Sunday, September 30, 2007

Be Nice to ATT

New ATT terms of service: We'll cut off your Internet connection for criticizing us

Posted by Cory Doctorow, September 29, 2007 10:23 AM

ATT has brought down new Terms of Service for its network customers. From now on, ATT can terminate your connection for conduct that "tends to damage the name or reputation of ATT, or its parents, affiliates and subsidiaries." So ATT customers aren't allowed to write/podcast/vlog critical things about ATT, its billing-practices, or its cooperation with illegal NSA wiretapping, on pain of having their connections disconnected. Link (via /.)

Friday, September 28, 2007

10 Businesses Facing Extinction in 10 Years

They're going, going and may be completely gone by 2017. Check out their odds of survival.

By Geoff Williams
September 19, 2007


Determining which industries aren't long for this world may seem easy enough. But some types of businesses, such as telemarketing, are surprisingly hard to kill. And then again, other industries, probably the ones you're sad to see go, can't find a way to survive.

So start setting up your office pool, because here are our picks for 10 businesses facing extinction in 10 years.

Record stores: Record stores are closing in, well, record numbers. One of the most prominent music retailers, Tower Records, shut down all 89 stores last year after concluding it couldn't withstand the onslaught of online music stores and chains like Wal-Mart, which can offer lower prices and sell other items to offset the smaller number of CDs being sold.
Odds of survival in 10 years: Great, if you consider Wal-Mart a record store.

Camera film manufacturing: This probably isn't the best business to get into right now. According to The Chicago Tribune, from May 2006 to May 2007, the volume of prints made from digital cameras grew by 34 percent. Film camera sales, meanwhile, fell by 49 percent, while digital cameras sales continued to grow--by 5 percent. Of American internet users, 70 percent own a digital camera; another survey shows that 70 percent of Canadians now use a digital camera.
Odds of survival in 10 years: Some entrepreneurs who specialize in making camera film for amateur photographers could possibly make a living.

Crop dusters: They'll be around in 10 years, but likely not in their present form. The average age of the typical crop duster is 60, the number of crop dusters is dwindling, and the profession can be dangerous. Just several weeks ago, an Arkansas crop dusting company was ordered to stop flying in Iowa after spraying farm workers with a fungicide; 36 farm hands in a cornfield had to be decontaminated by a hazardous materials crew.
Odds of survival in 10 years: The type of crop dusting plane that chased after Cary Grant in North by Northwest will have almost certainly gone south. Farmers say that they'll always need crop dusters, even though new technologies have made them less important than in the past. But commercial airlines are increasingly taking business away from the small, independent crop dusters.

Gay bars: As The Orlando Sentinel noted in a recent article, around the country gay bars have been going out of business as gay men and women have been gaining greater acceptance in society. What used to be a hangout for people who felt unwelcome elsewhere is becoming less necessary.
Odds of survival in 10 years: As with many industries, the very best of them will endure; the rest won't.

Newspapers: Some people thought they were through when radio and TV news came about. Even after the fax machine revolutionized offices, some people predicted that everyone would have their news faxed in, since that would be quicker than relying on a newspaper. But the numbers have been falling precipitously since the 1990s when the internet came on the scene. In the past year, the Audit Bureau of Circulations twice has posted drops averaging 2.1 and 2.8 percent over six-month periods. Newsrooms across the country have been hemorrhaging staff.
Odds of survival in 10 years: They won't disappear; they'll be on the internet. We don't recommend startups investing a lot of money into a printing press plant.

Pay phones: In 1997, there were more than 2 million pay phones in the U.S.; now there are approximately half as many. There are probably always going to be certain places like airports and hotels that offer pay phones, as long as there are people who don't own or can't afford cell phones. Because phone kiosks on the streets are a favorite for drug dealers, who don't want to have their own numbers tapped and tracked, cities are shedding them.
Odds of survival in 10 years: They'll be around, but won't be anything to call home about.

