Who has got the cure for the sit-at-home blues? Ask Dr Grabthar. Now with bigger, easier to read font!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

[General] How to state the obvious in 213 easy steps

There’s a new player in New Zealand’s digital-music selling business. The new player is actually a very old one: Coca Cola.

The purveyor of sugary pop drinks is now the purveyor of sugary pop music (new motto: Rots your teeth and your brain at the same time!). That said they actually have quite a large selection of international and local music, available as albums OR individual tracks. Cokes prices are NZ$1.99 for a track and Digirama lowered their prices to match.

However, and for me this is a BIG “HOWEVER”, all of the tracks are in WMA format. Digirama, the other New Zealand digital-music site, does the same. Digirama’s music apparently (I have to say “apparently” because I don’t know anyone who has used it) comes with built in restrictions. These restrictions are encrypted in the file itself (though it may also be in a separate license that must be downloaded first) and limit the number of times you can play the track, the number of times you can burn it to CD or your music player etc. I do not know if Coke has the same kind of restrictions on its files but it seems more than likely.

There is a very good reason why I don’t know too much more about Coketunes; I was required to have Internet Explorer to be able to browse the site. I also needed Windows Media Player. Hmmmm why all of the Microsoft stuff? Wait, is it because Apple has just purchased itunes.co.nz?

There was a link on the Coke site that said “iPod users click here” (I don’t own an iPod but clicked anyway) the link told me “iPods cannot play music downloaded from this site”. The site then showed me a range of players that could play WMAs and that I could purchase from Dick Smith Electronics.

Let the price wars begin! I suggest signing up for all of the parties involved (including the original kiwi music site Amplifier) and play them off of each other.

In other news:

The Herald has an article titled: Mäori jobless rates fall but gaps persist. This article outlines how, despite the difference in employment rates between Mäori and non-Mäori closing remarkably over the last few years, other gaps are still very large.

What it doesn’t really state explicitly is that the gaps that have closed have been rather dramatic. Mäori men have almost “caught up” with non-Mäori; Mäori women have not done as well but there has still been a drastic reduction in their unemployment rates. The numbers of Mäori with tertiary qualifications has shot up (mainly with the introduction of wänanga). In general the data suggests that having a tertiary qualification means you are more likely to be employed; this is also true for Maori specifically.

The report quotes a draft report from Business Roundtable chairman Rob McLeod.

His draft study has indicated it is equal participation in and rewards from the economy - not Treaty of Waitangi settlements - which could more effectively break down the gap between Maori and non-Maori earnings.

He has estimated that if Maori employment rates equalled those of non-Maori, and if Maori average wages equalled those of non-Maori, the benefit to Maori would be $45 billion, far higher than likely treaty settlements.

Give that man the Nobel Prize for economics! If Mäori employment rates and average wages equalled those of non-Mäori things would be better.

::cough:: How should I put this? ...DUH!

I estimate that if Mäori employment rates and average wages were better than non-Mäori the benefit to Mäori would exceed $45 billion. I also estimate that if my average weekly income were equal to that of someone with a higher weekly income then the benefit to me would be greater. I kept estimating and found that if the Black Caps batting average was equal to that of Australia the benefit to NZ Cricket would be humongous. But no one’s quoting me in the Herald (possibly because I have a tendency to swear, stupid #$%@ing Herald).

How do we get Mäori average wages up and unemployment down? The Herald is smart enough to not contradict itself. My answer contains Treaty settlements. No, Treaty settlements will not be more than $45 billion, but Microsoft did not start out with the $48 billion+ that Bill Gates currently has (1 billion for every year of his life). To nurture growth, which is what we want here, you give people some money and get them to go out and make more. With Treaty settlements we hope that the Iwi take the money and set up businesses and make investments which then turn into growth in the industry with a particular focus on their own people.

I was going to have some fancy graphs like the Herald does but I can’t get to table builder at Stats NZ for the same reason I can’t get at Coketunes.

[Note: Never trust graphs/charts that have anything highlighted, are in 3D (when they don’t have to be), have an unusual (or no) scale and/or are not ordered. These graphs will be misleading.]

So what else is going on?

National Party attacks Federated Farmers. What? National attacks its largest constituency? Yep. Nick Smith and David Carter (the man who called his own electorate “shit”) have criticised a draft animal care proposal written by Federated Farmers. You see they thought it was written by Labour. How are they gonna worm their way out of this one?

Coming soon: An “analysis” of the NFL salary caps I put up the other day and a short piece on evolution.


Tom said...

Hi Hadyn,

Check out Bleep: music from Warp Records (and now Ninja Tune and Rough Trade labels - just as well, because a playlist limited to Autechre and Aphex Twin is not good for one's mental health) in completely DRM-free MP3 format for US$1.35 a track. See also the Wikipedia article on Bleep.

Any chance that we can persuade Loop to go this way? ;-)

ben.run said...

Thank you for provding me a new way to view my income and future income.

I also propose, that if my income was set higher than that of someone earning less, then the net benefit would go to the accountants.