* sponsor like CNN does, it's at least 5 for popular primetime shows.

Investigative Journalism? (4, Insightful)

koterica (981373) | more than 4 years ago | (#29482889)

If news is always a resource, and we expect to get it for free now that the distribution method is relatively free, how will we, as a community, pay for investigative journalism? Surely we can agree that news is significantly more valuable when there is someone who makes the effort to dig it up rather than waiting for it to land on their desks. I am willing to allow all the news about Brad and Angelina to be left to bloggers who just do it for kicks, but what about covered up scandals and government conspiracies (ie- NSA Wiretapping Program, Secret CIA Prisons, Torture)? I would really rather have some competing news outlets paying people to investigate things like that.

Re:Investigative Journalism? (2, Interesting)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29482993)

The way investigative journalism has been paid for in the past, must indicate that in a free market, consumers are willing to pay for it somehow. That is, (for example) the Washington Post's management believe that by spending money on investigative journalism, they can retain readership / gain new readership from the New York Times.

I *hope* that this principle continues in an online world. It might not be a matter of paying money for content. For example, however much you may hate advertising, you might be willing to go to a source with lots of ads and great journalism, rather than a site with no ads and crappy journalism.

Or, it might turn out that - however beneficial to society *I* might thing investigative journalism is - the market as a whole just doesn't think it's worth that much. That's markets.

Re:Investigative Journalism? (0, Offtopic)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483293)

For example, however much you may hate advertising, you might be willing to go to a source with lots of ads and great journalism

Or you could just go to the source with lots of ads and great journalism...without the ads thanks to Adblock [mozilla.org] .

Re:Investigative Journalism? (1)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483325)

Or you could just go to the source with lots of ads and great journalism...without the ads thanks to Adblock

Hooray!

And if enough of us did it, the advertisers would give up, the business model would fail, and the pay sites would win. (Or some other business model we've not dreamed up yet).

Re:Investigative Journalism? (1)

daveime (1253762) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483851)

Nope I don't agree there ...

Judging by the typical clickthru rates for banner ads (some fraction of 1%), most people will never click an ad and it would make no difference if the ads were blocked or not, and the minority who do already know what they are looking for and will happily tolerate the ads anyway if it helps them find a cheaper flight, or cheaper viagra, or whatever.

So saying that people who make a concious effort to block ads will kill the revenue is nonsense ... they would never have clicked on the ad anyway. And those who don't block ads are exactly the people the advertisers want to target.

Re:Investigative Journalism? (1)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483989)

Judging by the typical clickthru rates for banner ads [...]

Clue: not all ads are about clickthroughs, and not all advertisers pay by the clickthrough.

For example, if you visit Eurogamer.net right now, the front page is dominated by an ad for Need for Speed: Shift. You *can* click through that, and who knows, Eurogamer might get an extra fraction of a penny if you do so. But if you don't click through, you've still seen it. You've become aware that there's a new NFS game "in stores now"; you've seen a shot of a big shiny car.

I don't know for sure, but I've a good idea that Electronic Arts aren't *primarily* paying Eurogamer per clickthrough. They may be paying a fixed fee based on the site's historic visit rates, or they may be paying per exposure.

Clickthroughs are a good model for stuff like Google ads - for small sites that don't have the resources to run an ad sales division. But the big boys sell ads directly, and focus on views rather than clickthroughs.

After all, advertisers pay for displays on billboards, buses, phone booths, sports sidelines. You can't click through any of those.

If an advertiser believes that half a site's viewers are using adblock, they'll want to pay half as much for ads. That stands to reason.

Re:Investigative Journalism? (1, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483169)

You know, I pretty much agreed that paid newspapers did better investigative journalism until that whole ACORN scandal broke. That was just some guy who set up his own investigation and made a video to prove it. It was some of the best investigative reporting I've seen in a while.......compare it to mainstream media, which investigated such hard hitting stories as, "was Obama really born in the US?" and "Why was Mark Sanford not in his office?" or "Was Joe Wilson's apology enough?"

Another good example of investigative journalism is Michael Totten [michaeltotten.com] , a blogger who actually went to Iraq (he literally drove across the border with no prior plans. That takes guts. Later he went in again with the US army). He has gone all across the middle east, talking to average people on the street, and seeing what they have to say. It is some of the best reporting of the Iraq war I've seen, and he is directly supported by his readers.

Compare that to some of the fun stuff the mainstream media does. [honestreporting.com] It seems every few years the New York Times has to fire someone because they've been caught reporting unethically.

That said, there is some news content I am willing to pay for, the clearest example is the Wall Street Journal. They do a good job, but with Rupert Murdoch in charge now, it may not last much longer and is already going downhill.

With power comes great responsibility... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29483299)

The internet has given every user a best research tool. You want to know where investigative reporting will come from in the future? It will come from you ... you will be responisble.

Re:With power comes great responsibility... (1)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483497)

The internet has given every user a best research tool.

There's a lot of fascinating stuff that's not on the internet, and there will continue to be. Getting real factual content will always involve getting off your arse, and spending time, well, investigating.

Some journalists make a full time job of it. To do it as an amateur, well, you'd have to be independently wealthy I guess. So what happens to all those people with a talent for investigation, who are not independently wealthy?

BTW I'm not just talking about uncovering scandals here. It could be something as simple as spending a few weeks observing a public school or a hospital, interviewing stakeholders, and writing an article with your findings.

