Labels may be losing money, but artists are making more than ever
The Times Labs blog takes a hard look at the data on music sales and live performances and concludes that while the labels’ profits might be falling, artists are taking in more money, thanks to the booming growth of live shows.
The Times says that they’d like more granular data about who’s making all the money from concerts — is there a category of act that’s a real winner here? — but the trend seems clear. The 21st century music scene is the best world ever for some musicians and music-industry businesses, and the worst for others.
Which raises the question: is it really copyright law’s job to make sure that last years winners keep on winning? Or is it enough to ensure that there will always be winners?
Huawei Pushing Aside Cisco and Ericsson
There was a time, about a decade ago, that Cisco (CSCO) executives would comment that Huawei was so good at copying (aka appropriating) Cisco’s technology that it even replicated bugs in the software. What was once a joke has morphed into a juggernaut in the communications-equipment marketplace that shows no sign of abating.
Huawei has pushed itself onto the world stage of equipment OEMs for carriers worldwide in wireless, IP-broadband, core networks, software, and services. According to market research firm Informa, Huawei is now the number three supplier of wireless infrastructure equipment, trailing only Ericsson (ERIC) and Alcatel (ALA)
How to cope with unemployment
Unemployment can be one of life’s toughest challenges, but there are many practical steps you can take to help you best cope.
An array of information is available through the BBC News website and various groups offer help for people who are unemployed.
Here is a guide to some of that advice and information.
Surreal drama of Zambia ‘porn’ trial
The trial of a news editor in Zambia, accused of distributing obscene material, is coming to an end. Chansa Kabwela says she sent photos of a woman giving birth without medical help to senior government officials to highlight the effects of a nurses’ strike. Jo Fidgen has watched the trial, and reflects on what it reveals about Zambian culture.
Build a Silent, Standalone XBMC Media Center On the Cheap
You won’t find a better media center than the open-source XBMC, but most people don’t have the space or desire to plug a noisy PC into their TV. Instead, I converted a cheap nettop into a standalone XBMC set-top box. Here’s how.
The David Nutt affair, Lord Drayson, and the new political confidence of science
As I’ve been covering the repercussions of the sacking of David Nutt as the Government’s chief drugs adviser over the past two weeks, I’ve been reflecting on what the affair means for British science, and its role in political life.
On one level, of course, the episode has been rather depressing. This Government talks a good game on making evidence-based policy, but as I’ve argued before, the dismissal of Professor Nutt highlights that what many ministers prefer is policy-based evidence. Scientific advice is still too often seen as something to be embraced if it supports conclusions that are politically palatable, and ignored if it does not.
Cut the Cable For Good with Boxee and Apple TV
If you vaguely recall hearing similarly over-the-top pronouncements before, you’re almost certainly right. For more than a decade, pundits have been saying that your internet connection would, any day now, be the primary pipeline for television shows, on-demand movies, YouTube videos, music videos, video podcast feeds, online radio, personalized audio streams, online and offline pictures and music—anything you could fit on your screen, really.
Boxee’s media center gives you that, and all from one application. It’s free, it’s open source, it’s built from the guts of the killer Xbox Media Center (which is still a quite active project itself), and it simply works. Loaded onto an Apple TV, or any TV-connected computer, Boxee also gives you free license to drop your cable or satellite dependency with hardly any regret, especially once you realize your year-to-year savings.
Free Speech Is Not For Sale
After a year-long Inquiry, English PEN and Index on Censorship have concluded that English libel law has a negative impact on freedom of expression, both in the UK and around the world. Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right, and should only be limited in special circumstances. Yet English libel law imposes unnecessary and disproportionate restrictions on free speech, sending a chilling effect through the publishing and journalism sectors in the UK. This effect now reaches around the world, because of so-called ‘libel tourism’, where foreign cases are heard in London, widely known as a ‘town named sue’. The law was designed to serve the rich and powerful, and does not reflect the interests of a modern democratic society.
Ofcom knocks back BBC DRM plans
BBC plans to copy protect Freeview high definition (HD) data have been dealt a blow by regulator Ofcom.
It has written to the BBC asking for more information about what the benefits would be for consumers.
Initially it looked as if Ofcom would approve the plans but, during its two week consultation, it has received many responses opposing the plan.
Critics say a Digital Rights Management (DRM) system for Freeview HD would effectively lock down free BBC content.
My son has cancer. He can’t go into day care because of unvaccinated children. – By Stephanie Tatel – Slate Magazine
Current public opinion about childhood vaccinations sometimes seems to be influenced less by science and more by Jenny McCarthy. But here’s something that rarely gets discussed: the threat posed by the nonvaccinated to children who are immunosuppressed.