Used bookstores: They've been closing fast, and those that are still open are relying on what's making them obsolete: the internet. A used bookstore used to be the place to find that beloved, out-of-print children's book you used to read 17 times a day until your little sister flushed it down the toilet. Now you just type that title in a search engine and order it within minutes.
Odds of survival in 10 years: Some of them will still be eking out an existence, but the handwriting is on the wall.

Piggy banks: You may chuckle, but as we continue gravitating toward a paperless society, it's not difficult to imagine a day when piggy banks no longer exist.
Odds of survival in 10 years: Sure, they'll probably still be a few around--in antique shops.

Telemarketing: The good news for people who hate telemarketing calls is that the industry may finally be dying; the bad news is that it may take a while. Telemarketing has been hit hard by the national Do-Not Call list that was established five years ago, and sales have been stagnant, but the industry still managed to bring in $393 billion in revenue last year. Some of this is due to clever marketing. This includes holding raffles at shopping malls; when you sign your information, you agree to accept calls from the company running the contest and its partners. Cell phones are exempt from automated telemarketing calls, but not from individuals calling. Then there are occasional windows of opportunity: The national Do-Not Call list is set to expire in 2008, unless you remember to register again.
Odds of survival in 10 years: They'll be here. Humbled, more impotent, but probably still here.

Coin-operated arcades: With Nintendo Wii, casual gaming online and the Xbox 360, the video game arcade industry is thriving, but not the standalone brick-and-mortar arcades. For those of you who thought arcades were already dead, they still exist--at movie theaters, miniature golf courses and other touristy spots--but it seems only a matter of time before they vanish from the landscape. Ten years ago, there were 10,000 arcades in the nation, and now the number is close to 3,000, according to the American Amusement Machine Association. Revenue from arcade game units brought in $866 million last year, which sounds good until you consider that in 1994, the industry was pocketing $2.3 billion and that the profits are only still high because it costs so much to play a game.
Odds of survival in 10 years: Game over.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

2008 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

The nominees are out for the 2008 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame...

John Mellencamp
Beastie Boys
Donna Summer
Afrika Bambaataa
The Dave Clark Five
Leonard Cohen

Once again no KISS, no Alice Cooper, no Cheap Trick. Are you interested in seeing who is eligible for the Hall of Fame, when they became eligible and when bands will become eligible in the future check out this cool website, Future Rock Hall.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Who Cares About MTV's VMAs

I was trying to decide what to say about the recent MTV VMAs. Besides how much it sucked.

I think what it comes down to is this, what is an entity (MTV) doing hosting a show called Video Music Awards when they don't play music or videos. It would be like the Food Network hosting a movie awards show. If you watched this years VMAs you would notice that the awards were often completely unrelated to videos. MTV has lost all credibility when it comes to music. Pull the plug on the VMAs they mean nothing now.

Friday, September 21, 2007

The Rasmus Record Next Album with Desmond Child


"One of the most successful producer-songwriters in the music industry Desmond Child is producing the next record by Finnish pop rock group The Rasmus. He has also written several songs with the band. The recording of the album started this Monday at Dynasty Studios in Helsinki and will move to Nashville in November. Equally well known in the music business Michael Wagener will mix the record, which be called Black Roses and released in March 2008."

Sunday, September 16, 2007

EON Records Website Launched - My Latest Project

The EON Records website is live. This is the latest website project that I worked on. I spent a couple months working very closely with John Thayer to completely rebuild the site. It was a great experience, John was very clear about what he wanted, and this made the rebuild very easy.

KISS Guitarist Tommy Thayer Re-Launches EON Records Website

Posted by on Thursday, September 13, 2007 at 17:07:49 EST

EON Records, founded by KISS guitarist Tommy Thayer and his brother John have launched a new website here. A label profile is as follows:

Portland, Oregon natives Tommy and John Thayer have long been aware of the depth of the local talent in the Northwest. Seeing their own music as well as the music of their local friends mature over the years, they were determined to find a vehicle to cultivate and promote the growing bond that was developing between this close-knit network of entertainers, musicians and friends. With that common thread in mind, they established EON Records in Portland in the late 1990's. Success soon followed with the buy-out and national release of EON band Slowrush by Epic Records, and the EON release of several other local Portland artists.