Re:Investigative Journalism? (2, Interesting)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#29484207)

The sad thing about this was that, at one time, at least as far as the Big Three networks went, it was pretty much part of the deal with the FCC that the news departments remained independent. That's how guys like Murrow could go after seemingly all-powerful people like a certain Junior Senator from Wisconsin.

There was a time that journalism was seen as a sacred trust, a key element of liberal democracy. While I'm sure most journalists still aspire to the high ideal, at the same time you have to wonder. Of course, the reality is that journalists, particularly in time of war, have become the willing or unwilling pawns of the military, but maybe I've grown a lot more jaded, because as one-sided and ludicrous as the old News Reels seem to be, there's nothing to my mind that compares with a reporter and camera crew on a leash at the service of Uncle Sam when they're whacking Arabs. In the end the journalists ceased being enamored with this whole "We're with the troops!" crap and started reporting at least something vaguely resembling reality, but it took too damned long, and effectively misled the American people as to the inadequacies of the invasion and the occupation that occurred afterwards.

Re:Investigative Journalism? (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#29484265)

In the end the journalists ceased being enamored with this whole "We're with the troops!" crap and started reporting at least something vaguely resembling reality, but it took too damned long, and effectively misled the American people as to the inadequacies of the invasion and the occupation that occurred afterwards.

The reason it took so long is because they were giving people what they wanted to hear. Most people supported the war, and they wanted to hear the good stuff. In fact, at the time, a good portion of Americans agreed with Nancy Pelosi that torture was ok. They wanted to see reports of tanks swooping in to Bagdad, and taking the place by storm. Which is essentially what happened, so it wasn't horrible reporting.

There were some bad reports, like the looting of the museums, but they didn't have the same prominence.

Re:Investigative Journalism? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#29484293)

There were some bad reports, like the looting of the museums, but they didn't have the same prominence.

Which is a pity, because that was a tragedy that will be felt down through the ages. But when you've got an army effectively run by a semi-retard alcoholic, little things like the roots of civilization don't mean all that much.

the split (1)

zogger (617870) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483267)

Writers REPORT the scandals. That is, the distill the information, write it up in somewhat easy to read form, their editors and proofreaders do the final touch up, etc but they DON'T for the most part "uncover" many scandals without the leaks. There are a few exceptions, such as lately those undercover Acorn whorehouse facilitating vids, but again, someone had to first leak that Acorn was doing such things. And that particular scandal did NOT come from main stream news expensive reporters, it came from private, very low ball cost, independent video bloggers, who just took a cheap cam, threw on laughable "pimp and ho" Halloween costumes, and waltzed in..

    The scandals themselves come from NON journalist insiders who are concerned over the crimes they see at work or wherever. Basically, all "investigative journalists" do is pretty up the story, and it became the fashion for these large old print media and broadcast media to claim they "uncovered" it. A lot of times they didn't, they just got tipped off, that's all. Most of the scandals probably. The classic Woodward and Bernstein and "deep throat". There was NO STORY without "deep throat" leaking it. Nowadays they wouldn't be needed, TOR and wikileaks (and etc other ways) would have sufficed to get the story out.

    How much is "news" worth, when we can still get the basic story today in a fashion that is just a little worse grammatically possibly, with some typos, or maybe the video is not top of the line professional quality, but "plenty good enough"?? I contend it is NOT worth billions of dollars annually anymore.

    And for regular local news, ordinary enthusiast bloggers can cover that, we are already seeing it, such as on Examiner and Topix and millions of other smaller efforts. Heck, look at "black box voting". The dang big guys didn't do jack shit with a pretty damn important story, neither uncovered it nor did much coverage of it, it was independent concerned people risking a lot that did it, put stuff up on the web about it, and are still the main source of information about this issue.

    There are enthusiasts for this or that, local kids baseball to the county board payoff scandals to huge geopolitical events, this area or that, big cities and foreign nations to little podunk towns and way the hell out in booganoogaland, and enjoy writing about it, and pay is a secondary issue, if it even matters to them at all, as most are completely content to do it for free, for their own reasons.

    And you don't need to "fly in" some expensive newsie anyplace any more, cellphones and the net are everywhere, even in remote developing nations, and the locals there are ALREADY THERE and have a BIG INTEREST in getting any sort of important "news" concerning their area out..and they are *doing so* now, and it is becoming more extensive daily. And it's just not all that hard to write well enough for other people to understand it, either, even having to jump through language translations hoops.

  The old news "business" paradigm is broken, because of modern tech. It's on the way out, just like the old business paradigm of charging ludicrous amounts for copies of music is on the way out, because "copies" are now extremely close to "free" in cost to make and distribute widely.

    World wide cheap easy internet has just utterly SMASHED any number of old dinosaur businesses now, they are just thrashing around in pools of their own bleeding irrelevancy. They are no longer "worth" what they think they are, not even a fraction of it, just because they WERE pre internet and cellphones.

    That was then, this is now, the sooner those people realize that, the sooner they can go find something else to do to "make tons of money". Or in the case of tools like Murdoch and his ilk, why can't they just close shop, call it a night cowboy, and go retire on the billions they already made?

  Just how freekin "rich" does society have to make these people anyway, and where is it carved in stone that we MUST keep those old businesses alive and kicking and making the same or more money as they used to? The bulk of the "service" they used to provide has cheap or free easy alternatives, so buh bye!

