It Was 30 Years Ago Today
August 12, 2011
"It's amazing to me to think that August 12th marks the 30th anniversary of the IBM personal computer. I'm proud that I was one of a dozen IBM engineers who designed the first machine and was fortunate to have lead subsequent IBM PC designs through the 1980s. I, personally, have moved beyond the PC ... My primary computer now is a tablet. When I helped design the PC, I didn't think I'd live long enough to witness its decline. But, while PCs will continue to be much-used devices, they're no longer at the leading edge of computing. They're going the way of the vacuum tube, typewriter, vinyl records, CRT and incandescent light bulbs."-- Mark Dean, currently the chief technology officer for IBM Middle East and Africa. Dean was chief engineer for the development of the IBM PC/AT, ISA systems bus, PS/2 Model 70 and 80, and the Color Graphics Adapter in the original IBM PC. He holds three of the nine patents for the original IBM PC.
It's been an incredibly fast three decades. Made all the faster by the daily developments in technological evolution that change just about everything in our lives. It's impossible to imagine life what life would be like today without the PC, the iPads, the iPhones, the X-Box, the PlayStation and the hundreds of other devices born out of ever changing PC technology.
It's only been three decades and on this anniversary, I thought I'd link to some of the best articles about it. All are worth reading. (There is some duplicity in content info, but all are great reads and great reference.)
* Read 'On Eve of PC's 30th Birthday, IBM and Microsoft Debate Its Future' on PC Magazine here: http://tiny.cc/tt90u
* Read 'How IBM's 5150 PC shaped the computer industry' on CNET here: http://tiny.cc/kc9rn
* Read 'IBM executive says PC era is in its twilight' on CNET here: http://tiny.cc/3wuem
Read 'How we were shown what computers could do for us' on Walesonline here: http://tiny.cc/cjsn8
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 2
THEY SHOULD STOP MAKING CDs, SEZ CNET'S GUTTENBERG
CNET'S Audiopliliac Steve Guttenberg writes "Thanks to streaming services and file sharing, there's little incentive to purchase music anymore. Everybody knows CD sales have been falling for years, but as soon as the record labels stop making CDs, their value will skyrocket ...You can't download vinyl, which may be the real reason record companies are still making LPs. If you want vinyl, you pay for it; there's no other way, short of shoplifting, to get new vinyl for free."
Read the rest here: http://tiny.cc/i6e6s
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 3
REALITY TV, GOOD FOR THOSE AGING POPSTARS
"American Idol" may no longer be launching megastars like Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood, but it's doing wonders for the faded musical careers of its celebrity judges like Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler, writes Al Shipley in the Village Voice.
Meanwhile, "The Voice's" more contemporary celebrities like Christine Aguilera and Blake Shelton have released new tunes that outsold the first single from the hit series' winning voice Javier Colon. "One wonders if Colon and his fellow competitors feel a little used by the stars, who ultimately grabbed the primetime spotlight to revitalize their own careers," says Shipley.
Read the article on the Village Voice here: http://tiny.cc/e1fw4
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 4
SPOTIFY NUMBERS SO FAR
In an article in the Wall Street Journal"s 'All Things F', Peter Kafka writes that Spotify now has 1.4 million users and 175,000 paying customers.
"That's a conversion rate -- crucial to both Spotify's business plans and to the big music labels -- of 12%. Not quite as good as the 15% rate that Spotify reported in its home base of Europe last spring," Kakka writes. But he points out that "On the other hand, Amercian users have less incentive to pay for Spotify than Europeans do -- during the company's six-month launch phase, the U.S. version of the free service gives users more music than the European one does. The main reason to upgrade to paid is to get access on iPhones and Android handsets, for $10 a month."
Read the rest here: http://tiny.cc/p5ne2
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 5
AMAZON LAUNCHES KINDLE CLOUD ... AND THE GLOVES ARE OFF AGAINST APPLE
In what is being seen as a direct attack on Apple, Amazon just launched a Kindle Cloud Reader, which lets users read Kindle e-books via their Web browser without the need to download and install an app. "We have written the application from the ground up in HTML5, so that customers can also access their content offline directly from their browser," Dorothy Nicholls, director of Amazon Kindle, explained in a statement.
In addition to the ability to read offline via the Web browser, the Kindle Cloud Reader also offers a complete view of the user's entire Kindle library, instant access to nearly one million books, an embedded Kindle Store, and automatic software updates. Amazon just launched the Kindle Cloud Reader for Safari on iPad, Safari on desktop and Chrome, while the online retailer plans on expanding the platform to Internet Explorer, Firefox, the BlackBerry PlayBook's browser shortly.
