Tuesday, September 26, 2006

War on Bicycle Accidents

So why have there been no major terrorist attacks in the US in the since 9/11? About the same as why there were none in five years before 9/11. Maybe it's because terrorrists aren't the existential threat ready to wipe away our civilization that they are made out to be by this admisistration.

I ain't afraid of no terrorists. 9/11 was pretty spectacular, but the attackers were really just lucky. Truth be told a whole lot more people in the US and worldwide are killed by ____ than by terrorists. Fill in the blank with just about anything.

Terrorism should be treated as a minor annoyance, like bicycle accidents. Yes we should pursue policies and procedures to minimize it, but it ain't something to throw 300 Billion dollars at.

The fact that there have been no terrorist-caused deaths in the US since 9/11 has nothing to do with the war in Iraq "fighting them there so we don't have to fight 'em here," and everything to do with the fact that terrorists really ain't much of a threat. Never really have been. As you were.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Kill the Middlemen

David Byrne has a journal entry musing on the Spiral Frog iTunes challenger. He thinks a Google like search-based, ad-supported distributed pay-for-download system is probably in the works.

My ideal model would be a simple web-shopping engine that bands could run from their own sites, where fans can download a DRM-free mp3 directly, after paying 49 cents or whatever. Why have a middleman at all, be it Google, Advertisers, iTunes, labels etc? You'd need softwarde that generates a one-time dynamic link so the customer can get the mp3 but not mail or post the link elsewhere. Most long-tail indie bands/groups would have a fairly low-volume need for bandwidth.

Music fans do a pretty good job of finding stuff they like - reading blogs, magazines, Pandora, internet/sat radio, etc. They should just be able to go to the band's website, push a paypal button, pay a few cents, and get a one-time download link. No DRM or advertising required. This should be easy. If it exists I'd love to find out about it.