    I'm a farmer, the last time I had to first scythe a field and use a team of horses and a manual drive hay rake to get up hay was...NEVER..technology changed that business. The last time I had to take a pitchfork and build hayricks to store hay for the winter was ..NEVER..technology changed that business. The last time I had to salt down dozens of barrels of beef to be able to store it long term in mass quantities and then ship it and sell it, or "drive the herd to market" was..NEVER..we have trucks and refrigerators and freezers now. (although I do make a little jerky just for funzies). Now I *could* do it all the old way, but really...

  "News" as a business in 2009 and beyond will NOT exist like it did in 1899 or 1959 or even 1999, because technology has changed, and dramatically so. It could very well just completely poof as a "business". And that's the way it is [brainyquote.com] .

Funding Investigative Journalism (1)

qbzzt (11136) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483615)

but what about covered up scandals and government conspiracies (ie- NSA Wiretapping Program, Secret CIA Prisons, Torture)

Have the investigations funded by somebody who has a financial interest in finding out about them. I'm sure the Democratic party got plenty of value out of any dirt uncovered by looking for this. Similarly, the Republican party has a lot of interest in getting bad news about ACORN out.

It might require investigative journalists to gather really good evidence, but requiring that is a good idea anyway.

Your official guide to the Jigaboo presidency (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29482921)

Congratulations on your purchase of a brand new nigger! If handled properly, your apeman will give years of valuable, if reluctant, service.

INSTALLING YOUR NIGGER.
You should install your nigger differently according to whether you have purchased the field or house model. Field niggers work best in a serial configuration, i.e. chained together. Chain your nigger to another nigger immediately after unpacking it, and don't even think about taking that chain off, ever. Many niggers start singing as soon as you put a chain on them. This habit can usually be thrashed out of them if nipped in the bud. House niggers work best as standalone units, but should be hobbled or hamstrung to prevent attempts at escape. At this stage, your nigger can also be given a name. Most owners use the same names over and over, since niggers become confused by too much data. Rufus, Rastus, Remus, Toby, Carslisle, Carlton, Hey-You!-Yes-you!, Yeller, Blackstar, and Sambo are all effective names for your new buck nigger. If your nigger is a ho, it should be called Latrelle, L'Tanya, or Jemima. Some owners call their nigger hoes Latrine for a joke. Pearl, Blossom, and Ivory are also righteous names for nigger hoes. These names go straight over your nigger's head, by the way.

CONFIGURING YOUR NIGGER
Owing to a design error, your nigger comes equipped with a tongue and vocal chords. Most niggers can master only a few basic human phrases with this apparatus - "muh dick" being the most popular. However, others make barking, yelping, yapping noises and appear to be in some pain, so you should probably call a vet and have him remove your nigger's tongue. Once de-tongued your nigger will be a lot happier - at least, you won't hear it complaining anywhere near as much. Niggers have nothing interesting to say, anyway. Many owners also castrate their niggers for health reasons (yours, mine, and that of women, not the nigger's). This is strongly recommended, and frankly, it's a mystery why this is not done on the boat

HOUSING YOUR NIGGER.
Your nigger can be accommodated in cages with stout iron bars. Make sure, however, that the bars are wide enough to push pieces of nigger food through. The rule of thumb is, four niggers per square yard of cage. So a fifteen foot by thirty foot nigger cage can accommodate two hundred niggers. You can site a nigger cage anywhere, even on soft ground. Don't worry about your nigger fashioning makeshift shovels out of odd pieces of wood and digging an escape tunnel under the bars of the cage. Niggers never invented the shovel before and they're not about to now. In any case, your nigger is certainly too lazy to attempt escape. As long as the free food holds out, your nigger is living better than it did in Africa, so it will stay put. Buck niggers and hoe niggers can be safely accommodated in the same cage, as bucks never attempt sex with black hoes.

FEEDING YOUR NIGGER.
Your Nigger likes fried chicken, corn bread, and watermelon. You should therefore give it none of these things because its lazy ass almost certainly doesn't deserve it. Instead, feed it on porridge with salt, and creek water. Your nigger will supplement its diet with whatever it finds in the fields, other niggers, etc. Experienced nigger owners sometimes push watermelon slices through the bars of the nigger cage at the end of the day as a treat, but only if all niggers have worked well and nothing has been stolen that day. Mike of the Old Ranch Plantation reports that this last one is a killer, since all niggers steal something almost every single day of their lives. He reports he doesn't have to spend much on free watermelon for his niggers as a result. You should never allow your nigger meal breaks while at work, since if it stops work for more than ten minutes it will need to be retrained. You would be surprised how long it takes to teach a nigger to pick cotton. You really would. Coffee beans? Don't ask. You have no idea.

MAKING YOUR NIGGER WORK.
Niggers are very, very averse to work of any kind. The nigger's most prominent anatomical feature, after all, its oversized buttocks, which have evolved to make it more comfortable for your nigger to sit around all day doing nothing for its entire life. Niggers are often good runners, too, to enable them to sprint quickly in the opposite direction if they see work heading their way. The solution to this is to *dupe* your nigger into working. After installation, encourage it towards the cotton field with blows of a wooden club, fence post, baseball bat, etc., and then tell it that all that cotton belongs to a white man, who won't be back until tomorrow. Your nigger will then frantically compete with the other field niggers to steal as much of that cotton as it can before the white man returns. At the end of the day, return your nigger to its cage and laugh at its stupidity, then repeat the same trick every day indefinitely. Your nigger comes equipped with the standard nigger IQ of 75 and a memory to match, so it will forget this trick overnight. Niggers can start work at around 5am. You should then return to bed and come back at around 10am. Your niggers can then work through until around 10pm or whenever the light fades.