Read the rest here on E-Week: http://tiny.cc/57ieo
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 6
AND THE CONTINUING STORY OF WHY THE TV NETS ARE HEADED FOR TROUBLE
Now comes news that 30% of U.S. homes have net-connected a TV device. (And more people with Internet capability on their TV means more people watching what they want, when they want, with less commercials)
Read the rest here: http://tiny.cc/5ioqx
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 7
ANONYMOUS TARGETS FACEBOOK
From CNN (and elsewhere online) comes news that "Apparently, 'Anonymous' won't be accepting your friend request. Members of the shadowy collective known for its politically motivated Web hacks and attacks are targeting Facebook for what they claim to be the social-networking giant's misuse of personal information."
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 8
PAY TV SUBSCRIBER NUMBERS DROP
The rough economic times are taking a toll on cable and satellite TV. They're canceling or forgoing cable and satellite TV subscriptions in record numbers, according to an analysis by The Associated Press of the companies' quarterly earnings reports
Read the rest here: http://tiny.cc/7ldd0
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 9
THE WASHINGTON POST SEZ "NO PAYWALL" FOR CONTENT
This week's money quote from Washington Post executive editor Marcus Brauchli naysaying the possibility of a paywall for the newspaper: "We are quite content being the largest free premium newspaper online."
And the runner-up: The Knight Foundation's John Bracken told the audience that "print is the new vinyl." (Source for both of the above quotes: http://tiny.cc/swzs9 )
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 10
APPLE IS BIGGER THAN EXXON
Hyman Roth told Michael Corleone in reference to their crime organization creating a partnership with Cuba in 'The Godfather Part 2' "Michael, we're bigger than U.S. Steel."
Those were the good old days of "Big Steel" and of course it's a time long past here in the U.S.
Anybody making a movie today and creating similar characters in a similar situation would have to use the line, "Michael, we're bigger than Apple."
Apple has topped Exxon Mobil Corp. as the world's most valuable company. High-tech growth prospects exceeded faith in the oil industry's gushing profits. Exxon fell more than Apple on Wednesday, leaving it with a market value of $330.8 billion, compared with $337.2 billion for Apple at the close of U.S. markets. Yesterday was the first time Apple passed Exxon in intraday trading.
In perhaps the greatest understatement since "We have a problem, Houston," Shaw Wu, an analyst at Sterne Agee & Leach, said in an interview "The Apple of today is different from the Apple of even a few years ago." You mean before, like, iPad and iPhone?
"People who buy Apple tend to buy big and get your friends and family to do it as well. There's nothing else like that," he said.
Read the rest on Bloomberg.com here: http://tiny.cc/omr4y
(Oh yeah...and now Apple is offering a MAC that costs just $999, and comes with a 3.1GHz dual-core processor and 250GB hard drive)
And Now For Some News ...
GAGA AND GAULTIER:
After hinting at a collaborative film project earlier this year, Lady Gaga and Jean Paul Gaultier have confirmed that Gaga by Gaultier, a film in which the designer interviews the singer, will air on the CW September 12 at 8pm ET - just in time for New York Fashion Week, naturally.
Paul McCartney says that he expects to speak with British authorities soon about phone hacking by British tabloids. While promoting The Love We Make, a documentary about his experiences after 9/11 at a press junket yesterday, the Beatles legend told reporters "Apparently, I have been hacked."
LIL WAYNE SUED BIG:
Lil Wayne has been hit with a copyright infringement lawsuit alleging that he stole the hit song "BedRock" from the production company Done Deal Enterprises. The $15 million suit also targets Universal Music Group, Cash Money Records and Young Money Entertainment.
LOLLAPALOOZA OF A THEFT:
Psychedelic rock band "Portugal. The Man" saw their trailer full of gear stolen after they played Lollapalooza Sunday night. The band, which is based in Portland, OR, is actually from Wasilla, AL, had been playing at the festival when their trailer was stolen from an attended lot in Grant Park, according to a band tweet.
On his doctor's orders, Gregg Allman has cancelled all of his tour dates through September 14th. Allman -- who received a successful liver transplant in 2010 -- also yanked some dates on his European tour two months ago due to an upper respiratory condition.
IT MAKES TOTAL SENSE INDEED:
Insane Clown Posse's Shaggy 2 Dope has heard all the talk about having media lightning rod Charlie Sheen appear as part of this weekend's Gathering of the Juggalos in Cave-In-Rock, IL. "Everybody thinks Charlie Sheen, craziness! But really it's not. It makes total sense," Shaggy tells Rolling Stone. "Charlie Sheen right now is under a microscope, he's under scrutiny. Everything he says is debated, picked apart -- much like everything we do."
WAS NOW BLUE NOTE HEAD:
Grammy-winning producer Don Was has been named the Chief Creative Officer of Blue Note Records, the long-running jazz label that has been home to Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis and Norah Jones. He became the in-house producer for "American Idol" earlier this year.