Going forward, the sights of the label extend far beyond its geographic origins as the company seeks opportunities to nurture, mentor, record, and publish new up-and-coming talent as well as established artists and bands that are looking for a place to call home. EON Records is well connected in the recording, publishing, distribution, and promotional aspects of the music industry and seeks - through collaboration - partnerships that can further the cause of credible local and national talent.

For 25 years, Tommy Thayer has made a successful professional career as a musician, songwriter, and producer. Most notably, Tommy is going on his fifth year as lead guitarist of the legendary rock group, KISS. Along with his "spaceman" persona onstage, Tommy has produced many of KISS's critically acclaimed, multi-platinum DVDs, pay-per-view television specials, and many VH1 and MTV KISS special features. As a songwriter, Tommy penned most songs on four records for BLACK N' BLUE, his 1980s hard rock band, released on Geffen Records, as well as several co-writes with KISS later. Tommy continues with his interest in helping inspire young kids; with a commitment to support school programs, particularly in music. He has arranged for new musical instruments to be donated to jump-start ailing school band programs in Oregon, and appeared at schools speaking to students with hopes that they will follow their dreams and accomplish all that they aspire to do.

In the past, John Thayer has made music his avocation while owning and managing two successful business products companies. After growing his first company into the largest independent supplies and furniture dealer in the N.W. Region, the business was sold to U.S. Office Products in 1996. His second company was founded in 2001, and has grown into one of the largest independent office product dealers on the West Coast with sales offices in Portland and San Francisco. John has continued to nurture his passion for music over the past ten years becoming a dedicated singer and composer while writing and producing his own library of songs.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Charles Darwin Quote

Charles Darwin:

"It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change."

10 Most Hated Things in the Music Industry

Found on

Tell me you don't agree with at least one of these.

1. TicketMaster

Every day I get e-mail complaining about this helpful service. Whether it be exorbitant charges on cheap tickets or a charge for printing the tickets yourself, people are fed up.

TicketMaster is awaiting its Napster moment. When the public finally gets some traction, has an alternative, TM is going to be in serious trouble.

If Live Nation does its own ticketing it MUST bury the service charge in the price of the ticket. And, if it does this, where does this leave TicketMaster?

Live Nation has the chance to solve this entire problem. Will the agents and managers help them and agree not to commission the fee, or will they be glad that the blame is not placed upon them, and screw Rapino and his minions?

Ultimately, the high fees reflect badly on the artists themselves. They just don't know it yet...

E-Mail re this today:

Want to hear something that's FUCKED UP? I purchased tickets to a Bela Fleck and the Flecktones concert in Birmingham, AL through Ticketmaster. Face value of ticket - $43. Total Charge once it's run through Ticketmaster - $111.10 for two tickets. That's ridiculous, but I like Bela Fleck and want to see the show, so I'll pony up the cash. Apparently not enough people were willing to pay $55/ticket to see the band, ticket sales were sluggish, and they canceled the show. So I check my credit card statement today to confirm the refund, and it is only for $107. I call Ticketmaster and they say that even though the show was canceled by the artist/promoter, I am not going to be refunded the full amount due to a NON-REFUNDABLE processing fee. Are you fucking kidding me? Think about that for a second--that means that if 500 people have purchased tickets, Ticketmaster is pocketing $1,500 of the CONSUMER'S money. And the consumers being ripped off are the band's dedicated fans--people who bought tickets IN ADVANCE to guarantee entry to the show! What should I do the next time this band announces a show--wait and see if they sell enough tickets so that it looks like the show is going to happen, then buy my tickets?