ENTERTAINING YOUR NIGGER.
Your nigger enjoys play, like most animals, so you should play with it regularly. A happy smiling nigger works best. Games niggers enjoy include: 1) A good thrashing: every few days, take your nigger's pants down, hang it up by its heels, and have some of your other niggers thrash it with a club or whip. Your nigger will signal its intense enjoyment by shrieking and sobbing. 2) Lynch the nigger: niggers are cheap and there are millions more where yours came from. So every now and then, push the boat out a bit and lynch a nigger.

Lynchings are best done with a rope over the branch of a tree, and niggers just love to be lynched. It makes them feel special. Make your other niggers watch. They'll be so grateful, they'll work harder for a day or two (and then you can lynch another one). 3) Nigger dragging: Tie your nigger by one wrist to the tow bar on the back of suitable vehicle, then drive away at approximately 50mph. Your nigger's shrieks of enjoyment will be heard for miles. It will shriek until it falls apart. To prolong the fun for the nigger, do *NOT* drag him by his feet, as his head comes off too soon. This is painless for the nigger, but spoils the fun. Always wear a seatbelt and never exceed the speed limit. 4) Playing on the PNL: a variation on (2), except you can lynch your nigger out in the fields, thus saving work time. Niggers enjoy this game best if the PNL is operated by a man in a tall white hood. 5) Hunt the nigger: a variation of Hunt the Slipper, but played outdoors, with Dobermans. WARNING: do not let your Dobermans bite a nigger, as they are highly toxic.

DISPOSAL OF DEAD NIGGERS.
Niggers die on average at around 40, which some might say is 40 years too late, but there you go. Most people prefer their niggers dead, in fact. When yours dies, report the license number of the car that did the drive-by shooting of your nigger. The police will collect the nigger and dispose of it for you.

COMMON PROBLEMS WITH NIGGERS - MY NIGGER IS VERY AGGRESIVE
Have it put down, for god's sake. Who needs an uppity nigger? What are we, short of niggers or something?

MY NIGGER KEEPS RAPING WHITE WOMEN
They all do this. Shorten your nigger's chain so it can't reach any white women, and arm heavily any white women who might go near it.

WILL MY NIGGER ATTACK ME?
Not unless it outnumbers you 20 to 1, and even then, it's not likely. If niggers successfully overthrew their owners, they'd have to sort out their own food. This is probably why nigger uprisings were nonexistent (until some fool gave them rights).

MY NIGGER BITCHES ABOUT ITS "RIGHTS" AND "RACISM".
Yeah, well, it would. Tell it to shut the fuck up.

MY NIGGER'S HIDE IS A FUNNY COLOR. - WHAT IS THE CORRECT SHADE FOR A NIGGER?
A nigger's skin is actually more or less transparent. That brown color you can see is the shit your nigger is full of. This is why some models of nigger are sold as "The Shitskin".

MY NIGGER ACTS LIKE A NIGGER, BUT IS WHITE.
What you have there is a "wigger". Rough crowd. WOW!

IS THAT LIKE AN ALBINO? ARE THEY RARE?
They're as common as dog shit and about as valuable. In fact, one of them was President between 1992 and 2000. Put your wigger in a cage with a few hundred genuine niggers and you'll soon find it stops acting like a nigger. However, leave it in the cage and let the niggers dispose of it. The best thing for any wigger is a dose of TNB.

MY NIGGER SMELLS REALLY BAD
And you were expecting what?

SHOULD I STORE MY DEAD NIGGER?
When you came in here, did you see a sign that said "Dead nigger storage"? .That's because there ain't no goddamn sign.

Not even based on facts. (1)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29482941)

Paul Graham's essay:

Almost every form of publishing has been organized as if the medium was what they were selling, and the content was irrelevant. Book publishers, for example, set prices based on the cost of producing and distributing books. They treat the words printed in the book the same way a textile manufacturer treats the patterns printed on its fabrics.

Nonsense. Some paperback editions of out-of-copyright works sell for £1. A new novel by a big literary figure fill sell for £9 in paperback, £18 in hardback (with the paperback released later; the hardback price is really a 'get it first' price). A trashy mass markey novel will cost £5 in paperback. A magazine rack book of romantic short stories costs £2.50. A technical book will cost upwards of £20.

These all cost approximately the same to print and distribute - and it's a tiny proportion of the price.

Re:Not even based on facts. (1)

c_forq (924234) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483105)

You're looking at a resellers price, not the producer. There are still difference, but it is due to the cost for the producer (the big literary figure causes a higher cost for production). The price is in no way based on content, it is based the same way an OEM prices their products.

Re:Not even based on facts. (1)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483205)

The price is in no way based on content, it is based the same way an OEM prices their products.

If I understand your point correctly, then the OEM's product *is* the content.

So a novelist charges $x for the text of a novel, the shelf price of the paperback reflects that. The publisher is supposed to recognise quality(*), and what the novelist gets to charge accordingly. This is exactly what Paul Graham seems to be saying doesn't happen.

