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Apple eBook Rules Changing For Sellers

kithrup Re:Ridiculous (584 comments)

Which part of "the publishers set the price and the profit margin" did you not understand?

The sale price is $10, and the publisher benevolently allows Amazon to keep 30% of that. So they send $7 to the publisher, and keep $3. But Apple demands 30% of the sale price, $10. So Amazon doesn't see $10, they see $7. And they still have to send $7 to the publisher. Therefore, Amazon gets nothing.

more than 3 years ago
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Apple eBook Rules Changing For Sellers

kithrup Re:Ridiculous (584 comments)

In many cases, Amazon is not allowed (contractually) to set the price -- the publisher does. This happened last year, when Amazon and MacMillan had their kerfuffle. If you look at Kindle books, if it says "The publisher has set this price," that's what's going on there -- and the publisher has graciously allowed Amazon to take 30% profit on the price the publisher dictates. So, no, Amazon won't be raising prices. They can't. And since Apple takes 30% of the sale price, and the publishers have graciously allowed Amazon to keep 30% of the sale price, that means there is no money for Amazon. Which means no Kindle for iPhone/iPad/whatever. The same thing applies to the Nook.

more than 3 years ago
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Apple eBook Rules Changing For Sellers

kithrup Re:Ridiculous (584 comments)

Yes, quite ridiculous: Apple doesn't set the prices. Apple has price ranges for the developer or publisher to pick, but Apple doesn't set them. (That is, the developer can pick a price of US$0.99, US$1.99, and so forth.)

more than 3 years ago
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What If We Ran Universities Like Wikipedia?

kithrup And we could call it (380 comments)

The South Harmon Institute of Technology.

more than 3 years ago
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Subscription-Based 'Hulu Plus' Is Now Official

kithrup Re:Wait... (434 comments)

Unskippable ads. Unlike with cable (with a DVR), where you can fast forward or skip through them, if you've recorded it.

more than 4 years ago
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Smokescreen, a JavaScript-Based Flash Player

kithrup Re:Impressive (356 comments)

Or not... clicked on the link on an iPad, it then said "No Smokescreen :(".

(Okay, let me amend that -- it is, in fact, very very very impressive, and my hat off to the guy. But as a demo of "Flash on iDevice," not so much.)

more than 4 years ago
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Gizmodo Blows Whistle On 4G iPhone Loser

kithrup Re:Two Strikes... (853 comments)

Triple-bad, I think -- the guy who "found" the phone and rather than leave it with the bar, decided to instead take it and sell it, is probably going to be the target of lawyers as well.

more than 3 years ago
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Gizmodo Blows Whistle On 4G iPhone Loser

kithrup Re:He'd Be In Trouble Anyway (853 comments)

Anyone can remote-wipe their iPhone using the "Find My iPone" page. The fact that it was remote-wiped doesn't mean Apple knew about it.

(It also doesn't mean they didn't know about it. I'm just saying, there's no real evidence here either way, at least not at this point.)

more than 3 years ago
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Sci-Fi Writer Peter Watts Convicted of Assault

kithrup No, he was not (381 comments)

He was convicted of obstruction -- because after getting out of the car in which he was repeatedly assaulted (that is, struck in the face by the officer), he did not immediately drop to the ground when ordered to do so.

more than 3 years ago
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Amazon Battles Apple By Arm-Twisting Publishers

kithrup Re:Amazon is fighting for their life here, remembe (137 comments)

I fully agree. I should have made it clear that Amazon's "life" includes their business model. It may be that the publishers can change the business model to the one they prefer; it may be they cannot. Or it may be that some other model will appear. Amazon can try to fight it, can go with the change being pushed by the publishers, or can try to come up with a new model.

My point, however, was that right now, Amazon appears to consider this a life-or-death situation, and are reacting thus.

Personally, as a consumer, I like being able to find deals -- either lower prices, or package deals (e.g., buy all three books in a trilogy for less than the combined prices). As a member of the society, I dislike retailers pushing prices so low that the producers (e.g., manufacturers, publishers, or writers) suffer. As I said, a pox on all of them.

(And I would say that both Macmillan and Amazon are acting as stubbornly and as self-damagingly as the record labels did.)

more than 3 years ago
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Amazon Battles Apple By Arm-Twisting Publishers

kithrup Re:This is unexpected, how? (137 comments)

What do you mean by "buy"?

Since there is no physical medium, I don't think a "buy" model will ever happen. So that probably means no re-selling to, say, used book stores, or donating to libraries (which typically then sell the books you donate).

If you mean, "without any DRM," then there's Baen's Webscription, which offers a variety of formats, all without DRM. And the Apple deal with publishers allegedly allows the publishers to decided whether or not they want the content DRM'd. (Gee, I wonder what the vast majority of them will choose...)

more than 3 years ago
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Amazon Battles Apple By Arm-Twisting Publishers

kithrup Amazon is fighting for their life here, remember (137 comments)

This goes contrary to the degree of control Amazon likes

Forcing an "agency model" on any retailer is going contrary to both history and market standards. The general model for booksellers is to buy wholesale, at somewhere around 40%-50% of MSRP, and then sell at some price between that and MSRP. Amazon has discounts of MSRP all the way from 55%, to only a few percentage points. Barnes & Nobles has similar prices (if you become a "B&N Member," for US$25/year, the prices are pretty much the same as Amazon's. A bit lower sometimes, a bit higher sometimes.)

