Month: <span>October 2007</span>

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Tomorrow, in case you hadn’t heard, Radiohead release their new album. You can purchase it to download from their website as they don’t currently have a record deal. You can also purchase a £40 box set with additional tracks, artwork, vinyl and so on, and I believe the band are in talks with a record label with a view to releasing the album on CD sometime next year.

The big news is, of course, that the band are letting you choose how much you want to buy the tracks for.. and you CAN choose £0.00 (although you still have to pay 45p for processing the payment, bloody banks).

I’m a fan so I’ll be getting the tracks but the question is, of course, will I pay for them?

A lot of people have said they will, and a lot of people and artists in the music industry think this could be a tipping point, presuming the band make money from this of course. If it sells enough, the record labels might just take notice and might, maybe, concede that there is a slim chance they have been a little rash and that, possibly, there are other ways to treat the music fans out there. Maybe. Sort of.

Me? I won’t be paying a thing. I will log onto the Radiohead website at some point, presuming it doesn’t spend half the day on its arse, and offer to pay £0.00 for the tracks. I’ll download them and listen to them with no guilt whatsoever.

Why no guilt? Because I do this already. I download albums, without paying, and listen to them. If I really enjoy the tracks then yes, I do then go and pay for them.

But that doesn’t always happen. Why doesn’t it always happen? Because I’m lazy and it’s hard and I’ve got to jump through hoops and, even once I’ve done that, I am then restricted as to what I can do with the tracks I’ve just purchased. So, what I tend to do is purchase the tracks, or CD, and then… continue to use the tracks I download (unless they are low quality). I have CDs on my shelves which have never been opened, and I know for a fact a couple of them still have the cellophane wrapper intact.

However, Radiohead have given me a way to continue to sample music, and have made it very easy for me to pay if I like it. If I choose to purchase the Radiohead album (which I will I know, so this is a rather academic discussion but I’m trying to make a point here..) I will go back to their website, “buy” the tracks and then NOT bother downloading them again.

Which, I guess, still brings me round to the question of how MUCH I’ll offer to buy the tracks for, £1 a track? Less? More?

Considering the eyes of the music industry are watching this ‘event’ very keenly, I’m almost tempted to pay well over the odds as a weird kind of protest. I’ll be sticking two fingers up and proclaiming: “See!!! We WILL spend money if you make it easy for us and don’t kibosh the tracks with DRM nonsense, don’t you get it?!”

Nothing is free, everyone knows that (ok ok, apart from air and stuff like that, don’t be so bloody pedantic) so it ultimately comes down to a single question: How much should you pay for something that is free?

Media

New logo for Wacom – yes, that trumpety thing floating about on the page – from the same people who created the London Olympic logo. If you ever get a proposal from Wolff Olins, RUN FOR THE HILLS!! (via)

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A Futurama feature length adventure (video) – Benders Big Score, no less. Yay! A secret pleasure of mine.. and I know my mate Stuart will be on this like.. ummm.. what’s the phrase again “white on rice??”

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I’m a member of a few mailing lists, TechWR, IAI, ISTC, Framers, WebWorks, to name but a few. Add in several high volume internal mailing lists and my email count easily tops out at a couple of hundred a day.

Naturally I filter all of these into folders, and not all are read, but it still takes a large portion of my time to manage my email. As such, I’m constantly looking for better ways to handle my email load (I’ve managed ‘inbox zero’ at home but not at work, yet) and recently I’ve found myself tempted to follow a recent suggestion by Merlin Mann, namely the “Trusted (and lazy) email filter”:

For a very noisy, high-volume list, filter all messages except those by 2-3 people whom you really respect. When those people chime in, catch up with what they’re responding to — chances are good you haven’t missed much and can use their appearance to get up to speed.

I already have a few names, from the TechWR list, in mind. If you are on that list, I’d be interested to hear who YOU’D filter on and, in the spirit of sharing, here is my starter list (I’m sure I’ll have missed some people, so please be assured that not to be included is no slight): Chris Borokowski, John Posada, Dori Green, Bill Swallow and Gene Kim.

The only slight problem is that these people are probably THE most active people on the list, so it’s not really that much of a filter…

(thought: perhaps there is also a negative filter that could be applied. When X replies to a thread you can safely start deleting emails from it?? hmmmm)

I’ve yet to try this as I seem to have an irrational fear that I’ll miss that nugget of wisdom or piece of information that I’ve been searching for… although as I don’t currently know what it is I’m searching for, it’s a little hard to placate my inner pessimist. However it does seem like a good method to help you if you are, like so many of us, informationally overloaded.

What do you think? Do you have any hints or tips on managing large numbers of possibly useful or relevant emails? How many do you receive in an average day and how much time do you spend (waste?) processing them?

Work

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XKCD - geek humour


Well, it made me chuckle…

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