(*) where "quality" actually means "consumer sales potential".

Re:Not even based on facts. (1)

c_forq (924234) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483933)

Except they are basing the costs on their expenses, not on the sales potential. Chuck Palahniuk is priced the same as J.K. Rowling which is the same as R.A. Salvatore - even though they have completely different sale potentials.

Re:Not even based on facts. (1)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29484115)

Except they are basing the costs on their expenses, not on the sales potential.

Do you have a source for that?

Basic guesses about how the world works, suggest that Chuck Palahniuk and JK Rowling pay an agent to negotiate as high a price as possible for publishing rights, and that that figure has pretty much nothing to do with expenses.

How about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29482963)

...giving the customers what they want?

Today there is no shortage of options and sources for those who want celebrity gossip & opinions, political gossip & opinions, technological gossip & opinions, sports gossip & opinions, world events and international affairs gossip & opinions, conflict gossip & opinions, judicial gossip & opinions, market gossip & opinions and so on.

But a lot of people would like to have NEWS delivered and nobody seems to sell that without obfuscation beneath layers of gossip & opinions.

And perhaps beneath it all the biggest news is that the societies and cultures of the western world have been and are dying at their own hands by internal squabbling and betrayal to appease and support the numerous enemies of freedom and life, enemies both internal and external.

There is a problem with content... (2, Insightful)

RobinH (124750) | more than 4 years ago | (#29482971)

To build on what Paul Graham is saying, I think there's a more fundamental problem with selling "content":

Each piece of content (article, story, etc.) tends to be a one-time use product (this is less true for movies, and not true at all for songs). But if you want to sell a one-time use unique product, then the consumer can't tell if it was worth the money until *after* they've consumed it. This creates risk and people are risk-averse when it comes to spending money (even one penny). So you can try to become known for producing consistently good content (very hard), and then sell that, but that means all the stuff you do first has to be given away for free. As soon as you start charging, you significantly reduce your audience growth rate.

So there are other business models for content. You can become recognized as an expert on X, and then people interested in X will read about you. However, if you try to start selling advertisements or referrals for X, you start to lose credibility.

Therefore, I think the next logical step is to become recognized as an expert on X (as a critic), then announce you're fed up with the existing offerings of X (because of reasons Y and Z), and tell your audience you've decided to go and make your own X that's much better than everyone else's X, and then you've got an audience of people who are going to be drooling to buy your X.

Please mod up (1)

SPrintF (95561) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483133)

The "one-time use content vs risk" idea is very insightful, from an economic perspective.

Re:There is a problem with content... (1)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29484211)

So there are other business models for content. You can become recognized as an expert on X, and then people interested in X will read about you. However, if you try to start selling advertisements or referrals for X, you start to lose credibility.

For a sufficiently broad X, I think there's plenty of precedents that say you needn't lose credibility (at least, in the eyes of enough readers to stay popular).

'Home Cinema World' is an authority on home cinema, and carries oodles of ads for home cinema products.

'Runner's World' carries adverts for training shoes, heart monitors, dietary supplements etc., and is still considered credible enough to maintain a readership.

Now, you could argue in both cases that these magazines pander to their advertisers -- you won't get a hi-fi mag doing an expose of the bullshit fed to you by cable manufacturers, nor are you likely to see Runner's World pushing the view that highly padded shoes do more harm than good.

But the important thing is that not enough people are put off by that potential conflict, that the publications fail in the marketplace.

The way I see it (4, Insightful)

noundi (1044080) | more than 4 years ago | (#29482997)

The way I see it this is about paid services trying to offer the same bullshit as free services do. Can anybody honestly say that they trust news sources any more than they trust gossip? The problem is that journalism used to be a respected profession, but then some publisher along the way figured "Hey we don't need to report the truth, we only need to report what's 'amazing'", and people bought it. When the internet came the cost for deliverance of these "news" was cut to almost nothing. Now these bullshit publishers, who were already living off advertisement and the cost for the paper itself was more or less the production cost minus human labour, got to reduce that last cost which was the cost for the paper, thus solely existing due to ad exposure. Some tried the hybrid model, which seems to have failed, while still offering the same bullshit content. How can anybody expect to get paid for that?

I'm not against paid services, infact I very much hope someone brings forth a news service that reports truth, and if someone does I have no reason not to pay for it. But pay for lies? Hell I can just ring my neighbours doorbell for that.

Re:The way I see it (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 4 years ago | (#29484123)

The problem is that journalism used to be a respected profession, but then some publisher along the way figured "Hey we don't need to report the truth, we only need to report what's 'amazing'", and people bought it.

You wouldn't happen to be talking about this guy [zpub.com] , would ya? Or the Big Cheese himself [onlineconcepts.com] ? Heh, Kinda like Nobel and his dynamite...

Re:The way I see it (1)

noundi (1044080) | more than 4 years ago | (#29484589)

The problem is that journalism used to be a respected profession, but then some publisher along the way figured "Hey we don't need to report the truth, we only need to report what's 'amazing'", and people bought it.

You wouldn't happen to be talking about this guy [zpub.com] , would ya? Or the Big Cheese himself [onlineconcepts.com] ? Heh, Kinda like Nobel and his dynamite...

I would probably happen to be talking about exactly these guys. Many thanks for this!

