LowComDom Performances Presents
The Crapolla According to Fek'Lar
You Know You're DOOMED When...
you get low on needles so you have a friend in Jersey go get some for you at the beach!
You've stumbled onto another issue of The Crapolla, a journal written for software professionals. No not the managers; I mean the people who do the work.
This Crapolla is sponsored by...
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In This Issue...
Napster Meets Jack Shit!
Take A Letter
morbit writes ...
in your latest issue of crapolla you state "The truth is Bob Smith and the rest of the idiots in Marketing aren't doing Jack Shit." My question is Who is Jack Shit, and why does he need doing? And why do only marketing guys get a shot at him, what about Managers? or Directors? I believe they are truly the ones doing Jack Shit.
Yours in ineptitude,
You know Morbit, I can't believe you live off of exit 8 in New Jersey and you don't know Jack Shit! He practically lives in your neighborhood! I'll prove it to you. Go outside and ask the first person you see if they know Jack Shit. Of course they do! To ask the question is so absurd, that the person you ask will be insulted that you even bothered!
Jack Shit is the guy who has all the really good ideas. Getting ahead in business, or purchasing a house in this tight market requires that you know Jack Shit. And to be doing Jack Shit is to simply be following his advice. (Yes, I know you thought this was something disgustingly biological.) As I pointed out in the previous column, WTHAIS Marketing doesn't know Jack Shit, they haven't heard of him, and they certainly aren't following his good advice.
I have heard that in New York the Major's office has a desk where they will arrange an introduction. If they're a little busy, ask Hillary. She'll set you up.
Take Another Letter
Hey Feklar, I think it's "skeptical", not "sceptical". My favorite color is blue-green.
-Harold (Meteorology student at OU in Norman, OK)
Patricia Hoffman of ICL also laid into this with ...
You need to paint Steph's new car. Skeptical is not spelled sceptical.
And then finally Steph woke up and wrote ...
My new car is nothing at all like the one you featured, that is in lock-down with a tire boot, sitting on an island of asphalt while the world around it crumbles (how the hell do they plan to move that thing away, anyhow? a damned crane?!). Having said this, I fully expect a covert assault at my home or place of work to vandalize my new beloved vehicle.
Your Most Loyal Reader,
Oh my, how did that get past Miss Proofreader? I guess we'll have to cut her pay in half. Or perhaps we'll just lash her with a wet noodle. Everyone seems to enjoy that. Miss Proofreader included.
For Harold (America's future wasting its time reading this rag), and Patricia it's time to paint Steph's car!
And I'm really sorry about using the wrong photo, Steph. I've made extra sure we use the right picture this time.
A couple of issues ago I was asked to write about my take on Napster. As you might have noticed a few things have changed. As of this writing, Napster has entered into a deal with Bertelsmann Inc., one of the record companies suing Napster. In this deal, Bertelsmann will drop the suit if Napster builds technology which allows Bertelsmann to sell access to their entire music library. A few of the specifics are that Bertelsmann puts up all of the development money for the new software. Napster gets access to the music library. They sell subscriptions for say 5 bucks a month for end users to access everything from Christina Aguilera to Carlos Santana. It's still a little sketchy, but those are the broad strokes. This is without a doubt a perfect Sillycon Valley deal! Let's go the the white board a see why.
The history of The Valley tells us that people who have a good thing and keep it to themselves lose. Look at Apple Computer. Believe it or not, in 1988 I wrote a column that advocated Apple get into the OS licensing business. They were way ahead of Microsoft, and by building an OS that could also run on X86, they could bite into the market in a way they hadn't been able to before. This would allow anyone who could make a PC clone to make a Mac the same way that these same people now also make Linux boxes. At the time Apple was making record profits on huge margins. They didn't want to hear from me (as if anyone at Apple read my column) or anyone else who said that they had to think bigger. Apple is still around. And in the recent past they've done well. But not so long ago, it looked like Apple was going down for the count.
Contrast this with, say, the VCR. Remember the 70's? I know Miss Proofreader doesn't so I'll explain. In the 1970's, right after Tricky Dick left office, a whole bunch of VCR standards hit the market. There were at least four that I remember. The two biggest were Sony's Betamax and JVC's VHS. Sony went it alone. They were the Apple of the 70's. All their stuff was better than the competition. From a technical view point Beta was better. But VHS won because JVC licensed it to anyone who had cash. Sony hogged it all to themselves. Now Beta is dead. The last one I saw was at a local Security Weenie's house where it is dedicated to recording Zima: Malt Liquor Princess for posterity. Sony now licenses VHS from JVC.
What's this got to do with the Napster deal? My long, drawn out, point is that everyone wins and no one loses in this deal. First, Bertelsmann wins by getting out of a law suit they were probably going to lose, and they make an alliance with a company who can put them in the middle of the biggest music movement since John Lennon drank seven gallons of prune juice after losing a bet to Paul, that if they leveled the stage Ringo would drool out of both sides of his mouth.
Napster wins because up until now, Napster has been fantastic technology without a business plan. I actually heard these clowns say they were going to get the technology done first, and then see if they could make any money with it later. That's about as smart as inviting Newt Gingrich to judge your morality. Napster for the first time has a business plan that includes revenue. They have a customer who is going to pick up the check for development, and then they will have re-occurring revenue from the subscribers. If they did the deal right, they should be able to sell this technology over and over again to all the record companies. Napster just became a franchise.
What I'm really hoping, though, is that the real winners will be the consumers. You know the mark up on CDs is so high that the recording industry makes OPEC look like Costco. It costs about a quarter to press a CD. You buy it for as much as eighteen bucks. Sure I know that there are other costs. But remember, I'm a relatively old fart in this industry. I remember phonograph records that cost about half what a CD cost, when CDs first came out. We were told it cost more to make a CD. Maybe then, but not now. So why haven't prices fallen? Because you got used to paying too much.
I used to buy a lot of video tapes. Now I buy movies in bulk with my satellite dish. Instead of paying twelve to twenty dollars a movie, I now pay about a nickel. That's what I'm hoping this deal will do for music. But unlike the satellite dish, with the internet, a band could maintain it's own library and make a deal with Napster to sell its music to the public.
So to those who say that Napster sold out, I say isn't it a little cold in Berkeley this time of year? If you thought Napster was some left wing socialist conspiracy, it's time to wake up and smell the Diet Coke. The people who poured money into the company want it back, and then some more. Napster has been poorly navigated capitalism that finally got lucky in the business arena. They finally met Jack Shit. Napster has made a perfect Sillycon Valley deal, and they might have just changed the recording industry as we know it. I love it when this happens.
Kellogg to Acquire Keebler
Let's play, "Who said this?"
Heard in the halls of various software companies.
"We didn't have these problems a year ago."
"We hadn't hired all the bone-heads a year ago."
"Can I play with the green thing?"
"It is very difficult to be this completely full of shit all of the time."
"You got Corn Dogs from Dairy Belle? Do you know what they have for vegetarians at Dairy Belle?"
"Err ... vegetables?"
"The blueberry cream cheese says it contains Smurf by-products."
I'm downloading the complete works of Pat Boone singing Heavy Metal. That should scare the neighbors!
(Destroyer of Laptops - Morale Officer - The Last Honest Geek)
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