Aretha Franklin will receive the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz's Founder's Award at the organization's 25th anniversary event in Washington, D.C. next month. The soul legend will be honored at a gala event held at the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater on September 12th.
Gavin DeGraw, whose new J Records album, Sweeter, comes out on Sept. 20th, was viciously beaten by a pack of thugs in the East Village early yesterday, then got hit by a taxi as he escaped his assailants.
There's one less late night talk show. TBS has cancelled the George Lopez show.
WALMART SEZ NO MORE DIGITAL STORE:
After almost eight years at it, Walmart is getting out of the music download business and closing its MP3 store on August 28th, 2011.
SWIFT SWEEPS TEEN AWARDS:
Taylor Swift took home six surfboard trophies at the Teen Choice Awards yesterday, including best country song for "Mean," best breakup song for "Back to December," female artist and the Ultimate Choice Award, the ceremony's most prestigious award.
MARLEY CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED:
The Bob Marley Campaign launched this week with the goal of getting 700 million Facebook subscribers and Twitter fans to support the Save the Children's East Africa Appeal.
BIG BOI BUSTED:
Outkast rapper Big Boi was arrested on Sunday in Miami for possessing a variety of drugs including ecstasy pills, MDMA powder and Viagra without a prescription.
BIG BUX FOR BEATS:
HTC Corp., the Taiwan-based telephone maker, said Thursday it is planning to pay about $300 million for a 51% stake in a company that makes high-end headphones bearing the name of superstar music producer Dr. Dre. The headphones are made by Beats Electronics LLC, a venture involving Dr. Dre, whose given name is Andre Young, Interscope records and its chairman, Jimmy Iovine. Interscope is part of Vivendi SA's Universal Music Group.
NOKIA NO MORE IN U.S. & CANADA:
Marking the end of era, Nokia reportedly plans to stop selling both feature phones and Symbian-based smartphones in the United States and Canada. In an interview with AllThingsD, the head of Nokia's U.S. subsidiary said the move will let the company focus its energies on the Windows Phone.
Ira Heilicher. a key figure on the Minneapolis music scene. Starting in 1933 with jukeboxes, the Heilicher family was heavily involved in record distribution and later retailing, including the fabled Musicland chain. In their '70s heyday, the Heilichers handled about 20% of all records sold in the U.S.
The Music Industry Past, Present & Future, And The Internet I answer questions on EconTalk
I did an interview about the industry and the Internet at EconTalk with host Russ Roberts. Russ is also a professor of economics at George Mason University, blogs at Cafe Hayek, and has written three novels that teach economics. He's also the co-creator of the Keynes-Hayek rap video. (And if your understanding of the economic meltdown that occurred needs to be enlightened, this video will do it)
In the interview we talk about the evolution of the music industry, the impact of the digital revolution, and I give my reasons for believing in the virtues and potential of the Internet in enhancing the music industry. I point out, as I have many times here in the newsletter, that the internet allows numerous artists to make money from their music and it can enhance revenues from live performances by expanding an artist's base. We also discuss the challenges facing record companies and I suggest that the full potential of the Internet as a distribution channel has yet to be fully exploited. There's a lot of ground covered, but based on the comments already posted of those who have tuned in, they've enjoyed it.
Read more about it by clicking here.
Quotes of the week
"You don't realize -- you get drunk and you talk shit to everybody who makes you who you are. You're a piece of shit and your band cannot fucking stand you! I sing every goddamn song for you because your little pussy-ass voice gets hoarse! F*** you - we have made you."
-- Nathan Followill, operating the video camera, confronting his visibly inebriated brother Caleb, and laying into him loudly and mercilessly in the documentary Talihina Sky: The Story of the Kings of Leon (premiering on Showtime August 21st)
"After two cities, I offered [Cheryl] the job, which initially she accepted. And then unfortunately when it went public, the negotiations fell apart, so I thought she would be more comfortable doing the U.K. show than the American show. For certain reasons, [she] decided not to [come back to the U.K.] and that's why it ended up the way it is."
-- Simon Cowell explaining why Cheryl Cole was dropped from the American version of 'The X Factor' despite being announced as a judge earlier this year.
The B-Side - 'Blips'
THE ONION (www.theonion.com) STORY OF THE WEEK:
Nation's Singers Rudely Telling DJs How To Do Job
On 'In My Sights', Brooke Alvarez reminds songwriters and artists that club DJs are professionals, not slaves who can be ordered to "play that song."
Read the rest here and laugh: Click Here.
The BlogsCheck out Jerry Del Colliano's (the founder of INSIDE RADIO) daily blog, by clicking here: http://www.insidemusicmedia.blogspot.com
Check out attorney Ray Beckerman's website at: http://recordingindustryvspeople.blogspot.com where he prints news about the RIAA's ongoing activities
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