Not what big media wants. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483005)

Big Media does not want to sell you a product. Remember, we needed First Sale Law to make it explicitly clear that the purchaser of a product does not accept any obligations that they have not agreed upon prior to the sale to even be free to resell books and sheet music. (Hence, EULAs are nonsense, and only the law applies. It's not the EULA that forbids you from selling copies.) Hollywood would like to sell you the right to listen to some music, and ideally (for them) you would be prohibited from even reselling it, at least without them receiving "their" cut. So far, the market has responded overwhelmingly in favor of First Sale, which is why nerds were able to lead a successful backlash against DivX — not the video CODEC, but the company whose business model revolved around selling you a DVD player which could call home and report on you.

Metaphors Fail (1)

DynaSoar (714234) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483019)

You can call it 'Fred and Barny' if you like, the owners are going to call it what they intend for it to be. As for the rationalizing rhapsody of contrast and comparison, forget it. No analogies suffice. There is nothing "like" the net.

micropayments (4, Insightful)

Eil (82413) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483041)

The concept of micropayments in the context of content has been a pipe dream for over a decade now. To businesspeople, it's one of those ideas that's so appealing they just can't let it go because they can't grasp just how complex a system it is, and how many people will simply say, "no thanks," because they don't want to feel like they're being nickeled-and-dimed to death for something they're used to getting for free. Micropayments have enjoyed some success in online gaming, but will never work in the news biz because for every site that will charge for articles, you'll find four more giving roughly the same thing away for free and living off the advertising alone.

I don't know what the future of journalism will look like, but I can tell you that it won't involve charging the end user per-article payments or subscriptions. Anyone who thinks either of those will work for the industry as a whole in the long term is either blinded by greed or on crack.

Better content does fetch more $$$. (1)

Kaz Kylheku (1484) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483047)

Better (or at least more popular) content moves more copies. Its superiority doesn't need to be reflected in a significant variation of the unit cost.

Afloat? (1)

WillKemp (1338605) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483071)

[......] as publishers of news and music are saying while they struggle to stay afloat in the digital age.

Publishers of music aren't struggling to stay afloat - they're raking it in as fast as ever. They're just whining cos they want even more.

carwin (1)

GetTragic (21640) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483093)

David Carr with the car analogy.

Better content DOES cost more -- and "better"? (3, Insightful)

__roo (86767) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483101)

There are a few pretty big gaps in this article's reasoning.

If the content was what they were selling, why has the price of books or music or movies always depended mostly on the format?

The price of books or music or movies doesn't depend on the format. If it did, all MP3s and DVDs would cost the same, and books would be priced based on their print quality, number of pages and binding. And last time I checked, not all MP3s, books or DVDs cost the same. Books that cost the same to print often have wildly different retail prices. And MP3s -- well, there, the medium cost is nothing. The production costs certainly vary, but it's rarely the production cost that contributes to the price.

I happen to make part of my living writing books. And I have two books, for example, that are almost identical in format (printing, length, etc.), but with over 50% difference in price because of the content of the books.

Second, the article talks about better content, but "better" is highly subjective. Here's an example right from the beginning of the article:

A copy of Time costs $5 for 58 pages, or 8.6 cents a page. The Economist costs $7 for 86 pages, or 8.1 cents a page. Better journalism is actually slightly cheaper.

Personally, I happen to prefer the Economist to Time. But there are a lot of people who prefer Time. Who's right? Who knows?

I think pricing is an odd, and probably not all that useful, way to look at this. While one reaction might be to let the market determine what's "better," I think markets are very good at determining a price for, say, an album, but notoriously bad at determining what's "better." To butcher an Oscar Wilde quote, markets know the price of everything and the value of nothing. Personally, I would throw you average Celine Dion album in a bargain bin, but there are clearly many people (and not just French Canadians!) who would disagree. And price is not necessarily indicative of anything at all. Is Radiohead's In Rainbows [wikipedia.org] "worse" because they gave it away for whatever price you happened to feel like paying?

One last thing strikes me about the article:

[3] I never watch movies in theaters anymore. The tipping point for me was the ads they show first.

That's a great example of a point I thought the article only tangentially made. People go to a movie theater to meet up with friends, take out the family, go on a date, etc. The $7 tub of popcorn isn't worth $7 because of the corn in it is somehow "better." It's worth $7 to the people who get it because it's part of the experience. The "content" there is the movie, but it's the real purpose of going to a theater is only partially to experience the movie. (I'm not quite sure exactly how that impacts the point of the article, but it definitely paints a murkier picture than the article suggests.)

Re:Better content DOES cost more -- and "better"? (1)

crispytwo (1144275) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483891)

This is a conversation I've had many times as well.

The price of books or music or movies doesn't depend on the format.

People do pay for format. They pay more for perceived quality or collect-ability. But I agree, that content comes first.

I would throw you average Celine Dion album in a bargain bin

Again, this demonstrates that content matters.

I never watch movies in theaters anymore.

I laughed when a read that -- it just means he's getting old. My parents don't go to the theater any more either... and it's not 'because' of the ads. I go less than I used to when I was 20, because I'm not interested in the 'content' ... Content is nearly everything, the container (DVD, MP3, cassette, book, IMAX) is next to meaningless.

I'm also one who doesn't see the same movie 12 times... once, maybe twice, is enough.