What's really going on here is power: the publishers have decided they don't want retailers undercutting each other -- that leads to a single player having market dominance, which allows them to try to force concessions (lower prices, content changes, etc.) from the publishers. As examples of this, see Amazon and Wal-Mart.

When Apple joined the ebook market, however, they were able to take the same "we don't care about making a profit on content" attitude they have for music, and offer it to the publishers. And the market share Apple can offer with the iPad is probably at least as large as Amazon's current market share with is Kindle. (And unlike Amazon, Apple won't be paying the end-user bandwidth costs.) This gives publishers who are willing to sign up with Apple enormous negotiation power with Amazon -- over ebooks. Amazon's only negotiation power that can counter that is the physical book market.

Personally, I would certainly be offended if someone said, "You will sell this product at a price we dictate, and only take 15%. You cannot charge more to make more money; you cannot try to maximize profits through selling more by offering it for less. And if 15% of an arbitrary price we set isn't enough for you to make profit -- or even enough for you to run your business, tough." And I'd fight it as best I could.

Of course, that's also pretty much Amazon's attitude towards the publishers. So a pox on all of them, really.

more than 3 years ago
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Why Apple Denied the Google Latitude App

kithrup The problem with this particular conspiracy theory (308 comments)

is that it requires that the app approvers know what patents Apple has in the process.

This is of course a possibility; it's also a possibility that there's an IP lawyer looking over every submitted (or even ever just-about-to-be-approved) app, for just that kind of thing. But that doesn't really fit with the workflow descriptions that have come out into the open, so I don't think it's very likely.

(It's also possible that he reviewers are given general directions occasionally, such as, "All Google-submitted apps must be sent to such-and-such for review" or "Any app that uses location services in a social network context must be approved by upper management." Obviously, I made those up :).)

more than 4 years ago
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Reusing Old TiVo Hardware?

kithrup Re:The security cam recording might be easy (197 comments)

That's only true for the oldest, Series 1 TiVo's sold before a certain date. After that, TiVo requires service. No service, and no manual recording.

And, as I recall, it'll also nag you about the lack of service every time you go into the menus.

more than 4 years ago
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62% of Sun's Stockholders Vote For Oracle Deal

kithrup That's quite surprising (152 comments)

I really would have expected more than 62% to vote for the acquisition. Having 38% abstain or vote against it... I will be surprised if some of the nay-sayers didn't file a lawsuit to prevent it from happening.

more than 5 years ago
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New HDMI 1.4 Spec Set To Confuse

kithrup Re:I probably shouldn't be surprised (357 comments)

why would you want return audio via HDMI to your receiver?

Because your TV has more HDMI ports available, or they are easier to access. Or you want the TV to be able to delay the audio enough for the video to catch up. Or the TV does better processing of video than the TV does. And so forth.

HDCP can support DRM but as far as I am aware no one has forced that

I think you are very confused about your terms -- HDCP is DRM -- it's encryption, it's negotiated, and if there's the slightest thing wrong, there will be no signal. (Or there will be a downgraded -- 480p, stereo audio -- signal instead.) And HDCP is certainly required -- try to watch an HD movie or rental on an AppleTV with a non-HDCP-compliant display over HDMI. And while the PS3 currently allows you to watch HD (1080i) over component, Sony has not promised to continue that. And if you want 1080p, you have to use HDMI, and the HDCP is enforced there. DirecTV has enforced HDCP requirements with some of their HD programming at times as well.

more than 5 years ago
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Google, Yahoo!, Apple Targeted In DoJ Antitrust Probe

kithrup Re:No-hire pact? (166 comments)

And Borland's history with uSoft is a perfect example of why such pacts are put into place.

more than 5 years ago
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New HDMI 1.4 Spec Set To Confuse

kithrup Re:I probably shouldn't be surprised (357 comments)

The "Audio Return Channel" should allow that -- the normal HDCP negotiation can go on. Hopefully, this will let you plug HDMI devices into your TV, and have the receiver be able to handle the audio.

That'll require a new TV and a new receiver of course. sigh

more than 5 years ago
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New HDMI 1.4 Spec Set To Confuse

kithrup I probably shouldn't be surprised (357 comments)

But the main article is fairly wrong. The Audio Return channel doesn't require a different cable, and the higher resolutions and 3D will both work over the high-bandwidth version. The ethernet options will be different cables, as will the automotive, so there will be quite a few new cables, but I don't think that's particularly confusing. (That's normal HDMI; HDMI plus ethernet; high-speed HDMI; high-speed HDMI plus ethernet; and automotive HDMI.)

dvice.com has some analysis and the press release.

The Audio Return thing will allow your display to send audio to your receiver, instead of using a second audio (e.g. optical or coaxial) cable. Why that wasn't there from the beginning is beyond me, since the connection was already bidirectional (to negotiate DRM).

more than 5 years ago
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Apple Shifts iTunes Pricing; $0.69 Tracks MIA

kithrup Re:Label marketing philosophy (429 comments)

The costs incurred per track do not affect the "supply" -- you seem to have confused "infinite supply" with "free for everyone."

I never said demand was infinite; what I said was that using terms "supply and demand" to justify cost for electronic copies is not accurate. Now, using demand to justify it is another matter, and I'll grant that. But saying that you need to raise prices due to "supply and demand" is a lie.

more than 5 years ago

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