Let's say that this happens in a couple of cities 2-3 times per week--you're talking over $150,000 per year pocketed by THE MAN. No wonder consumers are sick and tired of the music industry! Working with bands and having promoted shows, it infuriates me to think that this happens to enthusiastic music fans. If a band or promoter overshoots and realizes they are going to lose their ass if they go through with a show, they shouldn't further penalize the music fans they are already disappointing--they should absorb the "service fee". I'm actually glad this happened to me--a lesson learned so I don't piss off my patrons in the future. Thought you would enjoy this "fleecing of America".

Jason Rogoff

2. MTV

The music channel can trumpet its VMA ratings increase all it wants, perception is the VMAs were a train-wreck disrespectful to music, the veritable last straw/nail in the service's coffin.

It wasn't about ratings, it was about rebuilding MTV's franchise. But by going lowest common denominator, by going for the gold, i.e. cash, MTV blew its final chance to fall on the right side of this issue, i.e. MUSIC!

It's an entertainment channel now. The king of the teen reality shows. Hope it works for them, because their days in the music industry are DONE! As is If you want music, you go to Yahoo. Or AOL. They blew those franchises long ago.

3. Terrestrial Radio

What kind of crazy fucked up world do we live in where RADIO is hated MORE than the major labels?

One in which music fans have GIVEN UP on the major labels.

Radio used to be your friend, it used to be in bed with you. Now it's a tool of corporations you want nothing to do with. There's no honesty, research that delivers a constant, well, interrupted by endless commercials, drumbeat of empty calorie crap. Sure, it's free. But so is Net Radio. Blame whomever you want, but the terrestrial band is dead.

As for satellite? It barely ever got started.

Just like Whole Foods and Wild Oats, XM and Sirius will merge. And then talent/programming payments will plunge and what is aired will be ever narrower in focus, akin to terrestrial radio. Yup, Karmazin and Sirius are ultimately going to rule. It's almost endless repeats of the obvious on most Sirius channels. You expect the terrestrial guys who run it to do it any differently?

4. The Major Labels

They release crap and they sue their customers on the behalf of artists they don't pay. Perception is so bad, their future is fucked. Quality, long term/career bands want nothing to do with the majors! So, all they're left with is music of the moment, which is very hard and very expensive to break, and doesn't last long.

Want to know how deep the hatred for the majors is? The TECH REPORTER for the "New York Times", David Pogue, is beating them up for overpriced, evanescent ringtones. ( When you can't even pull the wool over the eyes of the fourth estate, always out of touch, usually not even caring about the music industry, you know you're fucked.

5. Steve Jobs

Mr. Jobs is on the brink of a Q rating meltdown (

Oh, he hasn't changed. Not much. But suddenly, all his wisdom and all his talent have resulted in Apple being top dog. And EVERYBODY shoots for the top dog.

Stunningly, Jobs isn't even aware of the coming backlash. As evidenced by his failure to foresee the early adopter reaction to the iPhone price drop.

There have to be fewer special events. Steve's got to do some press where he laughs at himself. The record labels and movie studios and TV networks have done SUCH a good job of depicting him as a tyrant that some of it is now sticking. Steve's RIGHT! But right isn't everything.

Steve has always walked a fine line between the industry and the fan. But now, it's getting him in trouble. He's isolated, he's alone, out in the desert.

In order to win in the twenty first century, first and foremost you have to be aligned with the public. The Tommy Mottola decade is over. It's not about your flashy life and power, if you believe that, you've watched too much "Cribs". It's about being honest and delivering for the public at large, with your cash and power being mere BYPRODUCTS!

Buying tunes from Starbucks via Wi-Fi on your iPod Touch? That doesn't get my hormones going. How about a subscription that can verify via Wi-Fi, i.e. when you enter Starbucks? How about more music for less money? How about further illustrating you're in OUR world, not THEIRS!

6. 50 Cent

We don't hate Kanye because he's not dangerous. 50? We're afraid to walk down the same side of the street with him.