The problem is it is hard to make people pay for anything. Life is expensive, but anything beyond air, shelter and food, it requires some amount of effort to sell anything. The newspapers just don't tell me compelling reasons why I should bother with them. And on top of that, every time I read their sh*t, I'm disappointed, which doesn't help their angle.

The news companies are complaining that they have to work for their customers -- and, generally, the customers just don't believe them. There are local community news papers that actually are doing fine reporting on local news... delivered free (ad paid). Nobody talks about them with the "big" news papers either. Why?

It looks like it is time for the "big" news giants to die and get reborn. The gap will be filled, or it never mattered.

Darwinism for Content (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29483211)

I think it is going to be like Darwinism for Content, mutate to what your clients want and make sure it's profitable for yourself .
If you don't you will just fade away. Every other business has to do this, what makes the media industry any different?
i don't think the demand for news will fade away, I just think that a handful of companies who for a long time have controlled the aggregation are now confronted with more competition.
They are complaining about it, boohoo. I think it's time for them to re-learn how to compete and do business smarter.

Bigger is Better (1)

PingPongBoy (303994) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483281)

The answer may lie in the quantity of content, as far as selling is concerned.

Fact: the Internet allows a lot of free content in small page-sized elements.

Hypothesis: want to sell content? Make it a lot bigger than a page.

If you are a typical person, an article will often make you scratch your head. People won't buy such small scraps of information because they don't see long-term value. It's cheap for the writer to whip the stuff out, but it's selling strength is very low. The economics of buying news is simply that people usually find news reporting to be entertainment and not much use in helping them gain financially. The news is very hit and miss in terms of helping people make a good bargain, improve their life, or make a better decision. As a result, the media is marketing to the point that they give away their content, and after all, putting news on the Internet is in a large part marketing.

What if writers put in the effort to make book-sized stories and filled in the background as well as the many things that are omitted for lack of space in the one-page article? It would take a lot more time to get the info and write about it, but in the computer age it may be viable. Many objections besides the cost and risk come to mind such as readers would go nuts distinguishing between facts and opinions, as opinions inevitably creep into such large hunks of verbiage, or wading through different versions from different publishers, or even the sheer cost of spending more than X dollars a day to get the lowdown on big news.

But if the information is proven to serve readers in a way that helps them earn more, then they will be more likely to actually pay for it. If a person could pick up on some news in such completeness that s/he could go to an employer or a client and say "I learned such and such to the degree that I can actually turn it into business value," then some extra dollars might flow in the way of the news consumer. This kind of cause-effect would loosen many a purse string when it comes to spending for daily news.

Hardly a new idea (1)

jc42 (318812) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483381)

Two examples that I've found useful in various online discussions:

1) If you go into any "tech" bookstore, up front you'll see some displays of the current best-sellers. If you open them and scan the first few pages, you'll typically find a URL where you can download them in PDF form, for free. So you can get them for free over the Net, but the books are selling well, typically at rather high prices. WTF is going on here? Simple: A printed book has a lot of advantages over a PDF on your disk. (And yes, the PDF has a lot of advantages over the hard copy form.) Try getting both and using them both as a reference; you'll quickly see what I mean. Every software lab I've worked in, including those devoted to network software, have had a small library of useful reference books. Sometime there are several copies of some of the books.

2) A year or two back, a musician whose name is well-known in the styles that he plays announced on several online forums that he had put together yet another collection of his new tunes. It wasn't actually in production yet, so he had put the whole collection online in several formats. He told us the URL and asked for comments and criticism. Over the next few days, there were a good number of questions posted asking "When can I buy the book?" He replied with comments like "Hey, I'm giving them out for free online; why are you all trying to pay me for them?" But of course, this was just joking, because he knew as well as the rest of us why. Yeah, we could download all the tunes, print them out, punch holes in the pages, and put them into a binder. Some of us did that. That takes time (and paper and ink and a binder, which aren't free). If we could send him $20 or so for the printed and bound version, we could spent the time saved playing music.

This example is interesting because it has shown one effect of online "publishing" which may be permanent. A common problem with music books is that the binding doesn't allow them to lie open on a music stand. It used to be that you had to copy the pages you want to play. Now, what you can do is send a message to the publisher (and announce on relevant music forums) that you aren't buying the book because of the bad binding; you have downloaded the music and printed it yourself. Music publishers are slowly learning that they have to use the right sort of binding, or they won't make many sales. When they all learn this, life will be a bit easier for a lot of musicians.

Anyway, both of these illustrate the fact that the physical medium and format may not be everything, but it can be an important part of why people buy hard copy rather than download, even when the hard copy is more expensive.

We need professionals (2, Insightful)

LihTox (754597) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483527)

As some have already pointed out here, blogs do still rely on the professional journalism that comes out of newspapers and television networks. Amateurs can't hope to have the access or clout that professional organizations do, and locally we can't sit around and hope that someone in the community will make it to every city council meeting and write it up. If you've got a local journalism buff who likes to blog and has the time, great. If you don't, you need to get someone to do it, and that means paying them.

