The value-for-value business model, as described by Adam Curry and John C. Dvorak on their podcast, No Agenda, seems to be the only truly viable business model for digital media.
The stumbling block that many people seem to have when it comes to content in digital form is that it is very difficult to force people to pay a set price for something that can be perfectly replicated ad infinitum.
If someone is a craftsman and makes eight doohickeys in a normal work day, and two doohickeys are stolen, it's easy to see how someone stole two hours of their time (not to mention supplies, wear on his tools, and a portion of the time developing the concept of the product). But what if the doohickey is a digital file?
When I was younger, I remember asking (maybe not out loud, but at least introspectively) who was the best team at the Olympic Games. Of course, the Olympics is supposed to be more of a feel-good, everyone-wins-something kind of event, and doesn't have a true structure for an actual winner, but we subconsciously want that.
Every sports page in the newspaper and online seems to show the top three nations, along with Canada, sorted by their total medal count, and we seem to be happy with that. But what about the fact that the several nations have over 100 athletes while many nations have less than 10% of that? And don't forget that nations with more money and resources can probably train better athletes! I thought we could do better, and these are my suggestions.
No Agenda is a great show, but it's biggest downside is the fact that so many of the stories discussed are long and ongoing, making it hard for a first-time listener to jump in. That's why Adam and John did episode 200.5. It was meant to be an introduction to how the show works and all the little peculiarities.
This is my first attempt at writing my thoughts while doing a play-through of an album. Colors by House of Heroes easily sits in my top 10 favourite albums (though I still need to write that listicle).
Leading up to the album coming out, they posted these clips on social media, and they help make the narrative more obvious.
Update: I should update this.
These are mostly just vague ideas of changes I would make if I were in charge of things. My preferred type of national government would be one that is decentralized and put in to the hands of local governments as much as possible, especially for a nation as large as Canada (that's thing #1), so some of these would be more relevant if I were in charge of provincial or municipal government, and not on a national level.
I was looking at various services that send you the ingredients and recipes for meals, so one doesn't have to think, and I realized what kind of service I really want. I don't mind shopping, and I would rather buy in bulk than pay for individual meal's ingredients, and the tough part is picking out what to make. My dream service would basically be a meal-planning service.
I've been using Let's Encrypt since it was early in beta to get an certificate, but the process was a bit painful (not for me, but painful enough to not recommend to "average people") as one had to install and run a bunch of command line stuff to do it.
Thankfully, someone used their API to build this lovely site to generate them all in-browser. It's a bit more work than going through one's web host, and the certificates last only 3 months, so you have to do it four times a year, but it's free.
I made a shortlist of my favourite movies.
It was difficult to quantify what makes a movie my favourite. At first, I started out with movies that I wouldn't mind watching again at a moment's notice, but some of these require the right mood, and some I haven't seen for a long time, and don't want to ruin what I enjoyed then.
Here they are, in alphabetical order:
I'm a subscriber of The Listserve, a mailing list where, every day, one of the ~22,000 subscribers is randomly chosen to share something. Last week, I was given this chance. I didn't have much to say (you can read what I wrote here), but I took the opportunity to ask the audience for book/media recommendations.
An interesting theoretical question was poised today in our office: Why doesn't Canada Post, instead of raising postage prices to cover postage costs, reduce the number of mail deliveries? Many homes and businesses receive less than an average of one addressed mail item per day. Wouldn't it be nice if mail only came 2-3 days a week, and you knew for certain that there'll be something in your mailbox when you check it?
Nota bene: for the sake of simplicity, assume I'm talking about audio podcasts. Video podcasts are cool, but a totally different ball game.
I spend more time in the average week listening to podcasts than consuming any other kind of media. (Music is the only medium that comes close.) Each aspect of podcasting seems to trump a certain other form of media.
Podcast episodes are stored locally on one's devices, so you don't need a active internet connection to listen. This is great for people on the go who don't want to pay for Canada's super-expensive mobile data.
Malls should have mandatory valet parking. Maybe not all malls, but at least malls that are big enough to need multi-level parking.
Take West Edmonton Mall as an example. If any mall were to have valet parking, WEM, being the largest in North America, would really benefit from it. (Right now, just the hotel has a valet service.) If one goes to the mall in the early evening or on weekends, the parking lot is a madhouse.
The gross majority of Twitter users are the personas of humans and brands, of course, but there's a small group of Twitter accounts that aren't, and they are the best ones. They are the bots, and they are accounts controlled by software to do various things. Here's three of my favourtes.
Acrotowne is a simple game built by @zhaytee. First, it posts a random string of letters, such as "SATW". Then it's followers may send it a direct message with what they think those letters could stand for if they were an acronym. Finally, after a set amount of time, all the suggestions are anonymously published, and everyone who submitted a suggestion may vote. The one twist is that if you don't vote, any votes for your suggestion are nullified.
Updated on 22 February: see bottom.
What's going on, if you've been living under a rock: the FBI has requested that Apple help them by creating a modified version of iOS that doesn't have safeguards preventing someone brute-forcing the password.
It's key to realize that Apple is not being asked to decrypt what's stored on the iPhone, but to make it possible for the FBI to guess the passcode by trial and error. The thing that makes this case interesting is that, though we all know the FBI has the power to have a search warrant to ask the Apple to give over everything they have related to the case, the question is if they have the power to get Apple's assistance in the case. Apple has already stated that they've given the Bureau everything that's been asked of them, but does the FBI have the ability to force Apple to create the custom build of iOS? (An interesting side note is that the writ from the Bureau does explain that they will reimburse Apple for the cost of the work.)