Last year, Apple decided not to put a CD/DVD drive in their latest MacBook Pros. A serious laptop without a disc drive? Surely not!
But with the news that both HMV and Blockbuster (who make most of their money by trading CDs and DVDs) have gone into administration, it looks like Apple knew exactly what they were doing. Have CDs and DVDs really had their day?
You may be surprised to learn cassette tapes were only popular for around 20 years. CDs have been sold since 1983 and there’s no reason why the disc format should last much longer than cassette format.
If I’m right on this then we should see a decline of CD sales around 20 years after the first sale. That would mean CD sales would start to decline around 2003.
The statistics show it was actually 2004 that the big drop began (so I wasn’t far wrong!). Needless to say sales have been plummeting ever since…
While I do believe we’re seeing the beginning of the end in terms of CDs and DVDs, I think there’s one very important reason why CDs have lasted longer than cassettes did: Ripping.
My CD may not get much use, but at least it’s still useful. In a few minutes the content of the CD can be on my iPod. Cassettes on the other hand didn’t stand a chance. You could have copied from cassette to CD but few did. It wasn’t a quick or easy process like it is to copy from CD to iPod.
It’s astonishing to think that in my lifetime, VHS videos were being sold for at least £10 each, yet today they are worth £0. You couldn’t even give them to a charity shop. No one wants them.
Yet look at people’s vast DVD collections today. We’re approaching a time where they will be worth £0 too! People will have moved on to Blu-ray, or perhaps DVD players will stop being made altogether as people stream and download films?
There’s very little we can say for certain on these topics. But one thing we do know is this: Constant change is here to stay.
Will we ever reach a time when MP3s are useless and everyone has moved on to yet another format? I find it difficult to envision such a time. But then again, I’m sure 1960s hippies found it difficult to think ahead to a time where music lovers didn’t own a record player…
You do not appreciate the power you have.
I often see you writing things on Facebook which totally dis-regard the fact you are sitting behind the world’s biggest and best super computer.
Why do you insist on asking such simple questions? These include “does anyone know what time X Factor is on tonight?” and “can someone translate this [insert foreign text] for me?”
Are you so blind? Are you so foolish?
As you waste minutes seeking a pathetic surface level exchange on Facebook which you hope will bring a simple answer to your puny question, you forget you are seconds away accessing the aforementioned super computer!
The last thing I asked this computer was (for purely demonstrative purposes, I’m not emigrating) ”temperature in Cyprus”. (Those who are wise among you will note this is not strictly a question, as the grammar is incorrect.) But I do not need to correctly phrase my question – and that’s because this super computer is not as dumb as one of its predecessors (ridiculously dressed as a Butler I seem to remember…) which constantly begged you to ask, ask, ask(.com).
Anyway, not only can this super computer manoeuvre its way through bad grammar, it does not require me to spell words like antidisestablishmentarianism correctly (thank the good Lord!).
For example, If I were to write “Ciprus”, this computer (without so much as a tut at my inability to spell even the most basic of names) will automatically display results for “Cyprus”.
What can this super computer do exactly? At its most basic level, it simply searches for words. But words is not its only forte! Oh no, it’s not just a dictionary. It’s rather good with numbers too. It’s a world clock, a thermometer a currency exchanger and a calculator. It’s also managed to map the entire earth (no need to ask for directions guys, the super computer has it covered).
It’s easier to tell you what it can’t do than it is to try and explain everything it can do!
What about when your pathetic brain can’t remember even the most common of words? I remember once I forgot the name of an ‘ambulance’ midway through a conversation. I called it a “big hospital truck thing”. I should have consulted the super computer. I could have typed “mobile hospital truck is called *” into my smartphone as the super computer completes your sentence if you use the asterisk at the end – thus revealing the word you had momentarily forgotten!
Google, I salute you. You’re the world’s biggest and best super computer. You’ve earned your reputation as the world’s biggest and best search engine, providing information on any subject you could ever imagine. But sometimes, I have to wonder if you’re also the world’s best kept secret. Your potential is huge, and so much greater than many realise.