If advertising doesn't work then journalism needs new revenue streams. Non-profits are one idea if they can get enough grants and donations and whatnot. A government service like the BBC and CBC is also an idea, but probably won't go over very well in America. I'm reminded of an idea from the novel Earth by David Brin: in that society (set in roughly 2030 if I remember right) people were required to subscribe to a particular number of news feeds in order to keep the right to vote, the idea being that a voter must keep informed about current events. Suppose that, rather than funding news agencies directly, the government gave every citizen an allowance which they were required to donate to one or more news agencies (paid for by taxes, and therefore equivalent to requiring every citizen to pay for news, but with a subsidy for low-income citizens). This would allow the people to decide which news organizations should be funded, rather than letting the government decide. Of course, there are difficulties--- what constitutes a news agency? Fox News? DailyKos? What if I started my own newspaper, circulation 1, just so I could keep the money--- and they may be insurmountable. But I think journalism is very important to this country, as important as health care and sanitation and all the rest, and something will have to be done.

The real content for newspapers is ads. (1)

MadHungarian (166146) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483559)

Back when I was consulting for newspapers, a rough calculation showed that the price of the newspaper times the number of copies printed daily did not even cover the cost of the raw paper. If I went to the news department, old worn office furniture, crowed working conditions, people sharing desks. In the Ad department, leather chairs all around, many private offices, up to date office furniture and nice wooden desks.

IMHO what killed newspapers is not that people are getting news online, but the fact that more and more people are shopping online.

Give Music Away? (1)

NeRMe (159557) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483837)

"Give music away and make money from concerts and t-shirts."

When are we going to see this new form of the industry emerge?

See, because right now, song writers, sound engineers, and session drummers are not seeing a dime from concerts and t-shirt sales.

I always hear from these "Internet visionaries" that bands are just going to HAVE start operating this way. Well, unfortunately, the music industry doesn't solely consist of jobless 22 year olds playing guitar for other jobless 22 year olds.

Does everyone involved in the music making profession need to be a touring musician now?

Who is going to step up and reorganize the industry based around merchandise sales? Can't you see some issues with that? What if the t-shirt design sucks? Should the guy who wrote the song or played marimbas on the recording suffer the consequences? How exactly does this business function?

Re:Give Music Away? (1)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29484087)

Well, you're off-topic, and who knows, I might get downmodded for reponding to you.

You're making a similar objection to that made by some programmers back when free software was a new idea. "How will programmers make a living?". The answer to this is that the world does not owe programmers, or session drummers, or sound engineers a living. Any more than horseshoe manufacturers were owed a living when other forms of transports overtook the horse.

As it happens, programmers found ways to get paid for writing free software. In all likelihood musicians will continue to find ways to get paid for making music - but if they don't, that's just a free market making decisions about the value of musicianship. I gather that recording studios are closing down all over the place -- that's a result of technology moving on and home studios being much more viable.

The upshot of it all is, there's some level of renumeration that a given individual will expect in exchange for a day playing drums or doing studio engineering. If what people are prepared to pay for that doesn't match, then you do something else for the money.

Re:Give Music Away? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29484527)

"The answer to this is that the world does not owe programmers, or session drummers, or sound engineers a living. Any more than horseshoe manufacturers were owed a living when other forms of transports overtook the horse."

Rubbish. The music is worth whatever the programmers, session drummers and sound engineers charge for it. If people rip them off, then that is not a free market, criminal matters are not part of the economy at all.

The tired old 'horseshoe manufacturers/buggy whip makers' idea has nothing to with this, as people still want new good quality music, and the drummers etc skills are thus still valuable.

When making an analogy with free software, remember that free software exists alongside the commercial software industry. There is free music too, licensed under creative commons. But be honest, do you actually listen to any of it?

The upshot of all this is that producing quality recorded music costs money. If people don't want to pay for it, they should listen to the free alternatives, of which there are millions of hours worth on the internet. This is much the same as how the software free/commercial industry works, and I see no reason to see music and software piracy as being any different.

Re:Give Music Away? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29484389)

The whole 'concerts and t-shirts' thing is bullshit, and only someone who has never worked in the music industry would suggest it.

It is about as practical as suggesting computer games companies make their money from LAN parties and selling T-shirts.

Clay Shirky explained why micropayments won't work (1)

pem (1013437) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483879)

over 6 years ago. [shirky.com] Oddly enough, I read it here first. I don't think anything has changed.

Now, it may be that micropayments work at a level between the retailer and the wholesaler. For example, google could pay micropayments to useful sources, or I could subscribe to a news source or listen to a radio station. The author/band/whoever gets paid via aggregated micropayments, but I don't actually make a micropayment. That is, historically, a sound business model, but making people decide on an article-by-article basis whether they want to read the whole thing for a penny is nuts.

Actually, more like nine years ago (1)

pem (1013437) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483911)

I realized that wasn't the right article -- here [slashdot.org] is the one I was looking for. He probably even debunked them earlier, but this was just the first time I saw it.

Re:Actually, more like nine years ago (2, Informative)

pem (1013437) | more than 4 years ago | (#29483931)

Oops -- let me try one more time to get the link right: micropayments.html [openp2p.com] Need to learn to hit "preview"

Murdoch stands on the shoulders of giants (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 4 years ago | (#29484177)

Remember the Maine! [onlineconcepts.com]

Great (1)

Franklin Brauner (1034220) | more than 4 years ago | (#29484391)

If the choice is to charge us appropriately for the medium, believe me, they will!

Micropayments??? (1)

Fieryphoenix (1161565) | more than 4 years ago | (#29484595)

No one will ever benefit from "micropayments" so long as idiot publishers hear the term and think four dollars fits the bill!
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