He's become so focused on business, has such a bunker mentality, that we can no longer relate. We don't want to give you our money to make you RICH, we want to belong to your club, we want your music to ENHANCE OUR LIVES!

50 needs psychotherapy.

Stunningly, he was warm in the VMA pre-game.

Only one problem, most people didn't see it.

Yup, you're on MTV and people STILL don't see you!

7. Ticket Prices

Since music is free (and if you don't know this, you probably disagree with most of this screed), acts make their revenue on the road. Only one problem, THEY'RE GOUGING US!

Oh, we're paying to see who we want. But we don't want to see many people.

Used to be going to the concert was a decision just a little more major than going to a movie, they weren't that different in price. Now a show is an EVENT! As a result, there's a focus on production rather than music. There's auto-tune and instruments on hard drive, all in an effort to make it perfect. Live isn't perfect, live breathes. These events leave one cold. Once is enough. And they drain all the money out of the marketplace.

There's no concept of repeat business in today's concert industry. It's get all the money NOW! If you're doing it right, people will want to see you in the future. They'll be on your side if you don't rip them off. They'll keep coming back. See the Dave Matthews Band for instruction.

8. Wal-Mart

Often the only game in town. Where you can buy very little repertoire, a good deal of it censored to fit the company's criteria.

The Eagles are gonna get paid upfront, they're gonna move a lot of product, but it's never gonna burnish the Arkansas retailer's image. Then again, people stupid enough to still buy CDs are probably so out of it they don't care that their communities have been ruined by the giant, they just want low prices. And probably think Iraq was behind 9/11 too.

Who you're in business with says a lot about you. Choose your partners wisely.

9. Simon Cowell

At least he has the balls to go on TV. Where you'll never see Doug Morris or Edgar Bronfman, Jr.

Simon gets away with it though, because he's not dishonest, he tells what he believes to be the truth. Bottom line, mainstream music is SO bad that the catatonic minority would rather buy gussied-up wannabes than the incomprehensible works of art rockers and metal-heads.

In the modern era, you've got to have a public face. You've got to be able to take your hits.

10. Music Itself

Unlike Mr. Cowell, most in this industry are dishonest. They won't call out travesties, they're only interested in what sells. And unless you LIVE for music, you just can't find anything with meaning.

Albums are WAY too long. Our heroes don't deliver anymore. New acts are not as good as the legendary ones. There's a focus on everything BUT the music. FASHION ROCKS? No it doesn't.

The number one criterion is GOOD. If it's not good, just play the old stuff. That's what the teenagers are doing. That's why 20 million people want to see Led Zeppelin's show at the O2 Arena.

Led Zeppelin didn't play by the rules. They were not beholden to the man. They didn't play it safe. They were unique. But, despite all the foregoing, they were strangely listenable.

That doesn't describe today's music, and that's why today's music is in the dumper. And it doesn't matter if you agree with me, that's the PERCEPTION!

And we can blame everybody for this. The agents, the managers, the labels, MTV, radio... The only person we can't blame is the fan.

But now the fan has power. And he's mad as hell and isn't going to take it anymore. Won't anybody worry about the FAN?




We Don't Give A Shit About DRM

Anybody who cares about DRM is stealing the music in an unprotected format anyway. Rather than pissing the people off who ARE paying, just leave the DRM off. But really, this is a tempest in a teapot.

The Price Is Too High

I understand record revenues are tanking, but by raising prices, you're just encouraging people to steal. Don't tell me how much money, time and effort you put into recording your material. They spent a lot on the DeLorean too, and IT failed.

People own a lot of music now. They have a limited music budget. Focus on GETTING THAT BUDGET FROM EVERYONE! Not trying to get thousands of dollars from a few.

Gene Simmons Now Appearing at 7-Elevens

So this is what it has come to

If you live in Vancouver you can meet Gene Simmons at 3 7-Elevens today. Gene will be there promoting Franks Energy Drink.

There is something not right about the once mighty Demon making appearances at 7-Eleven. I wonder if Gene will be yodeling?