So, world. Until you stop asking your silly questions, I’m going to do the following. *copies silly question* *pastes into lmgtfy.com* *follows on screen instructions* *pastes link back into facebook box*
Yours sincerely and much too sarcastically,
Once in a while it’s fun to write a blog post on blogging itself. So here goes…
I’ve tried (and failed) previously to explain the reasoning behind why I blog. I’m still not totally sure why I bother at times. I’m also aware holymansam.wordpress.com can lack a bit of direction. But you, the reader have kept on reading (or so the stats tell me) and for that, I’m grateful.
One of the most important things about blogging is, to quote The Guardian “comment is free”. Without readers joining in with the discussion, blogging loses its soul. Books, journals and newspapers don’t enjoy this same level of interactivity. Letters to the editor only let a tiny percentage of readers comment. Blogs let everyone have a say (even the spambots). The internet has given us all a voice. This is something that should be celebrated.
This may be controversial, but in my view, unless you have the comment facility enabled, your blog is not a blog.
It’s not so much that your missing out on insight from friends and those who know more about the subject than you, (although that’s all true) but rather the fact that you send a very negative message to your readers.
By disabling the comment function, you are refusing to let people engage with your writing. You may not be doing this in an arrogant fashion, it just looks that way to your reader. Like it or not, the majority of blogs invite comments. So if your blog doesn’t have this feature, you stick out for all the wrong reasons.
The best lecturers give time for questions. But blogs that don’t let the reader comment are worse than a lecturer that ignores his students questions. Unless you turn the comments on, you’re having a one way conversation with your readers.
One way conversations are no fun. Remember that guy or girl who just talks at you rather than to you? You can’t get a word in edge-ways. We’ve all been on the receiving end of those ‘chats’. A few of us have given them too (sorry).
Journalists are encouraged to have at least one specialist subject. Something they know a lot about. Most (though not all) of my specialist subjects fall under the heading of ‘Christianity’. Theology is one of these subjects. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no expert, it’s just an interest/hobby. Now, in doing something as absurd and as difficult as trying to describe what God is like, you’re going to make some mistakes whatever level you’re at. But what I love about theology is the amount of material I’ve learned and gleaned from others through podcasts, books, and yes…blogs. These mediums have both corrected me and further enforced what I already believe.
Unsurprisingly, there are hundreds of blogs on theology and loads of them are absolutely brilliant. The writers write well and the readers respond reflectively.
But I’ve noticed a concerning trend among bloggers who fit into the ‘reformed’ category. That’s right, they’ve turned the comments section off! I realise that especially with bigger blogs, there may be issues surrounding censorship. It’s right that offensive comments are deleted. I’ve done that before. But it’s not too difficult or time-consuming to do this. You don’t solve the problems 1% of your readers (known as trolls) cause by censoring everyone! You just censor the trolls. Simple.
For me, you lose credibility if you aren’t willing to let the audience engage. If you have comments turned on (well done, you) and want extra brownie points, then do what Vicky Beeching models so well and respond to your readers comments. That’s going the extra mile. But the bare minimum should be letting your readers having a say – it’s what blogging is all about!
I’m in the habit of writing tweets that never get read.
That’s not because I have 0 followers, but because I’ll write a tweet, stare at it and think “do I really want to say this?”. Quite a lot of the time the answer is “no way” and the “tweet” button will never be pressed.
I don’t mean to make out that I’m wonderfully controlled and am always really careful what I say on Twitter. Sadly that’s not true. I’m a work in progress in all areas of my life, including this one.
Nevertheless, three recent stories in the media have really made me think.
1. The first was the case of Liam Stacey who has been sentenced to 56 days in prison after he made racist comments on Twitter.
The tweet in question? “LOL. F*** Muamba. He’s dead!!! #haha”, presumably without the stars.
2. The second story broke about this time last night. Mrs Speaker tweeted she was tempted to try the drug Mexxi before it’s made illegal.
“Am I the only one now slightly tempted to try mexxy before it becomes illegal? I won’t, obvs”. Her comments came just days after the drug has been linked to the death of at least two people, leading to her being labelled “insensitive”. I found both the Daily Mail‘s Headline “Will She Ever Learn?” and Mrs Speaker terming the paper the “Daily Fail” pretty amusing.
3. Finally, according to Reuters, Kuwaiti authorities arrested a man on Tuesday for insulting Mohammed over Twitter.
That’s three stories about Twitter in one week. Oh wait, I’m wrong. The biggest story about Twitter this week is that the company has admitted there’s a bug going around that will make your account unfollow people randomly, without your permission (thus providing all of us with a wonderful excuse the next time someone asks why you’re not following them).
Presumably the legislature that allowed Liam and the Kuwaiti man to be arrested applies to Facebook too, and, come to think of it…this blog. I’m hardly the most controversial of bloggers, but it’s still a scary thought that what I write here could get me arrested.
I would not defend any of the above tweets. But I would question if arresting people for what they say on Twitter is fair. It’s a grey area.
Some would argue that just as someone walking up to me in the street and hurling racist language warrants arrest, the same rules should apply in the online world.
On the other hand, millions of views are expressed on Twitter every minute. Fanatic and offensive views aren’t normally read by thousands. And if they are, a large percentage of those thousands will write back and give the tweeter plenty of grief!
This happens all the time with celebrities. Let’s say I tweet that Dom Joly is the least funny person on the planet. He’ll retweet my message, sending it to his 133,000 followers. 10,000 of those followers will then hurl abuse at me in turn. It’s basically Karma. And it’s beautiful.
So which of these two philosophies on Twitter and free speech is best? I err on the side of the latter, but I’m open to persuasion either way. I look forward to reading your comments and watching the wider debate grow. I think this is an issue that will run and run as time goes on…
That’s what anyone who owns a product made by Apple (myself included) will think after reading this…
“What is Foursquare?“
Foursquare is a website and mobile app which allows out to “check in” to any location in the world. Shops, parks, homes, streets, restaurants, cinemas, you name it. Once you are checked in your friends (only people you have approved) will be able to see where you are.
Four reasons you should join:
1) It’s useful
The best way to use Foursquare is by installing the app on your smart phone. Once you’ve done this you can “check in” anywhere you are near to. Say I checked in to Southampton City Centre, and some friends of mine checked in a few hundreds metres down the road having coffee in Starbucks, my phone would immediately alert me that my friends were close.
Obviously some of you would be miffed if I came and interrupted your chin wag in Starbucks. But if it was a friend who lived out of town that I hadn’t seen in ages, Foursquare would aid our beautiful collision! The moral of this story is: Be very careful who you add as a “friend” on Foursquare.
2) You get free stuff
Our church meets in a cinema. Because we hire the premises, we have to buy our own coffee at the end of the service. Adrian Plass once described coffee as “the light at the end of the tunnel of any Christian meeting”. I’m pleased to say this isn’t the case at Life Church! Nevertheless I was pleased to discover that because I checked in to the cinema for the first time, I was entitled to a free tea or coffee.
There are hundreds of other examples. You can get 20% off Bella Italia if you’re the “mayor”. You can become “mayor” of a location by visiting it more than anyone else on Foursquare.
3) It’s the world’s biggest game
As well as being useful and resulting in freebies, Foursquare is also a massive game. You compete against your friends to get the most points and win Mayorships. It sounds ridiculous, but once you get into it, it’s a lot of fun!
4) The more the merrier
The more people on Foursquare that you know, the more it makes sense. Especially in relation to points one and three. If you still think it sounds crazy, then think of it like Twitter…no one gets it, but everyone loves it! It’s the same with Foursquare.
It’s social, it’s fun and yes it’s useful at times. But deep down we all know it’s just another form of procrastination. So go ahead and sign up. I promise you it’s good fun, and you never know, maybe when you discover a local freebie you’ll thank me for this blog.